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March 27, 2007

Comments

Labrialumn

Hmm 4 years of graduate work equals "just hanging out your shingle."

Excuse me?

paul f

I was a Pentecostal for 26 years. If every pastor had four years of graduate work, I'll eat my hat.

Some denominations don't require graduate work to become ordained. You can become an ordained AG, with just an undergraduate degree in a related field, such as theology.

Dr. Eric

Again, I ask if it would not be prudent to allow the married men in the "Global South" to become ordained as priests.

I did not write that there should be "women priests," gay priests, or that priests should get married. I am only calling for allowing viri probati to be ordained. Otherwise there will be more and more poaching of our sheep.

Kevin

But of course we need to avoid the clericalization of the laity (and Jimmy would agree). The vocation of the laity is very importantly-- the "consecration of the world". We need to be in the world. Of course we can help out with these things...but the large part should be sanctifying the world which includes evangelization. So one thing that needs to happen there then would be to form the laity as to their vocation and the importance of it...in line with CL of Pope John Paul II. Then they can see the importance of holiness in the midst of the world...in the midst of ordinary life of work, family and friendships. Then the Gospel can be handed from friend to friend and more holy vocations to all the various states in life can rise.

Jen

"Meanwhile, a local Pentecostal community had members in her room every day, comforting her, bringing her flowers, and seeing to the needs of her family while she was away."

Why are these even things that only a priest -- or a lay person in a partial role as priest -- can do? These are things that ANY member of the community can do -- and SHOULD do, frankly, as they are corporal works of mercy.

My question would be less 'how can we adjust the roles of the priesthood/laity' and more of how can I as a Catholic and a member of my parish donate my time (and even my goods) to see to other members of the flock who may need help. Providing comfort, food, flowers -- these are not sacramentals that require the priesthood alone. These are acts of charity that any one of us can do and should do.

John J. Simmins

Deacons, anyone?

Gothele

The point here is that while the Catholic Church has the truth, they will continue to lose ground to protestants who do more to minister to the needs of the people both social and pshchological in addition to sprading the gospel.

Most Catholic Churches it seems, people show up attend Mass and leave. With the Protestants there is Sunday School for both Adults and Children, other social interaction that draws them closer, and is often times more fulfilling.

Kevin

To continue my above comment: To quote from Lumen Gentium, the Council Fathers wrote,

"These faithful are by baptism made one body with Christ and are constituted among the People of God; they are in their own way made sharers in the priestly, prophetical, and kingly functions of Christ; and they carry out for their own part the mission of the whole Christian people in the Church and in the world. What specifically characterizes the laity is their secular nature. It is true that those in holy orders can at times be engaged in secular activities, and even have a secular profession. But they are by reason of their particular vocation especially and professedly ordained to the sacred ministry. Similarly, by their state in life, religious give splendid and striking testimony that the world cannot be transformed and offered to God without the spirit of the beatitudes. But the laity, by their very vocation, seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and by ordering them according to the plan of God. They live in the world, that is, in each and in all of the secular professions and occupations. They live in the ordinary circumstances of family and social life, from which the very web of their existence is woven. They are called there by God that by exercising their proper function and led by the spirit of the Gospel they may work for the sanctification of the world from within as a leaven. In this way they may make Christ known to others, especially by the testimony of a life resplendent in faith, hope and charity. Therefore, since they are tightly bound up in all types of temporal affairs it is their special task to order and to throw light upon these affairs in such a way that they may come into being and then continually increase according to Christ to the praise of the Creator and the Redeemer" (LG 31).


They should be formed about:


http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_30121988_christifideles-laici_en.html

Radical Catholic Mom

I think you have touched the true issue, Jimmy. The Church, for whatever reason, decided that priests should do it all. The laity has no role down there and they expect their priests to do everything for them. Not good. From what I can tell, though, the Church in Latin America is not interested in making changes. I don't even really think they care that they are losing members. All I ever saw when I would bring up the issue is an amused smile from an official.

