|Abstract (english)|| |
In the first Chapter of the dissertation entitled The Theology of the Priesthood According to the Second Vatican Council and Texts of the Post-Council Teaching, the author primarily presents the Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests (Presbyterorum ordinis) as the draft of the Council's theology of the priesthood, explaining, at the same time, previous drafts as well as reviews of the final document. By putting the ministry, instead of the priest's life, in the first place, Presbyterorum ordinis ceases the previous dichotomy between the sainthood of the priest's life and his work, which is a strongly present characteristic of the theology of the priesthood before the Council. In the key doctrinal elements that are important to the theology of the priesthood, The Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests follows the dogmatic constitution of the church Lumen gentium. The first and pillar characteristic of the Council's theology of the priesthood is its Christocentricity, that puts the ministerial priesthood within the common framework of the universal priesthood, representing both; a major novum and, at the same time, a drift away from the theology of the priesthood before the Council. The author also recognizes the theocentric accent on the priest's existence within the Council's theology of the priesthood. In the context of the priest's existence, the Council’s fathers strongly emphasize the basic importance of evangelization, as well as give an impetus to the search for a new identity of the priest, suitable for his own time. Council's Croatian theologian Tomislav Šagi-Bunić believes that, in this way, the Council creates the possibility of a pluralistic concept of the priest of the future. Speaking of the spiritual life of the priest, the Decree especially points out the importance of the study and homily of the Word of God, i.e. it appeals to the Council's priest to promote dynamic evangelization and to give witness to sainthood. The Council also notices the danger of the priest's inability to face numerous requests of his ministry and fears the dichotomy between the priest's spiritual life and his pastoral work. By raising the issue of priestly celibacy, the Decree, and also the Council's theology of the priesthood, do not accept the unsupported celibacy but, instead, accept and explain it within both contexts; the context of its ecclesiastical and eschatological selfhood, and especially within that of the undidivided heart on the path of inheritance. Within the Council's theology of the priesthood in Presbyterorum ordinis, great importance is paid to the permanent education of priests. Presbyterorum ordinis does not try to formulate a complete theology of the priesthood, but instead forms firm foundations and outlines the direction of its future development. The draft of the Council's theology of the priesthood is especially evident in the Decree because of the fact that it raises the issue of the dignity of the ministerial priesthood as part of Christ's priesthood, and within the context of the spirituality of priesthood and the appeal to sainthood that are related to priestly ministry. The writing about the priest's cooperation and obedience to the bishop, while the priests are the first co-workers and councillors to bishops, also cannot be omitted. Furthermore, according to Šagi-Bunić, the Council's definition of the relationship between the bishop and the priest, within which the priests are necessary assistants, co-workers and councillors to bishops, is the basic theological acknowledgement of the very nature of both; episcopacy and priesthood. The Decree moves forward in encouraging the establishment of priests' councils, in redefining the relationship between the priest and the bishop and the priest and the lay people, as well as between the priest and non-Catholics. The great novelties of the Decree are: the great care paid to the permanent priestly training and the emphasis put on the pastoral engagement above the parish level, then, the declared care about the remuneration of priests and their old age care, and especially the care for priests who have abandoned the church. It could be stated that this document has certainly encouraged the post-Council analysis of the tensions within the priest's identity, his introspection, in the context of his ministry and life in general. Certainly, the Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests represents a significant example of diversity and progress that the Council's work has produced and brought out for the benefit of the church.
The author represents the Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests Optatam totius as an enrichment to the theology of the priesthood. It is the beginning of the new age in the history of upbringing and formation of Catholic priests. It is important to add that, with this Decree, the Council does not intend to make a revolution in the upbringing of Catholic priests, but to make a reform in its continuity. The Decree also does not represent the final model that should be followed in carrying out the Council's reform of priestly upbringing and formation; it establishes only general principles, leaving to national and regional bishops' conferences to deal with details and modalities of the reform in accordance with the proclaimed principles, suggesting certain plurality in priestly formation. Surely, the novelty of the Decree is the decentralisation of priestly upbringing. The Decree gives a great deal of importance to the integration of celibacy into the priest's personality through the process of gradual maturing of all of its components (intellectual, spiritual and affective-emotive). The author shows that, with the Decree Optatam totius, the Council introduces aggiornamento to both: the upbringing and formation of future priests and to seminaries and theological studies, respectively, with an emphasis on necessary Council's renewal of the People of God in its entirety. In this, the Council limits itself to the general norms, leaving to nations and regions, i. e. bishops' conferences to issue their own documents on priestly upbringing and training (Ratio institutionis sacerdotalis). In this manner, the Council points out that an open dialogue between bishops and theologians around the world is of utmost importance and need.
