Skip to comments.‘Explosion’ of lay ministry following Vatican II has reshaped church
Posted on 12/13/2004 10:19:33 AM PST by Land of the Irish
By Stephen Kent
Father Thomas P. Rausch, with Archbishop Alex J. Brunett and Mary Cross, who directs the Office of Catholic Faith Formation, at Advent Ministry Day at St. Mary Magdalen Church in Everett.
EVERETT The currents of renewal begun by Vatican II will continue reshaping Catholicism, a Jesuit theologian told a Dec. 2 gathering of pastors and pastoral staff.
In his presentation, Vatican II Today and Tomorrow, Father Thomas R. Rausch took note of the five-year vision plan for the archdiocese developed by the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council. A Vision of Hope was formally promulgated last month by Archbishop Alex J. Brunett.
The statement is remarkably open, said Father Rausch. The document is honest it raises some all but insoluble issues.
Father Rausch, professor of theology at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, has published 11 books and specializes in the areas of ecclesiology, ecumenism and the theology of the priesthood.
He spoke at Advent Ministry Days, an in-service enrichment program for staffs of parishes sponsored by Archbishop Brunett. Father Rausch also spoke at St. Ann Church in Tacoma on Dec 1 and St. Rose Church in Longview on Dec. 3.
The process initiated by the Second Vatican Council, which met 1963-1965, is not yet completed, he said, nor is it received in the same way by all persons.
For some, we have come too far too fast, he said. Others are equally unhappy for opposite reasons.
For the vast majority, Vatican II belongs to history, he said.
In his presentation, Father Rausch dealt with the image of the church, the role of bishops, the role of the laity, and ecumenism.
The image of the church as the People of God established by the council is a far cry from the image of the church as the Perfect Society which suggests that it had nothing to learn from other societies, said Father Rausch. The church is also imaged as a mystery and a pilgrim church.
The church should be a sign of unity of the whole human family, he said.
The Vatican II teaching on the role of bishops, especially collegiality, results in an ecclesiology of communion, he said.
Bishops are not to be regarded as vicars of the Roman pontiff. Vatican II said that they, just as the pope, are also vicars of Christ.
The church is no longer understood as a papal monarchy but as episcopal collegiality, said Father Rausch.
Vatican II brought a great new understanding to the role of the laity.
From the time of the Council of Trent, the laity was reduced to being passive members, he said, their mission came only through the hierarchy.
The councils teaching on the universal call to holiness means the laity share equally in the mission of Christ.
There has been an explosion of ministry as the result of Vatican II, he said. The number of lay people formally preparing for full time ministry has more than doubled in the past nine years, he said. As a result, the churchs ministerial culture is becoming quite different, he said.
Father Rausch also noted the declericization of theology.
Theology was done in seminaries, he said. There was no place where women could go for graduate work in theology as late as 1965 when Marquette University established the first doctorate program.
Today, theology is being done by lay men and lay women, not priests, he said.
The sex abuse crisis has given evidence of the need to give laity more input into the governance of the church.
Evangelization is a priority.
Pope John Paul II has put it at the center of the understanding of the church and its mission, he said.
The pope has called Christians to a new evangelization in areas where Christianity has declined as well as among refugees, migrants young people and those influenced by the mass media.
What can we do to bring them home? is the question he said.
A very real question is whether the church is functioning in a collegial way, he said. Public criticism by members of the hierarchy is indicative of widespread dissatisfaction.
Later, responding to a question from the floor about the cause of the dissatisfaction, Father Rausch said, I think were at the end of a long pontificate. The reverence for the pontiff makes one reluctant to raise questions.
Most members of the College of Cardinals, who eventually will be electors, are not members of the Vatican curia but are pastors as head of dioceses, he said.
They are aware of the problems and will be looking for a pope who can handle them. Many are aware of the challenges the church is facing but would never address them publicly due to a reverence for this pope.
Globalization, which has far outdistanced the ability of churches to address problems because of their own divisions, calls for a rethinking of ecumenism, he said.
If ecumenism is not local, it will not be effective, he said. Local churches can establish effective ecumenical commissions, and parishes can have ecumenical officers, he said. Denominations can join in common celebrations and give common witness in social issues. he said.
When you grow up, you may begin to understand that concept.
I hold out hope for you ...
Until then, at least learn to spell.
You may have the last word, if you like.
Your honor, I am through with this witness.
You had better be.
My only objection to the RCF letter is it's overbroad ... I agree: those bishops, priests, deacons, and sisters who are "the problem" won't be dissuaded by it. Those who are part of "the solution", though, shouldn't be included in the broadside.
"Most", I could support.
