Symposium on priesthood “renews” failed revolution of the Sixties and Seventies

We are, once again, being encouraged to “reimagine” not only priestly formation but the priesthood itself and the Church herself. I’ve been there, and it was a hell-hole of oppression by the Radical Left.

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago (left), seen here with Cardinal Walter Kasper in a 2017 photo, was one of the "ecclesial heavy hitters" who took part in a recent symposium on the priesthood, held at Boston College. (CNS photo)

Recently, we were treated to an article at Crux describing a “two-day symposium at Boston College” of “ecclesial heavy-hitters” dealing with the future of the priesthood. This was a follow-up to a previous confab which served up a wish-list in December of 2018. Key expressions say it all: “a call for a reimagining of priestly formation”; “renewing the conversation”; “threefold dynamic”; “foster authentic psychosexual maturity and integration.”

Who talks like that? I can tell you who: Left-overs from the failed revolution of the Sixties and Seventies. As Yogi Berra put it, “It’s like deja-vu all over again.” I know whereof I speak because these phrases brought back nightmares of my would-be priestly formation from that precise era. Yes, I admit I am a victim of post-traumatic stress stemming from those worst eight years of my life.

I am amused when liberals call for “dialogue” or “conversation” because that suggests they see themselves on the short end of the stick. Once they are on the ascendancy, all “dialogue” and “conversation” cease. My seminary was a hell-hole of oppression in the pre-Vatican II era; in my time, it was a hell-hole of oppression by the Radical Left (the agenda had changed but the agents were the same). Indeed, the initial steps were hesitant and conversation-oriented. However, when someone raised an issue for conversation that did not fit the proper “paradigm” (yes, we had “paradigm shifts” then as well), the axe fell fast and furiously.

We had been encouraged to “reimagine” not only priestly formation but the priesthood itself and the Church herself. Naively, I took the bait and wrote an article for The Priest in November of 1973, entitled “The Parish: Crucible of Priestly Formation.” I critiqued the whole disastrous system and “suggested” that a different “model” was needed, namely, having seminarians live in parishes and commute to theological schools. By January of 1974, I was shown the door. The “dialogue” was over. The personal harassment and persecution, however, went on for nearly two years more.

The Leftists today, however, are not quite so subtle and clever as their forebears of an earlier time. They have actually handed down the demand in no uncertain terms: “All consideration of priesthood and ministry must flow from the Second Vatican Council’s affirmation of the Church’s living tradition as it has been received and developed by Pope Francis.” The key words, of course, are “as it has been received and developed by Pope Francis.” Not even Vatican II itself is a starting point, with Presbyterorum Ordinis or Optatam Totius. Certainly not John Paul II’s Pastores Dabo Vobis. Not even, apparently, the brand new Program of Priestly Formation, approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops this past November.

It is important to have handy a lexicon to interpret the gibberish emanating from the “Woke” participants. Here are my English translations of a few of the goals of the cognoscenti:

• “an evaluation process for candidates that allows institutions to ‘be free to evaluate candidates honestly,’ without a concern to ‘maintain numbers’ by persevering with unsuitable candidates”: Get rid of conservative seminarians.

• “a call for exploration of new models for ordained ministry” and “There have to be adjustments made.” “The future of the ministry of the priesthood cannot be the same of the past.”: A Protestantized priesthood, which would include women and married men.

• “As the number of priests declines, we have an opportunity to recognize women in ministry, and make space and resources available for their formation, so that they can better serve the people of God.”: Ordain women.

• “This incorporates the vision of Vatican II in ways that are not always evident today among those who emphasize a cultic priesthood and a priestly identity that is set apart and above the laity.”: Out with a sacramental understanding of both Church and priesthood!

So, who are these forgers of a “brave new Church”? We learn that cardinals were present, including—surprise, surprise—Blase Cupich of Chicago and Reinhard Marx of Munich! Six other American bishops were involved also; among those “heavy hitters” were none other than Bishops Robert McElroy of San Diego and John Stowe of Lexington. In truth, with one notable exception, every hierarch cited is as far Left as you can go without tipping over the canoe. Non-bishops include such worthies as the peripatetic Richard Gaillardetz of Boston College, the ex-priest Thomas Groome (What does he have to offer of value to priestly formation? More to the point, according to the rescript of laicization, he should not even be teaching Catholic theology.), and Richard Lennan (an Australian priest of the suit-and-tie variety). The rest I had never even heard of.

