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» Ship of Fools   »   » Oblivion   » A peculiar advantage for celibate priests. (Page 1)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: A peculiar advantage for celibate priests.
Penny S
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My jaw didn't drop. I was lying in bed at the time. But I was certainly taken aback. On the BBC Sunday programme ( Sunday near the end), there were interviews with two celibates, a woman author and a priest. As he was explaining the advantages of celibacy for a priest, freeing him to engage with parishioners, to be able to move where the bishop sent him, and other reasons which I have heard before, he added a comparison with non-celibate priests which conveyed some very suspect attitudes.

He compared himself with married ministers who, like him, had to serve in inner city areas, and said how difficult it was for them to have to have their families there, and to send their children to state schools.

What was this about? How did he feel about the parishioners in the inner city areas he served? (He did name the particular area, but I am not going to.) And what was he implying about state schools? About the alternatives? At one stroke, he had quite lost any feeling I might have had that he was expressing a positive ideal.

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Penny S
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I've listened again to this, and found that the priest attributed the attitudes about putting his children into the inner city environment and sending them to state schools to the children of the ministers. That opens a rather different can of worms. I don't think it should have been broadcast.
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Albertus
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I didn't hear the piece, but I wouldn't be surprised if some clergy did feel like this, and I'm not altogether sure I blame them. There are, or certainly have been, some areas where schools and other elements of quality of life, in its widest sense, have been rather unappealing, and I think that if you were a priest with a family you might well think quite hard about the effect on your family if you were considering a parish in such an area. You have a duty as a priest; you have a duty as a spouse/ parent; the two might not be easily reconciled.

[ 21. February 2016, 18:52: Message edited by: Albertus ]

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Boogie

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I can't stand this 'such an area' nonsense. We have lived in 'such an area' for 38 years.

The Guardian said (about our area) " “Welcome to ****,” says the faded sign outside the **** neighbourhood formerly known as England’s most deprived housing estate. A warren of pebble-dashed three-storey flats, **** is home to about 1,000 people, the vast majority of them on the breadline." which is one minute's walk from our house.

My sons went to the local comp, just across the road, which had just failed it's Ofsted inspection.

They are both now highly successful young men.

It's middle class snobbery imo.

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Lamb Chopped
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Not necessarily.

It could easily be a safety issue. It was where we first served. (Though we had no kids then, so it didn't affect us.)

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ThunderBunk

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There are genuine, if queasy, issues in this. One which springs to my mind from the perspective of the child is that of being an outsider. There is a strong likelihood that both the child's parents will be graduates, and that they will be two of very few graduates in the whole community. I found myself in that position as the result of being the child of a teacher and a probation officer. This has the potential to be isolating and scarring for the children, and is something parents surely have to consider.

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Enoch
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There are a number of questions about this. What Thunderbunk says makes sense. There's also the question to what extent we are entitled to require of other people that they make sacrifice. Does that include our children, or are we entitled to insist sacrifices of them in honour of our callings, because we are their parents and they are our children?

Against that, by the standards of ordinary people, celibates live an odd life. They have made a choice that most of us have not made. Even the unmarried are usually that way because they are stuck with it. So as an exemplary life, is celibacy either an example we can admire, or can relate to? Does it give the impression that the Christian faith is more suitable for people who are not like us?

So I think these are real issues, but I'm not sure it's that easy to produce a sensible answer. I'll be interested to see how this thread develops, and what shipmates make of it.

[ 21. February 2016, 19:22: Message edited by: Enoch ]

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Penny S
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Thunderbunk's point is interesting, and I take it on board. But it wasn't how it sounded on the radio. And the state school comment suggested an assumption of entitlement to something else. I wondered what sort of school the priest had attended. The private school I attended until I didn't had that sort of attitude - which was utterly erroneous. I didn't get bullied at the state school.

