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Monday, July 17, 2006


Some Day

Well, Hell seems big enough for as many "wives" as the Reverend would like to "minister"to.

This calls vengeance from Heaven...And it will be answered...

Tom Harmon

I would just like to point out that the Ilwrath were an aggressive race of spider-like aliens who worshipped death as a god and flew around in cloaked starships in service to their Ur-Quan overlords in Accolade's early-nineties computer game, Star Control (and its sequel).

McIlrath. Ilwrath. Draw your own conclusions.

Now that I've elevated the level of discussion, my work here is done. :)


McAleer has it exactly right.
"McIlrath has a responsibility not to sow confusion about his status," McAleer said. "He left the priesthood and has no authority to represent himself or function as a Catholic priest. In fact, he is forbidden by church law from doing so.

"To do otherwise denigrates the fine work performed by our Catholic priests in the Danbury area."

It sounds like McIlrath is a great guy. But infidelity is the indeed the issue he will need to answer for. It seems from the article that there are many more like him, all with the audacity to presume that the rule of the Church will be changed by breaking it.
This only serves to re-enforce the need for celibate priests, as a sign of contradiction to the stream of popular culture and disintegrating morality. That discipline comes from a much higher level of understanding and spirituality, and serves in and of itself as a kind of filter.
Perhaps when McIlrath was formed in the priesthood the whole theology and spirituality involved in the discipline of celibate priesthood was not adequately taught. Still, God can provide the grace sufficient for the need. Seeking that grace and having the faith to receive it is part of fidelity.
The recognition of the inability to follow through on one's own strength is not an excuse for infidelity, but rather a reason to seek and find strength in God.
This is the lesson all of us have to learn each day, over and over, as we stumble and sin, seek absolution, and then carry on, asking God for the grace to overcome the temptation the next time we face it. Priests are not alone in the struggle of fidelity, but none of us has the right to expect the Church to change the standards to accommodate our weakness.

Brian John Schuettler

It looks like someone has been drinking the Kool Aid.
Some Day...I am going to have to ask you to surrender your guns before you enter town. I certainly am not making excuses for Father McIlrath, but I would think twice and pray a bit before I start calling down the thunder on him. After all, we are all sinners. What he has done and the bad example he has given will be addressed by Our Lord at his particular judgment. I suggest the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

Carl Olson

Priests are not alone in the struggle of fidelity, but none of us has the right to expect the Church to change the standards to accommodate our weakness.

Well said. There is a fine line between calling a spade a spade, and simply mocking or attacking the spade. There is, I think, a clear connection between the rise of divorces over the past 30-40 years and the laxity with which people approach nearly any sort of vow or solemn promise. When one's word can be revised, updated, or modified at a moment's notice, upon what basis can relationships be founded?

Brian John Schuettler

"Priests are not alone in the struggle of fidelity, but none of us has the right to expect the Church to change the standards to accommodate our weakness."

Perhaps I am missing something here but the Church has not nor will it ever change the standards of either of the two Sacraments we are talking about here...Matrimony and Holy Orders. The situation with this priest is sad and unfortunate but I cannot see any logical progression toward deep sixing two of the essential and immutable teachings of the Church nor do I see any jeopardy occurring due to isolated individual occurrances of abuse. There are abuses of just about everything inside the Church right now, especially with the Liturgy. Is the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist therefore threatened with extinction? Of course not. One of the best things we can do, as I stated in my earlier post, is to pray. Obviously,we have no control over civil divorce and the increase in divorce withing this context in unfortunate but, as Carl says, definitely related to a breakdown in the value given to any oath in our society.

Carl Olson

It's good to keep in mind that the Western discipline of non-married clergy is just that: a discipline. A very serious and important discipline, but not a dogma. Western Catholics should know, if they don't already know, that the Eastern Catholic Churches and the Eastern Orthodox Churches allow married men to be ordained as priests. This fact, I think, highlighs the hypocrisy/true motives of those who are constantly harping about wanting a "married priesthood" -- as if there aren't any married Catholic priests. If they really wanted that and that only, they could become Eastern Catholic. But in many, if not most, cases the final goal is the ordination of female priests (aka, priestettes).

Deacon John M. Bresnahan

I have absolutely no sympathy for adult men (most priests aren't ordained until in their late 20's) who choose to ask to be ordained to the priesthood. Then a sexual epiphany supposedly takes place and they now want to marry. Next they get angry at the Church for taking them at their word and telling them to keep their word or say good-bye to exercising priestly ministry. In my book a spoiled brat who can't or won't keep his word has no business in ANY vocation where personal integrity and strength of character are supremely important--and that clearly includes the priesthood.
There are many of us who, when young, wanted to be priests, but chose otherwise because we believed that whether in priestly ministry or marriage a "man's word is his bond" and realized that whatever road we chose was final.
Now since Vatican II the way has been opened for a married clergy in the Catholic Church-- the diaconate--something we never envisioned as young men. It is up to us deacons to now give those priests who have kept their word all the support and encouragement we can while serving the Church officially in many time-consuming ministries that heretofore had been the exclusive province of ordained priests (marriages and baptisms and preparation, wakes, funerals and graveside services, homilies and their conscientious preparation --many Protestant ministers spend most of their week preparing for the Sunday sermon.)
It is time to look forward to make those ideas genuinely promoted by Vatican II become a living reality in the Church and stop concentrating on those whose complaints are the result of their own choices in life.

Brian John Schuettler

The discipline of celibacy can, of course, be changed and having a background in Eastern Rite Catholicism I know that the options mentioned do exist. I think that there are priests in the Western Rite who sincerely believe that they could be better priests if they were married, a very self serving proposition I admit. But you are right, Carl, and I tend to be naive at times in seeing beyond to the greater agenda for ordination of priest-ettes. Thanks for your observation.

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