Tuesday, 20 February 2018


Can you explain what happens at ordination when the “ontological change” happens?
BY RICHARD G. MALLOY, SJ JANUARY 12, 2010




No! (LOL).  If I could explain it, it wouldn’t be what it is!  Seriously, “ontological change” is very meaningful in the context of St. Thomas Aquinas’ medieval theological synthesis of Aristotelian philosophy and Christian theology, a stunning intellectual achievement for both his time and, to some degree, ours.
But once we move out of the Thomistic formulation of questions and the meaning of words in his system, we can find it more than difficult to explain what he meant then, and what it means for us now.  Terms like “ontological change” and “Transubstantiation” need updating for the 21st century.  Jesuit Bernard Lonergan’s work is a great place to start with that task.  Yet, I fear most will find Lonergan quite deep and difficult.  One Jesuit once said to me, “Mugs! Lonergan?  Life is just too short!”
So, what does the idea of “ontological change” try to express?  The catechism states that ordination “confers an indelible spiritual character” which “cannot be “repeated or conferred temporarily” (CCC#1583).  “The vocation and mission received on the day of his ordination mark him permanently” (CCC#1583).  Ordination is done once and for all as are Baptism and Confirmation.  Holy Orders places one in another position (i.e., order or group) in the community, not a better or more privileged place, but a place from which one is called to spend one’s life exclusively in service of the people of God.




Let me try and get at the deeper and more mysterious meanings of priesthood the idea of “ontological change” aims to reveal.  All of us who have been graced to serve the people of God as priests know there is often much more going on in a pastoral situation than we can understand or for which we can take credit.  Someone comes up after a homily and tells you that your words were just what they needed to hear.  And you realize you don’t think you said what they heard… but, hey the Holy Spirit works in ways wonderful and wacky.
A story may help.  When I was a Jesuit scholastic, in my 11th year of preparing for ordained priesthood (Why do Jesuits study for so many years?  Because we need it!), I was leading a parish youth group in confirmation preparation at St Pat’s on Blue Hill and Dudley Avenues in the Roxbury section of Boston.  The agenda for the night was having the group make a poster with symbols of all the sacraments.  The kids came up with a waterfall for baptism, bread and wine (and pizza and Pepsi) for Eucharist, an ambulance with flashing lights in the form of a cross for the sacrament of the sick, etc.  Lots of fun and ingenuity.  They really got stuck when it came to Holy Orders.  They looked at me, and I said, “Nope.  This is your project.  Put what you think being a priest means.”  Little 13 year old Egiberto piped up and said, “Draw an ear!”  We all looked at him like he was a little crazy (which he often was in a harmless 13 year old way).  “What do you mean an ear?  Why an Ear?” we all asked.  Egiberto replied, “Because priests listen.”  I’ve never forgotten that moment.  I think God was trying to teach me something that night.  As Sharon Parks-Daloz taught in her pastoral ministry course, “God gave us two ears and one mouth.  We should use these gifts in the proportion given.”

Getting people like me to shut up and listen is quite a change, ontological or whatever you want to call it.  Whatever happens on the day of ordination, I always remember what we were told by a wise, old Jesuit: “If you’re not a priest the day before ordination, you won’t be the day after.”  Ordination recognizes and brings to fruition a process that has been going on for some time in a person’s life.  That growth in listening to God and the people of God, while trying to facilitate conversations between God and people, continue all the days of a priest’s life.

PAT SAYS:

Those of us are Christians believe that we receive God's graces at different times in our lives and indeed through the sacraments.

Terms like "ontological" and "transubstantiation" were the attempts of philosophers and theologians to explain mysteries to us.

But of course, the essence of mysteries is that it cannot be explained in human terms.

In time the explanations of philosophers and theologians like Thomas Aquinas became doctrines or dogmas.  

In the context of the priesthood, it eventually became to be regarded as a superior state to the state of marriage or just being an ordinary Catholic.

This was one of the building blocks of clericalism and clerics being a superior form of Church life.

I like that saying of the old Jesuit: "If you are not a priest the day before your ordination you will not be a priest the day after it".

I told my mother when I was four that I wanted to be a priest and I have never wavered from that in the past 61 years.

Real priests know and behave like SERVANTS and not like SUPERIORS.



