Thursday, October 05, 2006

This is sure to solve the vocation crisis

The archdioceses of New York and Boston have teamed up to bring the heart of the Cure d'Ars, St. John Vianney, on a U.S. tour. Boston Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley explained, "We bring him [John Vianney] to Boston in the hope that his life and deeds will be an inspiration to our parish priests and an inspiration to others to consider whether they are being called to serve as priests in our parishes," according to the Boston Globe.

Of course I understand that John Vianney is the model parish priest, but, really, his dried up heart in a glass case? Now that is creepy. And what box do you check on the FedEx airbill for something like that? Does it travel in bubble wrap?

Of course, you know a system that relies on traffic in corpses is on its last legs. If the needs of the people of God aren't enough to inspire some to ordination under the current regime, I doubt an internal organ, however holy, is going to do it.

Of course I hear there are legions of folks--married, female, gay, etc.--who don't need a religious sideshow to join up. And I think they love God's people as much as the Cure d'Ars did. Too bad their shepherds don't.


At 2:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

: )

At 4:01 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

Of course I understand that John Vianney is the model parish priest, but, really, his dried up heart in a glass case? Now that is creepy. And what box do you check on the FedEx airbill for something like that? Does it travel in bubble wrap?

Brian, with all due respect, I find this paragraph highly insulting. The verneration of relics of the saints has been a tradion of the Church for centuries. Sure, it may seem odd to some, but tremendous graces are attached to it, there are countless stories of miracles/conversions when St. Therese's bones traveled the US. You seem to focus on the natural, and ignore the supernatural. If you want to dialogue on Church teaching, that is one thing, but such sarcasm crosses the line of charity. St. John Vianey is one of my favorite saints, and yes, his intercession can bring many holy men into the priesthood.

At 4:27 PM, Blogger CtotheL said...

I realize that last bit might be offensive to some, but I am being deliberately provocative. I actually think this is an improper use of relics, as if they are magic talismans, and I find it extremely irreverent that they are used in this way. The traditional use of relics is primarily liturgical, a way of joining the local assembly to the communion of saints; such relics were interred in altars, not put in glass boxes for display. And people traveled to the churches to visit them, not the other way around.

If anyone is ignoring the "supernatural," it is those in the church who refuse to recognize the movement of the Holy Spirit in the people of God and in individuals calling those currently excluded from Holy Orders from serving as God is calling them. How do we know that St. John's intercession isn't already drawing many to pastoral service, yet those generous offers of service go unwelcomed?

I admit I've always been a bit squeamish about relics and devotion to them; I accept the practice as a legitimate expression of the Catholic sacramental imagination. But I think respect for the bodies of the dead requires some kind of permanent burial.

At 7:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read a few of your posts where you would like to do away with ordained ministry altogether. The thing what gets me about you liberals is that you don't really want a more progressive Church, but rather no Church at all. If we do away with priestly ordination, if there is no such thing as sin and moral norms, if there is no authority to submit to, if belief in Jesus is equal to Budda, then why bother worshipping anything? You can only dilute something so much, before you will be left with nothing but water.

At 9:24 AM, Blogger CtotheL said...

That's nice and random. Have you found any post where I said Jesus is equal to Buddha? I have nothing against holy orders, just restrictions that prevent the people of God from the sacraments, to which they have right by reason of their baptism.

That's my problem with you conservative types: You lack nuance, which makes healthy, intelligent conversation almost impossible. It would also help if you would learn some church history, but I'm probably dreaming here.

Sorry if I'm a bit grumpy. Cheers!

At 3:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a person cannot partake in the sacraments unless the person administering the sacraments is valdily ordained. And we can't just "ordain" anyone, ordination is a supernatural gift, limited to men. If Jesus wanted women to be priests he would have chosen them...after all they were definately more "worthy"---they were the ones who stuck by him during his agony...the men, with the exception of John, bailed. It's not a matter of worthiness, it's a calling and because the priest acts "in persona Christi" which means he actually takes on the physical person of Christ at certain points in his ministry, the ministerial priesthood is limited to men only. If you don't like it, don't raise issue with the bishops, Pope Benedict, or us conservatives, take it up with "the big guy" himself. The reason why we have a shortage of vocations these days is not because the priesthood is limited to men, it is because we are living in a state of moral corruption. God is still calling holy MEN to the priesthood (and women to religous life, and couples to a full, sacramental marriage) but in order to hear the call of the Lord you need to be by the phone. And sadly, most people are not living in a state of grace if they even know what that means.

At 3:52 PM, Blogger CtotheL said...

Actually, anyone can baptize with the proper intention (canon 861); they don't even have to be baptized. And, in the absence of a priest, a couple can marry one another in the presence of witnesses (canon 1116), since, after all, the people "administering" the sacrament of marriage are the couple themselves. So there goes your argument.

As for Jesus only ordaining men, I think you're on shaky scriptural ground, since it doesn't seem he ever ordained anyone. Bind the grace of orders to men if you will, but I doubt if we were starting over today this is the system we'd end up with.

At 4:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, a lay person can baptize and administer the sacrament of marriage in the absence of a priest or deacon, and it's true (and wonderful) to know that we all share in the priesthood of Christ. However, a lay person can not give absolution or consecrate the most Holy Eucharist because at those times the priest acts "in persona Christi" and actually becomes Christ at those moments. Jesus chose the twelve men to be his apostles, Peter was the first pope, and the rest became the first priests. If Jesus wanted to ordain women, he could have. It seems that those who are pushing for a female priesthood are hung up on power issues, which in contrary to the spirt of Christ and true Christianity. We are called to humility, sacrifice--- this "power struggle" is rooted in pride which is the source of all sin.

At 9:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'll pray for your conversion while I'm there.


At 9:46 AM, Blogger CtotheL said...

Thanks--I can always use the prayers!


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