Joseph Martos
Part Three of the Course, Fifth Assignment, Question 2
by Dr. Joe Martos - Friday, 17 February 2012, 2:00 AM

Reflect on the developments in the priesthood since the Second Vatican Council, explaining why you believe that some of these have been positive or negative developments.

Picture of arnetta sims
Re: Part Three of the Course, Fifth Assignment, Question 2
by arnetta sims - Monday, 6 August 2012, 7:03 PM

Vatican II laid out the framework to renew the practices of the priesthood to include the Christian Faithful. The wording in the documents are there, but the hierarchy refuses to share in the responsibility of the foundational structure. It was the philosophy of Jesus Christ to be inclusive of all of humanity. The practices of priesthood still will only go so far in allowing the laity an equal share in the Gospel. The language spells out that bishops are to be shareres with the pope, but does not make room for the people.

The people are questioning the authority and power of the bishops and priests today. The time has long gone for the laity to pray, pay and obey. Vatican II in my opinion did not go far enough in enforcing the need for co-sharers.

Can we truly state that the priest are authorities on sex, marriage and everyday living? They in their isolation have not experienced life challenges as laity in the world. Therefore their role as counselor is lacking substances by not having everyday experiences.

The responsibilities given to priest has been hampered by the shortage of priest. The Church will have to reach back and practice the theology of St. Paul. In so doing there will be ample reapers in the vineyard.

Laity have began to search the scriptures to establish a personal relationship with the Lord. As the laity serve in the community they see it as an obligation, while brother priest feels it is his right. So what does ordination mean today? Will priest one day be able to marry? Will the laity assume their place back in the church ? These are questions that the Church will have to face in the near future.

I had an opportunity to be in a meeting with a bishop and I reminded him that we both are called by God; one ordained and the other commissioned.

This is not the structure that Jesus Christ established and I should think in the next few years, maybe five or more we will witness change. Bishops will have to surrender some of their powers and priest will have to start being doers of the word.

Vatican II did advance towards a more pastoral tone, but did it do enough? I am very curious about the new movement from the Apostolic See on Evangelization that is coming out in October, 2012. Will this synod by any chance call for renewal for the People of God.

Vatican II did well for that era, but that was then and this is now!

GRADE 4 (Informed evaluations of current practice and theology.)

(Edited by Dr. Joe - original submission Thursday, 2 August 2012, 10:02 PM)

Picture of Marvin Fitchett
Re: Part Three of the Course, Fifth Assignment, Question 2
by Marvin Fitchett - Monday, 6 August 2012, 7:00 PM

The effects from Martin Luther’s and John Calvin’s challenge to the Catholic Church instigated altering developments to the Catholic priesthood prior to and since the Second Vatican Council. Initially, the Catholic Church sustained their patristic and medieval view of its ordination system and priesthood. As the views from the secular culture continued to expand, their views began to infiltrate the lives of Catholic believers and the church had to address them. The Second Vatican Council assembled their bishops as well as theologians to re-evaluate the historical archives to verify the validity of their sacramental ordination system and priesthood. The contemporary bishops and theologians identified contradictory records that did not reinforce their current view of the consecrated perception of their holy order and priesthood. In the ancient church’s zeal to propagate the growth of the ministry popes and bishops authorized the ordination/ commissioning deacons and priest. The more the contemporary bishops and theologians the more evidences they discovered to the contrary. For the Council to authorize this archeological activity was unprecedented and a step to reset the Catholic Church’s present and future history to a God centered vision.

The contemporary bishops and theologians archeological activity prompted the Second Vatican Council to consider what was learned from their historical excavation. The Council devised and implemented a plan to restructure the principle behind of the holy order and priesthood. The implementation of their plan changed the isolated roles of the bishop and priest, to a team concept where they work together while serving in their church community. The Council’s restructuring place emphasizes on the priest of the past. The new look priesthood’s mission statement involved wording that evoked reproducing ministry from the apostolic era and showing real reverence to Jesus Christ. The next development from the Council’s plan was the introduction of idea the priest taking on more of a pastoral role, putting great emphasis on servicing the community through preaching, teaching, and counseling. Their analogy for the bishops was taken from the scriptures, where they were watch over the flock of God people. The decision of the second Vatican Council changing the vision and acts of the priest and bishops was bold and held the ministerial pattern found in the apostolic church.

There were two noticeable effects from the Second Vatican Council they were clergy protesting the changes and it open the door for lay and congregation member’s ministry. First, some Catholic clergy where not willing to shift from a status of privilege and power to service and displaying brotherly love toward one another. The disgruntle clergy left the church. The vacuum of clergy opened the door for lay people and the congregation to become participates in the ministry of their parish. This consequence seemed negative, however it revitalized the Catholic from the congregation up to the bishops where the community environment was reconnecting. The effects were positive because unity was being rekindled in the Catholic community.

In this sacrament of ordination, the Second Vatican Council stood firmly with their feet shroud with the preparation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The results were priest fulfilling their natural roles, and the congregation freed to serve another and God.

Grade 3 (Descriptive but not evaluative.)

(Edited by Dr. Joe - original submission Thursday, 2 August 2012, 10:19 PM)

Picture of Eileen Rettig
Re: Part Three of the Course, Fifth Assignment, Question 2
by Eileen Rettig - Monday, 6 August 2012, 6:58 PM

Several changes since the Second Vatican Council have had positive effects with the Catholic Church. One of these positive effects is the reinstitution of the permanent diaconate as part of Holy Orders. Married men study for several years, are ordained and assigned to assist the parish priests. In Mobile, the program includes three years of study with priests of the diocese who have at least Masters level degrees. An interesting component of the program is that the wives of these men are an integral part of the program. Some have speculated that within a generation the Church will allow women to be ordained as deacons and the first of these women will come from the ranks of the wives of deacons, as it appears to have been in the very early years of Christianity. This revival of the permanent diaconate helps with the shortage of priests the Church is currently experiencing because the deacons can officiate at Baptisms, Weddings and funerals. They do not have the power to celebrate Mass but they frequently preside at Communion Services when a priest is unavailable. They cannot sacramentally forgive sins so they cannot hear confessions or anoint the sick.

Priests have been encouraged to change the attitude of power and authority that it has developed over centuries to a model of service to the community they serve. Members of the clergy have been charged with being more active in social issues while members of the laity have been asked to be more active in the ministerial roles within the Church. This means some priests take part in or lead prayer vigils to protest capital punishment when a human being is being executed. It also means that lay people can be found doing readings at Mass, taking Eucharist to the sick and homebound or helping to plan special liturgies.

The blurring of some of these ministerial roles has led to some serious questions about the future of Holy Orders. If married men can become deacons, why does the Church continue to insist on celibacy for priests and bishops? With the real possibility of women becoming permanent deacons, why does Rome refuse to allow women to be ordained priests?

One of the great tragedies of the contemporary era is the uncovering of multiple incidents of sexual abuse of children, especially boys by members of the clergy. To compound matters, some bishops routinely transferred these pedophile priests when parishioners began to complain and then denied anything wrong had happened. In response to this issue and in a possibly misguided attempt to prevent a recurrence of these sad events, the Vatican has ruled that men who have homosexual proclivities may not be ordained. If priests are to lead celibate lifestyles a homosexual priest would be required to abstain from sexual relations the same as a heterosexual priest.

As Dr. Martos stated at the end of Talk Twelve one thing is certain: the priesthood, along with the Catholic Church and her Sacraments will continue to evolve as they have since her founder walked this earth.

GRADE 4 (Analytical and evaluative.)

(Edited by Dr. Joe - original submission Thursday, 2 August 2012, 10:30 PM)