Thursday, September 26, 2019

Pope: Rigid With Planet Saturn Hat Means Disorder

Pope Francis has caused another uproar among so-called "traditionalists." During a meeting with fellow Jesuits in Mozambique, he indicated that clericalism is a direct consequence of being rigid and this rigidity is linked to that fixation towards sexual immorality or sexual sins. The pope said, "One dimension of clericalism is the exclusive moral fixation on the sixth commandment. We focus on sex and then we do not give weight to social injustice, slander, gossip, and lies.  The Church today needs a profound conversion in this area." He continued, "Once a Jesuit, a great Jesuit, told me to be careful in giving absolution because the most serious sins are those that are more angelical: pride, arrogance, dominion… And the least serious are those that are less angelical, such as greed and lust. Clericalism has a direct consequence in rigidity. Have you never seen young priests all stiff in black cassocks and hats in the shape of the planet Saturn on their heads? Behind all the rigid clericalism there are serious problems." 

The pope added to this that he had to personally intervene in three diocese due to what he described as "problems that expressed themselves in these forms of rigidity that concealed moral problems and imbalances."  Before this statement, he said, "Have you never seen young priests all stiff in black cassocks and hats in the shape of the planet Saturn on their heads? Behind all the rigid clericalism there are serious problems."

This line is what triggered some Catholics the most. They found it offensive and an insult against priests, especially those priests who are fond of traditional garb. The pope seems to be attacking young priests who wear cassocks and saturnos or the Cappello Romano. This is the hat that priests wore decades ago that looks like a flying saucer or like the planet Saturn.  The hat is not liturgical, but is more of an accessory to the roman cassock and is used to shield from the sun or weather.

So what does this mean? What are we to make out of this?  Is the pope really attacking young priests?  After reading the full comments, I believe he is not attacking young priests. The pope is sharing personal experience and is using this as an example to warn about rigidity. He is not condemning young priests who use the saturno nor is he condemning any cleric from using it. If his intention was to do so, then he could have easily prohibited their use on the first day he took the chair of Peter. It has been six years since his election and he has yet to ban any clerical garb. Therefore, we cannot assume that he hates clerical garb. While he has opted to use the white papal cassock outside of Mass or any liturgical function, this does not mean he hates clerical garb.

In fact, photos of him as a young priest shows Jorge Mario Bergoglio wearing the cassock. I am sure there may be photos of him out there using the saturno or biretta. This was the common dress of seminarians, priests, and bishops during his time. So now that we are sure that he is not attacking the use of this garb, what are we to make of his comments?

Well first, he is speaking to a small group of Jesuits. This was meant to be informal. As a novice master, he is sharing his experience with what he has noticed during the formation of candidates under him. Moreover, he is sharing his experience overall as a seasoned priest. As I have stated before in a post regarding Taylor Marshall, rigidity is often a sign of an underlying mental disorder. Dr. Allen of the University of Tennessee has stated that those who are rigid exhibit a polarized behavior.  This is presented as extreme and an inability to be flexible. Those who are rigid are often those who call themselves conservative.

Rigidity in priests or seminarians is when they are so caught up on the rules and regulations that they fail to see anything else.  It is like if on a Sunday a devout Catholic sees an old lady fall but will not help her get up because lifting her is work and work is prohibited on the Christian sabbath.  This is the sort of rigidity that the pope is concerned about. Rigidity can make someone feel superior to the rest, which may lead to narcissistic personality disorder, depression, adjustment disorder, and schizotypical personality disorder. These are serious disorders to have if one is to minister to others.  Being a priest means being a pastor. If a seminarian or priest focuses simply on wearing clothes or playing dress-up, then that is a serious problem. This is where clericalism comes into play.

Now, the pope links this to a fixation with sexual immorality. He is correct.  Many of these rigid people are often caught up on sexual sins; particularly, the sexual sins of others.  How many times have we heard of pastors, priests and conservative politicians criticizing homosexuality and then end up being caught in a homosexual scandal?   How many times have we heard of the aforementioned going after prostitutes, porn and other sexual immorality and then get arrested for hiring prostitutes, possessing child porn and what not?  It happens far too often.  Last month, McKrae Game the founder of Hope for Wholeness, a gay conversion group came out as gay himself.  According to studies, conservatives watch more pornography than any other group. Sociologist Laud Humphreys discovered decades ago that this was true then. Those who engaged in sexual deviancy were often married, conservative both religiously and politically, and often held what he called a "breastplate of righteousness." In other words, they condemned others for the same thing they were doing secretly. 

