Jacob Caballero, a member of the Neocatechumenal Way from the Philippines recently responded to my post, “Half-baked Priests for Asia?“, with a comment of his own. In my original post, I revealed Kiko’s plan to have young men ordained to be missionary priests for China after only five years of training and without the benefit of a formal seminary. I also gave some very good reasons for taking time in forming priests, especially missionary priests.
In his comment, Mr. Caballero exhibits a perspective that is pervasive throughout “the Way”, and quite problematic. He said:
You rely on human wisdom and not on the Holy Spirit. Its (sic) because they lack those trainings (sic) or what you call it make them half-baked priests? Did Jesus revealed (sic) in the Bible the exact number of years the priest is ought to have in schooling? Look at Peter and the rest of the Apostles, they are not well educated yet the Lord has choosen (sic) them to become heralds of the gospels and ministers of the Church. They were only twelve yet they were able to preach the Gospel even to the ends of the world. Do not rely on human knowledge or wisdom or any trainings (sic) that the world can offer us. Rely on the power of the Holy Spirt. (sic) Do not judge.
On the contrary, Jacob, you are the one limiting the Holy Spirit. How? By pitting training and formation against the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Of course Christians are to rely upon the power of the Holy Spirit, but the question is, do the years of seminary training and formation currently required in most dioceses limit this power, or enhance it?
The world is much more complex now than it was in the early days of the Church, and the problems our ordained leaders face are far more complex. You are suggesting that our Lord is asking us to return to the infant Church. No! No, not anymore than you or I would want to return to the days of wearing diapers!
By the way, you seem to suppose that everything needs to be spelled out in the Bible. I can’t seem to find the word “neocatechumenal” there…