Paul Mankowski, S.J. - Tames in Clerical Life


welcome to catholic culture audiobooks production of catholic culture dot org under the patronage of saint. John henry newman. Name is james mayevsky. Today's reading teams in clerical life by pullman kelsey s j father paul mankowski a jesuit of the midwest province and former contributor to catholic culture dot. Org passed away suddenly last year at the age of sixty six. At the time we released an audiobook recording of what went wrong. Two thousand three address to the conference unity of catholic clergy in which father mankowski presents an excellent analysis of how the catholic clerical sexual abuse crisis occurred. It has since gone on to become one of our most popular audiobook episodes which isn't surprising father. Mankowski was a brilliant priest who worked tirelessly for catholic renewal and who wrote for years at catholic culture dot org under the pseudonym. Diana janis this due to impositions placed upon him by his superiors as phil lawler wrote in his tribute to father mankowski. When told that he could not right under his own name without censorship he used pseudonyms when told that he could not write under a pseudonym he stopped and so the catholic world was denied. What might have been a treasure trove of lively and inciteful pros. Thankfully what has been left behind has lost none of its power and relevance father minkowski is words in fact often read as if they were written just yesterday that was certainly the case with his address on what went wrong as it is with. Today's reading his description of what he calls the phenomenon of the tame priest this episode should be of particular interest to priests. But if you like me have looked with increasing bewilderment and frustration at the action or better put in action of members of the church's clergy especially among our bishops then tames in clerical life. Just may shed new light on the problem. You can find the full text of this address along with several other essays by following kofsky at catholic culture dot. Org you can listen to what went wrong by going to catholic culture dot org slash get audio would simply your name and email address. You'll gain access to our full audiobook archive and be able to listen. Beyond the most recent fifteen episodes you can support our ongoing work for catholic renewal by donating catholic culture dot. Org slash donate slash audio and check out our other podcasts. As well we have the fathers michelina criteria the catholic film podcast and catholic culture. Podcast as always thank you for listening. Till next time team certain clerical life written by paul mankowski s jail By james t my obscure the profound problems that beset priestly life today have been discussed for the most part by means of categories that reflect the preoccupations of our time and the way in which the problems have come to our attention because sexual scandal has figured so largely in the contemporary crisis the now conventional division of male populations to gays and straights has not surprisingly played a large part in these discussions but the reality is considerably more complex than the standard vocabulary of sexual orientation would suggest though. It seems contradictory. Even the battles over issues of sexuality among priests may have their basis in personal factors in which sexuality itself plays a relatively minor role. What is here proposed is that the contemporary priesthood exhibits. A disturbingly high number of one particular socio psychological type to be designated by the neologism tame and what follows is a first attempt to sketch a profile of the tame priest. The author is innocent of training in psychology and the data have been neither collected nor analysed systematically the simply the result of twenty years of observing the subject at close hand description is addressed to the experience of those familiar with the current condition of clerical life until the commonsense intuitions of others perhaps the most universal in distinctive characteristic of tames his their paradoxical combination of great socio ability with an incapacity for true friendship tames great mixers at parties and all social functions and they have the ability to join in almost all conversations and project friendly interest in the jargon of the nba. They are abundantly endowed with people skills yet. Their friendliness itself makes them unfit for friendship. They exist on the level of superficial companion ability and lack the depth of personality and character necessary to make and keep a friend whereas most men in their late twenties unconsciously begin to narrow the number in deepen the quality of their friendships tames preserve a kind of adolescent gregarious. Nece and live on in the world of the fraternity or freshman dorm while they tend to be cheerful on social occasions. The mask occasionally slips to show a characteristic expression of apprehension hunger and puzzlement strong friendships draw one apart from the crowd and being out of the mainstream and on the margins is something attained cannot tolerate teams prefer instead to exercise their talent in the public arena where they can flip from buddy to buddy chatting telling jokes fetching drinks and collecting from as many as possible. The external tokens of friendship. Being tame is not itself a sexual orientation it within the clerical life teams tend to behave politically socially and morally in