View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Priest Encourages Prayers for Women Priests!

An anonymous commenter alerted me to this. (Thank you!)

I know to raise the issue of women and married men to be considered as priests is unacceptable for some among us…not for me…I pray that wherever priests come from that we as God’s family would be open to allow people to serve…if you feel only male celibates should be ordained, fine, encourage and pray for that…if you feel women or married men should be considered, encourage and pray for that…wherever the vocations come from, let us just pray and accept them to serve.

My prayer for this Year of the Priest is that all in our Church would be open to consider the many fine Deacons who could be ordained to Ministerial Priesthood…that we would not be afraid to open ourselves to other Married Men becoming candidates…that our Church would use this year to study and examine whether women should be ordained as deacons…that we would consider the possibility that God has planted the vocation to Priesthood in women’s lives and we would seriously try to discern that…that even for Bishops, we would return to the traditional process where the people of the Diocese had a say in offering candidates…I am sure that these ideas are not a part of Pope Benedict’s plan for this year, but as long as we are going to focus on Priests, let’s consider all the dimensions of Priesthood and the real need our Church has..

This is from the June 28 bulletin of St. Louis Parish . The author is Father Kevin Murphy. Having met him during my years at the Catholic Courier, I am not surprised that he would write this. But when it comes to the issue of women's ordination he would be wise to heed the example of Rochester's first Bishop, Bernard McQuaid, and how he handled papal infallibility.

Bishop McQuaid argued against the idea of papal infallibility at Vatican I, but once the doctrine was promulgated he humbly accepted it and did not raise his voice in opposition. And he did not encourage others to cling to false hopes.

Bishop McQuaid knew that that was the proper response for a cleric and a representative of the Church when "Rome has spoken."


Blogger Dr. K said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:15 PM  
Blogger Dr. K said...

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9:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not even Bishop Clark would put that in writing. Crazy.

10:03 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Dr. K - I don't know his exact age. I'd estimate early 60s - so a while yet before retirement.

But I could be wrong.

6:14 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

I believe he is in his late 60's. He was Pastor at St. Joseph's Penfield before he was switched with Fr. Jim Schwartz. He said he was a class ahead of Fr. Schwartz, who was ordained in 1968.

I'm not really surprised he has written this.

8:41 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Thanks for the clarification.

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Add me to the choir of voices who are not surprised that Fr. Murphy believes in this. I will differ a little from the rest, in that I am surprised that he had the courage (or rather audacity?) to publish a piece praying for a change to the Catholic faith. By putting this in writing, he is running a great risk that it could be sent to higher authorities, and risk punishment coming down on him from above. This includes requests that he recant his words. It is one thing for a priest to say something in passing, but another when he chooses to use his power and authority as a priest to write for a change in Catholic doctrine. He is abusing his power as priest to publish dissent on Catholic teaching, whatever the motive. Fr. Murphy would indeed have been wise to follow the example of Bishop McQuaid. Whatever his personal beliefs may be, if the Church does not believe in them, you must not speak against what the Church holds as part of the faith. Pray all you want for change, fine, but do not try and sway your people by using the means of communication to promote dissent among them.

11:21 AM  
Blogger Dr. K said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does Fr. Murphy think he's going to change the Church by writing this in his bulletin? Who is he fooling... this can only lead to trouble for him with the hierarchy.

10:21 PM  

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