Christopher White, author of the article in question, very honestly notes:

Some of the strongest language is reserved for the role of women in priestly formation, where organizers noted that women should be included in the faculty of seminaries.

In point of fact, one can see that the driving force behind the entire endeavor is the issue of “women in ministry.” White goes on to observe: “The event was closed to the press, prompting some Catholic commentators to voice frustration that one of the major lessons of recent scandals has been the need for greater transparency in the Church.” Never to be outdone in double-talk, we are informed: “Organizers, however, contended that the purpose of the closed-door format was to allow for free-ranging, open discussion among participants.”

Even more: “Groome told Crux that such an environment provided freedom for participants to speak with candor in an environment of mixed participants.” This has the echo of the Bergoglian synods of the past few years, from which the press was banned and no records of episcopal interventions were produced. Parrhesia, to be sure. Apparently, these erstwhile fans of Papa Bergoglio missed the document in which he essentially rid the Church of the pontifical secret!

Is there a place for laity (including women) in the formation of future priests? When Cardinal Newman was asked about the place of the laity in the Church, he quipped: “We’d look rather silly without them!” So, yes, there is a place. However, it is worth noting: Future doctors are trained by doctors. Future lawyers are trained by lawyers. Future farmers are trained by farmers. Similarly, future priests need to be trained by priests – in the main. Lay participants ought to be the exception, not the rule, and surely not the majority of faculty members.

If anyone reads my article from 1973 (to whose main lines I still subscribe), he will see that I am no uncritical supporter of the status quo. However, my vision of priestly formation would seek to strengthen priestly identity, not water it down or even eliminate it completely. Reading between the lines of comments made by several of the seminar participants, one senses a sort of glee when discussing the declining numbers of seminarians, presumably since that could push the envelope in the direction of dramatic changes.

Strangely, these people seem to be totally unaware of the fact that the Eastern Orthodox churches have had a married priesthood for a millennium – and they have a more serious vocations crisis than we. Mainstream Protestantism has been “ordaining” women for decades, and the churches are emptying out faster than one can recite the “Our Father” (oops, not that sexist prayer).

Bottom-line: Groome and Company want to keep the pot stirred. And like the old Soviet re-education camps, they proudly proclaim: “We sent home a number of significant leaders…with a new consciousness.”

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About Peter M.J. Stravinskas 280 Articles
Reverend Peter M.J. Stravinskas founded The Catholic Answer in 1987 and The Catholic Response in 2004, as well as the Priestly Society of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, a clerical association of the faithful, committed to Catholic education, liturgical renewal and the new evangelization. Father Stravinskas is also the President of the Catholic Education Foundation, an organization, which serves as a resource for heightening the Catholic identity of Catholic schools.


  1. Of the not-so-new “paradigm” for the priesthood, we read of: “a call for a reimagining of priestly formation”; “renewing the conversation”; “threefold dynamic”; “foster authentic psychosexual maturity and integration.”

    REIMAGINING? Because according to an integral ecology “everything is connected,” perhaps our imagination falls upon the neologism of “imagineering.” And, then to complete this “threefold dynamic” (!) we fall upon Walt Disney Imagineering–the research and development arm of The Walt Disney Company, responsible for the creation, design, and construction of Disney theme parks and attractions worldwide.

    Here it is: Cupich, McElroy & Co. imagine the priesthood as a booth in Disneyworld! Right next to the traditional Minnie Mouse and Mickie Mouse, but probably including some “psychosexual” third option maneuvering for “integration.”

    What a Goofy cartoon show we have. They ought to follow the “authentic” script and exchange their collars for millstones and take a long walk off a short pier.

  2. “Mainstream Protestantism has been “ordaining” women for decades, and the churches are emptying out faster than one can recite the “Our Father” (oops, not that sexist prayer)

    Some time ago while on my way to attend Sunday Mass, the way was blocked due to traffic congestion, been almost eleven o’clock I found myself outside *St Aidan’s an Anglican liberal Christian Church.

