Thursday, April 8, 2010

An Interesting Analogy

But I'm inclined to think an apt one, if quoted in an odd source:
…like the Communists, John Paul has carefully constructed a Kremlin that will be inhospitable to a reformer. He has strengthened the Vatican equivalent of the party Central Committee, called the Curia, and populated it with reactionaries. [...] He has trained bishops that the path of advancement is obsequious obedience to himself. Alarmed by priests who showed too much populist sympathy for their parishioners, the pope, according to the Notre Dame historian R. Scott Appleby, has turned seminaries into factories of conformity, begetting a generation of inflexible young priests who have no idea how to talk to real-life Catholics...

4 comments:

Pater, O.S.B. said...

"carefully constructed a Kremlin"

Rubbish!! Do you really take this seriously? This would assume that Pope John Paul II was that effective of an administrator. Cardinal Mahoney, Trautmann, Bernadin, Adamek et alia. You may have an environment unfavorable to reform, but it is certainly NOT because JPII was some sort of ideological administrative genius.

"has turned seminaries into factories of conformity, begetting a generation of inflexible young priests who have no idea how to talk to real-life Catholics..."

How many young priests does this person know?

Pater, O.S.B. said...

It took TWENTY years for the Holy See to do something about Charles Curran at CUA. This person attributes far too much effectiveness to the pontificate of JPII. Let's just pray God that Pope Benedict doesn't turn out as bad.

sortacatholic said...

Not all seminarians and priests are rigid or antisocial. However there are some younger priests that do have difficulties speaking honestly and openly with the laity. There have been exceptions in my life: A close Jesuit seminarian friend of mine never shies from controversial topics, is comfortable talking about his sexuality, and is compassionate towards others even when he disagrees with their behavior. On the other hand, many priests I have known clamp up when the conversation strays towards controversy, sexuality, or anything outside the confines of the altar rail. Better then to focus on the tat in these cases.

I doubt that JP II's administration has directly influenced the reticence of many seminarians and priests. There are many variables in this situation. Nevertheless, there is truth in the statement posted. I chalk up sacerdotal reticence to this false notion of an "ideal priest": set apart from the laity, perched on the pedestal. If I were a priest, I would consider this model a prison rather than an opportunity to live as a person in contact with his community.

A Sinner said...

"This person attributes far too much effectiveness to the pontificate of JPII."

No, I think that's why the analogy was so great: Communism wasn't effective either, at all. It was extremely incompetent. Even WITH (and, many would probably argue, because of) all its paranoia and authoritarianism-for-authoritarianism's sake.