Mental shift

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Posts Tagged ‘Vatican’

Vatican’s New Guidelines for Seminarians a Good Start

Posted by jytmkh on November 1, 2008

Psychological testing has been used as far back as the 1960s in some seminaries. The new guidelines are meant to help church leaders “weed out candidates with psychopathic disturbances,” as well as “confused and not yet well-defined” sexual identities.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Inside Catholic) – Today the Vatican issued new guidelines for the screening of seminarians. They are in response to the call for more strident criteria in the wake of the clergy sexual abuse scandal.

Psychological testing has been used as far back as the 1960s in some seminaries. The new guidelines are meant to help church leaders “weed out candidates with psychopathic disturbances,” as well as “confused and not yet well-defined” sexual identities.

Pre-screening is necessary, but not enough for a healthy priesthood. Parish priesthood is one of the most difficult and lonely lives on the planet — especially in some areas. (Full disclosure: One of my brothers is a parish priest.)

I’d like to see bishops consider restructuring things in their dioceses to foster greater fraternity among priests and lay leaders. Priests need relationships as much as anyone, and they need consistent familial-like community to provide support and feedback, hold them accountable, and call them to holiness.

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Vatican condemns anti-Christian violence by Hindu extremists in Orissa

Posted by jytmkh on August 27, 2008

The violence was triggered by the death on Saturday of Swami Lakhmananda Saraswati, a prominent Hindu leader. He and four others were shot by suspected Maoist militants, according to police. (Timesonline)

Followers of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), the extremist group for which Saraswati was a figurehead, retaliated through attacks on scores of Christian targets, including murders, rapes and the destruction of dozens of churches, locals say.

Saraswati had been at the forefront of a campaign to prevent low-caste Hindus and tribal villagers from converting to Christianity. The riots took place after claims by Hindu hardliners that “Christian militants” were behind his death.

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, a senior Vatican official, called the attacks on Christian targets “a sin against God and humanity”. He added: “Certainly religion cannot be invoked for crimes of this type.”

In an official statement the Vatican said it “expresses its solidarity with local Churches and the religious orders involved, and condemns these actions, which are an affront to dignity, peoples’ freedom, and endanger peaceful civil coexistence.”

It also condemned the killing of Saraswati.

The Rome-based Italian missionary agency Misna said that it had received reports that two Jesuit priests had been abducted in the area but had no further details.

The Orissa state authorities tried to calm the violence on Tuesday by imposing a region-wide curfew. After the crackdown was widely violated “shoot-on-sight orders” were issued, according to Satyabrata Sahu, the district administrator.

However, local Christian leaders say that their communities remain in danger.

Dr Joseph D’souza, President of the All India Christian Council, said: “The current number and distribution of security forces in Orissa is nothing like enough to deal with the problem.

“We appeal to the international community to raise their voices to bring peace in an area where more people will die unless something is done urgently.”

Orissa has a dark history of inter-religious unrest, often triggered by Hindu suspicion of Christian missionaries.

Saraswati and his followers were widely implicated in the anti-Christian violence that blighted the Kandhamal district of the state over the Christmas of 2007 in which 95 churches were razed and several people killed. The chapter, said to have been triggered by an alleged assault on Saraswati, was branded the worst anti-Christian violence in India since Independence.

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