A Journal for The Contemporary Church

New and Back Issues

The Priesthood of The Baptised


It is Holy Saturday. The Church waits. The men locked themselves away in fear. The women were safe enough; what they had to say would be taken as “pure nonsense” even by the apostles (Luke
24:11). The men were another matter; they were identifiable collaborators. It was an uneasy Holy Saturday. We are in an uneasy time of “waiting” today. The familiar landmarks in the Church have gone. The number of men offering themselves for ordination has fallen dramatically. Many parishes no longer have their own priest; they share him with other parishes. I have heard of “clusters” of three, five, seventeen and even, in Germany, twenty-five parishes. In this last example the clusters are themselves clustered: five groups of five parishes each! It is not difficult to imagine the workload and physical and psychological consequences for the priest.
We seem to have reached a cul de sac, a dead end. Where do we go now? What will the Church of the future look like? Is it enough to say ‘wait and see’?