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Msgr Tomas Halik (CNS/Paul Haring)

Catholicism must rid itself of the “heresy of triumphalism” if it is to become more synodal and better able to evangelise in a secular age, according to noted Czech theologian and philosopher Msgr Tomas Halik. Source: NCR Online. 

“We see ourselves as a societes perfecta,” or a perfect society, that is too self-sufficient, said Msgr Halik, who was recently chosen by the Vatican’s Synod office to help lead an April 29-May 2 gathering for some 200 parish priests from all over the world.

The gathering was organised in response to concerns that Pope Francis’ Synod on Synodality included only a few parish priests among the more than 400 delegates that participated in the first session of the assembly in October 2023.

Msgr Halik praised Francis’ synodal efforts and his commitment to root out a culture of clericalism, where priests see themselves as more powerful than the laity.

But, he said, he would also point to “ecclesial triumphalism,” which he said is a prideful, widespread attitude defined by a Catholicism that is closed off from the world around it.

In an address to the parish priests in attendance at the Synodal gathering, Msgr Halik lamented that “some Christians, alarmed by the rapid changes of the world, want to make the Church an island of unchanging certainties.”

“There are still places where the parish priest sees himself as the pope of his parish. But the Church confers the gift of infallibility on only one of its members, and then only under strictly limited conditions,” he continued. “And if even a Pope relies on several consultative councils to help him make his decisions, how much more should a parish priest listen to those he has been sent to serve?”

Msgr Halik said he was encouraged by the open and frank discussions that took place during the four-day gathering.


Catholicism must reject ‘heresy of triumphalism,’ says noted Czech priest (By Christopher White, NCR Online)