Conspiracy of Silence

On Tuesday 14th September 2010 a panel of theologians, clergy, broadcasters and a filmmaker got together in Londonís Leicester Square to debate the issue of priestly celibacy. The Celibacy Debate, organised by Conspiracy of Silence writer and director John Deery, debated the motion 'Celibacy should no longer be a compulsory requirement for the Roman Catholic priesthood'. The film, which centres around celibacy and based on real stories, was screened to an audience of over 500 members of the public, journalists and celebrities, at the Odeon cinema prior to the debate After a lively discussion, the motion was carried with a clear majority.

Speakers for the motion were:

Professor Tina Beattie, Roman Catholic theologian, writer & broadcaster, Roehampton University
John Deery, award-winning writer/director
Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, leading human rights lawyer
Fr. John McGowan, Order of Carmelite (OCD), Roman Catholic priest

Against the motion:

Bishop Malcolm McMahon, Roman Catholic Bishop of Nottingham
Jack Valero, Communications Director Opus Dei UK and Coordinator Catholic Voices
Frank Skinner, stand-up comedian and broadcaster
Fr. Stephen Wang, Dean of Studies, Allen Hall Seminary
Chaired by Ernie Rea, broadcaster and presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Beyond Belief.

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