Tuesday, September 13, 2016

FOR THE RIGORISTS WHO ARE OPPOSED TO PASTORAL COMMON SENSE, THE FUTURE POPE BENEDICT GIVES GOOD ADVICE!

In the post below this one, no one seems to understand the pastoral theology of the Church which allows for solutions in the internal forum for difficult situations. Life is not black or white and neither is the moral law.

Pope Francis is very much in continuity with the pastoral theology of the Church, which is precisely a theology, not a dogma or doctrine. 

I thank Mark Thomas for alerting us to this important discovery:

In 1972 A.D., the future Pope Benedict XVI declared the following:

You can read the fuller document HERE!

Joseph Ratzinger

On the Question of the Indissolubility of Marriage

"Where a first marriage broke up a long time ago and in a mutually irreparable way, and where, conversely, a marriage consequently entered into has proven itself over a longer period as a moral reality and has been filled with the spirit of the faith, especially in the education of the children (so that the destruction of this second marriage would destroy a moral greatness and cause moral harm),

*******the possibility should be granted, in a non-judicial way, based on the testimony of the pastor and church members, for the admission to Communion of those in live in such a second marriage. Such an arrangement seems to me to be for two reasons in accord with the tradition:*******

"We must emphatically recall the room for discretion that is built into every annulment process. This discretion and the inequities that inevitably come from the educational situation of the affected parties and from their financial possibilities should warn against the idea that justice can in this way be flawlessly satisfied.

"Moreover, many things are simply not subject to legal judgment and are nonetheless real. The procedural affair must necessarily limit itself to the legally provable, but can for that very reason pass over crucial facts. Above all, formal criteria (formal errors or conscious omission of ecclesiastical form) thereby receive a preponderance that leads to injustices.

"Overall, the transferal of the question to the act establishing the marriage is indeed legally unavoidable, but still a narrowing of the problem that cannot fully do justice to the nature of human action.

"The annulment process provides a concrete set of criteria to determine that the standards of marriage among believers are not applicable to a particular marriage.

"But it does not exhaust the problem and therefore cannot claim that strict exclusivity that had to be attributed to it under the reign of a certain form of thought.

"The requirement that a second marriage have proven itself over a long time as a moral greatness and have been lived in the spirit of faith in fact corresponds to that type of forbearance that is palpable in Basil, where after a long penance Communion is granted to the “Digamus” (= the one living in a second marriage) without terminating the second marriage: in trust in in the mercy of God, who does not leave the penance unanswered."

29 comments:

Henry said...

Does

"after a long penance Communion is granted to the 'Digamus' (= the one living in a second marriage) without terminating the second marriage"

mean merely penance after confessing guilt for having contracted the second marriage and committing adultery therein? So that communion can be received if marital continence is subsequently observed--so that adultery is no longer practiced--but without actually terminating the second marriage as such.

Jusadbellum said...

Sorry, this is just a bunch of hand waving to say "Jesus was wrong, and so what God joined man CAN sunder".

It's pathetically easy to refute by itemizing the equivocal use of the word "marriage" to diversely mean SACRAMENTAL and CIVILLY RECOGNIZED UNION.

A valid and licit sacramental marriage is only terminated on the death of one of the parties. All marriages are PRESUMED valid UNTIL PROVEN OTHERWISE.

Junk this, and you junk the entire objective premise of all sacramental theology.

The switch happens when "marriage" is then switched to refer only to a civilly recognized state of companionship. These unions come and go literally "at will" and hence the subsequent unions' intimacy, functioning, offspring, etc. all matter for these merely human, secular, civilly recognized unions.

But the success of one's relationship with one's concubine or mistress does not affect the status of one's prior valid and licit sacramental marriage. It of course does affect the European cowardly castrated white male's little FEELINGS which must never, ever be restricted or restrained from feeling good about one's self. But since when has Christian discipleship been about feelings?

See, here's the thing and this is why I'm not a rigorist for the hell of it.... any convoluted rationalization as to why a valid and licit sacramental marriage can be de facto dispensed with.....CAN BE APPLIED TO ANY OTHER SACRAMENT and indeed to any other field of human interaction.

You can't keep your post hoc rationalizations in a box. Human morality doesn't work like that.

If a valid and licit sacramental marriage bond ceases to matter so long as the mistress and the adulterer's subsequent relationship FEELS BETTER for them.... then we have to conclude that Jesus was wrong and we're smarter and more 'merciful' than Jesus.

