Monday, September 28, 2009
Eucharist Needed in Times of Crisis
Some of the laity in Cleveland have organized because their bishop plans on closing or merging 50 parishes. The laity state that some of these parishes are vibrant and financially self-sufficient. What reason could exist for closing all those parishes except the priest shortage. Bishop Lennon, celebrating the last Mass at one of these parishes a few weeks ago had a police escort.
In Spain, a study by a newspaper there has determined that 20% of the country's priests are married or laicized. Many conservatives still contend that a married clergy (or women priests) would not solve the priest shortage problem. They say: Look at Protestant churches... This has got to be one of the few issues that conservatives think that we can learn something from Protestants. Although a married and female clergy may not "solve" the entire problem, it would help dramatically. In addition, for vibrant and financially stable parishes that still do not have a priest, a lay person should be appointed by the bishop to be able to celebrate Mass as an extraordinary celebrant until a priest is available. In emergency situations, we already allow lay persons to perform baptism, anointing of the sick, and reconciliation. Is not the closing or merging of 50 parishes an emergency? I'm pretty sure if you ask the parishes involved they will see it as an emergency. I also believe that sooner or later, what's happening in Cleveland will be happening here in Milwaukee.
A Faithful Catholic