Rebel Priest part 2


Claude Lacaille’s book Rebel Priest in the Time of Tyrants (Baraka) was released in English yesterday in Montreal.This is the second part of his fraternal letter to the then pope Benedict XVl. The letter was printed in Le Devoir, May 16, 2007

Lacaille is incredulous that a fellow priest, albeit a cleric in the highest pantheon of Catholicism could be so tone deaf as to the reality in Latin America.

Increasingly it is seen that that the papacies of John Paul ll and Benedict XVl were adverse reactions to the Second Vatican Council. It is only now that the negative aspects of this one papacy have become clear. The fresh pontificate of Pope Francis has called into stark relief the failed attempt to reclericalize a Church which has come of age in terms of the importance of the lay voice, the sensus fidelium.

It was the brilliant ecclesiologist Yves Congar((1904-1995) who hammered this insight home at the Council, namely that the hierarchy is a very small part of people of God, that the sensus fidelium “is a gift of the Holy Spirit is given to the hierarchy and the whole body of the faithful together.”it was the central reality of the Church as the people of God which as Lacaille says,”the long reign of John Paul ll tried to erase from collective memory.”This has proved impossible.The new wine of Vatican ll, the centrality of baptism over Holy Orders has changed the Roman church forever. More change is to be expected much to the chagrin of papalists who wanted to freeze the church in time.

As Pope Francis said in his homily of April 16,2013


We want the Holy Spirit to sleep,We want to domesticate the Holy Spirit, and that just won’t do because he is God and he is that breeze that comes and goes, and you don’t know from where.People think it’s better to be comfortable, but that is not what the fire of the Holy Spirit brings.The council was a beautiful work of the Holy Spirit But after 50 years, have we done everything the Holy Spirit in the council told us to do? The answer, is “no.”

Open Letter to Pope Benedict part ll

What would you have done in my place? For which one of these sins do you want to condemn me, my brother Benedict? What annoys you so much in what I did? Is it that far from what Jesus would have done in the same circumstances?

How do you think I feel when I hear your repeated condemnations?

I’m returning from Chile, where I was able to see my friends from the neighborhood after 25 years; last January, there were 70 to greet me. They greeted me as a brother, while telling me: “You lived with us, like us, you accompanied us during the worst years of our history. You were showed solidarity and you loved us. That is why we love you so much!”

And these same workers were telling me: “We have been abandoned by our Church. The priests have gone back to their temples; they no longer share with us, nor live with us.”

In Brazil, it’s the same reality: for 25 years, Bishops who were committed to the landless farmers and the poor in the favelas of big cities have been replaced by conservative Bishops who fought against and rejected the thousands of base communities, where Faith was lived at the ground level of life.

All this has created an immense vacuum which the Evangelical and Pentecostal churches have filled: they have remained with the people, and it’s by hundreds of thousands that Catholics move on to those communities.

Dear Benedict, I beg you to change the way you see things.You don’t have an exclusivity on divine inspirations; the whole ecclesial community is enlivened by the spirit of Jesus. Please, put away your condemnations;you will soon be judged by the only One authorized to classify us to the left or to the right, and you know as well as I do that it’s on love that our judgment will be rendered.

fraternally yours,

Claude Lacaille p.m.é
Trois Rivieres, May 12, 2007


1 Comment »

  1. 1
    mushafta Says:

    No question- this guy clearly gets it!
    Ratzinger was a dud who like JP2 listened to no voice except his own.
    What a legacy they left us!
    What was going on in Nicaragua in the 80’s was the real deal! Remember Ernesto Cardinal? Recall how this government was treated by JP2 for espousing communist propganda.
    And they made this dud a saint? Nicaragua’s schools and hospitals were bombed by American scum. I don’t use that word lightly! And JP2 endorsed the whole Regan plan of attack! It’s called politics. He did and said nada as the bombs rained down. Remember the finger? That said it all. He condemened any cleric’s involvement in politics- particularly in Latin America. No wonder Benedict walked away from the job. He at least saw the ruins he and his predecessor left behind. Today’s youth are not blind sheep. They want real leadership. And what does the Canadian hierarchy do as a result of so few vocations? Poach the third world’s newly ordained to stock the money making parishes with unpronounceable foreign names. Leadership? Dialogue? Democratic reform? Ah- gi’ me a break!

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