Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Clergy Renewal =Parish Renewal

In the recent issue of the Catholic Peace Weekly, an online survey by the Catholic Pastoral Research Institute, showed some interesting information and areas that need to be addressed. The survey was far from scientific, with only 886  who responded, but can be judged to be the most interested in church, knowledgeable and devoted believers.

The questions asked were direct: What is urgent and necessary for the Korean Church renewal and growth in the Gospel life of the community? Secondly what needs to change in the way the bishops, priests, religious and laypeople have lived their lives.

Bishops: a need for dialog 59%, self-righteousness and authoritarianism 52%, lack of concern for social justice 50%,  too much concern for material things and results  48%, living the easy life 47%.

Priests: self-righteous and authoritarian 73%, dialogue and comunication73%,  more concern for sermons and Mass preparation 66%, extravagant hobbies and interests 65%, lack of pastoral vision and leadership 65%.

Religious: immature language 42%, the narrowness of vision 38%, lack of prayer and spirituality 32%, authoritarian and self-righteousness 28%, lack of concern for the poor 26%.

Laypeople: factionalism 63%, conflicts with others 61%, lack of prayer and a spiritual life 57%, lack of sincerity in their spiritual life 48%, associated with the wealthy 48%.

Overall one sees rather quickly that the laypeople want to see a change among the clergy. They want more communication between the clergy and laypeople and less self-righteous and authoritarian behavior.

There is a saying that 'church renewal depends on clergy reform. Clerical authoritarianism blocks communication and hinders the church from fulfilling its mission of evangelization. In a survey conducted in another diocese recently, believers answered: "I feel the joy of living the faith when a humble priest  treats believers with sincerity and love."