The Church is also very corrupt down there, although I need to be careful with stereotyping. Often times, the Church and Governments are hand in hand, with priests living one very wealthy lifestyle. At least that is what I saw when I was in Central/South America. It is scandalous.

Jen

"The Church, for whatever reason, decided that priests should do it all."

But HAS the Church really decided this? Or have lay people simply become complacent in allowing priests to handle things that the laity SHOULD be handling (i.e., works of mercy, evangelizing, etc.)?

To me (especially when I look at parishes I've attended), it looks less like the Church deciding that priests should do it all and more like the laity deciding they can be lazy except for Sunday obligations. Just sayin'.

Tim J.

"Deacons, anyone?"

The training required to become a deacon in our diocese is burdensome enough that I have put the possibility out of my mind until I am retired, and even then, it's hard to imagine driving to the state capital (3 1/2 hours, one way) every other weekend for two years. Not to mention that the education I have received from our diocese has run the gammut from weak to not-quite-heretical.

Lay Apostolates, anyone?

Visiting the sick? Making food for the families? Praying for and with them? The Legion of Mary is needed there!

Esquire

This should be required reading. Married priests are not the answer. A firmer grasp of the proper roles of the clergy and the laity is what is needed. As at least one poster above mentioned, visiting and spending time with the sick in the hospital (to address the specific example) is a corporal work of mercy, and one need be neither a priest nor a protestant to perform it.

Augustine

As usual, Allen is only partially right.

As a Brazilian, let me point out that his conclusion about shortage of priests is true only for the most remote areas of Latin America, such as the Andes, the Amazon and the Caribbean. However, most of the 500 million Catholics in the continent live in cities larger than the largest American city.

There the influence of secularism, particularly through the imitation of fads imported from the developed countries through the media, is as evident as it is in America or Europe. Why else would abortion be a debate in Brazil, Colombia, Nicaragua and Argentina, other than after the ascension of Liberation Theology-inspired communist governments?

Let me break this news to all: VII and its dreaded "spirit" happened to Latin America too, when both the Church and the priesthood were emptied of any special meaning. After all, we're all priestly people, right? Let's just get along and do good without any interior and sacramental life!

Not to mention that Latin America has had a history of Church-suppressing regimes thanks to a pervasive masonic influence since the late 18th century which made evangelization and catechization deficient to say the least.

Allen should know better than underestimating the size of the battle field of the culture war.

Vince C

In this country (USA), I think it's not so much a problem with the hierarchy but more of a matter of Church ministry -- overall -- becoming the venue of the "trained professional." In any field of endeavor, when there arises a distinction between professionals and "amatuers," the professionals become more or less insular and develop (for want of more tactful terms) a "seige mentality" or "there's us and then there's them" attitude. I'm not not saying these folks are being unloving or snotty -- it just develops that way.

How this often manifests itself is in a practical distrust of those who do not have a pastoral or theology degree -- there is a distrust of their qualifications, or their committment, or of their accountability to be trusted with resources, like "unsupervised access to classrooms. Call it a control issue if you like, though I think it is less pathological than that, though it has the same effect.

Catholic Answers "This Rock" magazine had an interesting article a couple of yours back that was similar in topic to that of this thread. One of the thing the writer advocated that when it came to ministries to Hispanics, perhaps parish communities could not be so strict on the academic qualifications of those ministering to that group (perhaps developing a parish or diocesan certification program), and allow them more trust and autonomy in developing effective ministries. I couldn't help thinking at the time that that would not be a bad strategy for the Church as a whole.

Here is a link to that article from "This Rock" if you are interested:

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2005/0509fea3.asp

Alex Benziger.G

Sir,
I appreciate 'Radical Catholic Mom's comment.
When I was a school boy (before 1970) we were the members of the 'Legion of Mary' we used to go to the hospitals to see the patients and pray.The parish priest was encourage us to do the good things. But the liberation theology, inculturation and inter religious dialogue were introduced by the Vatican 2, the priests were shifted their mind to the worldly life. Ultimately the catholic values lost. Now all the bishops and priests are running after money.Good priests are sidelined on the otherhand wealthy fellows appointed as bishops. Vatican 2 is the rootcause of catholicism to felldown.
We shall hope that His Holiness Pope Benedict 16 will set it right, the tradition of the Church will bloom.
DEO GRATIAS.

