In our title we tried to summarise the main challenges facing the Catholic Church in these days. Parishes are closing down in the western hemisphere. This fact alone brings new challenges in the church which cannot be ignored. If we deny the Eucharist to many many people than we are asking for big trouble. All communities need the Eucharist. They need the once a week gathering to grow in faith. Not celebrating regularly in a parish means that the faith of the common people is slowly being eroded. Consequently we’ll have a generation of atheists (with all due respect), or else people who will be totally ignorant of faith and its consequences.
Parishes are closing down

We have much less priests today than in the last 100 years (again in Western Europe). A priest is one of the best assets in any church. If we have less priests we should ask why. Then we proceed to do something about it. We cannot serve people if we have less priests! People now demand more attention from its pastors (as in family, shop or in class). In this sense, even if we have the same number of priests as that of many years ago, it won’t suffice by today’s standards. In this regards we feel that in the catholic church, if they’ll ever admit this problem, they’ll never do something about it in practice. We suggest that opening priesthood to married people will be in line with the biblical experience. Secondly it would for sure increase the number of priests as those wanting to join married priesthood is on the increase.

The sexual abuse has served to take away the people’s trust in today’s priesthood for sure. We are very slow in commenting so as not to mix different things together. But some scientific data has proved that because in the Catholic Church priests don’t get married, the church is attracting the wrong people to priesthood. The common people know that most gay people feel so at home in the Catholic Priesthood because it’s just a boys’ club. Consequently it’s more convenient to hide secrets and ways of life.

Secondly, bringing in a different type of candidates for priesthood especially married people will help priesthood to gain some balance. One of the things married priesthood will bring in the church is surely the sexual needs of priests. In common language we know that if one does not enter by the door, one will do so by the windows. The sexual drive in all human beings is really big. If priests are not trained and reach maturity in celibacy, then in one way or another they’re going to satisfy their sexual needs (women, men or boys). We have scientific results as well to prove our point.
A Catholic Married Priest.

Married priesthood will bring the priest closer to practical life. Imagine one preaching in front of one’s wife and children! They know him because they live with him 24/7 hence his homilies will be much more sincere and proven by everyday life. For the unmarried priest it will be easier to play the role of a saint because there is no one who knows him inside out!

But the best move came from Pope Benedict himself as he opened the back door for married priesthood by allowing married Anglican priests to work as Catholic priests. So the obvious question will be: why is it yes for them and no for many others who want to love a woman sincerely and be a priest at the same time no? People don’t believe in words but rather in action. This action has proved the best catalyst for married priesthood so far.

Somebody is already trying to solve some possible challenges with married priesthood.
Looking for possible challenges in married priesthood….money, children, wife…..

In conclusion, as we enter the year 2011, and having less priests, we urge the move to married priesthood.

Homilies (in Maltese).

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