Come to think of it, I knew a vicarage daughter who had a quite different version of the problem, in a lovely rural area. (If you've read any of Monica Edwards' children's books, you will know exactly the circumstances, because the author was the sister of the person I met.) Sacrifices were made, but not because of the parish environment.

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Frankenstein
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A priest is in obedience to his bishop.
This means that he might be moved from one parish to another, making life difficult for his dependants.
Needless to say the RC church has acquired a few married priests from elsewhere.

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:

They are both now highly successful young men.

It's middle class snobbery imo.

Perhaps not everyone finds "Boogie says her sons did well" to be an entirely compelling argument.

Anyone, when considering whether to move their family for a new job, will consider the schooling that's available in the new area. If there are a number of schools that look like good schools, and seem to value pupils with the set of abilities and interests that your children have, most people will tick the box and move down the list.

If the schools don't tend to get good results, or if their offerings don't seem to be a good match for your children's interests, abilities and characters, it's reasonable to give serious thought to whether the school will best serve your children. The answer might well be yes, but I don't think being concerned that it might not be is in any way "middle class snobbery".

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Divine Outlaw
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So I think the reasons given in the first paragraph are good ones to value the ministry of celibate priests. Which doesn't mean, of course, that there aren't other reasons to value the ministry of married priests in the RCC - Easter rite priests, former Anglicans, and others.

I think the reason given in the second paragraph is not a good reason. Certainly, as the OP suggests, it conveys suspect attitudes. To put a more theological gloss on it: if some of the baptised live in 'those areas' and God calls them to love their families and serve their communities in those places, I fail to see why those of the baptised who happen to be ordained should be thought above such callings.

In any case, there are plenty of married deacons ministering all over the place.

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
I don't think being concerned that it might not be is in any way "middle class snobbery".

Unless worrying about exam grades and job prospects is also middle class snobbery it doesn't add up. Schools in inner-city areas don't get as good results as schools in affluent areas. One can argue that there is an effect of the children that the school is working with, but I think that most people who cite that as a major factor would think it works by creating an environment that harms learning. (Which is easy to imagine with factors like behavioural disruption, poor expectations, low value on academic success).

If one really believes that the school is more-or-less immaterial and success can be had by anyone anywhere then one is left with the far more snobbish conclusion that there is something defective about the children in inner city areas that meant they were doomed to academic failure wherever they went, and something innately brilliant about children that go to expensive schools.

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mr cheesy
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I know it is just an anecdote, but I've known several people in my life who had progressive, liberal parents who deliberately sent their children to quote unquote "rough" city schools - because they believed it was a form of duty to improve things. The children, who had no choice but to live with the reality of a life chosen by their parents, did not always turn out well.

I'm not an RC, but I see the value in sending celibate workers (old term "missionaries") to hard places. I also see a lot of problems with this idea, not least that celibacy is a difficult thing to maintain for most people.

The wording may have been crass, but the idea is not in-and-of-itself totally ridiculous.

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arse

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:

If one really believes that the school is more-or-less immaterial and success can be had by anyone anywhere then one is left with the far more snobbish conclusion that there is something defective about the children in inner city areas that meant they were doomed to academic failure wherever they went, and something innately brilliant about children that go to expensive schools.

I also don't believe it is snobby to want the best available educational chances for your children. The idea that the poorest people just don't care is a fallacy which only serves to further exclude people who have few educational options.

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arse

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Boogie

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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
I don't think being concerned that it might not be is in any way "middle class snobbery".

Unless worrying about exam grades and job prospects is also middle class snobbery it doesn't add up. Schools in inner-city areas don't get as good results as schools in affluent areas. One can argue that there is an effect of the children that the school is working with, but I think that most people who cite that as a major factor would think it works by creating an environment that harms learning.
The school my sons went to was next to such a 'sink' estate and full of 'such children'. But me and my three middle class friends trusted ourselves as parents and the teachers at the school to raise our children well. We were right.

