PROPONITUR: Retired military chaplains – using the Vetus Ordo – form an Oratory.

I have a radical idea.  It keeps popping into my head.  I think that means that I’m being prompted from upstairs to post it.

PROPONITUR: Half a dozen retired military chaplains – who want to use the Vetus Ordo 95% of the time – form an Oratory.

There could be non-chaplain retired military as non-priest members.

The core community would have a foundation of means.  They would have skills for dealing with people.  They would have been reviewed along the way.  They have a couple common points for community.  They are sometimes strangers to where they came from but used to adapting to a new space.  They’d approach the parish or oratory entrusted to them with great organization skills.  They’d have good experience dealing with young people and will the injured/sick, etc.

Oratories are sprouting up all over.  I’m not saying that this would be exclusively for retired chaplains.  But they could be a core of the corps.  After all, if I am not mistaken, oratorians originally had to have their own means.  No?

Moderation queue is ON.

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One Comment

  1. Fr Richard Duncan CO says:


    I see three difficulties with your proposal. The first is restricting the membership to ex-military chaplains. [Reading carefully helps! I wrote: “I’m not saying that this would be exclusively for retired chaplains. But they could be a core of the corps.”] Whilst it is certainly the case that such men have skills which could be very useful to an Oratory, they are not the only ones. The real test is whether someone has the aptitude for community life.

    The second difficulty is the idea of having other priests living in the house who are not members of the community. [See above.] This strikes at the root of community life in the Oratory, where everyone – priest or lay – has an equal status and an equal say in decisions affecting community life. The Oratorian Confederation would be most unlikely to support such a proposal, as would the Congregation for Religious.

    The final difficulty is restricting membership to those with private means. [You keep using the word “restrict”. I didn’t.] You are quite right to say that this was St Philip’s original ideal, but to do so nowadays would deter many people from offering themselves who might otherwise be suitable.

    Having said this, there is nothing to prevent a group of military chaplains setting up a Society of Apostolic Life – whether of Diocesan or Pontifical right – with the kind of restrictions you suggest. But it wouldn’t – or couldn’t – be an Oratory.

    [Again, with the “restrict”.]

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