Showing posts with label Vocations Crisis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vocations Crisis. Show all posts

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Pope Francis Can't Explain the Vocations Crisis -- Bergoglio is Obsessed with Condemning the Gospel

Pope Francis granted an interview to the magazine Mundo Negro of the Comboni Missionaries. Also present was Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso (right).

(Rome) The magazine Mundo Negro of the Comboni Missionaries, based in Madrid, published an interview with Pope Francis on 13th January. It is not the first he granted to this magazine. In it, Francis again denounces proselytism as a "grave sin". So much is widely known. It is more remarkable that Francis also says that he "cannot explain" the vocations crisis. He also regrets that the "liturgical ferments" that existed after the Second Vatican Council have disappeared.

The interview, which was conducted on December 15 but only now published, lasted 35 minutes. It was led by the editor of Mundo Negro, Fr. Jaume Calvera. Also present was Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot. Francis had appointed Cardinal Ayuso titular bishop in 2016 and president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (now Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue) in 2019. In the same year he also created him cardinal.

According to Francis, the mission of the Church has changed "thank God" through the Second Vatican Council. He refers to "two interesting signs":

"The first careless ferments of the Council have already disappeared. I am thinking of the liturgical ferments, which are almost non-existent. And an anti-conciliar resistance is forming, a resistance to the Council, which did not exist before and which is typical of every process of maturation. But many things have changed... On the missionary side, respect for cultures, the inculturation of the Gospel, is one of the values born as an indirect consequence of the Council. Faith is inculturated and the Gospel takes on the culture of the people, there is an evangelization of culture. Inculturation of faith and evangelization of culture are these two movements, and when I speak of the evangelization of culture, I do not mean the reductionism of culture or the ideologization of cultures or all that is a serious temptation today, but I speak of evangelization, of proclamation and nothing else, with great respect. Therefore, the gravest sin a missionary can commit is proselytism. Catholicism is not proselytism."


InfoVaticana describes Francis' frequent criticism of "proselytism" as an "obsession" of the Pope, deliberately keeping the term vague, as well as "clericalism" or "rigidity," to name two other buzzwords of papal vocabulary. They are not precisely defined but are used for harsh accusations: "The gravest sin a missionary can commit is proselytism."

"I don't see any explanation"

When asked whether the West is a "mission territory" today, Francis is surprised, almost perplexed. A few sentences earlier, the Pope called the Second Vatican Council a great achievement that had changed so much. For almost 60 years, the official ecclesiastical line has been that the Council has brought a "new spring". However, nothing of this can be seen and felt. Faced with reality that contradicts this narrative, Francis declares that he has no explanation for it.

"Five countries—Belgium, Holland, Spain, Ireland and Quebec—have filled the world with missionaries. Today, there are no vocations in these five areas. It's a mystery. And that in less than 100 years. How can we explain this? I don't see any explanation for that."


The inexplicable does not seem to give Francis sleepless nights, because when asked immediately afterwards whether this development worries him, he said:

"No, it does not worry me, in the sense that we are melting away, this is a sign of the times that signals worldliness, that signals a level of development that sets values elsewhere. It signals a crisis. There are crises, and crises must be lived through and overcome."

Text/Translation: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: InfoVaticana

Trans:: Tancred


Monday, June 6, 2022

New Springtime: Monastery in Berlin Closing -- Interfaith Initiative Attempts to Keep it "Spiritual"

The initiative "Pro-Kloster Gabriel" is intensively committed to continued spiritual use and also has concepts ready.

Berlin ( In the former monastery of St. Gabriel in Berlin, school lessons will take place instead of worship in the future. The so-called "Rosa Sisters", as the Steyl missionaries were affectionately called in the vernacular because of their delicate pink habit, had to leave the monastery at the beginning of the year due to problems with – new vocations reported []. It was unclear for a long time what would become of the monastery building, which belongs to the Order and is under monument protection.

