We are currently encouraging enquiries (particularly) from North America, South America, the African continent, and all parts of Asia. If you feel called, test that call.
Have you ever considered serving Christ as a Priest of Deacon?
Are you are a former cleric who left ministry because of celibacy, marriage or sexuality?
Do you still wish to serve Christ in ordained Ministry?
If you are able to answer ?Yes? to at least two of these questions, we may be able to help. The United Ecumenical Catholic Church is seeking candidates for ordained ministry - ministry with a difference, where you make the difference! Male, female, married, divorced, single, celibate or not, we welcome enquiries from all. As Saint Paul said at Colossians 3:11 ?Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.?
Our clergy are ?tent-makers? in the tradition of St. Paul. Like St. Paul, we continue to live and work in the world while, at the same time, we seek to build up the body of Christ on earth. Some of our clergy are married or partnered and some are not. Some choose celibacy and others do not. All seek to reach out to the most marginalised people in society wherever they may be.
We do not offer wages or salaries to our clergy at this stage. We are missionaries in the sense that we act on faith in trying to establish missions and parishes wherever we can gather the people. We are entrepreneurial, we take chances and we commit our time, talents, and treasures to the building up of the body of Christ. Like Christ, we seek to serve rather than to be served.
The people that seek to minister within our church should have the same spirit of mission and commitment that the first Apostles and disciples had.
- They should be desirous of changing the world for the better, by showing people that Christ is for all - not just a select few.
- They should be willing to give of their time, talents and treasure without expectation of financial recompense.
- They should be non-judgmental, open, and accepting of all people regardless of circumstance.
- They must be able to follow the greatest commandment of all, that we love God and love one another as Christ loves us.
- They must feel a call to ordained Ministry and be prepared to discern their vocation.
The call to ministry in a church such as the UECC is a call to a new vision of Church. It requires contemporary people who hold the historic faith. Is this you?
If you feel that you may be called to the ordained ministry, we invite you to contact us to discuss the matter. All contacts and information are kept strictly confidential.
Clergy Training and Standards
(The following is an outline of the procedures defined in the canons and regulations of the UECC)
Over the centuries various ways of testing and training those who have received God's call to service have been developed.
The best of these are the seminaries run by the larger churches, which combine Spiritual, Pastoral and Academic development. Sadly these are not available to us at present.
Where someone, man or woman, comes to us with a proven background of at least three years of major seminary training they will be considered as candidates for ordination and will continue their training in a mutually agreed fashion.
Those who offer themselves without such a background will have a package of training tailored to their needs and with a necessary minimum standard to be achieved before formal candidacy begins.
Those who were ordained within another communion such as Rome, Canterbury or the East, will, after the necessary criminal and personal record checks, be granted faculties to exercise their ministry to the full within the UECC. Such faculties shall, at first, be annual, becoming "permanent unless revoked" after five years.
(Personal record checks shall include, where possible and practicable, a contact with the former Bishop Ordinary.)
The progression to priesthood follows the pattern of candidate, lector, acolyte, deacon and priest.
The election and consecration of Bishops shall be according to the adopted canons and only where pastoral need dictates. All ordinations, including Bishops, shall follow the Reformed Roman Ritual.
In all the above, as in the following, our intention is to strive for the highest moral, pastoral, and spiritual standards in our clergy that they may be guided only by the desire to tend the flock of Christ.
Moral Standards of Clergy
In the light of recent scandals and the focus of the media on the behavior of the few, we wish to be absolutely clear and unimpeachable in this matter. To this end the following norms shall and do apply to all who serve as clergy or volunteers in the UECC
- Members of the Clergy, religious or diocesan, shall not engage in or attempt sexual activity which:
- Is harassing in character, and/or
- Is physically, mentally, or emotionally abusive, and/or
- Is attempted or conducted with a person who has not attained the legal age at which consent to the particular sexual conduct is permissible in the controlling civil law, and/or
- Which exploits the Member of the Clergy's status as clergy to facilitate or obtain sexual conduct.
- Conduct which violates this Canon is never acceptable in a member of the Clergy of the UECC
- Violation of the provisions of this Canon shall, upon conviction of these acts by a disciplinary tribunal as herein defined, be cause for the dismissal from the UECC of the accused member of the Clergy.
- Allegations of criminal sexual misconduct by members of the clergy, religious or diocesan, received outside the Sacrament of Reconciliation, shall be immediately referred to civil law enforcement authorities for investigation and adjudication.
An enhanced disclosure from the relevant Criminal Records Board shall be required for all clergy, including Bishops. Such disclosures shall be held by the Bishop Ordinary and kept up to date every three years. A Bishops own disclosure is to be available for scrutiny on reasonable request.
Any cleric or volunteer against whom an accusation of abuse or sexual misconduct is made shall immediately be suspended from all public duties and contact with the vulnerable. The matter shall be reported to the civil authorities and their recommendations acted upon.
In the case of conviction a minor cleric or volunteer shall be dismissed and permanently disbarred from seeking further office. A Deacon or Priest shall be immediately relieved of all authority to preach or celebrate any of the sacraments and shall never be allowed to function publicly as deacon or priest again.
In the light of, and following the demands of justice and Charity, a priest or deacon subsequently cleared on appeal or shown in some concrete way to be innocent shall be re-instated. Also, those convicted and having served their civil punishment, shall, if true remorse is shown, be considered eligible to apply for admission to a monastic community where, providing they do not have contact with the public, they may be helped to return to the spiritual perfection demanded of their orders. This point is mindful of the Augustinian tenet "Sacerdos in aeternum". Which recognizes the indelible charism of order. It is also mindful of our duty to forgive the sinner and help him or her to achieve salvation.
All the above applies equally to Bishops, who shall, by Canonical law, step aside once a formal accusation is made to civil or ecclesiastical authority, and shall only resume the position if cleared and vindicated. Such vindication must be to the satisfaction of civil authority and the governing Synod of the UECC. Should the Bishop be convicted he/she is de iure removed from office and a "Sede Vacante" declared by the senior cleric of the diocese. The process for replacing the Bishop then comes in to force as though she/he had died.