Nazareth Catholic Parish

Grovedale, Torquay and Anglesea

Happy feastday everyone!

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Monday Oct 1,
is the feastday of St Therese of Lisieux,
one of the patronal saints of our parish,
and  the particular patron of  our Torquay Church,
and our two Torquay schools.  
Bishop  Donald Hyling asks: "Why is St Therese so popular?" 
and suggests that the appeal of her "Little Way" might shed some light on the holiness to which we are all called. 

 No matter who you are or what you are,
you are WELCOME among us.

2018 ACBC Social Justice Statement

Homelessness is a challenge for all levels of society: for government, for Church and community, and for us as individuals. Each one of us can make a difference and, when we join with others, we can be a real force for change that ensures everyone has a place to call home. 
Watch the Video on the 2018 Social Justice Statement, and be challenged by the very real need to provide afforable housing for all. 
Read the full Statement here
Get involved!  Organise a car load and a night out in Melbourne to learn how our parish can do more.

Clericalism: a problem for the Clergy..or the Laity...or both??

We have previously highlighted the issue of Clericalism here but there are more and more voices calling for the culture of clericalism to be broken down and cast out of our church. However, many still find it difficult to identify ‘clericalism’ in a succinct way. Perhaps this will help –
                              Clericalism (Aleteia) is
                                                 a disordered attitude towards clergy                                                   
                                                 and excessive deference 
                                                 and an assumption of their moral superiority.

Robert Mickens (La Croix International) calls clericalism ‘a badly mutated gene in our Catholic DNA.’
Bishop Thomas Zinkula (Davenport, Iowa) in The Catholic Messenger says ‘Clericalism is an exaggeration of the role of the clergy to the detriment of the laity. In a culture of clericalism, clerics are put on a pedestal and the laity are overly deferential and submissive to them.’

Bishop Vincent Long (Parramatta, NSW)in an online interview with America Magazine says ‘it is not a question of individual manifestations of clericalism. It is a question of clericalism inherent in the very culture of the church, which we must look at very honestly.” He continues “we really need to, once and for all, jettison that clericalist model of church. It has served us well beyond its use by date.’

Natalia Imperatori-Lee (Crux) says ‘Clericalism is isolating and insular - it cuts off the ‘oxygen’ of genuine solidarity and sharing-of-life with laypeople by creating a separate class, even a separate caste, within the Church.’

Pope Francis also, in his Aug 20 Letter to the People of God, states ‘Clericalism, whether fostered by priests themselves or by lay persons, leads to an excision in the ecclesial body that supports and helps to perpetuate many of the evils that we are condemning today.’
These writers and others call to mind that we cannot be blind to the fact that clericalism is not just a problem of the clergy – it is inherent in us, as the laity, as well.

As Pope Francis wrote, clericalism can be “fostered by priests themselves or by lay persons”—laypeople can fall into clericalism, too! Lay people can fall into thinking that their contributions to the life of the Church are only second-rate, or that in all things, surely “Father knows best,” or that priestly virtue exhausts Christian virtue.

Russell Shaw (OSV Newsweekly) says ‘clericalist attitudes and assumptions remain embedded in the minds of many Catholics and, though probably unrecognized, go on doing great harm.

The harm is of several kinds. By far the worst occurs on the spiritual level, where relatively little is either asked or expected of lay people beyond a legalistic mediocrity — spiritual excellence is equated with keeping rules (go to church, say some prayers once in a while, avoid the grosser kinds of sin). The idea that, as Vatican Council II taught, the laity are called to be saints quite as much as the clergy and religious simply doesn’t enter this clericalist picture. It’s a miracle of grace that so many achieve holiness just the same.

Clericalist thinking also contributes to the passivity and non-involvement of many lay people.

As we move more deeply into the initial Plenary process of Dialogue and Listening, we need to look honestly and closely at this curse of clericalism that is so deeply ingrained in our catholic culture.

We need to ask ourselves, do we see evidence of clericalism – in our parish –in our diocese – in our Australian church – and in our global church?
We need to ask ourselves, do we experience clericalism personally – and how do we experience it?
We need to ask ourselves, do we/I act at times within the culture of clericalism, putting priests up on pedestals, above the ordinary person in the pews?

If you have not yet read the Robert Micken article in La Croix International, read it now, for he says that ‘clericalism could not flourish, as it has for many centuries, without the compliance and complicity of the laity.’

Many of the issues that are arising in the small group reports of the Dialogue and Listening sessions in our parish are intimately connected to clericalism and we may have to let the Holy Spirit do her work before we have answers to them. In France though, the Archbishop of Paris is already moving towards a different way of training priests – definitely worth reading!