Pope says priests must live saintly lives

August 20, 2011 16:37

MADRID - Pope Benedict said on Saturday Roman Catholic priests must live saintly lives and men should only enter the priesthood if they were convinced they could live by all the Church's rules, including celibacy.

"We have to be saints so as not to create a contradiction between the sign that we are and the reality that we wish to signify," he said in a sermon as part of activities of the Church's World Youth Day.

He said priests must understand their "decision to live in celibacy for the kingdom of heaven", adding that men should approach the priesthood only "if you are completely determined to exercise it in obedience to the Church's precepts".

The Catholic Church has been mired in scandal in recent years over disclosures that priests sexually abused children in many countries and that Church officials covered up the abuse.

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