LOS ANGELES, Jan. 8, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Pope Francis' recent words about "little monsters" resonated in a special way with the Rev. Kevin Manion, who is working on preparing documents for the upcoming sainthood cause for Fr. Aloysius Ellacuria, CMF. Manion served as Fr. Aloysius' secretary in the 1970's.
Photo: Rev. Kevin Manion
The Pope said recently that priestly formation is a "work of art, not a police action" and "we must form their hearts. Otherwise we are creating little monsters. When these little monsters mold the people of God, this really gives me goose bumps," said the Pope.
These words gave Fr. Manion the déjà vu experience. According to Rev. Manion, 40 years ago Fr. Aloysius Ellacuria, CMF wrote that "the present crisis in the Church is a result of lack of spiritual formation in the seminaries, and because of this, priests today are not what they should be." Furthermore, "This crisis is going to be much worse, because in the present day the seminaries, instead of being improved are completely deteriorated. The ones in charge of priestly formation, sad to say but it is a fact, are instruments of deformation of the future priests." Fr. Aloysius continues, "the priest, by virtue of his vocation... is called to the highest dignity on earth, and therefore the highest sanctity." Manion continued the quote, "In most of the seminaries they have a disastrous misinterpretation of Vatican II. I state this with all my conviction, after spending twenty-five years or more in the spiritual formation of seminarians."
Aloysius also gives the remedy, "As a house to weather the storms, should have solid foundations, and then properly built on them, likewise seminarians as future priests should have a thorough and deep foundation in the 'purgative life' which most of them don't have, and then led into the 'illuminative life,' by the most expert and holy spiritual directors of the diocese or congregation, and by the time of their ordination they should be entering fully the 'unitive life,' because the priest is another Christ, and should be one with Christ, not only in name but in deed." When Fr. Manion read the words by the Pope he felt goosebumps. Fr. Aloysius' observations appear unabashedly corroborated after 40 years! The Pope's brief comments vindicated a similar conclusion.
View more information about Father Aloysius Ellacuria, CMF and the Sainthood Cause at www.aloysius.com.