I don't think I'm smarter or more merciful than Jesus. But I do think these theologians and bishops who PRESUME a valid and licit marriage to be "dead" when both individuals are still very much alive are lacking in the elemental if child-like faith that in the name of Jesus we can raise the dead to life.

So we don't even TRY to prepare children for marriage and our Pre-cana becomes an afterthought.... we don't even TRY to roll back the culture of death but rather just slow march a sequential negotiated surrender to the spirit of the age on every issue, coming up with convoluted arguments as to why Catholic tradition is wrong or passé or impossible because "reasons" and never ever attempt to stand and cast out the evil spirit in Jesus' name.

I know lots of divorced couples and many who have had common law unions and those in Catholic marriages with mentally impaired or psychologically damaged spouses. I also know spouses in "loveless" unions who struggle and suffer.

But is our purpose in life to Know, love, serve Jesus Christ and find joy....or merely to be subjectively happy?

Catholics today don't spend much time or energy getting to know Jesus or love Him or serve Him or pick up crosses as His disciples. Instead all our energy is spent in figuring out how to join the Spirit of the age without qualms of conscience, without feeling guilty and thus to FEEL GOOD ABOUT our choices ex post facto.

So whether it's contraception, or divorce and remarriage or porn, or fornication, or masturbation or sodomy or polygamy....it's always about the individuals' FEELINGS and not their status as DISCIPLES OF JESUS CHRIST WHOM ALONE CAN SAVE OUR SOULS.

Why am I even called on to explain these things to men who supposedly have studied theology?

But when the elites have gone mad or gone silent out of fear then the little ones must and will rise up like the Joans of Arc or the Thereses'...

Dialogue said...

This is not about Christians in invalid marriages who simply cannot prove to a tribunal their invalidity. This is about Christians in valid marriages who divorce and remarry, invalidly. If the Holy Father were speaking only of Holy Communion for the former, rather than the latter, then he would have said so.

If he just wanted to decentralize everything, then the Holy Father could simply grant each parish priest the authority to investigate marriages and issue declarations of invalidity.

Dialogue said...

Jusadbellum,

I enjoy reading your posts, but your capitalization of entire phrases gives me a headache. Or, maybe I need to be on one of those low-gluten diets that everybody else is on now.

Jean said...

Did I miss something? I didn't see anybody "call on" you to explain anything...

Anonymous said...

They why do I have to go to confession for my sins? Why do I have to amend my life? Why? Why should I carry my cross if adulterers don't have to carry their? If they can keep on singing why can't I? So basically if they live in their sins for years that makes it stable. So if I live in my sins for years why do I have to change? Evil is what all this is EVIL. And everybody knows it. The great apostasy has happened as foretold in scripture.

Adam Michael said...

Excellent point, anonymous. What indeed is the difference?

TJM said...

Jean,

You sound like someone who needs to have the Faith explained to them. Otherwise, why the snark? This isn't "Pray Sniff."

Jusadbellum said...

Oh, and what's the cute little chart on the top supposed to mean? The point is to have PAYING CATHOLICS? Not holy disciples, not people seeking holiness of life....no, paying Catholics going up in proportion to the laxity of the Church's teaching?

How about restoring Temple Prostitution? That might bring back the Millennials! We could ratify the sexual revolution too and get the Fortune 500 praises and dollars...we'd be lionized and welcomed to the powers that be in this world. Or idol worship - think of all the Hindus that we could get if only we accept 500 million gods.

We could attract a billion Muslims if we accept that a Catholic can also be a Muslim.

It's hard to make a satire to this line of thinking that makes "paying Catholics" as some sort of be all and end all of the Church's mission and connects laxity to "people going to heaven".

No, it's the Church SAYING that all will go to heaven - not that they actually do get to heaven. Big, big difference. Or is that understood in the Keys and binding and losening? We have all these rules purely for the hell of it? Purely arbitrarily without any natural reasoning, without any link to the logic of the past, to Tradition? Is the Pope that powerful that he can declare adultery to be OK and sha-zam it becomes OK before God?

Mark Thomas said...

Anonymous at 6:05 P.M.

Buoy yourself with the following from the Formula (Creed) of Pope Saint Hormisdas:

"The first rule of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers. For it is impossible that the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, who said, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church," [Matthew 16:18], should not be verified.

