Quotes of the Week February 20

“Clericalism is bad for priests because it distorts their mission and is harmful for the laity because it hinders their development as adult Christians. This word ‘clericalism’ is a call to us priests to examine our consciences every day so that we don’t forget that being clerics means being in a condition to bear witness to the Faith in a more efficient way and show deep commitment to our vocation. Being a cleric does not give us some kind of social status that places up above others.”

Cardinal-elect Beniamino Stella, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, offers his take on the damaging effects of clericalism.


“God is supposed to be with those who are persecuted, who are beaten, who are left without consideration. It is why from the very beginning our priests were with our people in the middle of that square.”

Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church explains the role played by priests in ongoing demonstrations in Kiev.

“He said it in Latin and I was panicking. I was short of breath, my legs were trembling. I was sitting and my legs trembled like this…it was a very violent reaction. It was a reaction to shock.”

Giovanna Chirri, the journalist who broke the February 11, 2013 news of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation recalls her reaction on first hearing the former Pontiff’s announcement.


“I believe we have a problem with narrative. In the West, we are conditioned to think of Christianity as an all powerful, all controlling, wealthy, vastly influential social institution, which makes it very difficult for ordinary Americans to get their minds around the idea that Christians can actually be the victims of  persecution.”

John L. Allen Jr, who testified before the US House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations on February 11 about the Global war on Christians.


“Whether it is about population control, use of condoms, homosexuality et cetera, sometimes the views of the West are forced down the throats of Africans through financial inducement. Africans must not be copy cats, believing that whatever comes from the West is ideal. We must be faithful to our religious heritage even at a time when some of the people who introduced Christianity to us have become its ardent critics and some of them nurture a pathological hatred for Church directives or moral judgments.”

Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama of Jos, Nigeria, warns against the ‘imported agendas’ of some Western governments and NGOs operating in the country today.