First we want to thank you for your commitment to our beloved Church. We all know these are challenging times, changing times. We pray the Lord sends special graces through the Spirit to guide and strengthen you.
We believe in the gift of celibacy (Math: 19, 11-12) for the few who can “accept” religious life. Such a calling is both Cross and Gift.
It is becoming terribly clear the few who are called to celibate priesthood are not enough to meet the demands of our Church in the 21st century. The shortage of parish priests is becoming pandemic. Even with constant prayer our seminaries nearly empty, parishes closing, parish priests on burn out schedules with huge chunks of our global Church in Eucharistic Famine. Sometimes no answer is the answer. If we are to remain a priest centered Eucharist Church, which has been our tradition, so be it, but we must attend to this shortage. Post haste. Whatever the failures of our Church, and God knows they are many and grave for we bear the sins of humanity, so also the Story of Incarnational Love, Humanity Redeemed well told beautifully.
On present course our Church will diminish in global influence at a time when humanity in dangerous straits needs a vibrant evermore embracing, inclusive, merciful, and just Roman Catholic Church living ever more fully the message of Love.
Why is this shortage so? A law, a man made law, a law that perhaps made sense a thousand years ago, now unjust. A law bordering on if not in practice an idol, something of the ordinary and changeable made sacred and immutable. Jesus warns us not to do this. The psalmist warns of stupid thinking.
This crisis of vocations to priesthood is of our own making. We ask God’s forgiveness and mercy for our stiff necked and hard heartedness.
Let’s return to our earlier tradition prior to @ year 1000 AD, when our Church was served by both married and unmarried clergy. We believe many will hear the call to married priesthood.
We ask you bishop to join with your fellow bishops…… to ask Pope Francis to declare married Catholic parish priests the answer to a Church starving for the Eucharist … without which our Church will die from the inside out.
We beg you … we got your back, for surely tackling this issue will be a great challenge for some, as attachment a difficult thing to overcome.
May God grant you the Grace to bear this Cross ….
We the People Speak Out
*Right granted to copy and amend as desired and send to your bishop. jsc