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A Mexican bishop reacts to the recent scandal concerning the Legionaries of Christ [in El Sol de San Luis, in Spanish].
'The priesthood is an excellent school for understanding the tribulations of married life', says Jennifer Fitz on National Catholic Register, in reaction to Cardinal Farrell's recent suggestion....
ACP reports a key address by Australian Bishop Vincent Long on 'Breaking open the priesthood'.
Bishop of Osnabrück Franz-Josef Bode, known to favour ordaining married men, is the new deputy chair of the German Bishops' Conference [on Tag des Herrn, in German].
Cardinal Filoni, on a visit there, acknowledges the shortage of priests in Japan - interesting: Japan is better off for priests than the UK, whose bishops continue to deny that is any shortage here .... [on fides.org, in Italian]
The Tablet says: 'Mandatory celibacy remains major risk factor for child sexual abuse, claims Australian survey'. Aslo reported in the New York Times and the Guardian.
An interview with retiring Bishop Hofmann of Würzburg, including his views or ordaining viri probati [in Die Tagespost, in German].
After Francis' remarks in Medellin, Katholisches [in German] wonders whether he may be back-pedalling on married priests...
Interesting TV progamme [Franceinfo, in French] about two priests, one who left, the other now a bishop. The programme refers to a recent BVA survey of French opinion, including about celibacy.
Retired Americans ask their bishop to "make every effort to advance [their] important proposal" that married men be ordained. [on NCR]
The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) has produced statistics on priest numbers, etc, world-wide.
Church historian Josef Gelmi urges the ordination of married men to address the the "almost catastrophic" personnel situation in his Italian diocese of Bozen-Brixen [on salzo.bz, in German]
A former seminarist, now a protestant pastor, explains how his call to minstry trumped celibacy as a Catholic priest. [on torino.repubblica.it, in Italian]
A retired priest calls the German bishops 'cowards' for not responding to Francis' invitation to propose change... [on kath.ch, in German]
NCR reports the Boston Globe 'Spotlight' team's latest investigation into the 'invisible legion' of the children of priests. Click here for the Globe's report . And even Esquire comments...
Spanish theologian Xabier Pikaza points out the 'immense potential' of no longer serving priests, often married, who could and would return (on Religión Digital [in Spanish]).
New bishop of Mainz, Peter Kohlgraf, sees 'nothing against' married priests (on katholisch.de [in German]).
Peter Stanford in the Observer reviews Thomas Keneally's latest novel, Crimes of the Fathers.
A powerful piece in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung points out that it is not only for younger priests that celibacy may be a problem, but also for those increasing numbers of their older colleagues left alone in old age. [in German]
Talking to La Voz about why Francis has not yet visited Argentina, Rector of that country's Catholic University (and close adviser to Francis) Victor Fernández touches (encouragingly for us!) on mandatory celibacy [in Spanish, but with attached automatic translation]
Cardinal Bernardin, in an interview on Vatican news.va, claims that married Maronite priests fled Lebanon's civil war while celibates stayed...
PrayTell reports that a Hungarian bishop thinks 'it is time to lift optional celibacy and allow suitable married men to become priests'.
Well-known German actor, Christoph Maria Herbst, reveals: 'Without celibacy, I would have become a priest' (on katholisch.de [in German])
Denis Bradley, in the Irish News, reflecting reluctantly on celibacy, says the Church must consult the 'unfaithful', and not just the loyal remnant...
An article in Settimananews [in Italian] says that celibacy is one of the reasons why so many have left the Church in Germany.
Peter Steinfels, in Commonweal, wonders how a bishop could not, as he claims, have foreseen the current priest shortage.
In his Infovaticana blog [in Spanish], Manuel Guerra Gomez discusses viri probati in the Early Church and now.
In Commonweal, Robert Mickens writes: ' It seems more and more clear that the pope favors the possibility of married priests'.
A German priest, celebrating his golden jubilee, is open to married priests, and more... [in German]
In interview on Catholic World Report, Head of the Ordinariate in England and Wales comments on married priests.
L'Osservatore Romano [in Italian] says Francis' obstacles to change are 'clergy, at levels high and low'; Crux comments.
A constructive letter in the Catholic Times brings out the 'no change' opposition....
With his usual directness, Brendan Hoban on ACP calls for action: Rome, we've got a problem.
Two recent articles from Canada: here [in French] and here.
French magazine Closer reports on a new book by a priest who left his parish to marry.
Recent articles in German: new bishop of Salzburg 'would keep celibacy' and, despite receiving 12,000 signatures supporting the ordination of viri probati, the bishop of Rottenburg-Stuttgart does not regard such change as 'effective'.
inFranken.de tells how a married priest's wish to serve again may be realised befroe too long [in German].
Will the 'Next Act' of Francis' pontificate include , asks the New York Times, arguing that his shift on divorce and remarriage is a 'proof-of-concept' for how the Church could also change on celibacy....
Among some stimulating reflections on ACP, Seamus Aherne cites yet another case of a married ex-Anglican taking over a parish where there is a married former Augustian 'who would love to be back in ministry'.
