Tips for Being a Faithful Clergyman from a Peruvian Priest

Some pointers from Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez (paraphrased from A Theology of Liberation):

1) Your duty is to denounce social sin – the systems that oppress and alienate people.

2) Don’t make general statements. Take positions on specific events.

3) Practice kenotic love. Being a true human being requires denying yourself some luxuries as a demonstration of solidarity.

4) Always reject the criticism that you are being too political. (Remind others that to overspiritualize Christ is to dehumanize Christ – to remove him from history.)

5) Denounce the system if it does not support the common good.

6) Distance yourself from that system.

7) Enter into conflict with those who wield power.

8) Evangelization isn’t just about your heart and soul and the afterlife. The essence of the gospel is revolution.

9) Conscientize youth.

10) The Church is supposed to be poor.  Humble buildings and facilities are permitted – anything beyond them is a misallocation of funds.

11) The Church’s power structure must be transformed.  Laypeople are the Church’s most important agents.

12) Clerical offices don’t exist to mimic the world’s professionalism.  Luxurious lifestyles aren’t allowed.  Sometimes it’s appropriate for clergy to get a real job too.

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Do you have any to add to the list?

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