Move Ministries to the Margins

The scandal of sexual abuse by members of the Catholic clergy, the diminishing number of priests and an overemphasis on professionalism may be coloring how the leaders of religious orders think about the priesthood, said Archbishop-designate Joseph W. Tobin (pictured), a Redemptorist from the United States recently appointed secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. He was speaking in Long Beach, Calif., at the annual assembly of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men on Aug. 7. Clerical sexual abuse has provoked repugnance throughout the church and has led some people to see religious leaders as hypocritical and arrogant, Archbishop-designate Tobin said. As a counterforce, he suggested that the priests recall the healing of the deaf man in the seventh chapter of the Gospel of Mark. The story placed Jesus in a “religious and social no-man’s land, a place where pious Jews would not be comfortable.” He said, “The place for consecrated people today is the space where people are excluded from their full dignity as sons and daughters of God.”

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Jacinta and Francisco will be the youngest children ever to be recognized as saints by the church.
Gerard O'ConnellMarch 23, 2017
The ruling appears to confirm fears among some faith leaders that courts are reining in the definition of religious practice.
Michael J. O'LoughlinMarch 22, 2017
There are truths that can only be shared by way of testimony, and these are the ones that matter most to us.
Terrance W. KleinMarch 22, 2017
Breslin, the legendary New York reporter and columnist, died last week at 88.
Joseph McAuleyMarch 22, 2017