ILLINOIS, USA – One interesting topic among bishops attending meeting at the Vatican this October is the possibility of ordaining married men to serve as priests. Present Roman Catholic Church allows only unmarried men to be accepted in the circle.
The proposal cropped up after Church hierarchy noted a shortage of priests among Christian world when some 20,000 men left the priesthood in US alone, in most cases to marry.
Filipino priests and bishops should not rejoice yet in easing the rules that have governed the church for centuries. The Philippines is excluded as the move, if passed by the Synod of Bishops in the October meeting and Pope Francis approves it, is only proposed in remote parts of the Amazon region where the church has struggled convincing men to priesthood.
But the proposal may also extend in some parts of the US and Europe or in the Philippines as we also experiencing shortage of priests after many of them were convinced to abandon celibacy. Although reports of priests having fathered children while inside church persists and threatens the future of priestly celibacy in the Christian world.
In the Philippines, some priests are reported to cohabit, while others are men of God by day and evil men by night.
The shortage of priests in certain areas may also give reason for allowing female priests to join the clergy although Pope Francis in an earlier statement said that the “door is closed” to women ordination as priests.
But Pope Francis may change his tune against female priests after some bishops noted women power outnumbered men in remote areas where the opposite sex are chosen respected “elders” who officiate in marriage ceremony or necrology service for lack of male priests in the secluded areas.
It will be a take it or leave it challenge to the Pope to reconsider his stand against woman wearing church robes and officiating in Mass.
Another interesting topic that will be discussed in that October bishops meeting in Vatican-sex and marriage!
I just received a mailed State-issued identification card in the house I applied 13 days ago from the Department of Motor Vehicles, equivalent to our Land Transportation Office in the Philippines.
Since I waived my right to apply for driver’s license as I am not used to fast driving and very difficult for me to familiarize myself with the road system here, I instead asked for this State-ID for identification purposes only which cannot be used as an alternative to a driver’s license.
The LTO’s issued driver’s license to me that will expire on January 2025 is no longer honored here. The agency said the Philippine driver’s license is only valid for driving abroad for duration of three months. And it expired Saturday, July 20, exactly three months after I arrived here.
This is my third State-issued IDs I received since I arrived here on April 20.
The first is a Permanent Resident Card, otherwise known as Green Card, valid for ten years; a Social Security Number and Card as a permanent resident, and for purposes of availing benefits from the government. This is also used as a general identification number (similar to our SSS) for issues not directly related to Social Security. The recent State-ID is renewable after six years.
I am still eyeing for my naturalization papers, but it depends if I do so.
All these favorable actions from the US government I received maybe attributed to being prepared in all documents I presented since I first applied for immigrant visa in Manila. And my being consistent in all interviews I underwent may also be another factor.
And as a reminder to would-be applicants to this Great Country, just be honest to yourself. Do not come here with a tourist visa but actually with other purpose of staying here for good.
Think of the US immigration. You maybe lucky to land at the airport and pass its strict implementation of security measures, but you may not last a day here for illegal entry.
Some business-minded individuals here might be the cause of your early deportation or worse put behind bars as upon knowing you a TNT (Tago ng Tago) will be to their advantage. They will report you to the immigration in exchange for few dollars.
Take my word, because I noticed that during my first few days here, some not so good looking guys I met while buying food outside were looking at me from head to foot, thinking that they can make money out of me. Mga ulol!