Thursday, December 11, 2008

Brisbane father of four to be ordained

CathNews (Australia)
Published: December 11, 2008

Former Anglican priest Bavin Clark, a married father of four, is to be ordained as a Catholic priest for the Brisbane archdiocese.

The Wynnum Herald reports the novice deacon is living proof times are changing, when he becomes the third married Brisbane man to become a Catholic priest.

At an age where most men are planning their retirement, Mr Clark, 62, plans to continue working as Queensland University of Technology's chaplain once he is ordained.

He said he had no quibble with the Anglican church, where he spent more than 20 years as a priest.

"It's a very personal journey ... the Catholic Church has developed an open and generous spirit and this is not a back door way in," Mr Clark said.

The self professed philosopher and theologian said the Church was prepared to make an exception on its centuries old celibacy ruling for priests.

Mr Clark spent three years studing theology, without any guarantee he would be accepted into the priesthood, before Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby requested the Vatican accept him.

It could explain his excitement for his ordination ceremony at St Brigid's Church, Red Hill on December 18, where many of his Anglican former colleagues are expected to share in celebrations.

"My feet haven't touched the ground yet ... I think I'm enormously privileged ... it's not a right."

Auxiliary Bishop of Brisbane, Brian Finnigan, said Mr Clark would bring his qualities of the Anglican tradition to the Church.

"He will be a welcome addition to the ranks of the Catholic clergy which he will share with the priests and the thirteen married permanent deacons," Bishop Finnigan said

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