Monday, April 30, 2007

Pope Benedict Prays for More Priest Vocations

An article today on Catholic News Service states that at a Mass where Pope Benedict ordained 22 men, be pleaded for more vocations to the priesthood. I cannot believe we are still having this debate, but of course the easy answer to his prayers would be to allow women and married men to become priests in the Roman Catholic Church.

Last I heard, the core of the faith was contained in the Nicene Creed. And the Nicene Creed does not state: "I believe in an all male celibate priesthood. I believe in one holy, catholic, and apostolic church where chrism oil will NEVER be touch the body of a woman for the purpose of ordination."

The real reason there are not women priests right now is that until recently, women were not considered whole human beings. Both Augustine and Aquinas state as much. And the reason that marriend men are not ordained priests in the Roman Church is because Rome does not want priests saying Mass who have just had sex. There are numerous documents throughout the ages by bishops and theologians asking priests not to "descrate" themselves with their wives before celebrating Mass.

For more infomation on this debate which should be over by now, check out

A Faithful Catholic

Monday, April 23, 2007

Reconciliation & General Absolution

I thought a good first topic to tackle would be General Absolution. Another blogger seemed excited about the issue of a Catholic church in the Archdiocese that was rumored to be having a general absolution service in December. I have nothing against individual reconciliation. I have benefited many times from it. But the Vatican itself has stated that in "exceptional situations" general absolution may be used.

I know that they probably mean a situation where there's one priest in a mission area for a short time and a billion people there want reconciliation, but there is another take on it. I was talking to a priest recently about his rather large parish and he told me that there were only four sinners at his parish. Meaning that of the thousands of parishioners, only four people ever went to confession. Parishes that have communal reconciliation and/or general absolution, have the ability to reach hundreds more that otherwise will not go to confession. Timothy and bishops around the U.S. have been trying to push individual reconciliation for a couple decades with no success. I say let's reach the people. Get your parish to have a general absolution service if possible, or at least a communal penance service. The other upside is that such a move may help Catholics come back to the graces and blesses afforded in an individual reconciliation experience.

A Faithful Catholic

Initial Blog Entry

This is my first blog. And I won't lie. It's mostly spurred on from reading Catholic Mike, who for better or worse is rather well read. I couldn't find anything else in the Milwaukee area that looked at things from a more progressive point of view. So I have started this blog.

I'm a faithful Catholic. I welcome comments and plan to usually post them unless one person comments too often or not with a spirit of generosity.

I think we are in a wintertime in the Catholic Church right now. Pope John Paul II gave us papal representatives and not bishops. He gave us "yes men" and not scholars, not thinkers. The future of the Catholic Church looks bleak. But I'm still here. I'll go down with the ship, but I hope that it does not come to that. There are still so many good priests, good lay people, great theologians, but I think it is possible that John Paul "The Great" may go down in history as the man responsible for killing the Catholic Church.

In large part the blame goes back to Vatican II. So many, countless wonderful things happened there. They addressed the issue of collegiality among the bishops and a voice of the faithful among the laity, but they installed no safeguards to insure this vision and the thinking progressive episcopate has been decimated, almost without exception. We have been left with a Papal Regime, a Leader and followers; not an interactive world church community.

If we are lucky enough to survive the winter, I believe the next big change will be in Church structure. We have seen the seeds of this in the aftermath of the sexual abuse scandal. We now have an advisory board with lay people with the job of watching the bishops. Most American Catholics know that we need lay people that actually have a real say, real power. That will be the next step needed to keep the Catholic Church from becoming a museum a hundred years from now.

In my blogs to come I plan on touching on many issues, but this initial blog should give anybody reading this an idea of the framework that I am thinking in. God's peace to you.

A Wintertime Catholic