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This Jesuit Pope

Two addresses by Pope Francis are making the rounds today, both of which provide further insights into his approach to his vocation, as pontiff and as a Jesuit. He seems to still consider himself very much one of the latter. "We Jesuits," Francis said in addressing many of his confreres as he visited the Gesu' in Rome, the mother church of the Society of Jesus.

He was also celebrating the canonization of Peter Faber, the Jesuit whose life of engagement and searching Francis appears to find deeply resonant.

AsiaNews has a report on the pope's powerful homily, which is worth reading in its entirety. This passage has jumped out as an important signpost:

"The temptation, that maybe many of us experience, and many other people have comes to mind; that of linking the proclamation of the Gospel with inquisitorial beatings of condemnation. No, the Gospel is preached gently, fraternally, with love."

That idea was also echoed in Francis' talk in November with the heads of religious communities of men meeting in Rome -- a three-hour conversation characteristic of this pope. According to an official report released today by Civilta' Cattolica (pdf here), at one point -- also indiscussing formation -- Francis said:

“Formation is a work of art, not a police action. We must form their hearts. Otherwise we are creating little monsters. And then these little monsters mold the People Of God. This really gives me goose bumps.”

Can Francis change the direction of the church in this regard? It would be yet another welcome shift from the recent past. But it will require transforming a church culture, not just setting new policies.


Commenting Guidelines

Mr. Gibson - this is music to the ears of any good formation director.  But, then, put this in context of recent history in terms of the seminary investigation:

But, keep in mind, recent changes by Francis:

Control of seminaries had been transferred to the Congregation for the Clergy from the Congregation for Catholic Education by a B!6 MP

However one of Francis first major moves was to send the Prefect Cardinal Piacenza to the be Apostolic Penitentiary

Cardinal Piacenza was appointed only three years ago by Pope Benedict XVI. He was a staunch defender of the traditional image of the priest. He saw the solution to the shortage of priests not in relaxations, but rather as a result of too many accommodations.Cardinal Piacenza had initiated visitations of the seminaries immediately, especially the numerous Roman seminaries.

Francis installed as the new Prefect of the Congregation of the Clergy a person who had been President of the Diplomatic Academy of the Holy See since 2007 and thus responsible for the training of diplomats of the Church. Francis has also revamped the Congregation for Catholic Education reducing the influence of Europeans and increasing that of Latin America and Asia.

So wherever seminaries ends up under Curia reform it looks like Francis minded people are going to be in charge.

Thanks, David.  How beautiful he is.  The conversation reported by  Civilta' Cattolica is amazing.  


Does this pope ever understand clerical culture. Seminaries not only oftentimes create monsters but convert many of the good candidates coming in into monsters. Greeley would have been proud. Andrew Greeley was one of the few willing to acknowledge the monsters in the clergy. "I’ll never stop being Catholic, despite the fact that many of the current leaders of the institutional church are corrupt thugs, from the parish right up to the Vatican."  Many clergy and religious get offended by these remarks. The right response is to do something about it. 

"But in life it is difficult for everything to be clear, precise, outlined neatly," the pope continued. "Life is complicated; it consists of grace and sin."

"He who does not sin is not human," said the pope. "We all make mistakes and we need to recognize our weaknesses. A religious who recognizes himself as weak and a sinner does not negate the witness that he is called to give, rather he reinforces it, and this is good for everyone."

"What I expect of you therefore is to give witness," he said. "I want this special witness from religious."


I meant to finish. The last quote from Francis above. Here he is attacking the religious and priestly culture which almost acts as if they are not sinners. Francis says mingle in with the people and give witness. Show yourself as a witness who is also a sinner. Such a departure from the Alter Christus language which is pompous and spiritually devoid.

BTW, the gimlet-eyed Jim Pauwels noted (privately, to spare me further mortification) that in my original post, now amended, I said that Francis went to the Gesu' for the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, which is in fact today, not yesterday. I think a Jesuit had first told me that was the reason for his visit, and of course I trusted him, which I should never do...

The Feast is today in fact. Now, off to penance for me!


Hanging around with Jesuits is penance enough! Go in peace my friend! (kidding of course!)

I don't think Francis is being especially Jesuit in the way he thinks about women, though ...  one of the documents to emerge from General Congregation 34 was "Jesuits and the situation of women in church and civil society" ... 

And on March 18, 1977,, the faculty of the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley published an open letter to the Apostolic Delegate in The Los Angeles Times in response to the Vatican's 1976 document declaring women could never be priests. I can't link to the letter (An Open Letter to the Apostolic Delegate), but it's in Commonweal's archives and I posted a bit of it here ...

