Inside the Seminary Is There Reason to Be Worried About Formation?

This is the second article in the series from Commonweal on the priesthood in the US. Again this is a long article.   I was at first put off in his seeming defensiveness regarding clerical sex abuse, but keep reading as what he has to say is very disturbing.   As I read this article, I was blown away by how retrograde was the teaching this man received in the area of human sexuality.  As I got into the article a ways, at first I thought he must have been in the seminary in the late 50’s or early 60’s, but then I remembered that in the beginning of the article, he stated he was in the seminary from 2008 to 2010 !  If this is indeed how most seminaries are training men, I think we will see more of those “little monsters” that Papa Francesco speaks about.  I have read two articles that said PF’s stiffest resistance is from the younger priests.  He needs to live another 10 years to have enough time to correct so many disturbing things in the Church today.  I feel the formation of priests is one of the most disturbing….Reyanna

By Paul Blashchko, February 1, 2015, Commonweal Magazine on-line

Any college-aged man entering a Catholic seminary during the ongoing crisis of the priestly sexual-abuse scandals does so with a certain amount of self-consciousness. Alongside predictable questions raised by the decision to embrace a life of celibacy, the seminarian faces widespread doubt about whether the church is capable of providing the formation necessary to produce well-adjusted, sexually healthy priests. Some critics of the church see sexual abuse as the natural result of celibacy, which they regard as a psychologically unnatural way of life. On this view, there is nothing mysterious about the church’s failure to provide adequate sexual formation, since the very attempt to form sexually normal celibate men poses an impossible task. The only solution to the problem of priestly sexual abuse would be to drop mandatory celibacy.

But this view is simplistic. (To continue reading, click here.)

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