Letter from the Publisher
Bishop Cupich, then recently appointed Archbishop-elect of Chicago, was asked what quality was most needed for the priests in the United States facing new challenges. He gave this revealing answer: “We need priests who are focused on living out their baptism and not their ordinations.” The priest interviewing him commented thus: “What a great way of thinking about and approaching the problem of clericalism that plagues every part of the Church.”
On the opposite side of the spectrum we can recall the issues which confronted priests with the new face-lift given by Vatican II to the Church. The Council’s aggiornamento both enhanced the “priesthood of the faithful” and the Episcopal power to the point of forgetting the role of the Catholic priest in the Church, caught between these unprecedented pressure groups. It is not uncommon to hear from journalists that the priest for the last fifty years has been suffering from an identity crisis.
Is today’s Church paralyzed by clerical interference or by a lack of vocations? Is the Church afflicted from priests who abuse their sacerdotal ministry of teaching, ruling and saving souls or of the lack thereof? These are crucial issues to which the average Catholic cannot be indifferent and whose answers will greatly impact the next ecclesiastical landscape.
Fr. Jürgen Wegner