Already in October 2021, when the planned closure of the monastery became known, the initiative "Pro-Kloster Gabriel", an association of different denominations and backgrounds, was formed with the aim of continuing the spiritual use of the church and monastery, especially in the sense of a place of prayer including care for the poor and disadvantaged. Religious from Africa are ready to start working in Berlin immediately; because especially in times of great mental and physical distress, people need prayer, fellowship and grace, says the initiative. To this end, a petition was launched to Berlin's governing mayor and the Superior General of the Order and a benevolent open letter was written to an interested party, the private Berlin Schele School, with the request to refrain from buying.

The background is that the Schele School would not use the building for spiritual purposes, but would offer school lessons. This would contradict the founding spirit of the monastery, whose initiator is Blessed Bernhard Lichtenberg, who was killed in action for Jews and other persecuted people and in the resistance against the National Socialists. According to "Pro-Kloster Gabriel", the handover of the buildings to the operator of an old people's home could already be prevented. The initiative continues to rely on the power of prayer and hopes for insight from those responsible, for the benefit of the city of Berlin. 


Trans: Tancred


Monday, October 16, 2017

900 Year Old Cistercian Abbey Closes in Trier

The only remaining six monks will move to another monastery of their choice.

Trier ( After almost 900 years the Cistercian abbey Himmerod is dissolved. The decision to dissolve came from the Mehrerauer Congregation to which the abbey belonged. The only remaining six monks will move to another monastery of their choice. The abbey property will be passed on to the Diocese of Trier.

The abbey was founded in 1134 by Bernard of Clairvaux. In secularization, the Abbey was abolished and rebuilt at the beginning of the 20th century and in Baroque style. The Abbey church is currently not renovated after a fire under the organ and therefore can not be used at the moment, has reported

The Heiligenkreuz Abbey - a Cistercian Abbey in the Vienna Woods - commented on their Facebook page with this message "very, very sad". The Heiligenkreuz monk continued to write: "We are thinking in prayer of the remaining confreres of Himmerod, whose convent is now being dissolved because there were simply too few new vocations. Please pray with us together for many new spiritual vocations and for a renewal of the faith in us in Europe, so that more monasteries will not have to be closed, but on the contrary, new ones can be founded and revived! May God, through such sad news, move our hearts, so that we may be more energetic and courageous in our faith and in the Church!" 

Trans: Tancred

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Traditional Mass is Changing the Face of the French Clergy

Old Mass a Breeding Ground for Vocations
(Paris) The face of the French clergy is changing at a fast pace, and that in two respects. The number of priestly vocations is at the lowest level. Simultaneously, a change from the new to the old rite is taking place.

Decline in Diocesan Priestly Vocations by 84 Percent

In 1966, the year after the end of the Second Vatican Council, there were 4,536 diocesan seminarians in France.  Within ten years the number fell, under the influence of Pope Paul VI.and in the Post-Conciliar period to 1297 in 1975. A  decline of almost three-quarters could be described as a fast collapse.  Under Pope John Paul II,  the slump was halted 20 years later, in 1996, the number was still 1,103 seminarians at approximately the same level.
The last part of his pontificate was followed by a new nosedive: In 2005, the number of seminarians was 784. That was only 17 percent when compared to 1966, or in other words, a decrease of 83 percent.
2011 has reached the lowest point since the French Revolution. Only 710 seminarians were preparing for the secular priesthood. Parallel to this decline, the proportion of seminarians of the tradition is growing.

Proportion of Priests of Tradition Climbs

An assessment of the priestly ordinations in the last five years illustrates this development. It consists of the numbers of those  ordained  in the Ordinary form compared to those  consecrated in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. The list refers only to secular priests. Keeping in mind the priests of the Ecclesia Dei  communities and the Society of St. Pius X.
2010: 86 percent of the ordinations in the Ordinary, 14 percent in the Extraordinary
Form, 2011: 86 percent of the ordinations in the Ordinary, 14 percent in the Extraordinary Form
2012: 83 percent of the ordinations in the Ordinary, 17 percent in the Extraordinary Form
2013: 88 percent of ordinations in the Ordinary, 12 percent in the Extraordinary Form
2014: 82 percent of the ordinations in the Ordinary, 18 percent in the Extraordinary Form
2015: 77 percent of the ordinations in the Ordinary, 23 percent in the extraordinary form