Let us not forget the former priest Jonathan Morris who left the priesthood over the summer. He was part of the Legionary of Christ, a group that is very conservative and seen as rigid by others in the Church. The formation he received was clearly damaging.  I knew another person named Adley Lobo who was part of the Immaculate Conception Province of the Franciscans, Order of Friars Minor. He worked at St. Lawrence Martyr in Scarborough, Canada and studied at St. Philip Neri Seminary in Toronto. This young man was very conservative and rigid. He was overly concerned with liturgical garb, secular garb and never smiled.  When people saw him on the street and said hello or smiled, he walked stone-faced and ignored them which offended these friendly people.  He got upset with me when I offered some fraternal correction after witnessing this much and accused me of being uncharitable.  I told his superiors about this and they did not care and pretty told me to mind my own business.  His mentor was Friar Ralph Paonessa, OFM, who is a staunch traditionalist and even made racist remarks against black people.  Well, this young man was later arrested for possessing and creating child pornography.  He was released by the order and is now working in photography and the culinary arts.   This Franciscan province has had many incidents with pedophile friars.

This is what the pope is concerned about. He is not out to insult priests or young seminarians who wear cassocks and garbs from decades ago which are not prohibited. There are many stories like this, both private and those which have made the news or headlines. In any event, they are to be taken seriously and must make us think when we see odd behavior in seminarians, priests, any clergy and religious. The pope as the universal pastor is right to show concern for those who are rigid in the ranks and those about to join the ranks. There are many signs. Ambivalence is one of them. Not being able to be flexible is another major one. Focus on religious garb and nitpicking others is another big sign. Again, this is not to say that all priests who wear religious garb or religious who wear habits are rigid or mentally ill. Remember, we have to look for all of the signs.

If a seminarian is overly concerned about wearing priestly garb and is cold, distant and inflexible, then there may be a serious problem in his psyche going on. The same applies to the ordained and religious.  Remember, the cassock or collar does not make the cleric nor the habit make the religious. These items are sacramentals which are used to witness to the faith. The cassock is supposed to symbolize Christ with the 33 buttons, the black color as a sign of being dead to this world, and the collar a sign of ministry and vocalizing the Word of God. Similarly, the religious habit represents the charism of the order or institute. These garbs are not meant to be used by seminarians, clergy or religious to show off, get attention or feel superior to others as if they were Superman or Batman wearing a superhero costume. These garbs are not mean to present any sort of prestige or dignity either. The dignity rests in the person already.  If someone needs clothes to feel dignified, then he or she may suffer a self-esteem issue. 

That being stated, these garbs are to be used as their purpose warrants. I personally use traditional surplices, cassocks, shoulder capes, the sash and biretta when the situation warrants them. The key is intention. Is a seminarian or priest wearing the cassock and saturno to show off and get attention or is he just wearing them as a sign of his office? Is the saturno being worn for weather reasons or to play dress-up? At seminary, rectors must make this distinction clear with seminarians. In fact, I think seminarians should not be allowed to wear clerical garb outside of a liturgical function. Seminarians should use secular clothing or a shirt, slacks and necktie until they are ordained deacons. This makes more sense and can help seminarians transition and learn humility along the way.  I cannot stress enough the need for thorough psychological testing for seminarians throughout their training.  This is very important.  Mental illness can develop in anyone. Stress and other factors can lead to psychological disorders in anyone.  No one is immune.   So keep a lookout for the signs of what the pope is concerned about. 

Here is the transcript of the Pope's encounter with the Jesuits:

