Categories
Uncategorized

DO WE NEED A PRIESTHOOD?

A small number of blog readers, one in particular, likes to maintain that after the life, death, and Ressurection of Jesus, a priesthood is no longer necessary.

That is a position I FUNDAMENTALLY DISAGREE WITH!

FROM THE CATHOLIC POSITION

“A friend of mine who belongs to an evangelical Church was asking me about the Mass. She read a quote from Hebrews, which seemed to say that the Mass could not be a sacrifice. Can you help me in this matter?”

The quote in question probably comes from chapter 9 of the Letter to the Hebrews, which addresses the sacrifice of Jesus. Verses 25-28 read, “Not that [Christ] might offer Himself there again and again, as the high priest enters year after year into the sanctuary with blood that is not his own; if that were so He would have had to suffer death over and over from the creation of the world. But now He has appeared at the end of the ages to take away sins once for all by His sacrifice. Just as it is appointed that men die once, and after death be judged, so Christ was offered up once to take away the sins of many; He will appear a second time not to take away sin but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await Him.” Perhaps, your friend may also be thinking of Hebrews 7:27: “Unlike the other high priests, [Jesus] has no need to offer sacrifice day after day, first for His own sins and then for those of the people; He did that once for all when He offered Himself.” To isolate these verses from the rest of Sacred Scripture and simply take them for face value would lead one to conclude that there could be no other sacrifice — Christ sacrificed Himself, it is over and done with, and that is it period. Such a view is myopic, to say the least.

Please note that in no way do we as Catholics believe that Christ continues to be crucified physically or die a physical death in Heaven over and over again. However, we do believe that the Mass does participate in the everlasting sacrifice of Christ. First, one must not separate the sacrifice of our Lord on the cross from the events which surround it. The sacrifice of our Lord is inseparably linked to the Last Supper. Here Jesus took bread and wine. Looking to St. Matthew’s text (26:26ff), He said over the bread, “Take this and eat it. This is my body”; and over the cup of wine, “This is my blood, the blood of the covenant, to be poured out in behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.” The next day, on Good Friday, our Lord’s body hung on the altar of the cross and His precious blood was spilt to wash away our sins and seal the everlasting, perfect covenant. The divine life our Lord offered and shared for our salvation in the sacrifice of Good Friday is the same offered and shared at the Last Supper. The Last Supper, the sacrifice of Good Friday, and the resurrection on Easter form one saving event.

Second, one must broaden our understanding of time. One must distinguish chronological time from kairotic time as found in Sacred Scripture. In the Bible, chronos refers to chronological time– past, present, and future– specific deeds which have an end point. Kairos or kairotic time refers to God’s eternal time, time of the present moment which recapitulates the entire past as well as contains the entire future. Therefore, while our Lord’s saving event occurred chronologically about the year 33 AD, in the kairotic sense of time it is an everpresent reality which touches our lives here and now. In the same sense, this is why through Baptism we share now in the mystery of Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection, a chronological event that happened almost 1,967 years ago but is still efficacious for us today.

The Mass therefore is a memorial. In each of the Eucharistic Prayers, the anamnesis or memorial follows the words of consecration, whereby we call to mind the passion, death, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord. However, this memorial is not simply a recollection of past history in chronological time, but rather a liturgical proclamation of living history, of an event that continues to live and touch our lives now in that sense of kairotic time. Just as good orthodox Jews truly live the Passover event when celebrating the Passover liturgy, plunging themselves into an event which occurred about 1200 years before our Lord, we too live Christ’s saving event in celebrating the Mass. The sacrifice which Christ offered for our salvation remains an everpresent reality: “As often as the sacrifice of the cross by which ‘Christ our Pasch is sacrificed’ is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried out” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, No. 3). Therefore, the Catholic Catechism asserts, “The Eucharist is thus a sacrifice because it re-presents (makes present) the sacrifice of the cross, because it is its memorial and because it applies its fruit” (No. 1366).