The Drama of the Decline and the Hope for a New future

The juxtaposition of consecration years in absolute terms shows the development and the drama:
2010: 96 ordinations in the Ordinary form, 16 in the Extraordinary
Form, 2011: 109 ordinations in the ordinary form, 18 in the Extraordinary Form
2012: 97 ordinations in the ordinary form, 20 in the Extraordinary Form
2013: 92 ordinations in the ordinary form , 12 in the Extraordinary Form
2014: 88 ordinations in the ordinary form, 18 in the Extraordinary Form
2015: 68 ordinations in the ordinary form, 20 in the extraordinary form
Over the past six years, 545 diocesan priests were ordained for the new rite in France and 107 for the Traditional Rite.  Not included in the list are religious priests. It also doesn't include those ordained in the traditional rite, like the Benedictines of Le Barroux or the Frenchmen who were ordained for the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. Also not considered is the phenomenon spreading in France of biritually trained priests, or the phenomenon of young diocesan priests of the new rite, who are also interested in the traditional rite and tradition.

Communities and Parishes of the Traditional Rite are a Breeding Ground for Vocations

The personal parishes and communities of tradition have proven to be the most fertile ground for priestly vocations.Compared to their small number and size,  their share of vocations is enormous. The traditional  blogger Cordialiter published a conversation with a young Italian who encountered the traditional form of the Roman Rite in Austria and now lives with his family in France. The traditional community to which he belongs in France is 25 years old.  During this time 17 priestly vocations have emerged from it. "The majority have joined French orders of the tradition, the Benedictines of Le Barroux, Fontgombault, the Canons Regular of Lagrasse, the Servi Jesu et Mariae etc."
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Mil
Trans: Tancred

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Vocations Crisis: Decline of the Diocesan Clergy -- Growth of Tradition

(Paris) In many areas in  secularized Europe a veritable spiritual desertification is taking place. Emblematic of this is the crisis of vocations in France. The figures speak for themselves: in 1966, France had 4,536 seminarians. A few years later, in 1975, their number had plummeted to 1,297. The decline had slowed, but it continued. In 1996, there were 1,103 seminarians. It was followed by another slump: in 2005 there were only 784. In 2011 they   finally achieved with 710 seminarians, the lowest since the time of the French Revolution.
If mathematics is not an opinion, the results since 1966 show a decline of 84 percent. "This is the result  of the modernist theologians turning to promote that with which they have destroyed the sense of the supernatural. The figures are of such clarity that they might bring even  ,modern' theologians to blush and should let them fall forever into a penitential silence. Anyway, they require no further comment," said the traditional  blogger Cordialiter .
What is needed is a serious analysis of a catastrophic situation. "Numbers are neither traditionalist nor modernist. They are facts that we need to take note of,"  says Cordialiter.
The situation in France is dramatic. In foreseeable next few years, there will be even fewer active priests.The average age of priests is in these dioceses is already at 75 years.

Key to the vocation crisis is ignored in the dioceses

"The situation is seriously dramatic. It is not a reason to sit back, but there is also no reason to despair," said Cordialiter. Within the vocation crisis, opposing trends can be observed. While the diocesan clergy almost threatens to go  extinct,  the orders and communities of the Old Rite are growing. The vocations that are growing  today, lead  young mento where the faith, the liturgy, the faithful to Christ,  Scripture and Tradition are taken seriously.
"The hope is that more seminaries will be opened, where it is makes ​​possible an even greater number of tradition-bound young men to strive for the Catholic priesthood. It is the holy priests, who will who will model their vocations." 
Where the Sacred Liturgy is celebrated reverently and worthily, where the teaching of Christ is faithfully proclaimed and the order of the Church is respected, there even today can be found vocations. These flourishing oases in the desert, the communities of tradition, some ancient monasteries and several new institutions should all come to the attention of Church leaders, for in them is hidden the key to overcome the crisis of vocations.
Astonishingly, the diocesan church leaders prove sluggish, disinterested or even hostile. "The dilemma is that the way to overcome the crisis of vocations is in front of everyone, but many - and I speak only of those who are responsible -. are looking pointedly away." One has the impression that they want no improvement. The reasons are complex and go deeper. It is not only "convenience" or "world adaptedness", but in many cases it is about a "different theology". In order to avoid having to address this  question, they would prefer to put up with the decline of priestly vocations. 
"The diocesan bishops are responsible for how they respond in their diocese to the vocation crisis, whether the good example is ignored or is imitated. They will be held accountable for it. Regardless of this  the dissolution of the diocesan clergy progresses and it is only a matter of time before the ordinations of  tradition exceed that the Novus Ordo, at least in France," said Cordialiter .
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: FSSP
Trans: Tancred