It is not easy to rebuild a divided society. You live in a country that has experienced civil strife, with Mozambicans fighting one another. I think, for example, that the apostolic preference regarding the Spiritual Exercises can help a lot in this context. They can be given to people engaged in different sectors of society and thus make them more able to carry out their task of uniting and reconciling. The experience of spiritual discernment can guide action.
It is appropriate to accompany all parties, especially where there is a need for unity and reconciliation in society and in the nation. We know that sometimes the best is the enemy of the good, and at a time of reconciliation bitter pills must be swallowed. In this process you have to teach yourself to be patient. It takes the patience of discernment to reach what is essential and put aside the accidental. It takes a lot of patience sometimes! Of course, it is also necessary to share our wisdom, that is the social doctrine of the Church. But be careful: Jesuits must not divide. There is a need for reconciliation in the society of Mozambique: unite, unite, unite, unite, unite, have patience, wait. Never take a step to divide. We are men of the whole, not of the part.
You work in the educational apostolate, and you are among the young. Your work is important and demanding. Young people have good will, but they can be easy prey to deception as well as impatient. It is necessary to be close to the young people, to give them space so that they can discern what is happening in their hearts. Formation considers ideas and feelings together. To act well you always have to consider your ideas and feelings. For example, we must help the youngest to recognize when they live in resignation, and therefore in stagnation, and also to recognize when they live a healthy restlessness. In short, we need spiritual discernment, of accompaniment for the good of society.
Next came a question from Bendito Ngozzo, chaplain of the Santo Inácio Loyola High School: “Some Protestant sects use the promise of wealth and prosperity to make proselytes. The poor become fascinated and hope to become rich by adhering to these sects that use the name of the Gospel. That’s how they leave the Church. What recommendation can you give us so that our evangelization is not proselytism?”
What you say is very important. To start with, we must distinguish carefully between the different groups who are identified as “Protestants.” There are many with whom we can work very well, and who care about serious, open and positive ecumenism. But there are others who only try to proselytize and use a theological vision of prosperity. You were very specific in your question.
Two important articles in Civiltà Cattolica have been published in this regard. I recommend them to you. They were written by Father Spadaro and the Argentinean Presbyterian pastor, Marcelo Figueroa. The first article spoke of the “ecumenism of hatred.” The second was on the “theology of prosperity.”[3] Reading them you will see that there are sects that cannot really be defined as Christian. They preach Christ, yes, but their message is not Christian. It has nothing to do with the preaching of a Lutheran or any other serious evangelical Christianity. These so-called “evangelicals” preach prosperity. They promise a Gospel that does not know poverty, but simply seeks to make proselytes. This is exactly what Jesus condemns in the Pharisees of his time. I’ve said it many times: proselytism is not Christian.
Today I felt a certain bitterness after a meeting with young people. A woman approached me with a young man and a young woman. I was told they were part of a slightly fundamentalist movement. She said to me in perfect Spanish: “Your Holiness, I am from South Africa. This boy was a Hindu and converted to Catholicism. This girl was Anglican and converted to Catholicism.” But she told me in a triumphant way, as though she was showing off a hunting trophy. I felt uncomfortable and said to her, “Madam, evangelization yes, proselytism no.”
What I mean is that evangelization is free! Proselytism, on the other hand, makes you lose your freedom. Proselytism is incapable of creating a religious path in freedom. It always sees people being subjugated in one way or another. In evangelization the protagonist is God, in proselytism it is the I.
Of course, there are many forms of proselytism. The one practiced by soccer teams, acquiring fans, is all right, obviously! And then it is clear that there are those forms of proselytism for commerce and business, for political parties. Proselytism is widespread, we know that. But it doesn’t have to be the case with us. We must evangelize, which is very different from proselytizing.
St. Francis of Assisi told his friars: “Go out to the world, evangelize. And, if necessary, use words, too.” Evangelization is essentially witness. Proselytizing is convincing, but it is all about membership and takes your freedom away. I believe that this distinction can be of great help. Benedict XVI in Aparecida said something wonderful, that the Church does not grow by proselytism, it grows by attraction, the attraction of witness. The sects, on the other hand, making proselytes, separate people, promising them many advantages and then leaving them to themselves.[4]
Among you there are certainly theologians, sociologists and philosophers: I ask you to study and deepen the difference between proselytism and evangelization. Read well Evangelii Nuntiandi of Paul VI. There it is clear that the vocation of the Church is to evangelize. Indeed, the very identity of the Church involves evangelizing. Unfortunately, however, not only in the sects, but also within the Catholic Church there are fundamentalist groups. They emphasize proselytism more than evangelization.
