Saturday, December 18, 2010

A new vision of the priesthood - Part 9

This is the ninth in an ongoing series of columns about the priesthood by an activist priest from the Dominican Republic, Fr. Rogelio Cruz, that he published in El Día. English translation by Rebel Girl.

Part 9 - 12/7/2010

Celibacy is the main obstacle for young men entering seminary today.

Celibacy is a condition that the Church requires of all who want to be priests.

There are many Christians suited to be priests and there are many young men who would love to be priests, but they don't accept these conditions of celibacy, they aren't ready to give up marriage.

There are many young men of all classes, positions, who would have devoted their whole life to the priesthood, but they're married.

The Latin rite Church has the right to reserve the priesthood for those who have the charism of celibacy, but if it does, it should not be surprised if there are no priests in the future; and the hierarchy can not cause such great harm to the whole Church, only because it wants to hold on to a tradition that is relative and that has been so poorly kept throughout history.

Celibacy arose as a disciplinary weapon of the Church in the year 300, at the Council of Elvira (Spain), a provincial synod, clearly established as a disciplinary norm, and the hierarchy has had to insist on many occasions through all sorts of orders, laws, and plans, that what has been established be maintained.

We believe there have been and can be celibate priests.

What we can't see clearly -- and neither can the people of God -- is why all priests have to necessarily be celibate and why the doors are closed to those who could be priests without being celibate.

The deduction from this is that the Church should have two types of priests, single and married, with different attitudes and training, but united in the work of evangelism.

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