Tag Archive: reform

When we were young we were submitted to various teachings. Most of the time, we read books. We tried to assimilate as much as we could. Then years passed by and somehow we re-connected to what teachers/parents/guardians had told us. Most probably what we’ve been thought was good. Yet in real life it seems that it is a different kind of fish. It’s what we call the gap between the theory and real life!

We were thought to look up to priests for friendship, counselling, ideas etc…Obviously in theory everything is in order. Yet each every human being is formed not only through teaching, but through personal experience, chemicals present in his genes etc…All this will make it highly improbable to foretell his future life as each person has a different outcome, which is based on millions of variables.

The first step is when one is asking for help. It brings the baptised person close to a priest. This is the work of the priest after all! But what happens when most of the priests feel all alone, neglected, alienated, disappointed and put aside? A normal kind of friendship (obviously there is nothing wrong), could be a tempting one for the priest. Instead of listening and comforting the person, the priest fulfils his needs for friendship, attention, love etc…within the counselling sessions. A counsellor has to listen to the client and not vice-versa, at least he can’t talk for a long period of time. The fact that the priest starts talking about his life means automatically that the sessions are taking a different path!

On the part of the person who is seeking the priest’s help, things start moving differently when they view the priest not as a counsellor but as the one who is fulfilling their dream of the ideal man! Obviously when one meets another person for a few hours weekly, it’s very easy to idolise that person! Remember that most people as viewed at work, might seem to be the ideal person. It’s when one lives with the person that one sees the complete picture! Yet, when one is hungry for love, recognition, attention and self affirmation, all other things will occupy a less important place in their lives! They just want to cling to somebody no matter what! It could be that we’re living in anonymous cities (Western part of the world), hence we desperately need friends!

We’ve been saying for quite some time now that priests who explain the word of God every Sunday (plus maybe other public meetings), are practically revealing their inner self to the general public. He is the one who speaks about a lot of values where no one speaks anymore (or at least not that often!). Speaking about such values will put more fire on a woman’s heart who is burning with desire to have a loving partner.

The priest in most cases, has all the time of the world to meet, listen and talk with parishioners. He is the one who makes his own timetable hence, he is easily available! The priest has no one to report to for his day to day running. Hence he can postpone last minute meetings without giving any real reason or hiding behind superficial reasons!

We don’t wish to give the message that it’s impossible, yet in the present circumstances, it’s getting more difficult to be a good friend to a priest. When a person is not complete (in many senses), it could lead to trouble, whether he is a priest, bishop, Pope, woman etc…In mathematics they used to teach us that a minus ( – ) with a minus ( – ), make a plus!

Our wish to have married priests will help the church to have a better system where priests are living in a relationship which will help them understand better the need for attention, love, affirmation etc…We’re not saying that it’s foolproof. There is nothing perfect. Yet on the human side of the argument, it will help them to be better prepared to work in today’s church.

Second Class Priests!

In the absence of love stories between priests and women, we are sharing our reflections regarding the latest news in the Catholic church.

In a March 2017 interview with German newspaper Die Zeit, Pope Francis used the term viri probati – in this context, religious married men of proven character – in saying he was open to the idea of a married priesthood, as is allowed for deacons, in remote areas where the priest shortage is particularly serious.

We are still not 100% sure of the outcome of married priests as we are still receiving conflicting news! Read this article

In any case it seems that all newspapers are agreeing that married priesthood is again in the news. Mulling all kind of news to look for positive news, we see some troubling ones. In the quoted statement made above, we have one single question: So are married priests just fillers? That is: are they being allowed as if they are necessary evil? Are they being allowed simply to fill in the blanks? Are we sort of second class priests who are allowed to work as priests simply because there is lack of?

Many people point to married priests because they think that will stop sexual abuse of children. People focus on sex because for news agencies it sells a lot of money! We do notice many priests who are living a solitary life. They are practically moving bodies but dead in their minds. Others who travel most of the time. Some who embrace luxuries. Others who are simply walking study books which amply shows the negative effects of forced celibacy. The list goes on and on.

Our main point of view has remained the same. Most of the apostles were married. Are we going to follow the bible or are we going against it? They do quote the bible profusely in other moral matters, yet about this one they are so silent! Why? If the apostles did it, why not the priests of today? Or are we like a supermarket: we pick up what we like in the church?!

Having married priests we hope it will bring the focus of the church on new challenges. One might be the complete overhaul of the relationship teaching (and not sex!). Strong and stable relationship calls for consequences which will help the priest to mature as he faces different challenges in life. One glaring example would be children. Taking care of your own children will bring a new insight in the life of the priest. Married priesthood will help the priest to reconnect with normal life with all its challenges. Consequently, the whole church will change. This is the revolution which we are looking forward to experience. In the end there will be winners all the way. All would feel much nearer to God. Everybody will experience the Emmanuel – God is with us! It would be interesting to visit a priest who has kids crying, eating and dirtying all the house whilst he is trying to communicate with God! It would be a good example of how to keep God in the centre of all activity!

It’s up to our readers to continue our reflection.

What happens in the mind of a priest after ordination (when he becomes a priest) ? Every human being makes experience. But every human being responds differently to the same experience. The priest is filled with enthusiasm to work in the field of the Lord.  Yet as he goes on with his work, his intelligent mind is thinking and reflecting. Am I really helping people? Can I accept church’s teachings? Can I simply deliver the message and not hear or listen to the different situations?

The priest finds himself in a big conflict: that what he was thought in the seminary or university and the experience of the common people. They are in conflict because somebody wishes to impose old and medieval teachings to the world today (a case in point would be contraceptives or divorce). Besides all the conflicts he founds himself all alone with no support. The people who support his views are most probably the people who already left the church or who are not in good standing with the Church.  The priest realises that the so called ‘bad’ people are not bad at all. They are thinking with their own heads. They are finding God in new ways and places…

One day he will have enough courage to cross the border and live a common life with the common people.

A life which is more sincere and true to the teachings of the Church. He looses his comfort zone and most probably a lot of money. He has to accept another type of work in order to earn a living, yet he feels totally in peace with his conscience. 

Another bishop, who has gone to heaven, does not mince his words: the laity (the people who are not priests or nuns), should help the church discover what the Holy Spirit really wants for his church today. The laity seems to be much more close to today’s reality in the world, consequently they could hear the voice of the Holy Spirit in much clear way.

Paragraph 12 of Lumen Gentium, which begins by claiming: “The holy people of God shares also in Christ’s prophetic office: it spread abroad a living witness to him, especially by a life of faith and love and by offering to God a sacrifice of praise, the fruit of lips confessing his name. The whole body of the faithful who have received an anointing which comes from the holy one cannot be mistaken in belief.”

“Those who have charge over the church should judge the genuineness and orderly use of these gifts [among the faithful of every rank], and it is especially their office not indeed to extinguish the Spirit, but to test all things and hold fast to what is good.”

We hear another story of a non-married priest who faced problems with celibacy and picked up a married woman in order to fulfill his biological obligations! These are only some of the stories which are published. We are sure that there are many more. It’s always with the same ending: forced celibacy is creating lots of problems between clergy and laity.

Another article is calling for responsible action as in the near future Europe is going to be without the celebration of the eucharist! Somebody should be thinking about it if we don’t wish to end up with museums instead of lively communities……. The calling to remove forced celibacy is linked to other issues well. A married priest would look at life differently. He would notice that there are many other things which should be marked as very important or urgent. Others, would simply disappear! His criteria would change dramatically.

Weekly Homily (in Maltese)