    I decided to attend the service. I was surprised when the priest came out onto the altar as ‘she’ was “female” slightly built and possible in her early thirties. Her sermon was what one expects to receive from a formalized priest, nothing out of the ordinary but it was informative and clearly given, at the end of Mass (I use the term “Mass” as I believe this is the term used by Anglicans also) she the priestess went and stood at the back of the Church waiting to acknowledge the congregation as they left. The most striking aspect of this whole experience was in her attire in the splendor of her vestments, heavy gold brocade, miter type head gear etc. She appeared to be carrying a great weight of worldly pomp reflecting a by gone age, symbolized by the declining Victorian grander of that Church, and she looked lost within it all.
    I spoke to a few of the congregation but I did not speak to her as I felt a little embarrassed due to the pomp she had succumbed to, as I had felt a strong urge to confront her on this matter, but in doing so possibly I would belittle her assumed struggle for ordination.

    As I left the Church, I felt sadness for all those women who want to serve as priests as we/mankind do not need to perceive marionettes or lackeys (See link:)

    as at this moment in time, women have far more to offer, in that they need to be part of the transformation of the present-day model.

    “Where ever you hear this gospel she will be remembered”

    I have seen the vulnerability of Mary Magdalene in many women during my lifetime, born out of love of family and friends/colleagues, etc. Often then manifest in the love of the vulnerable. And I believe that this vulnerability/humility, the disarming manifestation of love, is what Christianity needs to convey more than ever at this moment in time.

    “They were both naked (Equal) before God the man and his wife, and were not ashamed”

    Then at the Fall
    “And God said to the woman “and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over you”

    Jesus teaches (desires) a healing equality in all things, from those who love Him, and this equality is manifest in Unity of Purpose (To act as one.) For me as a Christian the continuity of gender (Male Authority) is nullified as the sacrificial image of Christ is genderless, as it is reflected in both male and female, this truth gives Christianity the authority over all other religions to heal the divide between the sexes.

    At this moment in time we have what could be described as an opportunity of a timeless moment, that is one of a new spiritual awakening (The true Divine Mercy Image an image of Broken Man, given by our Lord Himself to the Church) within the Church.

    So, is an act of humility too much to ask? (Follow the above link)

    If this act of humility were to happen, a new splendor would occur within the church as it would create a culture of honesty/humility, giving the Church the opportunity to reassess many of its on-going difficulties and also heal so many who have suffered injustice at her hands.

    Can you imagine the effect upon mankind as a whole, if the Church truly embraced females in true equality (Discipleship)?
    I have a picture on my mantelpiece of St. Mother Teresa when I look at her in my mind’s eye, I see an image of Jesus Christ walking amongst the poor and broken, to say that she is not a shepherdess is surly an affront to God.

    So, in our present shameful situation, is God preparing the birth (Building up) of a Church that will be truthful with herself. A Church that proceeds and leads in humility, ‘openly’ acknowledging her failings before God and all of her children. As a humble heart (Church) will never cover its tracks or hide its short comings, and in doing so confers authenticity, as it walks in its own vulnerability weakness/brokenness in trust/faith before God and mankind.
    It is a heart (Church) to be trusted, as it ‘dispels’ darkness within its own ego/self, in serving God (Truth) first, before any other.

    “But a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father is seeking such as these to worship Him”

    We need to see true discipleship, and working disciples, see my post, via the link

    *St Aidan’s Church in Leeds is a Church of England parish church, built in 1894. The church is unusual among Anglican parish churches in celebrating the Mass daily.

    The above post incorporates extracts from my posts @ 2+4+5+7 in the link below;

    kevin your brother
    In Christ

    • An act of humility? The true humility is to accept the teaching handed down to us, perhaps especially when it contradicts the current fashions.

    • If every comment on this website is allegedly moderated why is a comment like this allowed to make it through? It’s excessively long, bereft of any coherent point and an essentially an advertisement.

      • All comments at CWR are indeed moderated. And that means that quite a few comments are kept from the comments section. But length and coherence are not necessarily reasons for not allowing comments through; there are often cases in which we try to give the benefit of the doubt while also being mindful that repetitive comments can become a detriment to healthy discussion and debate.

