New priests lie facedown on the floor during an ordination ceremony presided over by Pope Francis, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, on April 22, 2018. (Tony Gentile/Pool Photo via AP)

The Catholic Church's US seminaries need reform

(RNS) — No one has a greater impact on a Catholic parish than its pastor, which is why diocesan seminaries are key to the future of the church in America. Diocesan seminaries evaluate and then form those men who want to be parish priests. Sadly, in recent decades, too many of the priests coming out of these seminaries have been trained to be authoritarians with few pastoral skills.

Some of them come to seminary with an authoritarian mindset, but faculty at today's seminaries often do little to change that. Some faculty members even foster it, teaching their students that they have all the answers and that their job is to kick the laity into shape. In these cases, seminarians are not taught to listen, to delegate, to work with committees or to empower the laity, especially women.

This is not true of all seminaries and seminarians. Chicago’s Mundelein Seminary has improved under the leadership of Cardinal Blase Cupich. Some are mixed bags. Others are disaster areas.

In the worst programs, students are told not to ask questions but to consult “The Catechism of the Catholic Church,” the book-length presentation of the teachings of the church prepared under the papacy of John Paul II. The documents of the Second Vatican Council are either downplayed or interpreted through a conservative lens. In too many places by too many faculty, moral theology is presented in a legalistic framework in which everything is black or white.

This has been going on in American seminaries since at least the mid-1990s, after conservative bishops had consolidated their control of seminaries. The result is that many parishioners are unhappy with their pastors.

Photo courtesy of Gregory Dean via Shutterstock

Seminaries were one of the great reforms that came out of the Council of Trent, the long meeting of the church in the mid-1500s spurred by the Protestant Reformation. Until that time, many clergymen were ignorant and sometimes even illiterate. Trent insisted that the clergy be educated and urged bishops to set up seminaries to prepare men for the priesthood.

Seminaries also were a way of segregating seminarians from the world in order to protect and foster their vocations. Seminaries were often built in the countryside, where the seminarians could be easily protected from temptation. If they don’t interact with women, they will not fall in love and leave.

Today, American seminaries are usually in cities and connected to universities, but the mentality of keeping seminarians separate remains. Their classes are often separate from other students.

In the worse cases, the local bishop intentionally staffs the seminary with graduates from the most right-wing schools. Under the papacy of John Paul II, seminary professors were screened to remove theologians who questioned church teaching, especially in the area of birth control, sexual ethics or ministry.

In the past 20 years, priests who were nostalgic about the pre-Vatican II church and liturgy were welcomed on seminary faculties.

It is tempting to suggest blowing up the seminaries, hiring lay professors and integrating their students into Catholic universities. If seminarians cannot function on a university campus, they will not be able to function in a parish.

If that is all it took, reforming our seminaries would be easy.

In fact, the number of lay people on seminary faculties has increased in recent years, but their presence has not necessarily helped, since bishops have been able to find conservative laity, both men and women, to support their traditionalist agenda.

And who would choose the universities to which seminaries move? The same bishops who are controlling seminaries today.

Five men, kneeling, are ordained into the priesthood on May 25, 2013, at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston. Photo by George Martell/The Pilot Media Group/Creative Commons


 This image is available for web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Wherever they study, seminarians need to be in classes where challenging questions are asked and where they interact with the people they will someday minister to and with. It is harder to be clerical and patriarchal when some of the women in your class are smarter than you are. It is also important to interact with those their age who think religion is irrelevant.

In addition to taking a hard look at seminary structure and scholarship, the church needs to address who attends. The best seminary rectors complain about some of the men sent to them by dioceses. The problem, often, are the vocation directors, who may care more about numbers than quality.

Applicants do get police background checks and psychological testing before admission, but too often red flags are ignored. One psychologist involved in screening candidates was ignored when he warned a bishop not to accept a man. Within a few months of his entry, he attempted suicide.

Seminary rectors are also pressured by bishops and vocation directors to keep men that the rectors and their faculty judge to be ill-suited for ministry. They often comply because if a bishop gets mad and sends his seminarians elsewhere, the seminary will suffer financially.

