24 May 2019


Uncle Ted McCarrick has got me thinking.

He is now reduced to the lay state.

But doesn't this imply that clerics are much 'higher' than laics?

Isn't that rather clericalist?

Doesn't it imply that the lay state is an indignity which any self-respecting Christian would do his/her best to avoid at all costs?

What price the phrase plebs sancta Dei?

Or have I missed something?


Perhaps there could be a status PPP ... Paenitens Presbyteralis Perpetuus. 


tradgardmastare said...

Reminds me of that quote by Dom Gregory Dix which is one of my favourites -
Was ever another command so obeyed...

rick allen said...

A lawyer who commits a serious crime or ethical violation may be disbarred for it. That in no way implies that a layman at law is somehow less or lower than a lawyer--only that the disbarred lawyer is not longer entitled to the privileges and authority of a member of the bar.

Kent G. Hare said...

No, you're not missing anything. None of these should be "reduced to the lay state." IF they are not to be remanded to secular justice (although I don't necessarily think these two are necessarily mutually exclusive), they should have their faculties irrevocably removed and be sentenced to a life of perpetual hermitage (solitary confinement) within the confines of a monastery practicing the discipline of perpetual silence. What you suggest seems like a perfectly good term for it.

Donna Bethell said...

Yes, here in Mr. McCarrick's quondam Archidiocesis, many of us frowned at the phrase "reduction to the lay state." I think the official term is "removed from the clerical state," definitely preferable. But there should be a distinction between those who ask to be removed and those who are removed as punishment. "Paenitens presbyteralis perpetuus" sounds about right.

John the Mad said...

How about if we simply note that Mr. McCarrck is no longer a Catholic cleric as a consequence of reducing himself by his own volition over many decades to the sordid state of predatory perversion?

fitzhamilton said...

Priests are the scapegoats and eunuchs of God. They are servants of the people, their intercessors, not their ontological superiors. Mary was not a priest. Caiaphas was. She bore and worshipped her son, the arrogant and foolish priest merely contemptuously sacrificed him, "that the whole people not perish."

Uncle Teddy being "reduced" from fashioning golden calfs (cf. Genesis 32) may have been the best thing that has ever happened to him.

The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.

But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Sic Verbum Domini est.

John said...

Maybe it means reduced as one speaks of a sauce being reduced: being taken from an excessive, perhaps puffed-up, volume down to a piquant essence.

P.S. What would people think of the older clerical and university description of one being degraded?