118 comments:

  1. I've just read, and tried to make some sense out of what Malloy writes about "ontological change".
    And I'm none the wiser for it!
    I found it a lot of meaningless tautological codswallop.
    It made me think of the comment yesterday from a Catholic Granny on the phrase "Once a priest always a priest". It seems to me that it's clericalism trying to somehow explain and justify it's privileges.
    MMM
    MMM

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  2. Pat, now you want us to believe that you are the SERVANT par excellence!! I admire and support fully the wonderful life of TRUE SERVICE given to our parish by our Priest. He eputomises what being a SERVANT OF CHRIST IS. We are inspired by his sincerity, humanity, integrity, soirituality and dedication. Yes, there are some priests who prefer being superiors but let us thank God for the many who strive to be servants.

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  3. Will the Knights of Malta have any role to play in the Pope's visit this time? Hasn't there been changes at the top or are have some of the chaplains been replaced?

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    1. Shouldn't the Knights of Malta be off fighting the Turk or pillaging Algiers and the Barbary Coast rather than organising a papal visit to Ireland?

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    2. Brendan from Banbridge21 February 2018 at 18:38

      The Turk are in Calais nowadays, coming soon to a parish near you.

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  4. I am a lay person but I know well what you mean when you (often) refer to "clericalism"
    Can I venture an alternative opinion as to what I believe is - -at least--an often overlooked contributing factor to that phenomenon?
    I actually query the oft-stated view that priests and especially bishops, had a vastly inflated notion of their own superiority in the past.
    I don't think they behaved all that differently.
    But what HAS changed enormously(due to a huge number of factors) is the respect for and value once put on the position of the Church in the public eye.
    In the past, people had an almost innate high regard,love and respect for everything connected to the Church. This naturally included its sacramental ministers and ironically the more humble sincere and prayerful the priest was perceived to be, the higher his status grew in the public perception. So his high status in the community wasn't because he,himself was engaging in "pompous clericalism" but it was voluntarily conferred on him as of right by his parishioners. Sometimes older people referred to this as "respect for the cloth" Let me tell you there was absolutely nothing wrong with that respect at that time! Why?-well, because it was in many,many cases well-earned by sincere, dedicated priests who lived up to their vocation and the congregation's high expectations of them. Yes,of course some struggled and lapsed and (as we now know)some had a hidden life or a predominant ongoing serious flaw which would have shocked the faithful had they known. Now the bright relentless torch of history illuminates these dark corners to their shame. That needed, badly needed,to happen.
    But the saddest thing is that so disgusting and shocking was the spectacle in those dark corners,it has had the power to extinguish all that former high regard and respect which was legitimately well-earned by good and sincere priests and indeed laity.
    Our focus on the past and on the present should be clear and fair and balanced. We should never be afraid to condemn wrong and bring it to justice. We owe that at least to our victims. But neither should we demonise those who don't deserve it.
    We owe that to those who fought the good fight to the finish and those who run closely in their footprints.

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    1. Your post, in a nutshell, is an apologetic 'lay people, not priests, put their ministers on a pedestal'. What a clichΓ©. And what a crock!πŸ˜•

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    2. I think the "crock" here after that vintage Magna cliche is indisputably YOU. You just couldn't bear to hear good priests being given their due regard, could you! I thought that was an excellent, fair and thoughtful post
      It's just not in you, Magna. no matter how many absolving chances people give you and that's that.
      Verbal sneering and abuse are your fortes

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    3. Magna 10.32, Indeed, your sneering contempt is obnoxious and unacceptable. It reflects on your mental and moral sickness. Thank God for our many wonderful priests who are true servants. You make a greater fool of yourself each day. Why the relentless sneering? Why such nastiness? Why the inability to recognise the huge amount of service being given by many, many good priests? What's wrong with your puny mind and selfish heart?

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    4. Are you in the end stage of brain death, 11:38? I was speaking of clericalism; nothing else.

      (You could always attend remedial reading classes to improve your comprehension.πŸ˜†)

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    5. 10.32: And what a crock says Magna in response to 2.09....What a "crock" he is!! His insulting ravings here are evidence of a compmetely imbalanced person, with no emotional empathy or intelligence. The temptation to sneer contemptuously at everyone is deep rooted and suggests the need for psychotherapy to adress his inner issues. So off with you Magna....

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    6. 14.06 Magna: Whatever about the "end stage" 11.38 may be at, one thing we know - Magna is hard as a rock, someone who is emotionally and spiritually dead. Dead. You, Magna, deserve only isolation, ignoring and contempt. Stay in you cave. You are one of the gravest and most dangerous inciters to hatred I've ever encountered on any social media blog. I cannot understand Pat's ratiinale in supporti g your racism, bigotry, hatred and many prejudices.

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    7. End stage in alcohol abuse is cirrhosis, known to be one of the worst ways to die. Cop on Magna.

