RE “O’MALLEY BARS talk by priest over views” (Page A1, June 25):
Although the talk by the Rev. Helmut Schuller is open to the public, I would like to extend a personal invitation to Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley. To address the priest shortage in the Catholic Church, it’s critical that the entire church, from the laity to hierarchy, be open to examining church traditions like priestly celibacy that discourage vocations.
Even within my own parish, there are married men who would embrace the priesthood if celibacy were optional. Given that the Catholic Church has a long history (through the 12th century) of married clergy and currently ordains married priests (e.g., former Episcopal and Anglican priests), Father Schuller’s advocacy of a married clergy is not in direct opposition to church teachings.
Perhaps if we approach our challenges with open hearts and open minds we can find a better solution than paying high-priced consultants to merge our parishes into collaboratives, overburdening the priests we do have, and driving out even more parishioners in the process.