On Frustrated Vocation
This book addresses the situation of unsuccessful candidates for the Christian ministry/priesthood, and in particular candidates who are sure of their calling but cannot convince the Church authorities of this, and who therefore feel rejected when their applications are not accepted. It explores Biblical views of vocation and gives accounts of four Biblical leaders whose vocations were shown to be genuine, despite the reluctance of their leaders to accept their ministries, plus two more recent leaders whose vocations were not accepted, one because she was thought unsuitable, and the other because his vocation threatened established models of Church. This, I argue, happens because the Churches have confused two different types of calling, combining what I interpret as four calls from God, two to the candidate and two to the Church, as two calls, one from God and one from the Church, both directed to the candidate. I then explore the consequences of this, with a view to developing a theology of vocation that avoids the worst problems of the current system, and go on to explore how the Churches might improve their pastoral care of unsuccessful candidates. Finally, I offer some recommendations about how the process might be improved.
Published: 25 July 2012