Tag Archive: priest has big bulge


Pentecost and Married Priests

We have just celebrated Pentecost. In lay terms it’s the birth of the church. The apostles were all behind closed doors and windows afraid of what might happen to them. On Pentecost day, the Holy Spirit descended upon all apostles and they left all their fears, doubts, jealousy and lack of faith behind, went out and started to talk in the name of Jesus. It was a big transformation.

In Europe in these last days, it seems that we are electing several governments. Our mentality is that we elect people to represent us whilst we continue with our lives. Is that a similar attitude in the church? How many people leave the church for one thousand and one reasons? Yet who is going to remain ‘in’ to bring about the change? It is an appropriate reflection on Pentecost’s day. Are we just young children who are happy to play with the toys whilst the other adults take care of us in the church? Pentecost was so transforming because the apostles realised that it was their turn to start speaking in the name of Jesus Christ. Do we have so many lay people available in the church?

Married priesthood is important because married people should be considered as a great asset for the church. It could be the building block for the whole church. It’s up to the people to ask their local bishops for married priesthood. How many of our readers are ready to pester their bishops to call for married priesthood?
This does not mean that it’s going to be that easy. Some bishops (example in the UK), are already too silent about it. But that does mean that we stop doing our part of speaking to them?

In most of our cases, we continued practising priesthood because people did ask us for our services. We saw many local areas where priests do not go. Lay people are left all alone. Who is going to attend to their needs? This is like an emergency. All people who can help are obliged to do so.

Emergency or not, Married priests feel that they have a special charisma for today’s people to bring God’s message. It’s the sign of the times. People who read between the lines should come to the same conclusion: we need married people to bridge the distance between priests and married people. Married people will look upon their priests in order to look for concrete examples on how to live the gospel in today’s world.

The priest and today’s world

The media and the common people are very creative when they invent stories especially involving a priest who has just left. Most probably they give a reason to something that they find extremely hard to digest! The usual answer is that one left to get married!

Although in some cases it might ring true, yet in most cases, we encounter a different picture. The priest is not so happy with his surroundings, happenings or way of life. In the quoted article, one finds an ex seminarian (one who is studying for priesthood), who is not happy with the way of life the friars are living in the monastery. He feels very uncomfortable that whilst his mother has to make both ends meet, in his monastery there is a superfluous luxury notwithstanding the fact that they took the vow of poverty! The most important thing of all is that it has effected his spirituality. Although for others it may seem to be trivial, it cost him his place in the monastery. He couldn’t accommodate this divorce between what he believes and what he sees daily in the monastery.

One of the most terrible lies is that priests don’t get married because they need to be 24/7 for the people of God. Many years ago people used to call them to come and accompany people at their hour of death. Now that job is practically gone except maybe in hospitals. The problem with most priests is that they view their work according to the number of masses or sacraments they need to administer. In most parts of the Western world church attendance has gone down so practically they have much less work to do especially during weekdays. On the other hand circumstances have changed and most people are not be found during the traditional eight to five working shift.

Mass and sacraments have lost their magic touch for the common people. People need to be evangelised. People need a human contact with the church. They need to be taught many things about religion as they are ‘ignorant’ in most religious issues. Most probably they would get the wrong impression of the church because in many cases it’s mostly silent in the digital world! When people are passing through a difficult/loving phase in their lives, the church is mostly absent. Even attending mass, in most cases it is something very anonymous! This is a fact which seems not to preoccupy bishops when amalgamating parishes!

Most probably the biggest issue (which goes unnoticed by many), is that most priests, outside the sacramental world, they don’t know how to deal with it! The still don’t know the importance of building a real community in their parish. They were never trained how to do pastoral work properly (it is not simply the distribution of the sacraments). Pastoral work should culminate in the person finding Christ and building a personal relationship. Now before embarking on such an adventure, one needs to know the flock. There are various ways and means how to get to know the flock but the best one seems that of family visiting. It is physically demanding and time consuming, yet it yields the best results. It builds a good bond between the priest and the parishioners.

