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Pope: without prayer, Mass, and confession, a priest becomes a ‘mediocrity’

Catholic World News - March 26, 2014

Pope Francis devoted his March 26 general audience to the Sacrament of Holy Orders. While all in the Church are called to share in the three sacraments of Christian initiation, there are two sacraments-- holy orders and marriage-- that “correspond to two specific vocations.”

“With the power of the Holy Spirit, in the name of God, and with love,” bishops, priests, and deacons are called to feed the flock of Christ, the Pope said as he highlighted three aspects of the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

First, the ordained are called to serve as Christ served: “a bishop who is not at the service of the community does not do well.” Ordination also brings about a sacramental union with Christ, who passionately loves the Church; and finally, the gift of ordination must be revivified, as St. Paul wrote to St. Timothy.

This revitalization, Pope Francis said, occurs through prayer, listening to the Word of God, the daily celebration of the Eucharist, and reception of the Sacrament of Penance. Bishops and priests who fail do so become “a mediocrity that does no good for the Church.”

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  • Posted by: loumiamo7154 - Mar. 26, 2014 1:12 PM ET USA

    You misquoted the Pope in the last line. It is Catholic doctrine that a mediocre, even sinful priest/prelate validly confers the sacraments, since the priest/prelate is just the instrument Jesus uses to anoint us. The Pope did not err, he said that a mediocre priest does not do good, not that he does no good. Big difference.

  • Posted by: pegbob - Mar. 26, 2014 10:47 AM ET USA

    THANK YOU CATHOLICCULTURE.ORG for giving us easy access to articles like this one, and for putting the whole topic of vocation into proper perspective by making available the Holy Father's recent words about the beauty of the Vocation of the Laity as well. Thank you for the balance; thank you for the Truth!

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