Under the title Post-Council Teaching on Priests in Bishops' Synods, the author analyzes the discourse on priesthood by synod fathers, and shows the accents and problems that they notice in priesthood. Thus, in the First General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (1967), many synod fathers warn about the identity crisis in a certain number of priests. In its final document The Ministerial Priesthood and Justice in the World, the Second General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops strongly emphasizes the unity of evangelization and sacramental life as the quintessence of ministerial priesthood, expecting the priest to be a shrewd interpreter of the signs of the times in the spirit of the Gospel and Christ, as well as the minister and an authentic witness to God’s Word. The Third General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (1974) expects the priests to be plausible evangelizers and builders of unity, who by life's testimony on the one hand, and by service to the People of God on the other, show their faithfulness to God. The fourth Synod of Bishops (1977), though not particularly talking about priests, points to them as the immediate co-workers of their bishops, and as the first responsible for catechetical ministry. The fifth General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (1980), through synod fathers, appeals to priests to become more conscious, as far as possible, of their responsibility for the pastoral care of the family. The sixth General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (1983) talks about the reconciliation and penance in the mission of the church today, viewing the priest as the confessor who, as the minister of reconciliation, brings the presence of Christ the Good Shepherd, doctor, teacher and merciful judge, and from whom the testimony of life is requested and expected. The Seventh General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (1987) encourages priests to engage in the process of catechetical, theological and spiritual formation of the faithful lay people. The eight General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (1990), talking about the upbringing and training of priests, analyzes again the issue of priestly identity in crisis. According to the Synod, the priest of the third millennium must be the minister, and not the master, who in his ministry unites the testimony of life and the dialogue with everybody. Human, spiritual, theological and pastoral dimensions are united in him and harmonized in an integral formation process. The Tenth General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (2001.) dealt with the Episcopal ministry, among others, in particular emphasizing the need for closeness and attachment to the bishop to his priests. The Eleventh General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist (2005.) has devoted much attention to the connection between the Eucharist and the sacraments of Holy Orders. The Twelfth General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Word of God (2008.) wanted to show the inseparable connection between the Eucharist and the Word of God in the life and mission of the Church.
Under the title Teaching on the Priest in the Post-Council Documents of the Teachings of the Church, certain documents of the Teachings of the Church related to the problems of priesthood and in connection with the Council's draft of the theology of the priesthood, are analyzed, while drifts away from the Council’s thought are underlined. Thus for example, with regard to the Council’s theology of priesthood, the document by the Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education Basic Norms for Priestly Formation - Ratio fundamentalis institutionis sacerdotalis, 1970, while considering the spiritual formation of priestly candidates, makes a shift in defining general principles, and at the same time goes back to the pre-Council formulation of the identification with Christ to the extent of the candidate's becoming (alter Christus) another Christ. Another document by the Congregation for Catholic Education, The Theological Formation of Future Priests (1976), talks for the first time about the priest's ministry in terms of theological ministry. The Apostolic Exhortation of Pope John Paul II, Pastores dabo vobis – I Shall Give You Shepherds (1992), counts on priests as the new evangelizers, especially emphasizing the urgency to intensify the pastoral work for religious vocations, as well as the formation for emotional maturity in the candidate to the priesthood. The document by The Congregation for the Clergy, Priest and the Third Christian Millennium: Teacher of the Word, Minister of the Sacraments, and Leader of the Community (2003), views the priest in the ministry of the new evangelization, which is the task of the entire Church and the co-responsibility of priests, taking in account that their role in the mission of evangelization, indeed, cannot be replaced. The document also tries to help in finding the model for the ministry that would be in accordance with the circumstances of the time. The document is against the identification of the managing aspect of the ministry with a bureaucratic-organizational task, which turns the minister into a clerk and a manager. The next document by The Congregation for the Clergy The Priest, Pastor and Leader of the Parish Community (2004), among others, warns that, in some places, a multifaceted typology of the priesthood has occurred, ranging from the priest sociologist to the therapist, from the worker to the politician, from the manager to the retired priest. The document emphasizes that the priest of the third millennium has to be conscious of dangers such as bureaucratization, functionalism, democratism, or planning that focuses more on management than on pastoral activities. The priest of today is invited to face the challenges of this time and to live his own identity through a generous pastoral engagement, which would not be spared of crisis. Under the subtitle The Post-Council Teaching on the Priesthood in the Documents of the Teaching in Croatia, the author analyzes the document by the bishops of former Yugoslavia Odgoj i obrazovanje svećeničkih kandidata (The Upbringing and Training of Priestly Candidates, 1986), as well as the document by the Croatian Bishops' Conference Na svetost pozvani (Called to Sainthood), in which Croatian bishops put an accent on the reflection with regard to the concept of Croatian priest for the third millennium, in the context of his pastoral ministry.
