The Celtic Christian Church recognizes the variety of calls within the Church.
BEFORE even considering ordination or incardination within the Celtic Christian Church one needs to examine the reason for coming to this particular Church. We are a Celtic Rite Church and it only makes sense for those who are passionate about Celtic Christian spirituality to seek to serve within this Church. There are many Roman Rite Churches within the Independent Sacramental Movement, and unless you are drawn primarily by Celtic spirituality and a strong commitment to it, you would find yourself more at home in an Independent Church which is more in keeping with your spirituality. If that is the case we will be happy to help you find such a spiritual home. Celtic Christian Spirituality is the only reason for seeking ordination within the Celtic Christian Church.
A vocation, in the context of Christian life, is a call to serve God and the People of God in a specific way of life, married, vowed, and/or ordained. In the Celtic Christian Church all three are possible for both men and women.
Whether one is called to married or single life each person is sacred and each path is sacred as we live the Christian life of service to one another. We support the spiritual journey of our married and single members who are called to live by a Rule of Life. The Order of the Merciful Christ was founded to answer that call, and welcomes members from the Celtic Christian Church and other Catholic Churches to live by the ancient Celtic Rule of St. Columba.
Whether one is married or single, we recognize the call to serve at the altar is indeed heard by some, whether male or female. The Celtic Christian Church will listen to this call with an individual, support him or her as it is discerned within a communal setting, and assist in formation for the call that is heard.
With these options in mind, we urge each person to have a spiritual director, guide, or spiritual friend who can help on a personal level as one discerns what God may be saying. We encourage openness with one's bishop in this honest attempt to work within the Church tradition of being in union with one's bishop. We require that each be a part of a community of Faith, and that this community of Faith be served to each individual's capacity, given the gifts he or she has.
The Celtic Christian Church recognizes that God calls both men and women, married or celibate to serve as priests.
Our Formation Program for Holy Orders is serious and thorough. Our bishops and mentors work with each individual as s/he prepares for Orders, and are always available and approachable.
For the protection of the people of God, in practice of due diligence on the part of our bishops and vocation office, all persons entering the Formation Program OR seeking incardination within the CCC must submit current criminal history and child abuse clearances, as well as take the battery of psychological tests administered by our psychologists. Each applicant will complete a personal questionnaire to be submitted to the bishop and to sign our Statement of Faith as well as sign a "hold-harmless" agreement. Additionally, all those incardinating are required to complete our Celtic Christian theology program , and any other theological, clinical pastoral education training as required by our bishops. unless our required material has been completed elsewhere and is documented.
This practice is intentionally strict, and has served our Church well because not all theological training is indeed equal, and not all priests who are ordained have had access to good seminary training.