Roamin' Catholic

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

A New De-Frocking Process

News Item: Earlier this summer, Pope Benedict XVI has granted the Congregation for Clergy new powers to dismiss from the priesthood and release from the obligation of celibacy priests who are living with women, who have abandoned their ministry for more than five years or who have engaged in seriously scandalous behavior. The new faculties were announced by Cardinal Claudio Hummes, prefect of the clergy congregation.

John Horan responded with an open letter to Cardinal Hummes. With a good mixture of fact and irony John's reponse hit's a sympathetic core among many of the thousands of priests who left "active" ministry. You can read the entire letter at , posted August 4th.

I think the cartoon captures Hummes new job.


At 6:45 AM, Blogger Dr. Curt Schmidt said...

As I noted in response to John Horan's letter to Cardinal Hummes, no matter how much the Vatican may wish to 'laicize,' 'defrock,' or otherwise inactivate a priest, the priest who has been validly ordained is a priest forever, and no one on the face of the earth can do anything
about it. The real issue is whether we proclaim
"a shortage of priests" when there is no shortage -- except of those whom the Vatican chooses to allow to minister via its insistance on celibacy. When the latter criteria take precedence, to the extent priests are not available for Mass in multiple instances, the Church has a difficult task in asserting that the Sacrifice of the Mass is central to the life of the Church. Indeed, by its behavior, the institutional Church makes it quite clear that Celibacy is more important than the Eucharist, or it would never deprive the faithful of Mass when a married priest was available.

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