Skip to comments.Priest Who Leads Largest Catholic Church in US: We Should Allow Married Priests
Posted on 07/13/2017 11:02:45 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
The man who leads the largest Roman Catholic Church in America is advocating that the church allow married men to become priests, and plans to spend his retirement ministering among the poorest of the poor.
Monsignor John McSweeney, 75, who is originally from New York, is concluding 43 years of ministry in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he has most recently served as priest at St. Matthew in Ballantyne, an affluent suburb of the state's most populous city.
St. Matthew Catholic Church is the largest Roman Catholic parish in the United States which boasts of over 10,000 families, according to The Charlotte Observer Sunday.
Much like Pope Francis, McSweeney said he desires a church that is more oriented toward hospitality and less about judgment. Charlotte, which reportedly has a burgeoning population of Roman Catholics, faces a shortage of priests in their diocese. And to address this, McSweeney said he favors the Church allowing priests to be married, mentioning that he has been around many Protestant pastors who are married and "doing great work."
"And many men I was in the (Catholic) seminary with would be great priests today except for one thing," McSweeney said. That one thing is their desire to be married.
For the first 1,000 years of Catholicism, celibacy for priests was optional. In March, Pope Francis expressed openness to the idea.
"In our history, we would have men in training in different seminaries so we'd get a broader aspect of the church," he said.
"And I think that's what should be done now. Not just one place."
In the fall of 2009, Pope Benedict invited disenchanted Anglicans to come into the Roman Catholic Church, and allowed for married Anglican priests who converted to remain in the clergy.
McSweeney is "very concerned," however, about a resurgence of younger priests who are very conservative who dislike the Vatican II reforms in the Catholic Church.
Also called the Second Vatican Council, this council occurred in the 1960s where the Roman Church adopted notable changes in the way ministry is conducted. Vatican II invited lay people to minister more actively in the liturgy, and masses were increasingly celebrated in native languages of people, not just Latin.
Yet lay ministers who are women, are not being allowed, for instance, to help serve Communion. Altar boys are permitted, but not altar girls.
These young conservative priests, McSweeney explained, "are trying to reform the reform ... I don't endorse what they're doing to God's people."
When it comes to ordaining women as priests, as several Protestant denominations have done for decades, McSweeney said he "won't go there." Pope Francis and other recent popes have stated that change will never occur.
"I've had the privilege of being in many different roles in ministry ... But I think I need now to experience [poverty]," McSweeney said, who intends to spend the years of his retirement in a place like Haiti or Jamaica, ministering among some of the most destitute people on earth.
"I'm going to try to walk in the sandals of the Lord," McSweeney said.
"I have a little motto: 'You never say no to Jesus.' And he keeps talking to me."
McSweeney will preach his farewell sermon at St. Matthew on Sunday.
That would help me understand the idea of seeing your priest for advice when your marriage is in trouble.
Absolutely. Unless they are bishops
There are very good reasons why priests should not marry.
There is no way they can satisfy the needs of the Church and her people and tend to a family as well.
A priest gets called to service at any hour of the day, and any day of the week. And he must be available - in body, mind and spirit.
If it’s that important to marry while serving the Church, he can become a Deacon.
“Also called the Second Vatican Council, this council occurred in the 1960s where the Roman Church adopted notable changes in the way ministry is conducted. Vatican II invited lay people to minister more actively in the liturgy, and masses were increasingly celebrated in native languages of people, not just Latin.”
If you accept Vatican 2,
you think your church is alive.
If you reject Vatican 2,
you admit your church is dead.
Exceptions are admitted and there are over 200 married Catholic priests who converted from the Anglican Communion and Protestant faiths. In most Orthodox traditions and in some Eastern Catholic Churches men who are already married may be ordained priests, but priests may not marry after ordination.
Concerned?! I think having these kinds of priests is good news!
I agree that celibate clergy has its benefits; the martyrs of Bolshevism and Communism would be fewer and farther between if those priests had been married. In Spain’s Civil War, more than six thousand priests, a dozen bishops, and hundreds of nuns were murdered by Communists - and many were offered their lives if they would denounce the faith. I suspect if they had families some would have.
One of the issues with this question is the fact that most Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church DO have married priests...
Who would they marry? Other priests or little boys?
Better married than homo.
[ Also called the Second Vatican Council, this council occurred in the 1960s where the Roman Church adopted notable changes in the way ministry is conducted. Vatican II invited lay people to minister more actively in the liturgy, and masses were increasingly celebrated in native languages of people, not just Latin.
If you accept Vatican 2,
you think your church is alive.
If you reject Vatican 2,
you admit your church is dead. ]
Dead as a doornail!
Our church closed our local catholic high school because they didn’t have enough money to “keep it open” despite a local captain of industry offering a blank check to keep it open. A few years later they built a multi-million dollar “community center” where they could make the old geezers comfortable while they slowly leeched out their social security checks via daily Bingo sessions, then a few years later they completely renovated and rebuild the church from a somber place of worship into a gleaming sparking monstrosity....
Oh and all the school property the church owned, they sold it for pennies on the dollar to the local skrool system.
It’s DEAD JIM!
Would anyone be surprised?
Hi MichaelCorleone. Noting that overseer in 1 Timothy 3:1-5 is a translation of Greek word for bishop, your statement doesnt necessarily compliment that passage, particularly verse 5. Please comment.
I am in the Charlotte Diocese and very active within it. It is thriving because the Bishop and core leaders are more traditional. Vocations in Charlotte are strong. One need only look to the macro trends (Mass attendance, confession, apostasy, support for abortion) since VII to recognize its impact.
Now, whether I’m in favor of this or not... (I am, but that’s neither here nor there at the moment.)
Throw out the sodomites and pedos first. The Catholic hierarchy needs a serious sandblasting lately.
Actually, it works just fine for doctors, firefighters, EMT’s, and the EO. There are plenty of occupations which require people to be on call at all hours of the day or night.
And if they allowed married priests, there would be lots more and they would be able to sharer the burden and it would be less pressure on the few they have.
Your argument fails on so many points.
Those with those types of occupations only get called in when they are ‘on call’. A priest is always on call - 24/7.
Apples and oranges and all that.
The priest is married to the church. As I mentioned, if a man is already married or needs to marry, he can become a Deacon. There is nothing to prevent a married man from serving the Church.
The ‘there would therefore be more priests available’ argument is faulty reasoning.
He’s not the first to hold this opinion. The ordination of married men is possible, and sometimes happens. The theological and practical arguments for and against have been hashed to death, so I don’t see Msgr. McSweeney’s point in bringing it up again.
But anyway, I wish him the best in his new role with the Missionaries of the Poor. He’s been a big influence in the order’s expansion into the United States and the participation of American volunteers in the missions in Jamaica, Haiti, and elsewhere. My 17-year-old daughter is with a group at the Jamaican missions this week.
Do you mean this - “For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?”
Sure. Why not? The Church is already well on the road to hell itself.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.