Not really, no

Married men as priests? This could be the start of a Roman Catholic revolution
Joanna Moorhead

The Vatican has opened debate on ordaining married men to meet a shortage, showing its ability to be pragmatic and to react

Been doing it for a long time. Anglican – and married – priests who convert remain married when they do. Can’t recall which Orthodox church is in full communion with El Papa but they’ve got married priests too.

As the article itself says and as the headline writer doesn’t seem to have bothered to read.

40 thoughts on “Not really, no”

  1. I read a tweet that some of those converts went back to CofE and a bit of a problem for catholics attending their high church masses as guests. Not sure but i think that means they’re also going to hell.

  2. Off topic but Spud has a new ‘tax gap’

    “…£90 billion for the sake of argument.

    This, I readily admit, is smaller than some of my past estimates.

    In part this is because I have been generous with my assumptions on bad debts on this occasion.”

    Of the more hilarious assumptions in his previous tax gap calculations was that ALL tax owed to HMRC on a certain date was part of the tax gap. On the date he looked at, a figure of c£25bn was owed and was duly added by Spud to his tax gap. In reality, around £22bn of that amount owed was later paid.

    It would be like a business assuming that 100% of trade debtors at the end of the year would never pay and is such a mindbogglingly stupid assumption for an ‘accountant’ to make that it made a mockery the rest of his figures. Now Spud is being ‘generous’ by accepting that HMRC collect most tax owed to them.

    Meanwhile he is continuing with his assumption that tax gaps in VAT (which are always the highest, having most opportunities for evasion) must be applied to other taxes (such as PAYE where there is virtually no opportunity for evasion).

    His new figure is as shit as his earlier figure.

  3. There’s about a couple of dozen different Eastern Catholic churches that are in communion with Rome and are part of the Catholic Church. Most allow married men to become priests, some don’t.

    (they don’t allow married bishops, and they don’t allow priests to marry – you have to get married first)

    Some are tiny (a few thousand), some a few million. They were mostly formed in the 17th & 18th century; Rome would encourage a few Orthodox bishops to split from their Orthodox church and form a new one in alliance with Rome; basically they were allowed to keep much of their old practices and organisation, so long as Rome had overall authority. But there’s also the Marionites, who have been there in the Lebanon since the early days of Christianity; they were sort of forgotten about for a few centuries until the Crusaders found them again on the way to Jerusalem.

  4. It’s not married or unmarried men who are the problem. It’s weak men.

    When was the last time you met a priest, pastor, minister or vicar who wasn’t a total drip? They have no authority because they are incapable of projecting confidence and strength. Men without chests.

    Wibbling on about climate change, or “refugees”, or food banks, or whatever other politically correct bollocks or ladybollocks happens to be in their minds at the moment is entirely missing the point, and also a symptom of their weakness.

    Christ did not suffer and die on the cross, be buried, and then come back three days later so that effete little men could be underpaid social workers.

    The early Christian evangelists and martyrs walked into the jaws of death (or, worse, Scotland) with a smile on their lips and the Good News on their tongue. “Confidence, dear boy!”, as Kenneth Clark (the good one) might’ve said. It’s hard to be confident as a man of the cloth when you don’t actually believe in God.

  5. When was the last time you met a priest, pastor, minister or vicar who wasn’t a total drip?

    You’re familiar with the limp damp horror of the CofE handshake then?

  6. @Steve

    You should meet my local evangelical vicar. Could be accused of various things, but not of being either a drip or lacking confidence.
    He’s not very popular with his bishop, which may be a related to said bishop being the type who bears most strongly the impression of whoever sat on him last. Interestingly, over the last 20 odd years that said vicar has been in place, the size of the congregation has approximately doubled, which is not exactly the normal trend in Anglican churches.

  7. Also @Steve, whatever else Anglican vicars may or may not be, they certainly aren’t underpaid compared to social workers – including pension they get about £40k a year, plus either free accommodation or an allowance to cover its costs…

  8. Steve,

    “When was the last time you met a priest, pastor, minister or vicar who wasn’t a total drip? They have no authority because they are incapable of projecting confidence and strength. Men without chests.”

    There’s no power in it. Yeah, I know Radio 4 feature the Archbishop of Canterbury, but most of the public don’t give a toss what he says. He isn’t like the Archbishop of Canterbury of 40 years ago which was a real power job, the man at the top of an organisation of churches with full pews.

    Like women assumed they won a great victory getting ordained priests, but the truth is that by the mid-90s, the church as the national priesthood was dead. Television became the new church.

  9. Steve, you are familiar with the people able to stand up in front of a crowd and speak for 10 to 15 minutes on something?
    People able to perform exorcisms. People required to visit others even though it may cost them their life.
    Those people.

