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.
Posted by Fr Ray Blake