We need the debate on Ordination

Crispian HollisI am one of that “number of bishops” referred to by Bishop John Crowley in his admirable letter of 23 June and further challenged to reveal themselves by John Mulholland in his letter of 30 June. Your correspondents are seeking to raise the whole issue of ministerial priesthood, male or female, in today’s Church. It is clear to me that this is a debate which needs to be taken seriously.

I serve as a committee member of the Movement for Married Clergy (MMaC) and, as a committee, we have repeatedly requested that the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales should establish a commission, comprising bishops, priests, deacons and laity, so that there can be a proper and official discussion about the ordination of married men. Our repeated requests have received no substantial reply.

We are not saying that celibacy should be abolished – it is a precious gift in the life and history of the Church – but we are saying that priesthood and marriage are not mutually exclusive. Bishop John has taken the debate a step further to include the possible ordination of women. All these questions are current at various levels in the Church and proper and considered discernment needs to be made.

I, and MMaC with me, am continuing to ask that the debates, taking place informally among our people and in many of our parishes today, should become official, so that a proper discernment can be made. The matter is urgent and the diminishing number of priests is real. I have said it before and I say it again: “The hungry sheep look up and are not fed.”
Crispian Hollis
Retired Bishop of Portsmouth
Mells, Somerset

Cardinal George Pell ordered to stand trial on sex abuse charges

The Australian cardinal appointed by the Pope to control the Vatican’s finances — the Roman Catholic Church’s third highest post — will face trial on sexual abuse charges.

Read more: Cardinal George Pell ordered to stand trial on sex abuse charges

The Time The Place 1992

So, I have been digitising my 8mm and VHS video recordings and came across this TV programme from 1992 - 26 years ago ! Hopefully next years Amazon Synod will include the issue of optional celibacy for priests. It takes a very long time for the Church to change but hopefully the Spirit is blowing with the pastoral ministry of Pope Francis.

PAN-AMAZON BISHOP CALLS FOR NEW RULES ON PRIESTHOOD

Bishop Kräutler said he hoped the Pan-Amazon Synod would lead to admitting married men to the priesthood and to ordaining women deacons

The Special Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon region called by the Pope for October 2019  shows Francis’ determination to strengthen episcopal collegiality, according to the former Bishop of Xingu, Erwin Kräutler.

Read more: PAN-AMAZON BISHOP CALLS FOR NEW RULES ON PRIESTHOOD

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