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“How Bishops Discourage Vocations (and the Key to Attracting Them)”
Inside The Vatican ^ | Aug/Sep 2005 | John Mallon

Posted on 09/08/2005 1:37:09 PM PDT by NYer

In the mid 1990s, I attended a clergy meeting in the diocese where I was employed as the newspaper editor. The meeting was to discuss ideas to increase vocations to the priesthood, because the diocese was facing a crisis. Predictably, the discussion was going nowhere until the retired archbishop raised his hand, stood up and said, “Why don’t we study those dioceses which are attracting vocations, like Lincoln, Nebraska, and Arlington, Virginia, and see what they are doing and what we can learn from that” I smiled to myself, eager to see the response to his suggestion, because I knew that the reason those dioceses were attracting so many vocations would be utterly unacceptable to this group of priests. Predictably, the priests just looked at each other and said nothing. No one responded to the archbishop’s suggestion.

The answer was obvious. I may have even taken the retired archbishop aside and told him, but I suspect he already knew. The plain simple answer was that the bishops of those dioceses, Bishops Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln and the late John Keating of Arlington, were both explicitly, vocally and publicly committed to orthodoxy in Catholic teaching and practice. Meanwhile, the dominant priests of this diocese were known for being firmly committed to dissent.

Leaving aside the question of whether the Lord is going to bless dissent with abundant vocations is the other more practical question of what young man, firmly committed to and in love with the Lord and His Church, is going to seek ordination in a diocese where the clergy has a reputation for chewing up orthodox people, both clerical and lay, and spitting them out? Martyrdom is sometimes inevitable, but what sane person seeks it?

There is no reason a young man wanting to serve the Lord should be expected to put up with the nonsense of running the gauntlet of dissent and homosexuality in the seminary only then to face constant vexation and opposition from his fellow clergy once ordained.

The young man attracted to priesthood today is not the “young Turk”of the 1960s who enshrines rebellion and views the Church as part of the “establishment.”

No, today’s youthful instinct to be countercultural takes the form of orthodoxy, and sees the mission of the Church as an uphill battle in a hostile world. Youth is attracted to challenge and orthodox Catholicism offers it. It was their siblings who were murdered in the womb by the Culture of Death. They are the survivors and motivated to oppose what once threatened their lives in the name of “liberation.”

Their youthful rebellion is engaged in the battle against the world, the flesh, and the devil. They never knew a time when abortion was not legal and they never knew another Pope besides John Paul II. The mainstream media was baffled to see the seminarians from the North American College in Rome cheering wildly at the election of Benedict XVI, who is just as much their hero and champion as John Paul II.

And this does not only apply to men. In the 1980s, I knew a young woman at Boston College who expressed an interest in the convent to one of the feminist nun chaplains, who chimed, “Oh, I know a great place! You don’t have to wear a habit or anything-but ... oh,”she caught herself, “maybe you want to wear a habit..”“Yes, Sister, I do,”the young woman replied.

Twenty years later, perhaps it is beginning to dawn on some mid-level Church authorities that dissenters are not producing any progeny or followers - spiritual children. I call this ecclesiastical contraception. How can you inspire lifelong commitment and sacrifice in others to a Church you are constantly at war with?

Still, dissenters disparage the younger generation as “too conservative”What these young people seek to conserve is human life, sanity and Western Civilization, all of which are under attack from modern liberalism.

Jesus Christ is still producing followers who deserve to take their place in the Church and not be treated as crackpots and undesirables.

There is a solidarity among the orthodox youth, which John Paul II wisely and shrewdly nurtured as the future of the Church in his World Youth Days and his plain, simple love for them, which was direct and unmediated.

I have glimpsed this phenomenon first hand.

When I worked and studied theology at Boston College in the 1980s, there was a widely celebrated theology department, boastful of its dissent. The professors counted their undergraduate theology majors in the single digits. When I sought my master’s degree in theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, a university explicit in its orthodoxy, and ridiculed for it by larger schools, it had a smaller theology faculty but the largest number of undergraduates in the country, at the time, as I recall, 140.

At the Jesuit-run Boston College, I do not recall many students pursuing a religious vocation. I recall two who did who received hostility from the Jesuits - for their orthodoxy. At Steubenville, there were so many vocations they started a pre-theologate program, and a group for young women considering the convent.

