As I was browsing some of the posts on Facebook, I ran across a post about an opinion piece “How the Church can ordain a better priest” by Alexander M. Santora (a priest from the Archdiocese of Newark). And if you do a quick Google search on his name, a whole list of his liberal Tweets and rants will surface. The piece was published on Northjersey.com Part of the USA Today Network.
In the article, Fr. Santora makes is clear he doesn’t like young clergy because, they are just too Catholic. Let’s have a look at part of the piece.
In my first assignment, all five of the priests serving were born and raised in one of the four counties of the Archdiocese of Newark. [Those were the days. Vocations were overflowing, as were the churches.] Having that many priests serving one parish was rare by then. Our seminary formation, except for the pastor’s, emphasized collegiality and modernity. [Yep, 1982 would fit just right for priests being modernists.]
Today, ordinations are insufficient to replace those retiring or dying. [You can say that again!] And most are foreign born and from outside New Jersey. But most disturbing for the laity and the more seasoned clergy is the younger clergy’s ecclesiology or vision of church. [These young men don’t have the biases of those of us who lived through the changes. And, they were formed well by the Pontificates of SS. John Paul II and Benedict XVI] Though having never lived in the pre-Vatican II church, they want to revive a clerical culture, [What does that mean? They want to dress, act like priests, and do priestly things.] Eucharistic adoration, Benediction, the Latin Mass, novenas [Does Father have a problem with devotion of the Real Presence] and a “Father knows best” mentality. [A priest should have a good education so that he can advise people in difficult situations. But, I think he means we must water down the teaching because truth is relative.] These made sense in the 1940’s because the church’s theology supported them. Not anymore. [So he’s a modernist, the Church theology has changed. What Jesus taught is no longer relevant to us, because we have evolved. We are the enlightened generation.]
One solution is to revise the way we train priests in the seminary. At its recent convention, the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests (AUSCP) [Right! LOL] called on the U.S. bishops to make sure teachings of the Vatican II become the foundation of priestly formation. [As if the teaching of Vatican II were not taught. What he’s saying is they need to teach the Spirit of Vatican II] Revision is urgent because Catholics are voting with their feet and leaving the church. [There has been a decline since 1955, and it took a massive dive in 1965 ] There are fewer candidates for priesthood. And Americans are choosing a spiritual identity at the expense of organized religion. [Because they have not been given the depths of the Catholic faith – Liturgy, devotions, and solid Catholic teaching. If they had it, they would never leave it!]
AUSCP recommended that seminaries emphasize the call to service, a pastoral model, and psychological development. [Already doing it.] The group wants priests to see themselves as servants of God’s people, [Most do. But servants of Christ first.] trained in a realistic setting, have more interaction with women, [I don’t think there is a seminary today that doesn’t have women on the staff.] and not be isolated from the real world. In my Mahwah seminary, Darlington, the late Archbishop Peter Gerety and Msgr, Edward Ciuba, the Rector, treated us as adults with lots of freedom, [And that has paid off well. How many were living immoral lives and abandoned their vocations? Formation first, freedom later.] which was what it would be like in a parish. Women were classmates and professors; [Same in my seminary] Ursuline Sister Agnes Mallner was the first-ever woman spiritual director. Women religious even resided inside the seminary walls – though in their own section – as they pursued their graduate degrees. But we ate, prayed, worshipped, studied and socialized together. [Sorry, seminarians have their own issues and problems to be dealt with. The 60’/ 70’s experiment failed, we don’t need to take that up again.]
I’ll spare you and not post the whole article. If you want to read the whole thing, go here.