In the second Chapter of the dissertation entitled Consideration and Writing on the Post-Council Priest in Croatia, the author shows the extent to which the Second Vatican Council, in the context of its theology of the priesthood and as analyzed in the first Chapter, has influenced the theological understanding, consideration and writing on the priesthood in Croatia. The period of the first few years after the Council, when the discussion and writing on the priest is enthusiastic, is first analyzed. In the first post-Council years, very up-to-date and brisant texts, explaining the Council's decisions and the spirit of the Council in the church, are published in Svesci (Volumes), as translations taken from foreign, primarily Western European philosophical and theological periodicals, and which influence the concept of the post-Council priest in Croatia. The first post-Council years of enthusiasm in postCouncil renewal, as well as of enthusiasm related to the theological and ecclesiastical shift in the understanding of the priest's ministry and life, are not left out of Croatian theological periodicals, primarily Bogoslovska smotra (Theological Review). In those years, the Review publishes a few significant and very important articles for the renewal of the Council's theology of the priesthood in Croatia. In the first post-Council years, an effort is made to embed the priest's ministry in contemporary social environment, that neither the church nor the clergy are allowed to exclude themselves from. Within this environment which often includes all the negative, social, cultural and political conditions, the Church must continue to apply the doctrine of the Teaching, thus enlightening, forming and leading conscience of the faithful by the path of dialogue and prudence. The theological and pastoral week in Zagreb, first in the capacity of a pre-Council, and then as the Council's incomparable and permanent institution for priestly training in the Croatian language, has strived to form the Council's concept of the priest over the period of more than fifty years. The Week is organized by the Catholic Theological Faculty in Zagreb, in order to provide an opportunity for the priests to learn about new post-Council theological achievements and tendencies. The Week continues to enrich the Church in Croatia with new self-knowledge about its own nature and mission, its current position, and certainly about its obligations towards God and man.
A valuable contribution to the post-Council concept of the priest is given by the theological review Bogoslovska smotra. It speaks about the Council’s Christocentric faith of the priest, and then about communio and collegiality understanding of the priest's mission and life. The Theological Review also contributes to diaconal understanding of the priest's authority. The Croatian theological thought as presented in the Theological Review, which recognizes the situation in Croatia at that time as the locus of evangelization, remains in accordance with the Council's shift that puts an accent on the priest as the evangelizer. The post-Council evangelization in Croatian theological thought starts from the man, requesting from evangelizers a demanding and authentic life and testimony, while it remains open to a meeting with Muslims and a dialogue with atheists. Through the Theological Review, Croatian priests become conscious that, with regard to the renewal of the understanding and celebration of the Eucharist, the priority has to be given to the gathering and formation of the liturgical community, as well as to the integration of the parish community – which actually means the creation of an atmosphere of a communal and brotherly feeling. It may be stated that the Theological Review, as the then, and today's leader of theological thought in its specific manner forms the priest for the third Christian millennium, for whom it would no longer be sufficient to retain his former habitus of the pastor, but who would have to become enabled for the relationship with an environment which includes other co-workers, both other priests and lay people.
In order to live up to the expectations of the Second Vatican Council, Croatian priests are expected to accomplish an autometamorphosis, i. e. a prementalization from a mediator and a cult minister to the minister of the community, the evangelizer, the shepherd, the companion and the friend, something that the rest of Croatian post-Council periodicals have also contributed to. A special accent is put on permanent training of the priest. The Croatian post-Council pastoral and theological reality becomes mature and conscious of the fact that the aims of priestly permanent training cannot be arbitrarily chosen, or momentum-dependent, but that they are eminent theological, pastoral and ipso facto ecclesiastical aims, which have to reflect the requirements of the life of Church as the instrument of salvation.
