Posts Tagged church teaching
It is time for the Catholic bishops to stop hoping for an increase in vocations to the celibate priesthood and to acknowledge that the church needs married priests to serve the people of God. We cannot have a Catholic Church without sacraments, and a priest is needed for the Eucharist, confession, and anointing.
“At the Last Supper, Jesus said, ‘Do this in memory of me,’ not ‘have a celibate priesthood.’ The need for the Eucharist trumps having a celibate priesthood.
“For at least 50 years, the Catholic Church in the United States has seen a drop in the number of priests. According to CARA reports, in 1970, there were 59,192 priests in the U.S.; by 2016, there were only 37,192. Meanwhile, the number of Catholics increased to 74.2 million from 51 million. That means the people/priest ratio grew from 861 Catholics per priest in 1970 to 1,995 per priest in 2016. These numbers include all priests both religious and diocesan, as well as retired priests. When the priests currently over 65 years of age die, these numbers will be even worse.”
By Thomas Reese, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …
New family synod document a mixture of welcome, criticism of modern life / National Catholic Reporter
The Vatican document outlining the initial working positions for October’s highly anticipated global meeting of bishops on family life issues offers little to no clear indication of how world prelates have responded to Pope Francis’ call to openly discuss difficult issues facing families, such as divorce and remarriage.
“The document, which many anticipate as a possible barometer for how the bishops’ discussions at the fall event might evolve, instead mainly focuses on restating many positions adopted at the meeting held last year with an occasional emphasis on showing mercy to those facing burdensome situations.
“The document also appears to reiterate some of the culture-war language that has sometimes marked the church’s language in recent decades and reaffirms the church’s moral teaching in several areas, including the prohibition on the use of birth control.
“It also does not seem to offer substantially new options for divorced and remarried people seeking the ability to take Communion in the church.”
By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
During a recent Vatican summit, the top official at the Synod of Bishops stirred controversy by reportedly telling participants they should not be ‘shocked’ by theologians questioning Church teaching on matters such as marriage and family life.
“Italian Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri also reportedly said that if the aim of the synod is simply to repeat established Church teaching and discipline, then it would be ‘senseless’ to hold it.”
By Ines San Martin, Cruxnow.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Renewing the Conversation between Faith and Science
By Ilia Delio, OSF, May 8, 2014
“In his recent conversation with leaders of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Cardinal Gerhard Muller, Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), expressed a concern about the LCWR focusing attention on the concept of conscious evolution, a concept fundamental to the work of Barbara Marx Hubbard who addressed the LCWR assembly in 2012. Cardinal Müller said that ‘such an intense focus on new ideas such as conscious evolution has robbed religious of the ability truly to sentire cum Ecclesia (to think with the Church and embrace its teachings).’”
Jesus and Women: ‘You Are Set Free’
By Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ, Apr. 22, 2014
“There is a powerful scene in the gospels that shows in a flash how life-giving the encounter between Jesus and women can be. As Luke tells the story: Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath, and a woman came in who had been crippled by a spirit for 18 years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, ‘Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.’ Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she stood up straight and began to praise God. (Lk 13:10-13)
According to its website, Global Sisters Report is “an independent, non-profit source of news and information about Catholic sisters and the critical issues facing the people they serve. Our (National Catholic Reporter) network of journalists report about their lives and works and sisters write commentary from their perspective.”
Bishops Need to Be Couragious, Listen to the People — Discussing a Roman Catholic, Married Priesthood / National Catholic Reporter
Many Catholics will find hope in the conversation between Brazilian Bishop Erwin Kräutler and Pope Francis in which they discussed the ordination of married men as a serious and positive possibility.
“For the first time in a very long time, the idea of a Roman Catholic married priesthood is a topic that can be discussed and is being discussed inside the Francis administration. Pietro Parolin, recently made a cardinal, was clear about this in media interviews shortly after the pope named him secretary of state last summer. Celibacy ‘is not a church dogma and it can be discussed because it is a church tradition,’ Parolin said. Even as archbishop in Argentina, then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was open to the idea, saying celibacy for priests ‘is a matter of discipline, not of faith. It can change.'”
Click here to read the rest of this editorial by National Catholic Reporter.
Click here to see the Voice of the Faithful® webpage “Crisis in the Priesthood: Conversations about Celibacy,” which contains links to the history of celibacy in the Roman Catholic Church, VOTF position papers on celibacy and its effects, and action steps toward optional celibacy for Catholic priests.