Friday, January 16, 2009

Nothing to see here...

Vatican finds U.S. seminaries in overall good health

Yes, everything's juuuuust fiiiiiine. Move along.

One wonders if any of these journalists actually read the document in question past the first three sentences.

Oh, wait.

Silly me.

As part of my ongoing attempts to become a better Catholic, I'm trying to learn to be helpful. So in the interests of helping the less fortunate, I offer an interpretation of Vaticanese for the benefit of above mentioned hard-of-thinking types out there looking to produce some copy.

The Final Report on the Vatican Visitation of US Seminaries, in essence, says the following:

Fire people more often
"In almost all the places, there are procedures fr removing a superior or teacher who fails in his or her duties. Nevertheless, in consideration of various problems in respect to doctrinal teaching, it appears that these procedures are not invoked as often as they should be."

By "the priesthood" we don't include a lot of New Age/feminist/egalitarian bull---- about 'the priesthood of the people' any more than we do about the "Magisterium of the laity". We mean the actual priesthood. You know, that guy who wears the polyester poncho in front of the big wooden table every Sunday... Got it?
Many seminaries are also involved in the theological education of the laity. Most institutes concerned try to separate the two study paths. Nevertheless, a clear distinction between the essential activity of the seminary - the formation of
candidates for the priesthood - and other peripheral activities - principally, the
theological formation of the laity - is sometimes made difficult either because of a lack of theological clarity about the distinction between the common priesthood and the ministerial priesthood, or else because of the high number of lay students frequenting the institute.

In a few seminaries, the clear distinction between the common priesthood and the ministerial, hierarchical priesthood needs to be emphasized more. Problems can also arise when the seminary aims at offering a theological education to all - seminarians and laity - for, unless proper safeguards are put in place, the seminary can lose much of its finality, which is to offer a specifically priestly [emphasis in the original. HW.] formation to men chosen by the Church to embark on the path to Holy Orders.

And, no, we are not soon going to change our minds about ordaining women, so you can stop dancing around the whole issue RIGHT NOW, and stop treating it as if it's "just a job that anyone can do".
It was also noted that, in some academic centers run by religious, there is a certain reticence, on the part of both students and teachers, to discuss the priestly ministry. Instead, there is a preference for discussing simply "ministry" - in the
broad sense, including also the various apostolates of the laity - in part, perhaps, as a mistaken attempt not to offend those who judge the reservation of the Sacrament of Orders to men alone as discriminatory.

In some institutes, however, one has the impression that the students, while not denying any point of doctrine on the priesthood, have an incomplete grasp of the full breadth of the Church's teaching in this area. The students have an idea of priestly service, but teachings such as on the character impressed by the Sacrament of Orders, on the nature of sacra potestns, on the tria munera, etc., are not so well known. This leads to a theologically poor, functionalistic image of the priesthood.

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