Tag Archive: Elections in Malta

Easter Sunday

The gospels are interesting to read from several points of view. One of them is for contrasts. The people next to Jesus who have witnessed the most astonishing miracles, walked side by side with Him for some years. They are so proud of their master. On Good Friday they are nowhere to be seen. They are terrified of anyone associating them with Jesus. Peter made a solemn oath of not knowing Jesus!

The leader is gone. All the followers run for their lives. They are nowhere to be seen. But they have witnessed the most extraordinary events in their lives??!! This is because fear took over. One of the biggest threats to faith is fear. Fear of what the others might say. Fear of being judged. Fear of being different. Fear of showing your true faith to others. Fear of loosing friends. Fear of being fired. Fear of the future. Fear of others. Fear of the immigrants. Fear of…….The list goes on and on.

Are we afraid? Afraid of what? The fact that I don’t have more stories (for the time being), means that people are afraid of sharing their intimate story with a priest, even though we promised not to reveal real names nor geographical position!

If we wish to see change in the church and yet we are not ready to jump, then maybe we are procrastinating change in the Catholic Church. Maybe like the apostles we are still experiencing Good Friday but not Easter Sunday!

Jesus has won death itself – our greatest enemy. What are we afraid of, exactly? Why is this fear keeping us from transmitting our message? When discussing with others, it’s the others who might be afraid of change, not us!

We have to start the ball rolling as we don’t expect others, especially the priests to speak in our name! On the other hand, it might be interpretated as Pharisaic because whilst we demand the priest to leave everything for the name of love, we are so afraid to touch the hot potato subject of married priests. Myself, I have lost the ‘comfortable’ job of working at the university. Other priests had to emigrate. Others receive a very low pay. Others are still shunned by most of the people, family members included! A few of them have committed suicide. I wish I could reveal the many emails/communication that I receive. Unfortunately, everybody seems to be a victim of fear as they don’t give me permission to publish!

One of the tactics used by most bishops, is that these are very few cases! This is not true. But how can I explain that I have so many cases on my hands if I cannot disclose any information about many stories?

I truly believe that everybody can do something small but with great love and determination. One can send messages through many parts of the world in different ways. I can’t give a general formula for everybody! It’s up to each person to study it’s own personal life and act accordingly.

May the Risen Christ give you enough courage to be bold enough and strengthen the church by suggesting married priesthood.

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.

We are happy that the election of a new Pope has brought back the Catholic Church into the world’s stage. Everybody was discussing the Catholic Church. It’s a special time for showing the teaching of the church. One has to capitalize on such moment.

We are happy too that the new Pope has chosen the name of Francis.  He himself declared that he is inspired by St. Francis of Assisi. Considering what’s being published on the internet and the printed media, we may make a safe assumption that the new Pope has had a warm welcome. People are eager to see what’s going to happen next. Many have very high hopes. The poor feel so rich in having a Pope who can truly speak for them.

It’s interesting to know something which is not being said at the moment on St. Francis. St. Francis of Assisi was just a lay person (not a priest). He was forced to become a deacon in order to preach as lay persons were prohibited. He brought a revolution in the Church (this Pope included). He did not reflect on the life of a Pope or cardinal. He started to read the gospel, which in those times was prohibited for the normal Catholics because it was always assumed that the laity where ignorant and had to be taught everything about religion!! So indirectly, St. Francis broke one of the fundamental rules of the Church then: to read the gospel all alone!!

St. Francis started a new Christian life which was unheard of in those times: giving all to the poor and trusting in God’s grace. It was an indirect criticism to the church in his days as some of the Cardinals were super and filthy rich! No wonder he was considered to be crazy, especially after his lavish living in his early youth years! Slowly but surely he became a living testimony against another part of the church which was siding with the rich people at the expense of the rest of the people! St. Francis was a protagonist. He did NOT wait for the others to approve his way of life. In fact, at the very beginning, neither did he think of establishing a new order of friars! He started and others followed! And he was just a lay person!

St. Francis wanted his way of life (or rule). to be approved by the Pope. It had to be a charismatic Pope to accept his way of reaching out to God. The Pope realized that St. Francis was reading the signs of the times. He was truly sincere and loving in his proposal. He immediately grabbed the situation and approved his rule. He approved a way of life which was already being lived by St. Francis and his followers!

Now the million dollar question: Will the governing body of the church listen to lay people as they did in the time of St. Francis? Pope Francis may become truly the voice of the poor. His message will get across many people of the world. Yet what about the Western World? People are fed up waiting for a Pope who understands their contemporary needs. The author uses the word ‘weary’.  He uses fatigue too. Just visit the following link.

Here people are accustomed to a team spirit. No organization  would survive if the head manager works all alone. Now what about the Church? Can the church be appealing to the young ones if decisions are continuously taken by higher authorities? When they hear some messages from those who hate gays, divorced people etc……Other Catholic people wish to promote the role of women. Others are already living their own sexual life (which obviously is not just a few moments in bed – this is a psycho definition of some priests who might have problems in dealing with life’s basic needs). Our sexual behaviors determine who we are! We cannot keep pushing forward an irrelevant  definition of a christian sexual life! It’s not just a few crazy lay people who are asking for changes. These changes were legalized by Vatican II. We don’t wish to use the word legitimate or illegitimate. Yet one knows for sure that Vatican II has been betrayed (Vatican II was a meeting for all Catholic Bishops of the world which took place between 1962 and 1965). Vatican was the hope of the new world because the Catholic Church listens to everybody including non believers or of other faiths. It promises a community type of work where each and everyone has a role to play.

Finally, in St. Francis steps, reading the gospel, we might discover that most of the apostles were married! So we have every right to keep pushing our agenda: that of married priests! It’s not just the thinking of some priests who have married and who want to continue serving the people of God but other lay people are pushing forward the idea. Sometimes a high member in the church shares the same thinking. People are seeing priests having an alienated way of life. They wish to see them living a normal life in order to testify to the gospel in a better way. So what are we waiting for?