Esau

But the liberation theology, inculturation and inter religious dialogue were introduced by the Vatican 2

Sir,
It is obvious you haven't read any of the 16 documents of Vatican II.

You will find NOTHING in it where even a hint of Liberation Theology is present.

Esau

The Church is also very corrupt down there, although I need to be careful with stereotyping. Often times, the Church and Governments are hand in hand, with priests living one very wealthy lifestyle. At least that is what I saw when I was in Central/South America. It is scandalous.


Wealthy? WOW!

No wonder the Catholic missionaries that live out there and take care of the poor live in such amazing accomodations like dilapidated squalors and the like with such little money for them and those they take care of!

They must be hiding their Porsche or Lamborghini Diablo behind them broken-down lots somewhere!

MNJohn

Esquire:

In part you posted -

"As at least one poster above mentioned, visiting and spending time with the sick in the hospital (to address the specific example) is a corporal work of mercy, and one need be neither a priest nor a protestant to perform it."

I agree with everything you say here, but the issue is not what we are allowed to do, or even what we have the means to do in L.A. As Jimmy's exerpt points out, the woman appeared to be moved by what the competition was ACTUALLY doing for folks down south...steadily and consistently.

Jimmy's article, particularly in his offered exerpt, does not seem to differentiate between clergy visits and lay visits. Jimmy's point seems to be that it's just visits PERIOD, that may convict or otherwise influence the infirmed toward a particluar faith conversion. I must also agree with "Radical Catholic Mom's" position. We need people, Catholic people, down there and in-place, to hold on to what has traditionally been our turf. If we continue on our current path, evangelical types will certainly see the opportunities for growth in those areas, and we'll be relegated to old relic status, much like we have already been in Europe. Sending in the Legion of Mary cavalry sounds like a superb idea! let the trumpets sound!!!

Peace

Esau

If we continue on our current path, evangelical types will certainly see the opportunities for growth in those areas, and we'll be relegated to old relic status, much like we have already been in Europe.


Actually, there was a news story on this (I can't remember if it was on NBC or ABC) back in the early 90s where there were numerous conversions being observed in the region that were occuring there because not only were Protestants there for the Catholic folks physically but also financially.

I recall in the news segment how one family actually converted because of the financial help that a Protestant church had given them, as poverty in that region is tremendous.

The journalist said that more of such conversions were a natural occurence in that area and that it wouldn't be surprising that what once was a Catholic region all of a sudden became Protestant.

Esquire

MNJohn,

Well said.

Catherine Alexander

Here in the Bible Belt, almost every Protestant church in town (especially our Baptist brethren) makes mission trips all over the world. Regular folk from the congregation take their vacations, spring breaks, etc. to go on mission trips. They do this not only to spread the Gospel and perform works of mercy, but because it changes the people who go on the mission trip and develops them into mature Christians. How many Catholic parishes have a single person in the pews who has ever been on a mission trip?? I would LOVE to go on a mission trip, but there is no opportunity, short of quitting my job and joining a religious order. If the Protestant churches can effectively utilize their congregations for running Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, mission trips, and dozens of other similar projects, why, oh why, can't we Catholics do it? A local Baptist church has been rotating members down to the coast for hurricane relief for almost eighteen months; not one Catholic church in this town has sent one person, as far as I know.

Jamie Beu

Providing comfort, food, flowers -- these are not sacramentals that require the priesthood alone. These are acts of charity that any one of us can do and should do.

and

The Church, for whatever reason, decided that priests should do it all. The laity has no role down there and they expect their priests to do everything for them.

I don't think the problem is "the Church said I can't", but rather that "the Church didn't say I could". Most people are in fact sheep, and as such, they require direction. Individuals need direction (or rather, instructions).

