The Priest and the Universal Baptismal Call

Ordered through Service.  The Call of the Ordained for the Mission of all the Baptised.

The lecture explores the nature of the ordained priestly ministry through the perspective of the universal call to holiness and to mission. Attention is given to what it might mean to understand ordained ministry primarily in terms of service - specifically, service of the call to live the baptismal vocation. In a culture where ‘difference’ and ‘order’ is overwhelmingly understood in terms of inequality and power relation, we revisit an understanding of Christ’s mission which is able to speak of the variety of calls in terms of a single and mutual service. These words remain rhetoric unless we explore the practical implications of the living out of priestly ministry in this perspective; and so the lecture concludes by suggesting some of these implications, and raising questions for discussion.

Clare Watkins is a Catholic theologian, working in a variety of ecclesial and academic contexts. She teaches part-time at Allen Hall seminary, and is part of the Action Research - Church and Society (ARCS) research project, based at Heythrop College, and Ripon College, Cuddesdon. She and her husband, Guy, have four children.

Faith Matters Series