Married priests on the agenda in Quebec

Married priests were one of the options discussed at a conference dedicated to the future of the Catholic Church in Quebec.

Consolidating parishes was not a solution to the lack of priests, theologian and Auxiliary Bishop Marc Pelchat told the 80 people at the conference.

The conference was organised by a lay group Le Parvis de Quebec.

“During a closed hearing at a recent plenary session of bishops, there was talk of the ordination of married men of a certain age, whose ecclesial commitment is tested,” Pelchat said.

He noted that in the last decade, demand for sacraments, including even the funeral rite, had declined significantly.

“The church has become like a vestige of the past, destined to be marginalised. The faithful still present believe that there’s still Good News to share, but it will have to be done differently. We will have to be persevering.”

Participation of the laity in the life of the church was a particular aspect discussed at the conference.

Pelchat noted in Quebec the faithful have always been spectators and consumers, especially regarding the sacraments.

“We need to change this way of doing things. We believe that we can rebuild the church, even if it is more humble, to announce the mission of Christ,” he said.

“We are all wondering how to become missionaries in a transforming Quebec, which has severed its ties with its Catholic heritage.

“More and more, we hear the call to set out and engage in a movement of pastoral conversion, including our structures, to reverse the church (dominant) position we have known.

“I have not been trained for today’s church, but one has to adjust,” he said.

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News category: World.

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