Team of Elders – Bishop Fritz Lobinger

1 Response

  1. Martin Keenan says:

    We are warned time and again not to “[yield] to the temptation to seek solutions which lower the moral and formative standards demanded of candidates for the priesthood” (JPII, Encycl. “Ecclesia de Eucharistia”, 2003, para.32).

    This is precisely what Bp. Lobinger’s “solution” entails, even if the “supplementals” are not, now, to be called “priests” (discarding his own ill-considered proposal of but a few years ago in “Priests for Tomorrow” where he coined a distinction between so-called “Corinthian priests” and “Pauline priests”).

    Nor is is satisfactory for Mr. Shackleton to reprobate “the undesirable divide between clergy and laity” without explaining himself further. Does he dispute that the ordained priesthood and the common priesthood of the laity differ not in degree, but are ontologically distinct? And since there is an unpassable gulf between the two, what makes it “undesirable”? Or is he speaking of social relations?

    And why do we need a “new way of tackling head-on the harmful shortage of priests”? Our Lord has shown us the way (Mt.9:37f.) and we are challenged by current circumstances to have “ever greater faith and hope in God’s providence” (Pope Benedict XVI, Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Sacramentum caritatis, 2007, para. 26).

    “. . . we must never lose confidence that Christ continues to inspire men to leave everything behind and to dedicate themselves totally to celebrating the sacred mysteries, preaching the Gospel and ministering to the flock.” (ibid.)

    Regurgitated novelties are a distraction from the essential business of prayer for vocations, and they generate uncertainty and confusion about what the priesthood is (1Cor.14:8). It is lamentable in the highest degree that “The Southern Cross” once again uses the edition commemorating World Day of Prayer for Vocations to promote such unprofitable ideas as Mr. Shackleton is here recommending.