Saturday, 18 February 2017

Silence Broken

Title reminds me of SILENCE, the movie. I would recommend it to anyone interested in Japan and the work of Missionaries. What a great mixture of emotions. There are good crowds seeing it in Paris.

I'm so sorry that our website - WWW.STJOEPARIS.ORG - has been hacked once again. 'Spammers 'are putting 1,000 demands every minute and so the site was closed down. Our wonderful web master is working flat out to get it up and running again. He did this last week and within a few minutes the 'spammers' were back at wrecking our site again. We know now what country this is coming from and it is hoped that it may be possible to block this country from hitting our site. I hate excluding any person or group but at present we have no option. It is my hope that in due course we can restore viewing of our site to this country.

It seems on the Late Late Show on Friday night a priest spoke about what a difference being married would have made to him and others. I didn't see it as that time it is quite late for me in Paris, especially  when I have an early start the next morning. 

What I don't understand is the constant talk about whether any of us priests would have been better in serving the Kingdom of God if we had married. I don't know the answer to that in my life but the choice not to marry I freely made. Personally, I would love to have married but I freely chose not -some girl was saved from putting up with me. Irrespective of age, when the time comes when I become convinced that celibacy is not for me, I will walk! I know I am too old and too ugly to even contemplate a relationship. But, by staying on as a priest when convinced that I would have been better off married, it is not fair to the God who called me and to the people I am privileged to serve. But I can speak for no other priest but me. 

Finally, a priest in a religious congregation or order, over and above celibacy of the priesthood, voluntarily takes a vow of chastity. So, when the day comes for Catholic priests to be free to marry, as are Protestant clergy ordained as priests when entering the Catholic Church, this will not affect priests who have vowed to live without giving or receiving the Sacrament of Marriage.

What I would have liked to have seen on the Late Late would have been an interview with the Priest who serves as a chaplain to the Gardai. He can attend Gardai graduations at Templemore. The chaplains to the Gardai have served well since their establishment. It amazes me that the Garda chaplain or some spokesperson has not, to my knowledge, offered one public word on the controversy surrounding the treatment of Sergant Maurice McCabe and other whistleblowers. I know only what I get from the huge media coverage, but serious moral issues of justice and truth are raised.

The danger for the Catholic Church is that our silence on justice issues could be construed as cowardice or worse still indifference to such alleged treatment. My own experience of being involved is seeking justice for children when stationed at Holy Cross in 2000's was that to this day, no superior has ever spoken to me except by way of criticism of my time there. But that is for another day. 

The Passionist Congregation to which I belong, has as our Founder, St Paul of the Cross, who asks us to stand up for 'crucified people' who are the contemporary incarnation of the 'Crucified Christ'. 

Life in Paris has a breath of Spring these days and it is most welcome after some cold weather.  A.T.