PAT SAYS

Very often, the Protestant or Evangelical position is a total misunderstanding of the actual Catholic position.

Catholics actually believe that the Mass is a PARTICIPATION in the once for all sacrifice of Christ on the Cross and a living MEMORIAL of it.

It is clear from the New Testament that Christ did call 12 disciples / apostles to a specific mission – to go out and be preachers, teachers, and baptisers of all the world.

These disciples were distinct from His other followers.

WHEN “DISCIPLES” BECAME “PRIESTS”.

The word priest is ultimately derived from Latin via Greek – presbyter.

The regular Latin word for priests was sacerdos.

With the spread of Christianity, that word was applied to bishops and not priests. Later, it applied to priests.

WHEN “PRIESTS” BECAME “CLERICS”.

The word priest was used a long time before the word cleric.

Cleric is a complicated word and represents the development of church structures, church laws, and a separate “caste” in church circles. And hence we talk about the clericalisation of the Church.

I have been a priest for going on 47 years abd 6 years before that in seminary.

I view priesthood as:

1. To lead a community in prayer, faith, and knowledge and to celebrate the Mass and Sacraments for the community.

2. To be a pastor. The word “pastor” comes from the word “shepherd.

In practice, that means to be always with the sheep, watching over them, protecting them from harm, and seeing to their all their needs.

I’ll give you an example of what I mean.

From 1978 to 1983, I was a priest at Divis Flats and the lower Falls Road.

It was at a time of great violence and chaos. Everybody was in great danger 24 / 7.

Every night at midnight, I used to walk around the whole perimeter of the parish – up the Falls Road, down the Grosvenor Road, along Durham Street, and back up Divis Street to the presbytery.

I was only 26 – 31, but I felt a father or big brother’s love for my people.

Since 1986 – 36 years now , I have been able to continue that style of priesthood precisely because I have not been in the clerical club.

The Church is supposed to lead people to Christ.

But the Church and many priests in it have become a massive road block on the way to Christ 😞

74 replies on “DO WE NEED A PRIESTHOOD?”

Pat, a good article to reflect on intelligently, prayerfully and rationally without the usual sniping, disdainful anti “clerical” / “priest” rants (from the predictable 2 or 3 unmentionables!!) . The mass is completely misunderstood by many. It is a beautiful prayer and ritual of commemoration to celebrate, recalling the great life giving graces given to us in and through Christ as we make present his salvific event of his death and resurrection. In celebraring Mass we live, pray and make real the words of Jesus himself at the Last Supper. An amazing moment for all who believe in God and who profess Christ. As priests, we celebrate the Mass to keep alive the Sacred Memory of Jesus, as we are reminded in the Eucharistic prayers. It is a HOLY and SACRED memory to perpetuate at every Mass. Being a priest in the Roman Catholic Church has not hindered me nor many of my colleagues in being a “shepherd” to parishioners. Our work brings us very much unto contact with parishioners…We too are on the ground…..And as we age and have less personnel the task is more and more challenging. In these times I believe we, as priests, must ensure that we avail of all liturgical moments – baptisms, weddings and funerals especially – to speak words of hope, encouragement and support to people. We must be kind and affirming of all whom we encounter in whatever situation God gives us each day. Keep up your good work.

