One of the questions and conversation topics constantly bubbling on Catholica is this question of the nature of priesthood. Many educated lay-people today question the role and type of priesthood we need in society and many still in, and departed from, formal roles as priests are mulling the question. Perhaps one of the few places where questions on this topic are not asked is in the upper realms of the hierarchy — perhaps out of a belief that they think they already know the answer, and it is an ancient answer. Tom McMahon is an advocate for a new, possibly very ancient model of priesthood — one modelled on none other than Jesus himself and his first followers rather than the triumphalism, formalism and legalism of a post-Constantinian Church. That's essentially the theme of today's commentary with links to many other articles that Tom points to as also pointing to a new conception of the role of priesthood in our age of technology.
My information tank is overflowing ... what has this got to do with priesthood?
This amateur human being and sometimes pseudo sociologist/psychologist reads at times about human behavior. This morning while taking my friend to have her bleeding eye attended to I read from a Stanford University medical magazine an article on autism and one on cyber space communication. Both address the modern world and its search for perfection. Put, in other words, I experience research for fixing the human body and mind, making the goal of perfection more close. Alvin Toffler in the 1970s counseled human beings on the massive changes that would soon envelope the global village. The discovery of how the brain functions and cultural updating on master pioneers like Sigmund Freud have projected our understanding of human behavior beyond our current imagination. When this amateur observer of human conduct watches people he first scans himself with an eye to the behavior of the historical Jesus. I challenge myself to be a Jesus' follower in the age of space and technology. Catholica readers are on the cutting edge of the modern world.
Now what am I talking about in the introduction when I say "my information tank is overflowing"? I paper copy many articles carried by National Catholic Reporter and Catholica. My aging mind does not trust reading from a computer screen. I wait for the right mood with pencil in hand making notes. Editor Brian asked me the other day if in the brouhaha, Vatican -vs- American nuns if I remembered anything like it from my youthful days. Next week the evolutionary growth and wisdom of women and then on to reflections on adult autism. For now, let's hear from a modern woman in the modern world.
Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea in a May 7, 2012 article in NCR offers a block buster commentary titled HIERARCHY'S INABILITY TO MOURN THWARTS HEALING IN CHURCH. Here is true Christian priesthood, putting forth truth in a courageous way. Here is your woman Jesus' servant priest speaking gospel to the entire world. Mary Gail's entire article is loaded with wisdom.
Hierarchy's inability to mourn thwarts healing in church
Commentary by Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea
The Catholic hierarchy from the papacy on down seems to be roiling through a series of manic episodes in which they execute perverted power plays against those perceived as enemies. This kind of mania often is exhibited by large identity groups whose power has been threatened and who are unable to respond adaptively to that loss through a process of healthy mourning.
Tom quotes a few lines from Mary Gail...
Well said servant priest of Jesus! Food for thought — and ACTION.
Time now to bring to the attention of all the meeting in Dublin of the Jesus' servant priests. Our friends Patricia and Sean O'Connell are on scene, promising a full report which hopefully Catholica can carry shortly. (Tom wants to know when will the Jesus' priests of Australia meet?)
Ireland assembly of religious and laypeople calls for open church, re-evaluation
By Michael Kelly
DUBLIN, Ireland -- An assembly of the entire church in Ireland took one step closer Monday with an overflow meeting that saw more than 1,000 priests, religious and laypeople gather to discuss the future of the church.
Organizers say they expected about 200 participants to attend the event, which the Association of Catholic Priests sponsored. However, Dublin's Regency Hotel was packed to capacity, with many at the event forced to stand.
Read more at: ncronline.org/node/30218
That's all for today,folks …. Except a story this excited naught boy from 15th street who happened to be ordained a roman priest wants to tell.
I am a believer in genetics, the spirit of the past coming to life centuries later. People have questioned me about my rebellious spirit …. And the Irish story teller Tom tells truth ……back in 1820 c.e. my great great great grandfather was expelled from Dublin, for not paying his debts. Drinking and courosing, My Protestant great grandmother rode side saddle to the Ring of Kerry I still have cousins around Tralee. Up the Rising against all malicious authority.!
Tom McMahon, the American with Irish genetics. 09May2012
What are your thoughts on this commentary?