THE STATUTES OF THE EUROPEAN FEDERATION OF CATHOLIC MARRIED PRIESTS
Article 1 : Name
European Federation of Catholic Married Priests. Abbreviated to ‘Married Priests. Europe’
Article 2 : Office
The committee can transfer the secretary’s address.
Article 3 : Objectives and perspectives
The particular aim of the
European Federation is the renewal of ministries with a view to the renewal of
the church as it works towards a more just world.
The Federation wishes to promote this awareness and commitment. The groups who are members of the Federation consider it necessary to renew the ministries within the Catholic Church particularly in the following directions :
1. There should be an absolute
priority of the person over the law :
- A refusal of all discrimination, whether due to marriage, gender, age or sexual orientation.
- The suppression of any obligatory link between one’s status in life and one’s function, particularly the obligation of celibacy for priests.
- The right of everyone, including the priest, to exercise whatever profession he desires, to chose his social commitments and to strive in the political arena.
- The granting of all dispensations at the time of a change of status or function for reasons of conscience.
2. There should be an absolute priority of the community
over the ministries :
- The right of the community to benefit from the ministries which are suited to it.
- Freedom of access to functions, ministries and services whenever the community feels the need and demands it.
3. There should be a dimension
of democratic sharing :
- A recognition of the fundamental equality of all the baptised as the basis of a truly democratic order and of a participation at all levels of decision making.
- An insistence on the obligations linked to every engagement in responsibility and service.
4. There should be
solidarity with every struggle for justice :
- An option for the poor and the marginalised in our countries and in the third world.
- Support for the struggle to recognise the equality of women and men in the church.
- A welcome for and help for priests in the process of secularisation and to women and children who are victims of the law of celibacy.
Article 4 : Members
The members of the Federation
are the different member groups. Though
diverse, these groups are composed, at least in part, of married priests and
their wives, or historically they
have been constituted as such. These
groups can be open to others who share their objectives. They have in common also their European
setting and their willingness to respond in a collaborative fashion which is
linked to the objectives of the Federation.
These groups participate in the Federation on the following conditions:
- Agreement with the objectives and respect for the statutes of the Federation.
- Acceptance of their candidature by the committee of the Federation.
- Payment of the annual subscription fixed by the committee.
Article 5 : The Organisation of the Federation
1. The European Federation functions in the form of a coordinating committee which is made up of representatives of the member groups. Each group will send one delegate for a minimal period of two years.
2. In its work the committee will always seek for a consensus. Where there is a difficulty and one is obliged to take a vote, each country has three votes, whatever the number of groups it represents. Decisions are then taken according to a two thirds majority of those countries present or represented. XXXXXX
3. The decisions have force of law for the member groups.
4. The committee designates internally a president, a secretary and a treasurer.
5. The committee meets at least once a year on the invitation of the president and the secretary.
6. The expenses for the working of the committee are the responsibility of the Federation, but the expenses of the members are the responsibility of the groups who send them.
Article 6 : Tasks of the Committee
The committee is a place of exchange and collaboration. Its task is to maintain relationships with the groups and to promote contacts between them. More precisely it has the following tasks:
1. To circulate information not only in the committee but between the groups and to a wider public.
2. To initiate research, study and the sharing of experiences in keeping with the objectives of the European Federation.
3. To convene and organise meetings and educational opportunities which could be open to others depending on the theme chosen.
4. To take an official position in the name of the European Federation on subjects which are in keeping with its objectives.
5. To delegate a representative and a substitute to the Confederation with a mandate of two years, renewable only once.
6. To establish contacts with other associations and networks which are working at the European level.
7. To be attentive to non member groups and to those that come into being.
8. To assume responsibility for the web site of the Federation and to designate the administrator.
9. To establish the budget of the Federation, fix the annual subscription and audit the accounts at least once a year.
Article 7 : Communications
The communication of information is an essential function of the Federation. The committee will undertake and invest in the means to arrive at this end: A web site regularly kept up to date and the communication of information for publication in the bulletins of the member groups. The three official languages of the Federation are English, Spanish and French.
Article 8 :
If it is proposed by the committee, these statutes may be revised subject to the approval of the members who will endeavour to reach agreement. If they cannot reach agreement then a 2/3 majority is needed.