A priest at prayer A priest at prayer 

Cardinal Ouellet highlights importance of theological reflection on priesthood

The Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops emphasizes the need for a deeper ecclesiology in the Church’s reflection on the dimensions of the priesthood, ahead of a Symposium on the theology of priesthood slated for next year.

By Vatican News staff writer

The Holy See hosted a press conference on Monday to present a Symposium on the theology of priesthood scheduled to hold from 17 – 19 February 2022.

The Theological Symposium tagged “Toward a Fundamental Theology of the Priesthood” will explore the relationship between vocations, the ordained priesthood and the priesthood of the baptized.

Presenting the Symposium in the Vatican were Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, as well as two other speakers, who provided the raison d’être and background for the upcoming event.

Ecclesiology and the priesthood

“The major theme is the relationship between the priesthood of the baptized and the priesthood of the ordained,” explained Cardinal Marc Ouellet in an interview with Vatican News' Christopher Wells.

“The Second Vatican Council has enhanced the value of the priesthood of the baptized,” notes the Cardinal. “But along the way in the Church, we have not reflected enough on this question from deeper ecclesiology.”

For this reason, the proposal is “a Trinitarian ecclesiogy” that can show better how these two dimensions of the priesthood of Christ are integrated concretely in the Church – between ministers, lay faithful, married and consecrated people.

Listen to our interview with Cardinal Marc Ouellet

Need for deeper reflection

Amid the difficult times caused by ongoing Covid-19 health emergency, and the accompanying “tensions” it brings, Cardinal Ouellet stressed that we need a deeper theological reflection to understand the Church as communion.

“If we want to overcome tensions that are more at a superficial level, we need to deepen our understanding of the mystery of the Church, and the presence of the Holy Trinity of the Church," he said. We also need to examine “how it works with the concrete services and ministries, and the fact of the community of the baptized.”

Each day of the three-day event will be dedicated to different themes: “Tradition and New Horizons” for the first day, “Trinity, Mission, and Sacramentality” for the second, and “Celibacy, Charism, and Spirituality” for the last day.

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12 April 2021, 15:17