Saturday, October 08, 2011

The Holy Spirit's calling.

Because of some very interesting correspondence from a member of a group of Roman Catholics who lost their parish three years ago, and the discussions on the RentAPriest site about growing into a post-denominational or more inclusive spirituality and faith. I have begun thinking about how these two ideas might work together to answer the Holy Spirit's call to us as priests and to the people of God who find themselves hurt and without their long established parishes. The following questions quickly come to my feeble mind:

1. If a group of Catholics actually reaches out and (using the 21 Canons) calls on a resigned/married priest to minister to them is the priest required to respond as the community expects?

2. If the resigned/married priest decides to respond and offer his pastoral care and the community accepts does his vision and beliefs as pastor form the main focus of the community's parish life (as in the past) or does the calling community' s faith experience and beliefs become the main focus of parish life?

3. If there is a great difference between the priest's vision/faith/belief and the community's vision/faith/belief, how is that negotiated especially since the people and priest do not have the option of seeking relief from a diocese or bishop?

4. Again using the 21 Canons that support the people's right to call a priest to ministry how is this experience or process different (or is it) than the Minister hiring process as practiced in many Protestant denominations?

5. Is it important that there be a difference?

6. The call and position of RentAPriest seem to be clear, at least to me, about the use of Roman Catholic Canon law to keep Roman Catholic faith communities Roman Catholic and Eucharistic when the diocese closes their parish. Why do so few communities use this option?

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