Monday, March 16, 2009

Vatican announces Year for Priests

Today the Vatican Information Service has announced that the Holy Father has declared a Year for Priests from June 19th-June 19th 2010 to mark the 150th anniversary of the death of St John Vianney, the 'Cure of Ars'. The statement says:

Benedict XVI stressed the need to "have care for the formation of candidates to the priesthood", a formation that must maintain "communion with unbroken ecclesial Tradition, without pausing or being tempted by discontinuity. In this context, it is important to encourage priests, especially the young generations, to a correct reading of the texts of Vatican Council II, interpreted in the light of all the Church's doctrinal inheritance".

Priests must be "present, identifiable and recognisable - for their judgement of faith, personal virtues and attire - in the fields of culture and of charity which have always been at the heart of the Church's mission".

"The centrality of Christ leads to a correct valuation of priestly ministry, without which there would be no Eucharist, no mission, not even the Church. It is necessary then, to ensure that 'new structures' or pastoral organisations are not planned for a time in which it will be possible to 'do without' ordained ministry, on the basis of an erroneous interpretation of the promotion of the laity, because this would lay the foundations for a further dilution in priestly ministry, and any supposed 'solutions' would, in fact, dramatically coincide with the real causes of the problems currently affecting the ministry".

It is somewhat demoralising, as a priest, to be told that we should be promoting structures which mean the Church can more or less run without us, so this last paragraph is very welcome. The first paragraph is pretty good too.


Anonymous said...

Has anyone noticed something. In my own parish, the introduction of girl altar servers has resulted in the disappearance of boys from the sanctuary. Was this intended, or did it just happen by accident?

Without our priests, we may as well pack up and join the Orthodox!

gemoftheocean said...

Yes, God knows, if one girl appears in tbe sanctuary the boys get so intimidated none of them will ever feel the call to the priesthood. Must not be much of a vocation! [Seriously, if you want to be a doctor, will that prevent you from applying to med school if there were girls in the class who might ace you out in Chemistry?]

[Can you tell I'm sick and tired of women being blamed for everything from making Adam eat the forbidden fruit to little boys afraid their sister could out roller skate them?]

Honestly, it's like the following conversation took place:

Adam: But SHE, that vixen MADE me eat the forbidden fruit.

I can tell God must be a male, He didn't even question the assertion.

"Right, big strong man who can bag the deer for lunch was forced by his "helpmate" to eat that for dinner because he was then to tired to go to the fridge himself. Okay, I'll buy that. HEY, EVE, you naughty girl, you're going to suffer in childbirth for ever!!!"

Sheesh. How about: [Popular culture]"There is so much porn being pushed at boys they are made to feel unmanly if they haven't nailed a girl by age 12, and no one should be a virgin forever."

How about: "Son, we only have one boy, and if you don't marry and produce some grandkiddies for the Christmas pictures we'll just be heartbroken."

Nah. But it's all the girls' fault for wanting to serve Mass. Wusses.

Anonymous said...

I suppose rule one for bloggers is: choose your words so carefully that it would be impossible for anyone to take the slightest offence - safe but boringly politically correct. I dont think I made a connection between girl servers and vocations to the priesthood, I merely noted an observation of mine. Now that Gemoftheocean has connected my comment to something I had not thought about, let's have a debate.
If it helps, I will use the famous "Railtrack" apology - "sorry for any offence that MAY have been caused."

gemoftheocean said...

Okay, I will fall back on I'm tired and sensitive to the issue. Though seriously, if you really wanted to do something would anyone else doing same stop you?

I know plenty of dirtbags who were altar boys, and plenty of decent guys who were same, I don't see how it would effect the ones who would consider the priesthood.

I'm betting the biggest fallout was in the late 60s and early 70s when guys were leaving the priesthood left, right and center to get married, join a commune or distribute birth control pills.

It seems to me it wasn't Vatican II as much as Humanae Vitae. The Poles by and large stayed reverent, so you can't really argue it was the changes in the Mass. IT was people buying into the popular culture and not valuing celebacy as a viable way of life.

At my parish the numbers are roughtly even between the boys/girls serving Mass, the number of boys, to judge by the pictures in the parish annual 2 years ago were slightly higher for the boys, in fact. And as far as the last 15 years at our 5:15 Sunday Mass, I can say with all confidence they were virtually even in number.