Thomas Groome was an ordained Catholic priest in the late 1960s — the kind who preached about marriage without ever being married himself — but it wasn’t long before he began thinking seriously about the whole “priests can’t get married” and “you must remain celibate” things… it wasn’t just out of selfishness. He now believes a change to those outdated and unnecessary rules could help the Catholic faith:
I’ve worked at Boston College for 37 years, and I couldn’t count the number of young men across the years — I would literally say hundreds — who have said to me they’d love to be a priest but they don’t want to accept the celibacy requirement. They want to get married, have a family, which is a perfectly natural desire built into us by almighty God. And to be turning away such high-quality young people or to be sending away some of our finest priests because they wanted to marry seemed, at least, problematic.
This, to me, just speaks to the higher problems within the Church — the same ones Pope Francis is fighting against right now. As relatively progressive as he might be, it’s his Catholicism that holds him back from being even more of a force for good.
What Groome is saying makes perfect sense. And yet the Church would never even consider making those changes. It’s too committed to silly traditions to do the right thing. And for that, it’s driving people out of the Church for good.
As bad as I feel for Groome, I’m glad the Church is its own worst enemy. It makes my own goals a lot easier to achieve.