        • Thank you Carl E. Olson for your forbearance “there are often cases in which we try to give the benefit of the doubt”
          In future I will endeavour to condense my posts.
          kevin your brother
          In Christ

      • Joseph Taylor (And others) thank you for your comments

        I am uneducated leaving school at fifteen unable to read or write, to day I possible would be classed as dyslexic. Without the spell /grammar/ check and paste facility on the computer I would not be able to participate on any Sites. While also acknowledging that many of articles on this site are beyond my competence. I would agree that my posts can be convoluted possible stemming from insecurity, in that I am not been understood.

        If you have read the majority of my posts on this site (Or on 1P5. Crissismagazine) over the last two years you will be aware that I have been isolated (As in been an outsider) and suffered induced tortured silence, for over thirty-five years. To some degree, this isolation has caused my thoughts to become introverted (Inward-looking) which are possibly reflected in my posts as been “focused on drawing attention to” myself. (Or advertising)

        Which to some degree takes me to the kernel of the problem, which is frustration, leading me to use whatever God given gifts/insights I have been given, to drawer attention to the fact that for over eighteen years, no one on any site, confronts honestly, the principle of my statement now given once again via the link below, which gives conclusive information on the ‘ongoing’ breaking of the Second Commandment, by the elite within the Church.
        Nevertheless, in future I will endeavor to condense my posts.

        kevin your brother
        In Christ

        • As it happens, I did reply to you once on that point. If St. Faustina said that the Vilnius image was acceptable (which she did), who are you to cavil? And in any event hers were private revelations and are not binding on us.

          • I will simplify and condense your posts for you:

            “I am uneducated and have trouble reading and writing. Many articles on this site are beyond what I am able to comprehend. See how very humble I am?”

            “Nonetheless, I know better than the Church and everybody on this site, and all of you are required to read all of the things I have ever posted here or anywhere else in order to understand my brilliant thoughts, because God has given me special gifts and insights, and that overrides the actual teachings of Jesus and the Church.”

        • Kevin the issue – extremely vital to Catholic doctrine is far greater than your contention of dyslexia and lack of education, emotional isolation. You have frequently given sophisticated reasons why Catholics should disobey their faith. This relates to your understanding of “broken man” that you link to St Maria Faustina’s original sketch of Our Lord’s appearance. And request for divine mercy devotion. You contend that Fr Sopocko intervened that an artist duplicate her vision. And that abrogated God’s request. This you say was sin against the 2nd commandment “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” A blasphemy that the Catholic Church perpetuates in this devotion to the image. Broken man as you argue requires humility in recognition of our own brokenness. You accuse priests instead of the arrogance of clericalism, and that celibacy is actually intended to make us appear superior to laity. Our clericalism you argue inhibits us from a merciful approach to serious sin, and you recommend self absolution rather than the Sacrament of Penance. You give the example in this quote I excerpted from your CWR response dated approx Dec 10 2019. “I often attempt to make a case for the many cultural Catholics who are presently ‘entangled in sinful situations’ (Mortal Sin) with no way back to the Church. As the normal path to forgiveness of Mortal Sin is through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. That is what the Church teaches but she also acknowledges an Act of Perfect Contrition, which can take place at any time, if the heart is moved to do so. As with the Tax Collector in the temple “God will not despise a broken spirit and contrite heart” Jesus tells us, that he went home justified before God, (Not ‘MAN’). He was acceptable to Jesus, and it would be fair to say, that today he would be welcome to partake of His table. So, all sin is relative to our ‘on-going’ (Moment to Moment 70×7) personal relationship with Him. Has it now become more difficult, two thousand years later, to embrace the Lord? And for this reason I believe the true divine Mercy Image, an image of man’s brokenness given by our Lord Himself to His Church, gives the Church the means to embrace “situations in which the damage cannot be repaired” through normal channels (The Sacrament of Reconciliation) the means to do so, and lead our brothers and sisters who are entangled in sinful situations, through an open door, so to say, to His table, and receive spiritual nourishment and hopefully, eventually, lead them to the full Sacrament of Reconciliation” (Kevin Walters).

          • Please remember that every time you respond to KW like this, even though you might be well-intentioned, you are simply supporting, encouraging, and reinforcing his inappropriate behavior and muddled thinking. As long as he receives the attention he seeks, there will be no incentive for him to change his behavior. Please consider this; it’s not helping him in the long run.

          • As to Athanasius I am well intentioned specifically regarding the integrity of the faith that requires no justification.

          • Thankyou Peter (Fr Peter Morello) for your comment, “Catholic doctrine is far greater than your contention of dyslexia and lack of education, emotional isolation”, etc. Yes, absolutely, I agree Peter.

            “You have frequently given sophisticated reasons why Catholics should disobey their faith. This relates to your understanding of “broken man” that you link to St Maria Faustina’s original sketch of Our Lord’s appearance”

            I do not think that my understanding of the true divine Mercy Image, one of Broken Man is sophisticated rather my given understanding which is given via the link is simplistic/ direct while been honest, as anyone can see.

            “You accuse priests instead of the arrogance of clericalism, and that celibacy is actually intended to make us appear superior to laity”

            From my post, what I actual said in relating to your statement. “This often-self-proclaimed statement/idea that an all-male celibate priesthood is somehow a higher state, than the lay state, is to project an Image that deviates from this teaching”… for further contextual information/clarity; please continue via the

            You say “Our clericalism you argue inhibits us from a merciful approach to serious sin, and you recommend self-absolution rather than the Sacrament of Penance” . I most certainly do not recommend self-absolution rather than the Sacrament of Penance. You exaggerate. You then go on to say “You give the example in this quote I excerpted from your CWR response dated approx. Dec 10 2019.……………
            For others who may read this, here is the link to my actual full post, with further links which give clarity to what I am saying.

            From one of the further links As an example; To those in second relationships, (or others who are also entangled in sinful situations who are looking for a way back) permit them to partake in Holy Communion in making a public acknowledgement of their need of God’s Divine Mercy just prior to receiving the Eucharist by venerating the true Image of Divine Mercy an image of Broken Man, saying these words from the heart publicly
            “Jesus I Trust in You”
            Then as the recipient approaches the priest for communion after his /her
            Public Confession the priest could say (or words to the effect of) “Welcome to the path/way of salvation/confession/reconciliation receive “The body of Christ” in doing so acknowledging the on-going commencement to receiving the full Sacrament of Reconciliation, by doing so His outward sign of inward grace, His Divine Mercy is manifest at that moment in time, as having been given by God Himself to the recipient before His Church, (People/Faithful) full absolution has not given by the Church as they dwell in His Divine Mercy, as he/she returns to his/her sinful situation (Entanglement with evil) but a journey of HOPE in that spiritual growth has commenced, this must be clearly understood by the laity in regards to the indissolubility of marriage, etc.

            What I am proposing does not ‘give scandal’ as no one is deceived, rather it glorifies God before the faithful/ laity and mankind, as it shows the merciful human face of Jesus Christ.

            “A bruised reed He will not break and a smouldering wick He will not snuff out”

            No judgement is made on the recipient of ‘The Bread of Life’ as all that needs to be seen and is seen (Via Public confession) is his/her visual humble intent to repent (Change Direction).

            We are not here to judge others rather we should encourage them, as God’s Divine Mercy is greater than any sin.

            kevin your brother
            In Christ

          • Kevin although exceptions may exist the Church by a general policy of merciful forgiveness and as in Amoris Laetitia mercy and mitigating circumstances absolves a broken Mankind it dismisses Christ’s commandment of the indissolubility of marriage. Either the Church accommodates the broken condition of Man or it heals that brokenness calling it to a life of virtue and in instances heroic virtue by faith in Christ and the power of his grace.

          • Thankyou Peter (Fr Peter Morello) for your comment

            Jesus Teaches “blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it” and yes, Amoris Laetitia dismisses Christ’s commandment of the indissolubility of marriage, whereas it should be vigorously defended and reinforced.

            While understanding that God’ Divine Mercy cannot be codified. As

            “a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise”

            What I am proposing gives the Church the means to call all of her Children (Cultural Catholics, seen by some as the spiritual undeserving poor) no matter what their present state (Entangled in sinful situations). Many of whom never truly committed themselves to the faith. To embrace publicly in humility their brokenness, in the present moment, before God and the faithful. If this act of humility is sincere (I believe for many it would be so) spiritual growth (Virtue/Grace) will accrue,

            Does not the Church accommodate the broken condition of Man presently via The Sacrement of Reconciliation as it heals/leads that brokenness in calling it (The sinner) to a life of virtue.