Speaking platitudes from the ambo will not get the masses (no pun intended) to go do the corporal acts of mercy. People, in order to do something, expect to be told not "we should have mercy on the sick and imprisoned", but rather "YOU, Joseph, go to this floor of this hospital and find out who needs the Eucharist. YOU, Mary, go to this wing of this prison and read these chapters of the Bible to the inmates. "

It is the rare person who says to themselves, "I am going to go to the hospital today and bring flowers to all the patients in the cancer ward." But that *does* happen if someone tells them "okay people, we need to send a group of people to St. Swithin's hospital to bring flowers to the cancer patients. Who is available Monday? Tuesday? Wednesday? We have a sign-up sheet in the hall."

Sheep need pro-active shepherds. I'm fairly certain that the community in http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/acts/acts4.htm#v32>Acts 4:32-35 did not simultaneously donate all their belongings to one another. Either one layperson took the lead and others followed, or an Apostle said "this is important to do - let's all do this" and they did it.

Esau

Regular folk from the congregation take their vacations, spring breaks, etc. to go on mission trips. They do this not only to spread the Gospel and perform works of mercy, but because it changes the people who go on the mission trip and develops them into mature Christians. How many Catholic parishes have a single person in the pews who has ever been on a mission trip?? I would LOVE to go on a mission trip, but there is no opportunity, short of quitting my job and joining a religious order. If the Protestant churches can effectively utilize their congregations for running Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, mission trips, and dozens of other similar projects, why, oh why, can't we Catholics do it?


Excellent point, Catherine Alexander!


That's what I find so resilient and refreshing about the Protestant side of life!

I know many of my friends who went the mission field route as Protestants and came back a changed person -- with a deeper love for the Christian faith!

That's what seems to be the cultural difference (for lack of a better term) between Catholics of today and the Protestants is that there's not quite that involvement at the level of the laity.

Also, I think to most regular Catholic folks, cradle Catholics (not to mention, especially the Rad Trad groups), such a thing is alien to their mindset (and perhaps understandably so).

But, St. Francis wasn't even clergy when he began and, yet, he preached the Gospel as a Catholic all throughout Italy and even beyond!

I think that is what was so incredible about St. Francis is that he didn't want folks all steeped up in major theology (he thought this brought about Pride until, of course, St. Anthony taught the importance of it for those wanting to learn) but those who were humble and merely wanted to live as Followers of Christ and conform their very lives to the simplicity of the Gospel.

Gothele

Catherine Alexander is dead on. Unless the Catholic Church can take a few lessons in terms of Sunday School, missions, and the like, membership will continue to suffer. Apathy has run rampant.

Kasia

My priest was organizing a mission trip to Central America for next spring. Unfortunately, we just got word he's being transferred to another parish. Don't know if it will still happen...but you're quite right; most mission trips are done by Protestants. Even the (lay) Catholics I know who have done mission trips are primarily converts. Doesn't mean no one does them, but...

Dan Hunter

Lets all hug a tree

Pope John XXIV (Supernova)

Pope John Paul II was a heretic!!!

At least I'm consistent ;<)

Slowboy

I asked elsewhere and again here. Why no priests in SA?

John XXIV (super nova)

Oh, I forgot. Vatican II caused priest to discover that huge numbers of them were perverts. That is why South America doesn't have priests.


P.S. Stand on your head. While reading the Vatican II documents upside down, repeat this phrase:

"Vatican II is evil. John XXIII was a Communist. Paul VI was evil. John Paul II was a pagan. Dissenters are HEROES !!!

Mary

so much of what is needed is outline here. . .

Tim J.

I'm happy to say our parish church does mission trips with the youth about twice a year.

I haven't done one yet, though.

Tim H.

Catherine Alexander—

I admire your enthusiasm, and I think that spirit could really motivate the laymen in your denomination. I'm actually surprised to read here that Catholic churches don't already have such mission teams among laymen; I'd figured Catholics were more active in this.

