His Holiness Pope Francis
Vatican City, Vatican
Dear Holy Father Francis,
I can see that a new wind is blowing in the Church. As you may know, the Married Priests Now! Catholic Prelature was founded by Archbishop Milingo and several other bishops to foster the return of the married priesthood to the Latin Church.
I know that your primary concern at this time is to streamline and restructure the administration of the Church and to re-develop the Curia as an advisory board. But if you are making other considerations at this time I do commend to you the many Roman Catholic married priests who would be happy to return to ministry. The Church has often treated these men in a sad and deplorable way. It would be nice if the new spirit of reconciliation would include the married priest.
The present shortage of priests in many areas of the world has caused thousands of churches to close. Without priests there will be no Eucharist and without the Eucharist the Church will die. Yet, there are well trained, holy and ordained priests who cannot serve because they have married. We are asking you to call them back to ministry. It is estimated that there are 25, 000 married priests in the USA, and 150,000 worldwide. This is a rich resource. Their recall could be done through their local diocese or in a way similar to the Personal Ordinariates for the Anglican priests who became Catholic. You might also consider allowing the married deacons to be called to the priesthood and allow seminaries to accept married men. Marriage brings the priest closer to the people and reduces clericalism.
If we can be of assistance to you in putting forth a plan to re-introduce the married priesthood to the Latin Church, we would be glad to do so. Remember, in apostolic times priests were married. Jesus chose married men as his apostles. St. Peter was a married priest. In the first three centuries many bishops and popes were married. So it is an apostolic charism to have a married priesthood along with the freely chosen celibate priesthood.
I send you cordial greetings from Archbishop Milingo and from the Married Priests Now! Catholic Prelature. We are praying for you and for the success of your plans to bring the church closer to the people.
Cordially yours in Christ,
President of the International Married Priests Now! Catholic Prelatures