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50th Anniversary of the Advent Group

Next Year 1st December 2019, the Advent Group will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary when it first met at Spode House with Conrad Pepler in 1969. We would like to mark this occasion in some way by looking back at the past 50 years and also formally bringing to an end the work of the Advent Group. We could either do this as a day event or something more leisurely over a weekend. Providing an indication of interest would help us make a decision about the way forward.

Australian priests will push for married priests and optional celibacy after a 'cathartic' royal commission

The National Council of Priests believes Pope Francis would approve a request from Australia’s bishops to allow married priests in remote parts of the country where the lack of priests is a critical and long-standing issue, council chairman Father James Clarke said after a conference last week which considered the royal commission findings.

Read more: Australian priests will push for married priests and optional celibacy after a 'cathartic' royal...

The Funeral of Joe Mulrooney

Joe's funeral will take place at Cockfosters on Monday 17th September at 11:00 am. 

Christ the King
29 Bramley Road
N14 4HE
020 8449 6648
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Download Towards Priests in Adult Communities by Joe Mulrooney, 2005

Priest says celibacy should no longer be compulsory

Brian DarcyBroadcaster and newspaper columnist Fr Brian D’Arcy has said the Church urgently needs to consider making clerical celibacy optional, as well as ordaining married men and women.

Speaking to The Tablet, the Passionist priest, who is 50 years ordained next year, made his comments in the context of falling Mass attendances in Ireland and the lack of vocations to the priesthood. Referring to the drop in Mass attendance from over 90 per cent when Pope John Paul II visited Ireland in 1979, to 19 per cent in some urban areas today, he said that figure could be as low as 9 per cent if the older age group is excluded. “We have prayed for years, particularly in the western world, for an increase in vocations. We cannot say that God isn’t listening because we absolutely believe he is. But the vocations are not there, so maybe we are asking God for the wrong gift,” the 73-year-old said.

Read more: Priest says celibacy should no longer be compulsory

Joe Mulrooney

It is with sadness we announce the death of Joe Mulrooney today. He died in the hospice with Mary his wife by his side and Bernie his Niece. Joe was a retired lecturer in Biblical Studies at Heythrop College and a parishioner of Cockfosters. He was a leading light in Advent alongside his good friend Mike Hyland. Joe and Mike attended all of the European meetings of married priests. Joe died after a short illness from stomach and bowel cancer and was a devoted carer to Mary, his wife, who herself was not well. Funeral arrangements are yet to be announced. Please keep Joe and Mary in your prayers. May he rest in peace and go to his eternal reward.

Joe wrote in 2006 and still apposite to this day:

What of “celibacy” in the future? There will always be a place for the charism of the celibate life style. However, in the context of twenty first century communities, and granted the present crises, we have two choices. We can react like corporate managers or supermarket directors in the face of shortages and problems: We downsize and frantically close and amalgamate parishes, making the Eucharistic celebration more and more inaccessible. Would it not be better to have a closer look at our historical evolution and, instead of freezing the frame in the late Middle Ages, allow a different model of church to emerge? This would be to cultivate a vision for the future and perhaps apply in this context an expanded form of Paul’s dictum in Galatians: “There is no such thing as Jew and Greek, slave and freeman, male and female, heterosexual and homosexual, cleric and lay: for you are all one person in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28


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