This worldwide community of youth nurtured by John Paul II is acutely well aware of what is going on in the Church and in dioceses around the world. When a bishop makes a strong statement in defense of orthodoxy, those young people inclined to religious vocations talk among themselves as to whether his diocese might be a good one in which to seek ordination. If that same bishop does something perceived as compromising the faith, their interest is withdrawn. A bishop who tolerates dissent is not even considered. A bishop willing to excommunicate pro-abortion Catholic politicians is likely to receive much interest from these young people. A bishop who waffles will not. A diocese which punishes good, orthodox priests or lay professionals while coddling or protecting dissenters will not. A diocese which punishes whistle-blowers while protecting abusers and active homosexuals in the clergy will not. A diocese where the bishop is ostensibly orthodox in his words but where the chancery, departments and clergy are dominated or ruled by dissenters will not.

The extent of this orthodox youth underground is truly worldwide. I have encountered it in all my travels throughout North America and Europe. I have bumped into students I knew in Steubenville in St. Peter’s Square and in St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna. A constant topic of discussion among those considering ordination or religious life is which dioceses and bishops are “good”(i.e. orthodox). It is also important that the seminary a bishop uses is committed to solid Catholic formation and free of harassment, either sexual or religious, and that the bishop monitor it closely.

There is no secret to attracting vocations. There are plenty of them out there. A bishop who tolerates dissent and ignores abuses will not attract them. A bishop who boldly stands up for Christ and His Church, and Church teachings, despite all costs and opposition, will attract them.

These young people are the future of the Church. Whether or not they are welcomed into their rightful place to which the Lord is calling them lies in the hands of each individual bishop.


TOPICS: Activism; Apologetics; Catholic; Current Events; General Discusssion; Ministry/Outreach; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Theology; Worship
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1 posted on 09/08/2005 1:37:10 PM PDT by NYer
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To: american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; ...


2 posted on 09/08/2005 1:37:59 PM PDT by NYer (It's Cool 2 B Catholic!)
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To: NYer
Nice post, NYer.

We are often told that the vocations shortage is due to the requirements of celibacy and chastity, yet this author's message seems much more reasonable. Religious Life does indeed require tremendous sacrifice. Women and men take vows of poverty, chastity, celibacy and obedience in order to live and preach the Gospel, and to equip the laity for their mission to the world.

That's not all they sacrifice, however. They also give up, in many cases, careers in business, law, medicine, science, and other important fields where they could make strong contributions. These things are good, in and of themselves, however, one will give them up to follow Jesus Christ. It's not realistic, on the other hand, to want to give up the married life, material comfort, and a productive secular career that benefits society for a questionable social agenda. One will sacrifice totally only for an absolute good, or an absolute Truth. One will not sacrifice totally for half measures, and half-truths.

It's interesting that the buzz among those discerning vocations often touches upon the concern of where to find an orthodox organization from which to serve, and an orthodox seminary in which to train.
3 posted on 09/08/2005 2:21:54 PM PDT by InterestedQuestioner ("Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.")
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To: NYer

We were in the same Archdiocese as Mr. Mallon at the time he writes about. The dear old Archbishop was firmly orthodox, but there was an entrenched group of priests (perhaps from before his time) who were loopy leftists. And some of the more conservative priests were even older than the Archbishop, and frankly in need of retirement. A pastor with dementia is not what a parish needs, even if his theology is solid!

That said, although there were not a lot of new priests ordained in the years we lived there, those who were ordained then, or were seminarians and ordained after we moved, were excellent men.


4 posted on 09/08/2005 2:31:39 PM PDT by Tax-chick (How often lofty talk is used to deny others the same rights one claims for oneself. ~ Sowell)
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To: NYer

Lord Jesus, we are surrounded by wolves in Roman collars!


5 posted on 09/08/2005 2:41:53 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: NYer

A great article. Thanks for posting.


6 posted on 09/08/2005 2:54:33 PM PDT by Thorin ("I won't be reconstructed, and I do not give a damn.")
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To: InterestedQuestioner; Tax-chick
It's interesting that the buzz among those discerning vocations often touches upon the concern of where to find an orthodox organization from which to serve, and an orthodox seminary in which to train.

I happen to reside in one of those dioceses run by a liberal bishop. Sadly, he has held this position for more than 25 years and still has another 8 years to go before mandatory retirement. That represents several generations of catholics who have been indoctrinated into the 'novelties' this bishop approves - liturgical dance, support for homosexual priests, inclusive language, etc.