    I’ve met some priests I am not keen on, have met some who have been through considerable stuff I wouldn’t dare.

  10. Martin, are the clergy to which you refer committed to carbon – neutral, gender-inclusive, faith-neutral places of intra-denominational worship by 2030?

  11. MC – Sadly yes. In general, CofE folks are the nicest atheists I’ve ever met.

    TheProle – Evangelicals are the future, because, pace BiG, social work is the least important part of religion. Man cannot live on food banks alone. Heaven, Hell, Sin, immoral souls, miracles, holy ghosts… all that mystical stuff is about two things:

    1) How can we create order and meaning out of chaos, suffering and loss?

    2) How should we live in the time we have on this planet?

    Christians are extremely complacent in assuming there’s a God-shaped hole in people’s hearts. There’s a need for meaning, profundity, connection, solace. Something greater than the mere visible. If it’s not met by Jesus, people turn to Buddha or Mohammed or astrology, Science!™, environmentalism or Jehova-knows-what. It doesn’t need to be specifically religion, even Marxist materialism turned into a sort of quasi-mystical belief system with its own saints, demons and moral imperatives.

    BoM4 – Yes.

    Martin – What surprises me most of all about modern God-botherers is how poor they are at selling.*

    Talk to an insurance salesman and he’ll try to sell you insurance. Talk to your common-or-garden vicar these days and he’ll give you pleasant chit-chat about his parish’s charity work.

    Either we have immoral souls that are besieged by the forces of Hell, or we don’t. If a chap is in the Bible-fondling business, why is he wasting both of our precious time wittering on about his solar panels?

    Spew out the lukewarm, a rabbi once said.

    *Gross generalisation

  12. People able to perform exorcisms. People required to visit others even though it may cost them their life.

    Not convinced there are that many exorcisms done these days.

    Anyway, are these priests going to marry women? Just goes to show the bigotry still rampant in the Church!!! :crazed-loony-sjw-face:

  13. @ Steve,
    My local vicar used to play Prop-forward (he’s nearly short enough to play No2 so he must have been fairly tough to escape that to prop). The previous-but-one was a cross-country runner, accustomed to running in the snow unlike modern “softies”; The intermediate one was far from a drip but I think he was a soccer player in his youth rather than anything overtly tough; one of his occasional preachers (while he was living in the parish but teaching missionary students) was a high-quality rugby player. My previous parish the Rector was “M.A., R.N.R.”
    When I (rarely) go to school reunions the guy who went to Sandhurst and served out his long-term commission comes along in a dog-collar.
    If you want a *serious* counter-example the Light-heavyweight in my first year (his last) who took less than two minutes to knock out the Cambridge boxer [by his last year no-one would voluntarily put a boxer in the ring with him] was a street-corner evangelist. If you called him a drip he would probably think you were joking and forgive you when you explained that you were serious.

  14. @ The Prole
    Social workers only work 37 hours a week, Vicars work far longer and are “on call” for the remaing parts of the 168 hours.
    About 40 years ago when I was a PCC Hon Treasurer something encouraged me to look up the stipend of the Archbishop of Canterbury which was less than I, in my 30s, was getting paid despite Wilson’s pay policies.
    Have you looked at the value of a Social Worker’s Pension – it is roughly half his/her nominal pay. One forty-fifth of salary every year from NRA until death plus survivor’s pension plus death benefit if they die before retirement.

  15. john77

    I once went to a Catholic “youth mission“ conference presided over by an archbishop where a14-year-old girl said precisely the opposite and received a standing ovation. I despaired at the time, made the mistake of saying so and became most unwelcome.

  16. Andrew C

    Yes indeed, “The evasion rate for PAYE is exactly that for VAT. I’m a tax expert and political economist, you must listen to me.“

  17. @ The Prole

    C of E priests are on about £25k plus a non-contributory pension and free housing (normally a 4/5 bed house tax free, which in London can easily be worth another £50-60k).

  18. @ Sam Jones
    You are well out-of-date. Most 4/5 bedroom homes have been sold and new vicar housed in much smaller accommodation with a smaller garden because he/she cannot afford servants to manage the house (and, a bigger influence, because the diocese can cash in on the price differential). 60 years ago my then Vicar lived in a 5-bedroom house with a good garden with his wife and dog (he would have preferred a smaller house but didn’t get the choice); my current vicar lives in a smaller modern house with a smaller garden after someone sold “The Old Vicarage” for more than it cost to build a new one.