But not all.
"Denominations can join in common celebrations"
Is this not the non-judgemental non-denominational religion of the new world order?
IIRC, the USCCB has no actual, canonical, authority or existence. If that's the case, withdrawing from it (and possibly forming a US Conference of Orthodox Catholic Bishops) would indeed seem worth considering.
Having read that letter before, it is a very clear and concise statement of all to real charges aginst our apostate bishops, and against the USCCB itself.
Over the top? Not in the least. In fact, the temptation in write such a letter is to resort to even more rhetoric, and even the (very appropriate, in this case) use of expletives. Since our bishops have effectively defected from the faith of our fathers, and have taught nothing but butterflies and rainbows to our children - losing two generations of them to the faith - this letter is entirely justified.
By rights - in a kinder and gentler era - these ecclesiastical hooligans would be either executed for heresy/apostacy, or sentanced to a long period of enforced penance in a monastary on bread, water, and hard labor prayer & silence. In reperation for their sins in office, and for the good of their souls.
Sorry, but for any good Catholic - and certainly those with children to raise in the faith - the time for diplomacy and platitudes with these lewd buffoons in round collars must stop. In the name of God we must declare war on such traitorous prelates as these who sell Christ again for 30 pieces of silver, if we are to consider ourselves frineds of Christ. If they had any "right" to be treated with respect, they lost that a long time ago.
No, in my opinion it is high time that good, devout Catholics get mad, and do something constructive. It is precisely because it is considered politically incorrect to use "angry tones" in morally just criticism that the Church is in the shape it is in.
The house has been on fire for 40 years. Meek, subserviant politeness to the arsonists is neither appropriate, nor sane.
"This hysterical letter will continue to marginalize RCF with the American bishops."
I also suspect that Christ was marginalized by the Jewish religious leadership when He cleansed the temple of the money changers.
RCF has always been marginalized with the American bishops.
As long as RCF continues to call a spade a spade, it will remain marginalized.
Two thirds or so of our bishops are like cockroaches who tend to scatter in the light (of truth).
Steve Brady and the RCF have done more to rid the Church of perverts than all of the bishops combined.
"The number of lay people formally preparing for full time ministry has more than doubled in the past nine years, he said. As a result, the churchs ministerial culture is becoming quite different, he said."
I agree with him on this one.
Some years ago the lay "pastoral associate" with her theology degree from Seattle University, taught by his own Jesuit order, appeared in lieu of the pastor the night of my father-in-law's pre-funeral rosary.
To make a long story short, she didn't know how to say a rosary. Didn't know the mysteries, the words of all the prayers, or the sequence in which they are to be said.
It is my understanding that the Seattle diocese has recently replaced the pre-funeral rosary with a bible reading ceremony of some sort.
I can understand why.
Now - on a related consideration - let us ask who killed Jesus Christ? It becomes an important matter, as it shows who teh guys with the black hats in our western are....
We have before us a cast of various groups and characters - each with a a part to play in the drama, and a share of the guilt. But who is responsible. Who was the instigator.....the human one(s)? We realize that Satan entered into the hearts of those responsible. But that exonerates nobody, and does not answer the question.
The Jews? The share guilt.....as one week thay praised his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and the next they were yelling for his death. Fickle......just like the laity today. Easily swayed into apostacy.
Judas? Certainly a prime culprit. He was one of Christ's chosen.....to be one of his first priests. But he saw it as more important to see Christ do his will, then for him to do Christ's will. So, being a disobedient priest, he sold out Christ for 30 pieces of silver. Just like many priests today.
Pilate? Roman soldiers? They were the state, and its legal forces. They cared nothing for Christ, but were coerced into killing him by others, who were anti Christian partisans. Today we have such anti Christian partisans in the state, and its legal system.
The Chief priests....elders of the Temple...the Sanhedrin?
Yes - finally we are getting close to the source. They wanted the death of Jesus because he and what he stood for was inimical to everything which they were and stood for. So they plotted to kill Jesus.....and use Judas (priests), and the Roman Governor (the state) to do their dirty work.
And what term can we use to describe those who plotted and ultimately orchestrated the death of Jesus Christ?
CLERGY? Yes......but more specifically the heirarchy....who wore headresses very reminiscent of BISHOPS!!!!!!!!!
There is your answer.
Don't forget as Mel Gibson so aptly pointed out - all of us who committ sins.
It was even worse than I have described it here.
I see disruption and chaos have returned to the religion forum with the reappearance of our favorite modernist.
Coincidence? I think not.
It would be polite to ping sinkspur when you speak of him. I'm assuming you were, but perhaps I was mistaken.