Cleansing Fire

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Erosion of the Ordained Priesthood Continues

March 8th, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

The Diocese of Rochester’s annual priest convocation will soon take place…

…and once again, lay pastoral administrators are invited to attend. The convocation should be an event where our priests get to some spend quiet time alone with their bishop for prayer, reflection, and instruction. This is not the case in Rochester. Our all-inclusive priest convocation is yet another example of how this bishop has eroded the distinctiveness and importance of the Roman Catholic priesthood in our diocese.

Ecce legatum Ramerman

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11 Responses to “Erosion of the Ordained Priesthood Continues”

  1. avatar Bernie says:

    I hope it's at the high altar.

  2. avatar Persis says:

    I could not agree more that this is a good example of the erosion of the distinctiveness of the ordained priesthood.

    In a related question to you and all of your readers, how many of you actually hear petitions during the prayers of the faithful,for the increase in priestly vocations?

    I am sad to say, that in the past 25 Masses I have attended (including Sundays and weekdays, at various churches in the Rochester area), not once have I heard a petition for vocations to the priesthood!
    This is terrible, especially in the "Year of the Priest"

    What do we have a "Vocations" office for, or is a "Vacation" office for some poor "displaced" lay person?

  3. avatar Gen says:

    I plan on crashing this convocation – I've got excellent intel.

  4. avatar Bernie says:

    My comment was meant for the Latin Mass in Washington. Very sorry.

  5. avatar Gen says:

    It will be at the high altar, Bernie. It promises to be stellar.

  6. avatar Anonymous says:

    In response to Persis: when I got to OLV I hear it, when I go to another church, I most often do not.

  7. avatar Anonymous says:

    Do you not realize there is a priest shortage in this Diocese?
    Pastoral Administrators work very hard! They don't get compensated for the amount of hours they put in.
    Remember on top of what a priest makes for salary, they receive housing on top, food on top, phone on top… basically all their living expenses are covered and they get a higher salary than pastoral administrators. It's sad that you can't acknowledge the hard work of ministers in our Diocese.
    If we lived in 1950, we would have enough priests, but we don't. Our church has a need that has to be filled somehow.
    Are you suggesting we get rid of pastoral administrators? Who is going to do the job then? Or should we just close parishes one after another so there is no place to worship?
    Instead of constantly judgeing and complaining, why not do something constructive and find a solution.
    Judge not or you will be judged.

  8. avatar Dr. K says:

    "Do you not realize there is a priest shortage in this Diocese?"

    I am well aware that we do not have as many priests as in years past. It is a self-inflicted wound. Do you understand why that's the case?

    "Pastoral Administrators work very hard! They don't get compensated for the amount of hours they put in.
    Remember on top of what a priest makes for salary, they receive housing on top, food on top, phone on top… basically all their living expenses are covered and they get a higher salary than pastoral administrators. It's sad that you can't acknowledge the hard work of ministers in our Diocese."

    That's all we need when we are closing parishes, to add even more costs which lead to greater debt. Instead of just supporting a priest, you're expecting us to support two people for every parish. Think of the costs.

    "If we lived in 1950, we would have enough priests, but we don't. Our church has a need that has to be filled somehow."

    We can live in 2010 and have enough priests. How? This can easily be accomplished by treating priests like priests, and not assigning a gaggle of priests to take orders from a lay person who is not ordained and quite possibly has far less education than the priest. Not many young men would want to go through 6-7 years of seminary to take orders from someone who did not come close to doing the same. Additionally, this diocese could stop turning away men who agree with the Church's teaching that Jesus ordained men alone to the priesthood. Also… did you know that we have priests out there capable of serving that are not doing so because of the progressive climate in this diocese? Did you know that young men have left this diocese after being ordained, and others chose to be ordained for traditional orders rather than stay in Rochester? I know of quite a few of these men.

    -continued-

  9. avatar Dr. K says:

    "Are you suggesting we get rid of pastoral administrators? Who is going to do the job then? Or should we just close parishes one after another so there is no place to worship?"

    We have Pastoral Administrators right now, yet we're still closing plenty of churches. Yes, I do suggest we get rid of Pastoral Administrators. All of them. Such a position does not exist in the tradition of the Catholic Church. The Church speaks quite negatively about assigning lay people to run parish. It's not permitted. Inviting lay people to assist priests is one thing (the DoR "Pastoral Associate" position), but to be in charge of priests? No thanks. Priests can easily do the job that lay administrators are doing right now. Ecclesiae de Mysterio speaks of the possibility of assigning a few retired priests to run a parish. So, Fr. Tyman, Fr. Lawlor, and Fr. Lynch should be able to do their job without Sr. Joan Sobala being in charge. They could collaborate, with Fr. Tyman serving as lead priest (the moderator). Our priests are men, even though they oftentimes don't act like it in this diocese. They aren't little babies wearing diapers. It's time for our priests to step forward and act like priests. It's time for them to act like men. Yes, it's a tough job, but we are here to support them if they need assistance.

    Instead of constantly judgeing and complaining, why not do something constructive and find a solution.
    Judge not or you will be judged.

    Thank you for assigning judgment against us by the way.

    Ok. Here's what I would do. If I were bishop, I would cluster every parish in the diocese temporarily, and assign these clusters to a couple of priests a piece. This would alleviate the burden on any one priest. I would make full use of retired priests available in the diocese to support the active priests with providing Masses. I would then work as hard as I could to improve the vocations situation. I trust that in a climate of reverent worship and orthodoxy, we would see more young men come forward than we do today. They wouldn't be afraid of being rejected for believing what the Church actually teaches. When priest numbers improve, I would begin de-clustering parishes, and try to restore the diocese to normal.

    ~Dr. K

  10. avatar Anonymous says:

    Wonder what your opinion is on the Deacon Administrators in this Diocese… all of whom seem quite orthodox – Condon in Corning, DiLallo in Auburn, Hurley in Rochester, and LaFortune in Bath.

  11. avatar Dr. K says:

    I'm not going to deny that we have some solid deacons serving as administrators. However, this position of "Pastoral Administrator" does not exist in the Catholic Church. I see no problem with deacons collaborating with priests in leadership during a time of need (Canon 517.2 allows collaboration, but not directing or leading or "administering"). In fact, Canon 517.2 gives a strong preference to the collaboration of deacons before lay persons should be availed of.

    All pastoral administration by non-priests should end as soon as possible, regardless of the orthodoxy of the person in question.

    ~Dr. K

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