I didn't start this blog to bewail any calls for women in the Catholic Priesthood! Honest! But my fourth post was precipitated by hearing of a petition calling for it and (having once been an Anglican) my hackles were raised. After all, I left the Anglican "church" once I saw the beauty of true Catholic Church - I thought I was escaping any such controversies. (More on this subject later...)
I'm going to lay this to bed now and trust in the Holy Spirit to guide the Church, as she has done for many centuries. To finish, I thought I'd post the text of Hilariter's response to this petition, which seems to expound my gut reaction expertly.
(For Hilariter's recent additions and elaborations on his contra dicta, please click here.)
As a Catholic priest ordained 15 years ago and now doing further studies in Rome I would like to:
1. Affirm my wholehearted support for the ancient practice of celibacy for the presbyterate in the life of the Church
2. Affirm my wholehearted support for the maintenance of clerical celibacy as a necessary sign to the world of the priority of the Kingdom of God and the call of Jesus, of love for Him and for His Church over other earthly ties
3. Affirm my support for celibacy not just as a discipline but as a practice grounded in the example of the Lord Himself, as a way of life that expresses the heart of the priesthood as a complete self-giving for the Church, as Christ gave Himself totally for His one bride - and so affirm that there are good doctrinal and theological reasons for this practice
4. Affirm my wholehearted assent for the Church's definitive teaching concerning the reservation of the sacrament of Holy Orders to men alone
5. Affirm my wholehearted assent to all of the Church's teachings, not as "Vatican policies", but as the teachings of Jesus Christ who gave His teaching authority to the Church's Magisterium
6. Affirm my prayers for those who have left the priesthood to get married, but my disagreement that they should be allowed back to active priestly ministry still married - such a move would be discouraging to those who have tried to maintain the promises they made at ordination and is a sign of a lack of respect to them
7. Deprecate this petition as an attempt to further the culture of dissent in the Church, a dissent whose real nature is a refusal to believe and so is opposed to the full act of faith, and so will do no good but will serve to encourage division in the Body of Christ
8. Acknowledge that there is indeed a crisis in the life of the Catholic Church, but this has been caused by dissent from the teachings of the Church, a lack of thorough Catholic catechesis, a lack of holiness and prayer in the life of the Church, an unwillingness to evangelise culture with the fullness of the Catholic Faith and a growing antagonistic secularism in the world which dissent actually promotes.
Yours in the Faith
Fr David B Barrett
Casa Santa Maria
Via dell'Umilta 30