Saturday, August 21, 2004

CELIBACY. Part 2 Married Priests & the Gay Conspiracy

The Catholic priesthood is shrinking faster than a wet wool sweater in a micro wave oven. Recruitment is at an all time low, even in Ireland, that historically fecund producer of priests and nuns.

In the last twenty five years, 20,000 American priests have given up the collar in favour of married life. Parishes are being closed or operating without a regular pastor because of the lack of priests. Mean while, the laity continues to grow.

Literally nine in ten priests who leave orders do so because of conflicts with the celibacy rule. The shortage of priests is so severe, some priests now travel circuits, performing the sacraments in a different parish every week.

Enter “RENT A PRIEST” a concept whose time, believe it or not, has come. RENT A PRIEST is an organization of married priests who still practise their vocations. Their web site is linked above. A married priest can administer the sacraments and perform mass, if invited to do so by members of the parish.

In many places in South America, married priests are running churches without interference from the ruling Bishops. The laity seems to have no problem with the idea of married priests. In fact, the laity seems to prefer them. I suppose it’s a trust issue.

RENT A PRIEST believes that celibacy is the primary issue behind the shrinking priesthood and the sex scandals that have done so much damage to the Church.

But, Papal authority, in its’ infallible wisdom, counters with weak biblical arguments for the celibate priesthood and refuses to listen to its’ troubled laity. Nothing new there.

What is new is the idea that the Church does not have a problem with celibacy, the Church has a problem with gay men in the priesthood. Watch for this.

This idea has been proposed by some bishops and a couple of prominent Catholic writers and it is beginning to gain steam. One Catholic writer describes a “secretive gay network working within the Church”, to defame and destroy the authority of the Church.

While chewing on that, season it with this little fact: The overwhelming majority of sex abuse complaints regarding clergy, Catholic and Protestant, involve teenage and adult women. The media focuses almost exclusively on pedophile cases and cases involving scandals about gay priests. Presumably those stories sell better.

So, now the Church can cease to worry about it’s secrecy, it’s tendency to protect the image of the Church rather than its’ members, its’ refusal to share decision making with the supporting laity, and forget this nonsense about celibacy. It’s all just an evil gay conspiracy that harms the innocent old Church. Proving once again that gays are of the Devil and the Pope is infallible.

I expect this is the beginning of a new witch hunt.

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