Friday, November 7, 2014

Collapse of Diocesan Clergy in France -- Glimmers of Hope

(Paris) numbers are neither traditionalist nor modernist, but facts are being noticed.  In France, there are only 14,000 diocesan priests. About half of them are older than 75. This means that the situation is dramatic.
To conduct but one parish is  already a big job. In France it has become "normal" that a pastor has to take care of a dozen parishes. A regular celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is impossible. In most parishes  it is celebrated only occasionally. In the diocese of Langres, each priest must take care for an average of 50 parishes.  In short, it is almost resigned to a spiritual catastrophe. The numbers of priestly ordinations is also discouraging. In 2009, only 89 diocesan priests were ordained in France. Far too little to compensate for the decrease due to death. These numbers seem like reports coming from the front with the losses to an army. You could cry.
Fortunately, there is good and encouraging news coming from the seminaries of tradition. The traditional communities and dioceses have offspring. More, their seminars are full. It is therefore to be hoped that more old rite seminaries  will be opened. There is no danger that they remain empty, since there is a strong interest in tradition by young believers.
Text: Cordialiter
image: Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest
Trans: Tancred

Monday, September 1, 2014

"Sign of the Times" -- Franciscans Give up Cloister in Reutte Tyrol

(Innsbruck) And again a monastery less. The last four brothers of the Franciscan Friary in the town of Reutte in the Tyrol have left their posts. After 386 years, the Franciscan monastery in the market town on the Lech has been abandoned. The Provincial of the Franciscan province of Austria, Father Oliver Ruggenthaler, justified the abandonment  to  ORF [Austrian Broadcasting] with the words: The small number of brothers was a "sign of the times".
Certainly it is a "sign" for the continued decline of a [once] glorious 800-year-old Order. The population of Reutte wanted to ask the Order to stay by a petition. An expression of solidarity and of feeling upon the departure of losing a part of one's identity. In addition to a piece of religious history, a piece of Church history comes to an end. But  the lack of religious youth can not be fixed with petitions. Nor can the lack of priests  be replaced by  "active participation of the laity in the pastoral space" (Mayor Alois Upper).
The Franciscans were came to Reutte in 1628, where they were summoned  the sovereign of  Tyrolea then, Archduke Leopold V of Austria. The original fifteen Franciscan monasteries Tyrol together with two smaller branches attest to the deep roots of the Order in this area. The oldest monastery of the Order in Bolzano originated most likely in 1221 during the lifetime of St. Francis of Assisi. At its peak the province of the mid-18th century had about 500 brothers. At that time also was included the Bavarian monastery  and monasteries in western Austria (Vorarlberg, Baden, Württemberg, Alsace) to the Tyrolean province. The 1927 for the annexation of South Tyrol by Italy made for a division that was overcome in 2001 by the unification in a single Tyrolean province of the Order, but has not halted the further decline of the Order. In 2007 there was a merger with the Austrian chapter.
Today there are eight monasteries in Tyrol. The branches of Kufstein, Klobenstein, Hinterriß, Maia and last Innichen (2012) and Reutte (2014) had to be abandoned because of a lack of growth. . The Monastery of Cortina d'Ampezzo still exists, but since the interwar period, it is part of the Venetian Province of the Order.
From 1977-2000 the Provincial Novitiate of the Order was located in Reutte. The vacant monastery has passed over to the Community of Reutte and is to be converted into an assisted living facility.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
image: Franciscan Province
Trans: Tancred

Friday, June 6, 2014

Salvatorians Host NAMBLA Supporter in Their Ranks

We received this months ago, and haven't heard anything from the Salvatorians about whether or not they were going to do anything about it.  Their superior was very defensive.  One thing that's evident to anyone who's studied this phenomenon for long is that these people never give up, but they have help.

