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Church rules for priests will continue: Officials

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Catherine W. Idzerda
November 24, 2007

For Catholics, the priest’s role is crucial.


“Catholics are sacramental people; the grace of those sacraments is transmitted through the priest in the person of Christ,” said Grant Emmel, vice chancellor of the Diocese of Madison. “No priests, no sacraments; this is a critical difference from our Christian brothers and sisters.”


But simultaneously, Catholics also are called on to use their resources for greater good, for education and for corporal works of mercy.


While “where do I go to church on the weekends,” is a critical question, it’s not the only question.


“The diocese is calling people to a higher purpose,” Emmel said. “We have to ask: How do we be the best stewards of what God has given us?”


Will the church consider ordaining women?


“No,” Emmel said. “It’s been definitely stated over and over again.”


In 1995, a statement issued by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who is now Pope Benedict XVI, stated the church’s ban on women priests “has been set forth infallibly,” and that it is to be “held always, everywhere, and my all as belonging to the deposit of the faith.”


Ratzinger’s statement was approved by then Pope John Paul II.


How about allowing priests to marry?


Emmel called that a “red herring.”


If married priests were the answer, the protestant denominations wouldn’t be struggling with a shortage of ministers, as well.


“It’s a discipline of the church,” Emmel added.



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