Perhaps PopeWatch is just noticing it more, but in the age of Francis there seems to be a great reek of stupidity from high ranking clergy. An example:
Catholic priests lack “credibility” to prepare the faithful for the sacrament of marriage because they have never been married, according to the leader of the Vatican’s office for ministry to the family.
Priests are not the best people to train others for marriage, said Cardinal Kevin Farrell, prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life.
“They have no credibility,” Farrell said, “they have never lived the experience; they may know moral theology, dogmatic theology in theory, but to go from there to putting it into practice every day…. they don’t have the experience.”
The comments from Cardinal Farrell, who hails from the Dublin suburb of Drimnagh, came in a recent interview with Intercom magazine, a publication of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference. His remarks were covered by The Irish Times and picked up by Crux.
The cardinal’s assertion that lack of marital experience is a handicap conflicts with Pope Saint John Paul II’s pivotal 1960 work Love and Responsibility. In it, then-Karol Wojtyla said that priests have a different and “wider” experience that allows them to minister to couples. He wrote:
It is sometimes said that only those who live a conjugal life can pronounce on the subject of marriage, and only those who have experienced it can pronounce on love between man and woman.
In this view, all pronouncements on such matters must be based on personal experience, so that priests and persons living a celibate life can have nothing to say on questions of love and marriage. Nevertheless they often do speak and write on these subjects. Their lack of direct personal experience is no handicap because they possess a great deal of experience at second-hand, derived from their pastoral work.
For in their pastoral work they encounter these particular problems so often, and in such a variety of circumstances and situations, that a different type of experience is created, which is certainly less immediate, and certainly ‘second-hand’, but at the same time very much wider. The very abundance of factual material on the subject stimulates both general reflection and the effort to synthesize what is known.
Go here to read the rest. For background on Cardinal Farrell go here. Perhaps the best way for faithful Catholics to get through this pontificate is to view it either as God’s judgement or God’s practical joke.