From time to time I am asked why, for ten years, living in England as a Catholic convert and applying for ordination, I was not ordained as a Catholic priest.
This article should help people understand the situation. The facts are simple: some of the Bishops wanted priests, but not priests like me. Others didn’t want priests at all.
Yes, you heard it correctly. They didn’t want more priests. Let me tell you about this shocking view. I got is straight from the horses mouth because when I was working as a charity representative in England for seven years I was in a different Catholic rectory every weekend listening to priests at ground level speaking about their diocese, their bishop and the circle appointed monsignori in their dioceses.
Here is what they thought–and I am quoting a high ranking Catholic diocesan offical who was sharing his bishop’s views. He said, “In fact, we have too many priests. Compared to placed like Peru or Africa, we have plenty of priests. The people are still used to the old ‘one parish-one priest’ model. When we have fewer priests they will have to get used to genuinely owning the church for the first time. We would like to have a half dozen priests or so for each deanery. They will live together in community in a central place and the parishes will be run by lay people, served by the local college of deanery priests.”
Of course, all of this is driven by another agenda. See, if Rome doesn’t allow us to have women priests we’ll have very few priests. This crisis will be one which we will engineer. The result of having fewer priests will be parishes led by lay people. This really means ‘lay women’. By pioneering this new model of priesthood and parish the magic circle in England will have parishes run by women even though Rome does not allow them to have women priests.
This was shared with me with some enthusiasm in not one, but three of the Southern dioceses in England. Anyone who knows the English Church will be able to identify the three Southern Dioceses to which I am referring and I doubt if anyone will refute this proposed ‘new model’ of priesthood in England.