It's worth mentioning that not one but two Jesuit theologians are among the citations in Francis's apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. It would be interesting to know if there has ever been a document of the magisterium that cites two Jesuits before.

Henri de Lubac, SJ (1896-1991) is quoted in n. 93, specifically his book Meditation sur l'Eglise, on the topic of spiritual worldliness. Later, in n. 229, the Spanish-born Ismael Quiles, SJ, (1906-1993) and his book Filosofia de la educacion personalista is cited on the topic of unity and reconciliation of differences.

Henri de Lubac is, of course, well known. In fact, it occurred to me when I saw the citation in EG that I think he has also been quoted in encyclicals by both Paul VI and John Paul II, but I'd need to do some checking to be sure. (Can anyone confirm that?) If that's accurate, he may be the most often cited non-official source in church documents in modern times (perhaps in all time).

Though born in Spain, Ismael Quiles did much of his work in Argentina, especially at Universidad de Salvador in Buenos Aires, before his death in 1993. He also spent time as a visiting professor at Georgetown University in the United States.  

PS -  a few other Jesuits have also spoken for women's ordination:  Robert Egan SJ had a couple of essays in Commonweal, one of them is here ...

And William A Barry SJ wrote on the subject in his book, "Paying Attention to God: Giscernment in Prayer" ...

And then there was Karl Rahner SJ  too ...

Sorry - that should be "Discernment"  :)

Mr. Hudock:

The Vatican an excellent search engine.  If you type in names like ""de Lubac," "Congar," "von Balthasar," "Guardini," "Claudel," etc., you can find how often any of them appears in official documents.

Another interesting Pope Francis - Jesuit connection: The Joy of the Gospel (the title of the recent apostolic exhortation) is also the title of a book written by Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, SJ, the prominent Italian Jesuit who died in 2012 (and was often considered papabile). La Gioia del Vangelo was published in 1999 in its original Italian. In 2002, Liturgical Press published it in English, and it remains in print today:

(Full disclosure: I work for Liturgical Press.)

Thanks for the suggestion, Fr. Komonchak. It was helpful. Looks like I was mistaken about JP2 having quoted de Lubac in an encyclical, but he does get citations in two major documents from Pope Paul VI (Populorum Progressio in 1967 and Evangelii Nuntiandi in 1975), Pope Benedict's 2007 encyclical Spe Salvi, and now Francis's 2013 Evangelii Gaudium. (Also a bunch of mentions in more insignificant letters and audiences.) Not bad!

Mr. Hudock,

Pope Francis' appreciation of Henri de Lubac is shared by Benedict XVI who cited de Lubac prominently in the encyclical Spe Salvi, numbers 13 and 14. Also, as Cardinal Ratzinger, he contributed the laudatory "Foreword" to de Lubac's Catholicism (published, alas, not by Liturgical Press, but by Ignatius Press).

Thank God someone is speaking about the problem of seminary formation. Having been studying with seminarians for a decade and a half, and having known many more in and around the institutions where I've studied, I know that the cult of secrecy is necessarily a big part of seminarians' lives. The reason is not that they are ashamed of who they are and what they think and do, but because there are, still, even after the reforms of Pope Benedict in this regard, "gatekeepers" to seminaries who still, even in 2014, think that "conservatives" should not be ordained. From all I hear, things are much better than in the 80s, where almost anywhere, saying the rosary in the chapel would raise suspicions. Even quietly attending the Extraordinary Form of the Mass is now tolerated by some faculties. But generally speaking, seminarians still must be guarded in their speech and actions in order to keep their orthodoxy from showing through too clearly. If anyone wonders why the traditionalist communities flourish, a big reason for that is that a man can be himself openly in them. (If this sounds completely backwards, well, it is. But thankfully a) it's waning and b) the Pope is on it.)

For what it's worth, I've posted an interesting look at the sources and citations of Evangelii Gaudium, at my blog this morning:

Sorry, Kathy, you have completely misunderstood what Francis is saying.  In fact, your approach and definition of *orthodoxy* as the be all and end all is exactly what he means when he says *little monsters*.

The type of candidate you describe is not healthy - rather,it is a form of a pietistic career focused on what is not important.

There’s this:

Sorry, Kathy, you have completely misunderstood what Francis is saying.  In fact, your approach and definition of *orthodoxy* as the be all and end all is exactly what he means when he says *little monsters*.

The type of candidate you describe is not healthy - rather,it is a form of a pietistic career focused on what is not important.

Or this:

"The temptation, that maybe many of us experience, and many other people have comes to mind; that of linking the proclamation of the Gospel with inquisitorial beatings of condemnation. No, the Gospel is preached gently, fraternally, with love."