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  5. Yestwrday was another day where the comments were hilarious. Some insulting Magna Carta. Magna commenting quite a lot. Others telling Sean Page to stop commenting... All it missed was the usual complaint that any mention of sex is pornographic.
    I really wonder why these people read this blog at all, since they don't like anything said here. They also seem to think it's their blog, not for Pat to decide what's published.
    I have a suggestion, Pat - do what some newspapers do and put up a paywall. Then they'll be paying to express their dissatisfaction!

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    1. 7 38: What have you commented on that has had a cataclysmic effect on our thinking? Probably a load of crap!! Go back to school.

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  6. Ontological change: essentially of unknown meaning but understood to be the grabting of a grace that increases the stanard of loyalty to the Word, upon which a person shall be eternally judged - and it is never to be used to overlook the graces also conferred at Baptism.

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    1. The phrase 'ontological change' is essentially unknown, 08:23? Not to Roman Catholic priests, it isn't; if only it were, we should have an end of clericalism.

      These priests glory in the phrase and in the sense of elitism...of 'specialness'... it allows them to savour.

      Cardinal John O'Connor even had the temerity to suggest different understandings of priests' homilies among congregations as proof of the practical effect of this phrase 'of unknown meaning'. I sometimes have to rub my eyes in astonished disbelief at the absolute self-serving humbug spoken by Roman Catholic clerics. Why such varied interpretations take place even on this blog! Faux Magna for instance, however hard he tries, is just incapable of being funny; but to others, he's hilarity personified.

      PEOPLE INTERPRET THINGS DIFFERENTLY BECAUSE THEY ARE UNIQUE. This uniqueness allows them a highly personal perspective. And it has nothing whatever to do with the effects of 'ontological change' (whatever the hell this is), but with human psychology.

      There is dumb and dumber. But Roman Catholic clerics, with inflated ontological notions of self, are the dumbest of the lot.πŸ˜†

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    2. They may be "the dumbest" Magna but they weren't too dumb to pass their exams and qualify through to Ordination unlike some we could mention.

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    3. And what makes you think...?

      As for exams, there's passing them...and then there's PASSING THEM!πŸ‘

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    4. Paul Prior did the Sen Course, lol, the exams weren't hard for him but because of his seminary appointments by his sponsor and bishop the Wounded Healer, Prior determined who'd be a priest. These include Chris Darwin, Rory, King Puck.

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    5. And there is FAILING and being asked to leave Magna.. Remember that??

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    6. Clogher curate, Sean Baptist Brady was never Paul Prior’s bishop.

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    7. Same diocese, Sean got Paul the job in Rome and then as Chancellor of Maynooth and chief Trustee he set him up in Maynooth.

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  7. Within your soul, there are different levels of consciousness. There is the superficial, which deals with getting the job done and paying the bills. Most people live at this level. If you meditate, you soon become aware of a far deeper level of consciousness where God lives. You can usually only access this in profound silence. If you practise regularly, this level of consciousness becomes your main driver. Deep calls to deep. All people have this other level but are not aware of it. A good sermon triggers something in the depth of their being.

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  8. If you think of the old computers there was a disc and a hard drive. Most people can only access the disc but a truly spiritual person can also access the hard drive where most of the information resides.

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  9. Ontological change? Self-aggrandising nonsense and the root of clericalism in the Church. More than this, the excuse that Jesus' disciples (and Jesus meant here ALL who follow him, not just priests) were to be servants rather than masters. It is hard to be a servant when deluded with the egotistical drivel that one is ontologically different from everyone else, because it, by definition, creates an elite. If there is one thing that appeals to human vanity more than anything else, it is the notion that one is part of an elite.

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    1. Most of the "egotistical drivel" emanates from you, Magna.
      You are tiresome and repetitive
      . When you realise that other more interesting posters have something to say, you fall back on being abusive. It is de rigeur with you to lash out when someone's opinion doesn't exactly co-incide with your deeply held prejudices or stroke your ego.
      It is as if you continually fear being "outshone".
      That is how you come across to others. That is why you attract adverse attention, but perhaps to you, that is preferable to no attention at all.

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    2. Why don't you address my points,11:59? Perhaps you can't.πŸ˜†

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  10. Ontological Change is something I by into but it is easy to get lost in words. The way I see it it is all about relationship with God and Others. We live in communion. The great model of communion is the Trinity and humanity is challenged to reflect that way of relating. Our model is Jesus. All are priests through baptism. Ministerial priesthood is a gift and a call. There are good and bad priests and this is part of the mystery and challenge. I found my Priesthood never went away when I left ministry. My wife and others pointed back to the church and the rest is a work in progress.