Bishops have been known to ordain men even when a seminary's rector and faculty unanimously recommend against it. Though only priests on the faculty can vote on a candidate for ordination, bishops sometimes think they have been too harsh in judging candidates. (They are anything but harsh.) Some bishops are so desperate for priests that they will take almost anyone.

The obvious way to increase the candidate pool would be to allow married men to be priests, although conservative bishops would still be able to find conservative candidates to admit.

It would help if the laity had a say in who serves them as priests. The lack of lay involvement in the screening of candidates for the seminary and ordination in most dioceses is not good for the church.

One innovative program developed in the St. Paul Seminary in Minnesota and being adopted at Mundelein Seminary in Chicago is a pastoral field education program for seminarians in parishes. The key difference between the structure of this program and the usual pattern of others is that seminarians intern in the same parish for four years, with a dozen or so laity involved regularly in their evaluation.

Catholic seminaries need more than minor tinkering. Screening needs to weed out not just criminals — child molesters — but those who are incapable of developing into compassionate priests. The formation program should be challenging intellectually but also develop pastoral skills necessary to not only minister to people in need but also empower the laity to take ownership in their communities.

This is not an easy task, but it is made more difficult by many bishops who prefer the status quo. I fear we will not see much change in seminaries until Francis has time to appoint more new bishops. It could take another five years before we see real reform of diocesan seminaries.

Comments

  1. Fr. Reese presents a grim picture of the state of U.S. seminaries. From what I hear from Catholic friends, he is exactly right about the authoritarian nature of younger priests coming out of seminaries these days. Far from being “servants of the servants of God,” it seems they prefer being waited on hand and foot by a subservient laity who exist principally to do the priest’s bidding. I fear it will take far longer than five years to remedy this situation – a generation seems more like it, that is, if a conservative restoration doesn’t succeed Pope Francis’ pontificate, which seems likely – in which case it’s right back to Trent, Latin, and lace.

  2. “This has been going on in American seminaries since at least the mid-1990s, after conservative bishops had consolidated their control of seminaries. The result is that many parishioners are unhappy with their pastors.”

    Especially when their pastors say things like “If you support abortion, you can’t receive communion.” or “If you’re in an irregular marriage and having sexual relations, you can’t receive communion.”

    The article seems to be more about what Thomas J. Reese, S.J., favors than any documented overall dissatisfaction with the current crop of ordinands.

    “In the worse cases, the local bishop intentionally staffs the seminary with graduates from the most right-wing schools. Under the papacy of John Paul II, seminary professors were screened to remove theologians who questioned church teaching, especially in the area of birth control, sexual ethics or ministry.”

    Also under the papacy of John Paul II, editors of Catholic periodicals who questioned church teaching, especially in the area of birth control, sexual ethics or ministry were removed, not that anyone is holding any grudges.

    “In the past 20 years, priests who were nostalgic about the pre-Vatican II church and liturgy were welcomed on seminary faculties.”

    Interestingly the rapidly growing Latin Mass communities are made up largely of young couples with young children. That appears to be not nostalgia, since they could not recall those days past, but a bona-fide desire for something currently lacking.

    “In addition to taking a hard look at seminary structure and scholarship, the church needs to address who attends.”

    At the very least they should be heterosexual and not neurotics.

    “Seminary rectors are also pressured by bishops and vocation directors to keep men that the rectors and their faculty judge to be ill-suited for ministry.”

    Oh, you’ve met Rembert Weakland and Theodore McCarrick.

    “The obvious way to increase the candidate pool would be to allow married men to be priests, although conservative bishops would still be able to find conservative candidates to admit.”

    Oh, those pesky bishops!

  3. It is difficult to expect much reform to take place as long as the Church remains a medieval oligarchy governed by medieval biases and medieval bigotry.

  4. The latest class of recruits for the Chicago Police department will be evaluated by Chicago’s street gangs….
    Unbelievable.

    First you whitewash the churches.
    Then you whitewash the mass.
    Now, you wish to whitewash the priesthood.

    Turn in your collar.

  5. Not to mention citing Cupich as an example of reform. In which direction?

  6. A very interesting and informative analogy. The priesthood is a police department, and the laity are a street gang. A very REAL CATHOLIC perspective.

