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Portugal: Fatima, clergy symposium on “Priest, minister and witness of the Gospel’s joy”

In Fatima, the symposium of the Portuguese clergy on “Priest, minister and witness of the Gospel’s joy” ended yesterday evening. It opened last September 4th, and was set up by the Episcopal Commission for Vocations and Ministries. The latest speech was dedicated to the subject of “priest celibacy, a gift for the Church and a world prophecy”. “There is no relationship between celibacy and paedophilia”, said Bishop Emeritus of San Sebastian Juan María Uriarte, during his speech in front of over 400 participants; he said that “the family is the context where paedophilia is practiced to the greatest extent”, and “married teachers practice it more than unmarried teachers”. However, Msgr. Uriarte also said that affection and sexuality education in seminaries is “clearly insufficient”, and proposed a model to experience celibacy in the four stages of the life of a priest. At the opening of the session, the Portuguese bishops wrote to Pope Francis to thank him for the “timely and daring letter on the tragedy of abuse of minors”, and to express their commitment “to eliminate the causes of this scourge”. “Before the attempts of questioning the credibility of his ministry”, the Bishops declared to be “brotherly close to the Pope, to support him to full extent, to be in full communion with his mission of universal Minister, and to adhere to his teachings in full”.

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