Priests must know how to delegate and to "be a community of brothers" with their colleagues, Pope Benedict said in a holiday address to clergy last week.
The Holy See’s Press Office released the transcript this weekend of a question and answer session Pope Benedict XVI held with priests from Bolzano-Bressanone, where he spent his vacation, Catholic News Agency reports.
During the meeting, Pope Benedict said that faced with very busy schedules, it is important that priests "have the courage to limit themselves and the clarity to set their priorities", the most important one being "the time a priest spends with the Lord and therefore having time for prayer."
Prayer helps the priest "to learn what is truly essential, to learn where my presence is truly needed as a priest and where I cannot delegate to anybody. And at the same time I should humbly accept that there are many things and moments that require my presence but that cannot be done because I recognise my own limitations. I think that such humility will be understood by people," the Pope said.
"And with this there is something else I should understand: how to delegate and call others to collaborate," he added.
Commenting later on the loneliness that priests often experience, Benedict XVI recalled that priests are "a true community of brothers who should sustain and help one another" in order to avoid the danger of "isolation in loneliness and sadness, and therefore it is important we get together regularly."
"No priest is a priest all by himself. We are a presbyterate and only in this communion with the bishop can each one carry out his service," the Pope added.
Pope: priests must confront tensions of their ministries, improve catechesis (Catholic News Agency, 12/8/08)