What happens in the mind of a priest after ordination (when he becomes a priest) ? Every human being makes experience. But every human being responds differently to the same experience. The priest is filled with enthusiasm to work in the field of the Lord.  Yet as he goes on with his work, his intelligent mind is thinking and reflecting. Am I really helping people? Can I accept church’s teachings? Can I simply deliver the message and not hear or listen to the different situations?

The priest finds himself in a big conflict: that what he was thought in the seminary or university and the experience of the common people. They are in conflict because somebody wishes to impose old and medieval teachings to the world today (a case in point would be contraceptives or divorce). Besides all the conflicts he founds himself all alone with no support. The people who support his views are most probably the people who already left the church or who are not in good standing with the Church.  The priest realises that the so called ‘bad’ people are not bad at all. They are thinking with their own heads. They are finding God in new ways and places…

One day he will have enough courage to cross the border and live a common life with the common people.

A life which is more sincere and true to the teachings of the Church. He looses his comfort zone and most probably a lot of money. He has to accept another type of work in order to earn a living, yet he feels totally in peace with his conscience. 

Another bishop, who has gone to heaven, does not mince his words: the laity (the people who are not priests or nuns), should help the church discover what the Holy Spirit really wants for his church today. The laity seems to be much more close to today’s reality in the world, consequently they could hear the voice of the Holy Spirit in much clear way.

Paragraph 12 of Lumen Gentium, which begins by claiming: “The holy people of God shares also in Christ’s prophetic office: it spread abroad a living witness to him, especially by a life of faith and love and by offering to God a sacrifice of praise, the fruit of lips confessing his name. The whole body of the faithful who have received an anointing which comes from the holy one cannot be mistaken in belief.”

“Those who have charge over the church should judge the genuineness and orderly use of these gifts [among the faithful of every rank], and it is especially their office not indeed to extinguish the Spirit, but to test all things and hold fast to what is good.”

We hear another story of a non-married priest who faced problems with celibacy and picked up a married woman in order to fulfill his biological obligations! These are only some of the stories which are published. We are sure that there are many more. It’s always with the same ending: forced celibacy is creating lots of problems between clergy and laity.

Another article is calling for responsible action as in the near future Europe is going to be without the celebration of the eucharist! Somebody should be thinking about it if we don’t wish to end up with museums instead of lively communities……. The calling to remove forced celibacy is linked to other issues well. A married priest would look at life differently. He would notice that there are many other things which should be marked as very important or urgent. Others, would simply disappear! His criteria would change dramatically.

Weekly Homily (in Maltese)

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