Yes, it's a common feature in Protestant churches. My church, a rural Methodist church (although a large and growing one) has regular mission trips to Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Latvia, that I can think of. The preacher himself leads the trip to Guatemala every year, right after Christmas. I really think I should do something along these lines, myself. Maybe this thread will motivate me to get off my rear end!

Is there anything that would prevent Catholic laity from doing this on y'all's own initiative?

Matt

It really does sound like there's plenty of blame to go around. Corporal works of mercy are indeed a duty of all Christians, not just clergy...and it sounds like the South American catholics have been falling down on that duty (as, to be fair, have far too many of us North American catholics). But if the church culture down there does indeed encourage clericalist attitudes that lead to this situation, then that also must be changed.

Let's not blame the protestants, though...their theology may be (and is) wrong, but they're the ones stepping up to the plate and doing their Christian duty, while our own brethren neglect those duties.

Jen

Speaking as a protestant convert to the Catholic faith, part of what frustrates the dickens out of me is that so many Catholics seem to hold off on acting until someone tells them they can or should (or how to) do it.

If you see someone who is sick and in need of comfort, you don't wait for the priest to tell you, 'Hey. Send that person a card, or some flowers, or offer to bring them some homemade soup or to take their dog out for a walk.' You don't need to wait for permission or a sign up sheet or This Guild or That Legion. You do it, immediately upon identifying the need, because you are commanded to do so, period. Scripture doesn't say, 'feed the hungry and clothe the naked, but don't do it until the parish coordinates a venue through which to do it.'

Honestly. Like the Nike ads say, 'Just Do It.'

Radical Catholic Mom

Esau,
Have YOU been a missionary in Latin America? I have. I lived in Ecuador and Costa Rica. You are talking about "missionaries" who I do NOT define as Church authorities. All of the missionaries whom I worked, with the exception of two or three priests, were lay members, and most of us were not from the country we were serving.

And for the record, it WAS the wealth of the priests, who were not driving porches, but were driving extremely expensive cars, and their massive homes and estates that scandalized me especially since the missionaries were living such frugal lifestyles AND because of the poverty we saw amongst the people we were serving.

My dear friend from Guatemala, who I served with, told me that the priests in Guatemala were not like the ones we were seeing where we were at. So maybe there is hope.

Tim H.

Amen, Jen! :)

Tim H.

Radical Catholic Mom—

I'll add a note on the poverty in another Latin American locale: Peru. A few miles south of Lima, along the coast (on the Pan-American Highway) towards Pisco, I saw people living in cubicles made of reed mats. Each "cubicle" may have been 6-8' on a side, and not quite as high. Each side of the cubicle was a roughly square mat woven from reeds, and one side was fully open, for access. There may have been a hundred of these in one place, and I don't recall how many others I saw in different communities.

That part of Peru is in the Atacama, so it doesn't rain, and that's why it's even possible to consider living under a crudely woven mat for shelter. But I'd never seen conditions so poor anywhere else. The people there could use a *lot* of charity.

amihow

Although I do not know where to find the reference, I remember that a few years ago the Mexican bishops began a comprehensive program to train lay ministers. That certainly should be encouraged and enlarged.

The "Alleluias" as the Mexicans call these Protestant evangelists can, with very little effort recruit Mexicans. In many's opinion, it is because the Mexican Catholic is so poorly catechized. It is so bad that some people say Mexicans are not Catholic, they belong to a cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

Esau

Esau,
Have YOU been a missionary in Latin America?

I haven't personally but the Oblate priests of my parish have as well as other missionary priests I know.

Again, from what I've both seen and heard, I still don't see this so-called wealth (only financial struggles based on the books).

What I have actually seen is these missionary priests laboring tremendously to make ends meet, trying to gather barely adequate financial support for their missionary work -- which they are terribly lacking.

(And folks wonder why the missionary work of such priests aren't happening!)

