When you’re living as Pope Francis does, in the middle of the crowd, everything you do is going to be seen and commented on, good or bad. He has no control over that.
I’m not authorized to speak for the diocese, but I can say what I see. I see housing for seniors, unwed mothers, homeless, people with disabilities. I see property being used for pregnancy centers, soup kitchens, shelters. We have property used for respite, long-term rehabilitation. We have property being turned into center for prayer. And we have properties used to pay bills. I think the biggest bill in any diocese is going to be the seminary. Seminaries are not cheap to run. It costs millions of dollars. We’re talking about an undergraduate and graduate school that has to meet state and international requirements to grant degrees.
A: That made me LOL. For the record, I know the difference between a monk and a friar. I just misspoke or mistyped in this case. My mind was on the bigger and I think more important picture. I have been a follower of St. Francis for many years though not officially due to circumstances beyond my control. I have known many Franciscans throughout my life and I have never come across one who actually takes offense at this sort of mistake. I don’t know about monks though since I have never met one.
That and clericalism are very touchy issues in the renewal movement. Because we’re trying to get away from both images and restore image of the friar without the monastic and priestly focus. We do borrow some things from monks, such as the LOTH and we do have clerics. But we are not monks or clerics.
Among Benedictines there is a strong push to disengage them from the friars. Often, people think that because a Benedictine can be engaged in an apostolic work, this makes him the same as a friar, which is not true. Within the religious life, the monastic vocation is a call to find Christ in solitude, prayer and labor. The friar finds Christ in brotherhood, prayer and service.
No one is going to be offended to the point of calling you on the carpet for it. It’s not as serious as calling one a pig. Calling a friar a monk or a monk a friar is not at that level. But it is something that we’re trying very hard to change.