Thursday, May 24, 2012

Catholic Priests are rebelling

If you ask someone in a Roman Catholic parish in the US about their pastors, chances are high that their experience of priests is of the following: older Irish priests, Asian priests, African priests.  Native born Americans are relatively few.

And things are heating up in Europe. In the wake of the Austrian priest abuse scandal, a large group of Austrian priests demanded changes:
Some 300 Austrian priests are rebelling against the Vatican, demanding in their Call to Disobedience the end of celibacy for clerics, giving communion to Catholics who have divorced and remarried, and allowing female clerics, among other reforms. 76 percent of those polled by Der Standard agree with the priests, saying that the Vatican is incapable of moving forward with the times and introducing reforms. The Archbishop of Vienna, meanwhile, has said that this must stop or else the priests will face consequences. 
here's their manifesto.

 [A] number of priests have openly expressed their desire for change in Church rules on matters such as clerical celibacy, the ordination of women and the ban on contraception…. [A] survey also found that 77% of Irish Catholics want women to be ordained, while more than 60% disagreed with Church teaching that gay relationships were immoral. 
This is really something.  Would you have expected Ireland to be a center for Catholic rebellion? And from the priests?  I am glad to see the priests in Ireland and Austria standing up, finally, and saying they won't betray their people. 

In the US rebellion has been more sporadic: Fr Geoff Farrow opposing Prop 8, a few priests in Seattle refusing to read an anti-marriage equality letter,  a priest in Minnesota calling the bishop to account on anti-marriage hate. But it's not organized. And of course, the Vatican is going after the nuns, for their steady progressive voices.

But still:  that priests are standing up to Rome in Europe is quite amazing.  

They say you can tell a priest with aspirations to a bishopric by his cuff links.  I suspect these men all have their sleeves rolled they should do, to do the work to serve people.  Well done!


Counterlight said...

Austria and Ireland both were once among the most loyally Catholic of countries. Their priests have apparently had enough and are taking matters into their own hands.

Anonymous said...

The fear felt by US RC priests is amazing. What are their bishops going to do? Fire them? The bishops can't keep their parishes open as it is! Unfortunately, the RC seminary system is NOT designed to train these men to be assertive, mature, confident or effective (I speak from five years experience thru graduate school seminary). They are, by and large, afraid of women, afraid of their bishops, afraid of their own sexuality, and mostly just lonely, lonely, lonely. It's beyond sad.
Lou Poulain
now a happy Episcopalian layman in
Sunnyvale CA

IT said...

Reminder from one of your friendly blog administrators:

DO NOT FEED THE TROLL. It just makes more things for me to remove.

Thank you.