Catholic America: Catholic clerical narcissism - On Faith at washingtonpost.com
Despite numerous efforts, my rebuttal to this article is not being published on the Washington Post website.
So much for fair and balanced journalism.
Here is my reply (after you read the above 'opinion' )
OUCH! Why the ad hominem attack and why was it necessary to imply the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy is guilty of clerical narcissism? I agree that sadly there are some members of the clergy who are more concerned with their 'career' insofar as they seek to climb the ecclesiastical ladder, so to speak. Most priests and deacons, however, got ordained to serve God, His Church and His People.
What is narcissistic about seeking personal holiness? Is this not what every Christian is asked to do? Why castigate an association of clergy which merely seeks to promote ongoing post-ordination formation of its members? The Second Vatican Council in the document PRESBYTERORUM ORDINIS officially teaches that ordained ministers need to live holy lives to help them help their parishioners do likewise. Vatican II spoke of the universal call to holiness. All the baptized are challenged to become saints. Ongoing spiritual, intellectual, pastoral and human formation for those already ordained is mandated by the Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests. Why is it presumed that when priests and deacons pray, study and promote healthy fraternity that somehow these would conflict with the mission to evangelize and catechize?
As President of the CCC, I can vouch that our members are young and old, from east coast to west coast, from middle America to deep south. All of them profess their love of Jesus Christ and especially during this YEAR FOR PRIESTS, it was an honor and pleasure for us to participate in a first time international gathering of English speaking clergy in Rome. We did this not for selfish reasons. On the contrary, ongoing formation is but a means to an end. Our final goal is the sanctification of the people we serve in the parish. We can only help them if we first help ourselves learn and grow as fellow pilgrims on the journey. Professing fidelity to the Pope and Magisterium is something we are not embarrassed nor ashamed of yet I cannot see how it could ever conflict with caring for the poor or spreading the Good News. You do us an injustice by inferring or implying a form of clerical narcissism. When doctors attend annual workshops and network with fellow physicians, it is to help them become better doctors to better treat their patients. Likewise, whenever deacons, priests or bishops engage in ongoing formation, especially in annual seminars and workshops and whenever they spend some quality time together in prayer, study and fraternity, it is precisely to enable them to go back to their people and better serve them.
We do not claim the CCC is a panacea and realize there are other groups, associations and societies tailored for the gifts, talents and needs of the individual members. Please do not paint us all with one wide brush. If the Council Fathers at V2, the 1983 Code of Canon Law and the Congregation of the Clergy all agree that ongoing formation and the pursuit of personal
holiness is a good and honorable objective for the ordained, how can it be seen as selfish? Our only desire is to help as many of our people get to Heaven as is possible, by the grace of God and with the help of continued formation which includes prayer, study and personal sanctification.
Fr John Trigilio, Jr.
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