Besides Croatian theological periodicals, another contribution to the creation of the post-Council priest in Croatia, is made by Bogoslovska koncilska tribina (Theological Council Panel), which soon proves to be an irreplaceable instrument and locus for communicating the Council's thought, and at the same time an entirely specific instrument for the Council renewal among the students of theology in Zagreb. The priest, as its inevitable topic, is analyzed by official bulletins of Croatian Archdioceses and Dioceses, including the most outstanding contribution by Zagreb's Archbishop and Cardinal Franjo Kuharić who almost drafts the concept of Croatian Council priest. Therefore, it can be stated that the eminent characteristic of Kuharić's concept of the priest is his Christocentricity, which, at the same time, is an important feature of the Council's theology of the priesthood. Furthermore, under the undoubtable influence of Archbishop Frane Franić, Vjesnik splitsko – makarske nadbiskupije (Bulletin of Archdiocese of Split and Makarska) abounds in valuable contributions that try to define the concept of the Council priest, thus helping priests in acquiring not only the Council's directions, but also in making the spirit of the Council real. In the period after the Second Vatican Council, in the Bulletin of the Diocese of Đakovo and Srijem, a gradual comprehension and awareness of the new identity of the priest, in the spirit of the Council's theology, occurs. Apart from official archdiocesal and diocesal bulletins, as the first and untiring voice of the Second Vatican Council's events, Glas Koncila (The Voice of the Council) as the only Catholic weekly in Croatia, plays an important role in informing and forming Church's public, and notably priests, while current and brisant topics of Croatian church are occasionally analyzed, especially at the Round Tables, with an intention to explore Croatian Church situation in a more free and prudent manner while bringing Church's problems into the light.
From its beginning, Kršćanska sadašnjost (Christian Present) in its capacity of an outstanding post-Council, Croatian, Catholic and people's institution gives a basic perspective for a serious development of the original theological research on the one hand, and for the writing and publishing scientific and theological works in the Croatian language, on the other. Surely, Kršćanska sadašnjost has given its greatest contribution to the development of Croatian theological culture, and indeed, through its numerous publications has played very important role in search and formation of the Council's concept of the priest. Furthermore, numerous books and manuals by Croatian theological writers like Živan Bezić, Tomislav Janko Šagi-Bunić and other theologians have largely contributed to the formation of the concept of Council's priest in Croatia.
In the third Chapter of the dissertation entitled The Priest's Identity in Crisis, the author first analyzes the post-Council crisis in Croatia that has been incited by the new spirit of the Council, as a consequence of a great enthusiasm among Catholics and non-Catholics on the one hand and strong Council's changes on the other. The abovementioned crisis is mainly manifested through the difficulty to face new circumstances. The crisis is by no means created by the Second Vatican Council, since it has existed even before the Council, but instead the Council has made it evident to everybody. It can be said that the crisis has occurred as the logical consequence of everything before the Council. Resulting in the crisis of priestly ministry, the post-Council crisis has an entirely specific impact on priests. It can be said that in the post-Council situation, the crisis of the priest's role and the crisis of his identity and then his ministry, is caused by the transformation of cultural values. Thus, the priest finds himself in a very changed social environment that continues to change rapidly, which makes him insecure with regard to his former status and the status he has previously enjoyed in the society. In Croatian post-Council theological literature, an outstanding contribution to issues and problems of the crisis of the ministry is given by Vjekoslav Bajsić, Tomislav Janko ŠagiBunić and Rudolf Brajčić. Vjekoslav Bajsić analyzes the occurred crisis attentively and gives principle solutions for its mitigation, while Tomislav Janko Šagi-Bunić, amongst other, talks about theological aspects of the contemporary crisis of the priesthood. In the post-Council period, Croatian priests feel overly burdened with challenges and demands, as well as pastoral tasks requested from them by the overall Council's renewal. At the same time, they feel an inability to accomplish the task of the Church, i.e. to transfer the faith, since they are used to the pre-Council model that proves to be inefficient in the post-Council context. The postCouncil years are, at the same time, the years of tensions and conflicts in the Catholic Church in Croatia. Then in Croatia, as everywhere else in the world, different 'cases' occur inside the Church, although not so intense and not to such a degree as in some churches in Western Europe. The greatest tensions and conflicts occur in the environments where Church’s groups that live together are mutually opposed with regard to the concept of the accomplishment of the Council's renewal and the evangelization of the contemporary world. Tensions inside Croatian Church occur at multiple levels, mostly and primarily between conservative and progressive, i. e. between traditional and avant-garde priests. It is not easy to make a critical judgement and an objective evaluation of tensions and conflicts occurring in the post-Council years in Croatia, but it can be stated for sure that these situations have also helped the Church to implement a stronger Council renewal and to become mature through the dialogue even with those who do not accept the novelties of the Council with excitement.
