Tag Archive: priests in crisis

I don’t have in mind to become a doctor or else to give medical advice on what to do or how to prevent the coronavirus! Yet as a married priest I can’t help it, in writing about some parallel lines with our basic idea of married priesthood.

Fear. If languages divide us, yet one common language was seen throughout the whole world these last weeks: FEAR. When people are afraid, one is surprised what they might do. The case of the corona beer which clearly has nothing to do with the sickness has been victimised…just because it has the corona name, many people are not buying it any more!!! It’s incredible, yet when fear takes over, common sense goes out!

What did we do as a Catholic Church for so many years? The fear of death and hell has made many people submissive to our teachings. I do know of cases where at the point of death, some people have left all their possessions to the church in the belief that they would have won heaven!! Alas, their children might have gone hungry or became poor in the meantime!

In this context, now I do see why so many people are afraid to share their stories of love with a priest. Fear takes over. Even though we promise to change any details in order to protect their identity. How can we liberate these people from the slavery of fear?

Now I do understand what a friend of mine used to say: fire does not kill many people. Panic does! In fact many people in a fire die because of panic and not of fire in itself! Who hasn’t seen the crowds in the supermarkets where some people came to blows in order to buy basic items? Some psychologists called it the fear of the unknown.

Some people panic when the priest declares himself to be married. They want to stay but their panic takes control and they go to a ‘normal church’ to get married or to get baptised. There isn’t an adult faith. It’s just convenience! They are not born fighters! A married catholic priest is an unknown entity in their religious background! It’s fear of the unknown!

Look how people invaded some supermarkets and bought more than enough portions of basic needs! Some people rightly say that the longest journey in the world is not a geographical destination but rather the I to become WE! The supermarkets gave enough proof that we need to work more on community feeling and understanding. It’s one of the main missing type of work in many parishes! We still find it too difficult to leave behind the factory of sacraments to start community building as a main issue in parish work.

One of the expressions which is has become fashionable is the internet of things. Well, in some countries they have been locked in. It goes without saying that many people have to revert to the internet to spend their time and/or to communicate and/or to buy some necessities. We are experiencing a social experiment where we are practically living just with our family members. All other people are ‘virtual’.

Well, many parishes and priests have been caught on the wrong foot. How many of them can use the internet in order to proclaim the Good News? Although many of them have social media accounts, yet they have never used the internet as a medium for their work! They still relied on churches to meet people. Yet, people, especially the young ones, are practically 24/7 on the internet. Shall the coronavirus scare teach them a lesson to start using the internet more? Can we use it for the married priesthood? This was one of our thoughts at the beginning and it still is. We weren’t allowed space in a ‘normal parish’. We didn’t find it a problem because we already knew that the internet would have gained more popularity. Consequently we would meet more young people online rather than in a ‘normal church’!! One has to note that the internet is not to be used simply as a space for mass or for other lecture type of work!!

Within the virtual world, how can we enhance the sense of community? This is going to be our next challenge. People meet online, easily. Yet it doesn’t turn them into a community. One of them is the exchange of views or ideas. We do need to respect others especially when we do not agree. We can’t call others names! We cannot judge others. We have to see the frail, human face behind the monitor or the written message.

The work of community building is a never ending job. It’s not always full of roses, although even roses have thorns! We need to have more people who believe that as a community we can achieve more and better. One, on his own, cannot achieve much.

In many spheres of life, one gains maturity and independence. A case in point is our own sons and/or daughters. Children depend totally on their parents for their upbringing and daily needs. Finally the day comes when they leave the nest and change their lifestyle etc…. They have to think how to live their one and only life. They have to provide for their own daily needs. Has that time arrived in the Catholic Church? There is a lot of pressure on the new Pope to make substantial changes in many areas of the church. Indirectly, are we proclaiming that the church is the Pope?

In the Second Vatican Council (meeting for all bishops which took place between 1962-1965), the main vision of the church was that of a community. It’s the feeling that all baptized people ARE church. During the history of the church, one finds instances where the common people believed some truths before the clergy (priests) accepted them as truths! In this sense we wish to emphasize our firm believe: that of married priesthood. The theological proof is in the bible where most of the apostles were married. We are not selecting the teachings which suits us. We are not manipulating our religion. It’s a truth which has been dormant (in a convenient way!) for many years. Yet the Catholics are maturing as they read the gospel and they make their won reflections…..We are maturing in our thoughts. We feel that everyone is part and parcel of the church.

The number of priests in the western world is declining rapidly. Who is going to provide the spiritual food for the coming generations? Are we happy to close churches? Are we happy the leave the flock unattended? Let’s call all priests who left active priesthood to think it over. The people need you! If you are loving a person (ie in a sexual way), you are like so many common baptized people! Be a living testimony for others by living a married life and that of priesthood! Some of the congregations are already prepared to accept you as a married priest! Others have already many years of experience and they can help you surmount any practical difficulties.

Women, who fell in love with a priest, dialogue with your priest. Help him in his decision to decide for married priesthood. The priest is not going to lose pastoral work, but gain new people, new congregations, new friends, new supporters for his work as a married priest! He would live out his dream! He would grow in his spirituality, humanity and maturity! Show him that with you on his side, he would be much stronger.  Your love for him will surely make him much capable in leading other people to God’s will and house.

Other people, do show support to your married priests, or priests who are still lingering to take the decision! Show them that it’s God’s will to testimony the gospel as a married priest. A married priest would be in better position to understand your situations.

For all those who won’t accept resigned priests, (owing to centuries of brain washing), should remember the law of the church number Can. 213, which expresses the right of the faithful to receive assistance from the sacred Pastors out of the spiritual goods of the Church, especially the word of God and the Sacraments, is of divine origin through Baptism in Jesus. Such a law is constitutive (essential) for the baptized and cannot be altered or eliminated by human initiative. Celibacy was man made, consequently it could be changed overnight!