Thursday, November 17, 2005

"Pastoral Consideration."

Norman brought up in a conversation with me, "Don't you think keeping 'pastoral considerations' at the top of the list all the time is going to be counter productive?"

My reply was that all along I have thought keeping "pastoral considerations" at the top of the list will not only be counter-productive, it leads to a lot of difficulty and problems that will be theological, liturgical and pastoral in natures. It is like a time bomb.

Another way to look at "keeping pastoral considerations at the top of the list" is basically just making God into man's image. You see the problem here, "pastoral consideration" may be any excuse to do away with anything that any one person will find uncomfortable. That is to say, if one person in a parish disagrees with one particular issue, and he is convincing enough to sway a horde of uncles and aunties, then "pastoral consideration" will demand that the parish give in to that person's agenda.

The issue with which the person disagrees with could be anything from Latin in the liturgy, to maybe even celibacy. And if matters of discipline are open to such attacks, it would not be long before liturgical and theological issues become targets of such "pastoral" time bombs e.g. contraception and abortion.

Norman noted this will eventually result in many of us becoming Catholic only in name, but Protestant in nature. If so, we will find that orthodoxy and faith becomes a matter of voting for what we want to believe in (like how the Anglicans and Methodists have been doing). Truth becomes nothing more than a democratic structure.


At 7:05 AM, Blogger Br Lawrence, O.P. said...

A pastoral consideration is surely not what most parishioners want but what they need for the salvation of souls and the good of the Church.

So understood, the phrase itself is not a bad thing. Sadly, it has been misapplied and perverted.

A pastoral consideration is what makes the 'job' of being a priest and pastor of souls an art - to remain faithful to the Church and her teachings and to communicate these in such a way that the people of God too come to a love of them. This requires patience, compassion and love - qualities which ultimately come only by the grace of God.


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