To the participants at the Congress for priests, deacons and seminarian

 Dear everyone,

I am very happy to welcome each participant at this Congress and I especially greet our Christian brothers, ministers of other Churches, who are present.

You have come together from many nations the world over to deepen the spirituality of communion and dialogue in the Church today.

I was asked to share a message with you.

I saw that in your dense program a special place was given to the theme on: “The abandonment of Jesus.” Why is this?
Because the cardinal points of our spirituality are, on one side, Jesus Crucified who cried out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” and on the other, unity.

Jesus crucified and forsaken is the One who opened up the way for humanity towards universal brotherhood. It was in that moment that he became the mediator between humankind and God. It was there on the cross that he presented himself to the Father as priest and victim for all of humanity. And since men and women, because of Jesus crucified and forsaken, were able to establish their rapport with God again, they were also able to be in relation with one another: Jesus forsaken is the bond of unity also among people. And unity is the fruit of dialogue: it is dialogue which has been totally consummated.

This is why we speak of him: he is the priest par excellence!
My wish, accompanied with my prayers, is that each of you may find your model in him, so that the Church today may be enriched by priests-Christ, priests-victims for humanity; authentically Christ, ready to give their lives for everyone.

Easter, which we have just celebrated, reminds us that the suffering of the Passion was followed by the great joy of the Resurrection.

In Him risen and alive among us,


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