Features > The unaffordable gem?

11 February 2016 | by Christopher Lamb

The unaffordable gem?

Speakers at a conference in Rome last week were reminded of Pope Paul VI’s description of the status of an unmarried priest as ‘a brilliant jewel’. But with many parts of the world suffering from an acute shortage of clergy, some wonder whether the time has come to modify the vision In his novel The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene depicts a scene where Mass is taking place for the first time in six years in a hut in Mexico. During the liturgy the central character, the unnamed “whisky priest”, envisages the congregation behind him as he raises the host during the consecration – “he could imagine the faces, lifted like famished dogs”. It is a dramatic portrayal of people deprived of the sacraments. While Greene’s nove


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