Why I created this website

I have observed the misery of my people . . . ;
I have heard their cry. . . .
Indeed, I know their sufferings,
and I have come down to deliver them (Exod 3:7f).


For fifty years, the vast majority of Roman Catholic priests and theologians have been forced into a reluctant silence when it comes to birth control, celibacy of priests, ordination of women, and homosexuality.  I myself, while teaching in Roman Catholic seminaries for twenty-five years, was required to keep a guarded silence on all these issues. But this reluctant obedience has not served me nor has it served those whom I helped prepare for lay and ordained ministry.  Likewise, as a Catholic theologian, I have not served the sons and daughters of God by my silence.

Helmut1As Fr. Helmut Schüller, the charismatic founder of the Austrian Priests’ Initiative, says, “Obedience has been overrated. The times require of us that we speak out.” Hence, 425 priests joined together in drafting their “Appeal to Disobedience” whereby they pledged to God and to his people to bring about urgently needed pastoral changes that the Austrian bishops were unwilling and unable to support because they owe their first allegiance to conservative authoritarian voices within the Vatican.

Pope Francis, for his part, has forthrightly warned our bishops against “the temptation to hostile inflexibility, that is, wanting to close oneself within the written word . . , within the law, within the certitude of what we know and not of what we still need to learn and to achieve” (source).  When this happens, “the bread” that Jesus blesses and gives to his disciples is transformed “into a stone” that is either “cast against the sinners” or it is carried by them as an “unbearable burden” (Luke 11:46).

By way of atoning for my years of silence, I have prepared clear and compelling case studies that will offer you informed and reliable examinations of topics that have largely been obscured by authoritative pronouncements, by shoddy biblical scholarship, and by ignorance of church history.  Whether you want to speak to your teenage daughter or to your bishop, these case studies will offer talking points that will enable you to make sense out of the faith that is intended to nourish us, to make us free, and to draw us into harmony with the mind of Christ.

For those who are confused by claims and counter-claims, the case studies on this website and the case studies within my publications will offer powerful tools for reconsidering the issues and for engaging family, friends, and church leaders to do the same.  Blind obedience may be suitable for children; adult faith requires much more.

colorlnWe need to give up the idea that religion is perfect—that the church of which we are a part is perfect or infallible. Religion, like out parents, has the capacity to bless us and to wound us and it inevitably does both at different times. . . . Only when we are aware of the capacity of religion to abuse can we guard against that abuse and take steps to curb it where it exists.   [Keith Wright, Religious Abuse: A Pastor Explores the Many Ways Religion Can Hurt as Well as Heal]colorlnFlag Counter


Total Page Visits: 3409 - Today Page Visits: 4

3 thoughts on “Why I created this website”

  1. Dear Dr. Milavec,

    Your site fills me with joy. Your open-minded, inclusive, intellectual rigor demonstrates that truly, you are a man of learning and faith. I write in the hope of starting a fruitful conversation. My other hope is that you don’t mind, and more importantly, that you are well.

    I first encountered your work when “The Didache” arrived. I purchased it from a Paulist Press sale catalogue because I’m writing a book entitled: “Yeshua, the Kabbalist. A memoir in 10 dimensions.”

    My book grew out of what was originally intended as a graduate studies thesis. That being, “one cannot understand Jesus, if one doesn’t understand Judaism.” To my chagrin, “The Jewish Gospels” was already written by Dr. Daniel Boyarin of Berkeley. Published in 2014. . . .

    I look forward to hearing from you tremendously. And again, thank you for being such a Bright Light on the Hill. You and your views are very much appreciated.



  2. Dear David,

    Many thanks for your appreciation and for your personal story. It sometimes gets very lonely on this site.

    You can help save Pope Francis with this address=http://www.churchonfire.net/?topic=saving-pope-francis-from-the-catholic-taliban-2


  3. Dear David,

    Thank you, David. I’m 80 but have the strength of body and the health of mind of most men at 60.

    Your kind words are of comfort to me. Pray that my courage to write the truth persists. Pray that the courage of Pope Francis grows.

    Peace and joy,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

How to thrive in a malfunctioning church

Church on Fire