As for me, I'll go with Francis.

"The type of candidate you describe is not healthy - rather,it is a form of a pietistic career focused on what is not important." I think you've just made my point rather clearly, Bill.

From the pdf:

“The formation of candidates is fundamental. There are four pillars of formation: spiritual, intellectual, communitarian and apostolic. The ghost to fight against is the image of religious life understood as an escape or hiding place in face of an “external,” difficult and complex world. The four pillars should be integrated right from the first day of entrance into the noviceship, and should not be arranged sequentially. They must be interactive.” 

“Daily culture is much richer and conflictual than that which we experienced in our day, years ago. Our culture was simpler and more ordered. Inculturation today calls for a different attitude. For example: problems are not solved simply by forbidding doing this or that. Dialog as well as confrontation are needed.”  

“We must always think of the faithful, of the faithful People of God. Persons must be formed who are witness of the resurrection of Jesus. The formator should keep in mind that the person in formation will be called to care for the People of God. We always must think of the People of God in all of this. Just think of religious who have hearts that are as sour as vinegar: they are not made for the people. In the end we must not form administrators, managers, but fathers, brothers, traveling companions.” 


Ordinating women would violate [in my opinion as of now] the natural charism of women and men.God is neither male or female .But God chose to create us in [his] image as male or female and, one could add, as our knowledge of  psychology has grown, God created us as transgendered. Though the church and humankind erred or sinned in claiming women as inferior to men, a male only priesthood is more then an expression of that error.The goodness of God is evident  in the creation.A willow is not an oak.  God's goodness is present in both.The charism  of Jesus Christ is concretely,historically a masculine charism.God could have waited till the 1960s to incarnate as a woman but chose to incarate as a man.The call to put on Christ is a spiritual call for all humanity.That differs from the sign ,visceral sign of Christ in the world, in the church.There  a masculine charism in the form of the male priest  evokes the conctrete historicity of Jesus Christ,THE masculne charism. A woman  does not possess that charism which Jesus chose for himself. [color, ethnicity, language  are cultural changing constructs irrelevant to the genesis creation story where humanity, created in His image, is distingished by gender].If ordination is a real sacrament [outward sign] I can't see it as possible for women as they lack the masculine charism of  Jesus Christ.Though women  put on Jesus too their charism is [outwardly] different.A woman priest strikes me  as a pretense, an act,  a wannbee.Perhaps I'm just expressing a  conditioned belief  and the future will correct that?

I was trying to find what pope Francis might have to say to Kathy, and he does talk about forms of prayer in his apostolic exhortation, and in fact there is one mention of a rosary:

The evangelizing power of popular piety

125. To understand this reality we need to approach it with the gaze of the Good Shepherd, who seeks not to judge but to love. Only from the affective connaturality born of love can we appreciate the theological life present in the piety of Christian peoples, especially among their poor. I think of the steadfast faith of those mothers tending their sick children who, though perhaps barely familiar with the articles of the creed, cling to a rosary; or of all the hope poured into a candle lighted in a humble home with a prayer for help from Mary, or in the gaze of tender love directed to Christ crucified. No one who loves God’s holy people will view these actions as the expression of a purely human search for the divine. They are the manifestation of a theological life nourished by the working of the Holy Spirit who has been poured into our hearts (cf. Rom 5:5).

Spirit-filled evangelizers

262. Spirit-filled evangelizers are evangelizers who pray and work. Mystical notions without a solid social and missionary outreach are of no help to evangelization, nor are dissertations or social or pastoral practices which lack a spirituality which can change hearts. These unilateral and incomplete proposals only reach a few groups and prove incapable of radiating beyond them because they curtail the Gospel. What is needed is the ability to cultivate an interior space which can give a Christian meaning to commitment and activity. Without prolonged moments of adoration, of prayerful encounter with the word, of sincere conversation with the Lord, our work easily becomes meaningless; we lose energy as a result of weariness and difficulties, and our fervour dies out. The Church urgently needs the deep breath of prayer, and to my great joy groups devoted to prayer and intercession, the prayerful reading of God’s word and the perpetual adoration of the Eucharist are growing at every level of ecclesial life. Even so, “we must reject the temptation to offer a privatized and individualistic spirituality which ill accords with the demands of charity, to say nothing of the implications of the incarnation”. There is always the risk that some moments of prayer can become an excuse for not offering one’s life in mission; a privatized lifestyle can lead Christians to take refuge in some false forms of spirituality.