"And their truth has been proved by the course of history, for in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been kept immaculate."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Anonymous, please remain attached to His Holiness Pope Francis. The Vicar of Christ won't lead you into apostasy.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

CCC 675-676

The Church's ultimate trial

675 Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers.574 The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth575 will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.576

676 The Antichrist's deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism,577 especially the "intrinsically perverse" political form of a secular messianism.578

I THINK THE TIME HAS ARRIVED

Mark Thomas said...

The following was posted by Father Sotelo to Father John Zuhlsdorf's blog:

"Fr_Sotelo says:

13 September 2016 at 1:32 PM

"Nothing in Catholic teaching has changed. Those who were previously in valid marriages, and have since remarried without a declaration of nullity, cannot receive Holy Communion. Period.

"The Pope is trying to direct clergy in those cases where previous validity of a marriage, and subsequent declaration of nullity, are murky, complicated and confusing to sort out.

"These are the cases that even the best, most orthodox seminary professors could never have prepared us for. Everyone: please quit acting, talking, and writing as if every married couple’s history and their cases can be so easily figured out by the rules of canon law.

"The Pope’s comment of “discernment” is quite orthodox because it refers, not to dispensing with rules, but trying to understand how they apply. There really are examples when we know not whether there is actual adultery and sin, or the invalid, previous non-marriage case, which was the tribunal says cannot be processed for a declaration of nullity.

"Kudos to Fr. Z for trying to explain that the Church has ever toiled in a minefield when we look at love and marriage, and when it was real/valid, and when it wasn’t. Canon law and tribunals do their best, but with some cases, even they are stumped–thus, the need for the internal forum, which is what Francis is dealing with."

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/otc.cfm?ID=1413

Not heretical: Pope Francis’ approval of the Argentine bishops’ policy on invalid marriages

By Dr. Jeff Mirus Sep 13, 2016

"According to news reports, Pope Francis has commended the bishops of Argentina for recognizing that Amoris Laetitia permits Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics in some cases, without benefit of annulment. The result is that some Catholics are now saying that Pope Francis has crossed the line from doctrinal fuzziness to material heresy. But this is not at all the case.

"It is not incompatible with the Church’s doctrinal teaching on either marriage or Communion to argue that, under some circumstances, persons involved in invalid marriages ought to be admitted to Communion.

"It is very possible to question the prudence of such a practice, as one consequence could be to weaken the Catholic understanding of and commitment to marriage in the minds of the faithful. But that remains a prudential question, which means legitimate disagreement about the best course is possible.

"I have repeatedly made the point that the rules governing reception of Communion are disciplinary, not doctrinal. It is impossible to prove that advocacy of any disciplinary approach indicates heresy in the mind of the advocate."

The article continues...

http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/otc.cfm?ID=1413

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Henry said...

From a highly regarded (I understand) Dominican theologian, as quoted in a recent Catholic Herald article:

"Dominican Fr Thomas Petri, who teaches theology at the Dominican House of Studies, tweeted: 'For the record – of itself, Amoris Laetitia has no magisterial weight. Neither does his private letter on his understanding of it.'"

Jusadbellum said...

The question must always return to HOW a pastor and the individuals involved can PRESUME their sacramental marriage to not be legit absent evidence pointing to such a conclusion.

How does one go from nebulousness and doubt to certainty -even if it's "moral" certainty without presuming the opposite of what the Church has always taught which is that people operate with good faith when receiving the sacraments.

Isn't it to stand on the head this presumption?

Saying that "probably half of all marriages are invalid" betray a cynicism and strategic doubt of incredible import. If we can reasonably guess "half" or "a large percent" of all Catholic marriages are invalid due to defects on the part of the individuals (atrociously messed up catechism of the past 50 years, the influence of psychological factors also on the rise in the post-Christian West such as habitual sin like porn, masturbation, pre-and extra-marital sex, physical, sexual, and emotional abuse that distorts peoples views and impairs their freedom...) how does this line of thinking NOT lead us to necessarily doubt whether we were truly BAPTIZED GIVEN THAT OUR PARENTS MIGHT NOT HAVE HAD THE RIGHT INTENTIONS....OR WE NEVER TRULY RECEIVED EUCHARIST OR CONFIRMATION....OR ORDINATION?

The sacraments are presumed valid until proven otherwise. Once you go down the road of presuming them to be invalid, all bets are off.

