At 80, Jesuit Decides to Return to Lay State
An amazing decision by now former Jesuit Bert Thelen on why he decided to return to the lay state despite being nearly 80 and serving the church as a priest for a majority of his years.
“In plainer words, we need to end the world view that structures reality into higher and lower, superior and inferior, dominant and subordinate, which puts God over Humanity, humans over the rest of the world, men over women, the ordained over the laity. As Jesus commanded so succinctly, ‘Don’t Lord it over anyone … serve one another in love.’ As an institution, the Church is not even close to that idea; its leadership works through domination, control, and punishment. So, following my call to serve this One World requires me to stop benefiting from the privilege, security, and prestige ordination has given me. I am doing this primarily out of the necessity and consequence of my new call, but, secondarily, as a protest against the social injustices and sinful exclusions perpetrated by a patriarchal church that refuses to consider ordination for women and marriage for same- sex couples …”
I know many men who are priests from a variety of dioceses and religious orders who struggle with these same issues. Please continue to pray for them and for all of us who they serve.