Skip to comments.Pope Francis does it again: Warns against 'little monster' priests
Posted on 01/05/2014 11:33:58 AM PST by Gamecock
That man is somebody's preacher! Willie Lee Dyer, my late mother
This pope does not stop.
Almost from Day 1 of his election as the Bishop of Rome, the preeminent episcopal see of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis has conducted a revolutionary refocus of what his church is supposed to be about.
He has called out, castigated and warned all those so-called conservative Catholics that they too must get with programthe Jesus program. The program that directly addresses the condition, the always deplorable condition, the needs of the least of these the poor, the downtrodden, the oppressed, the hungry, the homeless, and yes, the imprisoned, but most especially, the just plain poor.
Pope Francis' latest exhortation, however, is directed not at the laity, but to his fellow priests. To do this work, as leaders of the worldwide Catholic flock, they must first purify themselves, both spiritually and physically. Otherwise, he says, they can and often do become "little monsters."
The purification process begins at the beginningwhen prospective priests are still in seminary. This calls for a serious culling of those men who are simply not cut out to be prieststhose men whose Jesus spirit has, for whatever reason, been compromised.
In practical terms, no longer, for example, will men be accepted to study for or allowed to remain in the priesthood who have been implicated in sexual abuse or who have had other, similar problems. The protection of the Catholic faithful, the congregants, the church itself is what is important, what is indeed paramountnot the individual careers (or even feelings) of particular men who would be (or are) priests.
This Revolutionary Gospel Preacher made these observations back on Nov. 29 during a closed-door meeting of 120 superiors of religious orders who had gathered at the Vatican for their regular assembly. It was only this past Friday, however, that the Jesuit journal La Civilta Cattolica released a report of the three-hour, informal question-and-answer session. The Vatican itself has not provided a transcript of the meeting.
The journal quoted this first Jesuit pope as ordering the superiors to "wake up the world" with their ministries, again, particularly as to the always shameful condition of the world's poor.
"Truly to understand reality we need to move away from the central position of calmness and peacefulness and direct ourselves to the peripheral areas," he said.
But again, Pope Francis emphasized to the superiors that the failure of the church begins in the failings of seminary training, or "formation." He accused many would-be priests of overlooking their mistakes, and just "gritting their teeth...following the rules [and] smiling a lot, just waiting for the day when they are told, 'Good, you have finished formation.'"
"This is hypocrisy that is the result of clericalism, which is one of the worst evils," Francis told the paper. It is the result of cronyism and careerism among the men of the cloth.
But the pope did not just criticize. He pointed to the way out and up: The training of priests, he said, must be a "work of art, not a police action."
"We must form their hearts. Otherwise we are creating little monsters. And then these little monsters mold the people of God. This really gives me goosebumps."
Finally, to bring the point home, in his remarks to the superiors Francis spoke again of the "huge problem" of accepting into the seminary someone who has already been asked to leave another religious institute, and he cited Pope Benedict XVI's zero-tolerance stance on priests who commit sexual abuse.
"I am not speaking about people who recognize that they are sinners: We are all sinners, but we are all not corrupt," Francis said. "Sinners are accepted, but not people who are corrupt."
Again, as my mother used to say about particularly insightful, spiritual and moving ministers, This is somebody's preacher.
There are so many good priests out there. Sad that it takes only a few percent to ruin the image.
Is the writer of this Allvoices article Carholic?
If this is what I think it is, good for him.
This is a pan-Christian issue. Denominations which are doing it well should not gloat but thank God for the grace, and sincerely attempt to share that grace with those who aren’t doing so well.
The clergy, the preachers, the ministers, need to be thinking about what’s in it for God. Do they have a heart to carry out the unique duties of the post by which a flock is shepherded and not fleeced or turned into so much spiritual mutton. Not what’s in it for themselves.
Also in the same spirit — to try and fail shouldn’t be held as shameful. Either that man could end up doing something else for the Lord, or after further preparation that man may be back on the track to clergy.
