Tag Archive: Election 2013

Second Class Priests!

In the absence of love stories between priests and women, we are sharing our reflections regarding the latest news in the Catholic church.

In a March 2017 interview with German newspaper Die Zeit, Pope Francis used the term viri probati – in this context, religious married men of proven character – in saying he was open to the idea of a married priesthood, as is allowed for deacons, in remote areas where the priest shortage is particularly serious.

We are still not 100% sure of the outcome of married priests as we are still receiving conflicting news! Read this article

In any case it seems that all newspapers are agreeing that married priesthood is again in the news. Mulling all kind of news to look for positive news, we see some troubling ones. In the quoted statement made above, we have one single question: So are married priests just fillers? That is: are they being allowed as if they are necessary evil? Are they being allowed simply to fill in the blanks? Are we sort of second class priests who are allowed to work as priests simply because there is lack of?

Many people point to married priests because they think that will stop sexual abuse of children. People focus on sex because for news agencies it sells a lot of money! We do notice many priests who are living a solitary life. They are practically moving bodies but dead in their minds. Others who travel most of the time. Some who embrace luxuries. Others who are simply walking study books which amply shows the negative effects of forced celibacy. The list goes on and on.

Our main point of view has remained the same. Most of the apostles were married. Are we going to follow the bible or are we going against it? They do quote the bible profusely in other moral matters, yet about this one they are so silent! Why? If the apostles did it, why not the priests of today? Or are we like a supermarket: we pick up what we like in the church?!

Having married priests we hope it will bring the focus of the church on new challenges. One might be the complete overhaul of the relationship teaching (and not sex!). Strong and stable relationship calls for consequences which will help the priest to mature as he faces different challenges in life. One glaring example would be children. Taking care of your own children will bring a new insight in the life of the priest. Married priesthood will help the priest to reconnect with normal life with all its challenges. Consequently, the whole church will change. This is the revolution which we are looking forward to experience. In the end there will be winners all the way. All would feel much nearer to God. Everybody will experience the Emmanuel – God is with us! It would be interesting to visit a priest who has kids crying, eating and dirtying all the house whilst he is trying to communicate with God! It would be a good example of how to keep God in the centre of all activity!

It’s up to our readers to continue our reflection.

Journalists, governments, laity, common people….all are thinking about who could be the next Pope.  We retain that who is going to be the next Pope is not so important. Let’s be more clear. The cardinals were chosen by John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Although there is still a remote chance that the chosen one could bring the much needed change in the direction of the church, yet we feel that in the long run it is totally an alienation to expect a change from the top. Several studies have shown that changes rarely do come from top to bottom but rather from bottom (or below) to top.

It’s the common people who have to the duty to use several media to call for a big change in the church. It’s not the people who just pop in and participate in a demonstration but rather the faithful who try to live the gospel in their everyday lives and have come to the conclusion that they need to live their spirituality in a different way. It’s not much about the sound or the echo they make in the media but rather the gentle persuasion by leading a truly christian life.

Now for many centuries the laity (those who are not priests but just Christians), have been living like a young children who expect their parents to feed them, to cook for them…to provide them with all the necessary and basic needs of life. Now, especially with the diminishing number of priests, they are in a better position to negotiate a better place in the church. They are not just ‘children’ but are adults in faith.  The sensus fidelium is a very common phrase in theology (study about God), where one respects what the common Christian community thinks and how it lives its faith. This is the most basic teaching which many Christians don’t know about. Consequently they still expect to be lead instead of showing the way to the bishops (or cardinals) ! We should be looking for the emancipation of the laity by training them in the matters of the church.  This is the door to the big change in the church rather than putting all the weight on the shoulders of the cardinals! When the laity is trained, then it will be ready to govern (if necessary) in the church. But until we train the laity all hopes will be simply wishful thinking.

Now training the laity is not just an expression. It needs to be very well planned in all areas (content, choice of people, teachers, managers etc….). It’s not an easy solution and it could not be carried out in a short time. But it surely needs long term planning in order to have good leaders in the future. We firmly believe that education of the laity is the most promising solution although it has a lot of challenges too. We are disappointed that most married priests have either abandoned all interest in the church (although we understand their anger and past experience) or else they are simply happy to wed or baptize couples and stop there! We are not against those priests who are committed to couples, but if one has the big picture in mind, it is not a lasting experience and it will not change the church. Consequently the experience of a married priest in a baptism or wedding should lead to something else: how about taking charge of the church? We, as married priests, could provide the perfect teaching resource as we too have a family and daily challenges in our everyday life.

On the other hand we hope that all the cardinals should show more respect what the Christian community thinks about the Church, God etc……It’s not just a consultation with the people but rather listening to what God is telling us during these times.