MANILA, Oct. 7, 2013— The country’s top churchman has challenged priests not to fail the Catholic flock by doing their mission and call to serve, acting ‘in persona Christi’ (in the person of Christ).
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said that the church could not fail the faithful who regard priests as a “gift” to their community.
“For many people a priest sent to the community is the answer to their lonely prayer and when they see us, we are like angels sent from above. Let us not fail them. Let us not fail Jesus,” Tagle said.
The cardinal emphasized that bishops, priests and the religious can only act in the name of Christ in the area of “mission and ministry”.
He warned that without the two facets acting in persona Christi “could end up being an ideology” and not anymore the grace of ordination.
“And we know from the history of the Church how fatal it would be whenever acting in the person of Christ is located on sheer power forgetting the mission and the call to serve,” Tagle added.
“May we truly be the answers to the prayers sent by the community to the Lord. May it not be told that we will pray again because God sent the wrong answer. Let us be the answer to people’s plea to God,” he said. (CBCPNews)