I was saddened to read an article in another newspaper about a priest in the Davenport Diocese who felt the church should make provisions for married and women priests and for parishioners to vote on selection of bishops and priests.
Father and other priests back in the 1960s expected change in the teachings of the Catholic Church after the Vatican II Council; such issues concerned married clergy, ordination of women to the priesthood, and a more “democratic” church that would allow clergy and laity a voice in the selection of bishops.
Instead of providing a genuine catechesis in the authentic teaching and tradition of the Catholic Church contained in the council’s documents, many dissenters brought their influence to bear in the dissent which occurred after the council.
This dissent continues in the generation formed in the 1960s and ‘70s. Their viewpoint is given more attention and coverage than authentic church teaching.
But change is coming. John Paul II reached out during his papacy to the young people. And they are coming in greater numbers, willing to conform their lives and will to Jesus. They love his mother, Mary, and are dedicating their lives — as priests, religious or lay people — looking to the pope and magisterium to guide them. More priests are being ordained and at a younger age. Father Len Plazewsky, president of the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors, said, “It is a move of the Spirit and you have to give John Paul II some credit, too.”
I have been privileged to know so many of our priests, from those just starting their ministry to retired priests who have lived their lives as servants to the servants of God. I am grateful to God that our young priests are following in their footsteps.
Mary Jo Jensen