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Churchgoers and the unchurched!

Young people struggle to find their place on earth. They have to get to know themselves really well in order to find what are they going to do with their own lives. Consequently they’ll find the right job and then hopefully, the right partner!

I see something similar in the church. We all know that life has changed drastically. We see things differently for various reasons. What about the church? Well many people have left. Others have stayed. Yet, on what level do they participate? Most of them simply follow the same timetable and principles for ages. Others are contrary to any change. Surveys have shown that most people who are still attending church, are in their majority ‘conservative’ people. It means that they oppose great changes for whatever reason! Some of these people would like to remove Pope Francis just because they think he is taking away the old teaching of the church. Well, they are truly ignorant of the gospel because most of the apostles were married!! See https://www.thedailybeast.com/vatican-may-approve-married-priests-but-conservative-catholics-arent-celebrating

So can one expect great changes? I don’t think so because the most people who are the right agents for change have long left. So who can make changes after all? Sincerely we don’t have an answer!

This is in part the society of today: we wish to make changes yet no one would like to be in the midst of the struggle! When we were young they used to tell us the story of the mice and the big, ferocious cat. The mice had their meeting in order to put a bell around the neck of the cat. After hours of discussion, one old mouse, in a soft voice just asked: Who is going to put the bell around the cat’s neck? Silence fell. It’s useless that we would like changes to take place if we abandon the church!

I know from experience that going for church’s meetings it’s not the most interesting job of the world. Sometimes one has to meet lots of old people (with all due respect to the old ones whom we cherish a lot). Most of them seem to be stuck in the 1900s! We see the usual faces. Very rare to see new ones! Besides, the young ones are not easy to make them attend besides the 1001 appointments that they have to attend to!

To add insult to injury, in the world, in a generic sense, there is a lot of prejudice or ignorance of what the true religion says! So many valid persons who have lots of talents, won’t come to church owing to prejudice, ignorance or outright hate of all that pertains to the religious world! This is one of the most challenging visions of the church. How can we bring back the lost majority? What kind of teaching do we present? What are people looking for?

Again we present the married priest as a one who is living in the world today! He has the right mixture to be an ambassador to many young, adults or non-believers. The fact that they see him struggling with everyday normal timetables, would be a great asset. As Pope Paul the sixth once wrote: the world doesn’t need preachers but rather people who testify with their own lives!

If we were to examine the numbers regarding the population of the baptised people in the Catholic Church, the percentage of the married people is overwhelming! It comes close practically to 100%. Yet who are the people who decide what’s good and bad in the church? Just a small percentage of unmarried people!

One question comes up to our mind: why did the married people accept this situation for so long? There were various reasons for the past status quo but now not anymore. During the Vatican Council II (meeting for all Catholic Bishops which took place at the Vatican, 1963-1965), the term ‘adults in faith’ was given a lot of importance. Adults have to decide for themselves after consulting the teaching of the church. They are the ones who are living the situation, consequently they know what’s best for their lives.

Being responsible for this blog, we have a wonderful opportunity of meeting various people coming from different continents. It’s an enriching experience! We thank all our readers for making our experience unforgettable!

Those who are church going most of the time they belong to that section of people in the church who wait for orders in order to move on. On the other hand, the majority of those who are not attending church anymore, have a certain degree of independence in their thought and daily living.

By going for married priesthood we are trying to bridge the gap between the unmarried and married people in the church. It’s a two way traffic lane. The unmarried appreciate the daily trials, challenges of the married people. The married people come closer to the church and understand what constitutes the church.

Answering various questions about priests, parish, church etc…..shows that there is a great thirst for information. Yet on the other hand, there are very few people in the church who are ready and available to answer people’s comments. Most probably because the old monasteries, who were once the seed for knowledge and innovation have become fortifications of protection to those inside! Priests, monks, nuns have unknowingly created a safety zone which cuts communication with the common people.

Calling for married people to become priests is easier said then done. People need a lot of time to be trained properly. That’s why we always insisted that the time has come to start early. We need to start today to have a sufficient number of people to take care of our parishes (just to mention one urgent need). We can’t call married people and tell them to manage our parishes overnight. Otherwise it would be a total disaster.

How many married priests are ready to be in charge of a parish if invited by the present Pope? That would be an interesting answer to see the reactions of our readers this week. Readers, you are most welcome to take charge of our blog by writing your opinion.