Time for a 'Catholic Spring'


Sir, – I am a practising Catholic and I agree with your Editorial (December 17th) in asserting that abolition of mandatory celibacy and ordination of women are crucial steps on the road to reform within the Catholic Church. Unlike John P McCarthy (December 20th) I would be hopeful that such reforms among a raft of other changes, plus the updating of Christian theology allied with genuine ecumenism is the way forward out of the current crisis.

The outdated negative thinking on human sexuality and women which underpins the medieval law of mandatory celibacy and the refusal by an elite male club to ordain women has had a malign influence on Catholic parishes, people and relationships. It has been an ingredient within the ongoing abuse of power and sex as perpetrated by some Catholic males.

It is wrong for the Roman control group in our Catholic Church to demand that God gift men with the package deal of priesthood and celibacy talents.

It is wrong to deny priesthood and Eucharist to Catholic people worldwide.

While voluntary celibacy may be admirable, it is totally wrong to force celibacy on men who are only called to priesthood.

I do not wish to collude in this ongoing abuse of good men. It is unjust and dangerous in our modern world.

I do not wish to collude in the ongoing abuse of women because of the Roman refusal to grant equality and ordination for women.

I do not wish to collude in the ongoing abuse of power by Rome and its refusal to share power with national hierarchies, priests and people.

I disagree with Mr McCarthy when he suggests that Catholic people would not support remuneration for priests as for any other married professional.

He alludes to the spare contributions by Catholics at this time. This reflects the dissatisfaction among practising Catholics at an autocratic institution which refuses to listen to the people on issues such as contraception, power sharing, abolition of mandatory celibacy and ordination of women.

We urgently need a “Catholic Spring” in 2012 together with the Eucharistic Congress! – Yours, etc,


Sycamore Drive,

Dundrum, Dublin 16.