Pope Has Advice for Those Studying at French Seminary

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 1, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II received in audience the community of the Pontifical French Seminary of Rome, for the institution's 150th anniversary.

"The formation of future priests is an essential task of the Church, which requires the attention of bishops, the first responsible, to whom it corresponds to call to holy orders, after having made the necessary discernment with the priests designated for this," the Pope said today in his brief address in French.

His advice to the priests and seminarians in attendance was: "Take advantage of this time to let yourselves be directed by the Lord, with great docility to the Spirit and profound obedience to the Church and her shepherds."

"Your integral formation is a human, spiritual, moral and intellectual maturation, in the light of Christ and in contact with pastoral realities, accepting with trust the help of teachers in the heart of the community," the Pope added.

The French Seminary has 52 young priests and seminarians, supported by a formation team of six priests or assistants. The seminary has been entrusted to religious of the Holy Ghost Congregation.