Posts Tagged ordination
Catholic bishops back ordination of married men as priests in Amazon region, a milestone / The New York Times
It is the first time a grouping of bishops convened by a pope has endorsed such a historic change to the tradition of a celibate priesthood. (The New York Times)
A summit of Roman Catholic bishops meeting at the Vatican recommended on Saturday that Pope Francis allow the ordination of married men as priests in the Amazon region, which would lift a roughly 1,000-year-old restriction and potentially revolutionize the priesthood.
“It is the first time a grouping of bishops convened by a pope has endorsed such a historic change to the tradition of a celibate priesthood. The proposal is limited to remote areas of South America where there is a scarcity of priests but could set a precedent for easing the restriction on married priests throughout the world.
“If Francis, who has already signaled an openness on the issue, accepts the bishops’ recommendation, he will turn the remote areas of the Amazon region into a laboratory for a Catholic Church looking to the global south for its future, with married priests and indigenous rites mixing with traditional liturgy.
“The pope is expected to respond to the proposals by the end of this year.”
By Jason Horowitz, The New York Times — Read more …
Ordination of married men would cause other major changes within the church / National Catholic Reporter
The question of the theology of ordination to the priesthood just isn’t going to go away.
“First, in a meeting with Italian priests in Rome in February, the pope, they tell us, said that he is going to put the topic of the ordination of married men ‘into his diary.’ Meaning on his list of subjects to be — what? Addressed? Discussed? Opened to consideration? Promised? The possibilities are tantalizing.
“In countries where some Catholic communities never see a priest more than once a year, the implications of a new and developing clergy — a married clergy as well as a celibate clergy — conjure up images of a church choosing to be vital and viable again.
“In the United States itself, as well as in far off rural outposts, parishes are closing at a great rate. In fact, the very superstructure of the church of the ’50s — its community-building impact, its services and ministries, its vibrant witness — is dimming. People drive miles to go to Mass now or don’t go at all. They volunteer in civic agencies now rather than in parish ministries because there are few or no church projects impactful enough to demand their commitment. Instead, the church, where there is one, has become a private devotion.
“But if Pope Francis takes the question of married men seriously, that could, for a change, lead to real change.”
By Joan Chittister, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this column.
Amid what the media has presented as a general feeling of optimism about the papacy of Francis, there are some matters that remain causes of concern among American Catholics. One of these is the current state of the priesthood, which has seen a dramatic decline in its numbers over the past forty years and a corresponding decline in new ordinations. At the same time, there are questions about the manner and consistency of seminary formation—including formation related to sexuality and sexual abuse—while parish communities express worries about the “ecclesiastical environments” created by priests who seem out of touch with the concerns of ordinary Catholics.”
By the editors at Commonweal magazine — Click here to see the rest of this story and the links to each of the stories in this three-part series.
In order to keep our readers up-to-date, we are offering the following links to National Catholic Reporter: one, an editorial endorsing the ordination of women to the Roman Catholic priesthood; the other, a story about a retired priest ordered not to say Mass or perform his priestly duties after participating in a liturgy with a woman ordained by the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests.
From these examples and others, the voices of Catholic media and retired clerics are, it seems, becoming stronger in support of ordaining women.
The call to the priesthood is a gift from God. It is rooted in baptism and is called forth and affirmed by the community because it is authentic and evident in the person as a charism. Catholic women who have discerned a call to the priesthood and have had that call affirmed by the community should be ordained in the Roman Catholic Church. Barring women from ordination to the priesthood is an injustice that cannot be allowed to stand.” By National Catholic Reporter Editorial Staff, Dec. 3, 2012
A Catholic priest who participated in a Eucharistic liturgy with a woman priest last month has been ordered to no longer celebrate the Mass or perform any other priestly duties. Jesuit Fr. Bill Brennan, a 92-year-old Milwaukee-area priest, said the superior of his religious community told him of the restrictions Nov. 29, saying they came at the request of Archbishop Jerome Listecki.” By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter, Dec. 3, 2012