Friday, December 09, 2016

I love the Holy Father.

Fernando Botero


Rigidity – which wrecks one’s interior life and even psychic balance – goes hand-in-glove with worldliness: 
“About rigidity and worldliness, it was some time ago that an elderly monsignor of the curia came to me, who works, a normal man, a good man, in love with Jesus – and he told me that he had gone to buy a couple of shirts at Euroclero [the clerical clothing store] and saw a young fellow - he thinks he had not more than 25 years, or a young priest or about to become a priest - before the mirror, with a cape, large, wide, velvet, with a silver chain. He then took the Saturno [wide-brimmed clerical headgear], he put it on and looked himself over. A rigid and worldly one. And that priest – he is wise, that monsignor, very wise - was able to overcome the pain, with a line of healthy humor and added: ‘And it is said that the Church does not allow women priests!’. Thus, does the work that the priest does when he becomes a functionary ends in the ridiculous, always.” - Pope Francis

Today's homily actually reminds me of a very good priest I know - he's very important in the Church now - although he never wanted to be.  He once said something to me about a very rigid priest, that though it may sound uncharitable, he hoped this young priest would experience a fall, so that he could learn humility.  A few years later he did fall - not into sin - but something happened, causing him to resign his position.  He's still a priest, but inactive.  My friend became a bishop.


Duck and cover.

20 comments:

  1. What are two men named Peter. What?

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    1. I love Jeopardy questions.

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  2. The reason people love rigidity is because it's easy. The boundaries are drawn and you don't have to think about it.

    Love, the opposite of rigidity, is very hard because we have to think about every encounter with other people and every word we speak to them and the words they speak to us. We have to think about what is in other people's hearts, and NOT judge them.

    Pope Francis is a man of great love, the very opposite of rigidity. And it's driving crazy all those who love boundaries and don't want to have to think.

    Love isn't what you do, it's what you are.

    We are living in fascinating times.

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    1. I was thinking along the same lines - it's about control as well.

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  3. Later in the piece: "The Pope went on to say, “Once, a person told me how he knew what kind of priest a man was by the attitude they had with children: if they knew how to caress a child, to smile at a child, to play with a child ..."

    I think that would violate at least 7, possibly 8, of my diocese' working with children and integrity in ministry policies.

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    1. True. I suppose we should imagine it as simply a metaphor then. ;)

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    2. I guess Jesus Christ would be in big trouble if he walked the earth today.

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  4. This is insulting to many good priests. The Holy Father ought to apologize for implying that priests who wear saturnos, cassocks, and capes are effeminate, rigid, and worldly.

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    1. I didn't get that - did you read my post about dear Fr. Ryan - who shot a couple of guys. I think the Holy Father is talking about those types. Not all traditional priests who dress like that are eccentric. If a priest is comfortable in his skin, he should know the Pope is not criticizing him. He simply offered an example.

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    2. I think you are not correct. I think the Pope hates traditional thing and traditional priests and loves putting them down and ridiculing him. Heck, I think he doesn't like priests in general. He never praises priests for their work, only criticizes. Our priests need support not unwarranted criticism.

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    3. I may be wrong - I don't need to be right. He doesn't hate tradition, he doesn't hate priests, he is Pope. I think people conflate the meaning of his words, I think they have a bitterness which sours their taste, their eyesight, their hearing. I can't imagine a humble man, priest or layman, taking offense at what the Pope says. A humble man can not be insulted.

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    4. Everything he has said and done regarding priests shows he has a strong dislike for priests - especially young traditional priests. Just because he is Pope doesn't mean he loves priests or Tradition. What he says means something. He has never once publicly said anything supportive of young, traditional priests...never ONCE! That means something! Also, I know many humble priests - some of whom are extremely holy, who are VERY offended by this Pope and what he said/says about young, traditional priests. This Pope is VERY out of touch - he's stuck in the 70's.

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    5. All I can do is keep praying the Pope and his priests that there will be a deeper love for one another. I read a comment on another blog from a young priest who said he is not at all offended and takes to heart the precautions offered by the Holy Father - so perhaps priests like that will console their brother priests who are offended.

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  5. I love the Holy Father, too. I think that for people who grew up traumatized as a result of having few boundaries and who now live in a society with few boundaries, being "rigid" about following rules and rubrics creates the emotional and psychological safety zones that are needed for healing. I wish that people who are more secure and advanced in their spiritual journey could understand that.

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    1. That's a very good insight, thank you.

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  6. Is it rigid to uphold the ten commandments? Was Jesus rigid when he said Moses allowed divorce because of the "hardness of your hearts?" Is a person who holds his own views against doctrines of the Church rigid? Was it really rigid of the four cardinals to ask for yes and no answers to five simple questions about the indissolubility of marriage? If an abortionist finds in his "internal forum" that what he is doing is really compassionate, can he be admitted to Holy Communion? What is the definition of rigidity? One of the questions was whether there are absolute moral norms. Are there? Or is everything a case of situation ethics? Here's Joseph Fletcher's famous "situation." Is it okay for the mother on the wagon train to smother the baby to prevent him from crying and alerting the Indians? Is all the doctrine of the Church rigid and in need of reform in the name of compassion and mercy?

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    1. "Is all the doctrine of the Church rigid and in need of reform in the name of compassion and mercy?"

      Not at all - what are you thinking asking something like this? That's so absurd.

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  7. Solid commentary as always, Terry.

    Viva il Papa!

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    1. I don't know - I just followed a few links on the old lady circuit and something seems to be wrong with their perception of things. It has a lot to do with where they get their news and commentary, and they lose their equilibrium - they need to know and understand the Holy See and the official voice of the Bishops in and through their chanceries, remain the ordinary and most authentic interpretation of Catholic teaching. The crack pots online only seed greater confusion, gossip, and worst of all, detraction.

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    2. I know that when I read your comments/opinions, I trust what you have to say and aside from what the Holy See has to say, I need not go elsewhere. Now, should I find myself confounded, I pray for clarity and go to read other reliable Catholic news sites. I don't bother with the so-called Catholic blogs.

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