Page 2, 21st March 1969

21st March 1969
Page 2
Page 2, 21st March 1969 — Canadian priests want big changes

Report an error

Noticed an error on this page?
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it.


Locations: Halifax, Ottawa


Related articles

Plea For Open Election Of Bishops

Page 1 from 24th August 1973

Married Priests

Page 9 from 28th April 1972

Pope Rejects Criticism Of Celibacy

Page 1 from 12th November 1993

We Want More Contact With British Catholics

Page 1 from 26th September 1941

Vatican Envoys Look Into Abuse Allegations

Page 1 from 26th October 1990

Canadian priests want big changes


PRIESTS of the four Atlantic provinces want the Catholic Church in Canada "to become more Canadian than Roman," and in a report to the Canadian bishops they call for "dynamic changes to bring it up to date."

Their demands are contained in a report drawn up at a three-day session in Halifax, Nova Scotia, by 26 delegates of priests' senates in 10 of the I 1 dioceses in the region. A three-man committee will bring the report to the bishops' assembly to be held in Ottawa, from April 14 to 18.

The priests think "the whole function of the Church hierarchy should be re-examined and that greater freedom for priests and greater involvement of lay persons are essential.

Married men, the report states. should be ordained to the priesthood, Church law on celibacy of priests should be dropped and methods should be introduced whereby parishioners can "express approval or disapproval of their priests."


The report makes five points on the function of the hierarchy:

Canadian bishops, "together with laity and priests, should take a freer role in the governing and development of the Canadian Church."

The Apostolic Delegate in Canada should be a Canadian.

The process for selecting bishops should "be re-exam ined with the intention of making it more democratic."

The Canadian Church should "have its contact with the Universal Church through the Synod of Bishops, rather than through the Curia."

"The Pope should be elected by the Synod of Bishops. rather than by the cardinals."

The priests emphasised that "the role of the priest must change." and they recommended that the bishops could assist the change by "allocating priests more freedom to experiment."


On laymen, the priests said: "The efforts of the laity must become more meaningful and they should be given responsible positions in the Church both at the parish and diocesan levels." The priests were unanimous that "the laity's responsibility for Christian life in their parishes be exercised, for example, through parish councils and, ultimately, through the pastoral council for the diocese." Delegates to the meeting not only favoured ordination of married men to priesthood, but urged that "each bishop be empowered to reinstate priests who have married as Catholics in good standing."

blog comments powered by Disqus