Masculinity Versus Maturity

Over at Zenit, I see an interview with an author-priest on Priestly Identity: Crisis and Renewal.

Father Toups has picked up the progressive lingo of “formation” over “education,” so you know his ideas can’t be all bad. Ongoing formation, no less. Way to go.

I’d say his musings on post-conciliar confusion were probably more due to two factors:

- Some Catholics, including priests, didn’t bother to read the post-conciliar documents, relying on a less or more “authoritative” interpretation from someone else. Some Catholics did read and conprehend, and since not every priest spawned from the early seventies and before is a basket case, I’d say some got the message.

- The main problem in the Catholic Church is that the three Vatican II documents on bishops, priests, and their formation shied away from reform and renewal. Many people got super-charged about the possibilities for the lay apostolate, liturgy, evangelization, and the Church’s interface with the modern world. If the priests got clunkers from the council, blame the bishops.

The appeal for more masculinity is always suspect. Sometimes, it’s just anti-gay pc-speak. More often, it’s just channeling anger. As I was reading Rod Dreher’s piece on women at Spring Break, it struck me that men and women both share a crisis of maturity. There are a number of priests, small but significant in percentage, I just want to tell: grow up for heaven’s sake!

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Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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3 Responses to Masculinity Versus Maturity

  1. Jimmy Mac says:

    It is the present day mission of the Church that defines the priesthood (i.e., celibate or married), not yesterday’s priesthood that defines the mission of the Church.

    Bishop Jacques Gaillot of Evreux, France.

    It is because of the priesthood of all of the “laos” (all the people of God), that those who exercise special and essential ministry for the whole people of God (our overseers and elders, bishops and priests) have their priesthood. They have a ministry of teaching and leadership in the priestly people who are dramatized by their preaching and presiding at the Eucharist. But in all this what they are expressing and exercising are the priesthood that belongs to us all. The ordained priest presides at the Eucharist by what he exercises is the priesthood of us all; at Mass we all consecrate the bread and wine through the ministry of the priest. He is there to represent our priesthood but not just to represent the congregation here present but the baptismal priesthood of the whole Church throughout the world. The presiding priest is consecrated by the whole Church to represent the whole Church; he is there because we are not simply a local group of Christians praying; we are the whole Church praying and so we are Christ praying, Christ offering his sacrifice, providing the sacrificial meal in which we show our solidarity with each other and with all the victims of this world, the sacrificial meal in which we are in solidarity with the victim on the cross through whom, at last, all humankind is brought through death and out of death to unity in the eternal life of love.

    Herbert McCabe, OP, A Kingdom of Priests? (article), New Blackfriars, December 1990.

  2. Jimmy Mac says:

    It is the present day mission of the Church that defines the priesthood (i.e., celibate or married), not yesterday’s priesthood that defines the mission of the Church.

    Bishop Jacques Gaillot of Evreux, France.

    It is because of the priesthood of all of the “laos” (all the people of God), that those who exercise special and essential ministry for the whole people of God (our overseers and elders, bishops and priests) have their priesthood. They have a ministry of teaching and leadership in the priestly people who are dramatized by their preaching and presiding at the Eucharist. But in all this what they are expressing and exercising are the priesthood that belongs to us all. The ordained priest presides at the Eucharist by what he exercises is the priesthood of us all; at Mass we all consecrate the bread and wine through the ministry of the priest. He is there to represent our priesthood but not just to represent the congregation here present but the baptismal priesthood of the whole Church throughout the world. The presiding priest is consecrated by the whole Church to represent the whole Church; he is there because we are not simply a local group of Christians praying; we are the whole Church praying and so we are Christ praying, Christ offering his sacrifice, providing the sacrificial meal in which we show our solidarity with each other and with all the victims of this world, the sacrificial meal in which we are in solidarity with the victim on the cross through whom, at last, all humankind is brought through death and out of death to unity in the eternal life of love.

    Herbert McCabe, OP, A Kingdom of Priests? (article), New Blackfriars, December 1990.

  3. Tony says:

    The appeal for more masculinity is always suspect. Sometimes, it’s just anti-gay pc-speak.

    And that statement is ignorant liberal spin.

    A priest is the spiritual father of his parish. When he celebrates the Mass he is Alter Christus (is Christ in the celebration of the Mass). He needs to understand Fatherhood in order to be an effective priest.

    A priest sacrifices the marital love of a woman and the possibility of fathering biological children of his own to become father to the faithful (that’s why we call him “father”).

    A gay man who is not sacrificing these temporal goods, has no concept of or interest in being a father, is deficient when he approaches the Catholic Church for ordination.

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