The Movement for Married Clergy here in the UK recently adopted this Mission Statement
for the group declaring our stated aims.
When the website, which is currently being totally redesigned is up and running in the Autumn,
this will constitute the Home Page.
We welcome support and contact from similar groups in other countries.
Chris McDonnell Secretary MMaC on email@example.com
27, 2012 Chris
McDonnell, UK firstname.lastname@example.org
Previous articles by Chris
The Movement for Married Clergy
only since the mid 12th Century has the church of the Roman Latin
Rite required the discipline of celibacy of those men wishing to take major
Orders. In 1139, the Second Lateran
Council officially imposed mandatory celibacy on all priests and it has remained
a Discipline within the
2.The Movement for
Married Clergy came into being in 1975, not to challenge the Church on matters
of faith and doctrine but to question the continuing necessity of this
discipline. Members of this Movement remain committed to the Roman Catholic
Church as their home.
3.We do not seek to say
that all priests should be married but that the element of choice remain with
the person who is offering himself for formation and eventual ordination.
4.We do not see the
Sacrament of Marriage conflicting in
any way with the ministry of the priest. In fact, we believe that family life
might enhance priesthood and ministry and offer a fine example to the Christian
Community which he serves.
5.We now have the
experience of a number of individual Anglicans, who were married in their
Anglican ministry, being received into the Church and later ordained, their
ministry continuing as married priests. Their ministry has been welcomed by our
6.More recently we have
seen the establishment of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham which has
once again highlighted in a very public manner the anomalies permitted in this
discipline of the church.
It is most unwise for any
organisation to have its rules applied inconsistently.
7.Over the years, many
good priests, highly valued by their congregations, have had to resign in order
to marry. This has been a great loss to the Church, which, it should be noted,
teaches that marriage is an inalienable human right. It is fully acknowledged
that in former centuries and in Eastern Rites today, marriage was and is only
permitted prior to receiving Holy Orders. However, we feel that in natural
justice and in Christian charity, those men who have left to marry could be
invited to return to active ministry.
8.Now, with the age
profile of those priests currently serving parish communities rising at an
alarming rate, Diocesan Authorities are looking to the amalgamation of parishes
to be served by one priest, adding greatly to his personal load, as a solution
to the problem. We feel that the introduction of ordination for married men
would provide a happier way forward.
9.We therefore continue
to ask that the
should consider the relaxation of the discipline of celibacy in
order that we might meet the needs of the Church in our time. The Eucharist is
at the heart of the Christian Mission, and we ask that those called to this
sacred ministry, should have the choice of living either a married or celibate
life. Vocation to priesthood, the
answering of a call to Ministry need not be associated with an altogether
separate calling to the celibate life. The time has come to revoke a discipline
that has become a hindrance to vocation and a service to the Church rather than
maintain it in radically changed circumstances.