Another typical thing about proselytizing is that it does not distinguish between the internal and external forums. And this is the sin into which many religious groups fall today. That is why I asked the Apostolic Penitentiary to make a statement on the internal forum, and that statement is really very good.[5]
Evangelizers never violate the conscience: they announce, sow and help to grow. They help. Whoever proselytizes, on the other hand, violates people’s conscience: this does not make them free, it makes them dependent. Evangelization gives you a filial dependence, that is, it makes you free and able to grow. Proselytizing gives you a servile dependence at the level of the conscience and the society. The dependence of the evangelized person, the “filial” dependence, is the memory of the grace that God has given you. The proselyte instead depends not as a child, but as a slave, who in the end does not know what to do unless he or she is told.
Once again I recommend these two articles in Civiltà Cattolica: read them and study them because they address much of what I am telling you. Here I tried to communicate to you the main message.
Fr. Leonardo Alexandria Simao, a scholastic in formation in Beira, speaks next and tells about his work with young people. The pope tells him that it is an important work and that “his ask is to communicate the Gospel and to ensure that young people are internally free.” Then the Jesuit asks him if and how his experience of God has changed since he was elected pope. Francis takes a short time to reflect and then responds…
I can’t tell you, actually. I mean, I guess my experience of God hasn’t fundamentally changed. I remain the same as before. Yes, I feel a sense of greater responsibility, no doubt. My prayer of intercession has become much wider than before. But even beforehand I lived the prayer of intercession and felt pastoral responsibility. I keep walking, but there’s not really been any radical change. I speak to the Lord as before. I feel God gives me the grace I need for the present time. But the Lord gave it to me before. And I commit the same sins as before. My election as pope did not convert me suddenly, so as to make me less sinful than before. I am and I remain a sinner. That’s why I confess every two weeks.
I have never been asked this question before, and I thank you for asking me because it makes me think about my spiritual life. I understand, as I told you, that my relationship with the Lord has not changed, apart from a greater sense of responsibility and a prayer of intercession that has spread to the world and to the whole Church. But the temptations are the same and so are the sins. The mere fact that I now dress all in white has not made me any less sinful or holier than before.
It comforts me a lot to know that Peter, the last time he appears in the Gospels, is still as insecure as he was before. At the Sea of Galilee, Jesus asked him if he loved him more than others and asked him to tend to his sheep, and then confirmed him. But Peter remains the same person he was: stubborn, impetuous. Paul will have to confront and fight with his stubbornness about the Christians who came from paganism and not from Judaism. At the beginning Peter in Antioch lived the freedom that God gave him and sat at table with the pagans and ate with them quietly, putting aside the Jewish food rules. But then some came there from Jerusalem, and Peter, out of fear, withdrew from the table of the pagans and ate only with the circumcised.[6] In short: from freedom he passed again to the slavery of fear. There he is, Peter the hypocrite, the man of compromise! Reading about Peter’s hypocrisy comforts me so much and warns me. Above all, this helps me to understand that there is no magic in being elected pope. The conclave doesn’t work by magic.
Fr. Joachim Biriate, the provincial’s socius, asks a question: “How can we avoid falling into clericalism during formation for priestly ministry?”
Clericalism is a real perversion in the Church. The shepherd has the ability to go in front of the flock to show the way, stay in the middle of the flock to see what happens within, and also be at the rear of the flock to make sure that no one is left behind. Clericalism, on the other hand, demands that the shepherd always stays ahead, sets a course, and punishes with excommunication those who stray from the flock. In short, the very opposite of what Jesus did. Clericalism condemns, separates, beats and despises the people of God.
I once went to confess in a sanctuary in northern Argentina. After Mass, I left in the company of another priest. A woman approached him with pictures and rosaries, asking him to bless those objects. My friend explained to her: “You have been to Mass and at the end of Mass you already received the blessing; therefore, everything has already been blessed.” But the woman kept asking for his blessing. And the priest continued with his theological explanation: “Is Mass the sacrifice of Christ?” And the woman said “Yes!” “Is itthe sacrifice of the body and blood of Christ?” And the woman said “Yes!” “And you believe that Christ with his blood saved us all?” And the woman said “Yes!” At that very moment the priest saw a friend of his and was distracted. And the woman immediately turned to me, asking, “Father, will you give me the blessing?” The poor people should not have to beg in this wayf or a blessing! Clericalism does not take into account the people of God.
