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Catholic Church won’t survive without priesthood reforms | READER COMMENTARY

Fr. Andrew DeFusco, left, and Fr. Mark Bialek, form a small procession of two from St. John Catholic Church in Westminster on Easter Sunday, as they head to a car to visit parishioners outside their homes to bestow the Eucharistic Blessing. They received special permission from the Archdiocese to reach out to their congregants on this holy day because the church was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. April 12, 2020
Fr. Andrew DeFusco, left, and Fr. Mark Bialek, form a small procession of two from St. John Catholic Church in Westminster on Easter Sunday, as they head to a car to visit parishioners outside their homes to bestow the Eucharistic Blessing. They received special permission from the Archdiocese to reach out to their congregants on this holy day because the church was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. April 12, 2020 (Amy Davis)

I enjoyed reading Rev. Phillip J. Brown’s recent commentary regarding the criteria necessary for admission to the seminary and priesthood (”The McCarrick Report: a call to reform Catholic priest selection,” Nov. 18). The fact is this has been discussed for at least a generation and candidates for the priesthood have been subject to psychological testing for quite some time with mixed results.

It’s unfortunate that Father Brown has chosen to ignore the two giant elephants in the room: the celibacy requirement and the requirement that priesthood candidates be male. In the Archdiocese of Baltimore and in other dioceses throughout the world, the Catholic Church has lost many men to marriage and we don’t need to leave Baltimore to meet priests who are unsuitable. Ironically, there are married priests outside the Latin Rite. Does this make any sense? What is the scriptural foundation for the celibacy requirement? The honest answer is that there is no scriptural foundation and there is no sound logic to support this requirement.

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How much longer does my church believe it to be feasible to deny ordination to women? This is not simply a women’s issue. This is an issue that impacts all of us. Currently, the American Catholic Church is importing priests from mostly developing countries. Where would we be without them? People will leave the Catholic Church unless there is hope that these issues will be addressed in the very near future.

Many Catholics have been welcomed by other denominations. We are currently witnessing the decline and fall of the Roman Catholic Church. Some have suggested that these needed changes are simply a matter of cutting corners in order to survive, We need to make these changes so that we will thrive. We need to fix this problem now. The adage that Rome moves slowly is no longer relevant to many of us.

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Edward McCarey McDonnell, Baltimore

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