Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Archbishop Dolan Helping Us Become More Inclusive

As anyone reading this probably already knows, it looks like Archbishop Dolan will be allowing a married man with children to serve at a parish in this Archdiocese who was formally a Lutheran pastor and is now a Catholic priest. Fr. Michael Scheip is a father in more than one way since he has adolescent and adult children.

Before this news broke, I had been thinking that perhaps I have been too hard on Dolan in my blog at times. He is not perfect and has made a few big mistakes (i.e. lying about keeping St. Francis Seminary open). But even though he is more conservative, he has not pushed this conservatism done the throats of everyone in Milwaukee. To some extent, the new GIRM (liturgical norms) was only implemented as much as priests and parishioners wanted to implement them. I am not aware of him cracking down on more liberal parishes.

And while I do not believe there is any real comparison, Pope John XXIII was definitely a conservative cleric who allowed the gifts of the Spirit to move where they please. I was very impressed earlier this year when Dolan had Fr. Bryan Massingale as a guest on his TV show. Massingale is known for his progressive views that differ from the Archbishop's, but I think Dolan recognizes when he has a gifted priest in his midst.

And now Dolan is allowing a married priest to serve in a parish in the Archdiocese. Bravo. Even if he states that this move has nothing to do with moving towards a future where cradle Catholics can become married priests, try telling that to the Catholics who will moved by the ministry of married Fr. Michael Scheip.

A Faithful Catholic


Anonymous said...

Many of the parishes in the Archdiocee of Milwaukee already have one or more married priests in their midst. Except unlike the Fr. Michael Scheip, they are not allowed by Church law to minister to the full extent of their ordination because they married.

Faithful Catholic said...

Very good point.

CatholicSoldier said...

Part of the difference is that those priests tended (not always) to have broken their vows to pursue relationships after ordination, despite knowing what they were undertaking. That situation certainly does not exist with the pastoral provision that allows Lutheran and Episcopalian converts to continue a ministry they had while members of those separated ecclesial communities.

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