As priests are transferred from one parish to another, the parish council seems to be the most appropriate one in order to work hand in hand with the pastor. How are relations with the pastor? We can find various examples yet very few parishes provide professional teaching and caring for it. The parish council is another largely unknown ‘thing’ in the parish. Most people are never introduced to it. They never vote for it so how could it be an effective instrument in the hand of the parish?

Then there is the church in general. The priest comes into contact with many relationships, hidden or otherwise. Yet he is representing the church. In many cases there is an internal conflict between what the church believes and what the faithful are living. Some people prefer to ignore such conflicts. Others simply leave the church, others try to find a leeway. Many pastors know that such conflict is bound to get bigger all the time if the hierarchy (people at the very top of the church), do not live in the same conditions. Recently I had a discussion with some religion teachers. They were surprised that the church hasn’t changed her mind when it comes to contraceptives. The fact is that these religion teachers have taken a different answer to such challenge in their married life which is beyond that of the church. Now what about priests and their internal conflicts? How would they solve them?

We hope of providing some food for thought to our readers. As usual, we didn’t cover all that needs to be written down. But that’s a big plus for our readers to start writing immediately in order to provide more shades about the mentioned topic!

Today we wish to thank some of our readers with the promotion of their books. They believe in our cause that celibacy should be optional. They have thought about it, and they have written about it in more detail. We wish to say a special thank you! Their books are not going away. They would transmit the message forever. What one says, maybe easily forgotten. Yet what one writes, remains forever!

We wish to use this special occasion in order to encourage others to follow the same path. Most of the writers never thought themselves as writers. Writing starts when one jots down some notes. The notes start increasing day by day. Until finally there are so many of them that one can group them into chapters and finally into a book!

Most of our readers have been struck by lightning (their love story with a priest). This is a good reason to write about it. Now some of you have already written their story on this blog so why bother to write a book? Well there’s a big difference between an article on a blog and writing a whole book. The advantage of a book is that one can go much deeper with the story especially, one involving a love story with a priest. One needs to start remembering some details by making a time line (like a diary but going back in time). Then one just lets his emotions do the rest. The rest of the readers have been given a good tutorial of becoming a good writer by providing the necessary fuel (asking all types of questions!!)

Free Priest, The movement for Ministerial Reform in the American Catholic Church, by William F. Powers. This book is a sociological examination of what has been happening in the world of married priests in the framework of a social movement. It is based on the records kept by organizations of ‘free priests’ as well as interviews with dozens of leaders of those organizations. It is the inspiring story of men who remain deeply committed to their calling despite having made the painful decision to leave the priesthood and the barriers put up within the Roman Catholic church.

Bingo, Mandatory Celibacy and Clergy Sexual Abuse, by Louise Haggett. The Bingo Report is the result of her ten-year social research project, a timely and provocative study of celibacy and clerical sexual abuse. Ms, Haggett has been featured on international television and radio programs, such as 60 minutes and the BBC and in newspapers and magazines such as New York Times, the International Herald Tribune and Time.com. In her role as president and founder of CITI Ministries/Rentapriest.com, she has recruited hundreds of priests who have married and assisted them in renewing their ministry to the spiritually unfed in the church.

Exodus from the Priesthood, by David Rice. I know no study of the current state of the Catholic priesthood that compares with this. The priesthood is in a state of crisis, probably the worst in the Church’s history. Yet no one has researched the subject as well as David Rice. No one has listened to resigned priests with such wisdom and sympathy. Often their stories are more startling than any that come out of Hollywood. The result is not merely depressing for Shattered Vows points the way to a ministry that is less clerical and more genuinely Christ-like.

