A Lost Calling

Below is a link to a note written by a Deacon candidate from the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in regard to his heart wrenching decision to withdraw from ordination. This is just one of countless casualties of the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal.

“I have decided not to accept the call to Holy Orders…” posted by Deacon Greg Kandra, posted on The Deacon’s Bench, June 7, 2011

7 thoughts on “A Lost Calling

  1. As a non-believer in any faith situation, as I read through the contortions in thought on several sides of this issue, see how this issue tears at the heart of well intentioned people, I am appalled none-the-less by those comments that lay blame or criticsm on the man who came out to declare his prayerful and heart wrenching decision not to serve in what he believers is a soiled institution.

    If I follow the ideas of believers, I am under the impression that his decision is between him and his Maker. To be sure, he could have made the decision in silence. He obviously believed that there hawd already been too much silence in The Church and felt it was his obligation to speak out.

    If more had spoken at the beginning of this scandle – ten years ago, twenty years ago,centuries ago, perhaps believers would not now be left with what they feel are few options.

    Judgement is mine, sayeeth the Lord.

  2. Father Austin Fleming of Boston wrote the following:
    At his ordination, McConnell would have been asked to promise respect and obedience to his bishop and to his bishop’s successor’s. It’s a serious, solemn and binding promise to make. No, it is not a pledge of blind obedience to a bishop’s whims and no one is ever required to respect or obey what is wrong. Still, this promise establishes a relationship between the one being ordained the bishops with whom he will minister.

    This speaks volumes to what has recently been discussed on this site regarding priestly obedience to the Bishop. Fleming states that the vow of obedience is not a blind pledge of obedience to a bishop’s whims and no one is ever required to respect or obey what is wrong. What Father Fleming writes echos the feelings of so many commentors on this site.I realize that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is known as a very conservative Diocese,but are we so conservative that our priests do not realize that their obedience is not supposed to be blind to wrong doing of the hierarchy?

  3. I admire this man for making this difficult desision. It seems that he understands there are many ways to serve our Lord and be close to Christ and he certainly will continue to do this. To me, it seems that he actually feels he HAS to reject the vows of Holy Orders in order to be a true follower of Christ because he cannot, in good conscience, take vows in which he promises to respect and obey those he believes (rightfully) have been making the wrong moral decisions. It is a smart choice, on his part, not to put himself in a position in which his moral conscience will almost definitely be conflicted. It’s hard enough for lay people to walk that line.Perhaps, if REAL change in the Church is made in the future he can reconsider this commitment. Until then, I think he’s making the same decision many of us would make…..to serve God as a lay person.

  4. Deacon Kandra is to be thanked for his honesty and his realism. What is really sad is that Deacon Kandra, a bright, well adjusted, married man was not a candidate for ordination to the priesthood. That said, I applaud Deacon Kandra’s unwillingness to be obedient to a system or person who does not demonstrate ethical strength.

    Let us all remember, that the clergy are humans too. They are responsible for obeying the same civil laws that the laity are. The clergy are not, NOT above the civil law. If Deacon Kandra does not respect the way the hierarchy of the Church deal with civil law or any law for that matter, he should not become part of the problem. Perhaps more people like Deacon Kandra are what we need in our Church.

  5. I think he made the best decision for where he is right now, for himself and his family. No one can judge how another reacts to crisis, whether it be faith related or anything else. It’s personal.

    He has every right to follow his conscience now, which may lead him on a straighter path to God, than any other.

  6. It is not Deacon Kandra, but a man named , I believe McConnell who changed his mind about becoming a deacon. Kandra is the deacpm who runs the blog that reported on the incident. That’s what I got from it, maybe I am mistaken.

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