Two sides to church

Penticton letter writer responds to questions on if the church should change.

I read with interest the letter from Joe Schwarz, March 1. He is very subtle in the many points he brings up in his letter.

Clergy abuse; mysterious death of Pope John; corruption in the church; priests are not married; next item was not clear but, I believe he advocates women in part or full-time jobs (priests?); couples with 15 kids; love has died and wish to remarry; euthanasia. At this time I would like to compliment him in only using the word Catholic once. I will not respond to all of the points that he brings up, but, would like to respond to just one of them. “There is no reason why priests can’t be married.” He is absolutely right, there is no reason why not. Does Mr. Schwarz think that if the priest were married, sexual abuse would cease? There are many other religious leaders that are also faced with this problem, they do have married clergy.

I am a man is his mid 70s who is and always has been a Catholic. I attend services every week. Now this might be a shock to him, 80 per cent of the priests that served parishes that I was a member in, were married, yes, I said married. Catholic priests? Yes, by all means, and many have children. The Catholic church is divided into the eastern and western church. For generations, the eastern church has always had married priests. This church is not a sister nor cousin of the Roman Catholic Church, it is equal to the western Catholic or Roman Catholic church. However, the eastern Catholic church is not the only one that has married clergy, so does the Roman Catholic church. Many priests that left their own churches because of modernization, have found a home within the Catholic church. They are married, have children and are pastors of R.C. churches.

I might have stepped on a hornets’ nest with these revelations, but, after years of hearing about how Catholic priests should be married, I never responded in the past, thinking that someone would set the record straight. It is time to do so.

Orest Kociuba

Penticton