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  11. MMM, I believe most priests like myself, despite the grand words we heard about priesthood at college, have discovered its true essence as we grew into our ministry. Yes, there are theological and philosophical words attached to understanding priesthood. However, for me - and most peiests - priesthood is essentially about being a servant to God's people. And the gospels are clear about the meaning pf being servant - we need onky look to Christ himself. That's what matters to me. In his life of service we find the true meaning of priesthood - into which we are all called through our baptism. I have never seen my way of life as better or superior to others. I try to be of service to all, irrespective of background, gender, religion, sexuality,,,, etc. I struggle with this ideal as I'm only human but I bring myself back to Christ - always. Other definitions of true service I find in the lives of married couples, families, partners, parents..etc..They inspire a definition of true service. Priests have a particular role but not a superior role. Never.

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  12. "It seems to me that it's clericalism trying to somehow explain and justify it's privileges" MMM, you are spot on ! Priests have been able for centuries to rely on this 'indelible and special character' that has some mystical element to it which raises them above ordinary mortals. They have asked for that, and we the people have given it to them. The real game changer has been the abuse scandal in the Church, whereby people have come to realise the personal and institutional dysfunction that exists in the Church and in many of its priests, and people have been horrified that they have for so long been giving this institution and these priests such esteem, and all the time under the surface they were being fooled. Suddenly the emperor has no clothes, and people are beginning to see the institution and its priests for what they are. I'm not sure priests and the Church get it yet, there are still the vestiges of specialness and apartness alive and kicking in the minds of priests and bishops.

    Yesterday there was a blog about Rory and should he, or should he not, continue as a priest. Probably not. His credibility is too damaged. His ability to live a life of celibacy probably not possible. And yet, what is he trained to do ? What has all the so called education in Maynooth given him ? He will find it difficult to settle in to the 'real world' where you have to get up and turn up for work, where your views and judgements and actions are questioned by your colleagues, rather than having people just nod in agreement because 'Father knows best', and where you no longer have 'priestly instant wisdom'. He is going to find it hard, because the upbringing and education he has had has taught him that he is something 'special', and when he is in the real world he will find that he is nothing special and that there are many more people who will leave him in the shadows. So, what I suspect will happen is that he will have a 'conversion' and remain in the Church as a priest, and go through all the external motions of the penitent returned to the embrace of the fulsome breasts of Holy Mother The Church, and become holier than thou. But, quietly he will carry on with his old ways. Because, he will recognise the good and safe life that still goes with being a priest, comfortable, well endowed, part of a club that looks after its own. Some people will be fooled by this, but not me ! I know what will be going on; Rory will be more careful, but he will still follow his instincts, and he will learn to be a good actor and to be more careful. But, underneath he will still be the same man, protected by the clerical mantle. Oh, and yes, also by his 'special priestly character' !

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    1. @ 9.34
      Possibly you are right on some points, but I think the poster @ 2.09 hit the nail on the head and gave us a clearer unbiased lay person's view and a lot to reflect on .

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  13. Wish u could have put your comments about Rory on the Rory page.
    Pat can u ask people to comment appropriately.
    It helps for those of us who just read ...and post infrequently.

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    1. Or those of us with a low IQ.

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  14. @9.26 I agree with you. There are many priests who live out the servant model of priesthood and practice it every day of their lives without any fanfare and often without any recognition.
    They go about their priestly ministry sharing the good news and often being a comfort to others who have just received some 'bad news' in their lives.
    I have long grown out any sense of ontological change in my life. I see myself as a fellow pilgrim.

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    1. @ Poster 10.39
      (Poster 9.26 read and appreciated your response..)

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    2. You are welcome @9.26 I always believe in acknowledging a good insight when I see it.
      The tireless work of many priests often goes unrewarded. It's about holding everything in balance rather than a black and white model.

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    3. I agree- give credit where credit is due

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  15. @Sean what is the Anglican understanding of ontological change and how does it fit into the Anglican understanding of Holy Orders?

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    1. 10.42 I have not checked the official position. There seems to be two strands at work. The validity of orders through the laying on of hands- I did not need to be reordained. There is a license which is a legal permission to work under a Bishop with a given job description. I imagine Google may have some information on the subject.

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    2. All Anglican so-called clergy are in fact lay. The Dutch touch is a typical Anglican crossed-fingers behind the back and their rubrics say they don't want a Massing priest and the 38 Articles say foul things about the Mass.