Personal encounter with the saving love of Jesus

264. The primary reason for evangelizing is the love of Jesus which we have received, the experience of salvation which urges us to ever greater love of him. What kind of love would not feel the need to speak of the beloved, to point him out, to make him known? If we do not feel an intense desire to share this love, we need to pray insistently that he will once more touch our hearts. We need to implore his grace daily, asking him to open our cold hearts and shake up our lukewarm and superficial existence. Standing before him with open hearts, letting him look at us, we see that gaze of love which Nathaniel glimpsed on the day when Jesus said to him: “I saw you under the fig tree” (Jn 1:48). How good it is to stand before a crucifix, or on our knees before the Blessed Sacrament, and simply to be in his presence! How much good it does us when he once more touches our lives and impels us to share his new life! What then happens is that “we speak of what we have seen and heard” (1 Jn 1:3). The best incentive for sharing the Gospel comes from contemplating it with love, lingering over its pages and reading it with the heart. If we approach it in this way, its beauty will amaze and constantly excite us. But if this is to come about, we need to recover a contemplative spirit which can help us to realize ever anew that we have been entrusted with a treasure which makes us more human and helps us to lead a new life. There is nothing more precious which we can give to others.



You may have been looking for what pope Francis might say to Kathy, but I think what you found instead is what pope Francis is saying to those who are of the view of Mr. deHaas.   And boy does this Jesuit pope say it well.

The question I raised wasn't about whether women should be priests or not but about whether Francis' view about women and their role in the church is typically "Jesuit".  I'm thinking: not so much.

The Pope is indeed intensely prayerful, and is unabashedly moved in public when praying to the Blessed Virgin.

 “Daily culture is much richer and conflictual than that which we experienced in our day, years ago. Our culture was simpler and more ordered. Inculturation today calls for a different attitude. For example: problems are not solved simply by forbidding doing this or that. Dialog as well as confrontation are needed.”  

I must say, these words from Pope Francis don’t resonate with me.   When I think of the priests I played ball with, went to the movies with, ate dinner with…it would be laughable to think they needed to “dialog” more.  Sure, there were bitter priests, frequently carping about what others had or did, shooting first and asking questions later (if at all), but they were by far the exception.    I wonder if these type of priests are more the norm in Argentina or the Vatican, and that’s what’s motivating this admonition.

The part about dialog continues with a warning against hypocrisy - seminarians who pretend to go along with what they're supposed to do, because it's not up for discussion, and who find themselves pushed to behave with hypocrisy. So it's about dialog between seminarians and their formation director. (pp. 8-9 of the pdf linked to in the post)


Doubt that most here would agree that Kathy/Mark interpret Francis correctly?

You both cite experiences with seminarians/priests - and yet, doubt that you live with them 24/7; day after day; week after week.  You cite classroom or memories but that doesn't tell you much about the candidate.  After ten years of formation work with hundreds of candidates which was 24/7, day after day, you arrive at different conclusions.  Do you really know these guys academically, socially?  Do you know how they interact with peers, with authority, with the folks they minister to?  Are they emotionally balanced?  (sorry, whether they like the rosary or various pieties tells us next to nothing - but, if that is the core of who they are, then, yes, you have issues and as Francis said, you create *little monsters that mold the people of God which gives me goose bumps* )

And, Mark, you appear to pick and choose - you cite Francis' words *when you like them* but then state that others words do not resonate with you.  Francis is not talking about *bitterness* or *complaining* (in fact, you seem to be complaining about what Francis is saying because it doesn't match your or Kathy's ideology - btw, priesthood is a ministry and calling; not an ideology nor an orthodoxy)  and, no, Mark, this doesn't pertain only to the *norm* in Argentina or the Vatican - what a generalization and projection on your part (and is what Francis saying an *admonition* - why, Francis seems to repeatedly try to avoid the use of admonitions?  But, again, you really know what he is saying via your *correct?* interpretation)

Here is a link to examples of what you both seem to advocate:

Click and scroll down and listen to these newly ordained and seminarians - suggest that these four would give Francis *goose bumps*.

Go back to the first comment to Mr. Gibson's post/topic:

(note - this is five years old; biased investigation that reads like the typical episcopal whitewashing document e.g. points fingers at religious orders (wonder what Francis would say about that?) and does surface significant issues but concludes with the comment - *but, in general, US seminaries are healthy*...not sure after reading the actual visitation document how they arrived at that conclusion)

Some things to note:

"...the report nonetheless found grave deficiencies in seminary formation before the four years of theology formation. “Almost nowhere” has a propadeutic year before the two years of philosophical formation been implemented. While most college seminaries-- in which students receive philosophical formation-- are “good,” seminarians, before the four years of theology formation, are at times not formed with adequate oversight and are even not looked upon fully as seminarians. The report urged bishops to take a greater role in the acceptance or rejection of priestly formation candidates and noted that in some institutes, “lack of vocations has caused a lowering of standards,” with “possible wretched consequences.” 


