Most Americans want the next pope to work for changes in Roman Catholic Church policies to allow priests to marry and women to join the priesthood. And they want more done to combat sexual abuse by priests, an AP-Ipsos poll found.
A solid majority of Americans, and Catholics in the country, are calling for the changes...
About two-thirds of those polled, 69 percent, said priests should be allowed to marry and almost that many, 64 percent, said they want women in the priesthood. Six in 10 Catholics supported each of those steps. More than four in five Americans - and about the same number of Catholics - said they want to see the next pope do more to address the problem of priests sexually abusing children.
Miguel de Portugal Comments
Allowed to Marry
In the Orthodox Church, under certain
conditions, priests may be
married. This is not
against the teachings of the Holy
Scriptures, where we find that even Bishops could be married (2) .
However, the problem lies in the fact
that a priest is the
"spiritual guide" of his flock. He is the "husband" of his flock. A
priest who properly discharges his spiritual duties simply does not
have the time for, nor can he give the needed attention to, a personal
That would be possible only if the wife were just as committed as he
is to the flock and would not demand anything individually of him. This
requirement, on a universal basis, is short of impossible in the real
In addition - Should they have children,
the priest-now-turned-into-a-biological-father could not be the father
children that he should be.
They would have to equally share him
with the rest of his flock.
miguel de Portugal, only bound by the
commitments he made
directly to God, for the same reasons stated above, could not
sustain a regular personal and individual relationship with anyone -
alone a wife or simply a close friend. The very good personal friends
that he has can only exist as such
because they understand that m de P may share with them an hour or two
fellowship in a most irregular and unpredictable schedule - whenever
allow it. It may be weeks or months before he can reestablish contact
with what may be considered, utilizing world terms, a personal friend.
What about the sexual drive? This is
something that a Consecrated
soul has to work out with God and not by establishing illicit affairs
to deal with it.
The priestly life or a consecrated religious life is not "a job" or "a
profession" - this kind of life is best explained as a "Marriage to
Jesus and Mary". The priestly and religious life springs from a true
vocation inspired by God -
all other motives are human and mundane and
will result in a catastrophe - starting with the sexual issue as it has
become painfully evident on a worldwide scale.
in the Priesthood
The maternity of men? Are men less
important than women because they cannot be
mothers? Of course not! God created us in His image, male and
female, and the fact that some are male and others female is for a
Men and women are truly different and
have different functions.
Just like a man cannot be a mother, a woman was not intended to be for
the priesthood. It is not a matter of better or worse; superior or
inferior... although, when "all is said and done" and summing it up:
The One who is the
highest honor of our race is Mary (3)- a woman!
When we speak of the "motherhood" in a
woman - we should not limit
ourselves to the fact that they are biologically capable of being a
mother by nurturing a fertilized ovum through birth. Women, blessedly,
have a unique number of physical,
psychological and spiritual characteristics which are only inherent to
a female and which make them fully capable of being "a mother". The
same applies with a
male and the priesthood.
On the other hand, women as effective
Church leaders is a completely different matter, and we are not
about nuns cleaning toilets in the
Apostolic Palace. We are
talking about women being
The key function of Cardinals is the Administration of the Church, which includes the election of the Pope. Therefore, the Roman Catholic Church could certainly have women at the highest possible non priestly, yet extremely influential, position in the Church. They could not become Pope but they could certainly vote in a Conclave to select a priest to be invested as Pope. If Mary gave birth to Jesus, what would be wrong with a few female Cardinals joining with male Cardinals in "giving birth" to the man who is considered by the Roman Catholic Church to be the Representative of Jesus on Earth? (4)
We understand that the "Cardinal concept" evolved from the custom that, until late in the Middle Ages, the title of cardinal was given to prominent priests of important churches. Therefore it is a man made tradition and not a Divine Requirement. Jesus taught us through Matthew 15:3, 15:6 and Mark 7:8-9, 7:13 what He thought of man made traditions which interfered with Divine Plans. In this particular case, the Divine Plan is not to keep the women cleaning toilets in the Apostolic Palace, but to bring women fully into the areas of Church leadership which may not be barred by the creative plan of God.
Prevention of Sexual Abuse
This is probably the easiest change to
make. Any Bishop who, henceforth, shuffles a pedophile priest from one
position to another thus, in effect, spreading the damage caused by the
pedophile's psychological disorder, should be removed from office
immediately and placed at the discretion of the local civil
authorities. We understand that a Bishop is considered to be a
descendant of the Apostles; but it is a fact that Judas Iscariot was
also an Apostle - thus, those who claim to be descendants of the
Apostle can also commit high treason, as Judas did.
