Saturday, March 14, 2009

William Stringfellow on Priesthood

William Stringfellow said that our view of priesthood "is so radically misconceived that the clergy have become a substitute laity whose function is to represent publicly – in place of the laity – the presence of the church in the world... a superficial, symbolic, ceremonial laity"
A Public and Private Faith(1999) p 38

I do not agree with him, at least not in total, but I think it is a good discussion question.

Anyone  feeling brave enough t0 comment further?


3 comments:

Kevin Harper said...

I have responded to some comments on my Telegraph blog here:

http://my.telegraph.co.uk/saintdunstan/blog/2009/03/14/clergy_a_substitute_laity?

Jim said...

Stringfellow is exactly right.

The priestly function of being the front man betwen us and God, between us and the general community has become a job security issue for clergy. Just as our goal in life is to serve God as individuals so our duty is to follow His command and go out and teach all natons. Yes, each of us as individuals not only those annointed (by the priestly club) to be Godly experts as a result of specific technical training in the Word. The mystery as been clouded by the Club's traditions developed over time to mystify the Word.

Instead the priestly function should be the technical expert in an area of our lives that requires teaching and guidance in a concept that we all find difficult to fully grasp, and one in which we slowly learn over our lifetime.

Jim

Kevin said...

This might be a better link to the Telegraph postings:

http://my.telegraph.co.uk/saintdunstan