Pope Francis challenges 9 ordained priests to stay humble, compassionate

Pope Francis on Sunday gave the Catholic church nine new priests, encouraging them in an ordination ceremony in St. Peter’s Basilica to be humble and compassionate and to stay close to the rank-and-file faithful, whose trust in clergy has been sorely tested by decades of sex abuse scandals.

Professing obedience to the pontiff during the Mass on Sunday were six men from Italy and one each from Romania, Colombia and Brazil. The men removed their masks, part of COVID-19 safety protocols, when they knelt before Francis and he lay his hands on their head as part of the ordination ritual. At another point of the ceremony, the nine lay prostrated on a carpet in front of the basilica’s central altar in a sign of obedience, humility and giving of oneself.

Shortages of locally ordained seminarians have in recent decades seen priests be transferred to predominantly Catholic countries like Italy from Asia and Africa, where seminaries are still attracting many recruits.

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Source: Associated Press – FRANCES D’EMILIO