On NCR, Presbyterian Bill Tammeus discusses pros and cons of married pastors.
The Charlotte NC Observer reports the Pastor of the USA's biggest parish's call for married priests, as does an
editorial in the Richmond VA Times-Dispatch. And Corpus supplies some supporting statistics.
On National Catholic Register, a defence of celibacy.
Two articles [in German] on celibacy: here and here.
Swiss voices ask 'What's wrong with married priests?' [in German]: here and here.
More letters to The Tablet about priest shortage.
Correspondence on married priests continues in the Catholic Times, whose editor also writes.
Editor of the Chilean Jesuit Magazine, Mensaje, comes out for ordaining married laymen [in Spanish]: here and here.
In La Croix, an Australian researcher asks that the next Synod face up to ' another plank in the Church's own eye, that of clergy sexual activity and misconduct involving adults'.
A Guardian review of Thomas Keneally's new novel, Crimes of the Fathers, discusses imposed celibacy and its possible effects.
Time Magazine comments (not entirely well informed) on 'The New Generation of Catholic Priests'.
In The Tablet, London parish priest John Deehan asks us to Imagine no Parish Priest.
domradio.de reports [in German] the low number of ordinations in Germany and the implications for mandatory celibacy.
On Katholisch.de [in German], the Bishop of Osnabrück says he is open to the ordination of married men.
In the Baltimore Sun, Richard Sipe reacts to the The Keepers documentary.
NCR, picking up on the Guardian article, interviews MMaC secretary Chris McDonnell. Links to this on ACP, Corpus and AUSCP are open to Comments.
The Baltimore Sun reports that 'Richard Sipe sees celibate priesthood as problem for the Catholic Church'.
In The Tablet: disappointing ordination figures in England and Wales; and more letters calling for change...
Continued debate in the Catholic Times letter page.
On Huffington Post, a thoughtful open letter to Pope Francis from a Catholic mother .
La Croix reports: Austrian priests’ group accuses bishops of refusing to support pope’s openness to reform
Catch-up on some recent stories: the general secretary of the Italian Bishops' Conference is open to disucssing married priests [in Italian]; so is Cardinal Marx, Archbishop of Munich; an American mother writes to Francis; but an alarming account, in Commonweal, of preparation for celibacy in one American seminary.
More letters on celibacy and married priests from the Catholic Times.
Peter Stanford, in The Tablet, interviews Patricia Lockwood, whose father is an ex-Lutheran Catholic priest.
Listen to MMaC Secretary Chris McDonnell's intrerview with Premier Radio.
On Vox, a psychotherapist experienced in counselling priests, asked Would abandoning celibacy for diocesan priests help? answers: Of course it would.
The Guardian writes: Catholic bishops urged to review celibacy rules amid shortage of priests.
The Dutch (here) and Belgian (here & here) report on Pope Francis and celibacy.
Robert Mickens, in Commonweal, asks: Who will speak out to solve the vocations crisis?
The Catholic Times supports establishment of a commission on married priests and debate continues in Letters column.
The Archbishop of Cologne defends celibacy - on religion.orf.at [in German].
The week's big story: Cardinal Kasper says Pope sees married priests debate positively, as Crux , LifeSite and conservative 1P5 all report. And here, in German, is the Katholisch.de interview with the Cardinal.
Married priests won't fix the shortage, says Mary Rezac on EurasiaReview. Meanwhile, Cardinal O'Malley praises priestly celibacy in the Boston Globe.
NCR reports a Presbyterian pastor's view that it may be time to radically rethink ordination.
MMaC member Edward Butler responds to Chris McDonnell's Tablet letter
LifeSiteNews recalls how Francis' friend, Clelia Luro, widow of Argentinian Bishop Podesta, foresaw the Pope's
emerging position on married priests.
On US News, married priests from a Latin American perspective
A Canadian Eastern Rite bishops talks about married priests on Crux.
Brendan Hoban on ACP calls married priests a 'no-brainer' - and MMaC contributes to the comments his article prompted.
The Church's seminary problem: an important article in Commonweal by Robert Mickens.
A priest who left to marry then, widowed, returned to service tells the Boston Globe.
The Tablet letters have celibacy as Topic of the Week, 'splitting the Church' - but MMaC Secretary Chris McDonnell takes issue: it is the non-dialogue between bishops and laity which is the real split.
The Catholic Times this week headlines, and has an editorial on, married priests; Basil Loftus adds that 'the Church can now discuss women priests'.
Two useful background articles: the case for married priests on Troy Media; and the historical backgound from The Conversation.
Another contrary view, from Dallas News: a married priest who thinks priests shouldn't be....
Views on married priests from a 'conservative' Catholic' on AL.com in Alabama.
Comment on celibacy from Austria on debatte.orf.at [in German]
'Now is the time for married priests', says Thomas Reese in this powerful article on NCR.
Lest we forget... Deacons who are widowed cannot remarry: NCR reports a case that has shocked many.
An interesting video on WGBH News, Boston.
The LA Times reminds us that ther are already many married priests in the USA.