"....the report noted that in some places, bishops ordain men against the advice of rectors"


".... while in “a few places,” the evaluation process was suspect-- with the non-ordained, and even non-Catholics, voting whether candidates should be ordained. “Such practices are to cease.”  (wonder if Francis would agree with this conclusion?)


"The report also noted many seminaries’ “laxity of discipline” over students’ off-campus activities-- a problem avoided by Neocatechumenal Way seminaries."  (wonder if Francis would see the Neo-cats methods as forming *little monsters*?)


the sections on homosexuality - what a disconnect given that most experts say that the US priesthood is 35-50% gay. 




Doubt that most would agree that Bill interprets Francis correctly.

Doubt that Bill lives with seminarians/priests 24/7.

Does Bill really know very well the priests I grew up with?   Doubtful.

I do like to cite Francis’ words often, though my experiences may not be identical with his.   Don’t think that’s inconstant of me.    Most experts would agree.

Never said priesthood is an ideology or orthodoxy, so any attempt to attribute that to me is straw-man building…

Wondering how Bill knows that Francis’ writings are not based on his experiences in Argentina…

Bill seems to think only he knows the correct interpretation of everything Francis says/writes…assume he must be with him 24/7 (since that’s the standard he holds other to).

And so forth and so on.

Bill, are you still doing formation work? Just curious. In any case I don't really understand why you have pointed to two websites that seem to work against your point of view. Four engaging young men with totally different styles, trying to communicate to other young people their reasons for embracing a difficult vocation. In a bar. This is a brave thing to do (I've done ToT and it is more intimidating than most public speaking.)  And one of the main points of the bishops' study is that the seminarians would be a lot better off without the constant interference and dissent of lay formators. What I would personally like to see is as much fidelity to the Holy Spirit as possible, in an atmosphere of fraternity and freedom. (Which is pretty much what the Holy Father says.) Yes, by the way, I actually know seminarians well, a lot of them, and as geography has allowed have known many of them in their priestly lives as well. Thank God they haven't been arbitrarily barred from pursuing their vocations by people with bitter agendas!

I can't seem to get the knack of making paragraph breaks in these comboxes. Is there a special formatting code of some kind? Thanks.

Extend your comment box by dragging the bottom-right corner out, and you will see "body" and "p" appear. I think that "p" is for formatting paragraphs.

Meanwhile, as long as I was looking at Evangelii Gaudium, I took a look at the Frenchg version as well, and the translation is sometimes hard to understand. For those who can read French, just consider the first 3 sentences of paragraph 262... I wonder: are these texts temporary versions? 

262. Spirit-filled evangelizers are evangelizers who pray and work. Mystical notions without a solid social and missionary outreach are of no help to evangelization, nor are dissertations or social or pastoral practices which lack a spirituality which can change hearts. These unilateral and incomplete proposals only reach a few groups and prove incapable of radiating beyond them because they curtail the Gospel.


262. Évangélisateurs avec esprit signifie évangélisateurs qui prient et travaillent. Du point de vue de l’Évangélisation, il n’y a pas besoin de propositions mystiques sans un fort engagement social et missionnaire, ni de discours et d’usages sociaux et pastoraux, sans une spiritualité qui transforme le cœur. Ces propositions partielles et déconnectées ne touchent que des groupes réduits et n’ont pas la force d’une grande pénétration, parce qu’elles mutilent l’Évangile.

".The call to put on Christ is a spiritual call for all humanity.That differs from the sign ,visceral sign of Christ in the world, in the church."

rose ellen --

Doesn't "genital sign" describe your position better than "visceral sign"?  And shouldn't the priest-as-sign-of-Christ be a sign of what is *most important about Him* -- that is, His wisdom and love?  And aren't women just as capable of signifying His wisdom and love as men are?  His wisdom and love were *completely* human, and that includes the virtues of the feminine. 

Claire --

I think he's saying that mystical claims (i.e. claims about the mystical, other world) and abstractions ("discours et d’usages sociaux et pastoraux") about what ought to be done do not get down to the particular problems and questions of todays people.

I think he's right about the latter, but many, many Americans seem to be quite interested in the purely spiritual, the mystical, i.e., contemplative prayer.  Would that the clerical powers-that-be were more intersted in it.  I don't think I've ever seen an American bishop quoted as recommending any of the new prayer movements. 

Francis speaks on “prophecy” vs “clericalism”


(Vatican Radio) A church without prophets falls into the trap of clericalism. These were the words of Pope Francis during his homily at Mass on Monday morning in the Vatican’s Casa Santa Marta.