He often bemoans the lack of young men drawn to the priesthood but never draws the connection to a lack of orthodoxy. Please pray for Bishop Hubbard. He is as much a victim in that he was chosen by one of the most liberal Archbishops in the history of the Catholic Church. Only prayer will convert his heart!

7 posted on 09/08/2005 4:07:18 PM PDT by NYer (It's Cool 2 B Catholic!)
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To: NYer; Tax-chick
Richard John Neuhaus has pointed out that many young people are taking the time to study St. Augustine and classical Christian theologians precisely because they have been attacked by their professors who are, frankly, much dimmer lights.

When you look at the likes of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict, they have something very important to say us in part because they went through such diffuculties--WWII, Nazism, Communism, the disarray of marxist student rebellions. What are the trials that will strengthen the current generation? It is the chaos inflicted upon our Church by dissenters, and it is within that crucible that the leaders of tomorrow are being formed for the building up of the Body of Christ. Adversity builds character, and we may well hope that by the Grace of God, the next generation of priests and nuns will have plenty of that.

Will pray for Bishop Hubbard.
8 posted on 09/08/2005 4:20:24 PM PDT by InterestedQuestioner ("Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.")
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To: saradippity

** The plain simple answer was that the bishops of those dioceses, Bishops Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln and the late John Keating of Arlington, were both explicitly, vocally and publicly committed to orthodoxy in Catholic teaching and practice.**

It makes a difference!


9 posted on 09/08/2005 4:33:44 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

I am going out on a limb here. In terms of practicing Catholics who actively seek out the Sacraments, there is not a priest shortage. Sure, there aren't enough priests, but in real terms, the number of worshippers (every Sunday and confession) per priest is probably smaller than in the 1950s, when nearly every Catholic was a faithful and practicing Catholic.


10 posted on 09/08/2005 5:13:02 PM PDT by StAthanasiustheGreat (Vocatus Atque Non Vocatus Deus Aderit)
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To: NYer

Well, file THIS one under, "DUH!!"


11 posted on 09/08/2005 5:48:36 PM PDT by redhead (I didn't come from any monkey, and the earth is NOT my MOTHER!)
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To: NYer; StAthanasiustheGreat; redhead; Salvation; Thorin; RobbyS
I don't know Cardinal McCarrick, and am not familiar with his diocese, but I received this from an annonymous FReeper, and thought it would add to the conversation.


"Cardinal McCarrick, in Washington, DC, has SIXTY FOUR seminarians, the bulk of them in the theologate. These are lawyers, Capitol Hill staffers, and professionals of all stripes.

McCarrick is considered to be a "liberal" on this forum. Yet, how does he have so many men who want to serve the Church in the nation's capitol?

I think the reason men enter the seminary is because somebody ASKS them to! How many priests or bishops walk up to a man who is observed at Mass every week, is involved in parish life, and say "Come, follow the Lord"?

McCarrick does that all the time. When he encounters young men in a group, he asks them if they've thought about the priesthood. He introduces his seminarians at every event where they are present. He has pictures and bios of each one of them on the archdiocesan website. He has his picture taken with them, meets with them, has parties for them during vacations, and corresponds with them.

IOW, the shepherd asks men to "follow the Lord." I'll bet Bruskewitz and Cardinal George, who also has a burgeoning number of seminarians, do the same thing.

Not prayer, not liturgy, not wearing cassocks, nor anything else can substitute for the personal interest that a bishop shows in the men who will serve as priests in his diocese. If the shepherd asks you to serve, you're likely to discern if God is not calling you as well.

Now, I expect to get blasted, but McCarrick and George are going to be ordaining classes in the double digits in the next few years. And these guys aren't slugs.

There are men out there who are just waiting to be asked."
12 posted on 09/08/2005 7:33:22 PM PDT by InterestedQuestioner ("Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.")
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To: NYer
That last post echos a recent talk that I heard from the President of a Seminary. While discussing "calling" he said that in the past, people were called specifically to a vocation--be that vocation to law, medicine, or ministry, the community itself would call a person to join it. He said we are really missing a sense of that today, and if anything, we feel the need to challenge the calls of men considering the priesthood.

Indeed, the model of the Bishop or priest calling young men to the priesthood is one that would be closer to the model of Christ, and would undoubtedly be much more compelling.