In the Irish Times, Tony Flannery's reaction to the news: “The great thing about it is it will be accepted that people can have normal sex life and still be priests and that is such a lovely change.”
More reports on Francis' encouraging words: on CNN, in la Croix (English) and the Catholic Herald
- and a rather different take on it at WND.
Francis announced his good news in an interview with the German paper die Zeit. Although the actual interview is not accessible free, here are some accounts of it in German*: die Welt, domradio; in French*: La Croix, Le Figaro; in Italian*: La Stampa, La Repubblica; in Spanish*: ABC, Clarin (Buenos Aires)
[*if you need an English translation, you will find that most browsers provide this, either included or via an add-on]
Francis: ordaining married men is a possibility! Everyone is reporting this most welcome news: The Tablet, NCR, America, Crux.
'Priest has to leave Mass early to go his next Mass' - Pray Tell reports a sad consequence of the priest shortage in Ireland....
An interesting blog on the AUSCP website by Fr Emmet Farrel on the Vocation Crisis.
More news and comment on the Australian abuse inquiry and possible links between mandatory celibacy and child abuse: NCR here & here; The Western Australian; and ABC.
An American married priest talks to the Lawrence County Record and the diocese of Youngstown, OH tells WKBN about declining priest numbers.
Bishop Long, giving evidence to the Royal Commission on child abuse in Australia, sees a link between mandatory celibacy and clericalism, which 'contributes not insignificantly to the sexual abuse crisis'.
The Australian Abuse Enquiry has prompted much comment about the paert mandatory celibacy may have played. Here are some from: The Guardian, The Northern Star, ABC, Radio Adelaide and Crux
In this article from US Catholic, from a couple of years ago but newly relevant, Donald Cozzens argues that reviewing mandatory celibacy is key to combatting clericalism.
Recently the Catholic Herald published this disturbing article: 'My dream for my kids: celibacy'!
NCR reports AUSCP - who already support ordaining married men - call for urgent measures to stem parish closures and mergers.
Following MMaC Chair's article in the Catholic Times, lively correspondence continues...
'Disappointed, frstrated and angry' - the ACP reacts to the Irish bishops' up-beat report to Rome - including their failure to raise with Francis the 'celibacy issue', about which ACI (The Association of Catholics in Ireland) protests. The Belfast Telegraph and the Independent comment.
'German priests: open the priesthood to women, make priestly celibacy voluntary': NCR reports the open letter of 11 Cologne priests. And the Economist picks up the story.
Following the Boff interview, more good sense, from Brendan Hoban on ACP.
'Should we forgo married priests until we can have women priests?', asks Pat Perriello on NCR. The link there to Rebel Girl is well worth reading, too.
In the Catholic Times, MMaC Chair's article contesting the view that 'Britain is not short of priests', and subsequent letters.
A married ex-Anglican priest in the USA put the pros and cons of celibacy, on Crux.
An interesting discussion on married priests, on talk-radio LBC, involving The Tablet's Christopher Lamb and The Guardian's Andrew Brown. To hear it (an mp3 audio file), click here.
The Catholic church should accept married men for ordination': Brendan Hoban makes The Guardian!
PrayTell reports an 'explosive' interview in a German newspaper with liberation theologian Leonardo Boff, where he has some encouraging things to say about married priests. Here is the interview itself.
Brian Eyre, a married priest in Brazil, pleads again for change on ACP.
An article in The Tablet about over-worked priests prompted much response, often mentioning the ordination of married men as one way to alleviate it.
'Is Pope Francis campaigning for married priests?', asks Jamie Manson on NCR - but her answer is not quite what one might expect...
Just found in La Croix International: Australian Eric Hodgens writes 'If celibacy is blocking good celebrants and preachers it is too high a price to pay'.
In The Irish News, a woman tells, here and here, the remarkable story of her father the priest. And the Belfast Telegraph comments here.
As the Catholic Herald reported earlier, Francis conceded on the topic of the next Synod: instead of priestly celibacy, which is said to have been his preference, it will be 'Young people, faith and vocational discernment'. Is Francis being rather canny: show some 'collegiality' in giving way, but also let be known that he considers celibacy an urgent issue? And surely, given the last item, the lack of vocations to the celibate priesthood must come up.....
A must-read! Brendan Hoban's powerful address to the ACP AGM, about 'priests at risk': he doesn't blame celibacy for everything but says it certainly contributes to many priests' isolation and loneliness.
An African take on celibacy from The Guardian of Nigeria.
For the last of his Mercy Friday visits, Francis goes to see several former priests and their families, as Crux reports here and Angelus here.
In The Tablet, a doctor argues a link between mandatory celibacy and abuse - and a priest rejects any such link. We consult expert in the field, Richard Sipe.... And add continuing correspondence.
Celibacy will not be discussed at a synod, but pressure is growing in favor of the ordination of married men. The most highly esteemed of the Italian theologians has puts a spotlight on the question in an authoritative magazine. And he is opting to hold on to celibacy: not only “opportune,” but “necessary” - reports Chiesa.
The first part of this 2011 article by John Allen, on NCR, is just as relevant today...
In the Irish Examiner, another Irish bishop says he has 'no issue with married priests'
The New York Times reports the death of James Colaianni, radical theologian opposed to mandatory celibacy.
As John Allen reports on Crux, the new Belgian Cardinal Jozef de Kesel is in favour of optional celibacy.
Life Site reports that, contrary to strong rumours (and our hopes!), celibacy will not be on the agenda of the next Roman synod.
The interesting story on NCR of Salvatorian Fr. John Pantuso, who was laicized, married but then, widowed, reinstated as priest.....
On Global Pulse, Philippino Bonifacio Tago Jr speaks out in favour of married priests.
Professor of liturgy at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, Winfried Haunerland, speaks out in an interview in the Münchner Kirchenzeitung in defense of celibacy.
A poll of opinion in the Irish farming community, reported in the Irish Examiner, found only 7% opposing married priests.
We should repeal the Church law that priests must remain unmarried, writes Fr Des Wilson
in the Irish Catholic.
President of the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK), Thomas Sternberg, calls for an end to mandatory celibacy, and is supported by the Abbot Primate of the Benedictines. See report in The Tablet.
Ordinations have halved in the last decade in Germany and even in Poland numbers in seminary have halved, as Christian Today and The Tablet report.
In his very personal appreciation, on ACP, of the late Edward Daly, Paddy Kane points up the Bishop of Derry's outspoken views on mandatory celibacy for priests.
In the Irish Independant, Doctor Ciara Kelly reacts to the Maynooth scandal with some trenchant views on mandatory celibacy.
On the Crux website, Austen Ivereigh, author of a biography of Francis, says 'Next synod likely to focus on ordaining married men'
Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, James Miller writes: 'the Catholic church must drop celibacy for its priests of lose school funding'. From the same paper, read more about James Miller here.
The Primate of Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin, tells the Irish Catholic that 'he has “no objection” to the idea of priests being allowed to marry'.
Writing in The Irish Catholic, Nuala O'Loan believes that 'the time will – and should – come when celibacy becomes optional, -
Archbishop Jozef De Kesel, now Primate of Belgium, reaffirms his support for ordaining married men, as Pray Tell reports
The Tablet reports that yet another UK diocese is to close many of its churches.
According to The Irish Catholic, the number of diocesan priests in Ireland has plummeted by more than 500 in just 10 years. Brian Eyre, married priest in Brazil, comments..
Some recent items we missed: Maureen Fiedler on NCR says "ending the celibacy requirement might be another great way to commemorate the Reformation in union with our Lutheran sisters and brothers". And Phyllis Zagano on NCR fears that "married priests really could be a train wreck" by "reinforcing the all-male clerical caste". Following the news of JP2's friendship with Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka, Daniel O'Leary, in The Tablet, says "For those who are not specifically called to a celibate life – the vast majority of priests – it can be a heavy burden. Even for a pope."
Phyllis Zagano on NCR reviews a book about married ex-Episcopalian priests.
Two contributions from Scotland: Joe Fitzpatrick (MMaC committee member) writes on married priests in Open House, and Kevin McKenna, in the Herald, pleads 'Let Catholic clergy love women'.
Writing on Aleteia, Russell Shaw gives '3 good reasons to keep priestly celibacy'.
The publicity given to John-Paul II's letters to Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka has prompted articles supporting a chang in the celibacy rule in both the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian.
In one his regular Catholic Times columns, MMaC Secretary Chris McDonnell calls for open discussion on celibacy in the Church of England and Wales.
The Tablet's Rome correspondent, Christopher Lamb, gives a very balanced account of the current state of the celibacy debate
On NCR, Phyllis Zagano reviews the stae of the debate, but wonders if ordaining married men could lead to a 'train wreck'...
Speaking at a Vatican conference on celibacy, Cardinal Parolin declares that the debate on celibacy is 'open'.
There has been considerable correspondence recently in The Tablet about married priests.
NCR reports that, although 'Poland's Catholic primate defends conservative vision', 'seminary admissions have dropped sharply, halving the number of priests in training', and 'more Poles are turning against the church's teachings on such issues as clerical celibacy'.
The number of priests in the Dublin Archdiocese could be reduced by 70% by 2030, so reports ACP.
Italian Vaticanologist Sandro Magister describes 'Francis’s plan to allow local exceptions to the norm of clerical celibacy'.
Ex-Anglican married priest, Fr Dwight Longenecker, on Aleteia offers a cautious view about married priests
Regular Northern Cross columnist, Gerry Loughran, comments on the English and Welsh bishops' rejection of married priests.
Reporting on The Tablet's Ushaw conference, the Northern Cross gives this account of our survey of ex-Anglican married priests.
The Northern Cross reports Bishop Cunningham's intervention at the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales: his proposal that they consider the ordination of married men is rejected - but at least now the question is out in the open. The Tablet picks up on the story.
In the National Catholic Register, a married ex-Anglican priests considers some of the pros and cons of having married priests.
NCR reports Francis' ground-breaking speech to the Italian Church - which must have implications for mandatory celibacy. Here, too, is the original Italian text of the pope's speech; and here ACP provides an English translation.