Of course, all the while, their work, it seems, was only to be undermined by folks who can't help but generalize the entire Catholic clergy as such villians, without caring who exactly is hurt in the process, including these religious clergy who are merely trying to help the poor there!

It's hard enough that these Catholic missionary priests have a hard time finding financial support for their work to help the poor out there; it doesn't need to be further exacerbated by inconsiderate folks who want to spread such rumours which harms even the innocent religious clergy who are only trying to do the work of the Lord in that region with what little they have as it is!

Point being, we need to be very careful of what is said in terms of the Catholic clergy since there are actually those who are faithful to the Lord and only strive to accomplish His Work!

I just can't believe the nominal Catholic these days!

I remember when they took up a special collection, in fact, on one Sunday for some of the visiting missionary priests who work in that region and, in the end, the baskets were only filled with nothing but change!

It would've not been so bad if it were a poor parish (that's certainly understandable), but the parish actually comprised of some pretty well-to-do members!

However, if this was actually a Protestant Church, I probably would've seen checks in the double-digits, at the very least, as in the ones my friends and I had visited in the past.

I'm sorry to get so passionate about this issue, but I find it grossly unacceptable that Catholics these days (and I'm not speaking of you personally, Radical Catholic Mom) can become so apathetic and even callous that these missionary priests and their work are not provided the essential support they desparately need and, instead, what they do get is nothing but spare change, perhaps only enough to buy a 99 cents hamburger but that's all!

Radical Catholic Mom

I agree with you 100%, Esau, that missions are in desperate need of support. I know my experience of working with many missionaries, from all around the world, colors my perspective. I have no doubt that there are many, many religious who work and sacrifice with no thanks, or little thanks.

I should point out the distinction that you and I are making here. The many priests who I critique are from the countries--native priests(not Indian)--where I worked. The priests who you talk about are missionaries inclined to serve. So I understand what you are talking about, but I don't feel you understand what I am talking about. And what I am saying is based not on books or conversations, but rather experience.
My home priest now, served for years in Southern Mexico and he is truly a devout and humble man. Also, according to my Guatemalan friend, most of the priests in Guatemala are the missionary priests who you talk about, Esau. He was very impressed by their sacrifice and faith. I wish I could have witnessed what he did.

Also, Tim H. I hear you about Peru. What you describe are called cana shacks. The poverty in Ecuador and Peru and Bolivia is absolutely heartbreaking. I loved Ecuador. The people would give you their last piece of bread. Beautiful.

Esau

Radical Catholic Mom,

Sorry I got so worked up.

As you can tell from my post, it wasn't actually directed against you, but the nominal, indifferent Catholic typical of some of the laity these days.

It's both very discouraging and also disappointing.

I really appreciate what you're actually doing for the Church in your missionary work and for those who are badly in need of help.

Hopefully, with more folks like you in the Church, there can truly be a renewal in the Catholic Church and perhaps the vision that JP II had during his pontificate can ultimately be realized through efforts of deeply religious and devoted people as yourselves!

God bless you!

A.Williams

From my perspective, living here in Santo Domingo, and visiting many outlying areas with family member's, one of which is a deacon in a poor agricultural region (Azua), I can see that both the 'Hemisphere's' have their own particular problems.

And the problems are not only the shortage of priests. It goes deeper than that. The problems are often political and cultural..with the politicians needing to placate the very poor...so as to avoid social unrest resulting in the forms of riots,strikes and killings...at the expense of supporting and enforcing social morality.

And because the political leaders don't want to focus on HUGE social ills, such as rampant adultery throughout society, with some men having as many as 20 children or aore, and a prevalent attitude, here, that MORE SEX is BETTER, leading to a man to seek not only one mistress,but as many as he can acquire, there is very little means of encouraging the reform of ingrained vices on a nationwide level.

And so, with such rampant vices, a large percentage of a Catholic population will stay away from both the Mass and the other Sacraments.

