Pope Calls for 'Chastity Training' on Sexual Conduct for Priests

Agence France-Presse, carried in Hindustan Times [Vatican]
December 15 2003

Pope John Paul II on Monday called for trainee priests to receive guidance on how to meet the Roman Catholic Church's ban on sexual relations for its ministers.

"Their formation must be such that they are ready to put aside all earthly ambition in order to act in the person of Christ. They are called to be detached from material things and to devote themselves to the service of others through the complete gift of self in celibacy," he said.

The 83-year-old head of the Roman Catholic Church added during a meeting with Sudanese bishops visiting his Vatican City headquarters that "scandalous behaviour (by trainee priests) must at all times be investigated, confronted and corrected."

The Catholic Church has been rocked in recent years by a series of sex-abuse scandals across the world.

"With your friendship and fraternal support, as well as that of their brother priests, it will be easier for your clergy to be wholly devoted, in chastity and simplicity, to their ministry of service," John Paul II told his visitors.


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