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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"When pastors divorce" - A Lutheran Perspective

There is often discussion these days (in some circles) about allowing Catholic Priests to marry and how it would help end the vocations "crisis." I've posted about this before and the fact that protestant congregations which allow all forms of ministers (single, married, male, female, openly homosexual, "married" homosexuals, etc.) are facing the same problems that the Catholic Church is, if not worse. Below is another side of the issue that is rarely mentioned when discussing a change in the discipline of a celibate Priesthood - what happens when Priests' marriages fail? To say that it won't happen is naive. We're talking about human beings - we are all weak, we all fail, and we all sin. Sadly some marriages, for any number of reasons, do fail. I do not present this as THE reason why the Church should not allow married priests, rather I present it as a single point that is rarely mentioned in the discussion, and the article below does a decent job of highlighting the effects...

"A congregation may feel betrayal, sadness, anger or guilt"

From "The Lutheran"
By Barbara Sharkey

The end of a marriage can be sorrowful and distressing, a private time with details revealed to only the most trusted friends. But when pastors divorce, not only does previously undisclosed information suddenly become very public, but feelings of betrayal, sadness, anger and even guilt can deeply hurt a congregation.

Parishioners may feel caught between two sides, abandoned by their spiritual leader, or sometimes even powerless as the consequences of a church affair play out to a devastating conclusion.

1 comment:

Chris Osgood said...

This is one thing that I am going to talk about tonight on the Deep in Scripture radio show.