  7. A first century monarchy that really only became a monarchy in the 9th century, when it looked an awful lot an elective monarchy for Italian oligarchs and other medieval monarchies.

  8. http://www{DOT}vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19641121_lumen-gentium_en.html

    “CHAPTER III”

    “ON THE HIERARCHICAL STRUCTURE OF THE CHURCH
    AND IN PARTICULAR ON THE EPISCOPATE”

    Matthew 16

    17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

    18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

    19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

    Etc.

  9. I tried to make it as simple as I could for individuals such as yourself.

  10. And then he and his successors went on for well over half a millennia without any secular authority…

  11. “Wherever they study, seminarians need to be in classes where challenging questions are asked and where they interact with the people they will someday minister to and with. It is harder to be clerical and patriarchal when some of the women in your class are smarter than you are. It is also important to interact with those their age who think religion is irrelevant.” If they were smarter than the men, they would know that the Bible teaches that women should not have authority over men and would not be trying to become pastors

  12. Your choice of analogy has everything to do with your REAL CATHOLIC mindset and nothing to do with me. But congratulations!! When the REAL CATHOLICS drive everybody else out, you will have your smaller, holier, pray-pay-obey Church, with its police department priesthood.

  13. Important subject – the priests who serve the Lord and the parish community.

    This is an important topic. I read some time ago (around 2016) that ” By 2019, half of all active priests will be at the minimum retirement age of 70.” But, I also read that the number of seminarians was on the increase. Nothing like it was post WWII, but increasing, slowly. I also read that many bishops won’t let priests retire until age 75 and some won’t let them retire at all – they are required to continue full- or part-time and the priest at oh, say, 75 who just wants to retire after 30 to 40 years as a diocesan priest can be denied any retirement benefits if the bishop doesn’t want that person to retire.

    Wish seminaries were staffed by people who actually reflect the mixed views of the lay Catholics they will be serving. Too many take the legalistic approach to “teaching” doctrine and just don’t get that most Catholics don’t live in the perfect world and really do apply what they are taught – sorta. That is, they listen but they also make decisions that are needed to make their lives work. Think of contraceptives. They also are not wed to ideas of the male only priesthood or the celibate only priesthood – old ideas representative of cultures that have evolved far from the old way of thinking.

    Not so sure of one thing Reeves said: “It would help if the laity had a say in who serves them as priests. The lack of lay involvement in the screening of candidates for the seminary and ordination in most dioceses is not good for the church.” I agree that the laity need some say so in who serves their own local parish. (A different subject but also think they should have input into who is named as bishop.) But not sure most would have much knowledge/experience that would be useful in screening candidates for the seminary. Maybe it would be useful in the context of seminarians who serve the local parish while in the seminary – actually that would be useful feedback for evaluating progress a seminarian is making is actually being pastoral.

    Good, thought provoking article. But, there are other issues that would also need to be discussed. What if all the praying for vocations that folks have been doing for decades now had been answered? And the answer is to open the priesthood to women and married people? The Holy Spirit’s whispers are not confined to the clergy and theologians. She speaks to all who seek.

  14. Settle down buddy; you’re getting all chafed.
    Maybe I could use:
    illegal immigrants consulting on wall design?
    Students advising on test material?
    Democrats advising on usage of blackface?

  15. “If they were smarter than men, they would know that the Bible teaches that women should not have authority over men”

    They probably do know that, and because they are smart, they know that the Bible’s mysogeny deserves to be ignored.

  16. You could have used any of those, but you didn’t. You compared the priesthood to a police department and the laity to a street gang. Your choice of analogy provides a very clear and accurate insight into the pray-pay-obey mindset.

  17. Just my circle buddy.
    Easy analogy for me.
    That being said; I have no problem with a smaller holy church.
    I choose that over priests approving of abortion or handing out multicolored rosaries to make a political statement.

  18. Or, if you want to be a follower of Christ, you believe what He taught

  19. I was a seminarian many years ago and, yes, there are challenges in forming priests. But the main one is something seminaries can’t fix — the arrogance of youth. When combined with that collar, it can be a powerful drug. I saw it over and over again and, though I was never ordained, I had it myself.

