All posts tagged: Priestly formation

Contributions Towards a Structural Analysis of the Catholic Abuse Crisis

Child abuse is always a horrendous crime. Nevertheless, Catholics sometimes think the abuse scandal mostly does harm to the Church, because some Catholics use the scandal to further their own agendas such as the lifting of obligatory celibacy for priests. Everything changes when you come to know a victim of child sexual abuse personally, especially if they are a friend of yours or someone you have known for many years. Abuse becomes a visible problem when it is given a face. When that happens both sadness and outrage follow. The ultimate aim of questions raised about coping with the abuse, and the new perspectives that answers to them raise, must be oriented towards a hoped for healing of the survivors and their families. As more details about clerical child abuse become known there are two possible approaches for a responsible coping with what has happened. The first approach is reflection upon the reasons why this massive abuse by clerics in the Catholic Church happened (1). There are various causes for the abuse: individual causes (1.1) …

An Interview with Rev. Stephen Giannini

The following interview with Rev. Stephen Giannini, of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, appears in conjunction with the second annual John M. D’Arcy Program in Priestly Renewal happening this week at the McGrath Institute for Church life on Notre Dame’s Campus. Rev. Stephen Giannini was a participant in last year’s inaugural John M. D’Arcy program. Rev. Giannini was ordained for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis on June 5, 1993. Currently serving as pastor of Ss. Francis & Clare of Assisi Church, Greenwood, Indiana, he also serves as an associate judge for the Metropolitan Tribunal, confessor for the Little Sisters of the Poor and Sisters of Loretto at St. Augustine Home, and associate spiritual director at Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary, all in Indianapolis, Indiana.   Note: The following interview has been edited for length and clarity. How do you understand your priestly vocation? As all Christians are called to love God and to love their neighbor, I believe that the priestly vocation lives out this command through celebrating/officiating at Sacraments; teaching/preaching the Good News; and being a …

Priestly Renewal at Notre Dame

While John Paul II is perhaps best known for his role in the collapse of the Communist bloc in Eastern Europe or for what is popularly referred to as the “Theology of the Body,” the case can be made that his Apostolic Exhortation of 1992, Pastores Dabo Vobis, has in fact affected the lives of most Catholics throughout the world in even more significant ways.  For in that document, the now sainted Holy Father laid out a vision for the formation (note, not merely education) of priests, and this radically revamped the way seminaries prepare men for ordained service.  He spoke of formation not merely in terms of theological education (what might be called intellectual formation) but also in terms of spiritual, pastoral, and human formation.  This in turn reshaped the way seminaries function and work to prepare men for ordained ministry.  This past December, the Congregation for the Clergy issued a new Ratio Fundamentalis, or basic schema, for the formation of priests.  It too speaks very much of the training of priests in terms …