IF BEING A PRIEST OR RELIGIOUS BROTHER OR SISTER (NUN OR MONK) ISN'T A HIGHER CALLING, THEN IT MAKES COMPLETE SENSE ONCE CATHOLICS ABANDON THE HIGHER CALLING THEOLOGY AND EMPHASIZE THE MAGICAL, MYSTICAL, BEAR-LIKE BAPTISMAL PRIESTHOOD OF ALL BELIEVERS THAT YOU'D HAVE FEWER WHO WOULD ANSWER THE HIGHER CALLING, NO?
IS THAT LUCILLE BALL ON THE LEFT ANSWERING A HIGHER CALLING WITH A HIGHER HABIT?
KICKING THE HABIT LEADS TO HIGHER AGING:
AND THIS NUN ANSWERED AN EVEN HIGHER CALLING:
The collapse of religious life was not intended by Vatican II or
the initial reforms. In fact, it was that "damn triumphalism" of the spirit of
Vatican II that stated "infallibly" the prediction of a "new springtime" for the Church which included the
renewal of religious life as well as the liturgy as well as the ecclesiology not to mention ecumenism, interfaith relations and relations with the secular non believing world.
As for religious life, the new springtime of renewal began with votes in various "chapters" of
religious orders, and the triumphalism was that if the these religious
discussed what they were going to do, prayed about it, asked for
guidance of the Holy Spirit, then whatever the vote was, from removing
habits and abandoning traditional apostolates such as teaching and nursing, to living alone in apartments and finding secular jobs, all this had the approval of the Holy
Spirit--triumphalism through and through as well as the mortal sin of
presumption. And one wonders if God's punishment was allowing
these orders to decline and fall through such presumption. But I don't
think the original concept of updating was mean-spirited or intended such a decline. Later reforms, though, may have had this in mind.
ideology of the magic of baptism of the laity and their priestly
baptismal identity quickly led to religious nuns and brother leaving religious life as well as priests doing the same, often to marry those they began to work a bit too closely with. Thus the remaining leaders of religious orders and seminaries began to say it was God's plan for this demise
so the laity could take their rightful place in the institutional Church, by taking over schools and hospitals and being pastoral assistants and Eucharistic ministers and the like.
The likes of Fr. Donald Cozzens who would have been in his prime during the 60's revolution in the Church recently wrote an
article on clericalism and explicitly implied that there's no difference between the baptized
and the ordained and being a priest isn't a higher calling within the baptized-- such nonsense. He doesn't think priests have any privileges, rights or entitlements in their higher calling. In fact, he hates the term higher calling, as do all progressive deconstructionists in the Church.
Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh wrote...
Fr. Cozzens article (in U.S. Catholic) never said or suggested that there is no difference between the baptized and the ordained.
gives the laity a dignity equal to that of the ordained. It does not
give them a function in the Catholic community that is the same as the
Cozzens specifically talks about, and warns about,
some clergy members who think their ordination offers them privileges
and entitlements that are not available to the laity. Ordination, some
wrongly think, makes them "better" (not different, but better) than the
lay men and women we are called to serve.
And, as we know, not servant is greater than his/her master.
But my final comments:
I find FRMJK's comment absurd. Priests have the privilege and yes, it is a privilege and entitlement to do things that the ordinary baptized lay priest can't. He can hear confessions and offer absolution; he can offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and consecrate bread and wine into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. He can preach. He can confirm in certain circumstances. He can anoint the Sick and offer the Last Rites. And if so called to an even higher calling, he has the privilege of expelling demons in the Church's Rite of Major Exorcisms.
And if a priest in his higher calling is called to the highest calling, that of being a bishop, he can ordain deacons, priests and yes, bishops and be the ordinary minister of Confirmation. He is also corporation sole of his diocese and has certain canonical rights, privileges and entitlements. What a privilege and entitlement and yes, right, that is!
And sometimes, the baptized, be they Catholic or Protestants, respect that higher and highest calling and allow certain perks to the ordained, like housekeepers, freebees, medical assistance after office hours, no tickets for speeding, and the like. As long as the priest humbly accepts these and does not think he has to pursue these things in presumptuous way, these should be blessings not taken for granted but appreciated in humble gratitude.