a manner as uniform as that of gays. It is part of the syndrome that teams are not conscious of themselves as teams. There is no question of their forming a caucus as do gays yet. Because their responses to concrete crises and problems are so uniform teams comprise a block day facto and have an influence in the church disproportionate to their number in fact the defeats and frustrations visited upon straits in the clergy merrily. Do not to gaze but detains. It is usually very hard to know whether a particular tame priest is heterosexual homosexual. Mostly men will assume in default of indications to the contrary they are straight but they wear their masculinity as a businessman might wear a baseball cap at a picnic. His support for his team is not necessarily insincere. But you get the feeling that it is displayed as an emblem of goodwill. I'm an easy to get along with kind of guy. And not as a constituent part of who he is tames never seem entirely at peace with this aspect of their lives and in situations where gays and straights are clearly at odds. Live in a kind of emotional. No man's land. This is not because teams wavered between competing appetites like bisexuals but because any definitive involvement risks isolation and isolation terrifies them. One external indication of the team seminarian. A priest is the changes of dressed. He will subject himself. Sometimes he will change clothes four or five times a day depending on the activity planned and more importantly on who will be in the company tames will own the full array of clerical gear but are also outfitted as laymen for a wide range of formal and informal occasions. Teams live in the present in the now. They are extraordinarily sensitive to the people in the same room with them. They intuitively grasp the balance of power the divisions of opinion the dominant party or ethos there over adaptability in clothing his symptomatic of their over adaptability generally tames capable of astonishing changes of opinion depending on the composition of their company of the moment. It is not quite accurate to say. They are chameleons because in a sharply contrasted environment. They will not adapt themselves to the majority. If the minority clearly has greater power and prestige always into everywhere teams will go with a winner tames lack strong personal opinions and highly individual tastes in authors music films and so forth. They may buy many books and be great concert. And movie goers but such interest stems either from the nexus of socio ability provided by these activities or from the negative consideration that ignorance of the current issues or artist might isolate them from those who count. This may be disguised by the fact that in certain communities at certain times it becomes fashionable to have a bizarre hobby or cultivate an esoteric composer and attain will play along by affecting unconventional interest. Usually these are abandoned with relief as soon as possible on the other hand teams are pathetically envious of the flesh and blood solidity of the unfazed enthusiasms of others envious of the spiritual freedom to enjoy something anything purely in and for itself and without regard to what others think or say like ghosts that must feed on the blood of the living. Teams are often emotional parasites who draw their satisfactions at second hand. They may be incapable of taking a real interest in fly fishing or palestina or astronomy but they are fascinated by the single hearted devotion of those who do and like to mimic the motions of the enthusiast. Tame priests are without exception worldly their worldliness however is always a nervous worldliness and they never allow themselves to wallow in pleasures as do gays over. Simple hedonist tames dress. Better dying better drink. Better scotch take more expensive vacations and generally entertain themselves at a higher level than their fellows but their enjoyment is poisoned by constant reference to what others may think of their acquisitions and recreations. They are always on guard against equal and opposite dangers. Censure for unbecoming profligacy or unbecoming rusty city even at his favorite restaurant at tame is seldom ease. Not knowing who may walk through the door and see him is the wine too common or too extravagant his dress to clerical or to fill a giveaway characteristic of tame is panic tames live in terror of being caught out of being discovered on the wrong side of an argument backing the wrong horse. Having committed to deeply to reverse course with grace as a consequence team will often register a momentary flash of panic when something occurs to me come on shore of his surroundings for example the entrance of an unknown party into a conversation in which he has prematurely taken a stand or the friendly approach of a pariah to public function. Tames city failure unpopularity as contagious and will oil their way out of contact with either as soon as possible in their dealings with equals teams often. Make them feel used not because they deliberately and cynically set out to manipulate but because they are virtually incapable of exchanging a human or supernatural. Good with another teams. Have a morbid lack of curiosity about the first principles of things metaphysics. The grounding of moral arbiter wants dogma. This does not come from any lack of brain power but as simply reflects of their concern for the here and now the functional pragmatic political