Perhaps one more for a Presiding or Provincial Bishop

There can be controversies, so a Provincial Bishop or the Presiding Bishop needs to be able to do something like intervening.  That does not mean minding some diocese’s business when the diocesan bishop is supposed to do that.  But it does mean offering alternatives.

Case in point: Many of the Apostles probably would not pass muster to become postulants or candidates for holy orders.  In fact, some of them would probably be turned away out of hand.  Two that come to mind are St Matthew (said to have been a tax collector, and not as nice as your typical IRS agent), and of course, St Paul.  Many jurisdictions which have other barriers to ordination.  For me, the only one that is absolute is if an applicant is a registered sex offender, particularly if the person is listed on a Meagan’s Law Web Site.  That is not to say that all others are “wide open”, it means that there is one that I will not consider and others I will review and decide.

And here is what I mean about offering alternatives.  Let’s say that there is someone who wants to become a priest but there is something which that person’s diocesan bishop considers a bar.  There are so many influences and manipulations, especially early in life (read: before 60) that some flexibility might be needed. 

If I want to admit that person, then that person becomes mine and my responsibility (which means someone knows to toe the mark).  If, after ordination, another bishop is willing to have that priest, all well and good.  If I have an opening, that’s fine too.  But priesthood is no guarantee of employment.  I’m writing this while holding a “day job” myself, if that’s a clue.  But I’d have given that person the opportunity to pursue priesthood, prove himself/herself, and then do something with their ordination.

That also does not mean that I will open the door for anyone.  But I do own a pair of scissors to keep my hands untied.

Blessed Be!

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And so, now where?

I mentioned that there was the Province of St Peter and the Province of St Joseph of Arimathea.  Let’s put them into the context of some of the favorite words some folks bat around: “diversity” and “inclusiveness”.  In too many cases, those words are used as excuses to exclude those who were once the backbone of a body of people.  In some cases, those words are used as an excuse to treat something which would have once been seen as disqualifying as an actual qualification. Not here.

I intend to have a place where tradition and “exploring” can co-exist and prosper side-by-side, even sharing.  Let us not forget that as recently as the 1800’s, it was the overwhelming opinion of many Christian theologians that women did not have souls.

Every major concept began as someone’s wild idea.