In Latin America there is much popular piety, and it is very rich. One of the explanations given for the phenomenon is that this happened because the priests were not interested, and therefore could not clericalize it. Popular piety has aspects needing correction, yes, but it expresses the sovereignty of the holy people of God, without clericalism. Clericalism confuses priestly “service” with priestly “power.” Clericalism is rise and rule. It’s called “climbing” in Italian.
The ministry understood not as service but as “promotion” to the altar is the fruit of a clerical mentality. I can think of an extreme example. Deacon means “servant.” But in some cases clericalism paradoxically affects precisely the “servants,” the deacons. When they forget that they are the custodians of service, then the desire to clericalize and be “promoted” to the altar emerges.
Clericalism has a direct consequence in rigidity. Have you never seen young priests all stiff in black cassocks and hats in the shape of the planet Saturn on their heads? Behind all the rigid clericalism there are serious problems. I had to intervene recently in three dioceses with problems that expressed themselves in these forms of rigidity that concealed moral problems and imbalances.
One dimension of clericalism is the exclusive moral fixation on the sixth commandment. Once a Jesuit, a great Jesuit, told me to be careful in giving absolution, because the most serious sins are those that are more angelical: pride, arrogance, dominion… And the least serious are those that are less angelical, such as greed and lust. We focus on sex and then we do not give weight to social injustice, slander, gossip and lies. The Church today needs a profound conversion in this area.
On the other hand, great shepherds give people a lot of freedom. The good shepherd knows how to lead his flock without enslaving it to rules that deaden people. Clericalism, on the other hand, leads to hypocrisy, even in religious life.
I often tell the story of a Jesuit in formation. His mother was seriously ill and he knew that she would not live much longer. He lived in another city in the same country, and so he asked his provincial to be moved closer to his mother so as to be able to spend more time with her. The provincial said that he would think about it before God and would answer him before leaving early in the morning the next day. The young Jesuit stayed in the chapel that night for a long time, praying that the Lord would grant him grace. But the provincial, since he had to leave early, did not really think much about it and wrote all the answers to the petitions he had received and gave them to the minister of the community[7] to hand them over the following day. Among them was the answer to this young man. The minister, since it was late and he thought that everyone was sleeping, put the letters at the doors of those concerned. The young man, who returned to his room from the chapel late at night, saw the letter from the provincial and opened it. He realized it was dated the next day. It said, “After reflecting, praying, celebrating Mass and making long discernment before the Lord, I think you should stay in this place.” This is clericalism, it is the hypocrisy to which clericalism leads. The young Jesuit did not lose his vocation, but he never forgot that hypocrisy. Clericalism is essentially hypocritical.
Fr. Afonso Mucane, parish priest of the parish of Sant’Ignazio, in the diocese of Tete, asked for some thoughts on the Apostolate of Prayer, which is now called the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network and has just celebrated its 175th anniversary.[8]
I think we should teach people the prayer of intercession, which is a prayer of courage, of parrhesia. Think of Abraham’s intercession over Sodom and Gomorrah. Think of Moses’ intercession for his people. We must help the people to exercise intercession more often. And we ourselves need to pray more. The Pope’s Worldwide Network of Prayer, directed by Fr. Fornos, is doing this very well. It is important that people pray for the pope and his intentions. The pope is tempted, he is very besieged: only the prayer of his people can free him, as we read in the Acts of the Apostles. When Peter was imprisoned, the Church prayed incessantly for him. If the Church prays for the pope, this is a grace. I really do feel the need to beg for in prayer all the time. The prayer of the people is sustaining.
The last question is from a scholastic, Ermano Lucas, who works at the secondary school “Sant’Ignazio.” His question is about rampant xenophobia.
Xenophobia and aporophobia[9] today are part of a populist mentality that leaves no sovereignty to the people. Xenophobia destroys the unity of a people, even that of the people of God. And the people are all of us: those who were born in the same country, no matter whether they have their roots in another place or are of different ethnic groups. Today we are tempted by a form of sterilized sociology, where you consider a country as if it were an operating theater, where everything is sterilized: my race, my family, my culture… as if there were the fear of dirtying it, staining it, infecting it. There are those who want to stop this very important process of mingling cultures, which gives life to people. Mixing makes you grow, it gives you new life. It develops racial mixing, change and gives originality. The mixing of identities is what we have experienced, for example, in Latin America. There we have everything: Spanish and Indian, the missionary and the conqueror, the Spanish lineage, people’s mixed heritage.[10]
Building walls means condemning yourself to death. We can’t live asphyxiated by a culture as clean and pure as an operating theater, aseptic and not microbial.
