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.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Married Priests Have Reasons for Hope



Dear Blog Visitors:

If you have followed my writings in recent months, you are aware that I not only changed the title of this blog, but I have also ventured into a variety of topics of interest.

Since my blog originated as a vehicle for reform in the Roman Catholic Church, I will continue to focus on this area from time-to-time, in addition to writing on such topics as the arts, politics, social issues, etc.

As I have grown older, I have come to realize that I need to step back from my reform activities in the Catholic Church and allow the next generation's voices to be heard. At the same time, I want to offer a message of hope to the approximately 120,000 married priests throughout the world.

In 2002, married priests came to realize the great injustice they had experienced at the hands of the Roman Catholic hierarchy. This was the year the Boston Globe broke the story of the sexual abuse crisis. This was an especially hurtful time for married priests, for one simple reason. At the very basic level, married priests were driven out of their canonical ministries, while priests who committed acts of sexual abuse were routinely moved from parish to parish.

When I say there is a glimmer of hope for married priests, it is because of harsh realities the Vatican is now facing. In brief, Vatican City was not spared from the economic downturn the world has experienced in recent years. In addition, multiple parishes have closed throughout the world, due in large part to the dwindling number of celibate priests. Consequently, the Vatican is beginning to realize that if the Roman Catholic Church is to remain vital on the world stage, some immediate steps need to be taken.

Judging by the relative quiet amongst the Roman Catholic hierarchy the past few months, it is safe to assume that secretive discussions are taking place behind Vatican walls on very sensitive issues, including the hot topic of priestly celibacy.

Although I made the above video three years ago, it is fair to say that it is more timely today than it was then. So, I am posting it in the hopes members of the Catholic hierarchy will see it. I tried to utilize a blend of theology, history and present-day realities to give hope to married priests.

Let us pray that as the world moves forward that the Vatican, although locked in tradition, can find creative ways to embrace a new generation. Utilizing married priests would be a welcome step in the right direction. It would be a way of honoring the early married apostles (Peter included) and giving hope to those who have strayed from the institutional church over divisive issues.

Peace to all,
Ray

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