Gallup shows Catholic parishioners favor married, female priests, want
priest at last rites and Mass at least weekly.
A recent Gallup Survey found that 68%
of all Catholics are registered at a parish and have some definite opinions
about solutions to the priest shortage. Sixty-one percent thought it would
be good to ordain celibate women while 54% approved of ordaining married women.
Eighty one percent supported the return of priests who have married and 75%
favored ordaining married men. Only 20% thought it would be ok if no priest
was available to administer the last rites and just 40% thought it was okay
to reduce Mass availability to less than once per week. (Study funded by National
Catholic Reporter and published 9/30/2005)
Boston parishioners protest removal of Fr. Cuenin.
Parishioners at Boston’s
Our Lady Help of Christians parish are continuing to protest the September
26 removal of their progressive pastor, Fr. Walter Cuenin. During the peak
of the sex abuse crisis, Cuenin was an outspoken critic of Cardinal Law. He
was known for welcoming divorced and remarried Catholics, gays and lesbians,
and others who felt alienated from the Catholic Church. He also encouraged
dialogue about the ordination of women. After his ouster, parishioners organized
an independent group (www.ourladysfriends.org) that organized a 1,000-person
protest march and collected over 5000 signatures petitioning the Archdiocese.
So far, the Archbishop has refused to meet with the parish council. (The Newton
Aussie Priests’ Council calls for end of mandatory celibacy, consideration
of women priests.
Just prior to the World Synod of Bishops, the National Council
of Priests of Australia, which represents about half of Australian clergy,
said to address the worldwide priest shortage, the church should end compulsory
celibacy and consider ordaining women. The statement also said “We would
like to see a goal set that the Church aims to have an ordained priest for
every 50 Catholic
families or 200 people” (The Tablet 10/8/2005)
Ten percent of Los Angeles seminary graduates accused of child sex abuse. Since1950. St. John’ s Seminary in Camarillo California has trained about
625 men who were subsequently ordained for the Los Angeles diocese. Recent
reports found that 10% of these men have been accused of sexual abuse of minors.
One third of graduates from the classes of 1966 and 1972 were later accused
of molestation. The St. John’s figures are significantly higher than
the nationwide 4% rate of alleged Catholic clergy abuse as reported by the
John Jan College of Criminal Justice. (Los Angeles Times 11/17/2005)