7 children

1 Pilot
1 Nurse
1 TV camera wo/man
1 Classroom assistant
1 Chemist
1 Manager of an art house cinema
1 Engineer

They learned to deal with all kinds of people - especially people who didn't grow up with the financial and stability advantages they did. 20% of the children at the school, at the time, were asylum seekers - many with little English. I am a teacher and I know that Ofsted and exam results are a very poor measure of a school. If 80% of your school speak English as a second language and no English is spoken at home you really are not on a level playing field.

But those advantages our children had play out wherever the kids go to school - which is also grossly unfair, of course, but true.

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Boogie

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Another anecdote (me).

My father worked in SOWETO in the 60s. We lived in Johannesburg but spent a lot of time in the townships. I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

All this 'taking the children with you is bad for them' is nonsense - we all have to live our lives. Children are very adaptable creatures and do not need hot-housing.

I have taught many children damaged by over-protective parents, that is far more worrying than parents taking children to live on an 'undesirable' estate imo.

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Chamois
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Rightly or wrongly, this is a very real issue for inner city parishes. I lived for over 20 years in an inner London borough where the local schools had a poor reputation, especially the secondary schools. It was very difficult for my church to recruit new vicars. The PCC (con-evo in persuasion) was adamant that they wanted a married vicar and it was extremely difficult to recruit one.

We had two vacancies during my time there. Very low numbers of applications both times. The first time we ended up with a young married man who had no children when he arrived. Subsequently he and his wife had some kids, and as soon as the eldest child approached secondary school age they left and moved out to a country market town. The second time we had two or three non-successful recruitment rounds (I forget the precise number) and were fortunate to eventually find someone with a late vocation whose children were already adult.

The fact of the matter is, in central London the Church of England could not function without the gay clergy. And they do a fantastic job for us, with little or no public recognition. I certainly don't mean to imply that all celibate priests are gay, but given that a lot of gay priests are celibate the odds are high that an inner London parish prepared to accept an unmarried priest is going to end up with someone gay. The married priests just don't want to live in our parishes. And the children's schooling definitely has a lot to do with this.

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Baptist Trainfan
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My wife and I were missionaries in a very underdeveloped part of West Africa in the 1980s. Our son was born, and lived the first three years of his life, there. Unfortunately my wife's health broke down after that and we were advised not to return.

What we saw commonly happening was missionaries teaching their own children at home until about 7 years old - an onerous task, but the kids loved African life. After that they often went to a (local) missionary kids' boarding school until around 13. Beyond that the families often went home as further education needed the resources of the British school system. (In the past missionaries sent their children home long-term, that's now considered harmful to the children but of course it was also normative for Army and Colonial families).

So were the families right, either to bring up their children in Africa or to return home so they could receive an education that wasn't available to the local people? Each family had to think this through, and their decisions varied. Can you see any parallels with the "minister in tough inner-city situation"? I think there are some.

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
My father worked in SOWETO in the 60s. We lived in Johannesburg but spent a lot of time in the townships. I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

There will always be anecdotes of success in tough schools, likely factors being parental ability to inspire, discipline and teach as well as child factors and perhaps some luck. But the fact remains that most children in tough schools do not turn out to be anecdotes of success. It simply cannot be the case that all the children doing badly in tough schools are those with English as a second language and unsupportive parents.

(BTW I presume you didn't go to a regular township school with all the black kids).

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Curiosity killed ...

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It's not actually what the priest said - it starts at 36 minutes in.

He said that working for 20 years in Moss Side he had met fellow clergy whose children had felt very disadvantaged being moved into that area. Being celibate meant that it wasn't something he had to worry about.

Fr Phil was known for pumping iron with Moss Side gang members to get to know them and was moved to make a difference in Oldham.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Penny S
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I didn't think it was fair to identify the particular area. And it was the use of the term "state school" which I considered thoughtless.

I did correct myself that the source of the ideas was the children in a later post.

There is a school of thought that it is the removal of middle class parents from such environments which weakens the schools. This, of course, ignores that the children have to bear the brunt, and I'd go along with a lot of what has been said.

But not the blanket identifying of state schools as a problem.

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Bibaculus
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Are the only reasons for clerical celibacy practical ones? I thought it was all about being married to the Church or some such.

I guess the real practical reasons the RC Church maintains celibacy is (a) it makes it easier to control the clergy; and (b) married priests would presumably have large families, and that would cost a lot of money.

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Baptist Trainfan
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Dare I suggest that there is a third option, at least for younger married clergy: which is to deliberately decide (for God's sake) not to have children, or to delay their arrival, so they can live in a "difficult" area and devote their lives to it without that concern?

I'd not wish to have done that myself, but it may be worth saying that marriage does not have to equate to having children.

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Curiosity killed ...

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And which schools do you think the children of clergy are going to attend outside inner city areas linked to gang related violence?

Let me think:

The clergy stipend recommendations (pdf) are:
quote:
Key Recommendations for 2014/15
 a National Minimum Stipend (NMS) of £22,790 which constitutes a 2% increase over last year (paragraph 6);
 a National Stipend Benchmark (NSB) of £24,210 which also constitutes a 2% increase over last year (paragraph 5);
 an estimated value of provided housing, as at July 2014 of £9,910 (paragraph 21, and Annex 7).

School fees for the same period were approximately £12,000 per annum.

Clergy kids are going to end up at state schools. The question is whether it's going to be an inner city state school or not.

Have you seen Kidulthood? I've used it with students who had come out of a school in Special Measures on the fringes of London who reckoned it described their school experience well. We used the first 10 minutes or so as a discussion starter for bullying. Being bullied for 5 years really isn't good for kids.

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leo
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I know two women priests who were eventually rehoused outside their parish boundaries because the gardens on the vicarages regularly had needles and used condoms in them. One actually had to walk past couples having sex standing up when she came home from an evening church meeting. On one occasion the bloke carried on what he was doing while saying, 'Hello reverend'.
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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Frankenstein:
A priest is in obedience to his bishop.
This means that he might be moved from one parish to another, making life difficult for his dependants.
Needless to say the RC church has acquired a few married priests from elsewhere.

Frankenstein, I think that is a situation peculiar to the Roman Church in Britain which derives from the way that in England and Wales it was the CofE and CinW that inherited the structures of the early Tudor church and in Scotland, the Church of Scotland rebuilt the way it ran its affairs from the ground up according to Calvinist principles. So during the penal years, once the Catholic church had appointed missionary bishops, they had a much more direct control over their clergy than pertained in the medieval church's Protestant successors. They've kept that ever since.

I don't know to what extent that is true in continental countries that remained Catholic.

Much though some diocesan bishops may wish they could do that, neither the CofE nor the CinW work like that, and of course the CofS doesn't have bishops anyway.

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
Dare I suggest that there is a third option, at least for younger married clergy: which is to deliberately decide (for God's sake) not to have children, or to delay their arrival, so they can live in a "difficult" area and devote their lives to it without that concern?

I'd not wish to have done that myself, but it may be worth saying that marriage does not have to equate to having children.

But then they'd either have to use abstinence, which St Paul does not recommend, or engines of iniquity.

More seriously, by the time clergy of either sex have done their training, they're not likely to be all that young. It would be both imprudent and unreasonable to expect them to delay having children, and taking the risk that by the time they try to, it is more difficult or too late. It's also, of course, a bad idea if one can avoid it, to have children so late that they aren't out in the world by the time you hope to retire.


Even if it were a decision some might take on their own initiative, it's one that it would be very, very wrong either to expect of others or even encourage them to take.

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Forthview
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The position of a bishop in the Catholic Church ,irrespective of rite, is essentially the same,all over the world.

