Skip to comments.556 Reasons for Hope [Seminarians Support Celibacy]
Posted on 09/10/2004 7:24:07 PM PDT by Salvation
556 Reasons For Hope
CRISIS Magazine - e-Letter
September 10, 2004
You're going to like this.
For a while now, it seemed like news about the priesthood was becoming increasingly dim. On the one hand was the problem of abusive priests; on the other, the problem of good priests being overworked and weighed down by the general condemnation of the media.
And then, last August, another blow. A group of 163 priests in the diocese of Milwaukee signed a petition that they sent to Bishop Wilton Gregory, the president of the USCCB, urging him and the rest of the bishops to lift the requirement for priestly celibacy.
(Predictably, the mainstream media gave it lots of coverage.)
At the time, I noted that signing the petition didn't actually constitute dissent, since priestly celibacy is a tradition (or discipline) of the Church and not a doctrine. But I was nevertheless saddened, since I do think there are a number of good reasons to keep the tradition alive. Happily, Bishop Gregory wrote a strong and eloquent response to the priests, explaining why the tradition should (and would) remain in place.
Nevertheless, I couldn't shake the feeling that this was a bad sign for the future. What about the priests who DON'T want a married priesthood... would their voices ever be heard?
Well, it looks like I didn't have to worry. Those priests have spoken up for themselves.
The week before last, news came that two seminarians at St. John Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota started a petition of their own. Gary J. Kasel of the St. Paul-Minneapolis diocese and Franz S. Klein from the diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin, were worried about the potential negative impact of the petition from Milwaukee, so they began circulating another petition to support celibacy among seminarians at their college.
What followed was truly a grassroots effort -- seminarians at St. John's sent the petition to friends they knew in other seminaries, encouraging them to do the same. There was no public crusade, no far-reaching organization, no media outlets eager to promote their agenda -- just word of mouth spreading the petition through the various seminaries.
The results are in. A total of 556 seminarians from 13 different seminaries signed the petition to Bishop Gregory. That's over three times the number of names on last year's petition.
Not surprisingly, most of the media took a pass on the story.
Among other things, the petition read, "We are writing today to affirm our support for Holy Mother Church's teaching on the place of celibacy in the priesthood.... We, to whom the precious gift of divine grace to live as celibates has been given, yearn with all our hearts to offer this celibacy up to the Lord with undivided hearts, at the service of his Church."
When interviewed about their efforts, Klein simply stated, "This letter is meant to indicate only exactly what the Holy Father has spoken of as being something of great value to the type of priesthood that the Latin rite needs at this time. This important element is the grace given to those who make a single-hearted sacrifice and choose a life of celibacy."
I don't need to tell you how incredibly gratifying this is to hear -- and from our seminarians, no less. It's easy to get discouraged about the future of the Church with all the things going on nowadays.
But these seminarians ARE the future, and they're making themselves heard loud and clear. And soon, not even the mainstream media will be able to ignore them.
I'll talk to you next week,
**Among other things, the petition read, "We are writing today to affirm our support for Holy Mother Church's teaching on the place of celibacy in the priesthood.... We, to whom the precious gift of divine grace to live as celibates has been given, yearn with all our hearts to offer this celibacy up to the Lord with undivided hearts, at the service of his Church."**
Hope is alive and well! God bless these young men.
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And they fervently believe that this is a gift! My son is a seminarian who made the pledge and to hear him, and his fellow seminarians speak, is truly gratifying and faith affirming.
From my perspective, the seminarians and younger priests are going to inspire Catholics to a new life in Christ and the Church.
**From my perspective, the seminarians and younger priests are going to inspire Catholics to a new life in Christ and the Church.**
I agree with you wholeheartedly. It's starting to happen when these younger priests get assigned. So reverent. So inspiring.
They will receive abundant blessings!
From my perspective as well, but they will be punished by those priests in the hierarchy just above them depending on the diecese.
Yes, that may be true. But they are young and can probably handle it. There are six men from my town that have become priests in the last ten years and buy are they fiesty! And very idealistic and traditional! It's wonderful to hear their homilies and the way the Holy Spirit is moving them to create a renewed spirit in those around them.
It's also fun to hear them talk about how other men need to see "manly" priests. They are very serious in what they say regarding manly role models, but they punctuate it with stories of weight-lifting and going buffalo hunting (yes, really)! They truly are wonderful men!
Hip, hip hooray for the young seminarians and priests! May God send forth many orthodox shepherds to help restore integrity and fidelity to the Catholic Church.
God bless these young men.
There may be cause for hope, but it's still too early to support anything novus ordo.
Here's just yet one more reason why not to lend financial assistance to the novus ordo corruption...
Why do you insist on attacking the Novus Ordo Catholics. We are your brother and sister Catholics.
The Church is a growing, changing institution. (And we can be thankful for that.) My belief is that, indeed, the pendulum had swung way over to the liberal left in the Catholic Church. I believe the pendulum of the church is swinging back at this current time and is just a tad to the right of center.
I really wish you would pray rather than derride. In fact we should all be praying a Rosary daily for the Church.
PS. Didn't Jesus Christ eat and talk with the sinners? NO Catholics attempt to do the same thing. And I think in your own way you do too. Sometimes your methods just seem very strange to me.
LOL!! All this shows is that laymen need to have more control of parish finances.
Any chance the SSPX parishes would allow laymen to take charge of the purse strings?
If the pendulum is swinging back, how do you explain this...