Pro Unione

Home » Posts tagged 'Council of Cardinals' (Page 2)

Tag Archives: Council of Cardinals

Advertisements

Church Reform Wishlist: Precedence and Papal Honors

Of Precedence and Papal Honors (Or, “Monsignors, medals, and more!”)

Full disclosure: i helped get some acquaintances a papal knightood for their commendable service to the Church, i know some others. I know several monsignori, most quite deserving of recognition. If we have these things, we should use them, but first ask whether we should have them at all.

  • The presbyterate and diaconate are equal in ‘rank and dignity’. We really should not even be talking about ‘rank’ with regard to the life of the Church anyway. Are not all equal in Christ?
  • I am not sure we should, but as long as we do  still care about an order of  precedence, patriarchs precede cardinals, and major archbishops ought to be considered equal to cardinal-bishops. .
  • On one hand I think we should eliminate the vestiges of the renaissance court – the three grades of monsignori, the five grades of papal knights, the two medals, and perhaps even the college of cardinals, honorary canons, etc.
  • On the other hand, I believe that if we do have these things – and there are reasons to have the means of recognizing good and faithful service to the church – they ought to be exercised more equitably and transparently, to whit:
    • Clear qualifications or requirements for each honor should be widely available, clearly understandable, and published on the Vatican website.
    • There should be universal consistency, too. A parish organist of fifty years and a Swiss Guard of two can both receive the Benemerenti medal. Likewise some dioceses do not have monsignori at all, some award it after a set number of years of service, and if you work in the curia, it was, until quite recently, all but guaranteed after five years (one term) of service.
    • Nominations should have an open process that allows at least initial proposals to come from all corners of the Church. There are many deserving people who will never be recognized simply because nobody knows how to get it done.
    • Generous donors should either not be so awarded, or only granted the lowest category of  particular order. The higher levels reserved for those who have given of their time and talent.
    • We should make broader use of the awards as appropriate for ecumenical, interreligious, and even non-believing leaders who have contributed in someway to the Church and to the world.
      • e.g., the diplomats accredited to the Holy See are frequently made Knights of the Order of Pope Pius IX. Maybe it would be appropriate to make the outgoing Representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Holy See an honorary canon of St. Peter’s, or of St. Paul’s without the Walls? Or at least a Pian Knight, too!
    • If the papal knighthoods are for the laity, and the monsignori for the clergy, then deacons should be able to be awarded with all the levels of monsignor. Alternatively, restrict the highest (protonotary apostolic) to the diaconate (which is the historic origin of this role anyway), the middle (honorary prelate) to the presbyterate, and the lowest (chaplain of his holiness) to lay ecclesial ministers, or to both presbyters and deacons.
    • Publish a report each year, and a sum total of all awards given, which includes clarification of who was awarded, for what reason, and where they are. I would be happy to help with the research!
    • Gentlemen of His Holiness are, basically, finely dressed ushers. Is it really an honorific? Why not just have the ushers do this job? If it is an honorific, let it become more systematic like the rest.

Pontifice-Cross-Honorees.jp

Jump to:

Advertisements

Church Reform Wishlist: Catholic Education and Pastoral Formation

Education

  • All candidates for pastoral ministry, whether presbyterate, diaconate, or lay ecclesial ministry, are required to take an introductory course in ecumenism, and in interreligious dialogue. At last count, only about 1/3 of seminaries were in compliance. Enforce this.
  • No minor seminaries!
  • Seminarians should not be isolated in their formation, but prepare for a life of ministry with deacons and lay ecclesial ministers alongside candidates for the diaconate and lay ecclesial ministry
  • There should be an accreditation system for pontifical universities that utilizes Catholic higher education leaders from around the world and from outside the pontifical/ecclesiastical system
  • The clericalism contained in the Congregation for Education’s governing documents on the distinction between “theology” (only for priests) and “religious studies” (for religious and laity) should be rooted out completely.
  • A commitment to consultation and collaboration, and an understanding of the difference, should be inculcated in all called to pastoral ministry.
  • Formation for ministry in the U.S. means, generally, a BA in philosophy and theology or a BA in something else with some prerequisite work, and then a Master of Divinity or similar. In Rome, the degree for ordination is a Baccalaureate in THeology, after a partial degree in Philosophy. What about psychology, leadership, non-profit administration, etc? Why a seven year program in one system, and a five year program in another?
  • The Roman pontifical system needs a desperate overhaul. It needs to accept that there have been lay students earning theology degrees for a century and adapt accordingly. There is so much overlap and repetition between the universities and institutes, a lack of funding, a surplus faculty and a deficiency of staff, and a tendency to be isolated from the broader theological and academic world. Do there really need to be seven faculties of canon law, and two dozen faculties of theology? All the universities, athenae, and institutes combined probably only have 10,000 students in residence. Perhaps it is time to have an actual system in place here, to which all the participating universities belong. This would take an extensive blog in itself….

Russell Berrie Fellows with Angelica Berrie, Rome Islamic Leadership and Angelicum staff

Jump to:

Church Reform Wishlist: Liturgy

Liturgy

  • Actually, i do not have too much to say. So much has been said, and liturgy is probably the best case of successful, ongoing reform, despite the bumps. So just a couple small things: put into law that which theology and history holds to be evident. Or, where we have two practices that go back centuries, the older one should be the norm,  for example:
    • The most ancient form of receiving communion is in the hand. Make this the norm, and receiving in the tongue, a later practice, an accepted alternative.
    • Communion under both species as the norm, with exceptions as appropriate
    • Translate the universal version of the GIRM into each language on the Vatican website – currently the English is actually the adaptations for the USCCB and does not reflect the original, universal, Latin version. It leads to some confusion.
    • The Eucharist is the Sunday Liturgy, it should be more or less limited to Sundays. The rest of the week should have the liturgy of the hours publicly celebrated in parishes.
    • The Creed should be recited without the Filioque, as a norm, in all liturgies.
    • The portions of Liturgicam Autenticam which violate previous ecumenical agreements  should be abrogated.

xmas7

Jump to:

%d bloggers like this: