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The Real Crisis (Mon Mar 29, 2004 12:45 pm)

The Second Vatican Council began the paradigm shift on how we view the Church. We are in the process of growing in the understanding that the Holy Spirit dwells in all of us and speaks through all of us as the educated People of God. This is a threatening shift of understanding to those who are desperately holding on to the pre-Vatican II role-allocation for the laity, to pray, pay, and obey.

The sexual abuse problem is but a symptom of a far deeper inability of our hierarchical administrators to deal with today's Church needs.

More critical than any other issue facing us-who-are-the-Church is the ever worsening shortage of male celibate priests. Our bishops stand before us numbed into silence and immobility at this grinding crisis. Their response is to close down the Church before our very eyes. What diocese (other than those which attempt to recreate the 1940’s) is not facing closure of parishes due to lack of priests?

Is it not time for us to make choices for our Church? Can we continue to tolerate the male-celibate-priest or no-priest-at-all constraint on God, imposed by human rules during the last 800 years? Do we not have a right to the sacraments?

ARCC proclaims that we do have a right to the sacraments and we call upon our bishops to live up to their obligation to provide us with the priests we need, male and celibate or not. They must tell the Pope that the people say: "These human rules must change!"

Are you willing to stand by while your parish closes rather than say these things to your bishop?

We urge all Catholics, as empowered by the Second Vatican Council, to respectfully call their bishops to account and insist that they take the necessary steps to provide us with the priests we need. Write your diocesan and secular newspapers and the bishop himself about this, and most important, persistently request a face-to-face meeting with him (if possible, go as a small group). Be sure to send us copies of your letters, op-ed pieces, and results of meetings so we can share them with, and encourage, the others

Other voices

Another Voice

Questions From a Ewe

Challenges Facing Catholicism
(Bishop Geoffrey Robinson in converation with Dr Ingrid Shafer)

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