This week end….A very brief meditation before the pope arrives in the USA
He is 94 years young and one of the very last of the “Jadot bishops.” Francis A. Quinn was bishop of Sacramento from 1980 to 1994 and gained a reputation for his concrete and practical pastoral ministry and strong support for lay leadership. Just a few days before the arrival of Pope Francis in Washington DC, Bishop Quinn wrote in an op-ed in the New York Times — “How the Pope Might Renew the Church,” September 18, 2015 — that the Roman Catholic Church should consider optional celibacy for priests, the ordination of women, and allowing Catholics who are divorced and remarried to receive Communion.
In an interview published in America magazine – “California Bishop Voices Support for the Ordination of Women,” September 18, 2015 — Quinn spoke with unabashed frankness about the changes he would like to see.
“I personally think the Spirit is calling women to be deacons and priests, but the Spirit hasn’t yet communicated it to the teaching church….I can’t see any reason why women shouldn’t be priests,” Bishop Quinn said. “The church would benefit greatly.” Quinn acknowledged that he has had “personal ideas” about the ordination of women for decades; but in the past he “would never preach about it or say it publicly,” since Pope John Paul II had taken it “off the table.”On several occasions, Pope Francis has reiterated the position of John Paul II. In his apostolic exhortation, “The Joy of the Gospel,” Pope Francis wrote: “The reservation of the priesthood to males, as a sign of Christ the Spouse who gives himself in the Eucharist, is not a question open to discussion.”
Francis Quinn, however, is now courageously saying to Pope Francis and to his other brother bishops that it is time to put women’s ordination back on the table.
In Acts of the Apostles (2:17) we read: “I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.”
Bishop Quinn has good dreams for the church but he is greatly concerned about the future of the church and its young people. They too need a vision. An increasing number of young people either belong to no church, are agnostic, or have an overly individualist spirituality, without understanding the need for community. “The main challenge facing the church today is not simply to resolve questions like celibacy,” Bishop Quinn wrote, “but to relearn how to communicate a deeper, more intelligent, more relevant religion that leads to a life of acceptance and love.”
Holy Wisdom for sure……..Thank God for Bishop Francis A. Quinn!