is supreme attained may hold an office. That obliges him to defend some moral or dogmatic principle as inviolable and he may do it competently but always with an eye to the occasion. Even defensive principle for tame is itself not principled but since the means to realize some practical good in general teams have a distaste for confrontation and avoid situations where they are forced into conflict in most controversial situations. Teams hedge their bets by showing mild support for both sides as long as possible. Only declaring allegiance when it is clearly to their advantage to do so tames are capable of professing directly contrary opinions within a matter of hours and frequently shock others by their posses because the adapt so spontaneously into the environment there sometimes unconscious of inconsistency and puzzled when it is brought to their attention. Teams are rarely capable of loyalty in the strict sense but only the kind of loyalty salesman show to their products or lawyers to their clients of the moment. They are company. Men spirited defenders of the institution in which they wished to advance teams tend to be dutiful in the same way that they are loyal. They are responsible citizens in the places where they live and work. They are team players and willing to work long hours. They are eager not to give others cause for complaint and they tend to make themselves if not indispensable important worker bees in the machinery of the chancery or seminary or office of religious education. In addition to the energy that comes with ambition teams. Have the sort of managerial affability. That attracts favourable notice in any bureaucracy. They are relatively unlikely to leave the priesthood. Thus if teams make up only thirty percent of a seminary entrance they may well compose seventy percent of those still working as priests ten years after ordination. The religious convictions of teams are tailored to conform to those of the environment especially to the most influential forces in the environment teams are liberal liberal dioceses and conservative and conservative ones but are willing to sing the same song as whatever group they find themselves part of whether it be a carload of fellow priests on the way to a beach house or a dozen older women at a communion breakfast neither as liberals nor as conservatives do they display any depth of concern for the spiritual life their personal bibles and brees rarely showed the telltale damage of daily use neither do teams themselves react to the crises in the life of the church if their principal import were spiritual yet. Their religiosity also contains unpredictable sentimental attachments to the worship of their youth. A man of conventional secular outlook may on occasion display sugary marian devotion or passionately objected to the rewording of favorite him from the past parallel to the envy teams have for genuine friendship. Is this attitude of lovelorn regret for their own childhood when perhaps affections were still pristine and not warped by the need to have a concrete practical advantage even when their theology is up to date deftly articulated teams give the impression that they stopped listening spiritually at about the age of nine or ten. They seem stunned and unaware of the lack in the contemporary church team. Serve the agenda of gays in the long run even though they sometimes find themselves forced to take contrary stance teams are extremely susceptible to emotional blackmail of all kinds and gays are adept at putting a thumb on the emotional windpipe of week men in order to manipulate them. Of course this takes many forms one of the simplest playing on the team. Voidance of conflict is to engender a stormy atmosphere in a room in which the gay agenda is under discussion with the threat of outrage in vengeance. If the correct conclusion is not reached tames will often sell the pass to avoid the risk of having to fight for it before a wider public. Gays have also pulled the teams into their service by the gambit of discussing chastity and sexuality in terms of of maturity. This is how it works. I one wins the admission that affective maturity is the principal gauge authentic celibacy once. This is conceded. It is stipulated that the condition scenic one non of affective maturity is comfort with one's own sexuality mature men are comfortable being themselves and this in turn has seemed to preclude disgust or moral censure directed at sexuality other than one's own a caucasian at peace with his racial dignity does not derogate blacks by the same token a street at peace with himself does not look scans at gays. Whoever objects to the presence or influence of priestly life is ipso facto convicted of affective immaturity. And his opinion thereby disqualified teams are without exception pushed into emotional checkmate by this maneuver and invariably side with gays and showdowns intuitively and correctly realizing that his tactic will prevail at any ecclesiastical institution that surfaces the issue in these terms by this ploy and variations on the theme. Gay priests have been able to leverage their clout three or four times out of proportion to their numbers. The paradoxical truth is that teams are more effective agents of the gay agenda than gays themselves on one hand. They are more presentable advocates on effeminate. Good at reassurance. Good at string-pulling on the other. They are motivated by terror of the either or and