Friday, September 26, 2003

Novarum, Indeed.

My buddy I. Shawn McElhinney at Rerum Novarum has, via Fr. Greeley, offered the strangest idea I've heard all month: My own solution to the celibacy problem is a limited-term priesthood, a "Priest Corps," not unlike the Peace Corps. Go read the blog, it's pretty interesting. I say it's a "strange" idea because I've never heard it before, and because "strange" in this context means (to me) "really interesting and full of potential." Three questions come immediately to mind. First, how do we keep these guys from becoming Mormon Missionaries, e.g. "uberCatholics" who are such prime candidates for marriage and future lay leadership roles that every Catholic male hungers to be one (and is that a bad thing?). Second, what will these priests' relationship with people be like in Years 9 & 10? Three, what Bishop in his right mind would agree to the creation of a corps of priests who are much less under his control (because susceptible to only temporary "informal" sanctions) than his lifelong fellows?

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