    Back in the day young priests would be mentored for their first few assignments by seasoned pastors, and by the time they got their own parishes they were prepared. Today, because of the priest shortage, that’s no longer the case in most places. Young priests are made pastors soon after ordination, sometimes right out of the gate. Lacking mentors, they often feed on clericalism and triumphalism, two unhealthy strains that thrive within emotionally insecure clerics.

    When I encounter many (not all) young priests today, I often think of the words of legendary basketball coach John Wooden: “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” Sadly, there are too many priests these days who don’t seem to be learning anything after they know it all.

  20. A very interesting perspective, and totally believable. Thanks. The arrogance of youth was on vivid display recently when the newly-elected Democratic members of the House of Representatives lobbied en masse to deprive Nancy Pelosi of the speakership position, presumably because she was too old, too tired, too whatever. Boy, have they all been schooled! But I searched for their names online to remember who these young foolish whipper-snappers were and I keep that list bookmarked on my computer for future reference.

  21. And all vitiated by the fact that there was no Easter!!! So Father Reese, time to seek other employment.

  22. “And the answer is to open the priesthood to women and married people?”

    A bell always rings on one note.

  23. This guys just giving his opinon. He cites only two seminaries with programs that he likes, despite the fact that almost every major seminary in the United States has a pastoral program where the seminarians go to parishes for pastoral assignments.

    He also provides, next to no source to confirm with. As an example: “Applicants do get police background checks and psychological testing before admission, but too often red flags are ignored. One psychologist involved in screening candidates was ignored when he warned a bishop not to accept a man. Within a few months of his entry, he attempted suicide.” What is tour source? What bishop accepted him? What was the red flag in question? Is this an example of a norm or an outlier?

    This is a terribly written article.

  24. I refuse to enter any perv-church seminary in the U.S. that is under the false pope (Bergoglio) and his apostate bishops (USCCB). This is the Anti-church that JP II, many mystics and over 100,000 Marian aparitions warned about since 1830. Let the games begin…

  25. Your text is from Vatican II’s “Lumen Gentium”.

    That said, the conciliar bishops can be forgiven for regurgitating historically false but institutionally self-serving doctrine/discipline. Peter would not have known anything about being “pope” or “bishop of Rome”. He no doubt would have been prominent in the Eternal City, but that’s about it. The institutional church needs a complete overhaul in discipline and self-serving tradition. Vatican II’s main theme was ecclesial renewal, i.e., to make the Church “new again”. Popes JPII and B16 frustrated efforts toward this conciliar goal.

    See https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/current-method-selecting-bishops-runs-contrary-church-tradition. The author, besides being professor emeritus of history at Fordham University, is a past president of the American Catholic Historical Association. His CV is at https://www.fordham.edu/download/downloads/id/2192/joseph_f_ocallaghan_cv.pdf.

    In addition to Dr. O’Callaghan’s ELECTING OUR BISHOPS: HOW THE CATHOLIC CHURCH SHOULD CHOOSE ITS LEADERSHIP, I also recommend Richard McBrien’s LIVES OF THE POPES and Eamon Duffy’s SAINTS AND SINNERS: A HISTORY OF THE POPES.

    As a future pope (and a conservative one, at that) acknowledged more than fifty years ago, “[F]acts, as history teaches, carry more weight than pure doctrine” (Joseph Ratzinger, THEOLOGICAL HIGHLIGHTS OF VATICAN II, Paulist Press/Deus Books, 1966, p. 16). Whether the emeritus pope still holds to his earlier commonsense observation, I don’t know.

  26. “That being said; I have no problem with a smaller holy church.”

    Pass the vomit bag to Jesus. Not that he founded any church.

  27. There’s discipline (how things are done) and doctrine (what is believed).

    You seem to confuse the two.

  28. “In which direction?”

    A much needed direction.

    Thanks for asking.

  29. On the contrary, Joe, you regularly display confusion. Or, are you discussing when I’m agreeing with you?

  30. Yeah. I’m sure you’re all about Cupichs direction…

  31. Yes Catholic seminaries need reform…Let the girls in !!

    Women priests, bishops and eventually a female pope, would go a long way to salvage the current nasty RCC mess.