Liked by 1 person

I don’t ‘like’ to maintain the fact that Jesus’ death and resurrection obviated priesthood (by achieving what it could not achieve: atonement for sin through sacrificial mediation between God, and the Jews); I just STATE the fact, unemotionally, because it IS historical and theological truth, albeit deeply unsettling and deeply unpopular for many, which, unsurprisingly, has them in open, and loudly rebellious denial of it.
Understandably (I suppose), priests of any Christian denomination would strongly reject this truth, but not from a sound Christology; rather from common-or-garden vested self-interest. As you do, Pat. A priest yourself.
How many priests would have the selflessness, and moral integrity, to admit not only that Jesus’ death and resurrection made their ministry unnecessary, but that its very existence was an open and institutional denial of Jesus’ own, salvific mission? What priest would want to admit such a supremely self-inconvenient truth, too terrible even to contemplate, much less own?
The existence of Christian priesthood is, literally, a form of blasphemy.
And consider the historical fruit of it, exactly what one might expect from such an aberration, not least its sworn obedience (certainly in the Roman Catholic Church) to… men rather than God. Speaks volumes for the claims that priesthood is of Christ.
Men, not Christ, instituted priesthood. This is historical fact. FACT! There were no priests in the early church. And it is men, not Christ, that priesthood historically, and principally, has served. (And how!)
Who can honestly say that he is surprised by any of this? (Priests of course, and understandably, excepted.)

Like

I don’t think you’ve mentioned it so just to clarify: do you believe in the priesthood of believers?
Thank you

Like

10.40

I don’t believe in priesthood of any kind; I should have thought this clear by now.

Priesthood is a purely human contrivance, even in the Old Testament. It is a failed historical and intermediary agency in terms of redemption; hence, Jesus’ coming to do what it never could: atone for sin.

As Paul declares in 1 Timothy, there is only one mediator between God and humankind: Jesus. Priesthood, among other things, is a distraction from this fundamental and Christological truth.

Like

11:18 Thank you. I know for a fact that you will be aware that this view places you outside the mainstream of Christian belief, whether Catholic, Protestant, etc.
Can you account for how all these other groups have got it wrong? Where did the idea of the priesthood of believers come from?

Like

12.58
My view places me outside mainstream Catholicism and Protestantism? Perhaps, though I’m not the only Christian who believes that priesthood is redundant. Funnily enough, Jesus does so, too. To be united with Christ is infinitely more important than popularity with religious demographics.
If Jesus death and resurrection fulfilled the primary function of levitical priesthood (and it did, unquestionably), then, logically, priesthood itself, as intermediary agency, is now redundant.
There was no priesthood in the early church; no priests. To use a modern term, it was ‘lay’ people, possibly women among them, who ate bread and drank wine in memory of Jesus, just as he had instructed. Do you seriously believe that these followers did in vain what you now claim is done when the same, prandial functions are performed by priests?
Your sacramental, closed – shop mentality is not impressive.

Like

Did not Jesus pray over His disciples, breathe on them, and send the Spirit on them at Pentecost instructing them to go out and preach to all nations and baptise them?

Immediately post Jesus, the Apostles went out and set up other Christian communities and appointed elders in them.

John became the presiding elder and “overseer” in Antioch.

Thomas is reputed to have taken the faith to India.

You can not claim that EVERYONE in the early church was “lay”

At least there were apostles and elders and very quickly overseers or Episcopi

Like

‘Your sacramental, closed – shop mentality is not impressive.’
I’m the same person who asked you the two questions about priesthood of believers.
It may surprise you to know that far from this being my mentality I’m not even a Christian. I was brought up Methodist, became RC with a journey through the C of E and ended up Quaker attender before ditching the whole thing and would like you to point out the Christians who don’t believe in the priesthood of believers.
As well as your discernment of spirits I find your statement about these people questionable because I have also met many members of other branches of Western Christianity and the only one I’ve come across who holds your view is you.
You may point to the Quakers but many of them would question how Christian they are nowadays.
Will you point out these numerous people online please?

Like

1.46
Everyone in the early church was indeed lay, in the sense that he or she was not a priest. How? Because ALL Jesus’ followers, regardless of age or gender, were Spirit-recipients; there were no distinctions among them in terms of the spiritual charisms of Jesus. These had been given to each, without exception, through the Spirit. Everyone was to be an ‘alter Christus’, as it were, not just males, since God is neither male nor female.
The emergence of male priesthood however, from the form of administration in early local churches (and, undoubtedly, from Jewish custom and habit), was a form of elitism that would deny and dismantle the spiritual commonality of the early church, selectively disempowering it of the functions gifted indiscriminately by the Spirit. The Church Universal would then become a hierarchy, a ground for competition and dominance, particularly of men over women.
I agree with your earlier comment that priesthood is about ministry. But it is not, as it should be, exclusively about ministry. Unfortunately, it is also (and more fundamentally) about the claim of intermediation between God and humankind; this, quintessentially, is priesthood today, as in Jesus’ time. Were it not for this, we’d have a full meeting of minds, but, then, were it not for this, priesthood wouldn’t be priesthood, would it? Just a ministry exercised by all rather than a self-privileged and relative few.

