Hobart Archbishop insists on credit for hardworking priests
Archbishop Adrian Doyle of Hobart has told the Synod of Bishops in Rome that recognition of the "strong recognition of the wonderful contribution of our priests" is missing in the Instrumentum Laboris working document of the Synod.
Speaking to the assembled bishops on Friday night, he said: "In some parts of the world today, including my own country of Australia, it continues to be a very challenging vocation, perhaps more so that in the immediate past."
He said that the document recognised the work of Catechists, but there was scarcely a mention of what priests are doing.
"Could not a similar statement be made to the many thousands of priests who, often in very difficult circumstances, exercise an irreplaceable ministry in celebrating the Eucharist, about which this Synod has given so much consideration, as part of the Year of the Eucharist?"
He said that many older priests often carry heavy responsibilities for longer than their counterparts in society.
"The very same priests have pastoral responsibility for a greater number of people than they did in the earlier years of their priestly ministry," he said. "Many priests travel long distances to serve disparate communities, while others celebrate the Eucharist and the other sacraments for very large numbers with little assistance. Many younger priests face a future which they know already will be very challenging, because of the smaller numbers of priests with whom they will sharing the ministry."
H.E. Most. Rev. Adrian Leo DOYLE, Archbishop of Hobart (AUSTRALIA) (Synodus Episcoporum Bulletin 7/10/05)
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10 Oct 2005