Cardinal You Heung-sik in 2022, before his elevation to the cardinalate Cardinal You Heung-sik in 2022, before his elevation to the cardinalate  (Vatican Media)

Cardinal You Heung-sik: I pray for my fellow priests every day

In an interview with Vatican News, Cardinal Lazarus You Heung-sik discusses an upcoming joint conference in Rome on the formation of priests, saying that it is crucial that they be accompanied continuously throughout their ministry.

By Joseph Tulloch

“Dear brother priests, I remember you every day in my daily prayers.”

That's how Cardinal Lazarus You Heung-sik began a recent interview with Vatican News.

The Korean-born prelate was speaking ahead of a major conference organised by the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Clergy, of which he is the Prefect, scheduled to take place from 6-10 February.

Around 1,000 experts from more than 60 different countries are due to attend, the Cardinal noted. He stressed the importance of the conference, which will focus on ongoing, post-ordination formation for priests.

It is crucial, he said, that priests are not left “alone” during their ministry but are instead “accompanied.”

The Cardinal noted that many priests today feel lonely and isolated, and said that the conference was an opportunity for them to “share their lives” and “go forward together.”

World meeting of Parish Priests

While preparing for the upcoming conference, Cardinal You Heung-sik has also been working on an international meeting entitled “Parish Priests for the Synod.”

Jointly sponsored by the Dicastery for the Clergy and the General Secretariat of the Synod, the event will see 300 parish priests from every corner of the world gather in Rome for five days of “listening, prayer, and discernment.”

The meeting will take place from Sunday, 28 April to Thursday, 2 May 2024 at the Fraterna Domus in Sacrofano, near Rome. On Thursday, 2 May, the Holy Father will receive the participants in audience.

According to a press release, the meeting aims to respond to the concerns of participants in the First Session of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in 2023, who identified the need to "develop ways for a more active involvement of deacons, priests, and bishops in the synodal process during the coming year."

"A synodal Church," the participants had written, "cannot do without their voices, their experiences, and their contribution.”

The meeting’s findings will be taken into consideration in the drafting of the working document for the Second Session of the Synodal Assembly in October 2024.

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03 February 2024, 11:10