From CBCP News.
MANILA, April 22, 2010—The clerical sex abuse crisis should serve as a wake-up call for the Catholic hierarchy, a church official said. [There you are.]
It also boils down, according to Monsignor Elmer Abacahin, to where the priests came from—seminary formation.
He said the situation shows the need for human and spiritual formation programs for priests and seminarians on the tragedy and specifically on the topic of sexuality. [Time to meet the crisis head on! It is a sad reality but hey, it IS reality and even though the crisis has not involved any Filipino priest yet, the Pinoy bishops should get themselves ready!]
A former seminary formator himself, Abacahin said the pastoral reality of celibacy and sexuality especially in the area of formation of future priests must be confronted at the stage of formatives years. [Unfortunately, seminary staff are not competent to handle this type of formation. Some priests and nuns are mostly "National Bookstore Psychologists", people who just pick up the latest Dr. Phil book and a week later you see them giving talks about how to make your life better.]
“The recently sex scandals raised especially to the highest position (pope) is a wakeup call for formators to confront and to address the question of celibacy and sexuality,” Abacahin said.
He said it should not be taken as a mere subject but seriously on a private level and spiritual direction and counseling especially in the formative years.
The priest called for much more attention to the role of human formation, a factor integrating the intellectual, spiritual and pastoral formation. [that is why not all priests are suited to become formators, just as not every priest is suited to become a teacher or even a preacher. Some are just too terrible to bear. I even had one professor who got his PhD in an American University. If you hate taking sleeping pills, get him to talk to you all the way to La-La Land. He is a walking sleeping pill in the classroom! As the old maxim goes, "You can't give what you do not have."]
Human transformation, he said, includes development of emotional, psychological and social maturity. [The monsignor is slowly forgetting the spiritual aspect.]
Abacahin served as spiritual director and spirituality formator of the San Jose de Mindanao Seminary in Cagayan de Oro City for 10 years.
At present, he is the executive secretary of the Office on Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC) [hmmmm...I am not so into this "ministry".] of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
He said the situation calls for formators to intensify more and give top priority on the area of the implication on celibacy and sexuality. [How about the CBCP setting up safety nets this early, eh? Do you agree?]
“It is a wake-up call that this reality must be addressed seriously by formators... it should not be taken as a mere subject but it must be part of the whole integral process of the formation,” he added.
“It should not be difficult to deal with in the seminary… this thing must be openly discussed between the spiritual director and the counselor,” he also said.
As I have always blogged...
There is nothing wrong if we notice that the neighbors lawn deserves some trimming...
But oftentimes, our bishops forget to sweep our own floors first.
But there are also times when some of our bishops busy looking for the lost 25 centavo coin inside his house, he became oblivious of what is happening in his own neighborhood.
A good thing a priest is brave enough to say these things.
Huzzah to Monsi Elmer!