Are the Priesthood and Women in Crisis in our Church?
There are some serious issues facing the priesthood and women in the Church – many Catholics have completely opposing views on how they should be solved.
Geoff Harris, Rooi Els, Western Cape – I refer to Fr Chris Townsend’s thought-provoking article on why our Church needs to address “the crisis of vision of the ministerial priesthood” which is provoked by the “hopelessly inadequate formation and training framework” of our Church seminary system. The “Overstretched priests worn down” letter from the distraught mother of a priest, as well as Frank Bompas’ ‘Does the Priesthood Need a Major Re-think?
Fr Townsend envisages a “local Church that is not holding everything together in desperation, but has a vision of herself that matches our reality”. Bravo Fr Chris; well said!
And the current reality also includes women being relegated to a “second-class citizenship” status, a subtle form of abuse. This may well encourage many of the more serious abuses you describe in your editorial in that same May 31 issue.
Women — who, frankly, are the backbone of our Church — need to be accorded the equality they deserve. (Read Genesis 1:27 where male and female are both created equal in the image of God.)
Your editorial on the thorny subject of “woman abuse” is a reminder that there has been no response to previous challenges to the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference to outline what they intend doing to address the abused status of Catholic women in our Church.
Come on, SACBC, let’s hear something positive from you on the burning situations relating to (a) our priests and (b) our wonderful women.
Our Church is in a crisis and you are “fiddling” while it, and we, suffer. Or is the hierarchy waiting to preside over a “meltdown” and some future “re-formation”?
Geoff Harris, Rooi Els, Western Cape
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