Recent Events

Le pape François veut-il "enterrer la quastion" des prêtres mariés ? Thomas Reese

KANDOLO SAIDO, Patrick, Célibat des prêtres. Abus sexuels, crise des vocations : que faire ? Editions du Pangolin, 144 pages

Why I find popes ideas on women priests disturbing. Virginia Saldanha

POGGI Armando, Pianticelle divelte? Il vento conciliare nei Sinodi delle Chiese particolari, Napoli, la Valle del Tempo, pp. 128, 11€

La prêtrise, creuset de l'attente chrétienne du salut. Herman Häring

TESSIER Louise, Le (faux) célibat des prêtres : l’hypocrisie de l’Eglise

Ordonner des hommes mariés : une solution déjà dépassée ? René Poujol

DAUCOURT Gérard, Prêtres en morceaux, Editions du Cerf, 80 pages

"Trichez avec le sexe... Il se vengera !", Marcel Bernos

Rapport : c’est le pouvoir incontesté et le manque de formation du clergé catholique qui produisent les abus. Alejandra Molina

La règle du célibat prive l’Église d’excellents prêtres. Mgr Pascal Wintzer

Prêtrise et célibat. Le Symposium au service de la lettre, pas de l'Esprit. Rufo González

Le malaise des prêtres : le célibat obligatoire, c'est l'enfer ! Eletta Cucuzza

La sacralité, question-clé de la sortie du cléricalisme. Danièle Hervieu-Léger

C'est l'ordination elle-même qui est en cause. Gaston Piétri

Plutôt mourir ou démissionner. Les prêtres non célibataires ne sont pas morts. Ernesto Miragoli

France. Étude sur la santé des prêtres


=> website

1.     Name: “The Advent Group”, chosen because the first meeting took place in the Advent season.  Changed to “Advent Group” because of alphabetical advantage in list of organisations.  Advent currently has three groupings: North, Midlands, London and south.

2.  Official Address:
Chair:   Maire & Basil Potter 14 Lawrence Way      Burnham        Slough SL1 6HQ
Secretary: Angie Crawford-Leighton
Scutts Almshouse    Chariton Fitzpaine     Crediton         Devon EX17 4JG
Treasurer: Mike O’Kane
Mullions    Laurel Drive       Uphill      Weston-Super Mare        Somerset BS23 4SM

4.    Website: www.adventgroup.org.uk

5.    Birthdate: Started by Conrad Charles & Michael Crook. They met in the Summer of 1969 and arranged to make a retreat at Spode House with the help of Fr. Conrad Pepler O.P.  Ten couples met 12-14 Dec 1969. This was the origin of “Advent Group”.

6.    Context: A group of married priests in the Birmingham Diocese wished to find a place where they could meet and share in prayer.  They were warmly received by Conrad Pepler and, thereafter, hosted for years by the warden of Spode House, a Dominican retreat centre in the midlands.

7.    No legal status. Advent is well known to the hierarchy, to religious superiors and many journalists.

8.    The original group evolved into an ongoing support group, which met twice a year.  Through time this original group became less active in the north of the country.  There has always been a certain tension as some in the group wanted more activity in the direction of ‘pressure for change’. In the early 90s the London group decided to be very open about the fact that they were priests who had married and had nothing to hide.

9.   Number of persons involved:
-    In recent years this has declined to less than twenty active members
-    Mailing list for bulletin…approx. 250 recipients.
-    In principal the group is open to anyone who supports the aims of the group, but in practice it is married priests and their families.
-    Extremely varied: teachers, social workers, lecturers, journalists, managers etc.

10. The three groupings, North, Midlands, London and the south (mentioned above), function as one group and each grouping supplies a national chair for three years on a rota basis. The chair is currently held by London and the south.

11. There is a common bulletin and web site and an annual general meeting of all the groupings once a year.

12.   Statutes: we have tentative statutes which are currently being reviewed because of possible application for charitable status.

13.  Once annually all together.  The London based group meets about once a month. The latter is a social gathering but also an occasion for handling any business that has come up, e.g. clergy and religious asylum seekers, TV and radio involvement, contacts with press and hierarchy etc.

14.  There is usually a speaker at the annual meeting followed by discussion, lunch and the Eucharist.

15.     “ADVENT” published 1-3 times a year (see website for details of this publication).

16.     Raising consciousness – 1/12 of people in the UK are Catholic (officially!) – very different from Spain, France, Italy… The Advent name is ‘out there’ and journalists writing on religious affairs regularly contact members for comment on issues that have reached the public domain.

17.    Various TV and Radio programmes – e.g. Panorama, Heart of the Matter, Breakfast with Frost, BBC Radio programmes etc. Open letters to Bishops on Anglican Vicars becoming Catholic Priests, various life stories on radio and TV, discussion programs etc.

18.  Charitable status – we are currently considering (again!) applying for charitable status.  This would increase our financial clout, which would lead to more publicity and the ability to contact more people and support priests and religious asylum seekers and refugees.

19.   Informal contacts with various groups, national and international, but no formal networking.  We have contacts with CCC, We are Church, MMAC, Seven-Eleven, Sonflowers, Cara Network etc.  (We are not overly keen on the North Atlantic Federation!!!!!)

20.  Impact over past 20 years has been enormous e.g. attending NCP (has even been paid for by the Catholic Church - £300!), various TV, Radio programmes and newspaper interviews and articles have brought the discussion on ministry in the Church out into the open. Very few people, even in the Catholic community, now see celibacy as an issue.  The vast majority believe that it should be optional and that it is contrary to human rights to impose it. 20 years ago or more it was generally unacceptable to speak publicly about your life as a married priest and this position was not just encouraged but in fact imposed by the Church hierarchy. Today, most priests who have married are quite happy to speak about previous ‘employment’.

21.   Perspectives?  The realisation that the current crisis will be solved, not by the readmission of married priests, but by the radical “revisionning” of Church structures. To quote from a discussion with Bishop Guazzelli in London many years ago: ‘if having married priests or readmitting priests who are married means having the same old authoritarian regime then nothing will have changed within the Christian community’.
Joe Mulrooney:
7 Baring Road
London EN4 9AN
Tel – 020 8440 6771

Mike Hyland:
20 Kingfisher Way
Kent BR3 4BA
Tel – 020 8655 0680