One bishop has been asked to leave his diocese (a number of churches under his responsibility). We don’t wish to start a whole crusade if it was just or not, but let’s see the big picture. Many priests who ask for married priesthood are being silenced in one way or another. Now one can see it as something negative in the sense of priests getting away from the so called ‘official teaching’. But if it crops up every now and then, then maybe it’s the Spirit trying to call the church to see a new development (or to go back to Biblical times!), in the church. It’s not the intention to be rebellious or to go on a private road, but rather for such a priest is to make a decision to live side by side with the people and see the problems from a different point of view. In fact, some of the priests who got married were involved in a lot of social caring for people in their parish before deciding to get married. Surely it’s not just falling in love with a woman but rather opening up to a new vision which obviously includes married priesthood.

As usual the change won’t come from high above but rather from below. It is the common people who have to ask for such changes in the parishes! Now most of the laity are being bombarded by the message that priests are not to be married. Yet the hurricane of sexual abuse has brought up the discussion again. In the case of this one bishop who has been disciplined, the one million dollar question is being asked: why all the other bishops who have hidden abusive priests were not disciplined ? In a way we are sorry but in another way we see the hand of the Holy Spirit who through our sins, is trying to have a new church. We always receive emails from many people in many parts of the world about hidden sexual relationships with priests. We ask for married priesthood NOT because married priesthood is trouble free priesthood but because the married priesthood will be closer to the people in many of their daily life’s challenges. It will be closer to biblical times as well.

Homilies [in Maltese]