Perhaps what we are looking at is a question of call and demoralization. Without orthodoxy and moral example, one would really have to wonder what one was doing dedicating oneself to a life in service of the Church. In the face of corruption, one would have to ask if the Church was indeed serving the needs of the laity.

On a side note, my own diocese is in a large urban center. We have more seminarians than any time in the last 25 years, and there are rumors that we will be moving to waiting list for seminarians if the trend continues. On the whole, I suspect our diocese is moving toward increasing orthodoxy, and the more orthodox parishes seem to be turning out more vocations. Whether they attract devout young men or foster the call of local parishioners, I do not know.
13 posted on 09/08/2005 7:49:06 PM PDT by InterestedQuestioner ("Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.")
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To: InterestedQuestioner

Why become a priest--or a nun--if that means no more than to become a social worker?


14 posted on 09/08/2005 8:07:38 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: RobbyS

I agree. Social Workers do a great job, but I wouldn't spend as long as 12 years in theological training, give up everything I own, renounce marriage, and vow obedience to an order or a Bishop, submit to being moved around the diocese or the world for that matter, and put myself on call 24/7 to do social work.


15 posted on 09/08/2005 8:13:28 PM PDT by InterestedQuestioner ("Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.")
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To: NYer

Amen! Great post, thank you.


16 posted on 09/08/2005 8:44:11 PM PDT by Petrosius
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To: NYer

There are plenty of young men who could be priests but their guardian angels save them from coming under control of the devil through his minions who control seminaries, chanceries, and dioceses.


17 posted on 09/08/2005 9:13:07 PM PDT by Maeve (Ave Maria! Gratia plena!)
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To: NYer

**Franciscan University of Steubenville, a university explicit in its orthodoxy, and ridiculed for it by larger schools, it had a smaller theology faculty but the largest number of undergraduates in the country, at the time, as I recall, 140.**

The seminary in Oregon has 197 seminarians. Something is going right here.


18 posted on 09/08/2005 9:30:29 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: StAthanasiustheGreat

That may be true. But we are quickly outgrowing our church building.


19 posted on 09/08/2005 9:32:28 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Maeve

I'm puzzled by your statement here. Not all seminaries and seminarians are eveil. Neither are all chanceries or dioceses.

Can you really make such a general statement as this?

We must remember that God is in charge. But we can be his voice. (I asked two young men at my church if they have thought about becoming a priest. Their answers, "Yes.")

I simply said, "Great! I'm remember you in my prayers."

I think we all need to evangelize in this way, don't you?


20 posted on 09/08/2005 9:36:59 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
Do you know how many of those seminarians are from Bishop Vasa's diocese? I have read some of his writing on different subjects and I think he is remarkable.

I especially appreciated that he required all of his catechists to sign statements attesting to their commitment to Catholic teachings. What a hullabaloo he caused. They howled at his being so unreasonable as to require that Catholic teachers believed and followed Catholic teaching. Imagine the chutzpah of that shepherd!!

21 posted on 09/08/2005 10:44:09 PM PDT by saradippity
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To: InterestedQuestioner

In "Salt of the Earth," the then Cardinal Ratzinger talked about the mistaken perception that the priesthhod is a position of "power." The cliche that it is a ministry rather than power is no less true for being a cliche. Men like Loyola do not lust for power, are not proud prelates. IMHO, the liberal reformers are the ones who confuse spiritual and earthly powers. They would reduce the Church to a kind of polity, which is a thing of earth. They have not hestiated to impose their wills on the people they are suppose to serve, far more so than the most autocratic old priest of pre-Vatican II.


22 posted on 09/08/2005 11:07:19 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: sinkspur

ping


23 posted on 09/08/2005 11:53:10 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Peace Begins in the Womb)
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To: Salvation
Can you really make such a general statement as this?

Two choices. You can reread what I wrote (which wasn't about all seminaries, chanceries and dioceses) or we can just leave it that you don't get what I'm saying.

24 posted on 09/09/2005 12:01:36 AM PDT by Maeve (Ave Maria! Gratia plena!)
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To: Salvation
I think we all need to evangelize in this way, don't you?

No. I'm afraid I don't see that as evangelization.

25 posted on 09/09/2005 12:03:02 AM PDT by Maeve (Ave Maria! Gratia plena!)
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To: RobbyS
RobbyS,

That's a very nice reflection on the writings of then Cardinal Ratzinger. Was he, by any chance, discussing the male priesthood in reference to claims that it reserved a position of power for men? Seem to remember him saying that idea was outdated, and that those opposed to the all male priesthood were moving toward a position of abolishing the priesthood altogether, because it was indeed a position of in which the leader was reduced to servitude.

