New bishop will lead Catholics during period of change

Beaumont Enterprise

August 19, 2020

By Chris Moore

Bishop-elect David Toups, whose ordination Friday will put him in charge of the Catholic community in Southeast Texas, arrives during what many foresee as a time of dramatic change for the church both globally and locally.

The challenges include reversing an ongoing decline in the number of priests, addressing the role of gender in the church, and rebuilding trust after a massive sex-abuse scandal that has cost the church hundreds of millions of dollars and done untold damage to its reputation.

The Rev. Luis Urriza of Beaumont has seen much change in his 76 years as a priest, most of it at Cristo Rey Church, which he helped build on Avenue A.

He knows more change is ahead, and he believes rebuilding the ranks of the priesthood must be a priority.

Urriza, 99, thinks that sometime “down the road” the church will even consider allowing priests to marry. He says he would not necessarily oppose such a change.

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