    But no, sorry ladies, can’t mess with what some holy-book written by male. sexually frustrated, animal herders wrote 2000 years ago…But hey, you get to cook the Spaghetti Dinners for everybody one Friday night each month! Take it or become a Protestant.

  32. Servant of the servant of God is a name given to the pope. Waited on hand and foot! I see so many priests who are doing so much that they are burnt out from having three parishes to deal with. Holiness is what the faithful are looking for in their seminarians.

  33. Thanks for the first completely thoughtless post in the discussion.

    We knew we could count on you.

  34. Since we’re discussing solutions that will never be implemented, I say the future is robots and AI. Robotic clergy can be programmed with the right viewpoints and will not sin.

  35. I pray that the seminarians are taught the Mass of the Ages, our Traditional Mass, which brought us countless saints. I pray that they are taught good from evil, right from wrong, clear white and black teachings, so they do not waver. I pray that they are not taught the gray area is the play area. I pray that they are not taught by dissenting priests who have no idea what the Catholic Church teaches or who purposely go against what the Church teachings. I pray that the seminaries are cleansed of perverts, socialists, communists, fascists, freemasons, and so-called “progressives”. God bless the seminarians to know, love, and serve God in this world, so they may be together with Him in Heaven one day.

  36. “Or, if you want to be a follower of Christ, you believe what He taught delusional and/or fraudulent men claimed were the words of their imagined god and his imagined son.

  37. You seem to have the issues you describe in your comments.
    The anger is strong in this one….

  38. Go to drudgereport.com today.
    Link to article on homosexuality in Vatican.
    I can’t get link.

  39. The link

    https://www{DOT}dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6696977/Eighty-cent-Vatican-priests-gay-according-explosive-new-book.html

    is to a tout for “In the Closet of the Vatican”, a book by French homosexual Frédéric Martel,

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fr%C3%A9d%C3%A9ric_Martel

    http://www{DOT}genderbender.it/en/events/conversazione-con-frederic-martel/

    You can get some sense of what it’s about by noting he claims if a cleric opposes homosexuality, he is probably homosexual.

  40. He just expressed the little he understands about Christian history
    David, Saul, Deborah, Paul, the disciples, the Sanhedrin, the Pharisees were hardly “goat herders”. Also, scripture is older than 2000 years. I’d say that he is Biblically illiterate.

  41. Jim, “never” is a very long time. And, we do have married priests, at least, in the Orthodox churches aligned with the Roman Catholic Church, and in the former anglican married priests who are now Roman Catholic married priests.

    Of course they are all male. But give it another couple of hundred years.

    One other thought occurs to me. There are now many versions of Catholicism, including some that worship in services lead by female priests. And of course there is SSPV, a group who won’t even accept the diluted Vat II that JPII and BXVI left us with. I suspect the splintering will continue. Maybe those who continue to claim the Vatican will be what die-hard (old-style) Catholics consider the “real” Catholic Church. For a while. And then I wonder if, oh, 300 or so years from now, there will not be a way found to bring outsider groups back into union with Rome. The Church has done it before.

  42. the first century church did not have “princes” of the church . there is much medieval culture in the structure of the hierarchy .

  43. “…three parishes to deal with.”

    the difficulty is creating the situation where the three parishes can become materially seltmanaged, leaving the pastor to handle the spiritual needs of the people .

    the solutions to the lack of clergy is to involve the laity to do what the laity are trained to do better than priests .

  44. their counsel to those having a spiritual crisis may be a bit robotic .

  45. sometimes that one note is the one missing in larger harmony .

  46. the catholic laity is, in your mind, equivalent to “Chicago’s street gangs” ?

  47. your are still using snide to avoid a serious discussion on the proposals in the article .

  48. you do realize most anytime someone attempts a serious discussion on reform among catholics you are one who takes offense ?

    i will keep the cartoon to link back to you on occasion .

  49. Hurray for the Palmarians! I’d pay to see a cage match between Francis and Peter III, although having Gregory XVIII might be fun, if you could persuade him to drop his girlfriend.

