Photo by Andy Roberts/Getty Images. Grabbed from The Huffington Post.
We were privileged to have an interesting conversation with our economo generale, Padre Carl Markelz, OCarm, tonight. One of the things that he shared, which struck me, really, was on the culture of privilege and clericalism prevalent among priests and even among seminarians.

He shared that sometimes it also has something to do with us, with people who give this much privilege and attention to our priests (and seminarians) as if they were somebody extra special.

Well, on the side, everyone should be special for us, for as Padre Sheldon Tabile, OCarm shared in his homily this morning, everyone are 'secret Jesus’.' He meant that somehow we do not and could not know if a person is in need, because we have various needs. One might need something material, while another might need something more abstract like companionship, some comforting, or just another’s presence. For this reason, we should be a neighbor to all, we should be ready to give ourselves to anyone in need, because it is these people who are the least of our brothers and sisters, and they are actually Jesus Christ. (See Matthew 25:34-40).

Anyway, if we keep on treating our priests and seminarians as somebody cut above the rest, we would be creating monsters. Well, in fact, we have been creating monsters for a very long time, and we ask why we have priests who are so out of touch with the world, with the poor, who complain if not given special attention. A special table, a seat of privilege. (See Luke 14:7-11).

Padre Markelz said that Pope Francis is really so totally speaking out against clericalism, and we too should do our share to shun such an attitude of privilege and instead embrace humility, the attitude of being the least.

Now, of course, there is a difference between being humble and being stupid, or being humble and just pretending to be humble. And humility can be a guise to pride, but this would be outside our topic.

For the meantime, I believe that it is best to be aware of one’s tendencies. If a Nanay (mother) would be insulted when you refuse the special treatment, well, we just have to explain.


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