Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Priest Advocates Married Clergy

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Priest Advocates Married Clergy

Article excerpt

At two Sunday Masses July 8, Fr. William H. Mullin told the congregation at St. John the Baptist Church in Quincy, Mass., that it is time for the Catholic church to discuss ordaining married men.

Mullin provided Cardinal Bernard Law's mailing address and encouraged parishioners to share their thoughts with the cardinal about the issue.

"I think he has to get the feeling of what people think about this," Mullin told NCR. "He's a cardinal and an adviser to the pope, and I think if [Law] hears this, it will be influential."

Mullin drew inspiration for the homily from the week's gospel, Luke 10:2, which reads, "The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few."

He was also inspired, he said, by a recent article in America magazine in which priests describe the difficult working conditions brought on by the growing shortage of priests.

"Cardinal Law told us a year ago there would be no priestless Sundays in the Boston archdiocese. But already there have been some," he said in a phone interview with NCR. "Two months ago, we had 9 priests retire. Some weren't yet 75 but were too stressed out and burnt out to continue."

The workload at St. John the Baptist, he said, "is getting more intense. While there are currently three priests at the church, Mullin said that one recently applied to become a pastor elsewhere and could soon leave.

"Here in our parish we had 197 funerals last year," Mullin said in the interview. "I'm 62, diabetic and have had a kidney transplant. …

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