Letter from Rome: Church must learn to discern charisms for service

Better selection process could be the key to uprooting the cancer of clericalism
Letter from Rome: Church must learn to discern charisms for service

Seminarians from the Saint Martin Community lie on the floor during their ordination at Notre Dame de l'épine basilica in Evron in June 2017. Is it time to review how potential priests are chosen? (Photo: Damien Meyer/AFP)

Catholics, particularly those in the clerical caste, tend to be pretty lousy at group discernment, especially when it comes to identifying those in the community who possess the unique spiritual gifts ordered to the various ministries of service in the Church.

There is lack of true discernment when it comes to charisms. The ordained priesthood (presbyterate) is a good example. Generally, the process begins through the initiative of a male adult who believes (or his mother believes) that God is calling him to be a priest. The man will then seek to affiliate with a diocese or join a religious order.

If he can tie his own shoelaces and is not a convicted felon, he will likely pass his initial audition. Unfortunately, that's no joke.

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