Anonymous said...

Who is the AntiChrist?

Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that the antichrist was coming, so now many antichrists have appeared. Thus we know this is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of our number; if they had been, they would have remained with us. Their desertion shows that none of them was of our number. But you have the anointing that comes from the holy one, and you all have knowledge. I write to you not because you do not know the truth but because you do, and because every lie is alien to the truth. Who is the liar? Whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Whoever denies the Father and the Son, this is the antichrist. No one who denies the Son has the Father, but whoever confesses the Son has the Father as well.

You and I are the AntiChrist.

1 John 2:18-23

Yes, the End Times have arrived. They arrived with the death of Jesus on the Cross and we have been living in the end times since then.

Jusadbellum said...

Look at the theology involved for the situation where a priest might not believe in the Real Presence? Isn't it said that provided he intends to do what the Church prescribes - the words, the right ritual, using real bread and wine, his internal belief (or state of grace) does not keep the sacrament from occurring.

The same is taught with respect to Baptism...that even an atheist can baptize someone provided they intend to do what the Church does.

If this is the case for the other sacraments, then why would it be different for marriage? Why ONLY FOR MARRIAGE are we putting all our eggs for a decree of nullity in the internal mental, emotional, and psychological state of the pair who after all, did go through the motions of doing what the Church asked of them?

If a Priest's lack of intention and actual faith doesn't preclude the Real Presence, why would it be so easily conceded that a husband's memory of his wedding day (post-divorce and post-finding another woman with whom to become romantically involved) ought to be weighted with MORE certainty such that doubt becomes certainty of no explicit intent to confer the marital vow with his wife?

Let's be clear here. In most cases it's one spouse abandoning another on account of infidelity which they want to ex post facto "make right". If 30 years after a Catholic wedding, witnessed by the community, a couple divorces and the man comes out with his concubine and they marry and immediately have children, are we to put all our eggs on the basket marked "in hindsight he FEELS as though he never really loved his wife and didn't REALLY intend to give himself 100% after all?

Isn't that sort of thing just a bit too convenient? Doesn't EVERYONE consider themselves to be that 'special case'?

Accepting doubt about the reality of marriage would thus put a real existential doubt into the other sacraments too.

George said...



JusadBellum: You make a mistake in comparing Sacraments in the way you do. All Sacraments are outward and visible signs of an invisible conferred grace; this is one way they are similar. In the Mass, if the right form and matter is not present, transubstantiation does not take place, that is true. In the Sacrament of Confession, if the penitant has deliberately concealed a mortal sin, absolution does not occur. it matters not that the priest did what was prescribed by the Church
(the proper words and actions for absolution).

So there are circumstances which can affect what would be the effect of the celebration of a Sacrament, if all was as it should be according to what is required by the Church.

I do not agree with what you say below because I don't believe that there is acceptance of doubt about the reality of marriage:

"Accepting doubt about the reality of marriage would thus put a real existential doubt into the other sacraments too."





.

George said...



I meant to type above:

So there are circumstances which can affect what would be the effect of the celebration of a Sacrament, if all was NOT as it should be according to what is required by the Church.

Jusadbellum said...

I accept that a lot of Catholics are so superficially catechized in the basics of the faith and so few are regular Mass goers that they might go their entire lives without hearing the Church's teaching on contraception until a single talk in Pre-Canna. Two seconds of googling and they'll find a dozen liberal/progressive "theologians" who will decry Humane Vitae enough to put doubt into their hearts as to its binding character - as indeed they can find "Catholic" voices encouraging porn, masturbation, sodomy, pre-and extra-marital sex as a-OK.

So it's entirely possible that lots of couples don't truly give themselves to each other sacramentally.

If that's the case, I've no issue with decrees of nullity being given and expedited.

I'm only challenging the situations where people can't be presumed to be idiots and indeed given their circumstances, upbringing, education, and exposure to the fullness of the Faith can't plausibly fall into the camp of the low information idiots who get most of their information about the Faith from Hollywood and secular sources.

In these cases, how can we operate as though ex post facto doubt (in the scenarios proposed by the Germans and others of a divorce and subsequent civil marriage produces offspring and a "stable life of harmony") is enough to tip the scales?

It'd be one thing if a couple was going through a crisis and in 'accompanyment' with their pastor discovered that they didn't really understand the Church or Marriage and wouldn't have said "I do" had they known the commitment required of them in the first place and then they mutually and amicably part ways.