            I have read that the final words of the Code of Canon Law are these: “the salvation of souls, which must always be the supreme law in the Church, is to be kept before one’s eyes” (Can. 1752)

            The True Divine Mercy Image is an Image of Broken Man, given by our Lord to the Church and it has within itself the capacity to draw in to communion, in humility, all those outcasts who our Savior came to save, and I rejoice that it can be so and I hope eventually others will too.

            kevin your brother
            In Christ

    • Kevin,
      Cross the Tiber. Your explorations keep leading you to the Catholic Church, but it seems you are afraid to leave the church of your youth. Ask Our Lord for clarification and strength. Contemplate the true meaning of the Eucharist and the apostolic succession. Study the political and theological ramifications of the Protestant revolution. Can a church founded by Henry VII for lustful and selfish reasons be truly holy and good, in spite of the holy and good people who may belong to it? Join the Church which was founded by Jesus Christ.

      • MMM thankyou for your comment I was given to understand by my parents, that I was baptised into the Catholic Church on the same day that I was born.
        kevin your brother
        In Christ

  3. Having read Kasper’s “Jesus The Christ,” (my version in the first edition, either 1974 or 1976), Kasper has clearly devoted his counterfeit life inside the Catholic Church as “an evangelist” of the rational-materialist skeptic Rudolf Bultmann, which means Kasper does not confess Catholic faith or mere Christian theology. Kasper, cleaving to Bultmann, outright denies the Gospel miracle accounts (and subverts his young readers with the seductive suggestion “we probably don’t have to believe in them), and Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. He “remakes” Jesus into a marketing totem for selling psycho-sexual politics. I will be happy to quote pages verbatim if needed, but this is the basic thrust of his book: after subverting faith in the Gospel accounts, he pivots to his main concern. He states his central concern with words to this effect (I am going from memory but my restatement from memory is very true to his his own words) “when engaging with other people, it is not enough to grant another person rights, we must affirm the other person completely as he is.” He is obsessed with subverting Christ’s law of created sexual identity Christ’s way of chastity.

    Kasper, in an earlier work called “God in History (196?), outright denies the Apostle James (1: 17) and the Niceness Creed, and the Judeo-Christian theology of the kingship of God: “The God who sits enthroned over the world and history as a changeless being is an offense to man. One must deny Him for man’s sake, because he claims for himself the dignity and honor that by right belong to man…. He is not the true God at all, but rather a wretched idol…. Such a God springs from a rigid worldview; He is the guarantor of the status quo, and the enemy of the new,”

    Note the same words echoed by the Pontiff Francis: “rigid worldview.”

    The 2 men in the photo, and the Pontiff Francis, do not hold and teach the Catholic faith. They have “moved beyond Christ,” to quote one of their like-minded contemporaries, Ms. Laurie Brink (of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious).

    Boston College, like most formerly Catholic colleges who have implemented McCarrick’s 1967 Land of Lakes rejection of Catholic teaching, is a decadent post-Catholic “re-education camp,” well suited for a new century of sex revolution and coverup, and ready for worshipping the idol Pachamama, niw marketed by Kasper and the Pontiff Francis.

    • Chris, your “offense to man” quote reminds me of the notorious modernist preacher Harry Emerson Fosdick of the first half of the past century. To him, the idea of the Atonement evinced a “slaughterhouse religion,” an outrage to modern man. Birds of a feather …

  4. PS – I am sorry I didn’t see that the stupid I-phone spelling-controller changed “Nicene” to “Niceness.” Other misspellings are my own fat-fingering…

  5. I absolutely agree with much of what he writes here and what he wrote in 1973.

    Seminarians do not need more exposure to women in the seminary; rather, what they need is far more exposure to parochial life and ministry. In fact, they should be absolutely and literally immersed in it, perhaps as part of a Cathedral or deanery-level based residential life. The problem is that we have largely moved away from an apprenticeship model of formation in deference to an academic one, often run by people who still use terms like “paradigm shift” as though it makes them sound progressive and insightful, rather than people who use clichés as substitutes for actual thinking.