  50. I am a newly ordained priest, and I was explicitly trained to lord-it-over-you. Kneel before me.

  51. I wish we had more bishops like Cupich.

    And fewer “drag queens” like Burke.

  52. “On the contrary, Joe…”

    Whatever you wish to believe, M’am :o)

  53. And we knew we could count on your silly reply :o)

  54. Sandi, it appears our fellow blogger was referring to the New Testament and later writings in light of the Catholic context of his reply.

  55. Seems Damien still doesn’t know what he is talking about

  56. A “completely thoughtless post” that nevertheless triggered you to respond. In other words, it hit you where it hurt.

  57. I kinda’ agree with you. Give the Vatican to Italy or the U.N and turn the whole place into a self-sustaining historical site. If Pope Francis can downsize to a guest quarters, perhaps his eventual successor can downsize to a prefab unit. “Jesus answered him, ‘Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head'” (Mt 8:20; Lk 9:58).

    Of course, if His Enemance Raymond Cardinal Burke were to be elected to the “Throne” of St. Peter, a prefab would be too small to accommodate his wardrobe: http://www.awrsipe.com/Burke/TheCostofLookingGood2007.pdf.

  58. Yep. I’ve turned down the best seminaries and religious orders as I am absolutely certain that Bergoglio is a false pope and there will be, de facto, a schism (if there isn’t one already). I refuse to serve the anti-church.

  59. glad you believe that Joseph is allowed what you normally exhibit .

  60. you still didn’t answer my question.
    If you were a devoted reader of my comments, you would know the truth and be reading a Bible, as a follower of Christ.
    So tell me, how would you know?

  61. In other words, it was a completely thoughtless post.

    Yours, of course, was the second completely thoughtless post.

  62. So that’s at least twice in one day that you were compelled to thoughtlessly respond to thoughtless posts.

  63. At one time I had respect for him – even though we differed in opinion but I heard what he said and responded. Seems he’s gotten tired of talking some sort of sense now. Sad. He could have been helped

  64. There are no “Orthodox churches aligned with the Roman Catholic Church”.

    The Orthodox Communion is a completely separate organization then the Catholic Church, with which it is NOT in communion.

    There are no validly ordained Catholic women priests.

    The “splintering” involves people 60+ for the most part, either aging flower children or extreme traditionalists, and each every one of them is failing.

    The situation in the Catholic Church is that the Eastern Rites permit married clergy, the Roman Rite also permits married clergy to a limited extent, but not as the norm.

  65. you assume a lot :

    that i don’t know the truth
    that i don’t read the bible
    that i’m not a follower of christ

    perhaps because you also assume that anyone who does know, read and follow naturally sounds like you .

    i have always been accepting that you are a sincere follower . but i have always had a problem with your non-humble approach to those who disagree with you .

    as i have noted to you on numerous occasions you give a verse of the bible, often without concern about what the bible has said in the full paragraph or chapter, and then refuse to even discuss a different understanding of what the bible is saying there .

    i don’t expect you to agree with me . but you often don’t even to try to understand what someone else is trying to say to you .

    so i know . even though you often don’t pay attention to anything but what you say . not what the bible says, what you say .

  66. You should talk to Mark Silk.

    He and you have a lot in common.

  67. so, sorry thatyou don’t like my personality; if I give a scripture reference, it is given after research that unfortunately, you must not be able to understand; if it is scriptural – there is only one interpretation,

  68. “There are no validly ordained Catholic women priests.”

    Thanks to what we know from Trent and earlier, there are no “validly ordained” Catholic male priests either. Why? Because there are no presumptively “validly ordained” hierarchs!

    “[F]acts, as history teaches, carry more weight than pure doctrine” (Joseph Ratzinger, THEOLOGICAL HIGHLIGHTS OF VATICAN II, Paulist Press/Deus Books, 1966, p. 16).

  69. Be careful now. You might upset him too much and/or too often (as I did), and he’ll block your comments from view. Mr. “Connelly” does not like to be challenged, much less proven wrong.