The Tablet reports that the new Primate of Belgium supports change in celibacy law .... and has said that women’s ordination is “negotiable.”
American Sister Joan Chittister on NCR makes an important contribution to the debate about celibacy
Sociologist D Paul Sullins' new book discusses the implications - or otherwise - of married ex-Episcopalian priests for change in the law of celibacy for other catholic priests.
This Crux report on Francis' wish for decentralisation in the Church cites, as an example, his reply to Brazilian Bishop Krautler's question about ordaining maried men
On NCR, Elizabeth Elliott reports on the Association of US Catholics Priests' support for ordaining married men.
In this article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the daughter of an ex-Episcopalian priest gives her views.
The NCR reports on American theologian Gary Macy arguing that 'ordination ideas have changed over time'.
Read this excellent article in the New York Times by Francis J Quinn, emeritus Bishop of Sacramento, USA, wehre he argue for change in the Church, including on celibacy.
The Association of Catholics in Ireland (the lay group adding its voice to that of the priests' ACP) declares its support for the ordination of married men, for welcoming back priests who left to marry and for women deacons.
A lot of relevant reading on the ACP websitejust now: Brendan Hoban comments incisively on the Irish bishops' attempt to 'camouflage an inevitable reality' - that priests are fast disappearing in Ireland - and attracts much comment. And a South African bishop proposes radical solutions to his country's priest shortage
MMaC Secretary Chris McDonnell publishes an important article in the Catholic Times.
'Francis could make a major contribution to this area as a reformer if he were to revive -- as he has indicated his willingness to do -- the ancient practice of allowing married men to be ordained to the presbyterate.' So writes Robert Mickens on NCR.
In the Catholic Herald, historian Dominic Selwood predicts that in a hundred years' time 'priests will be married'
MMaC's recent survey, reported in The Tablet, reveals that there are at least 5,000 viri probati in England & Wales.
The Irish Times' editorial, commenting on the acute shortage of priests, conclues that 'The Catholic Church must choose. It is celibacy or a future'.
According to NCR, German students' survey of over 12,000 catholics in 42 countries shows 'While 75-85% of Catholics in the German-speaking countries -- that is in Germany, Austria and Switzerland -- are in favor along with the majority of Catholics in France, North America and Brazil, this is not so in southern Europe and Poland'.
In this letter to The Tablet, the writer points out that the debate about married priests needs to be widened to include the whole catholic community.
The Chancellor of Loyola University, Chicago, calls for married priests. And Crux has a fuller account here.
These writers to The Tablet make very pertinent comments on the result of one bishop's desperate attempt to staff a parish...
The other UK catholic newspapers - Universe, Catholic Herald and Catholic Times - have so far hardly responded to The Tablet's continuing coverage of the ordination of married men, except in their letters pages. But there, as many advocate change (including two by MMaC Chair and Secretary) as resist it.
Back in January 2015, the AUSCP wrote to the US bishops, urging them to explore the ordination of married men. Here is the full text of that letter.
In Ireland's Mayo Post, Fr Kevin Hegarty writes 'Celibacy’s link to falling priest numbers must be addressed'.
The wave of correspondence stimulated by Bishop Hollis' letter to the Tablet shows no sign of abating...
In a Tablet article, Jonathan Wynne-Jones draws attention to the wide disparity in ordination numbers, despite similar numbers of worshippers, between the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches in the UK.
The Tablet's Austrian correspondent reports a leading theologian declaring 'Married priests and women deacons should be reintroduced as soon as possible'.
In The Tablet, Bridie Stringer starts a blog about her research into the diaconate and its rrelevance to the current married priests debate.
The Tablet's coverage of married priests continues...
More bishops declare their support for married priests in this week's Tablet.
On v2catholic.com, MMaC Secretary Chris McDonnell summarises the current scene.
On ACP, Seamus Ahearne worries about the priests we need - but also about those we don't need.
In his column in The Catholic Times, Basil Loftus says we are 'moving closer towards ordaining married men'.
In The Tablet Letters Extra (free to access), yet more reaction to the bishops' statements.
Bishop Hollis' letter to The Tablet has provoked a massive response: three more bishops and good coverage for MMaC!
ACP reports that the Association of US Catholic Priests (AUSCP) will press forward with its campaign for married priests
Now Robert Mickens, on NCR, describes the vocations crisis as 'acute'.
Bishop Crispian Hollis, in a letter to The Tablet, urges the English and Welsh bishops to 'take very seriously' the ordination of married men.
Another bumper crop of letters to The Tablet on married priests (not all in favour!)
More letters to The Tablet, including one from Michael Winter. Two of the letters oppose change - but one misunderstands MMaC (we are not against optional celibacy) and one raises a false problem (married priests would not be costly).
Chris McDonnell and Basil Loftus respond in The Tablet to the news of Irish bishop Leo O'Reilly's initiative.
Bernard Bonnot, one of the Association of US Catholic Priests' leaders, writing on the Crux website, urges the US church to consider ordaining married men
This recent Polish Government report shows Polish catholics disagree with many Church positions - including on mandatory clerical celibacy, which almost 60% say should be changed.