Instead what most often happens is that the couple has a crisis, one or both abandon the home, civil divorce is filed, and before the papers are delivered one or both "move on" to another person sexually...and then when it's time for them to civilly marry they seek a church wedding and discover they "need" this permit thing called an annulment and then seek ex post facto to regularize what all along had been adultery.

Throughout the entire process the emphasis is on the here and now "needs" of the individuals and not at all their relationship with God or one another in light of this discipleship with God.

The annulment process thus is more about helping people 'feel good' in subsequent sexual relationships than about helping them grow as disciples with functioning consciences and honorable living.

And the proof is in the social effects. Local dioceses that dispense lots of anulments are not booming with vocations and fervor. They are not counter-cultural and pushing back the rising secularism. The sick are not healed (entire hospitals are handed over to secular companies or the government) and the demons are not cast out (occult and Satanism only keeps growing among the young...) and the Gospel is not preached unless it's reduced to social justice (i.e. socialism).

This entire affair smacks not of evangelization and zeal for souls but a capitulation.

Anonymous said...

Is there a factual basis for: "Local dioceses that dispense lots of anulments are not booming with vocations..."?

Anonymous said...

Well, apparently after discussing the matter further:

"In the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis of 22 February 2007, Benedict XVI summarizes the work of the Synod of Bishops on the theme of the Eucharist and he develops it further. In No. 29 he addresses the situation of divorced and remarried faithful. For Benedict XVI too, this is a “complex and troubling pastoral problem”. He confirms “the Church's practice, based on Sacred Scripture (cf. Mk 10:2- 12), of not admitting the divorced and remarried to the sacraments”, but he urges pastors at the same time, to devote “special concern” to those affected: in the wish that they “live as fully as possible the Christian life through regular participation at Mass, albeit without receiving communion, listening to the word of God, eucharistic adoration, prayer, participation in the life of the community, honest dialogue with a priest or spiritual director, dedication to the life of charity, works of penance, and commitment to the education of their children”.

Obviously, from what Pope Benedict wrote, it is clear that Catholic teaching on marriage is black and white so that pastors - no matter how much they desire to do so - cannot counsel a divorced and civilly remarried Catholic that they may receive communion. Of course, if a pastor wishes to go outside Catholic teaching and, through an internal forum, counsel counsel someone living in an adulterous situation that they may receive Communion then he will do so. In that instance, no doubt the sin of the Catholic receiving the Body and Blood Christ unworthily may well be the pastor eating and drinking damnation unto himself. Good luck to any priest who wants to go down that route fooling himself that he can do so with impunity.

Jan (for some reason can't post from Google account at the moment)

Jusadbellum said...

Compare the statistics of Lincoln, Nebraska (95,000 catholics) with Savannah (80,000 Catholics). The Lincoln diocese has twice of everything but annulments.

Anonymous said...

Lincoln and what other dioceses?

What might be the cause(s) for the low number of annulments in Lincoln? A bishop or series of bishops who have directed their tribunal officers to be overly rigorous? Fewer Catholic marriages overall? Fewer applications for annulments in the first place from Catholics who choose not to seek such? Other possible causes?

I would note: "The dozen dioceses with the highest ratio of seminarians to Catholics, according to statistics published in the 2004 edition of The Official Catholic Directory, are Lincoln, Nebraska; Yakima Washington; SAVANNAH, GEORGIA; Cheyenne, Wyoming; Rapid City, South Dakota; Wichita, Kansas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Alexandria, Louisiana; Pensacola-Tallahassee, Florida; Steubenville, Ohio; Spokane, Washington; and Bismarck, North Dakota." - July 2005 Catholic World Report. Old, but probably still reasonably accurate.

Do these dioceses have the lower annulment numbers?

Then, what other factors could account for higher numbers of seminarians? Factors that have little or nothing to do with the number of annulments granted?

Also, according to CARA, the number of annulments in the USA has declined from 60,691 in 1984 to 23,302 in 2014. IN that same period, Catholic marriages went from 348,300 to 148,134.

Lots to consider.

TJM said...

