cont. from pg 2

 

 

  1. The Priesthood – Declining Numbers:

Solutions for the clergy shortage may include: optional celibacy, married clergy, women’s ordination, married priests for liturgical and sacramental life in priestless parishes.

 

            Table B-1:

 

Ø  The requirements for the parish priesthood today are neither realistic, conducive to an authentic spirituality for all (“one size does not fit all.”), nor in line with contemporary psychology/sociology. One of the solutions might be more appropriate training with the Laity involved both in the planning and in the seminary training.

 

Ø  Problems with so many parish priests today: loneliness, alcoholism, sexual acting-out, etc. As possible long-term solutions to be developed with educational programs for the clergy and laity:

 

o   Optional Celibacy (“Celibacy should be a separate gift for some priests, but not required for all.”)

o   Married Clergy: as in our Eastern Rites, or Protestant clergy, etc.

o   Women’s Ordination: as with our Protestant clergy. Roman Catholic Church might considered beginning with the ordination of women to the diaconate and then to the priesthood for those who choose.

o   Today’s Married Priests:  Invite those back who are married today as short-term solution to priestless parishes.

 

Ø  Encourage all priests and bishops to be accountable for abuses, mistakes of the clergy.

 

C.  Our Gay, Lesbian and Transgendered Brothers and Sisters:

Welcoming and including in parish life, recognizing committed unions, as well an understanding of the Church’s teaching on the primacy of conscience.

 

Table C-1:

 

Ø  Participants in this round-table discussion felt like the Church is wrong to reject the Gay or Lesbian committed relationships to which God may be calling them. In the Gospels Jesus included all and rejected no one.

 

Ø  The Church (and all parishes and dioceses) needs to actively and aggressively minister to the Gay, Lesbian and/or Transgendered communities, use the Adult Education Programs to educate the Christian Faithful and include them in the Catholic communities.

 

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