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If you are visiting my blog, expecting to see 'Toward a Progressive Catholic Church,' I have changed my title to reflect my wide assortment of interests. Having retired from my secular job, I hope to devote the rest of my life to my hobbies, ministries and perhaps a part-time job that makes good use of my communications skills. This blog will be designed to address my multi-faceted interests.

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Location: Rochester, New York, United States

I have an M.A. in Theology and an M.Div (Master of Divinity) from St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry. I am currently a media consultant and promoter of classical music. I am also certified as an officiant by the Federation of Christian Ministries for baptisms, weddings and funerals and minister independently of the Rochester Diocese. My life has encompassed many interesting paths: broadcasting, free-lance writing, video-production, music, ministry and a secular job in government. In addition to this blog, I have a YouTube site at www.youtube.com/priestray and I have a Facebook page.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Statements from CORPUS & 'Married Priests Now!'

Dear Blog Visitors:

People continue to ask me what I intend to do, now that I am a married priest. The short answer is that I continue to be a Roman Catholic, and my primary ministries will be via certification from the Federation of Christian Ministries (baptisms, weddings, funerals).

A question that continues to surface from time to time is what the relationship between CORPUS and 'The Married Priests Now! Prelature' will be. After some careful dialogue/negotiation, both organizations have released statements that are respectful of each other's goals and initiatives. Since both CORPUS and 'Married Priests Now!' have posted these statements to their respective websites, I thought it would be appropriate to post the statements here as well.

At the heart of all organizations that work toward inclusivity in the priesthood is the reality that while the Roman Catholic Church is growing in terms of numbers, the celibate priesthood is shrinking, which places the availability of the Eucharist in jeopardy.

I will continue to support the crusade for optional celibacy and want to encourage all men and women called to the priesthood to pursue their vocations, despite present obstacles.

Having been ordained by Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, I support his efforts to bring the need for married priests to the forefront of public debate. After many decades of dedicated service to the Roman Catholic Church, the Vatican stripped him of his pension. He is now advocating for all married priests, most of whom also lost their pensions. In the private sector, an employee with an adequate number of vested years does not lose his or her pension. Yet, the Vatican continues to punish priests who enter into marriage by stripping them of their rightfully-earned retirement benefits. This is an injustice Archbishop Milingo is helping to address.

Without further delay, here are the statements by CORPUS and 'The Married Priests Now Prelature.' Despite some differences in the two organizations, we share the conviction that the policy of mandatory celibacy is outdated and is causing great harm to the church-at-large.

Peace,
Ray Grosswirth

CORPUS' position statement regarding the Married Priests Now! organization

CORPUS’ board and staff have been approached numerous times by our members, non-members, and representatives of the media regarding our organization’s position on the Married Priests Now! prelature. After having the opportunity to reflect, meet in person, and discuss, we feel it important to share with you our perspective...

CORPUS intends to be inclusive not only with those candidates who seek ministry but also with the diverse national and international organizations which seek different strategies for implementing an inclusive priesthood.

Married Priests Now! is a new organization, one which has in its membership and leadership CORPUS members and one which has a Roman Catholic Archbishop as its leader. CORPUS supports and endorses the good will of those who choose Married Priests Now! as the proper structure for their spiritual journey.

CORPUS, nonetheless, is concerned about some aspects of the theology of Married Priests Now! and trusts that eventually that organization will address these concerns. These concerns of ours include the following:

an insufficient public emphasis on the charisms of women and their yearning for ordination

a marginalization of homosexual candidates even when these candidates are people of exemplary and unimpeachable character

a heavy clericalization of the organization, one which seems at odds with collegiality and biblical simplicity

a reliance on funding sources that are questionable

CORPUS does not intend and has no right to be judgmental about motivations and individuals. We do wish, however, to make our concerns explicit in the hope that a dialogue will follow and that a proper resolution of these concerns may allow organizational solidarity to go forward.

