It’s not just one woman reader who has pointed this out but many people in the world are coming to this conclusion. There is a long history in the Catholic Church where women were considered to be less than a human being. Many saints or famous clergy (priests) wrote lots of infamous texts describing women as temptation, devil etc…..

As we call for married priesthood we are aware that as soon as a priest leaves the exercise of priesthood the first question people ask is simply: was there a woman involved? The way they describe it, is, that the woman made him leave active priesthood!! Most of the priests we know who leave priesthood, face important questions for months or years. It’s not simply the woman which makes him leave but other important factors which are most of the time are left unanswered. These priests, because they live near the people’s hopes and dreams, drift  slowly away from the official teaching of the church. They see that there is a big need to update lots of teaching, yet those at the very top do not feel such a need and continue to play the power game. It’s not just one priest, or the priest who left active priesthood who feel the need for a change. Even other priests who for some reasons don’t feel the need to make the big jump and start living outside the parish, feel that the time has come for some changes.

Fortunately, not all priests abandon the practice of priesthood. Some of them feel the need to continue to exercise priesthood as married priests. It’s not just their personal decision but the people around them who support them and who urge them to work with different people and in a different context.

Another important question is: why do we see the woman as a devil? Why are women excluded from higher responsibilities in the Catholic Church? On the contrary to what the church teaches (officially), there are lots of women who can give a unique contribution in the church. Some of the women who give a sterling service to the church are feeling the need to become rebellious as the official church continues to give them some responsibilities, but of lower importance. We always believed that the Holy Virgin mother carried baby Jesus for nine months. She acted as a priest because she gave Christ to the world!  Mary Magdalene was the first witness to the resurrection. In itself such an event outlines that women were not secondary prayers in the bible.

If we wish to have more people in the church in the 21st century, then we have to listen to the signs of the times. Let’s live according to the bible where women had an active role. We know of several women who formed up the first communities (Phoebe for example).  Let’s start by having married priests. Most of the apostles were married in the time of Jesus. Somehow marriage did not serve as a distraction from priesthood especially in the case of Peter where he asked for a miracle healing of his mother in law!! Women in priesthood serve to give a unique face to priesthood. If one just takes a look at the official teaching of the Catholic church, one realises that most of the time it’s a man’s reflection. There is the need that when subjects are discussed, a woman’s view or opinion is included. Some of the changes proposed do not concern just a married priesthood but other issues as well….!!!

We heard of another priest who converted to the Catholic Church and was accepted together with his wife and children!! We are very optimistic that this is the beginning of a new phase in the Catholic Church. As usual the Holy Spirit has his own unique way of bringing a big change in the church. Married priests are already present in the Catholic Church (Latin Rite).  Surely one day celibacy is going to become optional. In other words, married priesthood would become more popular.  Consequently, the married priest would bring many changes in the Catholic Church.

Homily {in Maltese}

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