Jul 25, 2006

The Priest--A Loss of Identity


Someone just sent me the recent Letter to Friends and Benefactors of Bishop Bernard Fellay, the newly elected Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). Bishop Fellay notes that a critical reason for the post-Vatican II crisis is that priesthood has been slighted. The priest has lost his identity because he was the forgotten man of Vatican II.

I was unaware of the lack of the infrequent mention of priests in Vatican II documents. Bishop Fellay notes that entire chapters of a key Vatican II document were dedicated to the bishops and especially to the laity, but only a few paragraphs refer to the priest. When the priest is mentioned, his role is diminished by being subordinated to the bishops or to the universal priesthood of the baptized. Bishop Fellay says the ministerial priesthood became blurred and denatured because the priest as preacher was seemingly ranked above his role as sacrificer.

The solution is to restore the priesthood where:
The priest is associated, immersed even, in the sacrificial act of Our Lord, Sovereign Priest, and he thus participates with his whole being, which he surrenders to Jesus, priest and victim, for the salvation of souls, for the redemptive act.
Our Church will not be restored until the priest's role as sacrificer is restored. "In persona Christi," his ordination ordains him for the offering of sacrifice.

3 comments:

claiborne said...

Fellay's right (on this subject, at least). The priests's role as shepherd and father-figure for his flock has also been annihilated. He can no longer lead or counsel or run his parish without stepping on the toes of countless (mostly female) liturgical directors, choir directors, altar server-trainers, committee members, pastoral council members, etc.,etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum. And he now shares his most literal, visceral, real role of father and shepherd feeding his sheep-that is, in the Eucharist- with pant-suit clad women EMHCs. No wonder the priesthood is having an identity crisis! What virile man could be attracted to the 'sissy figurehead' role adopted by so many priests these last four decades?

Dust I Am said...

Even old ladies like virile men!

claiborne said...

quite true; and imagine how sickened the MEN in the pews are. When will these guys realize that we don't want their humor, their skits, their ad-libbing , their suaveness, meekness, their hand-holding at Mass, their endless homilies about love, love, love, their hippie songs, their guitars, or especially their overbearing attitude of "let's all get along and be NICE"---we really want MEN who will be PRIESTS and Fathers to their spiritual children. We deserve that, rather than some mealy-mouthed pansy. It's hardly the priests fault, though, that they are all that's left to be attracted to the priesthood; it's the fault of those who stripped all the manly fatherly shepherding duties away from the parish priest and gave them to laypeople, thereby emasculating the priesthood. Pray for better days.