Like

1.58
I cannot specify these groups, because I am not certain and don’t want to mislead you; but, as a rule of thumb, those who worship without mediation by clergy.

Like

6.18

Your point about the Pastoral Letters is moot: some biblical scholars would agree with you, but the majority would not.

I believe that Paul is, on balance, the author of 1 Timothy. However, because of stylistic and other differences in the remaining two pastorals (2 Timothy, and Titus) , I’m less persuaded that Paul is the sole author of these works, but, instead, is more likely to be their co-author.

Like

7.42
Name a single biblical scholar who is not a literalist or a fundamentalist who proposes Paul to be the author of 1 Timothy.
What you claim about 2 Timothy is exactly the opposite of what mainstream biblical scholarship holds. It is the Pastoral letter with the most likelihood to have been authored by Paul, though admittedly, that is to start from a low base.
The primary argument against Pauline authorship is the content of the works themselves. Unlike the letters whose Pauline authorship is not disputed, the Pastorals are concerned with Christian communities which have been well established, perhaps two or more generations after Paul. Their focus, inter alia, on official relations eith civil society suggest different targets from the rest.

Like

1.00am: We jniw who you are. Still the thoughts of someone who was rejected. Your theology is erroneous, by choice. No matter how you try, MC, you’ll never obviate the priesthoid I share in – that of Christ. You replicate a personal bitter bias and prejudice as always. The reality of PRIESTHOOD is not a blasphemy but some priest’s way of living it is a blasphemy. Like Pat, I fervently believe in ministerial/presbyteral priesthood and the priesthood of all baptised people in that all of us are called to emulate CHRIST. You should try it!! I’m sure your local parish would appreciate your “priesthood” calling in Christ. Aren’t you gifted????

Like

1.00
Please explain why you opted for seminary. And then, that your change of plan was not connected with your departure.
By all accounts, a bizzare hypothesis not persuading anyone.

Like

6.17
I opted for priesthood and seminary, because, at the time, I believed about priesthood what most priests do today. AT THE TIME.
My leaving seminary had nothing whatever to do with a ‘change of plan’, if, by this, you mean my current view of priesthood. This didn’t develop until I had left seminary for quite some time.
I was not rejected for ordination by seminary authorities (quite the reverse), despite the oft-repeated lie here that I was. I left of my own accord for personal reasons.

Like

I followed a similar path Magna, though other than calling it a plan in any forethought sense, I regard it more as a progressive development of my understanding.
Frustrated clerics often refer to we ex-sems as rejects or use similar derogatory terms. That tells us more about their perceptions of their own self perceived superiority than any objective appraisal. Such assertions are usually based on insecurity.
Like you, I left of my own accord. Mind you I still retain great respect for many former seminary colleagues, our ‘formators’ of those days, and view my six years there as a positive foundation for my ethical and moral values.
But thinking back on the 54 years since leaving: my own subjective understanding of religious beliefs and objective revelations concerning the RCC….Well I consider myself very fortunate not to be shackled intellectually, psychologically, and certainly materially to such a demonstrably destructive construct as the RCC.
MMM

Like

Do we need a priesthood?
Is it conceivable that God could require his church to have a priesthood and fail to supply the necessary priests? The so called vocations crisis tells us that God says we don’t need a priesthood, because if the church is indefectible by definition it can’t not be fed by the sacraments.