Commenting on the day’s readings, Pope Francis said a prophet is someone who listens to the words of God, who reads the spirit of the times, and who knows how to move forward towards the future. True prophets, the Pope said, hold within themselves three different moments: past, present, and future. They keep the promise of God alive, they see the suffering of their people, and they bring us the strength to look ahead.

God looks after his people, the Pope continued, by giving them prophets in the hardest times, in the midst of their worst suffering. But when there is no spirit of prophecy amongst the people of God, we fall into the trap of clericalism.

In the Gospel, for example, the priests ask Jesus: “With what authority do you do these things? We are the masters of the Temple!” They didn’t understand the prophecy, Pope Francis said, they had forgotten the promise. They didn’t know how to read the spirit of the times, they didn’t listen to the words of God, they had only their authority.

When there is no prophecy amongst the people of God, the emptiness that is created gets filled by clericalism. All memory of the past and hope for the future are reduced only to the present: no past promise, no future hope. But when clericalism reigns supreme, Pope Francis said, the words of God are sorely missed, and true believers weep because they cannot find the Lord.

As we prepare for the birth of the Lord, Pope Francis concluded, let us pray: “Lord, let us not lack prophets amongst your people!” All those who are baptised are prophets: let us not forget God’s promise, let us not tire of moving forward.

Claire, I think it has been confirmed that the document was composed in Spanish and the other versions were translated from the Spanish


262. Evangelizadores con Espíritu quiere decir evangelizadores que oran y trabajan. Desde el punto de vista de la evangelización, no sirven ni las propuestas místicas sin un fuerte compromiso social y misionero, ni los discursos y praxis sociales o pastorales sin una espiritualidad que transforme el corazón. Esas propuestas parciales y desintegradoras sólo llegan a grupos reducidos y no tienen fuerza de amplia penetración, porque mutilan el Evangelio. Siempre hace falta cultivar un espacio interior que otorgue sentido cristiano al compromiso y a la actividad.205 Sin momentos detenidos de adoración, de encuentro orante con la Palabra, de diálogo sincero con el Señor, las tareas fácilmente se vacían de sentido, nos debilitamos por el cansancio y las dificultades, y el fervor se apaga. La Iglesia necesita imperiosamente el pulmón de la oración, y me alegra enormemente que se multipliquen en todas las instituciones eclesiales los grupos de oración, de intercesión, de lectura orante de la Palabra, las adoraciones perpetuas de la Eucaristía. Al mismo tiempo, « se debe rechazar la tentación de una espiritualidad oculta e individualista, que poco tiene que ver con las exigencias de la caridad y con la lógica de la Encarnación».206 Existe el riesgo de que algunos momentos de oración se conviertan en excusa para no entregar la vida en la misión, porque la privatización del estilo de vida puede llevar a los cristianos a refugiarse en alguna falsa espiritualidad.


205 Cf. Propositio 36.

206 Juan PabLo ii, Carta ap. Novo Millennio ineunte (6 enero

2001), 52: AAS 93 (2001), 304

Claire, i was replying to your post of 5:44 pm. I've since noticed that in your 2:09 pm post you have a much better English version of #262. 

Did you find that better one online or did you do it yourself from the Spanish? if the Vatican has published an improved English version, i'd appreciate a link so I can download it. 

Here's what I had done for just the part of 262 you quoted in your 2:09 post

262. "Spirit-filled evangelizers" means evangelizers who pray and who labor. From the point of view of evangelization, mystical proposals without a solid social and missionary commitment are useless, as are speeches or social or pastoral activities without a spirituality that changes the heart. These fragmentary and unrelated proposals only reach small groups and lack the force to penetrate further, because they distort the Gospel., 


The outward sign of Holy Orders is the laying on of hands not the masculine charism of Christ.  Holy Orders, like all the sacraments subsequent to Baptism, is a further determination of the baptismal charism.  When they are ordained, men do not receive the male charism of Christ.  There is nothing that is gender specific in the matter and form of Holy Orders.

John Hayes wrote: "Claire, i was replying to your post of 5:44 pm. I've since noticed that in your 2:09 pm post you have a much better English version of #262. "

Sorry, my mistake. Now that it is morning here,  I see that they are both the same. 

