Friday, January 10, 2014

Droppings from the Catholic Birdcage: Church Needs to Woman-Up, Seminary Formation and Little Monsters

For Culturemap AustinChristina Pesoli explains what it means to be in stage three of her complicated relationship with the church in which she was raised, and which she loves--despite her ire at things like the U.S. bishops' silly and dangerous war against contraception--because of the powerful positive effect she saw Catholic social teaching exercising in the life of her parents and their friends as she was growing up:

As to the question of why I haven’t left the church, I could ask my liberal friends the same question regarding their U.S. citizenship. In light of their opposition over the years to U.S. policies on foreign, domestic, economic and social issues, why haven’t they emigrated? Religion can be as much a part of one’s identity as nationality. I know it is for me.  
So far, rather than leave either my country or my church, I have elected to stay but speak up and hopefully help to bring about change. So, yes, as pathetic as it may sound, I (perhaps foolishly) love the church and I (perhaps pitifully) believe the church needs me.

And Questions from a Ewe takes a gander at Pope Francis's recent remark about some of the "little monster" priests seminaries have churned out in recent years, and wonders why on earth the report issued after the Vatican visitation of U.S. seminaries in 2009 wanted us to see the problem of priestly formation as one of gays in seminaries, along with the lack of stress of the "powers" priests obtain through ordination, and how ordination raises them to a new ontological level above that of layfolks:

So there you have it. Along with blaming homosexuals, criticizing seminarians’ behavior outside of the seminary walls and faulting dioceses for not exalting seminarians and seminaries enough, the Vatican as of 2009 felt that the sex abuse scandal resulted from priests not being hierarchical enough, not exerting their “sacred powers” enough and offering too much service.  I will pause a moment for you to stop banging your head against a hard, flat surface and also to finish your primal scream therapy. 
Done?  Ready to continue now?  O.K. back to our topic. 

I'm grateful to Dennis Coday in his "Morning Briefing" column today at National Catholic Reporter for the link to Christina Pesoli's essay.

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