      Was Sean Page required to assent to the 39 Articles and/or the Westminster Confession of Faith?

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    3. 22.38 Unreconstructed bigotry and ignorance which knows nothing about the complexity of apostolic succession. An excuse for a post. Only possible under anonymity.

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    4. Isn’t it odd how most of the early English and other reformers were quondam Catholic priests and monks? I often have wondered what was the real reason for their radical change of heart.

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  16. Does an ontological change occur at marriage?
    (married lay person).

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    1. 10.53. I suppose it does. There is scriptural reference to the two becoming one and a man cleaving to his partner. Words can never box up completely how relationship works and how people respond to each other. Is there something left when relationships break down? I don't know but perhaps others do.

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    2. That is one of my favourite passages of scripture. I wish we could hear it more often in our church.

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    3. No. Only at unrepeatable sacramental moments of baptism, confirmation and orders.

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  17. What have the Knights of Malta got to do with ontological change?

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  18. I know this is very different form the topic raised today but I have just heard a wonderful piece on today's RTE about how young people are protesting about the use of guns in the US, especially after the recent school shooting.
    Why is this relevant? Because I see how the young people are being real leaders by being servants and offering a good example to others.
    I hope they keep up this good work and be a shinning light for others to see.

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  19. How are the little brothers of the oratory getting on? We haven't had a up-date on them for a long time.
    Have they up-loaded a website yet?

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    1. Gone silent, I wonder if they have split? it happens. Probably had enough of it.
      It started with great intentions.
      Well, as long as they are happy in whatever they are doing. I for one wish them well.

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    2. Totally mute- how do they spend their time?

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    3. C'mon did you seriously think that anything was every going to happen?
      I would love to see an update of a vibrant community but somehow I don't think we are going to see an update anytime soon.

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    4. I thought we were going to have occasional insights on Little Brothers.
      There must be very little happening to honest with how the Little Brothers are getting on.
      Sure even the name itself is a bit off putting.
      I have a feeling that a web-site might be totally beyond there technological ability.

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    5. What difference does it make to you what the little brothers do with their time? If you are so interested maybe you could pay them a visit. I imagine they would make you feel welcome.

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    6. I also would love to know more about how the Little Brothers fared since but I will say this .. Not everyone HAS to have a website. It always results in some loss of privacy and that may be a step too far if they wish to retain a good degree of privacy.
      This is far more likely to be a reason than assuming that they have not the tech ability to set up a website. (Temporary help from a technician could be called in.....)I am sure Pat will correct me if he disagrees.

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    7. What about the proposed web-site for the Oratory Church? It never got off the ground. Maybe it's a ministry Paul could get stuck into?

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    8. 13:41 "their"

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    9. All quiet on the little brothers front... maybe they have given up communicating with the outside world for Lent.

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    10. I'll be honest, I am new to this blog, but what is all this talk about the Little Brothers about? Are they famous or something?

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    11. The Little Brothers are a Religious Community that Pat founded.
      They don't get much mention here. Pat much prefers to talk about other things.
      There was a promise to let us know how they are getting on....

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  20. Ontological change is used by some as an excuse for saying once you are baptised you belong to the Catholic organisation. That is why a Protestant who converts is said to be coming home. It is very patronising and insulting. It turns religion into ritual - a view frantically condemned in the gospels by Jesus. Paul wrote that a Jew may think he becomes ontologically a Jew at circumcision but once he breaks God's law he has no right to the label. The implication is that if baptism does effect a change that change can be left merely potential so in a sense a baptised person living a bad life may as well not have been baptised at all. It is hard to say if the ideas about ontological change fit current Catholic doctrine which denies that your soul is the real you. It says the soul and body make up you. Benedict XVI rejected the ghost in the machine nonsense. Inherent immortality seems to be denied which is why the idea of getting your existence back through resurrection is now emphasised.

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    1. All baptised Christians are automatically Catholics until the age of reason. If at that point they choose to remain non-Catholic their membership of the Church ends.

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  21. @11.31 well said Sean, I believe that there needs to be more exploration about ontological change within marriage.
    Hopefully this is something that Pope Francis will develop.
    For far too long married people have been treated as second class citizens.

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  22. On the contrary, I think we live in a "couple orientated" society by far and if anyone is regarded as second class citizens it's single straight people!

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    1. And LGBT people have been treated far worse.

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    2. have you seen the post on today's New Ways Ministry Blog, Magna, about Fr James Martin's book?
      I thought it was excellent.

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    3. 16:27, no, not yet.

      I'll read it in a moment.

