Two Latin rite bishops from North America, both with large populations of faithful belonging to various Eastern Catholic churches, told a press conference at the Mid-East Synod they would not be opposed if those Eastern churches decided to ordain more married priests in North America. This was the latest move in favour of married priesthood. Although the so called Eastern church is part and parcel of the Roman Catholic Church, it’s the only branch where officially married priests are allowed. The Western part of the Roman Catholic church still does not accept them, although recently has been accepting Anglican priests who ask to be accepted in the Catholic church.
http://www.cathnewsasia.com/2010/10/15/married-eastern-priests-okay-nth-american-bishops/

Some readers will write that they are confused – but so are we! How can one accept married priests and than at the same time say that we are for unmarried priests?! Even the fact that in North America they are going to accept married priests, albeit in the Eastern Catholic church, it will raise many questions to the common people, especially those who have had their parish closed because of lack of unmarried priests! Anyway it’s the first step towards the recognition of married priests!

The common people know that the problem of celibacy is well known in the Western world. The following is just one story but there are many other hidden stories. It is the tip of the iceberg as one gets to know other priests and how they deal with sexuality.
http://queertheology.blogspot.com/2010/10/celibacy-and-wounded-church-readers.html

Others have had more courage. They decided to leave the parish for the love of a special person.
http://www.independent.com/news/2010/oct/07/married-men-cloth/

It’s not only the priests who leave the parish that change. Even the common people are changing. In fact the people are looking for honest and down to earth spirituality! We are referring to people who don’t come to church anymore where they are classified as bad people.
http://timestranscript.canadaeast.com/opinion/article/1250578

We have decided to hear some of our readers emails. The priest who leaves the parish to marry his partner or wife does not face an easy solution. It proves that a priest, does not take this radical change lightly. He is NOT tempted by a woman but rather his outlook on life, religion, God changes completely. Yet the official church tries to ignore and put him in corner forgotten by everybody.

The church needs to take a good look at the way it has treated resigned and married priests. He is your brother-in-law, your kid’s soccer coach, your co-worker. But it may surprise you to learn that he cannot exercise all of the ordinary rights of the baptized. In the current thinking of , the sacrament of holy orders weighs far more heavily than the sacrament of baptism. Somehow, ordination supposedly makes a priest “ontologically different.” The flip side of this is that when he leaves the ordained ministry, he becomes a pariah for betraying the priestly caste.

The prescribed way for a resigned and married priest to get back into good standing with his church is through the canonical mystery of what used to be called “laicization” and is now referred to as obtaining a “dispensation” from the clerical status. Strictly speaking, he is not dispensed from the priesthood itself–“once a priest, always a priest”–but in effect he is “downgraded” to ordinary membership in the laity. The number of priests applying for dispensation skyrocketed after Vatican II. Under Pope Paul VI, this was a relatively straightforward process that generally took about two years. But since his death, the process has taken on increasingly punitive tones. Dispensation has often been delayed for many years and now includes not just prohibitions of sacramental celebrations but also bans on serving as eucharistic ministers or lectors, on holding any leadership positions in parishes, and on teaching religion or theology in Catholic schools.

These rules are interpreted and enforced differently in different dioceses. While some dioceses look the other way when pastors use the talents of married priests in their parishes, others go even beyond the Roman rules and ban them, for example, from speaking on church premises or sponsoring RCIA candidates. When one married priest, a biblical scholar, was fired from his position as theologian-in-residence at a Midwestern university, he was replaced, ironically, by an Episcopal priest. Moving to , the same man was forced out of teaching RCIA by an outcry from the conservative watchdog group Catholics United for the Faith. He comments:, “Any Fortune 500 company that lost as much talent and personnel as the church has would take a serious look and readjust. Not the church.”

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http://godlaughingorcrying.blogspot.com

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