Sunday, May 13, 2012

French Jesuit Cardinal, "The Life Of Prayer Is Abandoned And The First Consequence Of This State Of Confusion Is The Disappearance Of Vocations"

I think that there is now a very grave crisis of religious life, and that one should not speak of renewal, but rather of decadence. I think that this crisis is hitting the Atlantic area above all. Eastern Europe and the countries of Africa and Asia present in this regard a better state of spiritual health. This crisis is manifesting itself in all areas. The evangelical counsels are no longer considered as consecrations to God, but are seen in a sociological and psychological perspective. We are concerned about not presenting a bourgeois facade, but on the individual level poverty is not practiced. 
The group dynamic replaces religious obedience; with the pretext of reacting against formalism, all regularity of the life of prayer is abandoned and the first consequence of this state of confusion is the disappearance of vocations, because young people require a serious formation. And moreover there are the numerous and scandalous desertions of religious who renege on the pact that bound them to the Christian people. The essential source of this crisis is a false interpretation of Vatican II. 
The directives of the Council were very clear: a greater fidelity of religious men and women to the demands of the Gospel expressed in the constitutions of each institute, and at the same time an adaptation of the modalities of these constitutions to the conditions of modern life. The institutes that are faithful to these directives are seeing true renewal, and have vocations. 
But in many cases the directives of Vatican II have been replaced with erroneous ideologies put into circulation by magazines, by conferences, by theologians. Vatican II declared that human values must be taken seriously. It never said that we should enter into a secularized world in the sense that the religious dimension would no longer be present in society, and it is in the name of a false secularization that men and women are renouncing their habits, abandoning their works in order to take their places in secular institutions, substituting social and political activities for the worship of God. 
And this goes against the grain, among other things, with respect to the need for spirituality that is being manifested in today's world. A false conception of freedom that brings with it the devaluing of the constitutions and rules and exalts spontaneity and improvisation. This is all the more absurd in that Western society is currently suffering from the absence of a discipline of freedom. The restoration of firm rules is one of the necessities of religious life. An erroneous conception of the changing of man and of the Church. Even if these change, the constitutive elements of man and of the Church are permanent, and bringing into question the constitutive elements of the constitutions of the religious orders is a fundamental error. 
Link (here) to read the full 1972 interview with Cardinal Jean DaniƩlou, S.J.


Anonymous said...

What is not noted here is that the cardinal died in a brothel!

John Hickey said...

What is not noted here is the testimony of the prostitute in whose room he died. He had gone there to give her money to help her help her husband who was in prison. These seem to be the facts