Autism is not diagnosed like other disorders, like phobias. Its far more complicated than looking at a list of behaviors.
I understand the concept of a spectrum disorder, and that for some people it may be very subtle.
But if someone met, as I did, men who exhibited rather extreme forms of those symptoms...you'd admit it's fair to assume that they're...well, something
, right? If not autistic or aspies...then maybe something else. But you must admit that a consistent pattern of those listed behaviors I mentioned seeing is indicative of some
Maybe not aspergers or autism. The symptoms seem consistent with those...but you're right, I dont know what exactly for sure, I'm no expert. But I do know that people acting in those ways I listed are something atypical and abnormal. I cant say for sure what, clinically speaking, they were. But a good proportion of traditional seminarians I've met were definitely something psychologically different.
Which isnt necessarily bad in an individual, but at the same time...a disproportionate number of them in a rather isolated close-knit environment like a seminary or monastery can make other types of people feel uncomfortable with the awkward schemas of interaction and socially unsatisfied due to the lack in normal personal relationship dynamics.
I mean, I could get along with them and be friendly just fine on a shallow level. But it's more about an absence of things I need than the positive presence of any conflicts. Namely, it would be impossible for me to be close friends, which is to say have real personal intimacy, with these types of men because I dont think they know how. We would be absolutely constitutionally incompatible in terms of our needs and expectations and ability to provide for those in a friendship. And that is not the fraternal environment I'm looking for.
And yet contact with the outside world is restricted, especially the first year or years...so I couldnt satisfyingly maintain my outside friendships. And as that document from the Congregation for Consecrated Life said...unsatisfying personal communication and relationships within a community...can be fatal for vocations and fraternal charity and lead to people starting to seek major relationships primarily outside, which can degrade community cohesion.
They may get along with each other just fine, but at the same time I am frustrated that they seem to have something of a "monopoly" in certain types of seminaries and monasteries, when really that should accidental to the priesthood, religious life, and traditionalism, and that sort of homogeneity of mindset should be discouraged.
And I worry that superiors and even lay trads may be romanticizing these types of men because of their seemingly "robotic" precision, their obsessive focus in studies, their perfectionism in some areas, their quietness, their docility and malleability, their seeming asexuality, their unconcern with a lot of worldly things, etc. And may be confusing all this with holiness, since they can superficially appear similar. But when it comes naturally to people, when that's just their psyche or temperment...that isnt holiness, which is something you choose and work hard at, which is a struggle and suffering. Flagellation is not penance for a masochist, nor fasting for an anorexic.
And I really fear seminary directors and superiors, even if not like this themselves (though some are)...are misguidedly idealizing this type of man above all others, and may be selecting for and encouraging a homogeneous atmosphere of these types of men just because they're "easy" to work with, at the expense of the challenge of a diversity of dynamic personalities.
Does anyone remember that news article from awhile back in which it was said that people with Autism "fit" with the Tridentine Mass.
I think so. And that's great for them. But at the same time I think it unfair and unhealthy to make it an "in club" where being like that is a requirement for fitting in, when really it is ultimately accidental to traditionalism.