In an unusually outspoken criticism, Pope Benedict XVI blasted a group of dissident Austrian priests this week for questioning key teachings of the Catholic Church.
The group -- called the Pfarrer Initiative -- has challenged the church on its requirement of priestly celibacy and its ban on women priests.
Pope Benedict accused the Austrian group of trying to do something to change the Catholic Church in accordance with their own preferences and ideas.
We agree with the Pope's criticism of these priests. The fact is that these dissident priests knew the Christian teachings of the Catholic Church when they were ordained. If they did not agree with these teachings, they should not have been ordained.
Moreover, it is not their right or duty to reform the Catholic Church, as they have no authority whatsoever to do so.
The Catholic Church has traditionally required priests to be celibate and to be men, not women. For this group of dissident priests to demand that priests should be allowed to be married, and that women should be allowed to be priests pervades an air of arrogance and disrespect toward the Catholic Church and its traditional teachings.
Being a Roman Catholic priest requires many sacrifices and an unlimited and unquestionable love for Christ and His Church.
Consequently, Catholic priests have a responsibility to abide by Christ's teachings -- even more so than their own ideas and preferences that they believe would enhance the Catholic Church -- as they perform their pastoral duties with a genuine love of the Body of Christ.