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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

Clerical abuse expert Richard Sipe dies

Richard Sipe, a leading expert on celibacy and clerical sexual abuse, died in California on 8 August aged 85. A former Benedictine priest and psychotherapist, he had investigated and written on the sexual abuse crisis in the Church for four decades.

In 1990 he published his landmark book, A Secret World: Sexuality and the Search for Celibacy. Based on interviews with 1,500 priests and others with first-hand knowledge of celibacy violations, Mr Sipe estimated that six per cent of all priests were having sex with children and young people.

He warned that sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests was a systemic problem within the Church fostered by the culture of celibacy, secrecy and hypocrisy. He suggested that only about half of the priests in the United States were at any one time practising celibacy – an estimate the Church said was exaggerated.

Accusations against McCarrick had been documented by Mr Sipe for years. He supported hundreds of survivors through counselling and as an expert witness in court cases. In a letter to Bishop Robert W. McElroy of San Diego in 2016, he wrote: “When men in authority – cardinals, bishops, rectors, abbots, confessors, professors – are having or have had an unacknowledged-secret-active-sex life under the guise of celibacy, an atmosphere of tolerance of behaviours within the system is made operative.”


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