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Author Topic: Wasting time "Discerning about discerning?"  (Read 3385 times)

Tiny

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Wasting time "Discerning about discerning?"
« Reply #50 on: July 12, 2008, 04:15:pm »

Quote from: QuisUtDeus


It's not a problem of the traditional seminaries, it's a problem of the discrimination against traditional priests.

I'm speaking against the fact that 777 believes that every Priest needs to be a great Pastor; while administration or academia is also an option.

Another problem is that the opportunities are endless, unless you're a traditional priest.  They don't have that seamless integration with society that would permit them to work with hockey or some other outside-the-box vocation.

Catholic777

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Wasting time "Discerning about discerning?"
« Reply #51 on: July 12, 2008, 05:50:pm »
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Breed? Really, breed? The marital act does indeed have an aspect of reproduction which the couple should always be open to, but breed? Humans are not animals in the common understanding of the word, unthinking biological beasts. The beautiful marital act is only degraded by the use of such words.

But I'm not calling the marital act that. Re-read what I said, it's not about the marital act, here. Sociologists would be talking very specifically about reproducing itself, in whatever context, beautiful or not, marital or not, that occurs in. About specifically the biological effects of celibacy and the gene pool, not some broader view about marriage.

Celibacy's primary natural effect, from a sociological analysis, is not so much preventing these men from marrying or having sex...but from having children. Of course, the means for doing that is preventing sex. But in a pragmatic analysis...stopping marriages or sex isnt the end in itself...it's stopping the procreation resulting from it. For a variety of reasons, including not wanting a Dynastic clergy to develop.

Catholic777

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Wasting time "Discerning about discerning?"
« Reply #52 on: July 12, 2008, 05:51:pm »

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Another problem is that the opportunities are endless, unless you're a traditional priest.  They don't have that seamless integration with society that would permit them to work with hockey or some other outside-the-box vocation.


But only part of that is because traditional priests are spread thin needing to administor parishes.

There is also a current in these men which downright looks down on "outside-the-box" ministries of other priests. Exactly because they are "untraditional".

And they dont have the "seamless integration" with society largely because of their own mindset. Many of them, and many people here, would like to believe it's because of persecution of traditionalists or something like that...but really, many of these people build an "us-them" wall and actually defiantly isolate themselves from mainstream society and refrain for whatever reasons, including snobbery but also social anxiety and naive overexaggerated fear and scandal...from really getting a sense of the world or the Church outside their little self-selected enclaves.


Catholic777

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Wasting time "Discerning about discerning?"
« Reply #53 on: July 12, 2008, 06:09:pm »

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Thus, they weren't ignorant.  They disobeyed a direct command of God.


If they didnt know of good and evil...how were they supposed to know disobedience was bad?

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I don't disagree, but it is related to unnaive ignorance.  A priest can hear Confessions about murder and still be unable to understand how one can murder another human being.


Well, I agree too. I think we're arguing over semantics here. I was only ever talking about naive innocence. You realize some of these men have never seen television or the internet and have all sorts of exaggerated "boogeyman" stories about the evils of them from, apparently, overbearing and overprotective mothers. Some of them seem to believe that even talking to a woman is bad, or that if you let people go to the store alone they'll start to smoke and drink. It's all very Eddy-Gein-creepy.

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So, Adam became like God by knowing in the sense of sinning?  Or by knowing good and evil in the sense of knowledge?  Does God sin?  Obviously not.  They knew evil because they became aware of it.


Hmm. There must be more to it to that, because I still find it odd to say that they were able to commit evil while as yet not being aware of it. Full knowledge is a requirement of culpability.

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Do you really think the guys who are behind the screens hearing the worst aspects of human behavior are "childishly naive"?  They probably know more about the "ways of the world" than anyone.


Except the seminarians now havent heard confessions yet, though a few of the ones I'm talking about will in a year or two. And honestly I cant imagine confessing to any of them or their reaction when they hear stuff. They're in for a shock.

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You say that, but I have never seen it.  The Jesuits were supressed, for example.  They didn't draw swords and march on Rome.


No, but they did disobediently continue in Eastern Europe, for example. They also meddled in the affairs of various royal courts and such, and not always for the good of the Church...but always for the good of the Order.

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However, what is being "emulated" is not the 1950's but the rules of the various orders dating back to the 1550s.


I'm not talking about the rules, though. I'm talking about the interpersonal atmosphere. I could easily imagine a place where everyTHING was the same, where the rules and daily schedule and practices were all the same, but where everyONE was different, was a different type of person.

That's what frustrates me. There seems nothing essential about that life that requires that sort of person, though I understand why they would be attracted to it. But a self-selected homogeneity is not good, and is self-perpetuating because they will drive others away even though it is a historical accident that the distribution of personalities turned out that way.

