I am passing this story on simply for information and without comment. It was e-mailed by Married Priests Now! to the Zambian News Agency and picked up by UPI. The choice to refer to themselves as a "prelature" is theirs. I would give the link to the Married Priests Now! Web site but at the moment, unfortunately, it appears to be closed to the general public:
Nov 21, ZANIS--Excommunicated former Lusaka Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo and the Married Priests Now! Prelature have concurred with Pope Benedict XVI and the Vatican finding that reaffirms celibacy. According to prelature spokesman, Archbishop Peter Paul Brennan, the married priests were however against the enforcement of celibacy as a job requirement for the priesthood. "Celibacy should be a freely chosen charism and not a job requirement. Not every priest has the charism to be celibate and this is the problem because the church forces it on him or he cannot be ordained. It is a requirement that violated human freedom," Archbishop Brennan said.
"We can hardly believe that a meeting of the Cardinals who head the Dicasteries was called to simply reaffirm celibacy. The report that was not released is the important one," he added. And Archbishop Milingo accused the Vatican of being in a state of denial that it could not see the need for a married priesthood. "The Vatican 's denial of the problem confirms and encourages our mission to recall married priests to full ministry," Archbishop Milingo said. "We are the only Catholic diocese calling for the ordination of married men, and for the return of married priests to full ministry."
The two archbishops said Marriage was a sacrament of the church and celibacy was not. ''Marriage is higher calling than celibacy. The marriage vow trumphs the celibacy promise. Our prelature believes that a married priest is a healthier priest, and that a married priesthood will give priests a healthy and proper outlet for their sexuality,'' they said. They said people including priests were created by God as sexual beings and the sexuality needed to be celebrated as a blessing for husbands and their wives. ''Marriage needs to be the normal option for priests," Archbishop Brennan stressed.
Married Priests Now! Prelature will hold a conference in Parsippany, New Jersey on December 8 to10 to celebrate marriage and the priesthood. The conference will be punctuated by a Catholic renewal of marriage vows during the celebration of the Eucharist for married priests and their wives.
And commenting on a cleric who was quoted in St. Peter's Square in Rome yesterday as saying that those priests who walked away from the priesthood to marry should not be received back as priests, Archbishops Brennan and Milingo said their prelature reminded them that the Gospel of Jesus was about forgiveness. ''We remind him that the church is dying for want of priests. Recalling the married priests is a wholesome remedy to help save the church,'' he said. He said the first priests called by Christ were married and the church has always had married priests and vowed that the priests were going back to the New Testament roots of the priesthood when St. Peter and the apostles were married," said Milingo.
On Thursday, the Pope made it clear that although a shortage of priests had called for a loosening of the traditional restrictions, he did not think that opening up the Church to a married priesthood was the cure.