Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Fr Barron: Seminary is med school for "soul doctors"

Fr Robert Barron (the man behind the Catholicism TV series),  newly appointed rector of Chicago's Mundelein seminary, was interviewed recently about his vision for preparing men for the priesthood "in a new setting that’s become indifferent to the faith, at best, and hostile at worst."

It is, he says, a matter of turning young men into heroic leaders: "In the wake of the sexual abuse scandals, many men have come forward to say it’s a time for greatness in the priesthood and heroic priests." (That word "hero" shows up a striking number of times in the short interview featured in the National Catholic Register.)  "I want people who are well-trained soul doctors and who also understand the culture. We cannot hunker down behind a wall."

Barron says that his goal is "to make Mundelein a powerhouse of the New Evangelization — a place where the New Evangelization is thought about, where it’s practiced and implemented, and where that ethos is placed in the heart of the students." And this means really grasping what the bishops at Vatican II intended fifty years ago: "The Second Vatican Council was a reform council to make the Church a more effective vehicle for evangelization in the modern world. My generation [Barron is 52] received an inadequate interpretation of Vatican II. The reform has to recover a correct interpretation — that is to make the Church at all levels a more effective vehicle for the true evangelization."

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