During General Intercessions at Mass last weekend, we were asked to pray for the parishioners of Glenmore Park. You might remember this was where the presiding priest declared he had been married for a year.
Now this started me wondering why exactly the parishioners needed our prayers?
- Because they had been exposed to a priest who did not follow the rules of the church?
- Because they would have trouble replacing him due to the world-wide shortage of priests?
- Because they had lost a good priest who had served them well?
You don’t have to be a rocket surgeon to understand why there is a shortage of priests:
- Low pay.
- High workload because of the priest shortage.
- Long hours because of the priest shortage.
- Little chance of retirement at 65 because of the priest shortage.
- Men only. Why? I don’t know, but this halves the number of potential candidates.
- Those who are happy to be celibate for the rest of their lives. Why? Beats me, but this must reduce the male candidates by 99.999%.
Of the remaining candidates, how many are really suitable and can perform a lifelong service as they need to while at the same time surviving a life of celibacy without sometimes being overcome by temptation?
I’m amazed we have any Catholic priests at all. We are certainly very fortunate at our church.
Here’s a final thought: imagine how many top-class young candidates for priesthood there would be if we allowed men and women to apply knowing that they could still marry and have children? It works in other churches.
The Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP made a pastoral visit to Padre Pio Glenmore Park Parish on the weekend of 5-6 May, following the departure of the Parish Priest. Follow this link to read Bishop Anthony’s Homily in full: