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Showing posts from May, 2017

A good priest barred from ministry

I was not the only one to announce a move last Sunday. A nearby friend who has served the Church for 30 years also announced that he too would be moving on - but to no further priestly duties. You see, he and his partner of many years had dared to get married. His partner being another man, this marriage breached the clergy disciplinary rules of the Church of England. The authorities could not actually throw him out of his parish, but made life difficult by refusing to give him a curate and warning him that when he left, he would never be able to get another post as a priest. So now that he has decided to leave, he is taking early retirement, and will not be licensed anywhere to exercise any priestly ministry at all, even unpaid. He will effectively be debarred from celebrating the Mass or any other sacrament.You could of course say that this is quite right and proper: he knew the result, deliberately contravened clergy discipline, and now must face the consequences. You could add th…