Catholic families hold key to reversing priest shortage
The recent ordinations of three men as priests in the Buffalo Catholic Diocese have once again prompted the question of why women are not allowed to be ordained. This issue has been raised since the second century and addressed by theologians down to the present day. The Catholic Church teaches that men and women are equal in dignity and all are called to holiness.
Ordination to the ministerial priesthood is reserved to men because the church is bound to follow the example of the Lord, who chose only men as his apostles. Women, such as Mary, the mother of Jesus, have been an important part of the gospel story and continue to hold places of importance in the church today.
The crisis of dwindling numbers of priests stems more from a crisis of faith in families than any other reason. God asks for help but the men he is speaking to are not hearing him because they lack the faith necessary to comprehend the call. Other countries where faith is nurtured and promoted have an excess of candidates for priesthood.
The late Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said, “It is easy to find the truth; it is hard to face it, and harder still to follow it.” Members of the Catholic Church have an obligation to find out what it teaches and why. Websites such as usccb.org and catholicscomehome.org are great places to start. Protesting the tradition of ordaining only men to the priesthood is not the answer. Women and men both hold the key to reversing the priest shortage by practicing and promoting their Catholic faith within their own families.