Tag Archive: the Pope and the synod


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.

It’s so easy to see yet so difficult to hear about. The church (in this case we refer to the bishops and the Pope), is trying to listen to what families have to say during this synod  (meeting between a selection of Catholic bishops from all over the world). It unknowingly implies that ‘family’ is coming from outer space! What happened that made priests so alienated and far away from the today’s families? Why were some families ‘forced’ to tell the bishops everyday happenings? Is it so difficult to hear the same messages from people in their own diocese? (diocese is the physical area where the bishop is responsible for all Catholics) Or is it Pope Francis who took off the lid from the boiling kettle? In our opinion we are simply amazed why such common stories are making the round of the world as if we have discovered a new planet!

All this could have been avoided, if there was a permanent link between the priests and the family. In this case we make a fresh appeal: Why not introduce married priests in order to have the family an integral part of the church, permanently? There won’t be all this effort to make the family part and parcel of the church! In this case, then we would focus on only one aspect at a time. In fact some bishops are trying to tell journalists that it’s not just about divorce and living with somebody outside the sacrament of matrimony. Obviously all the married people of the world know that marriage is much more than those two issues. It’s the Catholic Church which is simply discriminating against people who are LGBT; divorced and unmarried people. All other people (murderers; bankers; blasphemers; perjurers; corrupters etc…..it’s an endless list) could receive Holy Communion and be seen as part of the community!!! So it’s not the journalists who are focusing into just two issues!!!

Secondly if the people feel that these two issues should come up for discussion……who is going to refuse? Who knows if the voice of the people is being gently touched by the Holy Spirit? We should thank these people, that notwithstanding the harsh treatment from the Catholic Church, they still seek reconciliation and communication with God!! Do we make a difference between a person who does not recognise authority and a person who is seeing the reading on the wall? We feel the need to define the Word of God. We’re afraid that we’re still stuck to the book. We firmly believe that the Bible is the word of God. But we firmly believe too that God is not in a prison (bible). God could use anybody to send us his message..including the common people who although they have not studied theology, yet, like small children, they can listen to the soft murmurings of the Holy Spirit.

In Sundays’ readings during the celebration of the Eucharist, we notice that they rarely mention the married life, a common reality for most of the people in the pews! When will we have a revision about the choice of readings during the Eucharist to reflect the married state of most Catholics?

The church of Jesus was all inclusive. He never put somebody away….He knew beforehand about Judas and his evil intentions yet he didn’t put him away!! So on what grounds do we intend to put people away? And why some and not all sinners?! Who would be in the church if we start to put people away because of their sins? This is the question we humbly ask to people who still insist that divorced people should stay away from the Eucharist (spiritual food).

One of the families simply said: our son asked us to bring over his boyfriend for Christmas. We couldn’t say no because he is our son. Sorry for coming back to the same argument. Married priests live these issues day in day out. Some married priests have gay sons or lesbian daughters. In that case they are not just simply delivering a homily for others but they do live all the excitement and trouble of such a challenge. Married priesthood will ensure that the priest focuses on real issues in time and not wait for a synod to discuss what other people (us included) have been saying for many years!!

We just invite you to visit the links provided as they help you in your spiritual journey. We encourage other readers to send us their love stories with priests in order to make the whole world aware of what really happens when some priests amply prove that celibacy should not be mixed up with priesthood. Let’s make it optional!