Anonymous, your last sentence highlights yet another Vatican Disaster II "success story." I can say with certainty, based on my observations, most Catholic parishes will close in the next 25 years. Since the "glories of the Council" I have seen formerly faithful Catholics walk away from the Faith and in my Novus Ordo parish most folks are not young. I guess "Joy is like the Rain" and Teen Life Masses aren't doing the job of inspiring the young. But I notice Juventutem is vibrant, but, Francis and his crew of doubleknit dinosaur bishops just don't get it or won't get it. They will answer to God for their contumacious behavior

Jusadbellum said...

I can only speak for Savannah but it would seem if one was to peruse their website that the overwhelming number of seminarians entering the diocesan seminary pipeline over the past 10 years have largely come from Augusta's "Alleluia" Community which is a sort of unique ecumenical charismatic/traditional enclave of some 500 families.

I think 10 of the dioceses' 100 or so priests come from this single community. The rest come from foreign countries (Ireland, Columbia, Poland, Nigeria...).

So it's not so much the diocese' overall ethos that generates the vocations but this "intentional covenant community" that is lay run but not insular - 90% of the families are Catholic and attend the various parishes in Augusta rather than all gathering in a single parish.

So social reinforcement of Catholic belief and ethics (aka the evil "ghetto") produces vocations! who would have thunk it? It's almost as if the egg head elites of the 1960s who pooh poohed the Catholic ghetto were wrong and those they despises were right or something!

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Jus - A ghetto of one's choosing is one thing, while a ghetto imposed is another.

The Alleluia phenomenon is notable. What does Alleluia have that may not be present in other communities? It's not the Latin mass. It's not a doctrinal rigorist bishop, although our bishops have been entirely sound in that regard.

I suggest that family/community stability is the key.

At the beginning of each year in our seminary the rector, a PhD in Sociology, would ask two questions: 1) How many of us had lived in or near the same town or city all our lives. 2) How many of us had had a priest, pastor or associate, in our parish for 10 year or longer?

In my years at Mt St Mary's there were about 175 guys in the house. We came from all over the eastern US - Vermont to Georgia, Pennsylvania to Nebraska. (The majority came from dioceses closer to Emmitsburg, MD.)

Of those 175 about 90+% had lived in the same place all their lives. Of that 175, about 90+% had had the same priest in his parish for 10 or more years.

The rector, Msgr. McGuiness, thought that this indicated that stability was a major factor in fostering and encouraging vocations. What's behind this?

I have thought that a person who is a long-time member of a community is able to develop a sense of responsibility to that community. If he feels grounded with "this" group of people, he will come to understand that there is, necessarily, a mutuality among members of that community, a common responsibility.

On the other hand, a person who is never anywhere very long - and we have a more and more mobile society in the last 60 or so years - can never feel rooted enough to feel a need or a want to "give back" to that community.

As vocations have declined, so has membership in many service organizations like the Jaycees, Rotary, Lions Clubs, etc. As people have become less rooted there is less a sense of belonging and less of an understanding that "I owe this community something."

Without that, a man will not perceive the call he may be receiving to serve the community as a priest. If a man hears and accepts the call, he is accepting his responsibility to serve the community.

One data point that made me wonder about my theory was that we had a number of vocations from military families. They move every three years and their clergy as often. One of our HS classmates was a West Point grad, so I asked his wife about this theory and the "oddity" of military family vocations. Karin noted that in the military there is a very strong sense of community that travels with you from post to post. She said that if, on her third day in a new location, there was an emergency and she had to leave her small children with a neighbor, she would not hesitate to go to the home of the officer next door who she had just met to ask them to watch the children. Interesting...

Surely a diocese with more stable families is more likely to be the seedbed for vocations. But the annulment rate is, I suggest, not a particularly good measure of that stability since so many factors underlie the number.

TJM said...

The bedrock of the Latin Mass communities is the family and they are spawning more vocations than "progressive" communities are, maybe in part because they have more children, and have not contracepted themselves out of producing children, and hence, vocations. Just like progressives want all of us to do their "charity" by imposing higher taxes on all of us instead of reaching into their own pockets, they want traditional families to do the job of producing priests.

Anonymous 2 said...

TJM:

“Just like progressives want all of us to do their ‘charity’ by imposing higher taxes on all of us instead of reaching into their own pockets,”

It is not so simple. There is a Catholic principle called “the universal destination of goods,” which implies that we should think not only in terms of charity but of also of justice. Properly understood, then, it helps us avoid the errors of “progressives” as well as those of “conservatives.” Here is a good treatment of the topic:

https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/articles.cfm?id=285