My Dear Eastern And Roman Catholic Bishops and the Christian Faithful

 
 
My Dear Eastern And Roman Catholic Bishops and the Christian Faithful,
 
“Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father’s Son in truth and love.” (2 John 1:3)
 
Canon Laws 212 §2 and §3 tell us that we have the duty to express our views about the Church’s “matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful.”
 
Men who have left the priesthood to marry are made to feel that they failed merely because they wanted the fulfillment of wives and families of their own. Sadly, they have become disheartened by the Church’s abandonment.
 
All of us have seen how many good priests have been dismissed because they chose to love a woman and have a family. Most of them have to find other work to support their families. Those who could not find work often have been pushed into poverty and suffered emotionally because of the treatment they have received from the Roman Catholic Church.
 
I’m Abbot Father Michael Cuozzo, OFE of the Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Province of Saint Mary Theotokos, Roman Catholic Franciscan Religious Order, An International Ordinariate, Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist, and Order of Franciscans Ecumenical. The name for our Abbey and Province reflects our devotion to the Blessed Mother Holy Theotokos Saint Mary and the care of orphan children. 
 
The mission statement of the Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist and the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical are to minister to celibate and married Roman Catholic and Catholic priests and laity by offering them a welcoming home, support, acceptance, affirmation of their marriages, and validation of their lives and ministries. It also supports efforts to restore married priesthood to the Roman Catholic Church.
 
In January, 1985, the Catholic Apostolic Church, Eastern Rite, International Ordinariate was canonically created as the Personal Papal Prelature of Saint Pope John Paul II. ​The International Ordinariate was under the guidance of the Most Reverend Archbishop Josef Debrulle. The stated purpose of that Prelature, although “under the radar,” (we had to work with total confidentiality) was to oversee the training, internship and subsequent oversight of married men (viri probati) for ordination to the priesthood and to make those married priests available to Roman Catholic bishops. ​We went public in 2013. ​
 
The Catholic Apostolic Church, Eastern Rite, International Ordinariate​ was later named the Federation of Jesus Abbeys, and, is most recently known as Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist and Order of Franciscans Ecumenical.
  
The specific pastoral activity of the Catholic Apostolic Church, Eastern Rite, An International Ordinariate, as was originally desired by Pope John Paul II, is to create an avenue for married Roman Catholic priests to return to service in Roman Catholic parishes. (Married Roman Catholic priests are priests who married after ordination in the Roman Catholic Church). ​
 
The bishop of the Federation of Jesus Abbeys, Mar John Dunnigan, endeavored to develop an avenue for married Roman Catholic priests to be incardinated into participation with Eastern Ecclesia which is in union with Rome. The priests accompanied by his wife, may, per Eastern Canons 393, be designated for service to the Roman Catholic jurisdiction that is experiencing a shortage of priests.
 
The present practice of bishops to end the priest shortage, thus far, has been to close or merge parishes, build larger parishes, recruit international priests, allow priest-less parishes and Mass-less Catholic services. 
 
“The bishops [and people] need to get out of the habit of clearing everything through the Vatican. In his quiet but shrewd manner [Pope Francis] by not even mentioning, [in Querida Amazonia] married priests he is freeing the bishops and people to go evaluate it, test it, and do it. . . and then notify the Vatican.” (Cf. Press Release, February 15, 2020, Catholic Church Reform International)
 
Countless people in the pews have let it be known that they want a priest – married or celibate, it matters little – who will be compassionate about their life issues. Many would welcome a move of the Church to allow married priests back into active priesthood. If the Church is willing to welcome married Episcopal priests into our Church, surely you should be open to accepting former and now married Roman Catholic priests.
 
Since the Roman Catholic Church has allowed married clergy from other denominations and yet ostracized married Roman Catholic priests. Are you up to the challenge to evaluate married Roman Catholic priesthood, test married Roman Catholic Priesthood, and then notify the Vatican? Are you ready do just that and achieve the mandate of Saint Pope John Paul II and Most Reverend Mar John Dunnigan?
 
We would be grateful if an Eastern and Roman Catholic Bishop could assist and help us achieve the mandate of Saint Pope John Paul II and Most Reverend Mar John Dunnigan. I kindly request an invitation that the Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos enter into dialogue with you and/or your representative on the following subjects: 1. create an avenue for married Roman Catholic priests to return to service in Roman Catholic parishes; 2. the Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist ​​to be recognized by the Holy See as a clerical Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right; 3. for married Roman Catholic priests to be incardinated into participation with an Eastern Ecclesia which is in union with Rome; and 4. the Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos be established as a dependency of a Roman Catholic Eparchy (Diocese).  Thanks!
 
I respect your time and energy for prayer, discernment, and by the Holy Spirit continue to guide and bless you.
 
Grace, mercy, and peace,
 
Abbot Father Michael Cuozzo+, OFE