(this is a repost. the title better represents the content)
we finished our 2020 claretian assembly. it was a touching ending to the week as we blessed all who were celebrating major years in vows or ordination. but the past two days were challenging as the topics were models of the church and clericalism. it showed me that we have a long way to go in realizing the ideals of faith and life.
i was reflecting on the various ways that i have missed the mark of what being a claretian priest is really about and had fallen into the sins of harmful words and arrogance. i don’t even know how many people i have hurt over the years with these attitudes. at times, i forget that our public life as claretians is seen differently by some and our words and actions carry a weight that has consequences. exploiting my position is a form of selfishness; it’s sinful
the presenter, fr martin burnham pss, did his doctorate on the psychological aspects of clericalism in the church. he did a fine job of showing us the findings– and their consequences
we, priests and religious, are at our worst when we exhibit entitlement, authoritarian actions, arrogance, being overly formal and aloof and being unaccountable. people can leave their faith when they encounter us with these behaviors. we ought to do all we can to not do these actions.
there were two quotes from fr martin that i want to further dig into:
“rigidity in the face of complexity is toxic” and
“we are mysteries to be discovered, not problems to be solved”
perhaps i can try to unpack these in a future blog
for now, hopefully new self knowledge in these areas of clericalism can help us all minimize them and their effects. Holy Spirit, lead and guide us with humility and eyes that really see and do your will
Fr. Art you are correct. Our family will always love and honor priests from the parishes that we belong, however priests that do not show love and compassion concerning differences, can cause persons to leave the Vatholic faith and the church altogether. My own sister slowly left the church resulting from an embarrassing moment when she was only 15, by a priest…. she never got over it….. she’s now 42….and not raising her own family in a faith based environment. You know my parents….it kills them. We pray without ceasing that she will return. Father, please pray for her.