C. Russell Ditzel, president
William J. Manseau, treasurer
Linda Pinto, secretary
Anthony PadovanoD
David Gawlik
Stu O'Brien
Ray Grosswirth
Joe Cece

February 10. 2007

Married Priests Now! Response to Corpus Statement
February 14, 2007

From Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, President
Archbishop George A. Stallings, Vice-President
Archbishop Peter P. Brennan, Vicar General
Archbishop Patrick E. Trujillo, Chancellor
Archbishop Joseph J. Gouthro, Secretary General

We cordially thank the CORPUS board of directors for their open, honest and helpful statement concerning our Married Priests Now! Catholic Prelature. And we appreciate the valuable advice you offer for our consideration.

We are a young organization, as you know. We only began in July 2006. Our present intention is to mesh with the institutional church and our only goal is to have married priests honored and returned to full ministry and to have married men ordained to the priesthood.

While the institutional church has not yet been openly receptive to the idea, we are hopeful that a miracle of grace will overcome them. Waiting on the institutional response to our proposals requires us to contain our demands to only ONE and that is the return of the married priesthood.

The institutional church understands hierarchy and respects the office of bishop. Our prelature retains the hierarchical structure (with mitres) because it allows the institutional church to recognize us as Catholic and episcopal; and is a sign that we mean business. They are comfortable with that structure and know what it means.

If the institutional church trashes and rejects us, as she has done to marrried priests for the last forty years, then we will have little recourse but to join the new Catholic Church about which Archbishop Milingo wrote to Pope Benedict XVI "that is forming with or without your blessing."

The Holy Father has recently deleted Archbishop Milingo's name from the Annual Pontifical Directory in an attempt to erase from his own memory his moral and social obligation to pay Archbishop Milingo his well earned pension which he is not doing. It seems the Holy Father can teach morals but does not have to practice them -- and that is not a good example to the faithful.
It is clear from their inability to respond to the crisis-level shortage of priests throughout the world that the institutional church, in the person of the Holy Father and his Curia, has made the decision to allow the sacramental priesthood to decline into extinction. This would mean that the original, scripturally-based priesthood of the faithful will replace the sacramental priesthood and that will be a greater and more significant advance than the one we are proposing. As Jesus said: "They know not what they are doing."

Cordially in Christ, the resurrected Lord,

+Peter Paul Brennan
Vicar General
Married Priests Now! Catholic Prelature

STATEMENT BY MICHAEL JENKINS, PRESIDENT OF THE UNIFICATION CHURCH OF AMERICA:

February 14, 2007

The dignity with which Archbishop Brennan addresses CORPUS concerns is to be commended. Also I want to sincerely thank the CORPUS organization for their professional, scholarly and sincere spirituality to address concerns that are legitimate and important.

I am deeply impressed that CORPUS is remaining grounded in the fundamental teachings of Jesus and staying true to those teaching such as "Judge Not lest ye be judged" and the emphasis of love and respect.

I do believe the questions will be answered and that MPN and CORPUS will find a balanced cooperative relationship on goals that both organizations share in terms of ministering to and helping Married Priests - who are a very important dimension of God's work in the world.

My respect for CORPUS has been deeply strengthened through the meeting with various former Presidents of CORPUS. They are approaching this as men of faith and with a resonable and enlighted theological depth and concern to do what is best for Married Priests organizations.

They are also doing much to respect Archbishop Milingo's courage to challenge the unworkable situation of celibacy in the Mother Church.

Archbishop Brennan,Archbishop Milingo, Archbishop Stallings and Archbishop Trujillo, as well as Father Dairo Ferrabolli have expressed enormous respect for CORPUS - let us work in such a way that CORPUS is strengthened whenever we share common objectives. I pray that Jesus prayer in John 17:21 will be fulfilled that "All May Be One".

Sincerely,

Rev. Michael Jenkins
President of the Unification Church of America
(Family Federation for World Peace and Unification)

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