COMMENT: Toner, Mike (MC1972) about priestly celibacy

2017-Nov-06

RE: the ENDNOTE on monasteries closing

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There was a surge of American GIs joining monasteries after the end of the Second World War, seeking solace and refuge in a violent and increasingly complicated world. It was at this time that the Abbey of Our Lady of the Holy Trinity, a Trappist monastery in the town of Huntsville in Utah, was founded, and at its peak it housed 84 monks. Some 70 years later, only a handful of elderly men remain, and without a younger generation to continue the legacy, the monastery has been forced to close its doors. This poignant short film from RadioWest quietly observes the monastery’s last moments, as the elderly monks commence their final, sparsely attended service and pack their bags for an uncertain future.

And so ends an era. I was lucky to be taught by some of those returning GIs. Although I didn’t think so at the time. Is this the fate of Holy Mother Church?

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1. I think a good (now deceased) friend was one of those monks for a while in the 50’s – 60’s. He was eventually a great contributor to our Church as a husband, father, teacher and university prof…

2. It could be the fate of our Church if the leadership – below Francis – won’t read the “signs of the times”. The discipline of priestly celibacy was only introduced in the second millennium of the church – and only in response to property inheritance questions. We could easily allow married priests to keep parishes open and the Eucharist available to many more. Indeed, Pope Francis has invited episcopal conferences to ask for the OK. Why won’t the bishops step-up?

Our pastor, this week, said he could easily pick out 20 or 30 guys in our congregation who could be priests. Of course, he also said, that he could find another 20 or 30 who weren’t males who could also fit the bill…. There’s a fair amount of historical evidence that women presided at home “churches” in early Christianity. It is time for the hierarchy to start expanding their horizons (listening to the Spirit??) to see our church throught the 21st century!

Thanks for all you do as CIC and keeping this forum open!

Toner, Mike (MC1972)

# – # – # – # – #  2017-Nov-06 @ 21:32  

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