Brian Eyre in Brazil calls again, on ACP, for married priests to avert Eucharistic famine.
The Catholic Herald reports that Irish bishop Leo O'Reilly is urging his colleague bishops to set up a commission to discuss the possibility of ordaining married men.
Donald Cozzens, author of many books about the priesthood and celibacy, has published his first novel, Master of Ceremonies, where the subject comes up again - as well as much else in this clerical mystery novel.
Scotland will run out of priests, The Tablet reports: only one diocesan priest will be ordained this year this year - and the Edinburgh diocese may only have 33 priests for 111 parishes by 2020!
Brian Eyre, married priest in Brazil, asks on ACP: Could the celebration of the Eucharist become a museum piece?
Campaigning journalist Suzanne Breen uses a current 'scandal' in Northern Ireland to lambast the 'fiction' of priestly celibacy.
Catholic Online reports that Francis plans changes to two 'archaic' rules: priestly celibacy and acceptance of divorcees. And the Mail Online offers an 'exclusive'...
In a provocative blog in The Tablet, Tina Beattie calls the ordination of married men 'the wrong solution': she supports a celibate priesthood - but one which includes women... Among the many comments are several by MMaC secretary Chris O'Donnell.
Christine Schenk of NCR write about 'newly energized chorus of ecclesial voices calling for married priests'. She also cites Future Church's open letter to the US bishops.
The Tablet reports that Francis, meeting married priests, says 'the issue is in my diary'.
Brazilian married priest Brian Eyre writes on ACP about the many ways in which priests who have married (but not, he insists, ceased to be priests) can still serve.
Francis 'expressed compassion [...] for men who have left the priesthood to marry', Crux reports.
With the announcement of wholesale parish closures in Scotland (see the Universe), James Kelly writes to The Tablet, asking why the bishops there are not responding to Francis' invitation to 'extend ordination'.
The Association of US Catholic Priests has written to all US bishops, asking them to start talking about ordaining married men. Read about this here and here.
Thanks to Maltese Catholic Priest's blog for drawing our attention to something we missed: a useful (if somewhat over-simplified) 'potted history' of priestly celibacy.
Brian Eyre - a married priest in Brazil - responds to the appointment of the married ex-Anglican to take the place of the parish priest in Coventry who left to marry.
The Philippines newspaper the Daily Inquirer, just a few days before the Pope's visit to the country, reports that two married priests have their children baptised, hoping to draw Francis' attention to the issue of mandatory celibacy.
More letters from The Tablet on married priests.
The latest report of the Australian Truth, Justice & Healing Council (page 25) admits for the first time what others repeatedly have denied, and (eg here) continue to deny: that “obligatory celibacy may also have contributed to abuse in some circumstances”.
Read here letters to The Tablet in response to the 'English priest in love' article [see below].
Global Pulse reports that a Catholic Church council in Australia said the celibacy requirement for Catholic clergy may have contributed to the Church's child sexual abuse crisis.
This article on the Corpus blog illustrates the extent to which the shortage of priests in the USA is being disguised by 'importing' foreign-born clergy.
Joanna Moorhead in The Tablet reports how when an English priest in love left his parish, he was replaced by a married ex-Anglican - MMaC Chair Michael Winter comments on the inconsistency this event illustrates....
Two very pertinent comments (one from a married priest in Brazil) in response to this post on ACP about the Brazilian Bishops' decision to set up a commission on married priests.
The Irish Independent reports Irish Primate Diarmuid Martin as saying that 'the Catholic Church's requirement that its priests be celibate and renounce marriage is not a church dogma and it is an issue which could be looked at.'
This letter to The Tablet points to a significant factor in the high number of Anglican, relative to RC, vocations: almost half are now self-supporting (non-stipendary).Read two responses here.
The Irish Independent reports on a new book which finds that 'the majority of Irish priests are unhappy with mandatory celibacy'.
RNS reports that the Brazilian Concerence of Bishops is forming a commission to explore Bishop Krautler's proposal to ordain married men.
An Easter rite catholic in the USA explains the advantages of voluntary celibacy in this New York Times article.
"We have no shortage of vocations" is the surprising headline of this account, in the National Catholic Reporter, of a session at the recent Call to Action conference - but it goes on to call the "severity of the international priest shortage" the "biggest elephant" in the Church's living room...
The Vatican has just formally announced the new rules allowing Eastern Rite bishops in America and Australia now to ordain married men.See also here.
The Tablet editorial this week declares firm support for ordaining married men.
In this Tablet article, Brendan Hoban again warns of the disastrous dearth of priests threatening Ireland. Also included: subsequent letters to the editor.
The New York Times reports on the spread of support goups for married priests.
Married priest in Brazil, Bryan Eyre, offers another vivid illustration of the need to ordain married men (and MMaC secratary Chris McDonnell adds pertinent comment...)
In the fifth of his series of articles in Australian Catholica, Tom MaMahon contemplates the death of 'Trentan priesthood' (the rest of series merits reading too).
Another contribution from the married priest in Brazil.
In a BBC radio programme about Francis, English Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor supports the ordination of married men. Further comments on this can be found here and here.
The Universe reports Brendan Hoban repeating the key changes the ACP propose to avoid a priest famine in Ireland: ordain married men, invite back priests who’ve left to get married and ordain women to the diaconate.
Italian wives and mistresses of priests call for an answer to their letter to Francis, calling for a change in the celibacy law.
Another thoughtful contribution from the married priest in Brazil.
An early item on the Boston Globe's new religious website 'covering all things Catholic', Crux, is informative about married convert and Eastern Rite piests in the USA.
A married priest in Brazil refutes two objections: that they would cost too much and have 'divided hearts'.
Brendan Hoban critiques the simplistic solutions to Ireland's 'huge crisis' of vocations suggested by those would retain an exclusively celibate clergy.
The ACP warn that the shortage of priests in Ireland could cause the collapse of 'faith communities sustained over centuries'.
A married priest in Brazil makes a very positive contribution to the debate...
The Association of US Catholic Priests adds its voice .
The Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland makes an important statement of the vocations crisis in that country.
An article in the Canadian Globe and Mail discusses - somewhat inconclusively - the 'end of celibacy'.
The Irish Independent writes: 'Irish priests back Pope Francis' comments on end to celibacy'. The Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland warmly welcomed recent comments by Pope Francis hinting that priests may be able to marry in the future. - See more at: http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/irish-priests-back-pope-francis-comments-on-end-to-celibacy-30444504.html#sthash.UPTY0QZ9.dpuf
Read here MMaC Secretary Chris McDonnell's Tablet article 'One Man, Two Vocations'. And here to find responses to it.
In a newspaper interview, Francis said that the issue of priestly celibacy was, in effect, 'no big deal', that he would find a solution. The Vatican immediately claimed that the Pope hadn't actually said this - but, if you read Italian, judge for yourself: Francis' words are quoted at the very end of this La Repubblica article. And here is La Repubblica's response (in English) to the Vatican.
A letter in the Tablet asks whether the English & Welsh bishops are up to Francis' challenge that bishops be courageous and bold in proposing reform...
Married popes: some interesting data on this and related topics are offered by this rather Maltese idiosyncratic blog...
Read the ACP's scathing comment on the Irish bishops' response to their meeting (see 05/06/14 below.
This article in the Irish Times notes the 13% fall in diocesan priest numbers in Ireland over last decade.
An Austrian bishop endorses his Brazilian brother bishop's views on ordaining married men.
On the ACP website, a priest who has married makes the case for re-admitting such men to public ministry.
The Association of US Priests strongly support a resolution 'calling upon the U.S. bishops to support a married priesthood'.
Brendan Hoban, of the ACP, speaks out on the Irish bishops' 'denial' in the face of the looming crisis in priest supply....
More from the Italian women who love priests...
A high-level Orthodox-Catholic group is calling on the Vatican to lift 'the restrictions regarding the ordination of married men to the priesthood in the Eastern Catholic Churches of North America. See the reports by the US Bishops' Conference and the New York Times. The Los Angeles Times also has a most informative article.
A group representing the Irish Association of Catholic Priests has called for radical measures, including ordaining married men, to be taken by the Catholic bishops to address the current vocations crisis in the Church.
More and more Portuguese priests are leaving to marry, says the head of Fraternitas, the equivalent of MMaC in that country.
A report in USA Today begins with a shocking statistic: 1 in 5 parishes in the USA don't have a resident priest. And the average age of priests is...63!
BBC Woman's Hour today includes a discussion of priestly celibacy.
It is reported that as many as 6,000 priests in Spain are married, but that their bishops turn a 'blind eye'...
'[Celibacy] is a rule of life that I appreciate very much', Pope Francis told journalists on his flight home from the Holy Land. But he added, 'since it is not a dogma, the door is always open'.
The Northern Cross, a Catholic newspaper in Hexham & Newcastle diocese has highlighted the recent statements on married priests by some English bishop (including their own).
Twenty-six Italian women have written Pope Francis about theri love for a priest, asking him to review the celibacy law.
The secretary general of the Italian bishops' conference says the Church should listen to the arguments for reform, including of mandatory celibacy.
This post on Pray Tell updates us on Brazilian bishop Krautzler's conversation with Francis about possible changes to the celibacy rule (and draws much comment).
Paul V Kane considers ending mandatory celibacy to be one of the '3 reforms the pope must make now' to reinvigorate the Church.
This article in U.S. Catholic doubts whether Francis will change on celibacy - but readers' comments are in favour.
Michael Kelly SJ warns here that any reform of celibacy requirements must go hand-in-hand with elimination of clericalism.
This letter to the Tablet cautions us that a married clergy will cost us more - unless, of course, such priests were 'worker priests'...
A German priest pleads here with with Pope Francis to recognise that the vocation to ministry and the obligation of celibacy are not indissociable.
The US religious news service RNS summarises recent news, adding comments by Thomas Reese SJ.
Here the Tablet reports that the Archbishop of Dublin, too, has declared his openness to discussion of the ordination of married men.