And the politics here are such that, because all of these 'sex maniacs'(and that's not an exaggeration in any way) vote, it would be POLITICAL SUICIDE to stem this tide by promoting fidelity! And so the social laws, and enforcement of those laws, ie.. to penalize adultery, divorce and 'dead-beat dads', like they have in the U.S.A., arn't promoted or enforced.

So, even with many Masses available..still the large majority of the population don't attend, and primarily due to this sex sickness!(though they'll call it good living!)

By the way, most of you know by now that I come originally from San Francisco,CA, and everyone can figure that there is alot of sex going on there! But, here in Santo Domingo it's probably 5 times as much...and there are almost NO homosexuals! I rarely see any. However, almost everyone has, or had, multiple extramarital affairs. And if not..like myself..you are kind of wondered at! One of the first questions I was asked here, by some fellow co-workers, is "how many 'mujers' do I have! They all thought, being an Americano and all, that I'd have at the least 4 or more!!

And my reply kind of cooled their enthusiam when I replied.. "I'm Catholic", raising one finger and pretty much leaving it at that.

Then they began laughing and pointing around the room, counting how many each one present currently had...2 here, 2 there, and 4 to one of them, which made him pretty proud!

I think that these guys, who make about 200 dollars per month, and all have children..2,3,4 or more, thought that they had one great advantage over this Americano...and that was, that I was a real loser in that I couldn't find at least 2 mistresses, in addition to my own wife! It really made me much more equal to them in their own eyes!

Anyway, not presuming to judge them for what they really haven't ever learned, I understand that the government and Church, working together, can help turn peoples minds towards the evils and consequences of such living, and maybe some more of these 'lost sheep' might be more inclined to return to the Sacraments?

So, it is again, not only the Church's problem, but the govenment's problem as well...and that is to demand a minumun degree of morality of their citizens, and especially concerning these 'spiritually damaging' vices against society and family life.

Sailorette/Foxfier

Maybe an expansion of the missionary type thing that some Catholic orgs have? My cousin and his wife worked somewhere in the tropics for about four years, helping the locals, on a Catholic mission thing.

I really wish I knew more, but I was rather young at the time.

Esau

A. Williams,

About what you said:

So, it is again, not only the Church's problem, but the govenment's problem as well...and that is to demand a minumun degree of morality of their citizens, and especially concerning these 'spiritually damaging' vices against society and family life.


I know that I'll get HEAVILY PUMMELED for this, but I wonder what'll happen when the liberal Democrats take over in 2008 and have their run over this country?

Of course, then again, some Republicans haven't demonstrated the 'moral fiber' that the 'family values' stance of the Republican party claim to espouse.

Yet, all things considered, do we really want liberals running the country with their pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, pro-almost-everything-contrary-to-God's-Law stance?

(Okay, let the pummeling begin...)

A.Williams

Esau,

Pummeling?..it's not like this is the Go Nancy Pelosi blog!

Anyway...if you can handle the pummeling of all the John's 'out there', and in about 15 min. intervals, you can certainly handle any liberal out there! : )

Actually, all of the apologet debate probably helped me in the 'scuffle' I had yesterday. Being so used to opposing insane arguments, I had no problem standing up, not only to a violient maniac, but also the crowd that gathered who encouraged me to let him go without 'police involvement'. However, knowing this guy would cause problems for someone else if 'let go'..I demanded to persue the 'legal' way, which was really the only moral way to go!

And now the guy is safely home, about 100 miles away, again being cared for and 'guarded' by his family. This after basically destroying their car..and almost mine too.

Anyway...you never know what good things Catholic Apologetics might inspire!? It certainly didn't hurt!(although my muscles today certainly do!) : )

Esau

However, knowing this guy would cause problems for someone else if 'let go'..I demanded to persue the 'legal' way, which was really the only moral way to go!

I'd say you had a moral responsibility to take such action for the sake of the public!

Glad you're all right though! =^)

Radical Catholic Mom

I hear you and agree with you 100% A.Williams. What helped me overcome my disillusionment and scandal at what I witnessed while working in the Church in Latin America, was the understanding that the priests were products of the culture you describe. For whatever reason, it helped me.