    Here is a paradigm shift for you: ordain a seminarian to the diaconate and have him serve in that ministry for 3-5 years, while living in a seminary rectory and working 20 hours a week learning a trade. And only accept seminarian candidates who have served in parish-based ministry with diocesan training for a minimum of five years.

    Imagine the qualitative difference of sending experienced parish leaders to train as clergy, as opposed to sending young, inexperienced men barely out of college to seminary to become leaders?

  6. More liberal “Mumbo-Jumbo” then the faithful should have to bare.There can be NO doubt that the ideological “rot” that infects our faith was accelerated greatly in the 60’s at Vatican II. Two of the most telling events in recent times.Was Obamaa’s demand on April 16th,2009 at Georgetown and May 14th,2009 that all icons
    religious art,and statues,be either covered up or removed before he would pontificate at these Catholic Universities. The leadership at both colleges happily complies.After all:”The One We’ve Been Waiting For” was on his way!!

  7. “Key expressions say it all: “a call for a reimagining of priestly formation”; “renewing the conversation”; “threefold dynamic”; “foster authentic psychosexual maturity and integration.”

    Who talks like that? ”

    It’s called “corporate-speak” & you can see examples everywhere-corporations, school systems, universities, non-profits,local govt. agencies, and sadly , some Catholic dioceses as well.
    It’s a way of sounding current & engaging without saying anything of real meaning. And I’ve noticed what must be an obligatory insertion of words like “passion”, “mission”, “vision”, “design thinking”, etc.
    It’s dreadful but it’s not unique to the left wing.

    • “Who talks like that?”

      John Lennon. This calls to mind the recent statement by William Kilpatrick (over at Catholic Thing), in which he suggested that this age would be remembered as the “Age of Unreality.” Rather than dealing with the world as it is (good and evil, vice and virtue, male and female, true religion and false constructs) these pseudo-theologians “imagine” a different world, and then earnestly try to visualise that different reality in order to make it so. (“Believe it, live it!”)

      We could also imagine a different sort of gravity, or a different temperature at which water freezes, with the same sort of success. Please, God, let their ideas die.

  8. I happened to read this passage in Jeremiah this morning:

    “For wicked men are found among my people; they lurk like fowlers lying in wait. They set a trap; they catch men. Like a cage full of birds, their houses are full of deceit; therefore they have become great and rich; they have grown fat and sleek. They know no bounds in deeds of evil; they judge not with justice the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy. Shall I not punish them for these things? says the Lord.” Jeremiah 5:26-29

    What can be done when the very people entrusted to teach the faith, guard the flock, and edify the church are the very people who are undermining it?

  9. This whole pontificate seems to be a return to the 70’s. I’m waiting to see burlap vestments come back. This kind of thing will not attract healthy seminarians, only the kind that have cost us a few billion dollars.

  10. For Fr Stravinskas seminary “was a hell-hole of oppression by the Radical Left”, whereas I suffered through P Beaulieu’s hilarious description of Walt Disney Imagineering research and development. We were way ahead of the curve. My favorite memory to hate was when the priest directing our retreat sobbed during his sermon reminiscing his childhood [we hope] velveteen rabbit. It was what matched a Disney production called a balloon Mass. Meant to bring us in touch with our feelings. It was post Vat II time before John Paul II made changes to seminary training. Reimagining went from silly to bizarre to downright dangerous. We need occasional comic relief so I’ll relate a true anecdote. A new wild haired student showed up wearing a sleeveless animal skin and weapon like something hanging from his belt [it was a pointed weapon]. I won’t say here what he described as his favorite past time. How the rector let this guy in must have been a mysterious stroke of Beaulieu’s imagineering. At any rate one morning I heard police sirens saw them taking our new student away in cuffs. He was wanted. It took several years of search and recovery graduate studies and as a lay volunteer Africa lecturing philosophy at the diocesan seminary in Malawi Africa before I retrieved my vocation. The atmosphere there as well as the students was wonderful. Next stop was the Beda Pontifical Seminary, adult, traditional, and sane. After ordination I taught again at a missionary seminary in Tanzania. The experience was quite similar as previous the Church in Africa growing rapidly. Similar to G Weigel’s missionary friend the Spiritan [Holy Ghost] Fathers had done well in ending idolatry. There were no Pachamamas in sight. None of us needless to say were ecologically converted [the Pontiff’s imagineering revelatory surprise]. We converted [on weekends I visited the Maasai missions].