OhBoy![let's  see if I can defend my, position].I would not reduce male charism of which Jesus partook of-as a genital sign.The male  and female mytiques are both of God and encompass more then body parts.[hence the recognition of transgendered people].We're all called to be Christ like in love and to stirve for the wisdon of knowing and wanting God.That spiritural dimension is neither male  or female.There are plenty of  lovng and partaking of widom  people on earth  of both genders who are not Christian. They are Christ like  by order of their goodness.To proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ -requires more then good deeds.Outward signs though not sufficient [they are dead without good works but that is betwaeen each  person  and God] are necessary to spread the truth about Jesus Christ our Lord and savior.Our savior of humanity is a male charismatic.The male priest  in the world tody  is  the paradignamic emeblem of the male charism of Jesus Christ.A female priest dilutes the emblematic sign of the carismatic Jesus Christ.Just as people have always needed and used scramentals to  exress a desire  for and a conection with dvinity,the scramenality of a male priest, is  a sign,reminder of the reality of Jesus Christ.A woman can remind one of Christ by her exprssed behavior or if she wears relgious atire.A male priest is a true  sacramental[physica; merely physical  Christ].A woman does not connote Christ visibly but by manifesting  her inner life of Christlike love. A female priest is not necessary but  a   male priest as the ultimate [most potent sign] is .Peope need sacramentals.A male priest offers hmsef as that sacramenal.[visible sign]As  an ordinary human he is still everything  else a person is. 

So Kathy @ 9:26 thinks that all those closet traditionalists in seminaries can "come out" now without fear of being "too conservative" to be ordained. 

How curious. 

Are they also "too conservative" to be accepted by your average parish perhaps? Maybe they need to go out and find or found stable communities who want the Tridentine Mass so that they can finally come out of the closet and expose their blinding orthodoxy to public view?

I don't see any connection between this hypothesis and what Pope Francis has said. "The pope is on it"? Really?

I have got to admit, I'm also very taken by the reference to a "cult of secrecy" because they dare not let their orthodoxy show. It is a very curious meme. Illusions of grandeur and persecution are usually called "paranoia."

Finally, I suppose every case is different, but I've talked at Theology on Tap a couple of times. It wasn't so hard. In a bar? It isn't exactly in a brothel. Don't people often have earnest conversations in a bar? Maybe not if their orthodoxy is subject to a cult of secrecy, I guess. But I bow to Kathy's wide experience of so many seminarians she has known over so many years. 

John Hayes: thanks for your translation from the Spanish. "only reach small groups and lack the force to penetrate further" means something different from "only reach a few groups and prove incapable of radiating beyond them". But I expect that pope Francis did not polish his thought with so much precision that approximate translations would ruin his work.

Rose-Ellen: signs and emblems change in their strength and in their meaning, along with changing times and changing cultures. A few centuries ago it might have been impossible for a woman to preside at Mass without inviting shock or ridicule, but now that women as well as men are present in every position of leadership, or of service, or of both, gender no longer has strong connotations that would get in the way.  


So, both Bill and Rita think that the average devout seminarian is unfit for normal parish work. Does everyone see the problem?

Oh.O.K ."A further determination of the baptism charism".All right.I see that now.Thanks for clarifying.Could  this further determimatiom not then be a sign -another specific sign only applicable to men because only men partake of what Jesus  visibly also was-a man?[Both genders made in God's image partake inherenly of either male or female charism]. Pehaps a further determination only applies to men because holy orders is a further sign of Christ's   presence and reality.A sign that  is visible [a sacramental] hence that  further  reminds the world of  the being of  Jesus Christ.No more  is entailed  then that.[ a  natural affinity,a natural reminder]. Just as even as it is  baptsm that  brings one to the body of Christ, the church, non baptized people [lackig the visible  sign of baptism] we now recognize  may partake of the body of Christ ,though invisible to us. [Professed baptized  chistians,the church, beng the visible sign].The sacrarments are  sacramentals-not everyone partakes of them, outwardly visisibly, yet anyone can in fact  be  Christian. There is no need for women to partake of a further batismal determiation that that they lack by virtue of not possessig that  physical similarity to the person Jesus Christ,.Women priests, then no priests  The historic Jesus gets diluted. Jesus  gets relegated to myth.Christianty is a culture, a noble just civilization  but a belief in God and our innate desire for God is superceded by a chrisianity without Jesus norm ,Perhaps i'm totaly off the about thisI.I  don't know.Right now the  idea  of  women priests   repels me.Perhaps I 'm just brainwashed by an over  a thousand year tradition of mysognistic patriarchy.I don't know .

Oh, so they are "average." I see. A "cult of secrecy" around closeted, paranoid, "orthodox," devout, traditionalist seminarians = the new normal. However, they will come out of the closet now that Pope Francis is in charge and is paying attention to seminary formation.

I think I get it now.