      Thanks.

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    4. James Martin is interested in one topic only: strange goings on.

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  23. The ontological change need not be understood as making a priest “better” or “superior”, even though it has been twisted and perverted that way.

    A priest is “changed” to be more like Christ - to “be” more Christ-like. Likewise, every Christian is ontologically changed, in Baptism and Confirmation, to more like Jesus Christ. Yes, also, married couples are ontologically changed - “the two become one”.

    Ontological change is to be closely united to - and identified with - Jesus, Who came not to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.

    There is absolutely no excuse for perverting the meaning of ontological change into some sort of imaginary and delusional “superiority” or higher caste.

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    1. 'There is absolutely no excuse for perverting the meaning of ontological change...'. No, there isn't. But that hasn't stopped Catholic clergy from doing so. And they are still at it.πŸ˜†

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  24. Billy Graham, the great evangelist died today, RIP

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    1. Billy Graham, received by Popes, who helped make ex-Catholics in America the second biggest religious grouping there. Thirty million of them.

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    2. Billy Graham? I suspect more priests and bishops are responsible for ex-Catholics than Billy.

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  25. Will someone please define this conceptual wil-o'-the wisp, 'ontological change'. And not in some vague, generalised, and highly abstract way. (Faux Magna may not understand such a multi-syllabic sentence, so I ask anyone bold enough to attemtp this definition to do so without the medium of philosophical or theological bullsh*t.πŸ˜†)

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    1. Sorry I can't help Magna. Since Pat posted the subject I've searched online for a definition or explanation. Everything I find ends up in philosophical or theological gobbledygook perhaps best articulated by cardinal John O'Connor addressing the International Reunion of Priests at Fatima: "Such is a profound mystery "
      MMM

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    2. 14:31 "attempt"

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  26. A comment was posted yesterday about the Cork & Ross diocesan secretary. What has happened down there? Has he resigned? If so, why?

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    1. More fake news probably, like rumored death of a certain bishop a number of weeks ago.

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    2. Is he having an ontological change into a lay person?

      I think he is held up in Gaynooth on one of the bishops committees...

      He is better off away from the Cork clergy.

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    3. Magna's "required to resign with immediate effect" had all the hallmarks of an impending scandal. A Canon too.

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    4. Magna said that with a "?". Please quote honestly. Tom is one 'canon' that is best 'fired'

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    5. Included on the latter comments of yesterday blog about Rory.

      I was expecting a feeding frenzy about it today. Soooooooooo disappointment.

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    6. The Canon was one of the most hated seminarians in Maynooth. For one so ugly as sin (was he in a fire?) he was amazingly self-confident.

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    7. What an ugly comment to make. Do you call yourself Christian by any chance? Or human? or just plain cruel?

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    8. But he was kind to give refuge to the Maynooth D&C seminarian who needed a break for a year or so.

      And look what happened to the Cork chaplain who opposed him on the matter! Dispatched within the year.

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    9. 'Kind' and Tom Deenihan do NOT belong together in the same phrase. His treatment of people is horrible, and is best known in Cork as The Crusher of Hope.

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  27. That morbidly obese SJ has a conniving look. I don't trust him, instinctively. Looks like cupboard live enhanced by Grindr.

    And witness the wreckage caused by the first and I hope last Jesuit Pope. The secular press has given him another free pass over his latest financial scandal. He's no sign of contradiction.

    The Jesuits are on the way out through lack of newbies. Goodbye!

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    1. 20.19 A slur followed by an insult ending on a note of despair. You sound like an asset to society and alive with faith.

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    2. 06:26 I was rejoicing not despairing at the end of the Jesuits.

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  28. That morbidly obese SJ has a conniving look. I don't trust him, instinctively. Looks like cupboard live enhanced by Grindr.

    And witness the wreckage caused by the first and I hope last Jesuit Pope. The secular press has given him another free pass over his latest financial scandal. He's no sign of contradiction.

    The Jesuits are on the way out through lack of newbies. Goodbye and good riddance!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Bishop Pat, is it time for a refresher on the apparent priest shortage in D&C, a diocese so short of clergy it has to use 90 year old retired priests to supply.

    Yet St Mary's College has four priests on the staff, even though Maynooth has produced many postgrad lay theologians.

    Fr Colin Grant is inexplicably is a full-time priest at Aquinas grammar school? Why?

    Fr Eddie McGee is the full-time diocesan press officer, living in the diocesan seminary on the Cliftonville Rd. How does he fill his day.

    And in a diocese where priests work into their 80s why are Oliver Trainor and Martin Henry given a genteel retirement?

