Friday, May 18, 2012
What follows is the deep black hole of candidate status. We used to use the CRM designation (candidatus reverendi ministerii) as a neutral term. Now it has become the mark of Cain. It screams to congregations and to the Districts that this is trouble with a capital T. Some of those men might be trouble. But most of them were wounded, wearied, and walked away because they could not go on. Some of those wounds were physical, some emotional, and some flowed from failed marriages or pastorates. My point is that this has come to mean the kiss of death. You find these guys not in parishes but working at Wal-Mart or a thousand other places -- just to pay the bills.
I wonder why we have so many congregations without hope of calling a full-time Pastor who are being served by lay deacons when we have hundreds (literally hundreds or perhaps even more) CRM guys who might be available except they have been marked as the unclean by their CRM status and now are expected to fade into oblivion. How many of these who have learned to find other employment might be good worker priest candidates for those parishes unable to afford the cost of full compensation and benefits. After all, we have invested thousands upon thousands in their training and they, too, have put many thousands of their own or borrowed money into training that leads to ordination. I know that I am naive and that there are those who will insist I am being simplistic or talking about things I know nothing about... but, does it have to be this way?
I know some of these guys and they are not bad guys. I know that each will have to be reviewed on a case by case basis but I believe it is worth the effort. We can do better than simply warehouse those who resigned and forget about them. If there are those who cannot ever serve again, then we need to honest and speak the truth in love. If there are those who need assistance before serving again, we need to direct them so that they can be prepared for a future call. If there are those who just resigned out of weariness for struggles not all their fault, then we need to support them and find a place for them to serve.
Just sayin... it is a darn shame!