Following the recommendations submitted by the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church in former Yugoslavia, as part of European Church, makes a detailed survey among priests and carries out an anonymous anquette, with an intention of getting acquainted with the situation and issues of the priesthood in the then Yugoslavia. The purpose is not to research the specific problems in the lives of priests, but to collect as much data as possible on real situations in priests’ lives, their work and their positions towards different issues of life and pastoral work. The anquette results in great reaction among priests, confirming that the then priests pay a great deal of interest in its results. Almost three decades after the Priestly Research in 1971, the Church in Croatia, through the Zagreb Archdiocese and the Diocese of Đakovo and Srijem, took part in the international research Priester 2000 that researched the identity of priests faced with the stress of modernization. The aim of this research was to help priests in dealing with ecclesiastical-historic and cultural-civilizational contexts as well as possible. The four types of priests that resulted from the study of the research (the out of time cleric, the man of God open to modernity, the man of the Church close to modernity and the contemporary leader of the community) are mutually different in their own positions and in their positions towards contemporary world. However, the study warns that none of the four models is entirely present in one priest, but rather that the elements of more than one model are present in a single priest. The study warns about the phenomenon of a new defensive clericalism that young priests are struck with, to a greater extent, and that occurs in correlation with the lack of priests on the one hand and the increase of pastoral laity on the other hand. With the new defensive clericalism, and as the second neuralgic point of this research, problems among priests are caused by the unsupported celibacy. The authors of the study come to the conclusion that the life style in celibacy of a large number of priests has modernized, since the majority of them take into account the crisis of celebratory life, as well as the expected and normal process of growth and maturing. The common characteristic of these priestly types, i. e. of their priestly and pastoral identities is the conviction that priesthood is not a private property, but a charisma granted by God and an entrusted mission. Each one of these four types represents a pastoral identity that is idiosyncratic to its type, while the consciousness about their mission and responsibility for the people entrusted to them is common. The priests, as ministers of basic missions of evangelization, of the celebration of sacraments and of the leadership of Christian communities within the Catholic Church, are the subject of the scientific research Vjera i moral u Hrvatskoj (Faith and Morality in Croatia), carried out by the Professor Marijan Valković. Special attention within the project is directed towards the perception of the reality and role of Catholic priests among the citizens of the Republic of Croatia. This Croatian research shows the extraordinary importance of authenticity and plausibility of the priest's life and work that have to be entirely testimonial, since Croatian Catholics expect from their priests to be more transparent and more involved in the overall life of the believers' communities. The citizens' perception of priests with regard to their performance of some public and social functions, was researched in the scientific project Modernizacija i identitet hrvatskog društva (Modernization and the Identity of Croatian Society) in 2004, on the representative sample of 2200 people in Croatia. The mentioned research shows that, with regard to the changes of religiousness in the Croatian society (the processes of individualization and privatization of religion), one of the significant indicators of secularization that is manifested in different forms of a liberalized behaviour, can be the position of Croatian citizens towards priests on the one hand, and priests' conduct and positions towards their own mission on the other hand. The partial perception of the closeness of priests to the People of God in parish communities in the Diocese of Đakovo and Srijem, was researched by a questionnaire by Croatian pastoral theologian Pero Aračić, yet in 1989. For priests, the results of this questionnaire are very challenging, since they urge priests to closeness with their believers in accordance with the Council's incentives in Presbyterorum ordinis No.3, and, at the same time, they warn priests about the need to re-examine their relationship with the faithful entrusted to them.
