VELVET VITRIOL Anti-council seminars

From ADISTA news n.73 – 4th July 2009

A perfect consonance with the guidelines explained by Ratzinger in his letter to the priests all over the world can be found in the speech made by Mons. Jean-Louis Brugués, secretary of the Congregation for the Catholic Education, at the annual meeting of the rectors of papal seminars, held in Rome at the beginning of June.

According to Mons. Brugués, “in the European Church, and maybe also in the American Church there is a line of division, maybe a breaking line, that is undoubtedly different from Country to Country, and introduces what I call ‘current of composition” and a ‘current of protest’”. The first (“it results as predominant after the Council”) leads to look at secularization with favor, trying to find in it “strongly Christian values” like for instance “equality, liberty, solidarity and responsibily”. The second current   (come out “since the 80’s” and established “under the influence of John Paul II”), on the contrary, invites to take distances from it because “differences or oppositions mainly in ethic field, are thought to become bigger and bigger. So an alternative model to the dominant one is proposed, and it accepts to play the role of a protesting minority”.

The same dividing line can be found among those who knock at the door of catholic seminaries, even if the “candidates of the first trend have become rare, with great disappointment of the older priests”. The most part of the priests-to-be, in fact, “bring a sort of identity worry (with a certain disdain, sometimes they are qualified as “identitary”): Christian identity – in what are we different from those who do not share our faith? – and priest identity”.

And it is this latest trend- strengthened “considerably but not dominant yet” – that the rectors of papal seminaries should encourage and support: “More than the passage from a generation to the other”, said mons. Brugués at the end of his speech, “you have to ensure an harmonious passage between an interpretation of the council to another, and maybe from an ecclesial model to another. Your position is delicate, but it is extremely essential for the Church. I wish my presence here can be felt as a sign of trust and encouragement from our Congregation, and from me in particular”. (emilio carnevali)


This article is available in Italian too