My World of Religion, Politics, Entertainment and Social Issues

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.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Hypocrisy Over Married Priests

Dear Blog Visitors:

It is part of my daily routine to scan national newspapers for stories related to the Roman Catholic priesthood. One particular article captured my attention this morning, for it focused on a married Episcopalian priest who converted to Roman Catholicism, and then was allowed, under a special provision, to become a married Roman Catholic priest in the Los Angeles Archdiocese.

I want to be welcoming when married Episcoplian priests are allowed to become married Roman Catholic priests under the special provision enacted by the late pontiff, John Paul II. These priests can give witness to the fact that it is entirely possible to be married, raise children and be a Roman Catholic priest at the same time. However, at the same time, I am angry over the hypocrisy that exists over this issue.

It seems to me that the Vatican is operating with a double-standard that is causing anguish for thousands of Roman Catholic priests who eventually entered into marriage. Unlike married Episcoplian priests who are welcomed in the Roman Catholic fold, RC priests who marry are treated like outcasts and are subsequently removed from their canonical ministries.

If you have followed my blog in recent weeks, you are aware that I was ordained a married priest by Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo (also married) on December 10, 2006. This was made possible via 'The Married Priests Now! Prelature.' However, rather than receiving a welcome by the Roman Catholic hierarchy, as is the case with married Episcopalian priests who become Roman Catholic priests, I have been told that I cannot receive Communion in my long-time parish, unless I renounce my ordination and repent via the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

I have no intention of renouncing my ordination. At the very least, it is my prayer that my ordination will inspire others in the Roman Catholic community who are genuinely called to pursue their God-given vocations.

Married priests give strong witness to the fact that even after marriage and raising families, their craving to serve at the Eucharistic table continues. Although my circumstances are slightly different, in that I don't have children (was married late in life), I nevertheless am a godparent to three children. I would like nothing better than to be a good example to them via my role as a married priest, with the added blessing of the Roman Catholic hierarchy.

As stated in other writings, I am fortunate to live in Rochester, New York, because of the fact that we have a very inclusive Catholic community known as Spiritus Christi Church. Since the Rochester Diocese is denying Communion to me, for the simple reason that I was ordained a married priest, Spiritus Christi is becoming more attractive to me each passing day.

In conclusion, I want to welcome the married priest to the Los Angeles Archdiocese. At the same time, however, I pray that the Roman Catholic hierarchy will see the hypocrisy in their actions. If they are going to accept married Episcopalian priests in the Roman Catholic presbyterate, why not bring back the 125,000 priests who entered into marriage? In addition, rather than denying Communion to me as a punishment for becoming an ordained married priest, why not recognize me as a member of the presbyterate who could help alleviate the Eucharistic famine we are currently facing?

Let us continue to pray for a more inclusive church.

1 Comments:

Blogger Archbishop Peter Brennan said...

Since you are a priest, no one can deny you Communion because you celebrate your own Eucharist. Whenever you are in a Catholic Church feel free and welcome to receive Communion. You are on the right track, it is the others who have to catch up. Keep leading.
Cordial blessings on your ministry and good work.

4:43 PM  

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