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Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Sunday, December 04, 2011

Belgium

Belgian Catholic reformers want laypeople to run parishes that have no priests ...

More than 6,000 Belgian Catholics have signed a manifesto urging their bishops to let lay people celebrate Sunday services in parishes left without priests due to a severe shortage of vocations in the Church. More than 200 priests are among signatories of the manifesto launched two weeks ago in Flanders, the traditionally Catholic Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, one of the organisers told Reuters. The initiative echoed a grass-roots movement in Austria, where 2,000 Catholics — including 361 priests — called in June for lay-led Masses and the ordination of married men and women to maintain parishes that no longer have a priest. ...

I think this is a good thing - wish I believed this would make the Vatican change its policy, but doubtless they'll stonewall as usual. But speaking of Belgium, it's one place I've actually been :) (If it's Tuesday: part 2). Unfortunately, I didn't see much of Belgium on my one trip, so I looked at some Wikipedia pages for churches there: here are a few of them ....


- St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral


- Church of Saint Jacques-sur-Coudenberg


- Liège Cathedral


- Kapellekerk


10 Comments:

Blogger Louis la Vache said...

«Louis» agrees - the Vatican should join the 21st century on this subject - both in allowing lay ministers to say the mass and to allow priests to marry. «Louis» feels that many, perhaps even most, of the sex scandals that have marred the church would have not happened had priests been allowed to marry.

6:31 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

hi Louis,

I do think too that a system that allowed married men and women to be priests might have attracted and produced people less likely to abuse.

8:49 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

I should say I don't think being celibate turns people into child molesters. I just mean that I think a system that imposes madatory celibacy should expect a certain amount of dishonesty and maladaption.

10:18 PM  
Blogger Deacon Denny said...

I agree that this kind of dissent/activism is necessary and healthy. Here's hoping it grows a bit.

3:16 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Dennu,

Strange how it seems to be happening in places other than the US.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Deacon Denny said...

My opinion is that the American laity is far stronger than it realizes, and if we had an issue or two that really aroused us, it would change a lot of other things too. Catholic churchgoers who are disgruntled or disaffected know how to stop coming to Mass or stop putting their dollars in the collection, but that's about it. There ARE more choices!

Along with that, unfortunately, the American hierarchy seems rather timid. I still can't believe they rolled over on the new translations.

4:02 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

It does seem odd that they would let the translation thing pass without a challenge, but then the leaders like George and Dolan have been pretty conservative.

10:56 PM  
Blogger Deacon Denny said...

To be fair, the US bishops were worn down. This went back and forth between the US and the Vatican for years. Still, the US bishops have as much time as the Vatican does...in the end, they were worn down.

Now, the GERMAN bishops, on the other hand, refused their new German translation. And appear to have gotten away with it. Hmmmm.

I have a retired priest friend who said that the new translation only showed that whoever did the job didn't understand English OR Latin.

2:38 PM  
Blogger Deacon Denny said...

To be fair, the US bishops were worn down. This went back and forth between the US and the Vatican for years. Still, the US bishops have as much time as the Vatican does...in the end, they were worn down.

Now, the GERMAN bishops, on the other hand, refused their new German translation. And appear to have gotten away with it. Hmmmm.

I have a retired priest friend who said that the new translation only showed that whoever did the job didn't understand English OR Latin.

2:38 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Denny,

There's been a lot of discussion about all aspects of the translation at the Pray Tell blog, so I've been kind of keeping up with it. Fr. Ruff has a great post that covers everything here .... http://www.praytellblog.com/index.php/2010/11/06/translation-directory-watch-this-space/

3:04 PM  

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