In the first post-Council years, the analysis of the priest's identity is part of Croatian theological reality. The influence of Western European theologians, especially the work of Jean Galot Visage noveau du prétre (Un nuovo volto del prete) in 1970, is evident in the consideration and definition of the Council's identity of the priest in Croatia. The question is raised as to what makes priestly ministry specific compared to the apostolate of lay people, and likewise certain tension is created between particular circles of priests and bishops. In Croatian theological literature, the identity of the Council's priest is analyzed by Vladimir Merćep, Ivan Fuček, Albin Škrinjar and Ljudevit Rupčić. The first who raises the phenomenon of the endangered identity of Croatian priests is Croatian pastoral theologian Josip Baloban, who explains social, inter-ecclesiastical and personal factors that endanger the identity of Croatian priests. Amongst recent theological considerations on priestly identity, we choose Milan Špehar, who views the identity of the priest from the point of view of communion ecclesiology. Croatian theologian and assistant bishop of the Archdiocese of Đakovo and Srijem Đuro Hranić, when raising the issue of the priest's identity, begins with its ecclesiastical dimension, which is recognized and emphasized as extending to the very service to the church’s community. The theological and pastoral week in 2010 considered the contemporary identity of the priest in the framework of the Year for Priests. The authors - speakers at the Week begin with the fact that the priest of the present day must not live outside his time. Thus, Josip Baloban is focused on the priest who continues to be interesting to the theological public, but in spite of this, the discourse on the identity of the priest in Croatia remains unfinished. Alojzije Hoblaj analyzes priestly identity with regard to his catechetical ministry, while Mihály Szentmártony begins with the pastoral and psychological point of view.
The fourth Chapter of the dissertation entitled The Current State of the (In)Completeness of the Council's Concept of the Priest in Croatia deals with the priest with regard to the incompleteness of his conceptualizaton, while two types of priests are especially considered: Šimunović's concept of the priest – the priest capable to change and characterized by a dialogical approach to other priests and his bishop, as well as to the faithful lay people, who acts inspired by the Council's communion ecclesiology. The other is Kušar's concept – the priest who faces polarizations and tensions. Despite different tensions and polarizations that the priest's existence is burdened with, according to Kušar the meaning of priestly ministry lies in the transfer of the truth of salvation through ministerial and testimonial ministry, acting and evangelization, while Jesus Christ is the measure of the life with and for the others. The point of synthesis of the second concept is precisely in the performance of the ordained ministry, i. e. in his dedication and consecration to the historic identity of the real Church through pastoral love.
The author shows that, according to the writings of contemporary Croatian theologians, the incompleteness of the evangelizer of God's Word is noticed in a number of Croatian priests, while the ministry of evangelization is the true reflection of the contemporary Croatian priest. A part of Croatian priests show insufficient sensibility to the improvement of the evangelization and homiletic ministry, which brings them closer to a clerk's mentality, and, at the same time, alienates them from the authenticity of their mission of evangelization. The incompleteness of the concept of Croatian priest is also demonstrated with regard to his role as a liturgist, i. e. the minister of the Eucharist, where a certain lack of consciousness about the central place of the Eucharist in his life and overall pastoral activity is observed. Theologian and psychologist Ivan Štengl considers the incompleteness of the priest's spiritual aspect with regard to his psycho-emotional dimension, especially pointing out the conditions of the priest's life and activity that largely influence his psychological and somatic well being, and also adds that the priest of today is expected to be unrealistically perfect, which frustrates him and hinders his enthusiasm. Ivica Raguž considers the incompleteness of the priest's spiritual aspect through the issue of problem-and-crisis-ridden celibacy, and warns that the authentic celibatory life is endangered by perception of power and the spirit of pride. The incompleteness of Croatian priests in their capacity of the leaders of the community of the People of God, Croatian theologians find in a reductionist understanding of the ministry, then in the danger of functionalism and individualism in understanding and living one's ministry. The incompleteness of Croatian priest is also evident in the relationship between the bishop and the priest. These relations in Croatia are mainly endangered by wrong positions by both: priests and bishops. The incompleteness of the priest as a leader and a manager is evident in their relationship towards money in general, and especially towards the management of material goods. An inadequate relationship towards money endangers priests by putting them in contradictions with their theological existence. At the end of the chapter, the author compares the Council's concept of the priest from Presbyterorum ordinis with the contemporary concept of the priest in Croatia, once again warning about Croatian priest's incompleteness.