Hope is part and parcel of our humanity. If we take away hope, than our faith shall be relegated to none at all. We all are aware of how the Catholic Church works, it takes a very long time to bring a about changes, yet changes are happening all the time. It’s not only with the election of Pope Francis but with the community at large. Many church going people are changing too. God works silently and unobtrusively everyday! The final work could be seen after a long time.

Let’s be positive about it. The sexual abuse scandal has brought about a lot of positive change in the people of God. They feel that the time has come for more transparency in the running of the church. It has emerged too that priests do not know it all and that they need the help of professional people. Theology is not the only science to which future priests should be subjected to. Other sciences are shedding light on the lonely life of a priest.

Relationships is what makes humans on a higher level. If the priest neglects relationships, he would be destroying his own humanity and consequently any chances of spirituality. It is in this area where the church needs to work more and more. Relationships do change the way a priest deals with his parishioners. He cannot simply barge into a parish and starts working on his own according to his wish and will! In a parish one is dealing with human beings. It’s really imperative that the pastor takes relationships seriously.

Many people do welcome the married priest and they see it as an asset nowadays. Only a few people still grumble that the priest won’t make it with a wife and a family. Instead of looking at a family as a hindrance, the Catholic Church should see it as a big help in the spirituality of the priest which makes him see and feel God everywhere. Many women have had a very important role in the teaching of young ones in the Catholic Faith. They can do the same professional job alongside the priest as wife: meaning as a friend; counsellor; parishioner; team partner etc…

In the coming year, together with the CCRI (Catholic Church Reform International), let us continue to work together toward those changes that will bring our Church into one that truly reflects what Jesus envisioned:

that divorced and remarried men and women will be welcomed to the Eucharistic table;
that women begin to be treated with dignity and given equal access to service roles in the Church;
that men who have left the priesthood to marry are no longer made to feel that they failed just because they wanted a partner and a family of their own;
that all who have suffered from sexual abuse in their youth find peace within themselves and justice from their perpetrators;
that members of the LGBT community are welcomed into the Church and no longer judged for whom they love;
that Church fathers recognize that the Spirit also speaks through the People of God and we are given the opportunity to have an influential voice in the governance of our church and in the election of our bishops.

We wish all this for the coming year to the Catholic Church. A happy New Year to all our readers and may they continue spreading the good news of married priests throughout the world.