of being thrust the margins of the institution a terror stronger even than the hopes and anxieties of gays the tame commitment to the noncommittal is the engine powers. Gay progress in the church. It will be clear. That teams tend to be ambitious generally and careerist specifically to an extent unhealthy in any institution and particularly in the church. Yet they are not purely cynical climbers of the type met more frequently in business or politics. They are not cynical because they lack the psychological detachment necessary for cynicism the ability to put a distance between themselves and their own tactics. They enter into the role demanded by the moment so deeply that they really believe. They are witnesses for renewal at nine o'clock and really believe they are guardians of orthodoxy at eleven when a tame succeeds in reaching a position of authority as bishop rector provincial superior. The increase in the amount of stress combined with the decrease in places to hide causes highly erratic behavior and reveals his radical emotional instability. Once in power teams are ravenous for personal loyalty. It might be said that their demand for personal fealty is in proportion to their own incapacity for adherence to principle that the oiler they were to superiors the more peremptory. They are in their dealings with underlings their uses of authority and failures to use. The thority seem equally arbitrary and the management style. Typical of teams includes like periods of seeming paralysis broken by sudden quixotic. So t's concern for appearance. Distaste for conflict and fondness for the advantageous lie are the main factors contributing to this tame style of management to styles actual leaned depending on whether they are dealing in private public sphere in one on one situations for example teams in positions of authority will rarely deny the validity of a complaint of corruption launched by a subordinate more often. They will admit the reality and seriousness of the problem raised. And then pretend to take the appellant into their confidence assuring him that those in charge are fully aware of the crisis and that steps are being taken quietly behind the scenes to remedy it thus the burden of discretion is shifted onto the subordinate in the name of concern for the good of the institution and personal loyalty to the administrator. He must not go public with his evidence of malfeasance lest he disrupt the process invariably hidden from view by which it is being put right. This ruse has been called the secret. Santa maneuver there are no presence underneath the tree for you. But that's because daddy is down in the basement making us something special. It's supposed to be a surprise. So don't breathe word or you'll spoil everything. And of course. Christmas never comes. Perhaps most of the well intentioned efforts for reform of the past quarter century have been tabled indefinitely by high ranking teams using this ploy to buy their way out of tough situations for which they are temperamentally unsuited. The public arena brings forth from teams. Another side of their personality tames lack the resources of character to remain indifferent to hostile news media. Moreover the techniques of evasion equivocation refined earlier in their lives are largely useless bishops when the media and general public reflexively attributed to them as their own the positions of the catholic church a few teams are able to charm the media into a kind of truce good ink exchange for a blind eye toward heterodox. Several others can be seen to engage in a disastrous cycle of appeasement and recrimination. They sue for the favor of the press by taking pains to portray themselves as moderates and by lashing out more aggressive conservatives causing dismay to many of the churches friends and giving delight to her enemies then an occasion arises when they are forced to defend some unpopular teaching and the press turns against them with glee then comes the bishops predictable sputter of indignation their predictable semi retraction and statement of regret and the long long process of buying their way back into the state of editorial grace by undercutting less. Diffident catholics from this provisional attempt at description it will be clear that the distinguishing characters of teams for the most part destructive to what the church needs to accomplish through her clergy the. Us church may be especially instructive in this regard. Seventeen years into the pontiff of a conservative pope concerned to appoint dutiful and orthodox bishops the problems of clerical homosexuality and pedophilia doctrinal dissent of the professor at the turnbuckle abuses acceptance of contraception etc. Have improved in no respect and worsened in many. It is reasonable to assume that there is not a single cause for the strange paralysis but it is worth asking whether the prevalence of the team priest does not go far to explain the combination of outward managerial competence and personal moral cowardice. That has exam into these problems so often so professionally and never lived on the obvious steps toward their solution. This has been teams in clerical life. Written by coleman hausky s j narrated by james t might have skied production. Two thousand twenty one by twenty eight occasions podcast is brought to you by catholic culture dot org and made possible by this new support to donate. 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