Let us now direct our attention to the concept of Father dadwithnoisykids,
which would doubtlessly lead to Bishop dadwithnoisykids.
Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo of Zambia recently �installed� four bishops over
last weekend. For more details on the Canon legalities of this issue, I
recommend starting at http://www.americanpapist.com/blog.html.
Archbishop Milingo seems to think that by allowing married men to become
priests, the lack of priests would be eliminated. I have given some thought
to this matter over the years, and would like to weigh in with my thoughts
in this debate. I consider myself an expert in the field of �married
priests� based on the following criteria which I have satisfied:
1. I am holier than thou. Not only am I holier than thou, but I have the
attitude to go with it.
2. As a 42-year old cradle Catholic, having listened attentively to sermons
every Sunday and holy days (and weekdays) since I reached the age of reason,
I know that I could give a better homily than most of the noise that
emanates from the man behind the pulpit.
3. I have a brother who is a priest. That sentence alone gives me the right
to say just about anything I want about the priesthood.
4. I am married to a wonderful woman, who is the mother of our wonderful
children, who are collectively referred to as the noisykids.
5. As head of the house, I am also the head of my own church, one John Paul
II referred to as the �domestic church.�
Having established my credentials, I must emphatically say to the esteemed
and beloved Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo:
You must be crazy, man!
There are several ways to look at this issue, and I will discuss each one in
turn: The �Spouse,� the �children,� and the �outside observer.�
When I use the term �spouse,� I am referring to the wife for married men,
and Jesus Christ for priests. Both of them have behavior which could be
described as jealous. Our Lord even refers to Himself as a jealous God in
the Old Testament. Both wives and Christ want the attention of the
husband/priest, and expect to have constant access to them for whatever they
need. No subject, no time, no place is off limits for them to launch into a
discussion of �what is going on� in their day, and �what are you going to do
about it?� If the man does not have an answer for that last question, the
Spouse will surely have some good suggestions ready for his review. I am
not saying that this is unfair; rather, the vows of matrimony and the vows
of the priesthood allow, or rather, demand that the man give his all to
either Christ or to his wife. This is where the concept of the married
priest falls apart. It is impossible to be married to a woman and a priest
at the same time. Each one is a full time job, and one will suffer for it.
Consider this example. While visiting my brother, Fr. BODWNK(short for
Brother Of Dad With Noisy Kids), there have been times when he had to cancel
plans he had with us and tend to some emergency call from a parishioner. He
could not brush off the call, or send someone else to take care of it. No
one else could go; it had to be him.
Consider the responsibilities of raising children, and then add to that
having to answer for the souls of all the parishioners. No, thank you. The
challenges of raising a relatively small number of children from birth to
whenever are daunting enough. As I mentioned before , Pope John Paul II
referred to the home as a domestic church, where the child first learns
about God, how to pray, and how to follow His way to eternal life. That is
what I do when I am not at work of doing other chores(including blogging).
Consider how the family of Father dadwithnoisykids would be under tremendous
scrutiny from the outside observer. Imagine, if you will, watching Father
dadwithnoisykids preaching on a topic while the noisykids openly disobey
him. Such behavior would be scandalous, and would make it harder for the
parishioners to follow his advice. The married priest would be easily
discredited: �How can you preach against the evils of <insert sin here>
when your child <insert child name here> is <insert sin here again>?�
If these arguments do not convince you, consider the last, and most
persuasive argument for most people living on this earth: Money.
Is the �outside observer� going to be content to pay my stipend, my salary?
I am not talking about the small sum most priests get for subsistence, I am
talking about a salary that would allow me to raise my family in a manner
that would provide for all their needs. Before saying �yes,� consider the
needs of my family. First, the children would have to always appear clean,
neat, and well-groomed. Clothes would have to be of high quality, pleasing
to the eye and of a current style so that the children would not be
considered �old-fashioned.� The same would apply to my wife and I.
Orthodontists would insure that all teeth in our heads are straight and of
an appealing white color. A priest would have to drive a vehicle reflecting
the importance of his office; a Lexus, or a Mercedes Benz, or something
Italian would do.
We would need a gymnasium, where we could spend a portion of our day
exercising. Each family member would need a computer, and the children
would have to attend the finest schools. Food would have to be of the
finest variety, and would be served by our parish cook. A family pilgrimage
to the Holy Land and to Rome, alternating destinations each year, would be
part of the deal. It would be difficult to preach on the Gospel without
ever having set foot in the Holy Land.
Now, before giving your answer, consider that I would get to do this, with
the money put into the collection plate, while most people can not afford
the kind of lifestyle I envision for my noisykids. Consider also that I may
have more than two, or four, or six children, and that some parishioners do
not like the idea of large families. If I became Father dadwithnoisykids,
the collections would have to increase substantially. I do take personal