Of course there are times when there are difficulties which arise between the wishes of the bishop who has overall responsibility for his diocese and the presbyters whom he may wish to move around.

In thinking of the somewhat special position in England during penal times , bishops were often dependent on the generosity of lay Catholics who provided accommodation to the clergy and had quite a say in what clergy they would accept as their private chaplains.

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Frankenstein
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quote:
Originally posted by Frankenstein:
A priest is in obedience to his bishop.
This means that he might be moved from one parish to another, making life difficult for his dependants.
Needless to say the RC church has acquired a few married priests from elsewhere.

Sorry about the confusion, but as this topic is about celibete Roman Catholic Priests it seemed obvious that my comments about bishops would pertain to R C bishops only!

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Eliab
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quote:
Originally posted by Divine Outlaw:
I think the reason given in the second paragraph is not a good reason. Certainly, as the OP suggests, it conveys suspect attitudes.

I don't see what's suspect about it. Some schools are better than other schools. Some areas have better schools than other areas. While I wouldn't make the automatic association that poor area = crap schooling, that doesn't change the fact that moving to an area which does in fact offer fewer education opportunities is not something that most parents would choose, all else being equal.

Of course we need excellent priests in poor areas - and priests, much more than other professionals who might serve the poor, tend not to commute to their place of work so much. A doctor or lawyer who works in a deprived area need not live there (I work in Newham, in the East End, and live in a very middle class suburb on the other side of London, for example). If those priests have children, and don't have independent means to fund private education, it will be (and should be) harder for them to work there - a priest who is also a parent has the same parental duties as any other parent, and that includes the duty to make decisions on schooling in their child's best interests.

I've no argument with a priest deciding that his or her calling means moving as a family to a particular area, but I don't think it is at all suspect that the effect on the whole family should at least be considered in making that decision.

[ 22. February 2016, 11:36: Message edited by: Eliab ]

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Richard Dawkins

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Lucia

Looking for light
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My husband's father, although not a priest, was in church work. One of the placements they had was in parish in a rough area in South Wales. My husband went to the local comprehensive school for two years where he was mercilessly bullied for being English and 'posh'. It was not a happy experience and I think had long term effects on him in some ways. Hoping that somehow the kids will be ok doesn't always work out well. Maybe it also depends on the child and the family whether they can make what is in effect a cultural adjustment to survive and thrive in a place where different attitudes, values and behaviour may be a real challenge. Not so different from our experience of living cross-culturally in a foreign country really! As overseas workers we see different families make different choices about how to educate their children; local schools, international schools, home school, boarding school. Not every child or every family is going to be suited to all of those options. People make choices based on a whole bunch of different factors. And it does affect where you can place people to work.

I know people who have ministered in inner city areas and have put their children in local state schooling where they have done well. But I think it very much depends on both the personality and abilities of both parents and children.

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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:


I don't know to what extent that is true in continental countries that remained Catholic.

Well, there is an episode in Don Camillo where the bishop exiles Don Camillo to a remote mountain parish because of a conflict with his parishioners.

In the next episode those same parishioners successfully lobby the bishop for his return, because the successor appointed by the bishop has the temerity to move the lectern from one side of the nave to the other. [Eek!]

In neither case did Don Camillo have any choice in the matter ...

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Albertus
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# 13356

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quote:
Originally posted by Frankenstein:
quote:
Originally posted by Frankenstein:
A priest is in obedience to his bishop.
This means that he might be moved from one parish to another, making life difficult for his dependants.
Needless to say the RC church has acquired a few married priests from elsewhere.

Sorry about the confusion, but as this topic is about celibete Roman Catholic Priests it seemed obvious that my comments about bishops would pertain to R C bishops only!
Was the priest in the OP an RC? I didn't hear it. but we do have celibate clergy in the CofE/CinW too (and I imagine that some of the 'Free'Churches might have some celibate ministers too.)
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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
I didn't think it was fair to identify the particular area. And it was the use of the term "state school" which I considered thoughtless.

