Friday, June 10, 2011

Poverty and the priest.



Not to regard an ecclesiastical office as a source of profit...
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Bishop Tobin on the promises of the priesthood:
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And what of poverty? Unlike celibacy and obedience, there’s no formal liturgical promise of poverty required of priests at their ordination, but perhaps there should be. After all, the virtue of poverty in the life of the priest has the same motives as celibacy and obedience: imitation of Christ and freedom to serve God’s people.
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Priests are not expected to live in abject material poverty. But the “spirit of poverty” is a Gospel value for all Christians, and it has particular consequences for priests. It speaks of priorities, detachment and proper use of material goods.
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The Second Vatican Council was rather clear on this point: “Priests are invited to embrace voluntary poverty ... [Priests] are to use money acquired in the exercise of their ecclesiastical office primarily for their own decent support and the fulfillment of the duties of their state. They should be willing to devote whatever is left over to the good of the Church or to works of charity. So they are not to regard an ecclesiastical office as a source of profit and are not to spend their income for increasing their own private fortunes.” (Presbyterorum Ordinis, #17)
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[...] priests need to examine themselves very closely on this point, lest they fall into the quicksand of materialism or unhealthy priorities. Priests have to be careful that they don’t feel sorry for themselves, abuse their privileges, or use their ministry for personal gain. - Bishop Thomas J. Tobin

12 comments:

  1. Very interesting.

    Whose photo is it, by the way?

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  2. Father Joe5:25 AM

    Spot on! Thanks for publishing this, Terry!

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  3. That's former Catholic priest Alberto Cutie, now a rock star Episcopalian married minister who can't get over the fact that the Catholic Church expected him to follow the rules of what it means to be a priest, so he wrote a book about it because he's so secure in his personal life.

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  4. What the hell is going on in the mind of that divorced woman that seduced him and later married and got pregnant by him?

    Shades of Mel Gibson!

    Pray an Exorcist show up and untangle both of these messes.

    Pray for the Holy Father and all his Priests and Religious.

    *

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  5. What? You mean I can't get rich doing this?

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  6. Left Footer - It is Fr. Cutie - I used his photo only as a generic priest photo - he's like an 'actor' priest.

    Fr. R - you could - but you'd have to give some of the proceeds to charity.

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  7. Good post, but here's a thought: don't secular priests still have to provide for their own retirements?

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  8. Word is, Cutie is getting his very own talk show and that Minneapolis is one of the test audiences. Thank goodnses there's someone to take over for Oprah.

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  9. DB - I'm not sure about retirememnt benefits, but Bishop Tobin wisely adds the following caveat for the secular priest:

    "On the other hand, the laity should recognize that priests receive these material benefits precisely because they’ve handed their lives over to the Church. Priests aren’t free to seek secular employment, change employers or negotiate their salaries; they don’t own their own rectories; they can’t freely choose where they’ll live, with whom they’ll live, or when they’ll move. In return for these personal sacrifices, the Church is obliged to take care of her priests for life, providing a decent standard of living and suitable material benefits. And if grateful parishioners want to thank their priests with personal gifts, so be it."

    So anyway - I think donate apps on priestly blogs are actually appropriate.

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  10. Assuming the blogs really are priestly and not mouthpieces for any political party or ideology. I'm not sure how extolling the virtues of Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter will bring anyone closer to Christ.

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  11. he's like an 'actor' priest.
    LOL, Terry!

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  12. LarryD, you mean he wrote the book because he isn't getting enough attention and wanted a talk show.

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