Friday, June 01, 2007

The "profesionalization" of priesthood

On retreat, I had the opportunity to reflect on the ramifications of having priests who are thought of as a professional. There are obvious positives but there are also negatives. In the wake of the priesthood sexual abuse crisis, it probably seems to make sense to be more professional. To talk about "boundaries" and the importance of privacy.

But, there have been movements to make the church look more like IBM than Jesus Christ and that concerns me. Christ didn't tell us that we only need to take up our cross during office hours. In fact, in the gospel of Mark, it becomes clear that those times that he most wants a break are the times that he doesn't get one. And, he calls his disciples to not want to take breaks but to pour out one's life for one's friend.

Boundaries are safe and, for some, they are incredibly important things. But, they can also shield us from being "Father" or "Sister" and turn our celibacy into the bachelorhood. I think we need to look into our history before we move too quickly on this.

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