  11. This is so typical of the lefties. Everything they attempt ends in failure, so what do they do? Why, they just double down on the stupid, hoping for a better result. They are incapable of learning anything, and there’s no hope for them.

  12. Cupich and Kasper, two aging hippies still applying CPR to the long dead Spirit of Rebellion and Revolutionary Change that died a long time ago and whose legacy is responsible not only for dwindling Mass attendance and vocations but also the sexual abuse crisis permeating throughout the Catholic Church. They both should just be banished to a remote monastery to pray for forgiveness for their sins and heterodox views and activities.

      • Thanks, Mr. Olson. When he first became bishop of Boston, I had hoped Archbishop O’Malley would rein in Boston College, but he seems to haven’t done much. The Church in the 21st Century Center continues to operate as an academic thinktank.

        For those who are interested, here is the School of Theology and Ministry’s document, released in December 2018, “To Serve the People of God: Renewing the Conversation on Priesthood and Ministry,” that served as the basis of the symposium.

        If there is a problem with the psychological development of men, waiting until seminary to address the issue is too late. Even the proposal given above by Fr. Dcn Daniel Dozier may not be enough, since for a man to work in a parish should presuppose the presence of masculine virtues. The responses from the academics and bishops representative of the institutional mindset plaguing universities and dioceses, will probably be just more attempts to refashion men in accordance with some model opposed to what they think is “toxic masculinity.” If we need any evidence of what this means we can just take a look at recent Jesuit “vocations.”

        No, the problem is with how parents and the local Church have raised their boys to become men, and we must re-examine our first principles when it comes to that. If there is to be greater lay involvement it is here, within the family and the local Church, and not just for the formation of future priests but of all Catholic men in that local Church. But these revolutionaries will not accept that this is the source of the problem, as they will not accept traditional wisdom (or the findings of social science, of which as a whole people are rightly skeptical) regarding the raising of boys or the distinct roles proper to men in family and community. In Crisis Magazine just today there was published “No Church for Young Men” by Eric Sammons. ( I have no doubt that many of the symposium participants would find the suggestions given there and in the combox to be not only retrograde but counter to “social justice” and “authentic feminism.”

  13. It’s good to see that you are still fighting the good fight, Father Stravinskas. It’s horrible to me to see that the dragons which we thought were moribund were only playing possum.

  14. I grow SO WEARY of articles that throw around labels like ‘Radical Left’ and ‘Authoritarian Arrogance’ and any other label. If you can’t demonstrate why a change would be a bad idea without resorting to labelling, then you don’t have a very strong case! The same applies to those who would die in a ditch before accepting any changes.

    The Church has changed over the centuries as the world around it changed. It had to, or it would not have been able to fulfil its mission. Some of these changes were invaluable improvements. They were kept. Others were unhelpful, even counter-productive. These were dropped soon enough.

    From this I draw the conclusion, if a possible change is debated ON ITS MERITS and offers a reasonable prospect of helping the work of the Church, then on balance I would try it. It it doesn’t work it can be abandoned. Better that than to change nothing, because changing nothing offers only the certainty of long-term irrelevancy. Otherwise, we would all still be speaking Koine Greek in Church!

    So leave the labels out of the conversation! Debate the issue on the basis of merit, and not guilt-by-association.

  15. I’m not sure where Father is getting his information but in the United States there is not a shortage of Orthodox priests. In many of the dioceses/jurisdictions there is a surplus. Father tries to make a point that if the Catholic Church allowed for optional celibacy there would not be more priests since the Orthodox have married clergy and still a shortage. We do not have a shortage, I know of no parish without a priest (with a very few exceptions). If one were to read Orthodox newspapers or online sites for dioceses one would see the regular announcement of priestly Ordinations.

5 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

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  5. Symposium on priesthood “renews” failed revolution of the Sixties and Seventies – Columbus Catholic Corner

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