The Tablet reports here that several English and Welsh bishops have spoken out in favour of ordaining married men.
Read here the Tablet's report of Pope Francis' response to a Brazilian bishop's question about ordaining married men. And here to follow the Tablet blog which this has prompted. The Irish Assocation of Catholic Priests' response to this news can be read here. And here is the American National Catholic Reporter's account.
An Australian priest, who has just revealed that he secretly married, claims many other priests also live 'double lives'.
Pray Tell and Corpus both report that a married deacon of the Maronite rite in the USA is to be ordained priest. Although the Maronites have a tradition of married clergy, in the America celibacy has been their rule - till now!
In this survey, Univision asked catholics on five continents about issues important to them - including whether priests should be allowed to marry.
The Tablet reports a 15% drop in the number of diocesan priest in England & Wales, between 2010 and 2012.
This 2011 article by John Allen includes some telling figures refuting the idea that the shortage of priests is a problem only for the 'old' world.
Sex and the Single Priest is an interesting recent New York Times article; so is Fr James Martin SJ's riposte.
American lay theologian Richard R Gaillardetz makes an important contribution to the debate on married priests.
In this Tablet blog, a young man expresses precisely the dilemma facing many who might have a vocation to the priesthood - and also pinpoints the clear anomaly which is the Ordinariate.
This article on the death of Clelia Luro (see News item 24/04/13 below) contains intriguing (if poorly translated!) comment on the future Pope Francis' views on clerical celibacy.
The prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, has lamented a Protestantization of the image of the Catholic priest, which includes the questioning of priestly celibacy.
Another testimony from Africa about the practice of celibacy in the Church there.
Read MMaC Secretary Chris McDonnell's review of Hans Kung's latest, Can we save the Catholic Church, here.
The first married man to become a Catholic priest without having first been ordained
in the Church of England was ordained last weekend - the Tablet reports, and our Chair comments, on this significant development.
The Pope's new Secretary of State comments on celibacy - the first of many reports on this are by the US NPR and the Tablet.
Compulsory celibacy is a major factor in the launching of a 'schismatic' church in Africa: read about it here and here
Chris McDonnell (MMaC secretary), reflecting on Brendan Hoban's recent book about priest shortage, has stimulated a lively and lengthy discussion on Pray Tell: Sorry, no Mass today.
To listen to one of Fr Schüller's talks (Cleveland, 26 July), click here.
Fr Helmut Schüller, one of the founders of the Austrian Priests' Initiative, will be spending this summer speaking to reform-minded catholics across the USA. He was the author of the Initiative's 'Call to Disobedience', which includes among its aims the ordination of married men. You can find an English version of this here.
'Compulsory celibacy is inhumane, but a married clergy won't solve all the problems either.' Read this very thoughtful comment by Kathy Swift at ACP - and the MMaC secretary's response.
The newly-established Association of US Catholic Priests proposes 'an open discussion for the ordination of women and married men to the priesthood' [Proposal 8].
The Austrian Priests' Initiative, in their statement marking Pope Francis' first 100 days, clearly indicate their support for a fully inclusive clergy.
Time for a rethink on clerical celibacy: a letter from Patrick Bryan in this week's Tablet Letters Extra.
Brian Fahy, on ACP, introduces his books about his life as a married Redemptorist priest.
Brendan Behan, on the ACP website, introduces his new book about the shortage of priests in Ireland - his solutions include both the ordaining of married men and the welcoming back of priests who have married.
Canadian Dr Joe Dietrich has written recently about the stress caused by 'forced'celibacy in the priesthood.
In the Tablet Letters Extra, Michael Winter comments on the case of the married seminarian.
As this week's Tablet reveals, a catholic layman, already married, is studying for the priesthood!
Here is a view on celibacy from Africa.
An ex-bishop's widow believes Pope Francis will make celibacy optional.
A letter in the Tablet's Letters Extra reminds us that Catholicism should not be confused with its largest rite: several Catholic rites have married clergy. In the Universe, the Catholic Legislators’ Network explains the context of the recent letter from 21 parliamentarians to Pope Francis.
Fr Tony Flannery, of ACP, wonders 'What will Pope Francis be like?'
For the second time recently, a Tablet editorial supports relaxation of mandatory celibacy for priests, and there is also a substantial article about the 21 parliamentarians' letter to Pope Francis.
Lord Touhig, one of the 221 parliamentarians, was interviewed on the Sunday programme on Radio 4 today. This can be heard on BBC iPlayer - the interview is at at point about 23 minutes into the broadcast.
This week's Tablet prints two letters from ex-Anglican clergy strongly refuting the 'total availablility' defence of the celibate priesthood. A further letter, in support of married priests, is in the free-access Letters Extra section.
MPs call for end to celibacy rule: 21 British Catholic parliamentarians have written to Pope Francis urging him to lift the rule of mandatory celibacy for priests. In this week's Tablet. The full text of the letter can be found here.
As well as the 3 supportive letters in the magazine this week, there are Tablet Letters Extra section.
This recent article in the New York Times 'In Praise of Priestly Marriage' has drawn much comment.