Singlehood is a big issue in the Roman Catholic church. There are pro’s and con’s here. But if a priest finds he is desiring a wife, and assuming the official policy isn’t changed, there ought not be a stink about him stepping down. That’s the holy thing to do. (They will take married Episcopal priests, however. So why a married Catholic could not later assume the post is maybe a question. It’s possible to get so hung up over theory and formalities that the goal, actual ministering, is forgotten.)
Is the Pope?
Francis has, most unfortunately and at a time when the world desperately needs a moral leader, a bitter disappointment and a fool!
He is the liberation theology guy who thinks that Islam is truly ‘a religion of peace.’ I honestly think Francis believes that Marxism is preferable to a capitalistic society.
Just another mistake racked up by a suffering, convoluted Church that naturally followed Vatican II and all its absurdities. Everything good was tossed out the window.
Sounds like the Pope hasn’t embraced diversity ih his hiring practices
He is great for the world. What you want is a political shill and he fails that test.
In San Francisco, in the 80s at least, gay guys were becoming priests because it gave them “cover” to abuse one another and kids in their parishes. I actually knew a couple of them .total disgraces to the church, the priesthood, and to humanity.
And yes, they were terrible priests, egoMONSTERS who expected to be treated like little gods. I’M A PRIEST and you’re not attitude. I’ve seen it in upscale stores too: I WORK AT SAKS, and you don’t. Such idiots.
What exactly is wrong with this? There have been many clericalist, tyrannical pastors (both Catholic and Protestant) who only saw getting ahead as their main goal. So it’s wrong for the Pope to criticize them?
This gives an entirely different perspective to the Pope’s words.
(Although I wish he would make an attempt to control his message.)
Rather, Pope Francis is warning against what is called “clericalism” which is a form of being a part of the world.
AMEN, I second it.
Cannot blame Pope Francis on this. I wish that there was LESS of a BIG DEAL made over this by a number of posters in the Catholic threads.
Even Jesus warned the phariesses against it in the Gospels.
And that’s exactly what he said. People like the ones you have described should not even be accepted into the seminary.
Needless to say, the womynpriest contingent that ended up in charge of the seminaries, especially in CA, were essentially fag hags and loved overtly gay guys, so the seminaries filled up with them. (I lived in SF during that time, so I know this very well!)
I think what he’s saying is that somebody with a bad track record shouldn’t even get into seminary.
Interestingly, I read that most seminarians now are from single-child homes and many of them have divorced parents. Once upon a time, you couldn’t even have gotten into seminary, except perhaps in a severe, cloistered religious order, if you came from a dysfunctional background.
I’m not saying that’s good or even possible, now that everybody is from a divorced home and even many Catholics are from one-child families. But they used to monitor a person’s past more severely, and they should do that again.
BTW, if somebody doesn’t get into seminary, they can still go on to be holy in many other ways. The father of Therese of Lisieux couldn’t become a priest because, IIRC, he simply couldn’t learn Latin, which was required in those days. But he produced a great saint.
I think Pope Francis would like to go back to this, where being a member of the clergy is not the most important thing in Christian life.
I remember talking to a parish priest in Southern California about a matter of Baptism. He was condescending to us, a real turn-off.
That priest turned out to be the worst faggot priest in the entire Los Angeles Archdiocese child sex scandal, was defrocked and served a prison sentence.
God Bless Pope Francis!
I didn’t comment on this article. Why are you asking me?
I sense God called Pope Francis to the leadership of Pope as a servant of the Lord who is working with the Lord to bring a more simple holiness to the Church, or to make the Church simplier. He is doing the Lord’s will in a much needed house cleaning.
I sense Pope Francis is also preaching that the call to holiness is a call for ALL believers in the Church, not just the clergy.
It seems this new Pope is kind of an “all or nothing” type of preacher and teacher...which may or may not be a bad thing?
Christ wasn’t big on lukewarm.
I’m with Him.
