The View from the Pew: A Catholic Priest Falls in Love

Love stories are always captivating. And when it is the love story of a catholic priest, it is intriguing. This book is about the love story of two priests. “Both stories reveal their pain and struggles to decide against a law imbedded for centuries in the solid structure of an institution and in the cultural psyche of both laity and clergy. In the end, love and grace triumph” (From a peer review).A highlight of this book is my reformist concern related to clerical behavior. And I speak from my experience and expertise of forty years in the ministry. Ecclesiastics should know that when I left the service of the altar, I bore no bitterness or regret. I am, therefore, their best ally to tell them the truth in love. An added weight for my credibility is because my observations are based mostly on the pronouncements of Pope Francis.The book will make some clerics uncomfortable. Many will find it comforting and uplifting. All will find it a good resource for reflection and a compelling guide for examination of conscience to hopefully bring about the clergy reform in attitude and lifestyle.I have a chapter on celibacy. Some will ask, what more is there to talk about this topic. And I say, because I present celibacy with a focus on chastity. Celibacy without chastity is a farce. Perhaps someday the church will change its law on celibacy, definitely not in my lifetime. But it will. This book will tell you why.This book can be used as a primer in the seminary formation program. As Cardinal Robert Sarah has warned, “The Christian priesthood is going through a major crisis,” and at the root of this quagmire “is a deep flaw in their formation.”The laity will benefit from this book, especially among the churchgoing, those engaged in religious formation, those in search of their faith’s relevance or simply the spiritually hungry and the families and friends of priests all over the world. The book strongly emphasizes the equality in dignity of all Christian faithful (clergy and lay) based on the grace of baptism. This will help the laity value and uphold their proper role, viz. that together they build up the Church of Jesus Christ.

--Alex A. Meñez