Tag Archive: Pope Francis and deacons


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.

Why is Pope Francis hesitating?

Most commentators speak or write about the Catholic Church as outsiders or as people who don’t know what’s going on. It’s like when you hear that a couple has just separated! For all those who do not form part of their inner circle, it’s a big shock! Surprisingly, the couple itself may have been thinking of separation for many weeks or perhaps years!

Why is Pope Francis so hesitant? Well after so many centuries of biased teaching against women how can he reconcile the idea of priests living 24/7 with a woman? We have witnessed for many years that intelligent women were classified as if having a special connection with the devil! There couldn’t be an intelligent woman, if yes, then there was witchcraft somewhere, somehow!

Priests on their own will be more easy to control. Having a woman alongside might present problems as she might speak truthfully and directly contrary to many priests who still value obedience above justice or retribution! And what about divorce? What if the relationship gets sour? What will happen? Will the priest divorce? Will he live with another woman? That will be too much to accept!

Priests, although they speak about marriage, makes them the most vulnerable people in marriage because they have no experience of a true, deep relationship. Nowadays they used to being transferred after some years. From our point of view, married priests, if helped to meet the right partner and grow up in emotional maturity, might bring a new reflection to divorce and all that pertains to marriage!!

Priests

[like politicians]

occupy a central position in society. They are surrounded by people who practically adore them. They find most of the work done by others. They simply have to come in and finish it themselves whilst taking all the glory! Having a family will destroy his free time and his free roaming around at will. How can a priest submit himself to another human being [woman]? Or how can he take care of child 24/7? That will be too much!

Another reason which tops it all is that of priests who are married. They are still seen as lepers! They have left because they were not capable of living the priestly life. How can he let them back again? If they are allowed to come back, other priests might protest that they have remained ‘faithful’ to their call whilst they have to work with others who have simply betrayed their calling!

We know that these priests who have left have not betrayed anyone because they have been faithful to their conscience because they couldn’t hide their spiritual and emotional growth. They didn’t want to live a double life. On the contrary, other priests might have stayed because they were too afraid to make the big decision or because they found the normal life too threatening!

In the meantime, if the Pope doesn’t make this bold step forward, he might be condemning the church to just a few followers as many have chosen to vote with their feet. We had already many issues in the church (most popular at the time of the council was the ‘no’ against contraceptives), which made most of the flock to leave! Shall we have the situation where priest celebrates mass on his own or with very few people?

The Catholic Church is in no position to dictate what other people have to do especially after the Pell trial in Australia! Married priesthood would be the first step in the right direction to start building people’s faith in the church once again. Married priests will surely bring about other significant changes. At the same time we have to realise that a change never comes from those who are leading a happy life! It’s the people who are suffering who push for a change. Those areas without a priest should seek married ones. No priest can deny spiritual help to baptised people (that’s a law of the church!). Let’s start the change by knowing where married priests are and ask for their services! Just have a look at these websites: USA; Europe.

I am Petra, my friend/priest’s name is James. We first met in our place where he was invited to celebrate mass, since after that he was already close to our family. He even brought us to his hometown and met his family there, it was such an experience to be able to know him better as a person. Many days have passed; we were consistent in our communication like every day. If he wasn’t busy, he would call/text until we were actually seeing each other and when the time came he confessed his love for me. We secretly meet once every week. We went out at some private place where we were free to express our love to each other; we kissed, held hands and made love. Our relationship got deeper and my family had a suspicion of us being so close to each other.

There was a time that I forgot to log out my account on my laptop and left it on. I didn’t know that one of our family member tried to use it, and accidentally saw our conversation, including our pictures, and printed all of it as proof. I was unaware that they started to investigate my schedule every time I stepped out from our house and there was a parishioner as well who reported to my family when my priest was not around at the church, so they would trace us to see if we had met.

After what happened we’ve talked about it we both admitted that we felt guilty of what we had did; we lied to them just to have our own happiness without knowing that it would have hurt other people immensely; he told me that he was willing to sacrifice his love. He told me that we would have stayed as friends and nothing would have changed. At that time I thought that it was really over between us but fortunately, later on, he was sorry for things he had said to me because he was stressed and confused at that moment. We are still fighting for our relationship. It has been 2 months since we last met. We are not meeting just to avoid the issue for the meantime and I don’t know until when we are doing this.

I describe my family as religious and conservative type; I can obviously tell that they can’t accept him because of his status, his age (we have a big gap, he’s much older than me) and they don’t want to lessen their dignity as well. In our country priests here are highly respected people. They think that once a priest they can’t commit sin, they are not supposed to hang out with girls, they can’t enjoy, they can’t drink in public, etc. I don’t think it is a sin to marry a priest but in the eyes of the people it is already a sin.

As long as we love each other we can survive the upcoming circumstances, I am not afraid and ready of what people will be saying about us nor about me because I know what kind of situation am I into.

Sometimes I asked him about his plans if he would leave or continue. He has no answer yet but he was happy that we’ve come this far. He had mentioned the idea of having a business and sometimes he had mentioned that he wanted to have a family in the future. There are some cases where he’s having a problem on dealing with his superiors; based on my observation I don’t think he’s happy anymore. Well in fact he requested the higher official to give him a break from religious life but unfortunately they gave no feedback about his request, so it’s still pending.