Here's a brief history of the order from wiki. We can't imagine the founder would be happy about the way his order has been hijacked: The term Salvatorians refers to members of three religious communities: the Congregation of the Sisters of the Divine Saviour, the Lay Salvatorians, and the Society of the Divine Saviour (Latin: Societas Divini Salvatoris), a Roman Catholic religious institute composed of priests, religious brothers, and seminarians. The Society was founded by Father John Baptist Jordan in Rome on December 8, 1881. As of December 2010 the Society of the Divine Saviour numbers 1,127 members and works in 40 countries around the world. Salvatorians use the post-nominal letters "SDS".

Four years ago, there was a story going around Traditionalist Catholic Blogs, including this one, concerning a novice candidate for the priesthood within the Jesuit Order. It also appeared on some of the more high profile blogs, like the pusillanimous  Catholic and Enjoying It, which promptly repented  for exposing the story after a flurry of criticism from the sorts of individuals it represents.

The problem person is Cormac Brisssett. Mr. Brissett has a highly questionable past, which the Jesuits either ignored or turned a blind eye to it. He had endorsed the North American Man Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). While attending the University of Minnesota, he signed two petitions that were a matter of public record. One of these petitions (which was a flyer distributed throughout the University of Minnesota concerning the rights of "gay" and/or closeted men to engage in public restroom sex without fear of reprisal from law enforcement.

Some wonder   why there's a problem with sex abuse in the Catholic Church.  A lot of it has to do with the media.  Obviously, the media isn't interested in Liberal moribund religious orders doing due diligence.  They want to swoop down and exploit the abuse when and if it happens, and create the impression of a global problem, a global problem not only with Catholicism, but religious belief itself.

There are a few individuals who are spirited into the organization who are apparently untouchable.  We can't imagine that if Mr. Brissett were as devoted to Catholicism and the traditional Mass of All Ages as he is to deviant sexual inclinations, that he would have a home with the Salvatorians for long.

The petition is still apparent on-line, here.

The other petition signed, was a public letter stating that NAMBLA should be allowed to march in a gay pride parade.

Both of these documents included the name David Thorstad, the founder of NAMBLA.

Mr. Brissett left the Jesuits where he was already helping "at risk" youth in Chicago's Boy's Town area.

Seeking to be of service to young boys at risk, Cormac Brissett is trying his hand with another order, the Salvatorians.

Since being asked about their new novice the Salvatorians have taken down any information about Mr. Brisette and have refused to give any information as to his current status. Nor have they explained why someone with Cormac's associations, both current and present, why he would want to be involved with children. Wouldn't it be better if he joined a contemplative order, where he had a more humble job if he feels he has a serious vocation? Why does anyone, especially someone who has a past wrapped up in promoting sexuality between adults and children, want to be involved with them. Even more pressing, why would people in positions of authority want someone like that in their order, representing that order, and having contact with children?

We managed to save Mr. Brissett's bio from the Salvatorian's homepage where he professes his admiration for the depraved NAMBLA member Allan Ginsberg and another deviant, David Sederis. Even if his activism on behalf of pederasty weren't evident (He gave an interview with famed novelist and pederasty advocate Edmund White, where the latter outlined the historical scope of such things, while endorsing them).  And he's concerned about human trafficking?  Like Oscar Wilde's penchant for underage male prostitutes? For someone who claims to have a religious vocation, he surely is worldly.  We'd say a religious vocation is more centered on a craving to cause scandal.   For he is clearly an advocate of aberrosexual activism, which also doesn't bother his superiors:

 Check Mr. Brisstt's profile for the Salvatorians. [It's dead]

The Salvatorians can be contacted, here.