The meeting between Pope Francis and the Jesuits ended with thanksgiving, a shared prayer and a group photo.
* * *
On September 8, during his visit to Madagascar, at the end of the meeting with priests, religious and seminarians on the sports field of the Jesuits’ Saint-Michel College,[11] Pope Francis met 200 of the 260 Jesuits of the Malagasy province, led by the provincial, Fr. Fulgence Ratsimbazafy. The meeting took place in the College Chapel and lasted about 40 minutes.[12]
The pope’s entrance was accompanied by the singing of the “Veni Creator” in a cordial and appropriately solemn atmosphere, a solemnity that the pope immediately wanted to dampen, saying that he would not make speeches and that he did not want to listen to them. Instead, he asked that those gathered “speak like brothers,” and to have a completely spontaneous interview with questions and answers. The meeting alternated between a series of rapid responses[13] and three broader responses.
Fr. Joseph Emmanuel Randriamamonjy, who works in the apostolate of the Spiritual Exercises, takes the microphone and asks a question in Italian: “What is your impression of Madagascar? What struck you most?”
One thing that struck me very much and that seems to me to be the real focus of the visit was the people, the Madagascan people. I have seen a people capable of withstanding poverty, suffering, and exploitation. I was struck by their ability to express joy, even when lacking the necessities of life. This is a real grace. It also says a great deal to us consecrated persons and calls into question our needs, which are refined and sometimes the typical needs of the elite. I have seen a people that seeks what is essential to survive, and precisely for this reason it is fruitful. Do not lose sight of the roots that make your people joyful even in suffering! When you are tempted to become a little acidic and dissatisfied, concentrate well on the spirit of your people and its fruitfulness.
Fr. Noel Cyprien, coordinator of the social and ecological apostolate of the province, spoke: “You are from Latin America. Today you’re in Madagascar. Do you see any relationship between our different peoples?”
I would say that our peoples must be careful not to fall into an ideological colonization that takes away our identity. Our peoples still have the ability to express themselves in a popular way without falling into populism. It is important to preserve the identity of one’s own people, an identity that comes from the spontaneous expression of the people. But we must defend ourselves against an identity that is ideological. The experience of the people goes far beyond ideologies, which are abstract and fit for a museum or laboratory. Ideology makes us lose our identity. The identity of a people cannot be expressed in concepts, but in stories. The people are sovereign in their expressions of art, culture and wisdom. St. Ignatius understood that well. If you recall, in our Constitutions there is a kind of refrain that takes up the choices and the way of acting that always depends on context, on the reality “according to places, times and people.”
The criterion of action is never abstract, but has as its reference a certain place, a given time, precise people. The inner vision does not impose itself on history, trying to organize it, but dialogues with reality, fits into history, and takes place over time. This ensures that discernment guides action, always respecting the variety of cultures and peoples, and the interiority of individuals.
It is for this reason that the Society of Jesus has been able to have figures such as Saint Francis Xavier, Matteo Ricci, De Nobili and Valignano. Our missions in South America have been creative with the people, and have not reduced them to a theoretical scheme. The rule of action in missions has always taken into account the concreteness of places, times and people. The rule is this discernment.
Fr. Joseph Rabenirina, director of the publishing house Ambozonyany, asks: “I heard from my parents and grandparents that the French missionaries used to give as penance for sins that of planting trees. What do you think?”
That sounds like a very creative pastoral initiative to me. From what you tell me it was a social and environmental penance, which is attentive to building up society. Today, when I went to the “City of Friendship,” Fr. Pedro showed me some pine trees. He told me he planted them himself 20 years ago. This is really very nice.
At the end of the meeting various gifts were given to the pope. Among these was a book on Antonio da Padova Rahajarizafy, who was the first Malagasy Provincial. Francis had mentioned him during his speech at the Presidential Palace while speaking of the “Fihavanana” culture. The pope then wrote a dedication to a book for the Golden Jubilee of the Malagasy province, which will be celebrated in 2021. Francis then placed his signature in the Malagasy translation of the encyclical Laudato Si’. He spoke and joked with some of those present and a group photo was taken. In an atmosphere of great joy and some confusion, Francis went out while those present sang Taizé’s canon Ubi Caritas.
So let us take the pope's words as a deep concern for the psychology of priests and seminarians. This is important in light of the scandals today that the Catholic Church is facing.  Grace build on nature, as St. Thomas Aquinas taught. If we do not know the state of our nature, then how can grace build on our nature?  It is important to make use of psychological testing often.  This along with spiritual direction will help form a person better whether in seminary or outside of seminary. 

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