Monday, January 25, 2010

Optional Celibacy: Electronic Postcard Campaign

The Catholic reform organization, FutureChurch, has organized an electronic postcard campaign directed primarily towards Cardinal Claudio Hummes, Prefect for the Congregation for the Clergy, asking him to "begin discussion at the highest levels of the Church about the need to return to our earliest tradition of permitting both a married and celibate clergy."

The campaign notes the closing and consolidation of many parishes due to the priest shortage as well as the many parts of the world where Catholic faithful no longer have regular access to the Eucharist and other sacraments.

The Church's policy of mandatory celibacy is widely considered to be a signficant contributing factor to the lack of vocations to the priesthood as well as the primary reason why seminarians drop out and men leave the priesthood. It is certainly one of the more obvious ones to remedy, unlike the frequently-cited reluctance among this generation to make a lifetime commitment.

Certainly any number of surveys in many different countries of both priests and laity have found clear majorities in favor of optional celibacy, particularly for diocesan priests with religious orders setting their individual policies on the matter.

If you wish to add your name to the appeal, click here. In our opinion, the sample postcard is not particularly well-written (even less so in the foreign language options available by clicking on the appropriate flag at the top of the page) so those who are informed about this issue are encouraged to take advantage of the option FutureChurch provides and edit the content of the postcard to reflect their personal experiences and knowledge about this issue.

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