And, thank you, Esau.

A.Williams

"Glad you're all right though! =^)"

Thanks Esau, me too. :)

Thanks be to God, and His Divine Providence for all!

A.Williams

Yes, Radical Catholic Mom,

Coming from a somewhat historically 'puritanical' American culture, it is incredible to see such a focus on sex..here in the Caribbean, that is. I really can't speak for Central America, but I think it might be pretty much the same.

And what is so interesting, is that the people don't really think it is abnormal! Their notions are so contrary to the "Irish Catholic" way of thinking that I was raised with. Moreover, it seems that they can live pretty happily with such an apparent excess of sexual activity...which is pretty mysterious to me also!

Some of these, 'common joe' type guys, as said, have multiple girlfriends, wives and children in different towns. It's like one big mangled mess of sexual spaghetti that effects the whole of society. And the real losers are the single mothers and their children!

Yet, mysteriously, on the outside, everyone seems pretty happy! I think they don't even know that they are doing wrong! Really. Everything seems to keep on going, and people are always very friendly and helpful.

Anyway, you're right, even the local priests come from such cultural backgrounds. However, of course, there are plenty of opportunities for real Christian living, if one is lucky enough to be planted in such a fertile invironment. I'm just commenting on the real working class, largely uneducated, population..ie. motor conchista's, fruit vendors, construction worker's, security guard's, auto mechanic's, etc..

And from a social science type of perspective, it is very facinating to see how they manage to not only 'get by' but also maintain a pleasant demeanor and smile on their faces at the same time!? When you say 'thanks' for something...they always reply, "at your orders"!! This ingrained courtesy, the product of centuries of Roman Catholic culture, I think, is something that really can't be bought. And I think it is something that America had a one time, but has unfortunately lost. And this most simple thing such as courtesy, so cost free but also so spiritually pleasant, might be next to impossible to get back in America!

So the poor don't have money, but they still have plenty of courtesy, and maybe this is one of the things that makes them "Blessed"?

Maureen

College parishes have mission trips usually, and a good number of regular parishes do, too. But I've never had enough money to buy a plane ticket and go.

Dominik

I definitely see how the increase of the involvement of lay people in ministry helps with shortage of priests.
At the same time, I keep wondering if we are supposed to pay for their service or we are expecting lay people to 'donate' their time to the ministry.
In the past, catholic services were most likely cheaper because they were mostly performed by lower paid religious who offered their life to serve people. I'm primarily thinking of schools and hospitals. Nowadays, many of those positions are filled with full-time employees which raises the cost of those services.
So, is using lay people going to really address the vocation shortage?
It's more of an open ended question than a comment. I just wonder...

Patrick

Gee, this old Book I read said you should chose bishops by how well they run their families (wives and children) but I guess that's just old hat. Of course that Book was in Greek so why pay attention to it.

Dr. Eric

Better read that book a little closer Patrick.

Patrick

Yes, Dr. Eric, and what would that show?

Jamie Beu

Speaking as a protestant convert to the Catholic faith, part of what frustrates the dickens out of me is that so many Catholics seem to hold off on acting until someone tells them they can or should (or how to) do it.

My point exactly, Jen. As a cradle Catholic, I'd been brought up that it was more important to know what the Church teaches and believes than what the Church actually does. I used to think that the only way things got done (ministry-wise) was that a priest had to do it. That was one of the main reasons for me seeking my vocation - I knew I wanted to do something in the Church, but the only ones who did any were the priests. Therefore, in order to be "allowed" to do something, I had to be a priest.

I know differently now, but it seems that more of the work gets done at the diocesan level (e.g., Catholic Charities) than at the parish level. This is why I said above that the priest basically needs to call people out. It's one thing to say "we should do this" - it's another thing to say "we're going to do this at this time on this day and you, you, and you are going to do it with me."

Carol Anne

And my reply kind of cooled their enthusiam when I replied.. "I'm Catholic", raising one finger and pretty much leaving it at that.

Which finger?

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