"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd." ~Flannery O'Connor

Monday, September 24, 2007

If only...

Well, the good ol' Dutch are at it again. This time it's Dutch who happen to be Dominican priests, no less. They have proposed to address the shortage of priests as follows:

In late August, the Dominicans in the Netherlands distributed a 38-page booklet, Church and Ministry, that proposed parishes in need of an ordained priest choose their own person to become the Mass presider. The parish could then present such candidates -- "women or men, homo- or heterosexual, married or single" -- to the local bishop to ask that they be ordained, according to the booklet.

However, basing its recommendation on practices within the early church, the booklet said if the bishop chooses not to ordain the candidate -- for example, because the person cannot meet the requirements of celibacy -- then the elected candidate and the congregation could still feel assured that when they come together to "share bread and wine in prayer," they are still receiving a real and valid Eucharist, the Dutch Dominicans' website said.

"What is important is an infectious attitude of faith," the booklet said.

Needless to say, the Order's general curia in Rome did not approve, and said so. They wisely decided not to wait for the Pope to say it.

To me, this is a particularly ironic item. I am just the sort of person who would love to do what the DDs proposed, and in their sort of environment I would probably be marked for it. I have all the necessary credentials and experience—and just as importantly, I'm divorced. But I cannot agree with those guys. The very faith which so attracts me to the priestly role tells me that, unordained, I cannot exercise it. Once again, my beliefs run counter to my interests. And for their part: why did they go to the trouble of being ordained, with all the training and restrictions that entails, when by their own theology they need not have and possibly even should not have?

For reasons I shall recount if anybody's interested, I have never understood progressive Catholicism. But then again, if only....
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