30 Jan 2015

Call for more Maori deacons

7:03 pm on 30 January 2015

An executive member of the Maori Catholic Council says one way to encourage more tangata whenua into the ministry is to recruit more Maori as deacons.

Danny Karatea-Goddard during his ordination ceremony.

Danny Karatea-Goddard during his ordination ceremony. Photo: NZ Catholic

Christchurch Bishop Barry Jones is concerned that the Mass in Maori is slowly dying due to a lack of priests who can conduct it in Te Reo and that there are only eight priests of Maori descent.

Danny Karatea-Goddard - an executive member of Te Runanga o Te Hāhi Katorika (the Maori Catholic Council) - is one of only three Maori deacons in the country and said there was room for more.

He said unlike priests, who are celibate and cannot get married, becoming a deacon could be more of an attractive option for Maori who want a ministerial role in the church.

Mr Karatea-Goddard said as a deacon he could carry out most of the functions that a priest does except for leading the Mass.

But, he said, because deacons were allowed to get married, they brought certain values to the church.

He said that could be a more viable option for Maori men who want a leadership role in the church.

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