I'm told that priest's stole is a symbol of the oxen's yolk, indicating the burden that is born by the priest.
26 posted on 09/09/2005 1:48:31 AM PDT by InterestedQuestioner ("Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.")
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To: Salvation
"The seminary in Oregon has 197 seminarians. Something is going right here."

The seminary at Mt. Angel is actually the seminary for quite a few dioceses, so those aren't all homegrown vocations.

However, as anyone who knows anything at all about the most beautiful state in the Union can tell you, ;-) that seminary is absolutely gorgeous and well worth a visit to anyone who happens to be in the area. Stop by St. Mary's Church at the bottom of the hill before heading up to the Abbey, and be sure to visit the Seminary library.
27 posted on 09/09/2005 1:57:07 AM PDT by InterestedQuestioner ("Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.")
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To: Salvation

My oldest daughter had a very mild, chaste crush last year, on a cute young man who played the guitar for the youth choir. This fall he entered the seminary. However, he has a younger brother who is also cute, and taller!


28 posted on 09/09/2005 4:44:23 AM PDT by Tax-chick (How often lofty talk is used to deny others the same rights one claims for oneself. ~ Sowell)
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To: InterestedQuestioner

"When you look at the likes of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict, they have something very important to say us in part because they went through such diffuculties--WWII, Nazism, Communism, the disarray of marxist student rebellions."


So did thousands of others face difficulties and I cannot think of anything particularly illuminating said of their experiences by the two you mention. No doubt like most they kept their heads down and waited for posterior to fabricate something heroic.


29 posted on 09/09/2005 6:00:41 AM PDT by Wessex
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To: NYer
Add The Archdiocese of Atlanta to the list of dioceses with a great vocations program, thanks to the now retired Archbishop Donoghue, another good, orthodox bishop.

Sadly, Wilton Gregory has taken his place and I fear it will all go downhill, though I hope I'm wrong.

30 posted on 09/09/2005 6:12:25 AM PDT by marshmallow
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To: NYer; Salvation; Maeve
"Still, dissenters disparage the younger generation as “too conservative”What these young people seek to conserve is human life, sanity and Western Civilization, all of which are under attack from modern liberalism. Jesus Christ is still producing followers who deserve to take their place in the Church and not be treated as crackpots and undesirables."

I'm reminded of the notorious "father" Greeley's bemoaning of all the "young fogeys." Well, all I can say is....."YOUNG FOGEYS OF THE CHURCH - UNITE! YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!" We need a lot more "young fogeys"!
31 posted on 09/09/2005 7:06:36 AM PDT by Convert from ECUSA (tired of all the shucking and jiving)
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To: Convert from ECUSA

Aw, jeez, Greeley ... is he still alive?


32 posted on 09/09/2005 7:11:43 AM PDT by Tax-chick (How often lofty talk is used to deny others the same rights one claims for oneself. ~ Sowell)
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To: Tax-chick

Yeah, I know. As far as I know, we're still stuck with "father" Greeley. He's the man I told Catholic friends some years ago (when I was still Anglican) was one of biggest episcopagans I'd ever seen!


33 posted on 09/09/2005 7:17:59 AM PDT by Convert from ECUSA (tired of all the shucking and jiving)
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To: Convert from ECUSA

LOL!


34 posted on 09/09/2005 7:21:42 AM PDT by Tax-chick (How often lofty talk is used to deny others the same rights one claims for oneself. ~ Sowell)
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To: saradippity

Do I'm afraid I don't. I just know of the huge number. I am planning on attending a dinner for the seminarians at the end of October with our church group. Maybe I can find out and report back to you!

Good to see you!


35 posted on 09/09/2005 7:53:48 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: InterestedQuestioner

You are so right. It is a beautiful location. Some of my friends travel up there for vespers.

And the library is beautiful and extensive.


36 posted on 09/09/2005 7:55:53 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: InterestedQuestioner
I'm told that priest's stole is a symbol of the oxen's yolk, indicating the burden that is born by the priest.

Yes, and as Pope Benedict XVI explained so eloquently in his inauguration Mass homily, the burden is light.