I am thoroughly supportive of comprehensive education and feel queasy about private schooling. However I think we have to have some honest debate and it's hardly a secret that Moss side is a tough area and that a state school in Moss side is going to be challenging. I expect few parents would choose a tough start like that for their children.

It seems to me that one can discuss that honestly without being insulting. I haven't listened to the broadcast so maybe other attitudes come across but "state school" is a perfectly proper term to use.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

Posts: 12277 | From: UK | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
Lyda*Rose

Ship's broken porthole
# 4544

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Heck, if Catholic priests weren't celibate and they had kids, they could (and probably would) send them to the local parish school. Probably the school provided by their own parish. And if that seems too stand-offish from the neighborhood, they could start a campaign to provide scholarships to the school for other interested community families.

[ 22. February 2016, 15:46: Message edited by: Lyda*Rose ]

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"Dear God, whose name I do not know - thank you for my life. I forgot how BIG... thank you. Thank you for my life." ~from Joe Vs the Volcano

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
Heck, if Catholic priests weren't celibate and they had kids, they could (and probably would) send them to the local parish school. Probably the school provided by their own parish.

These things don't exist in the UK. There are some state schools linked to RC parishes, but there aren't parochial fee-paying schools like there are in the US.
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Beeswax Altar
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quote:
originally posted by Curiosity killed...:
Clergy kids are going to end up at state schools. The question is whether it's going to be an inner city state school or not.

Diocesan minimum in my diocese for a priest with my years of experience is roughly 14000/10000 dollars/pounds less than the national minimum in the Church of England. However, clergy kids have two parents and not one. If my wife and I both worked, we should be able to afford the cost of sending our one child to a private/public school. The quality of the state school would determine if we spent that large sum of money on a public/private school.

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Losing sleep is something you want to avoid, if possible.
-Og: King of Bashan

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Lyda*Rose

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# 4544

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
Heck, if Catholic priests weren't celibate and they had kids, they could (and probably would) send them to the local parish school. Probably the school provided by their own parish.

These things don't exist in the UK. There are some state schools linked to RC parishes, but there aren't parochial fee-paying schools like there are in the US.
Oh. Thanks for the info.

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"Dear God, whose name I do not know - thank you for my life. I forgot how BIG... thank you. Thank you for my life." ~from Joe Vs the Volcano

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Albertus
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# 13356

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
Heck, if Catholic priests weren't celibate and they had kids, they could (and probably would) send them to the local parish school. Probably the school provided by their own parish.

These things don't exist in the UK. There are some state schools linked to RC parishes, but there aren't parochial fee-paying schools like there are in the US.
And many more state schools linked to CofE parishes (where the incumbent is ex officio one of the governors).

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My beard is a testament to my masculinity and virility, and demonstrates that I am a real man. Trouble is, bits of quiche sometimes get caught in it.

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L'organist
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# 17338

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The incumbent is only on the governing body if he/she agrees to be. We have a CofE primary (controlled, not VA) and our local PP refuses to be a governor.

In any case, what relevance has that to whether or not one should be expected to send one's children to a particular school? All well and good to have principles, but not very good, either as a parent or as a Christian, if you expect your children to pay the price for them.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

Posts: 4950 | From: somewhere in England... | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged
Baptist Trainfan
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# 15128

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quote:
Originally posted by Frankenstein:
A priest is in obedience to his bishop.
This means that he might be moved from one parish to another, making life difficult

Does this apply to Methodist ministers and Salvationists as well?
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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
Does this apply to Methodist ministers and Salvationists as well?

I'm not sure of the current situation with Methodist ministers, but it used to be the case that they were rotated every 7 years, which must have made it difficult for those with families (although, to be honest, not impossible. We move on average every 5 or 6 years and cope).

