Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Letter to Pope Francis by Dr. Ana Maria Abreu Velez MD, PhD

Dear Pope Francis,
I respectfully write to you because I believe many high hierarchy Catholic leaders are acting in ways not for the good of the church, or consistent with Jesus’ teaching and example. In my letter, I suggest some changes for you to consider, in order to begin to address these issues.
Overworked priests need to have the option of male/female marriage.
Our parish priests are over worked! They also have a relatively low income and low pensions.
1. Our priests are lonely; they have little or no friends (especially in the USA) because they will be perceived as crossing the lines. In I Corinthians 9: 1-6, the original Apostles had the right to have a Christian wife. In the current system, the priests feel loneliness and depression, due to being socially isolated and addressing so many parishoner’s all problems. I believe the teaching of the Bible is clear on this issue. As a Roman Catholic, I believe that married priests would bring stability to the priesthood, would attract better candidates for priesthood, would allow many mature men (and women) to shift into the priesthood from other occupations as they matured, and would greatly assist priests that are counseling married couples.
2. Priests are suffering from the scandals of sex abuse committed by fellow priests; some also maybe being sexually abused, which is unacceptable.
3. Our priests have no free weekends, because they have to give at least 6 masses in two languages on the weekends (English and Spanish) and a weekly daily mass, plus confessions, sacraments, visiting the sick, funerals and so on.
4. The rate of suicide, mental disease and burnout among priests is too high, because they do not have spouses to console them. A married priest would have a spouse who could help to support a family, as most Christian married ministers do. There are too few priests for the extremely hard job they have to do, so they have to do the work of several priests. Thus, they keep constantly moving and working, never having enough time for rest. Moreover, there are more than 3,000 parishes in the United States without their own priests.
Women priests need to be allowed.
We have forgotten that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one. In the Church Age, the first disciple of God was Mary. She believed and did not even question her pregnancy with Jesus. In his trial and crucifixion, she did not betray, abandon or deny him like many male disciples and/or apostles did. Women were there with Jesus at the Cross, and they were the first to whom the angels appeared telling that Jesus was live on Resurrection Sunday. Also, God created the woman from Adam’s flesh, thus we are the same, all equally part of God. Thus, women’s ordination is absurd not to consider. If women were ordained in the Catholic Church, it would help to decrease the workload of priests worldwide.
The Catholic church needs to allow remarrying, and divorcees in the churches.
None priest can judge what is like to live with a drunk, gambler, abuser; ie, a bad husband or wife. No children need to have their life destroyed because of the Catholic church’s strict rules on divorce.
Rules on contraception need to be changed.
Oral contraceptives are not abortive; they create conditions that resemble the physiologic conditions t in a woman’s menstrual cycle or in pregnancy. The church has to change, similar to opponents of Galileo who thought that the Earth was the center of the universe. Condoms for both male are female are the only real protection against HIV/AIDS.
Gay couples and gay people need to be ministered to by the Catholic Church.
They are our sisters and brothers, and their orientation could be partially secondary to abnormalities in the environment, or alterations in genes. If they are respectful, they should be accepted and ministered to. They can be living together and or in civil union and respect the Lord.
The archbishops, bishops and high hierarchy catholic leaders need to be scrutinized for lavish mansions, lavish expending, meanwhile many churches struggle to pay their bills.
The rules for what Ex-Priests can & can’t do need also to changed, because they are cruel.
Priest need to retire at the age of retirement of most citizens in each country.
Sincerely and respectfully submitted,

Ana Maria Abreu Velez MD, PhD
e-mail:  abreuvelez@yahoo.com

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