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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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24 Responses to 974

  1. Kim says:

    lets hope they’ve viewed your earlier cartoon about playing nicely together :lol:

  2. I am writing an article for The Revealer about this trend – much smaller numbers than what the media hype would lead you to believe – there are more RC clergy that become Anglican than the reverse. What you’re looking at are mostly married or widowed Anglican clergy who are now RC – they might have been RC from the get-go were it not for that celibacy thingee. :)

  3. AnneDroid says:

    I was talking to a Roman Catholic priest friend recently who was drawing my attention to the irony that a priest who has been the most sincere and devout Roman Catholic for their whole lifetime has to be celibate and childless, whilst those who have come in through the Anglican route are allowed to have a wife, a sex life and children.

  4. jonbirch says:

    annedroid… that’s a bit like when a digital tv company offers special deals to new customers but the loyal ones carry on paying the same rate. okay, it’s not at all like that. :-)
    it does seem strange i have to say… one can imagine it may cause ructions further down the line and cause a few priests to ask serious questions.

  5. Carole says:

    Does my ‘ead in, this! Speaking as a Roman Catholic, it annoys me intensely that we have lost many, many good men who have vocations to the priesthood because they have also felt called to marriage and family. Many who could still do marvellous work if only they were allowed to be married. It is so unjust.

  6. Carole says:

    Kim, interesting that you should refer back to the previous cartoon. A few years back, our local clergy fraternal took as their unofficial mission statement, “we promise to play nicely together”. Most did and as a result we enjoyed something of a golden age. But there were a couple of Bretheren-y style churches who refused to participate because the Catholics were involved. Another dropped out when the joint churches Christmas service leaflet was produced…because it had a clipart depiction of Mary and the baby Jesus. Crazy!

  7. jonbirch says:

    carole… yep, unjust.
    i wonder whether everyone playing nicely is even possible for more than a short while.

  8. Tiggy Sagar says:

    I’ve known quite a few priests and monks and none of them were celibate. I know because they told me. I don’t know if they go around telling everyone or if they just assumed it wouldn’t bother me – I’m not a Catholic. Married men tend to tell me about their affairs as well – not sure what’s going on there.

  9. Hugh says:

    I think it is just wonderful how much those bishops cared for their Anglican flock.

  10. jonbirch says:

    interesting point, hugh.
    why couldn’t these people be accepted into the catholic church but not as clergy? i wonder if they’d have been so keen to jump ship then?! status can do weird things to people.

  11. soniamain says:

    I don’t understand how they can go in as married bishops and advise/ and or judge priests on the issues of being celibate. Also how will the priests respect them if they know they are not dealing with the same issues?

  12. I still cant get my head around ‘welcome’ & ‘church’ in the same sentence :)

  13. treeandleaf says:

    @Sonia – I agree with all the comments about the injustice of the situation, but the issue you identify isn’t actually one of the problems with the model. The ex-Anglicans can’t be bishops, _because_ they’re married, and although one of them will have a similar role in terms of pastoral responsibilities, he’s only going to be responsible for other ex-Anglican clergy, not for the “normal” Roman Catholics.

    Of course in the Anglican communion, the situation where a married bishop is counselling a celibate priest comes up quite a lot (and the other way round, too). I don’t think it’s a problem, unless there’s a general problem with the bishop’s pastoral skills.

  14. soniamain says:

    Treeandleaf fair point, i didn’t realise they won’t be bishops. I can see in theory your point about it is similar with anglicans in counselling a celibate priest, however for me there is a difference because in theory the anglican could choose to get married, whereas that option is not allowed for the catholic priests. Maybe not being part of the catholic church I am seeing it as more of a problem than it really is. I guess basically it all feels like a potentially very messy situation!

  15. linus says:

    It does seem like a very messy situation. But then, we do live in a very messy world. Whilst i think that when this initiative was first announced it understandably put a lot of backs up in the anglican community, it has been very good to see a fair amount of grace exercised, such that this hasn’t caused the huge falling out and undignified spat it might have. I think a lot of the church leaders and individuals involved deserve credit for acting in a gracious and understated way, and however much it may have been seen as opportunistic recruitment by the RC church, they have at least provided a way for people with strong feelings on the direction the anglican communion is taking to step aside graciously, rather than stay on and risk being a source of potential disunity and frustration that will impede its ability to follow and serve Jesus. If those individuals that have moved are also able to serve and follow Jesus more effectively as a result, then it is a good thing all round.

    I have some sympathy for the idea that these individuals are abandoning their flock, but there is a danger that we demand that our leaders act with honesty and integrity and are passionate about their beliefs, and then criticise them when their rising to this challenge means they have to make difficult and painful and messy choices, which sometimes includes moving churches. We each have to wrestle with our consciences over things like this, and i don’t think these choices are ever straightforward.

    As churches and denominations and individuals change over time, it is inevitable that some individuals will feel they can no longer engage with a particular community, for whatever reason, and the best thing to do for both the individual and the community as a whole is to go separate ways. Obviously this is an even more difficult and painful decision for leaders and people employed by the church in question, so i think we should extend more sympathy, not less, when people in such positions feel they need to part ways with the community they currently serve. Because of Grace, we have the opportunity (difficult though it might be) to allow this to happen in a way that honours all parties, however painful the split might be.

    It is good that there are diverse ways of being christian community, which reflect the diversity of people made in God’s image (and our imperfections and partial knowledge). If these different groups are able to honour one another by considering each other better than themselves and having grace with one another and emphasising that Jesus is the common bond we all share, then that is potentially one of the greatest signs of the presence of God’s kingdom amongst us that i can imagine.

  16. Kim says:

    linus: wise, thank you. dennis the menace: funny, thank you. :lol:

  17. AnneDroid says:

    Jon – I love your digital tv company analogy and fully intend to consult my RC priest pal for his opinion when he comes back from his hols!!

  18. jonbirch says:

    annedroid… i hoped that would make you smile. let me know how it goes with your priest pal. :-)

    linus… become a politician so i can vote for you! :-)

    dennis… to be fair it is a very specific ‘welcome’… not just any old person to any old church. :-)

  19. subo says:

    thanks for your thoughtful discussion, and empathic comments linus & co.

    as a woman, it just does do my head in though – swapping denominations because women are taking initiative and leadership in the one you’ve committed your working life too!

    I also find it sad after all the work of breaking down barriers, where churches are co-operating and sharing resources across denominations – this one feels like it’s mounting a big barricade, in line with Rowan Atkinson sketch, the one set up as the reception in hell, where groups are defined and grouped

    (i think this is the linek)

  20. soniamain says:

    that’s a good clip Su, made me laugh!

  21. jonbirch says:

    great clip, subo! :-)

  22. subo says:

    cheers, but I must be one of the bannished one’s, it refussed to play on my aging computer

  23. linus says:

    thanks for kind words, peeps. ha! i would be an awful politician! =]

    Subo… yeah, i get that. And its important that the way this makes people feel is acknowledged. It definitely is a messy world. Great clip, thanks for sharing it =]

  24. synner_gy says:

    Wicked, but a friend now refers to the Holy Father as “Poach Benedict”.

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