The Words of the Milingo Family

Press release - Married Priests Now! Movement

Abp Peter Brennan
September 13, 2006

Married Priests Now!
News Release - News Release - News Release
Contact: Archbishop Peter P. Brennan
September 13, 2006 for Immediate Release

Re: *Married Priests Now!* Convocation
Saddle Brook, New Jersey
September 17 19, 2006

The married Roman Catholic Archbishop from Zambia, Emmanuel Milingo, is calling married Catholic priests to join his newly founded *Married Priests Now! *Movement. He is inviting not only married priests but also married men and women who want to be priests to a Celebration of the Married Priesthood. It will be held at the Holiday Inn Conference Center, in Saddle Brook, New Jersey on September 17-19, 2006. Each day will begin with a Mass concelebrated by 120 married priests. Married priests and their wives are coming from Peru, Brazil, Mexico, Italy and Canada, and from a dozen states.

Archbishop Milingo encourages married priests to stand up for their rights and to make sure the American bishops know they are ready to serve in joy and gladness. Married priests who wish to attend can call Dario Ferrabolli at 1-973-332-2730.

This special convocation will center on the single issue of having married priests called back to full ministerial service in the church. Speakers for the convocation are: Anthony Padovano, Leonard Swidler, Peter Manseau and Salvatore Trozzo.

A married priesthood was the norm in the Roman Catholic Church for the first twelve centuries. St. Peter and thirty-eight other popes were married men. In several instances sons of married popes became pope also. The Eastern Rites of the Roman Catholic Church have always had married priests. So a married priesthood is nothing new but was actually the norm for the church for more than half of its existence.

Archbishop Milingo says, "It is time for the Vatican to reinstate married priests into full and active ministry within the church. The Catholic Church is in a state of crisis because of the current priest shortage. Hundreds of parishes are closing each year and the people are going without the Eucharist."

The current average age of Roman Catholic priests is 74 years, and the average age of monks and nuns is 68. The church knows it has a dim future due to the shortage of priests. The Eucharist is the central teaching of Christianity and of the Roman Church.

Without priests, there can be no Eucharist. Without the Eucharist, there is no church.

*Married Priests Now!* is working toward the reconciliation of married priests and wants to identify married men who want to be priests, but who have been deterred by the mandatory celibacy issue.

Roman Catholic dioceses are now so short of priests that they are appointing laymen and laywomen as canonical pastors of parishes. While this is a laudable and exciting sign of progress in church structure, it highlights the clear fact that there are not enough priests to be appointed as pastors. These elderly priests who are left are often pastors of two or three parishes. The people need more priests. With 25,000 married priests in the United States and approximately 130,000 world wide, there are plenty of already trained and ordained priests available to bring the Eucharist to the people. It is time to recall the married priest and help resolve the all too evident priest shortage.

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