The seminaries were filled with liberals a few decades ago. You wouldnt say being liberal was essential to the priesthood. It was just an accident. Well, same thing here. There is nothing essential about being like these strange young men to the priesthood...but they've established themselves demographically, and so it now seems very hard to get a wedge in to make the environment tolerable to any other type of person except very gradually.

The Congregation for Consecrated Life in the Vatican released a document which said:

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But there are some motives which are questionable, such as sameness of tastes or of mentality. In this situation it is easy for a community to close in on itself and come to the point of choosing its own members, and brothers or sisters sent by the superiors may or may not be accepted. This is contrary to the very nature of religious community and to its function as sign. Optional homogeneity, besides weakening apostolic mobility, weakens the pneumatic strength of a community and robs the spiritual reality which rules the community of its power as witness.

And I know what they're talking about. I've seen just the dynamic described here.

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How is it absurd that the army protects us from other armies?  If they were protecting us from fluffy bunny rabbits, that would be absurd.  Their function is to protect the nation-state against those who would attack it.


It's absurd because the world wouldnt need armies if the world didnt have armies. Military is the self-perpetuating cause of military.

Police dont cause the need for police (at least, not usually). It's criminals who cause the need for police. But we only need armies BECAUSE of armies! It's ridiculous. It's makes it seem as if warring is an end in itself.

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One of the requirements of being a priest is to be free of physical defect.  If they wanted to clean up the gene pool wouldn't they put the ones with birth defects in the clergy and leave the normal ones out there to spawn?


Because the defects being removed are psychological, not physical. But also...it's not just about removing defects. It's about several things including preventing a dynasty, preventing a woman shortage, population control, etc. Having a class of men without children...serves a variety of sociological purposes. The Chinese emperor knew it. You will find a voluntary or involuntary "eunuch class" in pretty much every society. Do we really want our priests to be just our culture's equivalent of the court eunuchs?

Catholic777

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Wasting time "Discerning about discerning?"
« Reply #54 on: July 12, 2008, 06:39:pm »
Furthermore, although it was implemented poorly, I think the decree Perfectae Caritatis on religious life from Vatican II has some very important things to say:

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Institutes should promote among their members an adequate knowledge of the social conditions of the times they live in and of the needs of the Church. In such a way, judging current events wisely in the light of faith and burning with apostolic zeal, they may be able to assist men more effectively.

An ignorance of the world or the social conditions of the times, even if those conditions are not good...is not to be promoted as "innocence". Naivitee and rose-tinted glasses (or, correspondingly, an overexaggerated fear) are not what we want in priests. They should know about society, not be sheltered.

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The manner of living, praying and working should be suitably adapted everywhere, but especially in mission territories, to the modern physical and psychological circumstances of the members and also, as required by the nature of each institute, to the necessities of the apostolate, the demands of culture, and social and economic circumstances.

The rules of 1550, therefore, are good...but we shouldnt be living like it's 1550. Times have changed, and for better or worse...people have changed. People are psychologically different now for so many reasons. Things need to be suitably adapted.

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Since the observance of perfect continence touches intimately the deepest instincts of human nature, candidates should neither present themselves for nor be admitted to the vow of chastity, unless they have been previously tested sufficiently and have been shown to possess the required psychological and emotional maturity. They should not only be warned about the dangers to chastity which they may meet but they should be so instructed as to be able to undertake the celibacy which binds them to God in a way which will benefit their entire personality.

Again, simply pretending these things dont exist and never discussing it...is a weird Victorian mindset and is not what we should be idealizing.

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They should exercise their authority out of a spirit of service to the brethren, expressing in this way the love with which God loves their subjects. They should govern these as sons of God, respecting their human dignity. In this way they make it easier for them to subordinate their wills. They should be particularly careful to respect their subjects' liberty in the matters of sacramental confession and the direction of conscience. Subjects should be brought to the point where they will cooperate with an active and responsible obedience in undertaking new tasks and in carrying those already undertaken. And so superiors should gladly listen to their subjects and foster harmony among them for the good of the community and the Church, provided that thereby their own authority to decide and command what has to be done is not harmed.

So, I dont think it's "too bad, so sad" like with a boss that doesnt listen. Such a superior is being a bad superior, and while one must bear this cross patiently...I dont think a religious should have to do nothing. There are, or should be, legitimate channels for discreetly reporting this sort of thing without being seen as insubordinate.


Catholic777

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Wasting time "Discerning about discerning?"
« Reply #55 on: July 12, 2008, 06:49:pm »
And the Congregation on Consecrated Life's document further says:

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It may be useful to recall that in order to foster communion of minds and hearts among those called to live together in a community, it is necessary to cultivate those qualities which are required in all human relationships: respect, kindness, sincerity, self-control, tactfulness, a sense of humor and a spirit of sharing.