Like

Yes indeed @ 1.04, you make an obvious and sensible point. But it’s so logical that cathbot mentality will fail to recognise or acknowledge it.
MMM

Like

“Let us pray for those who are suffering this Christmas and renew our prayers for peace. A joyful Christmas to you and yours and may the New Year bring peace and blessings for us all.” – A Christmas message from the Bishop of Meath, Tom Deenihan.
Let us pray for Dom Benedict Andersen, the true Prior of Silverstream. Dom Benedict is suffering a morally reprehensible persecution. Let us renew our prayers for Tom Deenihan to stop this most unChristian behaviour.
Peace, peace, peace. All Tom Deenihan does is talk about peace. How can Tom Deenihan speak about peace as he continues his persecution of Dom Benedict?
Paul Connell: I saw Tom’s mitre!
(Declan Hurley & Joseph Gallagher: Where?)
Paul Connell: There on the stair!
(Declan Hurley & Joseph Gallagher: Where on the stair?)
Paul Connell: Right there!
A little mouse with Tom’s mitre on
Well I declare!
Going clip-clippety-clop on the stair
Oh yeah!
Declan Hurley, Joseph Gallagher and Paul Connell must reflect on their diocesan positions. Their support for Tom Deenihan’s deception of Dom Bories is very concerning. They are bringing absolute shame and embarrassment upon the diocese. Their diocesan positions must be untenable?

Like

New vocations campaign for the Diocese of Meath just dropped:
“The Diocese of Meath: You can get away with sexual assault here, probably”

Like

Bad theology. The Mass does not ‘participate’ in Christ’s self-sacrificing death on Calvary: instead, it RE-PRESENTS it.
It is completely nonsensical, intellectually and theologically, to say, effectively, that Christ (in Mass today) ‘participates’ in his own death 2000 years ago. If he does, then someone (or some others) in addition to Jesus hung on that cross on Calvary; this is what ‘participates’ suggests.
Only God could redeem the world in the person of his son, Jesus. Only God did. There was no participation by anyone.

Like

In speaking about a lived priesthood I think many priests will recall a time in the 70’s/80’s – my early years – it was a custom for all priests in parishes to visit home by home together as a group of priests – in my case 5 initially, then 4 and afterwards 3 if possible, depending on number of priests in parish. These were great moments and wonderful pastoral work. As we lessened in numbers this task became impossible to sustain. Then with the revelations of sexual abuse scandals, i belueve we scared off because of the shame, horror and extent of the scandals. Sadly. Now we do not have the personnel to sustain the initial task of visitation of homes. We try to use the moments of gathering for useful and fruutful evangelizing along with all other initiatives. Times have changed, almost irrevocably.

Liked by 1 person

Martin at 9:07
I don’t know where you’re talking about but in my lifetime I have moved house numerous times when I was younger (in the eighties and nineties) and only once lived in a parish with more than one priest (and then only because it was a religious community).
I have never known the PP visit systematically unless invited. From accounts I’ve heard I would credit the systematic visiting of parishioners to the decision of a rare zealous parish priest and to a much earlier age than I have known.
Where was the experience you’re talking about, please? Mine was in three dioceses in England but mostly Birmingham.

Like

1.09: My experiences of organised parish visitation were in the Dublin Diocese between the years 1979-1992. In first parish there were 5 priests and a great and caring P.P. We engaged in the visitation joyfully. In my second parish there were 4 of us and again I worked with a P. P. who believed in the value of visitation. It was a very wonderful time for all of us. Thereafter I worked in parishes with less and older personnel. Visitation was merely done for house blessings, sick calls or to make funeral arrangements with families. I believe that were we to visit parishioners today we may well not get past the front door!!

Like

I was ordained in 1976, and house to house visitation by the priest was the norm and the expected.

I did house visitation until I was removed from Larne Parish in 1986.

In Larne, I was often the first priest in the house in 30 years.