Salvationists and Church Army evangelists seem also to be rotated but with fairly long lag times. The CA captains I've known have been in placements from 5-10 years or more, and the organisation seems to be aware of the difficulties for those with children.

I'm not totally sure how it works with Salvationists, but again it appears that officers are likely to be moved with promotion within the organisation. But it doesn't appear that they get moved around very often.

Baptist (union) ministers generally appear to move whenever they feel like it. On average in my observation they remain in one place for more than 10 years, so maybe children are usually in one place to complete education etc.

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arse

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by Beeswax Altar:
quote:
originally posted by Curiosity killed...:
Clergy kids are going to end up at state schools. The question is whether it's going to be an inner city state school or not.

Diocesan minimum in my diocese for a priest with my years of experience is roughly 14000/10000 dollars/pounds less than the national minimum in the Church of England. However, clergy kids have two parents and not one. If my wife and I both worked, we should be able to afford the cost of sending our one child to a private/public school. The quality of the state school would determine if we spent that large sum of money on a public/private school.
Surely clergy who are single parents do exist? Younger widowed people as well as divorced people.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Curiosity killed ...

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That also assumes that clergy only have one child, rather than two, three or more.

Explaining to your inner city parishioners why your child is not attending the same school as their children is another challenge that may or may not be a deal breaker.

I went to a CMS talk by a missionary couple from Mombasa while they were living and working on the Blackbird Leys estate. The whole point was living alongside the community. Their one son found it very, very tough.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Ondergard
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
Does this apply to Methodist ministers and Salvationists as well?

I'm not sure of the current situation with Methodist ministers, but it used to be the case that they were rotated every 7 years, which must have made it difficult for those with families (although, to be honest, not impossible. We move on average every 5 or 6 years and cope).

Salvationists and Church Army evangelists seem also to be rotated but with fairly long lag times. The CA captains I've known have been in placements from 5-10 years or more, and the organisation seems to be aware of the difficulties for those with children.

I'm not totally sure how it works with Salvationists, but again it appears that officers are likely to be moved with promotion within the organisation. But it doesn't appear that they get moved around very often.

Baptist (union) ministers generally appear to move whenever they feel like it. On average in my observation they remain in one place for more than 10 years, so maybe children are usually in one place to complete education etc.


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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Baptist (union) ministers generally appear to move whenever they feel like it. On average in my observation they remain in one place for more than 10 years, so maybe children are usually in one place to complete education etc.

We are usually on open-ended contracts, so Ministers move when they wish (unless they are sacked, or given very heavy hints, by their church!)
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Garasu
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I get suspicious at the "I've been in the one role for more than nine years" point...

Is there a case for allowing priests not to be priests for a bit?

Going back "on the bench" for a while is, I feel, quite important!

(Um... in the context of this thread that's probably saying I think that celibacy and priesthood should be treated as separate issues...)

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"Could I believe in the doctrine without believing in the deity?". - Modesitt, L. E., Jr., 1943- Imager.

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Albertus
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# 13356

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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
The incumbent is only on the governing body if he/she agrees to be. We have a CofE primary (controlled, not VA) and our local PP refuses to be a governor.

In any case, what relevance has that to whether or not one should be expected to send one's children to a particular school? All well and good to have principles, but not very good, either as a parent or as a Christian, if you expect your children to pay the price for them.

Ah, didn't know the PP could opt out. As for relevance: not much, really- just a piece of gratuitous extra information.
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Ricardus
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It is worth considering the possibility that parents in the catchment area of an undesirable school would agree with the minister that the school is undesirable ...

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Gee D
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# 13815

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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
The incumbent is only on the governing body if he/she agrees to be. We have a CofE primary (controlled, not VA) and our local PP refuses to be a governor.

In any case, what relevance has that to whether or not one should be expected to send one's children to a particular school? All well and good to have principles, but not very good, either as a parent or as a Christian, if you expect your children to pay the price for them.

I assume that PP is "parish priest". What on earth is a VA?

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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