Priesthood: what’s it all about?editor
There’s allegedly a secretive “gay lobby” that wields massive behind-the-scenes influence at the Vatican. Pope Francis himself appears to have confirmed it, during what was intented to be a private conversation with a delegation of Latin American religious orders. His words somehow got leaked, and although his visitors apologised, his press office hasn’t denied that the quote is genuine. Francis was discussing the difficulties he faced reforming the Vatican’s notoriously inefficient and scandal-ridden bureaucracy, the Curia.
“There are holy people,” he said, “But there is also a stream of corruption. The ‘gay lobby’ is mentioned, and it is true it is there! We need to see what we can do.” Read more
So, the claims about a “gay lobby” in the Vatican, squashed when they first surfaced, are true, after all. How interesting. The Pope has admitted that there is corruption in the Vatican. Also interesting. Interesting, too, that he only admitted it “off the record” so to speak. But for that wee indiscretion, those of us who’ve been saying in plain English, Irish, Welsh and Scots how it really is for years now, would still be labelled conspiracy theorists or dubbed “disloyal” to Church and Pope.
So, in a spirit of striking while the iron’s reasonably warm, allow me to offer this thread for the purpose of considering, not just the above report about homosexual activity in the Vatican (not to mention within the Church in Scotland where we brace ourselves for further scandalous revelations) but for the purpose of considering the wider corruption of the priesthood per se…
Since our conference last weekend, I’ve listened closely to a number of priests, well meaning, who loosely fit the description “traditional leaning.” They are, put simply, sympathetic to what has come to be known as the “traditional movement” (those diehards who just won’t let the old Faith, devotions, customs and traditions be stamped out!)
Yet, paradoxically, they defend the squashing of those very traditions in their own parishes. Take altar girls (or girl altar boys as the Americans call them). There’s nothing to mandate girls serving at the novus ordo Mass yet most priests recruit them now. Ditto Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, Communion in the hand etc. Any suggestion that a priest might stop doing any of these things, meets with the objection that you can’t change things overnight (although things WERE changed overnight after Vatican II) and/or it’s disobedient to the local Bishop for individual priests to make such changes without permission. “We’d be sent to outer Siberia” said one clergyman, defending his “keep a low profile and do what I can without annoying the bishop” policy. Not that I recommend annoying the bishop, by the way; there are skilled ways of seeing off altar girls and all the other aberrations without annoying anyone.
The big talking point for us, however, is this: the careful, diplomatic priests who believe they can do more good by going along with the rebellion until they can diplomatically restore what has been lost without antagonising anyone, do not appear to realise that the very nature of their vocation is altered, seriously and in a very damaging way, as a result of the confusing of the roles of the ordained and lay. Why on earth would any young man choose to be a priest today?
The key question, therefore, to address in this thread is: what is the priesthood all about?