Well, if he’s talking about rooting out homosexual rapists, I’m totally with him.
When he talks about "little monsters" I assume he is referring to the gay priests and child molesters.
But then the article mixes this up with his disdain for those who will not help "the least among us", which is just a euphemism for his open-borders and income redistribution Marxism mixed with the New Testament.
Interesting how when he is covered in an article such as this, it is never really clear what he is talking about.
" Of gay people: If a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge.... Through these conscious and skillful evocations of moments in the ministry of Jesus, as recounted in the Gospels, this new Pope may have found a way out of the 20th century culture wars, which have left the church moribund in much of Western Europe and on the defensive from Dublin to Los Angeles." - - Time Magazine
"LGBT Catholics who remain in the church now have more reason to hope that change is coming." - - The Advocate Magazine
1 Timothy 3:1-13 KJV
This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Formation is a work of art, not a police action
Pope Francis then listens to a few questions about formation. He answers immediately, indicating his priorities: The formation of candidates is fundamental. There are fo ur pillars of formation: spiritual, intellectual, communitarian and apostolic. The ghost to fight against is the image of religious life understood as an escape or hiding place in face of an external, difficult and complex world. The four pillars should be integrated right from the first day of entrance into the noviceship, and should not be arranged sequentially. They must be interactive.
The Pope is aware of the fact that the problem of formation today is not easy to deal with: Daily culture is much richer and conflictual than that which we experienced in our day, years ago. Our culture was simpler and more ordered. Inculturation today calls for a different attitude. For example: problems are not solved simply by forbidding doing this or that. Dialog as well as confrontation are needed. To avoid problems, in some houses of formation, young people grit their teeth, try not to make mistakes, follow the rules smiling a lot, just waiting for the day when they are told: Good. You have finished formation. This is hypocrisy that is the result of clericalism, which is one of the worst evils. I said as much to the bishops of the Latin American Bishops Conference (CELAM) this summer in Rio de Janeiro: we need to conquer this propensity toward clericalism in hou ses of formation and seminaries too. I summarize by some advice that I once received as a young man: If you want to advance, think clearly and speak obscurely. That was a clear invitation to hypocrisy. We need to avoid that at all costs. As a matter of fact in Rio the Pope identified clericalism as one of the causes of the lack of maturity and Christian freedom in the People of God.
It follows that: If the seminary is too large, it ought to be divided into smaller communities with formators who are equipped really to accompany those in their charge. Dialog must be serious, without fear, sincere. It is important to recall that the language of young people in formation today is different from that in the past: we are living through an epochal change. Formation is a work of art, not a police action. We must form their hearts. Otherwise we are creating little monsters. And then these little monsters mold the People of God. This really gives me goose bumps.
The Pope then insisted on the fact that formation should not be oriented only toward personal growth but also in view of its final goal: the People of God. It is important to think about the people to whom these persons will be sent while forming them: We must always think of the faithful, of t he faithful People of God. Persons must be formed who are witness of the resurrection of Jesus. The formator should keep in mind that the person in formation will be called to care for the People of God. We always must think of the People of God in all of this. Just think of religious who have hearts that are as sour as vinegar: they are not made for the people. In the end we must not form administrators, managers, but fathers, brothers, traveling companions.
Finally, Pope Francis wanted to highlight a further risk: accepting a young man in a seminary who has been asked to leave a religious institute because of problems with formation and for serious reasons is a huge problem. I am not speaking about people who recognize that they are sinners: we are all sinners, but we are not all corrupt. Sinners are accepted, but not people who are corrupt. Here the Pope recalled Benedict XVIs important decision in dealing with cases of abuse: this should be a lesson to us to have the courage to approach personal for mation as a serious challenge, always keeping in mind the People of God.
Excellent post, and Francis is right.
Pope Francis gave us a huge clue about his perspective when he chose, as pope, to take the name of Francis of Assisi.
Maybe the first step toward understanding our Francis should be to study the original.
Pax et Bonum