  19. @Steve June 19, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    Church I attended in 80s/90s had a strong minister with robust views (ex-army, fought in Burma jungle war), one being Church should not interfere with state/politics (Sermon). I liked him and he led me through confirmation with 1 to 1 evening meetings. Confirmed by him along with a bunch of 5th/6th formers from nearby boarding school

    Lefty SJW Bishop denied him a full Canon, Retired in ~1994 age 70 as Rev. Donald Cole. Replaced by a wet lefty moderniser, congregation numbers fell.

    The Rev Cole’s sermons were always popular with young and old alike, and he maintained this was because he kept his preaching to a minimum and only once on a Sunday.


  20. @ dearieme
    And that is the *reformed* pension scheme! Average salary instead of final salay is fairer in being more generous to the workers than the old one and less generous to the bosses.

  21. “In general, CofE folks are the nicest atheists I’ve ever met.”

    You’ve not been to my Quaker Meeting 🙂

    Nae priests, nae creed, nae hierarchy!

  22. Or unitarians, especially of the universalist outlook, seems to me that it was believe in whatever you feel like but don’t tell anyone in case it upsets them was the rule

  23. @Sam Jones.

    £25k pa plus around £10k into the pension scheme and free housing isn’t exactly a bad gig is it? As noted, in parts of London, that’s equivalent to a total renumeration of about £85k – I can’t imagine many social workers are on that. Even up here in the northern wastelands, the house is probably worth £7k a year if you looked at it’s typical rental value, which isn’t to be snivelled over.

    I doubt social workers (the sort that actually deal with the aftermath of Dwayne and Karleigh spending their benefits on booze and weed rather than on feeding their kids, rather than their managers etc) earn much over £30k plus pension.

  24. Steve – a saying comes to mind. Preach always, if necessary use words.
    Constantly quoting bible verses and proclaiming the gospel works in some situations, mostly not.
    I get put off being chased by those who think they have a gift for healing – been chased out of churches by some of those.
    And I avoid healing services like, well, the plague. 🙂

  25. CofE vicars – £25k salary, £10k employer pension contributions (yes, it really is 40%; I checked), zero employee pension contributions.

    Free house; even if we say that the fact it’s large and might be in an expensive area is a requirement of the job, it’s still a place to live, and that would be £10k annual rent in most places. But it’s tax-free, so even on basic rate (20% income tax and 12% NIC) someone else would need need £15k income just to pay the rent.

    So equivalent of £50k.

    That puts a vicar in the top 12% of earnings, according to the ONS. An extra £4k would put them in the top 10%. I don’t have a problem with that; if the CofE and its members want to spend their money on putting their vicars in or near the top 10%, that’s their choice. But I do wish they would stop bleating at the rest of us about the evils of wealth.

    And look at the tax; of that £50,000, only £12,500 is taxable (pension contributions & house are exempt, then deduct the personal allowance). Again, I’ve no problem with that, but a bit damned hypocritical of them to moan about tax avoidance in others when they only pay on a quarter of their own income.

  26. Above is Church of England. Tim’s original post was about Catholic priests; they’re on about £8,500 (plus a (usually much more modest) house). No decent pension fund.

  27. Anyway, the answer to the RC Church’s woes is women priests. It’s true that the early Christians didn’t have priests or bishops but it seems that they were led by Deacons and Deaconesses.

  28. Old joke: Q. What do you get when you cross a Unitarian and a Seventh-Day Adventist?
    A: Someone who goes door-to-door for no apparent reason.

  29. “Anon

    You’ve not been to my Quaker Meeting

    …nae hierarchy!”

    Spud claims to be a Quaker. I thought Quakers had a downer on titles – even preferring ‘brother John’ to ‘Mr Smith’.

    Is that so?

    I doubt Spud even talks to himself without insisting on “PROFESSOR Murphy” being used.

  30. @ Sam Jones and Richard T
    How many Anglican vicars live in fashionable areas of London in 4/5 bedroom vicarages? Not many!
    A generation ago I lived in London: our Rector had a three-bedroom house a few yards from the Church which was “rent-free” but on which he had to pay substantial “service charges” (actually his wife who was a university lecturer probably paid them as I doubt that he could afford them out of his stipend after-tax after-expenses). The curate lived in a small modern flat. None of the City Churches had a large Vicarage: some vicars lived in a smallish flat (in one case that I remember shared with the Church Organist) attached to the church, some commuted in.
    To postulate that the CoE has lots of vicarages in London each of which it could rent out for nearly twice the stipend of a RC priest is testing the limits of willing suspension of disbelief.
    The employer contribution to a social worker’s pension is, regardless what your Council tax demand claims, nearer 50% than 40% of salary [if you don’t believe me ask BraveFart or Chris Miller to check]

  31. Our local priest is an ex paratrooper. Oddly enough, his services are standing room only, with latecomers spilling out onto the footpath.

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