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To Priests

· The Letter ·

“He loved her as his mother, he lived in obedience. Though he was God, he respected her every word”. John Paul II’s Letter to Priests on the “importance of women”, written on the occasion of Holy Thursday 1995, begins with verses from a Polish Marian hymn. In it he calls for love and respect for the mother not only in the name “of the very special relationship of Mary with the Incarnate Word and the Church”, but also for the “sister”, writes Wojtyła, “In order to live as a celibate in a mature and untroubled way it seems particularly important that the priest should develop deep within himself the image of women as sisters”. This image is a specific manifestation of the beauty of women and a revelation of their “intangibility”. Innumerable women – he recalls – have become sisters in a universal way. Their presence is the guarantee of selflessness in schools, hospitals and prisons. Priests must understand the value of this, take it into account. “Every priest thus has the great responsibility of developing an authentic way of relatingto women as a brother, a way of relating which does not admit of ambiguity”. (@ritannarmeni)

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St. Peter’s Square

Oct. 22, 2019

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