Tag Archive: Tony Zarb


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.

Advertisements

Understanding the Pope

One can find it difficult to understand himself/herself sometimes. It could become more complicated when one has to understand another person. But how about understanding a public person….such as the Pope? Well the journalists are all the time trying to decipher the Pope’s character and believes through public speaking and when he interrelates with people.

One knows that a public person is always very attentive in what one does and says. Indirectly one uses a camouflage so as to protect some of his/her thoughts from being divulged into the general public. The Pope carries a lot of moral weight, hence he is more cautious than a normal prime minister or president.

All Catholics, in one way or another they look up to the Pope to strengthen their faith. They look for consolation and hope. The Pope answers questions on a particular question. Now there is always the fear of being misinterpreted or given the wrong meaning (sometimes on purpose!!) by listeners. Well, all those trained in communication know really well that if there is a group of ten people, most probably there will be ten different interpretations for the same event. That is because we are not neutral to information especially when it comes from a Pope. The so called Catholics who belong to the ‘progressive’ or ‘conservative’ groups might give totally different interpretations to what they see and hear from the Pope’s mouth! Others let their emotions run wild as soon as they see the man in white clothes! There are some with a hidden political agenda, ready to kill their opponents by quoting the Pope’s message!!

The Pope himself might give different reactions to some issues which leaves readers more perplexed! With all these fears, we too try to give you the right picture although it’s not that easy. Obviously it regards married priesthood.

One one hand, the Pope is hinting for more participation from the laity (those who are not priests) as when it comes to selecting the bishop for a diocese. Yet when a priest needs to get married he does not propose to get married and stay as a priest!
In the selection of a bishop, we already have the parish councils. How is he thinking of consulting the laity? Is he going to make use of the parish councils or does he have in mind something completely different? Or plus the parish councils, is he going to include other people? Some people expert in politics would immediately point out some games people play in order to get elected. Yet in today’s world how can one appoint a new bishop without consulting the general public?

So how can one interpret this action vis-a-vis married priests? Is he in favour of married priests, yes or no? Or is he hinting that those who leave are ‘traitors’ (sorry for the harsh word) ? Does he prefer to select already married people (but not priests), in order to train them for priesthood? Which is the way to go? Why no bishop have asked for married priests publicly? Is it just the Pope who mentioned this idea? Or is it still too far away project? How is the church going to survive when we have so many parishes without a resident priest??!!

This is the reason why we as married priests, help other people. We cannot let the church be ruined just because of a man made law which is leaving many people without the Eucharist and any other ecclesial activity including reading of the bible etc…Deep in our conscience, we cannot say no to people who ask for our services. We are priests forever because once a priest is always a priest. This is true theology (the science which focuses on God). We cannot simply delete our priesthood!