The Voice of the Faithful in a new attempt to stay relevant is now “launching” a new push to allow priests to marry. I’m not sure how this new push differs from the old push but let’s just say they’re pushing. Pushing so hard that a liberal media organization has trumpeted their efforts. You never could’ve seen that coming, right?
It would seem the group sent a letter to Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston and it’s posted on their website. Here’s a part of the letter:
“For many young men, the requirement of celibacy is a major obstacle preventing them from responding to a call to the priesthood. We have seen a 60 % drop in vocations in the past forty years, adding considerably to the workload stress of an already overburdened and aging priesthood. Solutions that have been proffered, such as recruiting non-native priests from poor countries, substituting communion services for Mass, lowering standards for admission to seminaries, parish closures, and priests pastoring multiple parishes, fail to address the long-term systemic issues that are at the root of the problem. Additionally, we point to what many believe are other consequences of the discipline of mandatory celibacy, such as a clerical environment in which many diocesan priests feel unsupported by their bishops, are distanced from their brother priests, maintain few close personal friendships, and look forward to retirement, only to find it a time of illness and loneliness.”
The group was very shocked and surprised to discover that Cardinal O’ Malley wrote back. They should probably not have been shocked that Cardinal O’ Malley didn’t agree with them. He wrote:
“Cardinal Sean is very pleased that there has been a significant increase in the enrollment at St. John’s Seminary in the past two years as candidates for the Archdiocese of Boston and neighboring dioceses have begun the program of discernment and priestly formation. We pray that with the help of God more men will generously respond to the Lord’s call to service as priests and that our Catholic community will encourage and support them in their vocations.”
This, of course, takes away their central argument but nonetheless VOF has sent more letters. I doubt they’ll get another response but I bet they’ll keep trying.