We are still surprised that the news of married priesthood (that we published in the last post) did not reach mainstream Catholics. Many news journalists ignored this kind of news. We are still hopeful though that the people of God are interested in having married priests. This is our main point. It’s not something that we wish to promote but rather we are being the ones who are publishing what other people utter in small groups or gatherings of few people. In other words we are being the voice of those who are afraid to say so in public. There are many surveys worldwide which amply show that people are all in favour of married priesthood.

Many priests are in favour of married priesthood too but like many baptised people are afraid to handle this hot potato in public! There is a certain kind of strange fear. This kind of fear is won by more people speaking, discussing and asking for married priesthood. This is one of our main goals of the website. We have met many people who were unaware of such situation in the church.

Catholics all over the world have to understand that with the power of the internet, we have to put up more places where other people hear what we have to say. We can use social media in order to get our message across. We can use several types of communication but obviously we have to be strong and persistent. No change comes easy. We have to convince and make ourselves heard in many parts of the Catholic World. It’s not a pie in the sky. We, that is all baptised people, have to work hard for it.

In our opinion, married priesthood is not just to have more priests but rather to bring about a new vision in the church: the point of view of a priest who is living in the ‘world’ and facing the same challenges as many other common people. This is not discussed in most of the articles which are written in favour of married priests.

We are doing our own survey on the teaching of the Catholic church. Please answer truthfully. Here is the link : http://tinyurl.com/n3vszo3

[If it doesn’t take you to the link just copy it and place it in a new tab in your browser]

Here is now an article of our friend Alex Walker who writes in The Tablet.
A married priesthood would right many wrongs
12 April 2014 by Alex Walker

Pope Francis has indicated he is open to the possibility of allowing married priests, but as The Tablet reported a few weeks ago, he says it is up to individual bishops’ conferences to reach a consensus on the issue first and then petition Rome.

Francis made these startling comments to Bishop Erwin Kräutler, a visiting Austrian bishop who works deep in the Amazonian rainforest and has 300 deacons and only 27 priests for Brazil’s largest diocese, Xingu, where many Catholics can only receive the Eucharist a couple of times a year.

Coming from South America, Pope Francis will understand more than most about the need for priests and the nurturing of faith through the celebration of the Eucharist because there are many dioceses there in the same situation as Bishop Kräutler’s.

If the celibacy rule were lifted, a large number of the 300 deacons in Xingu could consider priesthood and therefore have the ability to preside at the Eucharist and the other Sacraments.

In England and Wales there are 2,282 secular priests and 788 deacons. Some of these deacons will have a calling to priesthood. Although the Church won’t release the figures, the support group Advent estimates that in the last 50 years as many as 10,000 priests in England and Wales have left ordained ministry in order to marry.

Some have argued that a drought of vocations to the priesthood is because of a lack of faith on the part of the faithful; we do not need to change the rule concerning celibacy, rather we need to increase the faith of Catholics so they hear the call of Jesus to serve him in the priesthood.

Others argue, and I would be one, that there is no shortage of candidates for the priesthood, but there is a shortage of celibate candidates for the priesthood.

The Church’s insistence on a celibate priesthood is starving the vast majority of Catholics today. Jesus’ imperative of “Feed my Lambs, feed my sheep” is being frustrated for the sake of the discipline of a celibate clergy.

There are priests like myself who when leaving the priesthood to marry went through the long and painful process of applying for dispensation from clerical celibacy. Others refused to put themselves through the ignominy of the process and simply married in a register office.

The terms of the dispensation stipulate that we cannot even serve the Church by preaching, distribute Communion, teach in higher education or hold any kind of pastoral office, and we have to keep away from places where we were known as priests. Some priests would consider returning to active service if their rescript of dispensation from clerical celibacy were rescinded .

The Catholic Church in England and Wales, via the establishment of the Ordinariate, has proved that a married Catholic priesthood is not only possible and acceptable to the vast majority of Catholics but brings with it an additional dimension to the priesthood.

Now that Pope Francis appears to be giving greater authority to bishops’ conferences they need to be brave in finding a solution, in consultation with their dioceses, to the shortage of priests and offering Pope Francis and the Church a way forward. It has been staring them in the face and requires courage and belief that a married priesthood working alongside celibate priests will not bring the Church to its knees but could enrich it.

Alex Walker is the director of Advent, a support group for men and women and their partners who have left the active ministry or religious life.