Like

House visitation is something the Irish Anglicans are good at. I’ve been told by Anglican friends that if they are weekly attenders and stop going, the minister or member of the congregation will call out to see if there is anything wrong or if there is a reason for not coming any more, that they might be able to help with.

Like

Bp Pat, I agree with your analysis as far as you apply it. By “eat My Body”, Jesus means, trust the Holy Spirit gift bestowed on those weaker and younger (that’s why He ascended): which the CCC and Council aren’t frank about. According to St Paul in I Cor 11: 29-30, leaders who ignore this, risk becoming dead hands, dead in the water, a dead weight, dead on their feet – just like their god whom Nietzsche wrote off.
The Vatican state (which strongarms good bishops) has misappropriated the “sacrament” to itself even to the extent of now querying Christian baptism, personal conscience and God’s conversion. Therefore for the practising, it has become better to make spiritual communion. Protestants don’t understand this any more than Romans do.
In my young day (where I lived) most practising catholics sat out most weeks, our spirituality was not organisationally encumbered, and we made politicians genuinely comfortable. JP II thought frequent using of confected elements and ramping up sex obsession would be a cure for his clergy’s inferiority complex or Bolshevism.

Like

It is hard to make a point because you re all brained washed in the doctrine of Catholic Hypocrisy…. It is understandable after 7-10 years in Seminaries like Allen Hall.. to lost the function of your own brains and let yourself directed like marionettes from Bishops and Cardinals…
And the bible, that you read, interpret but not practise… Like confession, where you confess but never repent… Like being pedophiles in the majority of Roman Catholic priests, who constantly committe crimes against life, huminaty, and God and bible…
If the Mass is a sacrifice or not should make point if you do it out your own free will as Jesus did…, not by covering your crimes…!!!

Liked by 1 person

I am content that churches / religions have a group of people who provide leadership, direction, spiritual and sacramental services etc., as Catholic priests do. However, that group needs to be controlled and managed and given direction itself, otherwise we end up with what we have now, which is an elite clerical culture that bestows upon itself instant wisdom and works from a top down position. A management group needs to be above the priestly group and direct their work /ministry. The priestly group should be answerable to this management group. The management group itself should be changed often and appointed / elected by the majority of the community. As well, a priestly class should not be able to decide who is or who is not able to be a priest. Selection and choice should be through the management group, and hopefully the spread of priests would be much more democratic and representative across gender, life style, relationships, sexuality etc. Badly educated priests, poorly trained, ability limited priests, who think of themselves as the final arbiter and last word in any decision, and who impose things on the majority should be ended. Look where that has got us.

Liked by 1 person

Anonymoussays:
Jan 6, 2023 at 9:31 am
“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Never more important than it’s need today.

“Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely”
We see evidence of this degenerate characteristic played out in the Roman Catholic hierarchy worldwide, it would appear, they have seen themselves as above reproach, until recently, even now they will try it on, and no doubt, infuriatingly many escape justice, which they richly deserve.
Keep up the good work Pat, I doubt, if you will ever run out of material for this blog, the gas from the cesspit is incessant.

Like

Everybody always talks about clergy or leadership and what they should be like but nobody ever mentions something else that presumably they don’t want because it means loss of control…
The scriptural way to choose leadership is by lot.
So if you say scripture says we should have priests/bishops you have to take into account that it also says we don’t get to choose them!

Liked by 1 person

Of course we need a priesthood. Their antics and double standards are a continued source of amusement. Life would be dull without them. Abbots buggering priests on kitchen tables, bishops with wandering hands, even visiting gay saunas, priests wanking in their cars, peeping Tom priests in shopping centre changing rooms.

