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Aust Inst. of Theological Education Article

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The above article from the Catholic Australian Broken Bay Institute University - Australian Institute of Theological Education - had some excellent things to say;  however, it seems to me that there are endless discussions on all levels almost and endless articles, but not much really concrete being effected.

I have heard that "The Church wheels grind very slow" - and they do and necessarily so to test every spirit.  But I think it is indeed The Holy Spirit who chose to shout in revealing the extent of the sexual abuses in the priesthood for one, bringing the darkness into the light - and He shouted again previously about the vocation and mission of laypeople in Vatican II.  We are experiencing The Holy Spirit not only as a gentle breeze, but in a tornado too.  The apostles at Pentecost with Our Lady first heard the rushing of a great wind, before tongues of fire rested gently on their heads.

Pope Francis has called all the Presidents of Bishop's Conferences worldwide to Rome for discussions on aspects of the abuse crisis  HERE  and I am presuming what needs to be done; however, (and I am really hoping I am wrong) but it seems not one lay person has been invited - and see the quote box  below quoting from the Broken Bay Institute article.

My experience is that our diocesan priests especially can be overloaded, which leads to burnout.  Rather than asking our priests to undertake even more training and in the secular sphere, it is needed that lay persons who already have the training and professional career experiences take their place in various Church structures and not only as advisers but with some authority.  There seems to be clerical deep seated fears, unconscious fears or perhaps even conscious fears, that REALLY involving lay people might lead to laity circumventing priestly authority in The Church, usurping it.  As much as Rome does speak about the importance, the most necessary and vital importance, of laity.........are they walking the talk?  I don't think that they are and until they face their unacknowledged fears, product of training, Catholic culture and isolation, they will never come to grips with the real role of laity in The Church. 

  In the main, they do not live in our world, but in a world constructed for them within the enclosure walls of The Church.  They might know all about the pressures and demands, responsibilities and stress, of living and working outside in the temporal sphere in the secular world  - but they do not need to live in it daily.  It is the difference between seeing a snake on the ground and having a snake wrapped around one's arm.  Not a good analogy at all, but I think it might serve my purpose nonetheless with a little common sense applied.   Jesus died for the secular and temporal too - and why our laity mission and vocation is to them.  Please do forgive me, but it rather reminds me of the woman who pleaded with Jesus for crumbs off the table left for dogs! :shocking: The temporal and secular is definitely NOT crumbs for dogs, while the priesthood and consecrated life is the bread on His Table.

My quite limited experience tells me that the lay people I know and have known are not interested one iota in running The Church, in taking over.  They are intelligent and trained professionals who are concerned, very concerned about The Church, and have much to say and offer.  ........ I am not one of them however. Not my call and vocation........simply my two cents worth............on any available surface :rolleyes:

We are seeing the product of a solely clerical run Church and "by their fruits you will know them".

All the above is not meant one bit as an anti clerical rant.  Where would we be without Holy Orders!   Where would we be without consecrated lives!  We owe an unpayable debt to God for them.  Laudate Dominum!  Rather it is a rant about the potential and role of laity as being also within the enclosure walls of The Church at the various authority levels.........the essential role.




"Product of our training, our culture and perhaps our isolation

Although many of us clerics have elements of clericalism, it is often not deliberate or even conscious. It is part of our training and the culture of the church. We were not trained to appreciate that the laity, in virtue of their baptism, are missionary disciples.[41]  “The apostolate of the laity derives from their Christian vocation and the Church can never be without it.”[42]

But perhaps the more insidious source of “clericalism” is our relative isolation. Some clerics do see themselves as special, sacred people, “set apart”. But even those of us who believe we are relatively free of clericalism do not share the struggles of earning a living and raising a family and are not used to sharing responsibility. We are not transparent and accountable and compared to other professional people, we do relatively little professional development each year and receive little supervision.

That is why the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse recommended that clerics, should “undertake mandatory, regular professional development”, “undertake mandatory professional/pastoral supervision” and “undergo regular performance appraisals”. (Recommendation 16.25)

Read entire article HERE




Edited by BarbaraTherese

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It is the enclosure walls of The Church that kept secular and all media right out re the sexual abuses by priests.  It was a more or less "it is our business, our secret business, and not theirs. We must protect the reputation of The Church".  That old us and them scenario or even better the them against us scenario. 

In keeping media in the dark, it was a means of keeping laity right outside too, in the dark.  After all, we have no access whatsoever to any current secrets, more or less,  within the Vatican and apparently have no right at all to know.

The reputation of The Church can only be protected through transparency.  And if transparency threatens our reputation validly, then reputation is indeed quite justly negatively affected.  If there had been transparency in Church Leadership, could the sexual abuse of children by priests gone as far as it has? 

The Church's reputation was in fact put as priority over the welfare of children.  How anti-Gospel could such an attitude be!

We as laity (along with many priestly and consecrated lives) thought we had a soundly earned good reputation in our Catholicism in order to go forth.............we had been living in illusion.  We were deluded, delusional.

We are definitely not going to know what to do on any level at all until we know why it all occured in the first place.  That is the primary fundamental problem to be addressed.   The rest I think will come in the wake.

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