October 17, 2012
For Immediate Release
|Sr. Christine Schenk||216-228-0869 x4||216-513-3647 (C)||email@example.com|
|Bill Wisniewski (Married Catholic Priest)||330-931-0111 (C)||330-297-4153 (W)|
|Liz England||216-228-0869 x3||216-214-2129 (C)|
CLEVELAND, OH: In late October hundreds of faithful Catholics will honor their parish priests and at the same time pray for a return to the tradition of a married priesthood in the Latin rite of the Roman Catholic Church. An estimated 60 celebrations will be held in cities all over the US and five other countries including Australia, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, and the Netherlands.
Celebrations are scheduled in parishes and private homes on or around October 28, Priesthood Sunday.
(see http://futurechurch.org/fpm/optcel/priesthoodsunday/celebrations.htm or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for locations)
“We need to return to our early Church custom of having both a celibate and a married priesthood,” said Bill Wisniewski, FutureChurch board member. “St. Peter was married. St. Paul was celibate and the early church flourished perhaps in part because it incorporated both ministerial charims. Since celibacy is a gift from the Holy Spirit, it will not disappear, but is a distortion of the charism of celibacy to demand it of priests who are not called to it.”
FutureChurch encourages participants at Priesthood Sunday celebrations to take action by sending postcards and e-postcards to Rome. These postcards call for officials to “begin discussion at the highest levels of the Church about the need to return to our earliest tradition of permitting both a married and a celibate priesthood.” FutureChurch.org is configured to send electronic and paper postcards in English, German, Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese.
“The Church will not be whole or just until we recognize all of the priestly vocations, married and celibate, male and female that God is pouring upon the Catholic Church. The worsening priest shortage leaves many Catholics without access to Holy Eucharist and many parishes have been forced to close,” said Liz England, FutureChurch program coordinator.
“Parishes in Europe, the United States and the United Kingdom are closing while thousands of Catholics in the developing world have virtually no access to Mass and the sacraments because of too few celibate priests,” said Sr. Christine Schenk, FutureChurch Executive Director.For more information on FutureChurch’s programming regarding optional celibacy or women’s leadership in the Church, or to download the free 2012 Priesthood Sunday Organizing Kit with prayer service, go to www.futurechurch.org.