Like

Interesting comments so far, some sensible as @ 9.31& 5.51, but most still wedded to the concept that the mass somehow recreates Christ’s alleged sacrifice.
Regulars will know that I think the mass, especially the transubstantiaton concept, to be a load of codswallop. But were I a believer, I’d more incline to MC’s oft repeated assertion that Christ’s sacrifice on behalf of humankind, suffices. Given that, believers could be guided and supported by chosen leaders: certainly not self selected “priests” purporting to have God given magical powers of sacrificial Mass/transubstantion.
It’s little wonder the RCC clerical fraternity are so resistant to any intrusion seen as threatening their position.
MMM

Liked by 1 person


Watch from 11min in. Benedict gifts to the Cathedral church a chalice. Vlad the impaler asks (caught on mic) “would you like to show it to the congregation?”
Cardinal: NO

What a cheeky bugger. We pay for the Cathedral and yet we can’t have a glimpse at the silverware. Tut

Like

It just shows you how many clergy are in the canaries this week, by the lack of comments – too busy renting boys

Like

1:40 let’s hope they purchased one way tickets to the Canaries, the health service is already way overstretched with non-fault emergencies.

Like

And – shame on you. Wtf have you done to us RCC? ! I am with those children, men and women AND animals cruelly treated, but thankfully, not experienced abuse by RC priests – except for the other key important issue of your use of the inexact and often dangerous ‘science’ of psycho analysis, since my childhood. Thankfully my parents & relatives were intelligent enough to take your sycophancy, lies & deceit, with a pinch of salt – and never looked back.
I no longer believe anything human can consubstantiate bread & wine into the Body & Blood of Christ. I am older now. I see. The Mass, I do not know if it is a Sacrifice, but I, as an ‘ordinary’ parishioner – yet slightly extraordinary because of baptisms of fire and the Holy Spirit – forgive me if you don’t know your Gifts too, sorry – but when we see you speaking those words of “cleanse me from my sin”, we now know that is sacrilege because you know what you are doing.
Sin, in my combined evangelical AND Catholic belief ‘system’ with the Scriptures atop the Mountain of Truth, tells me that I am Saved by the Cross of Christ. “i am the Way the Truth and the Life, no one gets to the Father, except by me.” Take away your ‘feast’ days etc. People can have feasts, terror, love, peace, anxiety, hate, hope, charity all in one day or further apart than moments in a day.
I was ignorant of the many evils of abuse, except professionally ( for years.) Most clergy are from financially privileged backgrounds and it look like they are ‘playing’ in the grounds of poverty. A good friend told me I have always been admired for being unafraid to speak out in a ‘crowd’ or ‘audience’. This is what Jeremiah speaks of not to be afraid ( we often are who seem ‘brave’) for the Holy Spirit will give us the Words and in Revelation ‘ a door that cannot be shut.’ ‘My Spirit is enough for you.” I see your ‘theology isn’t getting you very far. We wish & pray to stay but some excommunicate & extricate ourselves from a path that rubbishes that most pure, most significant of words cannot describe Holy Communion symbol of His Last Supper. “Lord. I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof. Only SAY the WORD and my soul shall be healed. He does. None of you is my ‘father nor Father. Our Father is in The Prayer and I was blessed enough – greatly by being given a fine, gentle and good earthly father and mother. Only 2 priests imo, since my childhood ( a lot of priests!) are of similar love and care towards others and great wisdom – as was my dad – that I would and did gladly call Fr. I’m glad I discovered some Truth.

Thank you for sharing your history, Pat. I love the Mass but I refuse to speak ‘one baptism for the forgiveness of sins’ , for ‘us men’ ( that’s not even grammatically correct!) nor to accept what I once believed to be true – that priests & your teaching were just a bit like the ‘rest of us’. The Church is right and middle ground Establishment. Of course I favour Ireland. It is part of my DNA – I’m no longer ‘green around the gills’, though.
God bless and thanks for sharing plus some others on Comments. Your blog is helpful & a friend discovered it recently, by accident whilst researching Canon M. McCoy’s death.

Like

2.14: Can you write in plain, correct English? This is the worst, most confused and complicated gobbledygook ever written!! Go back to school. Please..to save you future embarrassment.

Like

2:14: get out more! What ARE you on about? Exercise like on foot rambling will be better for you than your rambling here.

