Thursday, October 25, 2012

Confraternity of Catholic Clergy

Both Fr Simon and Fr Tim have brief accounts Confraternity of Catholic Clergy Colloquium, the picture is courtesy of the Fr Tim.
I was pleased that the numbers this year had doubled, just under a hundred came to the Colloquium and the number who belong to the Confraternity is now a couple of hundred priests. I am told there are also a large number of lay associates, though I am not quite sure what benefits they receive, except the joy of knowing they support such a fine body of loyal priests.
What I am pleased by is the rapid growth, from my own diocese last year there were only two of us but this time there were six priests, the finest flower of our Presbytery.
Little by little the regional Chapters are growing but the areas they cover are vast, as the Northern convener said, "we cover the North, that includes Scotland" and Western region includes Wales. The great difficulty is organising much outside of London, so the Colloquium itself is the major event which for priests who can't get to anything else is the only event.
I don't like joining things, frankly I don't like most clergy meetings but the Confraternity is different: Fidelity,          Formation and Fraternity are important to us. The old now defunct National Conference of Priests -I hope it is defunct - used to give me the creeps, every year we got a mailing denouncing this or that action of the Holy See, it was a sort of priest's trade union, with delegates from dioceses and role within the structure of the Bishop's Conference, I never felt it represented me. There is none of that stuff, the only resolution we passed was one of loyal thanks to the Holy Father for his service to the Church. What gives me immense pleasure with members of the Confraternity is the sense that above everything we are Catholic priests. Fidelity gives us something really very important from which the other aims of the Confraternity: Formation and Fraternity naturally spring.

As dissident groups of priests and lay-people grow throughout Europe, the CCC movement in the English speaking world will become more important. At the moment in the UK it is still a work in progress, it needs more members and needs to bed down a bit. The original intention was not just to meet put to publish and also to arrange events for lay people to and maybe to have some formal interaction with the Bishop's Conference - in the same way dissident groups do.

Join, if you are a priest; if you are lay person become an Associate.


tempus putationis said...

There have been no benefits so far Father for Lay Members, other than the benefit derived from knowing we are helping to strengthen the priesthood! (...and that's very comforting).

Fr Seán Coyle said...

Has anything similar started in Ireland yet?

Tony Flavin said...

There has however been the confusing message from the members to their congregations as to how they see their brother clergymen, ie, deacons.

Deacons are members of the clergy, but are excluded from membership of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy.

The logical thing would be for the confraternity (which means?) to change its name, after all, a rose by any other name......

Fr Ray Blake said...

Fr Sean,
I don't think so, I think Ireland should have one, I am sure that the UK founders would be happy to offer help, as would the Australian CCC, esp Bishop Jarrett, if there is a group of Irish clergy who would want to start a Confraternity.

Three or four deacons came as Associate members, and it was good to have them. You have to understand that the CCC grew out of an amalgamation of a few priestly fraternity groups. It is a "work in progress", it has only been going for just over two years, its constitution hasn't yet been approved by its members, in a sense it has only had two full meetings, be patient.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Tony, I would be in favour of Deacons being full members, at the moment there is no distinction between members, because we haven't voted on anything.

If you are in favour of what we stand for join and lobby, I think you'll find you are pushing at an open door.

Tony Flavin said...

At the moment full membership is only available to priests and bishops, deacons are allowed associate membership, along with seminarians.

I think I said to you before, I would not seek membership for myself, however, the idea of deacons who are interested being allowed full membership is delightful.

And shall be my evening prayer intention

Thank you

Fr Seán Coyle said...

Thanks for your reply, Father Ray.

catholicaction said...

Since the inception of the CCC USA in 1975, which is where the organization began, decons have always been accepted as full members.

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