Here is an article with a little more information on Bishop David Walker, from the Diocese of Broken Bay, idea of a celibate ministry of lay people working for the diocese. The concentration is mostly on women, but it is also open to men. They candidates first make a one year commitment, then three, and after that for five years at a time. During this they will receive a stipend and further education. The Bishop does have some good things to say about celibacy.
"They’d be able to do anything that is available to the lay faithful," Bishop Walker said. "The difference is it would be a full-time commitment and the whole way of life would be geared to service."
Those who take up the vocation would be required to take a vow of celibacy, but not poverty.
"Celibacy is really a single way of life that’s directed towards living the gospel and living a way of life," Bishop Walker said.
"People can only get so much done because of family or other commitments."
Of course the usual suspects such as a Catholic author and historian and a Catholic women’s group see this as a step first to a female deaconate and finally women priest. But then again they see almost every sign in this way. I would certainly hope that the Bishop weeded out candidates with such silly beliefs. When I posted about this program earlier the majority of my commenters were quite skeptical about this. I must admit to the same skepticism, though I think it merits some consideration if done fully within the context of Church teaching.
I found the headline of the article pretty funny, "New role for Catholic women…with a catch." Celibacy equated as a catch. Though many would see it this way. On one hand they say that people want to give themselves fully to the Church in ministry, but balk when it comes to the fully part.