    Is the aged Fr Paddy White still doing youth ministry full-time? Surely a qualified lay youth worker could do that.

    As the finale let's have Tim Bartlett, who's never had a parish but who hangs about Lisbreen.

    How can it be fair to the rest of us, working single-handedly in parishes? Those named above are ambitious parish avoided? Is that where I went wrong.

    I mentioned this to Noel. His response was that St Paul said that "the Lord loves a cheerful giver"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Lord loves a cheerful giver? That will be a great comfort to the ninety-year olds I'm sure

      +Pat has mentioned that Noel creature on numerous occasions.

      Delete
    2. Has elderly “youth worker” Paddy White not left the priesthood? He must be fast approaching retirement in any case.

      Delete
    3. If he cannot face a parish, Fr Colin Grant should be in the junior seminary, St Malachy's College. He's been in Aquinas for years.

      Though doubtless very agreeable to him, what priest goes through six or seven years training only to be a teacher?

      Why not just be a lay student at a teacher training college?

      Plus taking Fr Colin Grant out of Aquinas would have at least two good results:

      1. He'd free up a place for a lay unemployed teacher or chaplain with a family to feed;

      2. He could actually be a parish priest/curate, the whole point surely of ordination.

      Delete
  30. How long can we sustain our tiny diocesan seminary and the priests needed to staff it? QUB doesn't even teach Scholastic Philosophy anymore, and that had been the chief justification for the Wing.

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  31. 20:51 & 21:18, I think I heard from a D&C contact there is one seminarian now in St Malachy’s Diocesan Seminary.

    Isn’t it interesting that these ambitious priests, like Timo Bartlett, who are desperate to become bishops, spent all their “careers” to date, studiously avoiding parish appointments?

    There’s loads of material there for several PhD dissertations. How those ostensibly ordained to serve the People of God, don’t really want to serve them as priests, but would really like to “serve” them as bishops? Feel they could better “serve” them as bishops?

    I suppose they feel their gifts would be better utilised as bishops rather than priests. Timothy, for example, I hear, loves tinkering with gadgets and the latest technologies. I suppose parish life and its demands would be too much of a distraction from those fascinating pursuits and the expertise he brings to them?

    Timo has the World Meeting of Families to distract him at present until his diocese arrives in the post. Maybe the Pope will solemnly crown him with a mitre at the closing mass?

    Incidentally, trying to generate interest in that coming event is having all the enjoyment of goading a tired old horse to win a derby.

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    Replies
    1. I haven't met a single person in real life who's expressed interest in the €20m Francis jamboree. There'll be a minibus from Belfast probably.

      Francis's main fans don't go to Mass so won't be going to his in Dublin. It'll be a gathering of coffin dodgers, with a couple of hundred teenage and twenties year old neo-cons from Youth 2000 in the front rows.

      Delete
    2. To 8.06
      What a thoroughly unpleasant term ("coffin dodgers") you use to show your obvious contempt for elderly people. Have you any idea how offensive you have been?

      Delete
  32. Thought I read here that there were no priest teachers anywhere,and yet here we have 3 in st marys.

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    Replies
    1. Down and Connor PP22 February 2018 at 08:18

      There are four priests in St Mary's on the Falls Rd. It's not a school though. It started as a teacher training college but has branched out. Its degrees are validated by Queen's University, Belfast.

      But why it needs four priests is a dissertation in itself, as is why Aquinas grammar school is the only school in the diocese needing a full-time priest on the staff. It's very selfish of those five. As for Timo Bartlett he's a write-off when it comes to the idea that he might actually ever serve in a parish. He's avoided one for well over twenty years since his ordination. A bit like Prior and Mullaney, and Noel apart from his token stint in Enniskillen.

      The next time I hear Noel opine about priest shortages I'll challenge him about these parish-dodgers.

      Delete
    2. “Parish-dodgers” - an excellent description! What is that all about? This successful unwillingness to serve in a parish? (Bartlett has successfully dodged a parish since he was ordained).

      A “priesthood” of comfort and convenience until the yearned-for bishopric arrives?

      These men in these colleges - do they, for example, celebrate their daily Mass one wonders? What marks them out as priests?

      They go home at 4-5pm having done a job that a qualified lay person can do. Why did they want to be priests in the first place, if they didn’t want to serve in a parish?

      Bizarre so it is.

      Delete
    3. What is it about parish-dodgers and teacher training colleges? Mary Immaculate has at least four on it's staff. Eamon Conway (Tuam) has not spent a minute in a parish, and Paddy Connolly (Clogher) just did a token stint in Enniskillen.

