By Terence McQueen
HOPES that the Second Vatican Council might consider the question of raising married convert clergymen to the diaconate were expressed this week by the Administrator of Westminster Cathedral, Mgr. Gordon Wheeler.
Addressing the Converts' Aid Society in London. Mgr. Wheeler said that the one thing the Church cannot at present fully supply to the convert clergy who are married is the fulfilment of their wonderful pastoral instincts, and a great potential is thus remaining un tapped.
He declared "However much the married convert clergy find their niche in teaching or in the lay apostolate, something of a lacuna remains for them. If, however—dispensed from celibacy--they could he raised to the Diaconate, they would, to my mind. give invaluable aid to the clergy and the life of the Church, especially in the country districts, by giving daily Holy Communion from the tabernacle and by teaching, rtcchoinngv,eprse.a.ching and instructing
Economically there would he difficulties. he said, and it was not for us but for the Church herself and the national hierarchies to make a decision in accordance with the mind of the Church. "But I do not think that it is wrong to speculate upon the poseihilities," he said, "They might mean so much both for our married convert clergy and the conversion of England. "If the Church felt that universally in the mission field and elsewhere something might he tried on these lines. it would have a very special application to the Convert's Aid Society," Mgr. Wheeler said. "The Converts' Aid Society has
adcevea rendezvous in a special way with theestablishment of Top Meadow
ndezvous for the newly converted and with the foundation under its own aegis of the Blessed Cuthbert Mayne Society which unites the convert clergy in a new and special way. Much has been done therefore to develop the personal application of charity. "Now." said Mgr. Wheeler. "there is one thing further which one hopes may be considered by the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council We do not set out just to aid our people in a maternal manner but to integrate them fatly into the glorious life of their Mother the Church."