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The Crisis of the Church between Zealotry and Conformism of Shepherds in the Society of Liberties

Ivan Bodrožić orcid id ; Katolički bogoslovni fakultet Sveučilišta u Splitu, Split, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 344 Kb

str. 595-616

preuzimanja: 223



In this article, the author discusses the crisis in which the Church descended in the last few decades, especially the scandal of paedophilia. In the first chapter, he analyses pos sible causes of the crisis by starting with opinions of theologians who dealt with this matter. He points out that there are two groups of theological opinions on causes of the crisis, followed by two very different explanations. One group is of the opinion that the crisis was caused by outdated structures such as celibacy and the lack of personal liberties. They are convinced that the real solution consists in releasing priests from the obligation of celibacy and they insist on freedom of decision in accordance with the moral principle of conscience that ought to be the highest norm of action. The other group of theologians detects the problem in the crisis of identity, caused by the influence of the modern world, as well as in the insufficient formation of priests or in the change of pastoral paradigm after the Second Vatican Council, to which many priests failed to adapt. By keeping in mind various theological approaches and opinions, the second part analyses the teaching of the Magisterium of the Church on priesthood and celibacy, starting with conciliar documents and all the way until John Paul II´s Apostolic Exhortation Pastores dabo vobis. The author points out that the Magisterium of the Church sees priests as prophets not only because of their task to preach, but also because of their way of life in celibacy. In the third part, the author offers his own evaluation of the issue and possible trajectories of thinking as an orientation for authentic theology of priesthood. Firstly, he points out that priesthood is a vocation and mission in front of God and in front of the Church. Through the Holy Order the priest is made in the image of Christ in order to perform his service in the world. Furthermore, the priest is called to be Christ-like in his life and activity. Of equal importance is his ecclesiastical responsibility, which are a source of moral and spiritual imperatives in his life. An attempt to reform the priestly office structurally under the pressure of modern times is, according to the author, unseemly, because priests are called to be prophets by giving the testimony of pure and virtuous life and not by annulling moral demands in order to placate wishes of false freedom. Wrong theological premises lead to morality of compensation and reduced spirituality, which are the true causes of crisis among priests. As a possible answer to the crisis, the author points out the way indicated by Pope Benedict XVI and Francis, who called priests to stronger faith, renewal of sanctity, and necessary cleansing in the fear of God. This is the way that ought to be followed by all theological efforts of raising the quality of formation of seminarians.

Ključne riječi

shepherds, crisis, Church, Second Vatican Council, priesthood, freedom.

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

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