From Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation emails:
CHURCH AS PERMACULTURE
The American Church has not usually sought out regenerative solutions where the sustainability is on-site and natural. I am not negating other wonderful priests who come to help us, but our churches are more and more run by priests from other countries. For the most part they know little about American culture or church. (When we send Franciscan missionaries to other countries they have to spend a long time learning to understand and respect that culture. Normally it has to be a movement in downward mobility, not a huge leap in upward mobility, or they would hardly be missionaries at all.)
If a church cannot produce its own ministers, one might call into question whether we are an organic or vibrant church at all. If we have to bring in people from other countries to sustain a two-hundred-year-old church, we might ask ourselves if we even possess the gifts we need for our own spiritual survival. We are an unsustainable church, rather than a “permaculture” church.
This raises some important issues. I think it’s good to bring in priests from other countries but we need to do more than shrug our shoulders at the lack of home-grown priests. I hope we are. I’m not in the inner circles, but I do see that the Church often gets things wrong such as it’s recent report on the source of the molestation scandals.
Richard Rohr is one of my favorite priests and writers on Christianity.