Society of the Divine Savior
1735 N. Hi-Mount Blvd.
Milwaukee, WI 53208
(414) 258-1735

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Refurbishing the Cultural Landscape --- 2,800 Churches May Disappear in France

(Paris), France's Mayors are tearing down Catholic churches to build parking lots or shopping centers. The renovation costs were too high. 2,800 churches will disappear in this way, according to a report by the French Senate.

In France, the dispute over the demolition of Catholic churches is not new. They are dilapidated and abandoned. And yet, every time a church is to be razed to the ground, it raises fierce protest from the population. "People feel that more than just some walls are broken. You feel a substantial change in their environment, their culture and thus of their own being,” wrote Claude Villot who is not under suspicion of Ultramontane sympathies.

Recent cases listed the Catholic daily La Croix on: Saint-Blaise du Breuil in Allier, St-Pie-X in Hérault, Saint-Jacques d'Abbeville in Somme (pictured) and Saint-Pierre-aux-Liens in Gesté in the department Maine-et-Loire. The number of demolished since 2000 in France is estimated by the Catholic Church at 20. Another 250 could soon follow. According to a report by the French Senate, the number of churches that are destined to disappear from the French countryside is estimated at 2,800. Most of them are located in rural areas.

"Fewer priests, Fewer Faithful, Less Demand," this is the new mantra of local politicians

"Fewer priests, measuring less and less practicing believers, therefore less need to obtain large churches, when a chapel would be enough." This is the new mantra, wrote Guy Massin Le Goff, memorial preservationist, in his 2009 report La polémique autour de la démolition of églises: le cas du Maine-et-Loire. It is this formula that compels many French communities to use demolition instead of a preferable refurbishment. Through the numerous, revolutionary interventions, which have transpired in the French history on church property, transferring to the state, many churches are owned by the municipalities.

“The use of churches calculating only the use of Masses, Sundays or on weekdays, would not properly represent the reality" the expert said. "A church is not just a place that is open to the Eucharist, or for baptisms, weddings or funerals. That it is used primarily for personal prayer of the faithful. The lit candles prove that there are diverse and numerous reasons to knock at the church door, whether alone or in small groups,” said Massin Le Goff, who sharply criticized the mayor of Anjou, one of the historic landscapes of French Catholicism, because of the ease with which they decide to demolish churches. In some cases, a dilapidated house of God is simply assumed to be able to implement new building projects, in whose way the church stands.

"What Would this Place be Without its Church?" - What Does Not Bring “Profit", Must Go

Massin Le Goff recalled that in most cases, the village was built on the church and not vice versa. Demolishing the church is meant to tear her heart and wipe out its own past. "What would this place be without its church?", such the first question that arises as Massin Le Goff, to whomever will listen. As as example, the preservationist cites the decision of the General Council of Maine-et-Loire, who also provides funds for the renovation of churches that are not listed on the historic register.

For Beatrice de Andia, founder of the Documentation Centre For Religious Heritage what is most disturbing about what happens in France: "For the first time we are destroying places of worship for no apparent reason, to make room for parking lots, restaurants, shops, places or apartments. The message of the demolitions is clear: the religious, the sacred, cultural heritage, which brings no gain, must go away. The destroyers present themselves as worthy managers who are concerned about the municipal treasury, which, according to them, would not bear the cost of the renovation of the church. "Maintenance” is but a duty for the mayor,” said de Andia.

