A COLUMBAN priest has submitted a discussion paper to the National Council of Priests convention in Roma from September 6-10 to address the dire shortage of priests in Australia.
In his paper, Columban Father Charles Rue, of the Columban Centre for Peace, Ecology and Justice at North Turramurra in Sydney, argues against priests being invited from overseas to ‘fill the gaps’ in Australian parishes.
To illustrate the extent of the clergy shortage, Fr Rue cites the example of an 80 year-old priest ministering in two parishes and examples of many priests being brought in from India, Poland and other countries to ‘fill gaps’ in Australian parishes.
‘While local Catholics are grateful, both cases are but stopgap measures with no realistic plans by Church authorities to have the sacraments celebrated by local Australian diocesan priests,’ he said.
Fr Rue said Catholic communities had a right to regular celebration of the Eucharistic and other sacraments, ‘and probably by somebody from their own culture rather than imported priests’.
Fr Rue decided to submit the discussion paper in the hope of gaining support for a submission being prepared for the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist in October next year.
The Catholic Leader is an Australian award-winning Catholic newspaper that has been published by the Archdiocese of Brisbane since 1929. Our journalism seeks to provide a full, accurate and balanced Catholic perspective of local, national and international news while upholding the dignity of the human person.
The Catholic Leader acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the First Peoples of this country and especially acknowledge the traditional owners on whose lands we live and work throughout the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.