Skip to comments.UPDATE: Rorate Caeliís diatribe against Pope Francis [Catholic Caucus]
Posted on 03/14/2013 8:55:25 AM PDT by NYer
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The comment was not meant as a criticism and I apologize if you understood it that way. As for placing myself in your shoes, I have been there. The RC diocese in which I reside has been run by one of the most progressive bishops in the US. In the 30+ years of his service, he has 'wreckovated' churches; those that did not comply, were closed. In my city, there were 6 RC parishes. The bishop announced they needed to review their finances and give him their recommendations for parish mergers. Despite several parishes being in the black financially, and without visiting any of these parish meetings, he ignored their recommendation, lowered the boom and closed 5 parishes and one school. These faithful catholics were so angry that many joined an Evangelical church. Insofar as priestly formation, when candidates presented themselves they were asked for their view on women's ordination. Those young men who cited the papal decree prohibiting the ordination of women, were turned away. As a result, the majority of priests in this diocese have continued to serve, well into their 80's. Some parishes have been turned over to "Lay Ecclesial Ministers" (in several instances, women religious). They now rely on a priest to visit during the week to consecrate a sufficient number of hosts for their Sunday 'priestless' service. One woman who occasionally drives 2 hours to attend mass in our church, just advised us that 5 of the 6 priests in the surrounding parishes where she resides, are retiring this summer. Believe me, you have my sympathy!
I live in a Rural area. There is ONE parish within 50 miles of my home, with about 150 members, most over 75. Due to it being a small parish, the bishop has dumped on us an incompetent and abusive priest that his previous parish demanded the bishop remove.
This is a painful situation. On the one hand, Rejoice!, at least you have a priest to celebrate mass on Sunday and not a nun or lay person leading the congregation in a prayer service. I don't know the situation with your seminary or how many priests are in your diocese to serve the needs of the catholic community at large. There are some options and, If you would like to discuss these, it would be better to do so via freepmail. I look forward to hearing from you.