#299 OCT 2013, CELIBACY, PLUS AND MINUS

Without Catholic priests there is no Catholic Church. With a priest shortage, we have a limited Catholic Church. When it is a statistical fact that we have a priest shortage crisis, it is the obligation of our Church Leaders to take Catholic action to correct the wrong. When our Church Leaders take no action, it becomes the duty of the faithful to assist them in studying the cause and provide Catholic suggested solutions to the problem. For those of us Eastern Catholics, we have a papal-approved canon that provides the Catholic solution to the problem, a married and celibate priesthood. The question arises, "Why do our celibate Church Leaders viciously oppose a married clergy?" The term "viciously" is purposefully used to correctly describe the opposition by our celibate western Church Leaders.

Church Leaders in the western half of the One Church have gone to the length of preparing "Bullas" (letters of instructions) to implement non-compliance with papal-approved laws upon the Eastern Catholics particular Churches in various countries. Particular Churches in some countries are allowed to ordain married men in compliance with the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches (latest approval by Pope John Paul II in 1990). It does not require a miracle to implement a non-dogmatic act by the western Church Leaders to solve their most serious problem that eliminates their most difficult management problem. However, Western Church Leaders abide by an 874 year-old (1139-2013) manmade mandate of celibacy upon the Roman Catholic (western) priesthood. Church history indicates that the "idea" was good at that time in that it permitted celibate priests to go less complicated in fulfilling their missionary assignments. Missions in the One Church will never be completed until the fulfillment of Our Lord’s instructions to "go forth and teach all nations" is fulfilled.

The problem arises that an inadequate number of priests are "chosen" to provide the supply of celibate priests to fulfill assigned missions. The priest shortage has resulted in only 20% of the world’s population comprising the faithful of the Christ-founded One Church. Statistically, during the last 50 years, the percentage has been decreasing (18.3% in 1963 to 17.4% in 2012) despite the statistical fact that the One Church has increased (from 572,005,993 members in 1963 to 1,180,665,000 members in 2012). The One Church membership growth is part of the reasoning why our Church Leaders continue to accept the manmade mandate of celibacy as the idealistic procedure to continue priest celibacy. True, celibate priesthood provides an example of an idealistic status. However, we have a crisis in the priest shortage that continues our percentage decrease. With the forecasted world population growth we Catholics are destined to be a minority and not in fulfillment of Our Lord’s instructions "to go forth and teach all nations."

After 874 years of manmade mandated celibacy, our celibate Church Leaders, namely bishops, are not inclined to return to a "married and celibate" priesthood that was illustrated when Our Lord "called and chose" the first twelve apostles. There is one primary factor that when presented faithfully our bishops "may" be inclined to fulfill their offices. That is, when the seriousness of the priest shortage is fully explained and acknowledged, our celibate bishops may then recognize that they have been the problem causing the priest shortage with their self-inflicted mandate and upon that analysis, and Church history study, the solution to the priest shortage crisis will be solved. How does one provide the facts of the priest shortage?

Using the statistical facts provided by the diocesan bishops in their annual report to Rome for the last 50 years we recognize that in 1963, we had 1,327 faithful per priest (572,005,993 world faithful and 432,247 world priests). In 2012, we had 2,900 faithful per priest (1,195,671,000 world faithful and 412,236 world priests). Based on the number of world seminarians and world population growth, ABCRC calculates that there will be 4,138 faithful per priest in 2050 (details for each country in ABCRC website,

www.abcrc.us).

Pope Francis’ home country of Argentina had 6,381faithful per priest in 2012 (37,750,000 faithful with 5,916 priests). Pope Francis has been quoted as saying, "We may have to ordain married men."

In the ABCRC website, the 1945 to 1989 history of the Eastern Catholics in Carpatho-Rus (mainly in Slovakia and Ukraine) is presented to indicate that after the termination of their particular Church by the Soviet Communist atheists, a full recovery was achieved to an oversupply of priests and seminarians, approximately 90% of the graduating seminarians will be married before ordination in accordance with their papal-approved canon. The Catholic solution to the worldwide priest shortage is factually presented.

Nonetheless, worldwide Roman Catholic bishops have declared the subject of a married and celibate clergy to be "off-the-table." Fortunately, we have Pope Francis who has appointed 8 cardinals as advisors to assist him in governing the Church. Pope Francis is fully aware of the priest shortage in Argentina (and worldwide) and it is but a matter of time that the subject will be placed on the table.

Here at the ABCRC, we are fully aware of our American Byzantine Catholic Church and its statistically potential termination. In 1963 we had over 312,000 faithful and in 2013 we had 83,984 with our seminary near empty for more than 30 years. The Roman Bullas of Ea Semper in 1907 and Cum Data Fuerit in 1929 have mandated celibacy for our USA priesthood and the resulting empty seminary of today indicates a continuing priest shortage to a bare existence. Our American Byzantine Catholic bishops have tried valiantly to regain our papal-approved canon but celibate Rome demands obedience even to our termination.

American Roman Catholics are departing (Pew Study reveals 20,000,000 recent departures), our USA Roman Catholic seminarians have reduced from 47,574 in 1963 to 5,015 in 2012. Our USA priest numbers have been reduced from 58,540 priests in 1963 to 39,718 priests in 2012. See ABCRC article #200 in

www.abcrc.us for additional statistics.

The USA Catholic faithful are concerned and, surely, our bishops are more concerned. However, we Catholic faithful can but present an analysis of our bishops’ statistical facts. In the past, our bishops presented financial challenges of a married priesthood and our Eastern Orthodox married priests and married Protestant ministers illustrate the answers. Yet, our bishops are adamant on the idealistic image of a celibate priesthood. The status of wayward Catholics is not an idealistic image. The status of the moral decay in America is not an idealistic image. The status in secular America is a forewarning because we are suffering at the hands of a Church Leadership in absence. Our overstressed priests, too many, are assigned more than one parish or multiple tasks. Our faithful are reflecting the consequences of a statistically decreasing priesthood and an over-perplexed bishopric and that calls for a RENEWAL.

Pray for Pope Francis.

Pray for our bishops.

Pray for our priests.

Pray faithful, pray faithfully,

GOD IS WITH US!

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