We have already clearly spoken about this
issue in our document
regarding the validity of
the Sacrament of Marriage (5).
Summarizing the key point made in said
The Seven Sacraments
of the Roman Catholic Church, with the possible
exception of the Baptism of a newborn, have one common visible thread:
Proper instruction before
receiving the Sacrament. This conscious awareness
of the commitment which we are about to make, and in which God is a
participant, is one of the necessary requirements for it to be valid.
Therefore, not only
the Sacrament of Matrimony requires appropriate
instruction, it requires a more extensive and intensive level of
than any other of the Sacraments except possibly that of the Holy
Therefore the resolution of the multitude of Sacramental Marriage anomalies lies in the hands of the local Bishops since a pronouncement of "Not Valid" identifies a faulty Sacramental act and harmoniously resolves the problem. What God has not joined together, may be separated by man, thus the Vatican approved annulment is not necessary. There is nothing to annul. The Church teachings remain intact and in perfect accordance to the very explicit Word of God on said matter.
On the Use of Artificial Birth Control Methods
none should be used - including
so-called Rhythm Method and "Natural Family Planning," which we
consider to be artificial birth control methods.
However, we have reached the situation that the world is in today - in which Sexual Intercourse has become a Pastime - as the result of the failed Evangelization effort of all Christian denominations.
Therefore, we cannot expect the world population to immediately abandon this practice. To achieve the utopian goal of "no artificial birth control", the proper Evangelization of the souls is necessary through prayer and spiritual education - not coercion or manipulation - a process that would take decades.
On the Utilization of Condoms (Within natural heterosexual context)
Saving lives is part of the effort to
souls; if this were not true, everyone on Earth should be killed
immediately so that their souls would be saved. This, of course, is not
correct -- but we have taken the concept to its extreme
expression so that we may show the error in denying the emergency need for the
use of condoms.
With the uncontrolled spread of AIDS, the first step to take is to issue a temporary reprieve on the use of condoms with the main intention of saving lives. This can be done just like we have stated above - without removing its label of "disordered behavior" but accompanied with the proper Evangelization of the souls through prayer and spiritual education - not coercion or manipulation.
Anyone who may think that a temporary
reprieve (without justifying the sexual behavior) will only lead to
more sin should consider the following: Have the efforts, so far, of the Roman
Catholic Church been successful is turning the tide of sin in the world?
No! They have not even slowed it down! On the contrary, sin has
spiraled out of control. Obviously
something is very wrong with
the methods used
by the Roman Catholic Church Administration because God does not fail.
How could there be "Just Wars" [Section 2309 of the Catechism of the Roman
Church] and not "Just
utilization of condoms"?
We have amply covered this issue in
another document (6)
wherein we have placed homosexuality in its proper Scriptural
perspective and taken it out of the fanatical perspective it is often
viewed from within the churches. Summarizing from
Not attempting to practice the teachings of Jesus Christ or violating the Ten Commandments clearly spelled out by God, is a more serious transgression than homosexual behavior, as previously defined in said document (6).
The evaluation of homosexual acts on religious grounds is of no consequence nor has any merit unless it is within the overall context of Divine Law and Tradition.
Within such valid context, any discussion of this issue must be made against the backdrop of what Jesus Christ taught us by means of the sinful woman who was to be stoned to death: "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her". [John 8:7] and .... Jesus said: Neither will I condemn thee. Go, and now go and sin no more. [John 8:11]
In such an integrated context, the real problems which emerge appear to be: (a) The persecution of homosexuals, on the one hand; and (b) Actively seeking the proliferation of homosexual lifestyles, on the other hand..
On the Wanton Attack - Direct and or Implied - Upon Any Sinner by the Self Righteous
Only the Mother of Jesus, the Ever Virgin
Mary, can cast the "first
stone" [John 8:7].
All others who pretend to be
position to do so are just hypocrites and not of God (7). To them we
the so frequently glossed over words by our only Teacher, Lord and
Master - Jesus Christ:
thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down
to hell; for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had
been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say
unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the
day of judgment, than for thee." [Matthew 11:23-24]
Love is the only answer to bring any
sinner back to the House of the
Father, a mechanism we have clearly and unequivocally shown, through
of God, in yet another
document (8) .
(1) AP Poll: Next Pope Should Pursue Change
(2) Letter of Paul to Titus 1: 1-8 Qualifications of bishops:
Documents in this Domain:
H.H. John Paul II