"The first symbol is the Pallium, woven in pure wool, which will be placed on my shoulders. This ancient sign, which the Bishops of Rome have worn since the fourth century, may be considered an image of the yoke of Christ, which the Bishop of this City, the Servant of the Servants of God, takes upon his shoulders. God’s yoke is God’s will, which we accept. And this will does not weigh down on us, oppressing us and taking away our freedom. To know what God wants, to know where the path of life is found – this was Israel’s joy, this was her great privilege. It is also our joy: God’s will does not alienate us, it purifies us – even if this can be painful – and so it leads us to ourselves. In this way, we serve not only him, but the salvation of the whole world, of all history. The symbolism of the Pallium is even more concrete: the lamb’s wool is meant to represent the lost, sick or weak sheep which the shepherd places on his shoulders and carries to the waters of life. For the Fathers of the Church, the parable of the lost sheep, which the shepherd seeks in the desert, was an image of the mystery of Christ and the Church. The human race – every one of us – is the sheep lost in the desert which no longer knows the way. The Son of God will not let this happen; he cannot abandon humanity in so wretched a condition. He leaps to his feet and abandons the glory of heaven, in order to go in search of the sheep and pursue it, all the way to the Cross. He takes it upon his shoulders and carries our humanity; he carries us all – he is the good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep. What the Pallium indicates first and foremost is that we are all carried by Christ. But at the same time it invites us to carry one another. Hence the Pallium becomes a symbol of the shepherd’s mission, of which the Second Reading and the Gospel speak. The pastor must be inspired by Christ’s holy zeal: for him it is not a matter of indifference that so many people are living in the desert. And there are so many kinds of desert. There is the desert of poverty, the desert of hunger and thirst, the desert of abandonment, of loneliness, of destroyed love. There is the desert of God’s darkness, the emptiness of souls no longer aware of their dignity or the goal of human life. The external deserts in the world are growing, because the internal deserts have become so vast. Therefore the earth’s treasures no longer serve to build God’s garden for all to live in, but they have been made to serve the powers of exploitation and destruction. The Church as a whole and all her Pastors, like Christ, must set out to lead people out of the desert, towards the place of life, towards friendship with the Son of God, towards the One who gives us life, and life in abundance."

37 posted on 09/09/2005 8:17:14 AM PDT by ELS (Vivat Benedictus XVI!)
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To: Maeve
Heeding today's Gospel, I must ask your forgiveness. Apparently I misunderstood your intent of this statement. Were you not talking about ALL bishops, chanceries, dioceses?

Maybe you can help remove the log from my eye.

Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,’ when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye.”

38 posted on 09/09/2005 8:39:07 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: InterestedQuestioner
Yes indeed. The feminists have moved from the idea of getting "slots" in the priesthood to the abolition of it. It is a natural evolution to that of the radical protestants, to whom the priesthood of all believers, is opposed to the notion of a sacerdotal order. In my opinion, that led naturally to a social class structure. or political structure, where the flock was lead by a new kind of clerisy, instead of monks, professors or charismatic figures like Luther and Calvin. To me the ridiculousness of women in bishops robes is like dressing women up in football uniforms. At least the radical feminists understand this. The irony is that in reaction to the power politics of Church politics in the Middle Ages, the protestants and now the radicals want to model liberal and democratic politcs. Power based on popularity and the wealth of individual congregations.
39 posted on 09/09/2005 9:16:44 AM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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"I call this ecclesiastical contraception. "

I call this ecclesiastical homosexuality.

40 posted on 09/09/2005 9:20:17 AM PDT by Pio (Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Solis)
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To: InterestedQuestioner

1. Bishops want more priests
2. It is demonstrable that seminaries develop more priests
in orthodox dioceses.
3. Therefore, bishops support unorthodoxy in their dioceses.
OR
1. Bishops do not want more priests.
2. It is demonstrable that seminaries develop more priests
in orthodox dioceses.
3. Therefore, bishops support unorthodoxy in their dioceses.
Which one is more logical?


41 posted on 09/09/2005 11:30:08 AM PDT by charliemarlow
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To: Salvation
The guardian angels of many a young man have kept them safe from the evil one
and that includes keeping them safe from wherever evil is in control.

Get rid of the resident minions of the demon controlling a seminary, a chancery or a See, and then young men will come forward. Until then, their guardian angels will keep most of these souls safely away from the dogs whom scripture tells us to beware.