Like

3:12 take a hike, Fr Stalker & do yourself and your Bishop a favour & fling the camera phone in the nearest river.

Like

It goes without saying that the vast majority of baptised catholics no longer consider themselves so or even christian, many with some faith have dropped the tag ‘catholic’ and then you have the rest, a dying breed. Priesthood means absolutely nothing to most people today in Ireland.
Why should it? That a ‘man’s’ hand is crossed with olive oil and for the next fifty odd years is given licence to perform all sorts of illogical acts, never mind the illegal acts many have been accused off. Bread and wine held up as the actual body and blood of their redeemer and adored for the rest of the week in a box, sins forgiven, and establishing communication with god that he might intervene to alleviate pain and suffering, at a price. All the time set apart and above others. Absolute nonsence. 2023 says ‘No’.
I consider myself a christian but struggle to define my relationship to god in the concepts drilled into me at school and your extract above. Jesus and the Christ are two different entities. The historical Jesus was lost in the attempts by early church fathers to define Jesus and his relationship with god, part of which was to establish and define priesthood. Jesus never intended priesthood, he was a rabbi and a teacher. He wanted a better life for his people in Galilee and confronted the roman occupiers and suffered crucifixion as a consequence.
The gospels were written some forty to seventy years later to establish his role as messiah. They were jewish documents that were never meant to be read literally. Modern biblical scholarship understands this to be so. Read the texts as they are meant to be read and allow yourself to be consumed into the mystery that is god, the unknowable source of all that is good and creative.

Like

Well no, I’m not a heretic, I’m an atheist. I regard the contortions of believers in religious mumbo-jury with scepticism founded on common sense, not indoctrinated religiosity.
PPK7’s comments have more sense than the customary cathbot ordure.

Like

No – we do not need a priesthood.

If you read the New Testament candidly, ministry appears to be functional, spontaneous and localised. I think any Christian can celebrate the sacraments – whether one should is another question.

That does not mean we do not need ministers or, in some form, bishops. The United Reformed Church seem to achieve a balance between local autonomy and accountability and the need for oversight.

Why can’t Rome, the “One True Fold of the Redeemer”?

Like

5:41 They’ve also managed to incorporate large parts of three different denominations including, extraordinarily, the Congregationalists, without mammoth drama. My dealings with URC members have been incredibly varied but always positive, and I think if the Methodists find themselves unable to continue independently they may be absorbed as well.
Sadly the closest to this positive working together that Rome has ever got is holding out the ‘extraordinary rite’ as a carrot to the SSPX before withdrawing it again to unsurprising howls of agony.
But then Rome doesn’t work with people…

Like

ATTORNEY GARABEDIAN SAYS “ POPE BENEDICT CONTINUED THE COVER-UP OF CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE ”
GoLocalProv News Team.
Thursday, January 05, 2023.
“For the most part, Pope Benedict continued the cover-up of clergy sexual abuse by saying the right things but not taking substantive action. Respectfully, Pope Benedict did very little to alleviate the suffering and loneliness of childhood sexual abuse victims. The here and there limited action by Pope Benedict compounded the pain of clergy sexual abuse victims everywhere.”
https://www.golocalprov.com/news/attorney-garabedian-says-pope-benedict-continued-the-cover-up-of-clergy-sex

Like

Excellent post, FYI.
Mitch G. has more moral integrity in a … toe-nail clipping than Benedict ever had in his entire person.

Like

I want to clarify any confusion that may have been caused by my comments today on priesthood.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with the ministry of priesthood: I believe it comes from Christ, and can, given the right personal disposition and piety, be exercised in service of Christ, and for others.
But this ministry was open to all originally and should, therefore, be exercised by all Jesus’ followers today, not just by priests.
The emergence of priesthood in the church monopolised this ministry to a male elite. This was wrong, and it needs to cease.
Priesthood is wrong; the ministry of priesthood is good.

Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s