- Battle lines drawn
This week produced the clearest evidence yet that the Synod Fathers are sharply divided between those who are supporting Pope Francis in his efforts to present a more pastoral vision of the Church and those determined first and foremost to emphasise its moral teaching
- Home News
- World News
- Parish Practice
- Letters Extra
- The living Spirit
- Report finds 'systemic failures' by C of E over allegations of abuse by former dean
- Middle East must keep its Christians, says Vatican calling for scrutiny of Islamists' funding
- Nichols says synod is opening pathways for divorced and remarried
- Francis to visit Istanbul's Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque as concerns over treatment of Christians resurface
- Synod final document is a setback for Francis' reforms – for now Elena Curti in Rome
- Curious muddle of Lectionary translations Philip Endean SJ
- Annulments can be far from merciful Bill Wright
Catherine Pepinster in her column (24 May) suggests Pope Francis should change the form of address for priests from “Father” to “Teacher”. The former Council Father, Bishop Remi De Roo, at the age of 90, said when we met him in Bristol recently that he wished to be addressed simply as Remi. This in no way diminished our respect for him as a bishop who attended all the meetings of the Second Vatican Council. By our baptism we should be living the life of a priest, prophet and king. We, the laity, are the priesthood of the baptised. We have been called by God, and sent to pass on the Good News of Jesus Christ to those we meet in our daily life.
It is my belief that we will succeed in our mission to pass on our Catholic – Christian faith, only if we avoid squabbles about the roles and status of men and women, ordained and non-ordained, and how we address our priests.
We are all equal in God's eyes and should be working side by side. No group should be sidelined because another requires acknowledgement. The ordained celibate priesthood is a special and precious vocation. The priest "lays down his life" (marriage) for the greater opportunity to care for his flock, and he is crucial to Catholic life in that he celebrates the Eucharist, enabling us all to become truly part of the Body of Christ.
If we find it natural to address a priest as Father, that is fine. If we do not, that is fine as well.
Kathy McVay, Westbury on Trym, Bristol