Kathy, Bill did say that there was nothing wrong with the rosary per se, pope Francis seems to hint that it correlates with lack of education but is quick to point out that lack of education in no way means lack of faith or lack of depth.  Unagidon had some wonderful posts about the rosary some time back, and was not criticized for it. I don't think that anyone here disapproves of the rosary in itself.

The extraordinary form is another matter.  It's fine to be curious about the EF, that, after all, is part of our history. I have friends who, in the right context, with proper booklets and explanations, told me that they found the experience powerfully uplifting. But consider that the change in liturgy was near-unanimously voted by bishops from the entire world, was embraced and developed super-enthusiastically by people worldwide, maybe to an excess, and has been gradually refined over the past fifty years by the People of God. It's obviously imperfect, still a work in progress; but when a seminarian turns its back to it - it, the source and summit of our faith! it, the weekly event that shapes and unites us! - and prefers the EF, there is cause to worry. Of course there are aspects in which it may be superior, just like other religions have elements of truth from which we could learn something - it's fine to be interested in other liturgies or in other religions and to try to identify what they get right that we are currently missing to some extent, and to draw inspiration from that to attempt to improve some parts of our liturgies. But preferring the EF means being out of step with 99% of Roman Catholics, and if it indicates a desire to pull out of our common prayer, it's obviously cause for concern.  Not to mention that websites that promote the EF unfortunately are often also antiSemitic, sexist, and intolerant of religious freedom, so the possible associated faults are also reason to worry.

its back -> his back

Point taken Claire.I can't wait to hear what Pope Francis has to say about women and ordination.I'll  be glad to defer to  him, because he's pope and becuse I already like  the other things he's saying and becase my insights and knowlege  is very limited.All I have is  my intuition which more and more seems to be getting exposed as a conditioned bias.Though for now my conscience still oposses women's ordination.                                                                                                                                                              How can i get the letters i key to post without skipping?My illegible keyboard is one problem, but the keys are not posting consecutively and is there not an edit function or spell check?Why not  use dsqus?This program is not use friendly! Or help me fix it here please.

My experience of Neo Catehumenate [I am a disgruntled ex menber  of  many years ago so maybe it's changed] is that the seminarians defer to the lay catechists. The lay catechists have no accountability to any one outside the Neo Catechmenate yet they have  plenty of power to indoctrinate people. In my opinion the NC   invert the gospel message. Love of neighbor is riduculed as impossible without blind obedience to them[lay cathechists]. If one blindly obeys ones cathechists-God in his time will make you holy[able to love your neighbor and put on christ] Till that day arrives-the neo catehumenate encourages all that opposses love  of neigbor.The members are encouraged to proclaim their contempt of others -the more you hate others-the more that is a sign of being favored by God[God came for sinners ,after all,God chooses the worst of the worst, Tell us how you're the worst!] That is the half of it. The other half is the expressed secret knowledge of the road to holiness found only in the neo catechumenate.We don't cast pearls to swine they said as they paraded on palm sunday down the street but when a child came up to one -wanting a palm-that  was the respone!The masses taking place  in the church or in rented places, was only open  to  other neo cathumenate because  non members woud not "understand",Non members lack knowledge that only Neo Cat members have.The longer you "walk" and obey your catechist,  the more advanced you get. .Masses  are often and preferably separated by communities as more "knowedge" is confered the longer you're there.They are heretcal-in my opinion and I pray one day the Church hierarchy will open its  eyes  to that fact.


You have nailed the reason why the EF is so problematic as an ecclesial option.  Despite the rhetoric of Summorum Pontificum and the ruse of the hermeneutic of continuity, the Summorum Pontificum was promulgated to win over SSPX and to give disgruntled traditionalist Catholics a way to go to Mass without haveing to associate with those they found to be heretics.  It was a way around Vatican II.  What resulted is the legitimation of a pre-Vatican II Church within the Vatican II Church.  

SSPX saw through the ruse and insisted that there could not be an EF in a Vatocan II Church.  For the EF to be a true liturgy, Vatican II had to be rejected.  The studies have yet to be done but, it would be intereting to know how many who frequent th EF see it as a rejection of Vatican  II.  SSPX was true to itself in rejecting Benedict's maneuvers to get them to sign onto Vatican II.  I respect them them for their integrity.  What they understood, and what Benedict failed to understand is that the EF has an ecclesiology that is diametrically opposed to the ecclesialiology of Vatican II.  To offer the Mass in the EF in a Vatican II Church simply does not work because you have to have to total supportive structure of the pre-Vatican II Church to make the EF an authentic liturgical expression of the Church.  You described that structure accurately including its anti-Semitic nature.  Rita Ferrone can fill us in on that because of the excelent research she has done on that question.