"I am an angry Catholic"


I have just stumbled onto your site. Interesting. I am an angry Catholic who, living in rural New Mexico, is a victim, along with fellow Catholics, of the stubborn Church which refuses to change rules that are clearly causing a severe pesonnel shortage. Our priests are old, tired and, worse, angry. Their joy is dissipated.

Gary Wills Papal Sins most accurately describes the plight of the Church today. Do you agree he presents at least arguable premises?

Ned Cantwell
age 62
married 42 years, father of four


Dear Ned,

Thank you for writing. I do agree we are in a sorry plight. The anger you describe is real and unfortunately often taken out on those who come seeking something from the Church. However, is the solution to adopt an Episcopalian model? That is, ordain married, women priests; sanction abortion, birth control, homosexual behavior, etc.?

There are some signs of hope, for example, younger priests and seminarians who are enthusiastic and want genuine renewal. Their numbers are smaller, but also, sadly, the number of Catholics will be smaller in the future. Even now, because of poor catechetics, most of our young people have either drifted away or joined Bible churches. Very few have become Anglicans.

For an older Catholic who is angry, it seems to me the options are to join a different church or try to find some participation w/i the present church which brings joy. But clinging to anger is self-consuming as the recent books of Wills, Cornwell and others amply demonstrate. Do you see what I mean, Ned?

Again, I appreciate you writing. And you do have my prayers. I'm not too far behind you in years - and that sweet chariot can't be too far away for either of us. You have obviously lived a dedicated life as 42 years of marriage and four children attest!

God bless,

Fr. Phil Bloom

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