42 posted on 09/09/2005 12:14:10 PM PDT by Maeve (They caught the last train for the coast.)
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To: charliemarlow
Charliemarlow,

Thanks for your post. I don't know Bishop McCarrick, and I'm having some difficulty following your reasoning. In response to your comments, one does indeed wonder if some who have worked for the Church would prefer a total and debilitating vocations crisis in order to use an emergency to push through their own agendas and "open up" the priesthood. It's also been argued that those who would "change the Church from within" discourage faithful vocations, while selecting for wolves in sheep's clothing.

I do, however, think it sounds reasonable that young men are more likely to answer their calling if they are directly asked to do so, whether it be by the Bishop, a priest, or fellow parishioners. On the other hand, heterodoxy sounds like a perfect recipe for demoralizing those considering or pursuing a vocation, and not surprisingly, it stands to reasons that it would motivate them to question their calling. Kind of Like Elisha en route to his cave, one might want to get out of dodge when heterodoxy or worse is present.
43 posted on 09/09/2005 1:56:21 PM PDT by InterestedQuestioner ("Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.")
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To: RobbyS
You know what's interesting, RobbyS, there were a bunch of folks getting a lot of press about "ordaining" ex-nuns to the "priesthood" on riverboats earlier this summer. I haven't heard so much as a whisper from those folks lately. I think they had a sensationalistic story that made for good press, but the interest seems to be totally gone now. Soon their movement will be gone as well.

Catholic eras can be defined by which heresy the Church happens to be fighting at that time, and I think we may be seeing the death rattle of one such heresy.

As for the ex-nuns, presumably they went back to holding seances and giving each other Reiki classes.
44 posted on 09/09/2005 2:04:31 PM PDT by InterestedQuestioner ("Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.")
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To: InterestedQuestioner

They are getting old. Since they have destroyed their orders, there are no young women to carry on their cause.


45 posted on 09/09/2005 2:08:26 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: RobbyS

I used to know so many good nuns, how has such an extraordinarly group been brought to such a pass so quickly. Mother Angelica's group is setting us all straight, and the Sisters of Charity have inspired us all, but how have so many venerable orders been brought so low so fast?


46 posted on 09/09/2005 2:12:51 PM PDT by InterestedQuestioner ("Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.")
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To: ELS

That's a beautiful post, thank you.


47 posted on 09/09/2005 2:17:12 PM PDT by InterestedQuestioner ("Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.")
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To: RobbyS
Very true. I went to a Catholic high school run by a group of nuns. They were, for the most part, "Sister Sweatpants" types - though at least they didn't promote outright occultic practices like I've heard some nuns do. Some of the very old ones were still solid, wore habits, and such but they had little contact with the students. While many of these nuns were fine teachers of various academic disciplines, when it came to conveying the faith they were very lukewarm. They taught us nothing of substance about the faith, didn't give us any reason to think Catholicism is any different than any other religion, and most importantly they didn't give us any reason to see why consecrated celibacy was special. There was nothing about their lives that would draw a young woman to religious life because their lives were so average. They didn't wear habits, they didn't seem enthusiastic about Christ, and their convent looked more like a comfortable middle class home (albeit one stuck in 1980s decor) than a Christian oasis in a chaotic world. We students went to the convent sometimes to watch movies on their big screen TV and I often thought while I was there if being a nun like this was something I'd like to do. Even though I was not terribly devout in high school, I still knew right away that this all seemed pointless. Why would I give up a husband and children for this mundane, worldly life? I could do the same things - teach at a high school, be lukewarm about the faith, live in a comfy little home, etc - and still be married with children. There was nothing special about life in this convent. No wonder they failed to attract any young women. The youngest nun at my school was in her early 30s at the time (she would be around 40 by now) and she was the exception, not the rule, for that order.
48 posted on 09/09/2005 2:35:57 PM PDT by sassbox
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To: NYer

Great article!!!


49 posted on 09/09/2005 2:41:45 PM PDT by diamond6 (Everyone who is for abortion has already been born. Ronald Reagan)
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To: sassbox

If you haven't, read some of what the present Holy Father has written, sich as "Salt of the Earth," which is a long interview. I was surprised. He is quite blunt in his assessments. To oversimpify, he dismisses the "reformers" as simply banal, bourgeois types who are in love with their own ideas, and unattractive to anyone with an ounce of idealism.


50 posted on 09/09/2005 9:50:37 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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