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POPE FRANCIS' AGENDA FOR THE REFORM OF THE CLERGY, BISHOPS AND PRIESTS?
Southern Orders ^
| May 15, 2013
| Fr. Allan J. McDonald
Posted on 05/15/2013 2:46:53 PM PDT by NYer
We have no idea yet if Pope Francis is simply going to lead by words, exhortation, and example or if he is going to back up his words, exhortations and example by concrete directive and promulgations. We have had him for only two months or so and we're still trying to figure him out. He is clearly into the "reform of the reform" and moving forward with that, not backwards. However, for him it is not just a focus on the liturgy, but rather on the people of the Church beginning with bishops, priests and religious, in particular women religious who have moved into radical feminism which is inimical to true Catholicism and true religious life.
But listen to what he says about bishops and priests who give into the temptation of money and vanity in his morning homily at the chapel of his Vatican Motel 6 place of residence:
Pope Francis’ homily took its starting point from the passage in the Acts of the Apostles, in which Paul exhorts the elders of the Church of Ephesus to watch over themselves and all the flock, to be attentive shepherds, and guard against the “ravenous wolves” that would feed on the fold. “One of the ‘most beautiful pages of the New Testament’,” said Pope Francis, “[the episode] is full of tenderness, of pastoral love,” from which emerges a picture, “[of] the beautiful relationship of the bishop with his people.” Bishops and priests, he explained, are at the service of others, to preserve, build and defend the people of God. Theirs is, “a relationship of protection and love between God and the pastor and the pastor and the people”:
"In the [final analysis], a bishop is not a bishop for himself. He is for the people, and a priest is not a priest for himself. He, [too], is for the people: to serve [them], to nurture them, to shepherd them, that are his flock – in order to defend them from the wolves. It is beautiful to think this! When the bishop does this, there is a good relationship with the people, such as Paul the bishop did with his people, no? And when the priest [builds] that good relationship with the people, it gives us a love: a love [unites] them, a true love, and the Church becomes united.”
So , the Pope observes, “when a priest, a bishop goes after money, the people do not love him – and that's a sign. But he ends badly.” St. Paul reminds us that he worked with his hands. “He did not have a bank account, he worked, and when a bishop, a priest goes on the road to vanity, he enters into the spirit of careerism – and this hurts the Church very much – [and] ends up being ridiculous: he boasts, he is pleased to be seen, all powerful – and the people do not like that!” “Pray for us,” the Pope repeated, “that we might be poor, that we might be humble, meek, in the service of the people.” Finally, he suggested to the faithful that they read Acts 20:28-30, where Paul says, “Take heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. I know that, after my departure, ravening wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock. And of your own selves shall arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.":
TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Ministry/Outreach; Religion & Culture
MY (Fr. Allan J. McDonald) COMMENTS: What I appreciate the most about by late 1970's seminary training at St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore is that the good Sulpicians called us to what was described then for secular or diocesan priests as "Gospel simplicity and Kingdom of Christ values" They taught us basically what Pope Francis is teaching us, that priesthood is a vocation, not a career and that we as priests should live simple lives. One of our teachers, Father Howie Bleichner stated that we should not become "playboy" priests, meaning not so much sexual activity, although that certainly is implied, but that we shouldn't be the center of attention, bringing to ourselves the praises of people and seeking the glory and comforts of this world especially in fancy restaurants, expensive vacations, the best clothes and finest cars.
Of course in the 1970's priests and religious had basically lost their identity and were trying to live as the laity which has led to the crisis that Pope Francis recognizes today.
Prior to Vatican II, a priest or religious in vowed poverty only needed a small closet for their clothes. Sisters had perhaps two or three habits at the most and night clothes. I don't think they had anything else. A small closet was too big for all the things they owned.
For diocesan priests who take no vow or promise of poverty, the salary we made prior to Vatican II was for necessities only. A small closet was all that was needed as priests most of the time wore their collars everywhere except for recreation.
That has all changed. In pre-Vatican II times, priests and religious were placed on a pedestal and accorded treats so to speak because it was clear that for the most part they lived lives of simplicity and frugality. So they got some perks. Most priests were very grateful for these but never courted them, others were quite the "courters" of the laity's wealth not for the needs of the parish and its ministry but for their own needs, fine restaurants,exquisite vestments which they personally owned and took with them when they departed the parish and fancy vacations that most laity could ever afford on an every summer basis and now several times a year.
The Holy Father is not deriding bishops and priests who ask and beg for money for the good of the parish and its needs. He is chastising those bishops and priests who grow wealthy on the money of their parishioners and live lifestyles that are often better than most of their parishioners due to their exploitation of their parishioner's generosity for personal gain, fine restaurants and entertainment and fancy and frequent vacations to exotic locations.
How the Holy Father will bring bishops and priests back to a pre-Vatican II Gospel simplicity remains to be seen, but clearly doing so would be moving forward!
posted on 05/15/2013 2:46:53 PM PDT
To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...
posted on 05/15/2013 2:47:15 PM PDT
(To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possibl)
I loved BXVI, but he addressed himself to people like him: highly intelligent, cultivated intellectuals and leaders. That was a great thing and I loved his homilies, encyclicals and everything he did.
But everything Francis says could be understood by anybody from the cleaning lady to the head of the Holy Office, and I think that's wonderful.
From the article: Of course in the 1970's priests and religious had basically lost their identity and were trying to live as the laity which has led to the crisis that Pope Francis recognizes today.
