Friday, 17 August 2007

The wrong way round

Most of us think that a catholic seminary produces good priests. That's not exactly true. A catholic seminary takes good men and turns them into good priests. Or that is at least the wisdom of Grace building on nature for the last two milennia.

You see the priesthood doesn't form men in core values as much as it attracts and recruits men who share those values and whose desire is to learn how to live them more deeply and teach others to do the same. 

It is only when the hierarchy understands that it is about gathering men truly inspired by the Gospel that there will be a renewal of the clergy. We may find many talented people in the world who can do many things, but the measure of vocation is love of God and neighbour and the willingness to make the sacrifice of self for the Gospel. The experiments in 'alternative vocations' of the 60s, 70s, 80s and even the 90s are a complete disaster. If anyone has any doubt, just see how much your average diocese is paying in insurance premiums for its clergy. 

Change will come when this one simple principle is lived by the catholic hierarchy- that no idea or talent and not even the promise of great things to come can make up for this one ideal- a shared love for the Gospel. If the sons of the Church get this right, then we will get the world right.

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