- Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed this the Year for Priests
- Recently the Pope also spoke saying “it is important to avoid the secularization of clergy and the ‘clericalization’ of the laity.”
So of course Notre Dame invites Cardinal Mahony to speak on.
Following the Second Vatican Council there has been a rediscovery in Catholic theology of baptism as the foundational sacrament of ministry, and a clearer recognition that ministry is not just for the ordained. The Second Vatican Council related the baptismal call, the vocation of the baptized, and the office of the ordained to the mystery of Christ, finding in each a reflection of the threefold office of Christ priest, prophet and king. Every vocation and every ministry is rooted in the same reality of Christ and his presence by the gift of the Spirit in the Church.Responding to Pope Benedict XVI’s invitation to reflect on the priesthood during this “Year for Priests,” and drawing from his own recent pastoral letter on ministry, “As I Have Done for You,” Cardinal Mahony will identify the foundations for a baptismal priesthood and a ministerial priesthood suited to meet the pressing needs of the Church today.
Now I realize the both/and aspect in that there is both a priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial priesthood. But I do have to wonder if Cardinal Mahony understands these differences considering how he has run his archdiocese. The Pope emphasized that emphasizing that the shortage cannot be solved by having lay people substitute for the clergy and that we much not accept the current situation of the priestly shortage as being acceptable. Though if you hear Cardinal Mahony speak on Pastoral Associates you don’t exactly hear a connection to the Pope on this since he calls laity managing parishes “A great blessing for the Church”. You might wonder why a man should discern a vocation to the priesthood if pastoral associates are such a great blessing to the Church?
Though so much of the progressive camp in the Church seems to be involved in answering to vocation suppression. God has not reduced the number of vocations, it is the number of men who are not discerning their call that is the problem. Confusing the laity with the priesthood in some interchangeable way suppresses the ability to hear that call. Just as equating nuns with just doing social work helps to suppress those who have a call to the convent or monastery.
A commenter over at Orthometer said exactly what the talk by the Cardinal was like.
In other news the USCCB has been pretty good on promoting the Year for Priests. The Canadian Bishop’s conference is another story. No mention of it at all on their site. I couldn’t find any references to it and search turned up nothing. Oh well I guess the Canadians have so many priests that they don’t want any more.