Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Lode 10/5

It is no secret that there is a priest shortage, especially here in the United States. Equally well known, and more embarrassing to the Church, is the scandal surrounding pedophilic priests. As a gut reaction to these problems, certain people—even those within the church—are pining for reform, specifcally the ordination of female priests and an end to priestly celibacy.

The Catholic G. K. Chesterton once said, “The reformer is always right about what is wrong. He is generally wrong about what is right.” It is clear that the Church needs more shepherds for her flock, and some of the current shepherds are very bad at herding sheep. But, allowing priests to marry and women to join the priestly ranks isn't going to fix the problem; it will, in fact, make things worse.

The Church is constantly told that it needs to get with the times—as if Truth itself were not timeless. The Church has not lasted these many years because she bows to the whims of the world, but precisely because she does not. When Christ founded the Church on Simon, himself a man, he changed his name to Peter—meaning rock—for a very important reason. The Church was founded on a rock and has remained rock-like for almost two millenia.

The shortage of Catholic priests is not due to people dismissing the Church for being too steady. It is from people dismissing her as too volatile. The most conservative dioceses have had the most vocations to the priesthood, and it is not hard to see why. The beauty of the Roman Catholic Church is that she does not move with the world, but stands anchored to the Truth upon which she was founded, that is, on Christ. It is only through a reaffirmation of her standing in the world, or rather, apart from the world, that the priest shortage will be solved.

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