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Urgent need for married priests
- Written by: The Tablet
Given the statement this month by Archbishop Charles Scicluna that he believes that celibacy should become optional for Latin Rite priests, is it not time that our Church in this country petitioned our bishops to seek permission from the Roman authorities to ordain married men to the presbyterate?
The present policy of closing parish communities because of the shortage of priests and gathering them into larger conglomerations destroys those communities, with an inevitable loss of members, and is based not on the needs of the faithful but on lack of priests.
In every parish community there are faithful married men who are well versed in their faith, often with theological qualifications, who could, after a short time of preparation, be ordained to the presbyterate. This would ensure the celebration of the Eucharist in their community and its continuance. If the community were too small to maintain its buildings, these could be disposed of and the community could still meet in a local church of another denomination, a hall or whatever.
Our people are well used to married priests now, so that they would have no problem in having one, especially if it would save their community. Moreover, what we are suggesting would involve no financial burden on the community since these candidates would be either working or retired with a pension and they would already have their own accommodation.
We feel sure that this would be a right pastoral approach and that our people would support such a move by our bishops. Maybe they have already approached Rome on this subject in the past and received a negative response but the situation is now more urgent and this seems an obvious solution to at least one of the problems which presently face our Church, and we feel the time is ripe for such a request to be made.
(Fr) Derek Reeve, (Fr) Nicholas France, (Fr) Tom Grufferty, (Fr) Vincent Harvey, (Fr) David Sillince, (Fr) Paul Townsend
Archbishop Scicluna - Roman Catholic church should revise the requirement for priests to be celibate
- Written by: Alex Walker
A senior Vatican official has said that the Roman Catholic church should revise the requirement for priests to be celibate, while acknowledging that some will view the idea as “heretical”.
Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, who is based in the Vatican’s doctrinal office and is an adviser to Pope Francis, said: “If it were up to me, I would revise the requirement that priests have to be celibate. Experience has shown me that this is something we need to seriously think about.”
The church had “lost many great priests because they chose marriage”, he said in an interview with the Times of Malta.
There was a place for celibacy but the church also had to take into consideration that priests sometimes fall in love, and were forced to choose between that and their vocation, he said. “Some priests cope with that by secretly engaging in sentimental relationships.”
Michael Winters RIP
- Written by: Michael Pendergast
Martin Pendergast writes:
Michael Winters has died. It is with great sadness that I received news this morning from Alison, Michael's wife, that Michael died last night, Saturday, 22 April 2023, aged 93. He had been in hospital for six weeks, and then got Covid on the ward. Michael Winter was ordained as a secular priest in 1955, following a conventional Catholic education and seminary training. The next 20 years consisted of a mixture of parish work, seminary teaching, and further studies in the universities of London, Cambridge and Fribourg. In 1968 he was summarily dismissed from a teaching post at the Beda College in Rome on account of this opposition to the birth control encyclical 'Humanae Vitae'.
In 1975 he became chaplain to London University, and then Dean of St Edmund's College, Cambridge. In 1986 he resigned from the clergy, and worked from then on with 'Pax Christi', and in university teaching.
He was married to Alison, a solicitor, they had two sons, and lived in north London. He was a prolific author including 'Mission or Maintenance' (1973), Mission Resumed, which suggested structural changes the Roman Catholic Church needs to make to become a missionary body in England, written as a successor to his book, Mission or Maintenance, for the National Pastoral Congress in 1980, The Atonement (Problems in Theology) (1994), providing an explanation of the Atonement which avoids metaphor and myth and the pitfalls of the theory of placating an angry God, and offers an intellectual solution which is compatible with the scriptures and tradition, as well as being acceptable to the reasonable expectations of the modern world, 'Misguided Morality' (2002/2022), Catholicism Retrieved (2011), and Recovering Catholicism - an overview review of the Catholic Church (2014), and Atonement by the Resurrection, with a Forward by Cardinal Vincent Nichols (2017).
He was a former Chairperson of the Movement for a Married Clergy. Until physical frailty prevented him, he regularly attended St Joseph's Catholic Church, Bunhill Row, which he saw as embodying much of what a Church in the 21st Century could be. May he rest in peace and rise in glory. Funeral arrangements to be confirmed ...
The nun and the monk who fell in love and married
- Written by: Aleem Maqbool
Twenty-four years after becoming a nun, it was a brief touch of the sleeve of a monk in the parlour of the convent in Preston, Lancashire, that changed everything for Sister Mary Elizabeth.
The prioress of the order had taken her to meet the friar Robert, who was visiting from a priory in Oxford, to see if he wanted anything to eat. But Sister Mary Elizabeth's superior was called away to take a phone call, so the two were left alone.
"It was our first time in a room together. We sat at a table as he ate, and the prioress didn't come back so I had to let him out."
Sister Mary Elizabeth had lived a devout, austere and mostly silent life as a nun, spending most of her days in her "cell". As she let Robert out of the door, she brushed his sleeve and says she felt something of a jolt.
"I just felt a chemistry there, something, and I was a bit embarrassed. And I thought, gosh, did he feel that too. And as I let him out the door it was quite awkward."
She recalls that it was about a week later that she received Robert's message asking if she would leave to marry him.
"Celibacy rule is depriving Church of excellent priests", says French bishop
- Written by: La Croix
Women Priests Article Count: 1
Married Priests Europe Article Count: 1
News (Ireland) Article Count: 5
Advent News Article Count: 13
News (World) Article Count: 34
News (UK) Article Count: 25