I grew up in a Catholic village in an jap Indonesian island known as Lembata. The village is part of Kalikasa Parish. Kalikasa is the identify of a village that grew to become the parish middle, about 6 kilometers from my village of Lewokukung. The parish comprised a number of villages, and there have been no roads for bikes or motorbikes, not to mention automobiles. There have been solely small filth paths to be travelled on foot or on horse.
Resulting from poor street circumstances and the variety of villages in a parish again then, our parish priest of American origin, Father Eugene Schmitz SVD, might solely go to every village as soon as each three months for Mass. When the priest visited villages, all villagers have been very excited. They actually appeared ahead to the go to. There was a sense of one thing sacred concerning the presence of our beloved parish priest, Pater Schmitz, as we known as him.
Often three sacraments have been served throughout every of his visits — reconciliation, Eucharist and baptism. It was certainly a sacramental go to, an indication of the divine presence. The priest all the time got here on a horse carrying the host (bread) and liturgical wine for the Mass. For Christmas and Easter, everybody from all of the villages within the parish gathered at one village for celebrations. It was among the finest instances I had in my childhood, gathering in a single village for Christmas and Easter yearly.
Comparable challenges have been additionally encountered by different parish monks in most, if not all, mountainous parishes all through Indonesia. Father John Prior SVD, for example, skilled related obstacles throughout his dozens of years missioning in a distant parish in central Flores. A journey from one village to a neighboring village might take hours as a consequence of street circumstances and technique of transport, which was often a horse.
After his parish missionary work, Pater John, as he was known as, then had his subsequent appointment as an educational on the Catholic Institute of Philosophy in Ledalero, Maumere, Flores, the place he has been instructing social theology. I used to be lucky to be his pupil first in Ledalero within the late Nineteen Eighties, then once more in Melbourne when he grew to become a visiting lecturer on the College of Divinity, beforehand Melbourne Faculty of Divinity (Yarra theological campus), within the early Nineties.
When a priest couldn’t be anticipated to be doing every little thing in all places, as a consequence of street circumstances and the numerous villages to go to by one priest alone, the ministry duties of the Church needed to be shared amongst laypeople. The spirit of “lay Church,” as a substitute of “clerical Church,” grew and have become stronger in tough conditions akin to throughout these days.
On a regular basis church life again then clearly didn’t depend on one particular person, the parish priest. The roles have been distributed extra evenly
All church affairs together with liturgies on Sundays and feast days have been left to the laypeople to conduct, often by main faculty lecturers and a handful of chosen different individuals. The liturgy of phrase was celebrated greater than the Eucharist because of the talked about obstacles.
On a regular basis church life again then clearly didn’t depend on one particular person, the parish priest. The roles have been distributed extra evenly. Even lay Catholics appeared to have extra duty within the lifetime of the Church. That was again then. What about now?
Now, the street circumstances are significantly better and accessible by motorbikes or automobiles. Individuals hardly stroll anymore; horses are hardly ever seen on roads. Individuals can go from one village to a different extra ceaselessly and rapidly. Parish monks might be seen visiting villages extra typically for Mass. The liturgy of phrase is just not celebrated as a lot as prior to now. The presence of a priest in villages is extra frequent and noticeable.
Does this imply that the monks at the moment are changing into extra dominant within the lifetime of the neighborhood of the trustworthy? It isn’t stunning to look at that the Catholic clergy in Indonesia have been enjoying a dominant position within the lives of the native Church. Nonetheless, some are uncertain whether or not the clerical dominance, intently related to a patriarchal mindset, in Indonesia is perhaps beginning to wane.
The noun “dominance” refers to energy and affect over others. The adjective “dominant” (predominant, paramount, preponderant) means superior to all others by way of affect or significance. It applies to one thing that’s uppermost, ruling or controlling. Thus, a dominant particular person refers to an individual who’s ready of energy or who’s exhibiting highly effective or controlling tendencies.
French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu (1930-2002) has been broadly thought to be a scholar with pursuits within the dynamics of energy in society, notably within the various and delicate methods during which energy is transferred or distributed. For him, energy distribution is a crucial strategy to preserve social order inside and throughout generations.
Clerical dominance means monks are ready of energy and affect or exhibit highly effective or influential tendencies. They are often dominant, they usually have exercised their energy successfully, at the least in Indonesia, partly due to the upper training and data in philosophy, theology and biblical research they’ve in comparison with the lay Catholic majority.
These fields of research stay elementary to the Church and are dominated by clergy. This “data/energy” relationship is in step with the idea of the French postmodernist Paul-Michel Foucault (1926-84). On this sense, clergy have the superior mental energy, putting them within the place of superiority and the lay neighborhood within the subordinate place.
Perhaps like another locations in Asia, Indonesian clergy are thus not solely religiously but additionally socially very dominant. This social dominance, via the lens of Bourdieu, might create an unequal distribution of energy, each truly and symbolically, as typically seen within the mechanism of legitimation. Clergy have the correct to implement obedience from the neighborhood individually and communally, and this obedience not solely displays but additionally strengthens the legitimacy of clergy dominance.
There have been many circumstances that appear to recommend that clergy dominance has failed to guard weak victims
A method of observing the phenomenon of clergy dominance in Indonesia is thru the best way the native church hierarchy handles issues akin to clerical sexual abuse and corruption throughout the Church. There have been many circumstances that appear to recommend that clergy dominance has failed to guard weak victims, which implies that the victims proceed to undergo in silence.
The place of clergy is sacramentally dominant, and their dominance will proceed via to the longer term, if the theology of priesthood and church legal guidelines in regards to the sacramental roles of clergy don’t change.
Whereas prior to now, when a priest was solely sometimes within the village, and subsequently had energy as a extra sacred determine, now with the frequent or steady presence of monks in communities, the dominance is extra secular. This secular dominance means they’re extra influential over the every day lives and selections of parishioners, together with sensible politics and insurance policies.
Wanting again to the previous and observing the current, I’d say that whether or not or not a priest is bodily current in a neighborhood, their position stays dominant within the lifetime of the native Church. Sociologically, the issue with clerical over-dominance is that the Church turns into too masculine and patriarchal, devaluing the essential roles of girls and different genders within the lifetime of the native Church. The sacramentally male-dominated Church has created a gender energy imbalance between women and men then and now and should proceed via to the longer term if the braveness wanted for change is missing.
My reminiscence of native church life again then stays vivid, and my sense of sacredness of the previous doesn’t fade away. The fashionable life-style of the Church as we speak characterised by secularity appears to have misplaced the crucial dimensions of faith — spirituality and sacredness.
Justin Wejak studied philosophy in Indonesia, theology and anthropology in Australia and at the moment teaches on the College of Melbourne. The views expressed on this article are these of the writer and don’t essentially mirror the official editorial place of UCA Information.