Aparecida 197-198: Other Challenges and the Response to Them

The bishops recognize that some challenges to their priests come from within the structures of the Church itself:


197. Other challenges are of a structural nature, such as the existence of parishes that are too large and make it difficult to carry out adequate pastoral ministry; very poor parishes which force pastors do other work in order to be able to survive; parishes located in areas of extreme violence and insecurity; and shortage and poor distribution of priests in the churches of the continent.

This is a worthy concession. Hard work, long hours, meager benefits, and such do not discourage the disciple. Unless there is a feeling that one’s colleagues and leaders lack an understanding or even a sharing in these challenges.

Many clergy are able to reflect the face of Christ, especially in the quality of mercy as it relates to the greatest of the theological virtues:

198. In the image of the Good Shepherd, the priest is called to be a man of mercy and compassion, close to his people and servant of all, particularly those suffering great need. Pastoral charity, the fountain of priestly spirituality, inspires and unifies his life and ministry. Conscious of his limitations, he values organic pastoral work and enthusiastically collaborates in his presbyterium.


For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in 2007 Aparecida document, bishops, evangelization and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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