      As for Mass, in my years in Maynooth not once was seen celebrating Mass.

      It was the custom that students could choose a priest from the staff to celebrate the Thursday evening Masses held in the three oratories.

      With a classmate I went up to Paddy Corish's room to invite him. The old parish-dodger refused, saying "no, it clashes with the time they serve dinner in the Pros' ref".

      Delete
    4. I meant Tom Marsh, who taught dogmatic theology, was never seen saying Mass.

      Delete
    5. Brendan Devlin was appointed Professor of French in Maynooth at the age of 27 and he held the post for decades.

      Then in his sixties he decided he'd quite like to be a PP in his native Derry diocese. He was given a small country parish.

      He stuck at being a PP for a few months and then asked to be transferred back to Maynooth and so it was. He now lives in retirement in the college.

      Even in the 1980s and 1990s there were still priests lecturing on entirely secular subjects such as biology, mathematical physics, Greek, French, English, Irish, sociology (two priests in that department) and history. Why?

      The priests who taught the NUI part of the college were assigned a separate table from the theologians in the Pro's ref, at the lower end of the room. The table at the top of the room was for the President, vice-presidents and the deans and they were served first.

      Delete
    6. I believe that even now there are three priests and one nun lecturing in the secular Maynooth University. Two priests in the philosophy department and a priest and nun in the history department. The professor of ecclesiastical history department of the Pontifical University at Maynooth is a layman, lol.

      Until Maynooth University was established in 1997 the bishops were in charge of the seminary, the Pontifical University and the Recognised College of the National University of Ireland.

      The rule was that if an academic vacancy arose in any department, e.g. anthropology, a search was made for any qualified priest. If one was found he was offered the job and it wasn't advertised. The last priest appointed that way was Cadoc Leighton.

      It was only if no priests were available that the vacancy was advertised.

      Delete
    7. 11:02 the notion of training for a profession and then doing a completely different job is truly bizarre.

      It would be like someone training for years to be a dentist and then never treating patients but instead getting an office job.

      Desk jockeys such as Noel, the secretaries of episcopal conferences, teaching priests, priest librarians and priest professors of music (Maynooth had both well into the 1980s) all signify a lack of trust of lay people.

      The Church thought/thinks that lay people would reveal secrets, be less able to control and would be shocked by the stuff that passes across the desk of a bishop.

      It's why even now we have priests serving full-time as secretaries to bishops, even in dioceses with priestless parishes.

      Delete
    8. E.g. Fr Nicholas Flynn, the diocesan secretary in Kerry, which has at least five priestless parishes. It's a disgrace.

      Delete
  33. Which "St Mary's" do you mean? Are you referring to the University College for teacher training,or St Mary's Christian Brothers' School, Glen Rd or what ? You are very unspecific...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon @ 10:22: I would think it obvious from his first paragraph!
      And, D&C PP: more power to you, and I just hope you get vocal support from your diocesan colleagues on the issue.
      MMM

      Delete
    2. St Mary's University College on the Falls Road.

      Delete
    3. Thank you for saying which St Mary's

      Delete
  34. To poster @ 11.23
    No, its NOT obvious as poster 23.33
    wrote only one sentence. So I am not sure what you meant by "obvious from his first paragraph"??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I referred to the D&C PP comment @ 08:18.
      Perhaps this again shows the problem or keeping track of and responding to anonymous comment. As I've said before it's easier when comment is accompanied by a name or 'handle.
      MMM

      Delete
  35. In fairness to old Corish @ 15:05, he celebrated Mass faithfully every morning in the Gunn behind the high Altar. He said his Mass in Latin.

    I’m not so sure some of these contemporary parish-dodgers bother their backsides with daily Mass. Some of them, even on Sundays, sit anonymously in a congregation - if they bother at all.

    They are so highly educated, you see, that they “see through” all that “Sunday obligation” business. That’s only for knaves and plebs
    - a bit like the whole concept of “God” in fact.

    “Parish-dodgers” - full marks for coining a phrase that sums them up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My favourite is "strange goings-on" coined by Diarmuid.

      Delete
  36. You need to remember - these “parish-dodgers” are too good to work among the great unwashed. They’re too gifted, intelligent and precious. People in parishes don’t deserve these creme de la creme of clergy. People in parishes are thick as bottled pig shit don’t you all know? They only get the lesser clergy they deserve. You wouldn’t want Tommy Bartlett to break a nail now would you? Or ladder his tights?

    ReplyDelete