Country Parishes Reduced Dramatically - Fewer priests, More Deacons: Opposite Tendency

One of the reasons for the "light" demolition orders, is the progressive decline of priests in France. In 2001 there were, according to officials of the Episcopal Conference, 24,251 diocesan and religious priests. In 2008, there were only 19,640, of which 15,008 were diocesan priests. Their number on 31 December 2011 (new statistics are not yet available) dropped to 13,822. In 2011, there were 13,630 parishes. In recent years, new parishes were established by the bishops to reflect changes demographic. The new parishes are concentrated in the cities, especially on the edges, while the rural areas became increasingly orphaned. There, the parishes were dramatically reduced by merging two or more parishes. At the top of the large territorial parish is a priest, but increasingly deacons are involved, the number of which grows in the opposite tendency to the decrease of the priests. And in many areas also lay people.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Heritage-religieux
Trans: Tancred


Link to katholisches...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Holy Father to Priests: Do Not Accommodate the Opinions of the World!

Edit: we used the Douay Rheims translation.  It's interesting to see the Secretary of State, Cardinal Bertone, standing next to the Holy Father and bowing for the blessing in the most child-like way. The speech is a beautiful Lenten meditation which restates the humble truth about the first of all virtues.

Benedict XVI: there is need in the Church for the humility to accept also small roles.  Humility is the first virtue, which offers freedom in truth. translation from report Armin Schwibach.

Rome ( Every year at the beginning of Lent, Pope Benedict XVI meets with the clergy of his Diocese on this Thursday morning.  Also this year the meeting takes place in the audience hall of "Paul VI" at the desire of the priests in the framework of "lection Divina" rather than a free speech.  The "lectio" is inspired by a section from a letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians (Eph 4: 1-16)

I therefore, a prisoner in the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation in which you are called:  With all humility and mildness, with patience, supporting one another in charity. Careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 One body and one Spirit: as you are called in one hope of your calling.

 One Lord, one faith, one baptism.  One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all.  But to every one of us is given grace, according to the measure of the giving of Christ.  Wherefore he saith: Ascending on high, he led captivity captive: he gave gifts to men.  Now that he ascended, what is it, but because he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended above all the heavens: that he might fill all things. And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and other some evangelists, and other some pastors and doctors: For the perfecting of the saints, for the word of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. 

Until we all meet into the unity of faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fulness of Christ:  That henceforth we be no more children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the wickedness of men, by cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive.  But doing the truth in charity, we may in all things grow up in him who is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body, being compacted and fitly joined together, by what every joint supplieth, according to the operation in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body, unto the edifying of itself in charity. [Douay-Rheims]

The great suffering, which has been endured by the Church in Europe and in the West, consists in a lack of vocations, said Benedict XVI.  The Lord therefore calls everyone.  For that it is necessary to hear this call.  The natural disposition of a priest is to be humble, mild and big hearted, because: "If I am humble, then I will also have the freedom to oppose myself to the prevailing thinking."  This humility empowers the priest to seek the truth.  Therefore it would e necessary to accept small roles in the Church, have have, however, great value in the eyes of God.

"I must accept my small position in the Church",  said the Pope.  The vain ostentation of those who do not teach this, finally oppose Him himself, and causes unhappiness.  The humility on the other hand leads, not to walk into appearances, but in deeds, "what God had considered for me and what for me is the part of Christian realism".  False humility on the other hand leads to the destruction of the unity of the Church.  To respect yourself and the other are two things which belong together. It is in that which consists the "great harmony of the Church and creation: that every one else is as the other."

The humble man obtains the freedom, in the name of truth to meet with those who are related to him.  The opposite of  humility -- the pride -- is then the root of all sins, which consist, in a desire to  stay in the midst of the world.  Christian being means, to resist this temptation,  to have humility before all others means a life lived in truth, which says:  "Only in my smallness can I be great".

Another great problem in the Church in today's times consists in "religious Analphabetism".  It is necessary to include  the content of the Faith,  the Pope cautioned, this is "not in the sense of a parcel of Dogmas."  Most of all, it must be done so that the priest can renew and make enable himself to meet Christ.

Many describe themselves as "worldly Catholics", in so far as they may have emancipated themselves from the Magisterium of the Church.   Actually, however, this is not the outcome of a "worldly Faith", rather a dependence upon the world.  True emancipation means much more, said Benedict XVI, pointedly, "free yourself from this dictatorship of opinion and believe in the Son of God".  Only in this way "is one able to find an answer to the challenges of our time."

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