I found no humor in many of these places, and also what seemed to be a definite lack of sincerity. These people were not fully disclosing themselves, and to a great degree I worry they were pretending to be things they werent.

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Such a testimony of joy is a powerful attraction to religious life, a source of new vocations and an encouragement to perseverance. It is very important to cultivate such joy within a religious community: Overwork can destroy it, excessive zeal for certain causes can lead some to forget it, constant self-analysis of one's identity and one's own future can cloud it.


Indeed. Especially among trads.

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In order to become brothers and sisters, it is necessary to know one another. To do this, it is rather important to communicate more extensively and more deeply. Today more attention is given to various aspects of communication, although the form and the degree may vary from one institute to another and from one region to the next.


I honestly felt like these men didnt know each other at all. There conversation was not all that deep or frequent, even at times when it would have been fully allowed or appropriate. We dont want a bunch of loners in religious life using it as an escape.

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In many places there is a felt need for more intense communication among religious living together in the same community. The lack of or weakness in communication usually leads to weakening of fraternity: If we know little or nothing about the lives of our brothers or sisters, they will be strangers to us, and the relationship will become anonymous as well as create true and very real problems of isolation and solitude. Some communities complain about the poor quality of the fundamental sharing of spiritual goods. Communication takes place, they say, around problems and issues of marginal importance, but rarely is there any sharing of what is vital and central to the journey of consecration.

This can have painful consequences, because then spiritual experience imperceptibly takes on individualistic overtones. A mentality of self-sufficiency becomes more important; a lack of sensitivity to others develops; and gradually significant relationships are sought outside the community.

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Without dialogue and attentive listening, community members run the risk of living juxtaposed or parallel lives, a far cry from the ideal of fraternity.

I got this sense from many trad seminarians. They were all there together. But they were "alone together" if you know what I mean. Each in his own little fantasy world.

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However, difficulties in this area are frequently echoes of problems originating in other areas: affectivity and sexuality marked by a narcissistic and adolescent attitude or by rigid repression can sometimes be a result of negative experiences prior to entering the community, but they can also be a result of difficulties in community or apostolate.

Which I described.

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To cultivate mutual respect by which we accept the slow journey of weaker members without stifling the growth of richer personalities; a respect which fosters creativity but also calls for responsibility to others and to solidarity.

There was not just a stifling of rich personalities in these places, there was NO personality.

Archbishop_10K

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Wasting time "Discerning about discerning?"
« Reply #56 on: July 12, 2008, 07:54:pm »
I agree that seminaries seem to attract weirdos of all stripes (look no further than the state of our modern-day clergy, plus seminary rejects such as Tom Cruise and Michael Moore). That's why I stay away; I'd be just another perv weirdo, and the Church needs more normal, masculine types.

I also don't want the Catholic clergy to just be another eunuch caste of society. Not saying it is, but historically speaking, it served purposes somewhat similar to the Chinese court eunuchs of old: managing royal estates, scribe work, things of that sort.

Cephas

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Wasting time "Discerning about discerning?"
« Reply #57 on: July 12, 2008, 08:30:pm »
Apparently 777 is viewing this through rose-colored glasses named 'the solely natural perspective'.But of course he doesn't account for the little fact that no one has conciously held any of those purposes. Those simply occur due to circumstance.

DrBombay

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Wasting time "Discerning about discerning?"
« Reply #58 on: July 12, 2008, 09:53:pm »
Now lookee here.  There are weirdos in seminaries.  But in my limited experience the weirdos are few and far between.  Judging by the world's standards, every man in a Roman Catholic seminary is a weirdo.  I can safely say that I certainly wouldn't want our seminaries full of men the world considers "normal."

PeterII

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Wasting time "Discerning about discerning?"
« Reply #59 on: July 12, 2008, 09:57:pm »
Quote from: Cephas
Apparently 777 is viewing this through rose-colored glasses named 'the solely natural perspective'.But of course he doesn't account for the little fact that no one has conciously held any of those purposes. Those simply occur due to circumstance.

Yes, it is quite shocking to me how the supernatural has been taken out of the equation here, as if seminaries are natural institutions with no other end but to be a haven for people with sexual hang-ups.

Seminaries are training grounds for the spiritual life.  You get natural knowledge and discipline, but the main purpose is to take souls that feel called to serve God from the beginner state to the proficient state.  Normally, if they are to become perfect souls, that will happen out in the field.

The difficulties of seminarians are no different than the difficulty that the rest of humanity faces, although seminarians tend to be of far better will and  tackle the problem directly. The fight is more noticeable, and that is because it is actually being engaged in, rather than most of the lukewarm people out in the world taking the easy road to Hell. 
 

The hope only
Of empty men.