In Spain, good priests were described as wearing cassocks "color ala de mosca," that is, the color of fly-wings (an iridescent greenish black) because the woolen cassocks they wore were so old they had gotten shiny and greenish.
Of course, that didn't prevent the Spanish Marxists from killing 13,000 priests and bishops, religious and dedicated laymen during the Spanish Civil War (with the US and Europe supporting the left, of course), but they died with their consciences clean. And perhaps that's all any of us can pray for.
posted on 05/15/2013 3:05:27 PM PDT
We have no idea yet ...
I stopped right there. I understand pundits have to punt, or they don't get readers, but I'd rather they didn't worry about predicting the future.
posted on 05/15/2013 3:52:36 PM PDT
(Sarah is right.)
Please. Can we stop comparing this pope to the last one? It has no purpose. None. The only goal apparent is to put down the last one, and it’s horrible.
But it’s boring.
Pope Benedict XVI (not B!6 or any other abbreviation or aberration) Gave us this pope. He did it with his humility and possible advice to the college of cardinals.
He was right for the times and this one is right for the times.
They don’t cruise the cocktail party circuit and decide geeze I’ll ask the little woman if now’s a good time to run for office.
They consult the Holy Spirit.
posted on 05/15/2013 6:24:54 PM PDT
I am coming more and more to love Pope Francis. He is a simple person.
posted on 05/16/2013 4:36:47 AM PDT
("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
To: stanne; livius
I don’t see how what livius said puts down B16 at all, or could even be construed as such. He clearly loves and appreciates the work of our Holy Father Emeritus - simply pointing out the differences in style between the two, and where Francis will have the opportunity to shine relative to his predecessor, is not a bad thing.
And I do agree with you: these two are Popes chosen for different purposes. B16 served to reignite the intellectual spirit that had been subdued for the better part of the last fifty years, and did it very well. Francis it seems is destined to be a great evangelist and “wholesaler” the faith, which is now needed more than ever.
posted on 05/16/2013 6:27:34 AM PDT
(St. Vincent de Paul, pray for us!)
I’m not criticizing BXVI. I was just pointing out the differences and why I think the approach of Francis is what we need right now. BXVI had a different situation and was a different person with a different approach. That’s hardly a criticism.
posted on 05/16/2013 7:04:09 AM PDT
Amen. The hijack of the liturgy made it even more of a ‘it’s all about me’ period in some churches.
We all may have to ‘make tents’ soon.
You reminded me of this podcast on Priesthood and Rebellion re: Korah, Balaam, etc.
Interesting, but he really breaks it down on why dissident catholics don’t leave the church after he gets into Balaam and runs down the two references in the NT pointing out it’s God’s own people, not outsiders referred to.
Did you watch the ‘special’ on EWTN on VII last night (may be on their youtube channel, not sure), yikes.
Fr.s Pacwa and Connor on EWTN Live spoke about this last night. Interesting details. I had no clue it got as rowdy as it did. To the point of someone cutting Ottoviani’s mike off and getting cheered? They also talked about a writer who did the weekly VII press updates the priests would read and his political bent. Very eye opening.
posted on 05/16/2013 9:25:49 AM PDT
(Pray. Penance. Isa 5:18-21 Isa 10:1-3)
Then call Pope Francis “F1”.
No, It would be disrespectful, just a “BXVI” is
posted on 05/16/2013 11:39:36 AM PDT
“I loved BXVI, but he. . .”
Oh. OK. This isn’t criticism?
Try saying “I love F1, but he. . .”, and defend that.
posted on 05/16/2013 11:50:13 AM PDT
Oh please. I was just saying they were different.
If you want to obsess on that, go ahead.
posted on 05/16/2013 11:52:28 AM PDT
I asked if we could stop with the comparisons, which are always put downs of the former Pope.
It was a request.
Your responses are rude.
posted on 05/16/2013 12:08:44 PM PDT
Well, maybe someday someone will invent a keyboard shortcut that allows me to type “His Holiness Benedict the Sixteenth, Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the Vatican City State, Servant of the servants of God Emeritus” with one keystroke.
Until then I’ll just stick to B16, as it is much easier to type on my phone.
posted on 05/16/2013 5:17:58 PM PDT
(St. Vincent de Paul, pray for us!)
No need to get huffy.
A simple Benedict XVI, OR The Pope Emeritus, or B16 AND F1.
Though, when criticizing him, B16 to Pope Francis, whom you are not criticizing and comparing him favorably, then, yes, give him a break. Please.
posted on 05/16/2013 6:59:15 PM PDT
I have never once heard anyone take offense to these terms, and I frankly cannot fathom why you are doing so now. B16 and BXVI are well-known and very common abbreviations for Benedict. Both have been in regular usage on this forum since he was elevated. JPII was also very commonly used to describe John Paul II, both during and after his pontificate, and it continues today. I call Francis by his name for no other reason than it’s fairly short, and since it lacks a numerical suffix, it’s not an easy name to abbreviate. Never even occured to me to shorten it, honestly, as it makes very little sense to do so.
And what on earth is this “give him a break” garbage? I said nothing remotely negative about Benedict. Calling a man an intellectual heavyweight is hardly qualifies as criticism; in fact, I tripped over myself to praise him as a theologian and the central role it played in his pontificate. I am not, however, going to apologize for admiring Francis and his common touch.
posted on 05/16/2013 8:43:27 PM PDT
(St. Vincent de Paul, pray for us!)
Well, Maybe you can appreciate Pope Francis without bringing in Pope Benedict XVI into it.
As I said, It was just a request after months of all of this criticism and comparison
posted on 05/16/2013 8:46:05 PM PDT
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