One makes unique decisions all the time: house; wife or husband; number of children; job; holiday etc….We are accustomed to think about decisions. We evaluate the situation to the best of our knowledge. We do sometimes ask for an opinion. We look back for any kind of experience which might help us. We look to the future. Finally we take a decision. As adults we know that there could be no photocopier to copy our decision from past ones or what other people might have decided. Each new significant moment will involve a new and unique decision. It is the moment where one feels all alone…..
What about the church? It’s been for many many centuries where other people will tell you what to do! Some of the hard fanatics of the old religion usually refer to rules. In actual fact they wish to have a life where everything you’ll do will be written in black and white so there is no need to think, but just to follow the rules. Is this what God really wants?
We celebrated the Second Vatican Council (teaching of the church) around 50 years ago (meeting for all Catholic bishops). Now one of the giant steps forward was the declaration of the conscience as the private and unique space where God and the individual meet….and one takes decisions (Dignitatis Humanae no. 7). No one has the right to force one to go against one’s beliefs!!! Unfortunately, many baptized people do not know anything about these documents!!!
Reading some of the cases where a priest falls in love, or somebody falls in love with a priest surely is not the right place for people who have always followed somebody’s opinion or advice. They will never rise to the occasion as the sense of guilt will ruin everything. This type of relationship is for those who are really open to a new life or adventure in the Spirit. In life there are people who are busy doing their work with no time left to think about others……..there are other people who learn and accept new people and new situations as ‘God given’. They do not look on the inside or in a book but look outside to learn. The latter most likely never expect the perfect situation but see God’s writing on the wall. They are the kind of people who are close in touch with God as they never nag about the weather or the neighbour or the colleague. They seem to work in all seasons!!
These are the kind of people who see a new emerging church in today’s world. They see the fact of falling in love with a priest as a great blessing. One can see the life of a priest before and after falling in love. How many priests are just doing their work as part of a routine? How do they work afterwards? I’ve seen countless of them. They are transformed. Surely priests do need the love of a woman to revolutionize all their work. Love does bring about great changes in people especially the priest.
Women shouldn’t feel at guilt but rather proud, as those who are bringing real and effective changes in the church. It’s the not the charismatic popes who bring about real changes as we have already seen in history, but rather communities who have thought, prayed and took bold decisions before the priests did. These people have one thing in common: they never waited for others to tell them what to do. They defined history by taking a new road. Are our Christians prepared to be adults in faith or do they wish to be taken by the hand and just be lead?
There are many communities around the world who are asking for married priests in the Catholic Church. Can we simply shut them off or label them as ‘wrong’? We firmly believe that God uses the bible and other means to make us hear our message. It’s up to us to open our ears and listen attentively to His message. The Catholic married priest can bring about a new meaning for priesthood and the church. The church would become relevant to many people who have already voted with their feet by finding Christ elsewhere. It’s time for the laity (not priests or nuns) to start the revolution by showing the right way to the future. Those who still wait for the present hierarchy (bishops) to make the first step will surely be disappointed. It has been proved by history many many times.