  70. To “believe” pertains to doctrine, i.e., what Jesus taught. Ministerial ordination, on the other hand, pertains to discipline. Our salvation and faithfulness to Jesus’ teaching does not depend on the sex of the minister or priest. Heck, Jesus wasn’t even a priest! He ordained no one. He did instruct/commission the Twelve to go forth, preach, and baptize. Even you might be qualified to preach and lead Christian worship but for your sex.

  71. So Bergoglio is a “false pope”??? Are you a sedevacantist? I ask because even the schismatic SSPXers think he is a valid pope. Sedevacantists, on the other hand, can’t even agree among themselves who was the last “real pope” – :o)

    And you “turned down the best seminaries and religious orders” for what???

    Are you really concerned about schism? Relax, let’s help the venerable old Institution go “belly up”.

  72. Nope! I’m a Novus Ordo dude. Grew up Novus Ordo my whole life. Was and still am a died-hard charismatic. By the way, if you can find anyone, whether a priest, canonist, theologian or anyone in the SSPX&[email protected]$&, or from any other sedevacantist sect or just any ordinary catholic (like you and me) who can refute the content found in the article below, please send me their objections.

    https://fromrome.wordpress.com/2018/12/26/the-validity-of-benedicts-resignation-part-ii-ad-contrarium/

    By the reason in the article alone, meaning, Benedict XVI’s resignation being invalid, renders Bergoglio an invalid pope. Good luck!

  73. he has done that 3 or 4 times already . i don’t know if he has me currently blocked or not . i stay awake at night worrying about it .

  74. you must have some inking how arrogant that sounds . “if I give scripture reference…you must not be able to understand…there is only one interpretation.”

    your research, no matter how earnest and sincere it is, is not the only one interpretation .

    the christ said that the gates of hell will not prevail against the assembly of the believers, not against specifically you or me or anyone individual . not even any one small group .

    but all together .

    the tragedy of christian division is that we don’t talk together to come closer together for christ, rather we argue deepening our ruts .

  75. christ did not teach that, paul taught that . after of course he taught that that in christ there is either male nor female .

  76. “The celibacy of priests, the condemnation of the use of contraceptives,
    countless cases of sexual abuse, the resignation of Benedict XVI,
    misogyny among the clergy, the dramatic fall in Europe of the number of
    vocations to the priesthood, the plotting against Pope Francis – all
    these issues are clouded in mystery and secrecy.”

    you’re right “In the Closet of the Vatican” looks to be a very interesting book . thanks to you and parker12 for the link .

  77. he wouldn’t want to be in a seminary that would accept him .

  78. “No one has a greater impact on a Catholic parish than its pastor” I was under the impression that the Catholic church only has priests not pastors. The title of pastor is used in Protestant churches??

  79. Mistress of the Vatican: The True Story of Olimpia Maidalchini: The Secret Female Pope

  80. Mistress of the Vatican: The True Story of Olimpia Maidalchini: The Secret Female Pope
    Fascinating reading.

  81. It appears that the mods don’t agree, since someone (probably a pedophile) deleted my post calling for the burning of these pedophile-producing institutions.

  82. Hey, haven’t seen you in a while. Hope things are going well.

  83. Ok…..let’s go through it again….
    Paul was a Pharisee of Pharisees, so he knew the old testament like the back of his hand.
    Paul was taught by Christ, via revelation, for three years while in Arabia.
    The Bible is the Word of God – breathed into existence by the Holy Spirit
    Everything that Paul says was condoned by Christ.

  84. there is only one interpretation for scripture.
    You may disagree with me, so show scripturally how I’m mistaken. Saying that I’m wrong proves nothing,
    your third comment – what has that to do with what we are discussing?
    I agree with your last comment.

  85. Not really, progression downward is picking up speed. Out of options for meds. Life sucks considerably right now but hey, at least I’m not in a nursing home yet!

  86. I’m sorry to hear that.
    Sending warm thoughts your way.

  87. I did not “flag” your comment for removal. I like conflict. It offers me the opportunity to correct people with whom I disagree. (It also helps me, at age 70/71, to stay awake :o)

  88. “[H]e wouldn’t want to be in a seminary that would accept him .”

    ???

  89. No, I didn’t think it was you. But I’m sure whoever it was is a both a Catholic and a pedophile, which is why my comment upset them so much.

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