The Pearl, by Pauline Nikolov. How many men are truly interested to learn about the woman next to them as an equal? How do different religious men, different cultures and denominations present their relationship to women? Who is misogynic? (hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against women or girls) Who is truly loving and tolerant to women as Jesus? Hope is a young woman who is about to find answers and discovers her purpose in life. Through series of life experiences and adventures – from the legend about the living soul of a pearl named Vif, to the noble aim to bring together people from different faiths and denomination in the name of peace – she tirelessly communicates the importance of exchanging spiritual gifts and the role of women a mediators for peace. From Egypt to Los Angeles, from Chicago to Paris, characters and historical facts are mixed to entertain and spread messages to readers with an appetite to know more.

Isabel, Secret Diary of a Discreet Secretary, by Isabel Szlavik. After a short stint as a fashion model and crooner for a jazz band, Isabel Szlavik decided to pursue what was at the time, the largest, most prestigious, and elegant job category for women around the world. The skills list for a secretary was short: a minimum typing speed of fifty words a minute, a general knowledge of shorthand, and enough patience to handle messy carbons and an electric typewriter. From her first job supporting a missionary who devoted his life to helping the needs to her last role assisting two talented businessmen, Isabel chronicles the often humorous side of the secretary-boss relationship, how she dealt with a rapidly changing technological world, and handled the many different personalities and cultural backgrounds of the American, Brazilian, German, Italian, Chinese and French nationals she worked with on a daily basis.

We might mention other books in the future as obviously there are many more books dealing with the subject of forced celibacy. We can give just the result of a search engine….
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=books+about+celibacy&t=lm&atb=v24&ia=products

We welcome suggestions from our readers about other books which they have found inspiring. Please write!

Somebody once said, that listening to the news, makes one fall into a deep depression. Well it might be so for the unbelievers but not for the strong ones! The news that in the coming meeting in Rome they are not going to discuss celibacy, might sound as a death sentence to the celibacy debate! Yet, the meeting with the Pope is not the only solution to bring change in the Catholic Church. Surprisingly some changes in the church took place with the help of the so called ‘enemies of the church’…..a striking example is that of Martin Luther, who was called by Saint Pope John Paul II, a man of great spirituality!!

Let’s start with our blog. There are still many stories involving priests and women that we can publish once every fortnight for a very long time. There are still people who are afraid to come forward and publish their story. We always protect our readers by changing names, places etc…..We need to show them how many priests are involved in clandestine relationships! Otherwise they might think that the celibate discussion is just for a few hot heads who insist on marrying priests!

Secondly, besides our blog, there are more ways too. How about parishioners talking with the rest of the parish/diocese/church etc…?? We should not be afraid of putting our agenda on the discussion table. The sexual abuse of children has already given us a great push forward. Most baptized people are not aware of the celibacy problem, or maybe they are not interested!

Some of us could participate in a discussion on the radio/television/internet/newspaper… Let’s show them that the apostles were married. We are not asking for an impossible change! We are going back to the basics after all. How can we discard the proof of the bible if we wish to remain faithful to the teaching of the church?

We need to practice persuasion skills…..showing them the advantages of having married priesthood, could be one of them. In a few words, we have to come out from our protective shell and tell the others. Changes in society won’t come automatically, we have to push in order that others might see the change in our lives.

This is exactly what happens when a married priest tries to bury the fact that he is still a priest. The priest, knowingly or unknowingly, might still help people. People see that he has special talents when hearing others. There would be some people (one person is enough at the beginning) who insists in receiving some counselling from the priest. Others might ask for sacraments…once he starts working as a priest (in diaspora), a change in his heart takes place.

God works in mysterious ways….yes it’s true! We are witnesses to this as we have already passed through this path! Let’s not be afraid. This is a wake up call, we have to work hard to bring about the necessary changes in the church. Let’s not wait for a magical/talented person who is going to work for our belief in married priesthood, unless we do the donkey work!

Let’s hear from our readers about new ways how we can reach out to other parishioners in order to push for changes in the Catholic Church.

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.