Voices less heard


 A parish priest reflects on the emergence of a new anti clericalism within the church in Scotland, and ask what kind of priests we want. Continue reading

On (not) calling priests Father


When I was received into the Catholic Church, almost forty years ago, I had few theological doubts but I found many of its customs exotic.  Coming from a non-religious background, even something as simple as shaking hands at the Sign of Peace during Mass felt strange to me, never mind entering a church and finding a rosary being said.  Over the decades I have become so accustomed to most practices that people sometimes mistake me for a ‘cradle Catholic’ (I assume that is a compliment!) but one thing still makes me feel uncomfortable: calling priests ‘Father’.  Continue reading

A failure of leadership


The question is this: taken as a body, the bishops of England and Wales, of Ireland and of Scotland, despite frequent requests and the findings of questionnaires, have so far refused to engage in meaningful dialogue with lay-led and priest-led organisations on a number of topics considered important for the well-being of the Catholic Church in these countries.  These topics relate centrally to one overriding concern, namely the on-going and inexorable fall in the number of serving priests and the consequent closure and amalgamation of parishes together with the break-up of longstanding communities and the prospect of a Eucharistic famine in the not too distant future. Continue reading


December 2018/January 2019


Open House held a conference on the role of lay people in the governance of the Catholic Church in November 2013. See conference papers.