I shall be happy when I’ll grow up; I shall be happy when I’ll get a job; I shall be happy when I’ll have a man/woman……the list goes on and on. It’s the feeling of somebody who is being alienated of today’s joy and challenges by hoping in a better future! He is after the pie in the sky. Is not this the universal feeling in the Catholic Church? Some journalists had commented about the synod (meeting of a selection of Catholic bishops). The synod has come and gone. Now they are saying that the next synod (2015) will bring about the desired results. And then if that synod will not reap the desired results….shall we wait for the following synod 2016? What sort of game are they playing? Are we expected to base our life’s happiness or expectations on what others desire? Do we want to play kids all our life?
The adult is the stage when a person is capable of taking decisions and face the consequences. When will that time come in the Catholic Church? Why are we waiting for somebody to decide about our spiritual lives? Experience tells us that each and every time that we based our decisions on what others expect of us or what might make them happy, sooner or later we’ll regret that decision.
Spirituality is not something which could be passed on. Just ask responsible parents who do all the necessary things to pass on their faith, yet their kids simply don’t want to hear anything which has to do with the Catholic Church. Everyone of us has to walk on his/her own. You can indicate or show the way, yet the person has to walk the way, all alone. That’s why it’s for adults.
Now when it comes to educating people in faith, this has been one of the greatest sins in the Catholic Church especially when it comes to families. People were never taught how to pray on their own, let alone contact God. They had formulas, but never a personal prayer. It was not just about spirituality. The priests pretended to command what goes on between married people especially when it comes to intimate relationships. The biggest fault in the so called natural method was that it was based simply on the body’s temperature. There is no regard for feelings or the stage at which the relationship has developed. We want to say it out loud: it’s not simply of having or not having children, it’s about the couple who have to know where they are and how deep their relationship is, first and foremost. This is for the good of the couple and indirectly for any offspring which might come along the way. Now nobody can give an answer to that except the couple itself.
It’s not simply about body language. This applies to the spirituality in all its aspects. The priests always presented themselves as experts or know-it-all. The people were never educated to find their way in the big spiritual world. They were kept like small, innocent children! Now the signs of the times have indicated that the people of God are adults in faith. Now as adults they are capable of taking decisions and abide by them.
Now are we going to respect them as adults? This should be of utmost importance especially when it comes to discussing families in the Catholic Church. We are not happy of simply accepting gays/lesbians or divorced people. Obviously indirectly there is still the intention that they are great sinners. The Catholic Church should do much more than that. It should respect the spiritual walk of each person. If we try to apply some rules to everybody, that means that we are photocopying people as there won’t be any respect for individuality nor of the unique spiritual journey of each person.
Some people are still of the mentality that the teaching of the church should not change. Well in our seminary days, it was highly emphasized that the Second Vatican Council (meeting for all bishops of the world – 1963-1965), documented that the pastoral work was not simply the applying of some principles to everyday life as some priests still imply today!! But it’s finding God in the daily living, struggles, challenges, sins, injustices, faults etc…..and after making and gaining experience one can formulate the theory. This is one of the biggest truth finding in the last century. It’s not destructing the principles but bringing them to perfection. How can God create humans who might be gays or lesbians and than we say that they are intrinsically bad? Are they not God’s creations?
We just mentioned some issues but actually it applies to all of the teaching of the Catholic church. Married people are still being addressed to instead of being part of the process where they formulate teaching. The change won’t happen unless there is the change in attitude. The change of attitude is speeded up by the adults in faith who boldly show the way forward. They won’t wait for others to understand them, but rather be leaders, and leaders are there to show the way. Consequently we are not waiting for the Pope to announce something new because as married priests we are already leading the way. We don’t try to reach out to families (as the most optimistic faithful expect the synod to do), we have a family ourselves where we can experience God in our everyday lives. At the moment we’re all painting and decorating our house where paint, dust, sheets of plastic etc….is all over our place!!
In Malta we are looking for a new bishop. If you want to have some fun, why not nominate a married catholic priest? Please note that they won’t acknowledge your request. Most probably they would simply put it in the dustbin.