“Priests want reform” (CR, Sept. 8) only tells the “tip of the iceberg” about the serious frustration of our priests worldwide. Hundreds of priests in Austria and thousands of priests in countries such as Germany, Ireland and Australia, as well as several countries in South America are all saying that the Vatican must listen to our concerns. It has been reported in the United States that this same frustration among our priests is growing.
Our priests are aging, being told to pastor one, two or three parishes. They have no voice and see no answers to this serious problem of leadership. Recent Pew Research polls indicate that the church (the people of God) is ready for change, but the church leadership is afraid – of no longer being in charge of the discussion, of losing authority.
We cannot continue to travel down this road. Rather, our church leaders must have faith in the people that they are called to shepherd. Our leaders must seek out the true feelings of our priests, bishops, and yes, the faithful Catholics who pray each day for leadership and guidance for the leaders of our church. The Holy Spirit will always be with us. Let us have faith in that promise of Jesus.
Editor’s note: The referenced article reported on a group that supports the ordination of women. According to Catholic News Service, in 1994, Pope John Paul II said the church’s ban on women priests is definitive and not open to debate among Catholics.