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  #1  
Old Jan 14, '08, 8:48 am
shirlgurl1 shirlgurl1 is offline
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Default priest who leave to marry

A relative has left and married after he was ordained. How is this looked at by God. He does not feel this is a sin. I see how he lives his life. He has had a powerful impact on the lives of his new family who were abandon by the birth father. He is very faithful to all the teachings of the church. I am not sure about any of this. Is this a grave sin and the woman he married is she also living in grave sin?

Thank You

Shirley
  #2  
Old Jan 14, '08, 8:58 am
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JimR-OCDS JimR-OCDS is offline
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Default Re: priest who leave to marry

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Originally Posted by shirlgurl1 View Post
A relative has left and married after he was ordained. How is this looked at by God. He does not feel this is a sin. I see how he lives his life. He has had a powerful impact on the lives of his new family who were abandon by the birth father. He is very faithful to all the teachings of the church. I am not sure about any of this. Is this a grave sin and the woman he married is she also living in grave sin?

Thank You

Shirley
How God looks at him is between God and himself.

I don't believe he sinned. The call to the priesthood, is an invitation, not an order.

Celibacy, is a gift, and sometimes when a man enters the seminary, they believed they are called to this gift. They make it all the way through ordination, and then it happens that a woman comes into their life and they are not able to remain celibate. This isn't an easy decision for them, and in no way, should we look down on them or think anything less of them.

I know three men, who left the priesthood and got married. All had wonderful long marriages. One, became an Episcopal priest and still serves today.

It is my personal opinion, that the Church needs to lift mandated celibacy. If they had done so, all three of these men would've served the Church over the years. Instead, two sat in the pews and weren't even allowed to teach CCD. The other went and served the Episcopal church, to their gratitude.

Jim
  #3  
Old Jan 14, '08, 9:01 am
Eilish Maura Eilish Maura is offline
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Default Re: priest who leave to marry

I was a very close friend to one priest who decided ultimately leave active ministry to marry.


It is not an easy decision for the priest involved.

I suggest always praying that they (or anyone) follows God's call in their lives and don't try to guess what that call is.
  #4  
Old Jan 14, '08, 9:04 am
LindaS LindaS is offline
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Default Re: priest who leave to marry

A priest, or ordained deacon, can request to be laicized, that is, released from their committment to ministry. A laicized priest can marry within the Church but cannot perform any duties of a priest unless in an emergency, eg, hearing the confession of a person near death. Regardless of our opinions, the Church has required celibacy of its priests, so one who is ordained may not marry after ordination. A permanent deacon may marry before he is ordained, but if he is widowed, he may not remarry.
Hope this helps.
Peace,
Linda
  #5  
Old Jan 14, '08, 12:14 pm
Andreas Hofer Andreas Hofer is offline
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Default Re: priest who leave to marry

LindaS pointed toward the key distinction on this question. Whether or not the priest has sinned by leaving ministry to marry depends on whether he was legitimately released from the promises he made to the Church regarding his celibacy and ministry (and, of course, whether everything surrounding the wedding was on the up and up). But if all proper channels have been gone through, the priest has done nothing morally wrong.

That said, it is always sad when someone walks out on a lifetime commitment to service to the Church, whether they have done so properly or not. While some of these men may have made an honest mistake when accepting ordination, that doesn't mean we aren't allowed to feel disturbed or, if close to the situation, even personally hurt by their leaving their ministry. We just need to approach those feelings with charity and work toward the future.
  #6  
Old Jan 14, '08, 12:20 pm
anamchara anamchara is offline
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Default Re: priest who leave to marry

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Originally Posted by JimR-OCDS View Post
How God looks at him is between God and himself.

I don't believe he sinned. The call to the priesthood, is an invitation, not an order.

Celibacy, is a gift, and sometimes when a man enters the seminary, they believed they are called to this gift. They make it all the way through ordination, and then it happens that a woman comes into their life and they are not able to remain celibate. This isn't an easy decision for them, and in no way, should we look down on them or think anything less of them.

I know three men, who left the priesthood and got married. All had wonderful long marriages. One, became an Episcopal priest and still serves today.

It is my personal opinion, that the Church needs to lift mandated celibacy. If they had done so, all three of these men would've served the Church over the years. Instead, two sat in the pews and weren't even allowed to teach CCD. The other went and served the Episcopal church, to their gratitude.

Jim
Jim, why was it that they were not allowed to teach CCD?
  #7  
Old Jan 14, '08, 12:24 pm
water water is offline
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Default Re: priest who leave to marry

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Originally Posted by JimR-OCDS View Post
The other went and served the Episcopal church, to their gratitude.
This person has problem with his own Catholic faith. That alone can be the problem for his own discernment.
  #8  
Old Jan 14, '08, 2:25 pm
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Default Re: priest who leave to marry

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Jim, why was it that they were not allowed to teach CCD?
Not exactly sure, but its what I was told by one of them. He was a Scripture Scholar in Rome, and taught the Jesuits there. He did give an adult ed class on Scriture, but he first had to get permission from the Bishop. He was excellent, BTW! Now, both he and his wife are in the Kingdom with the Lord. They died within a year of each other.

Jim
  #9  
Old Jan 14, '08, 2:27 pm
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Default Re: priest who leave to marry

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This person has problem with his own Catholic faith. That alone can be the problem for his own discernment.
Not true at all and your judgment of him, not knowing the facts is uncharitable. He left because he still wanted to serve as a priest, but could not, as a married man. Had the Church allowed married men to become priest, he would never have left the Church, this I'm positive on.

Jim
  #10  
Old Jan 14, '08, 2:50 pm
benedictgal benedictgal is offline
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Default Re: priest who leave to marry

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Originally Posted by JimR-OCDS View Post
Not true at all and your judgment of him, not knowing the facts is uncharitable. He left because he still wanted to serve as a priest, but could not, as a married man. Had the Church allowed married men to become priest, he would never have left the Church, this I'm positive on.

Jim
Jim, the problem was with him, not the Church. You can't reconcile marriage with a celibate priesthood. It's not that water was being uncharitable, but, when it comes to the priesthood, celibacy comes with the package. Committing what I think is apostacy (denying your faith) just because you want to serve as a married priest isn't the answer. It's as though you are imposing your will on the Church and pretty much saying, "it's my way or the highway." That's what Henry VIII did and that's what Martin Luther did as well.

Along with celibacy comes obedience and humility. A priest is from the world, but not of the world. That is not to say that marriage is wrong. However, remember, too, what Jesus also said. Some freely renounce a wife and children for the kingdom of God.
  #11  
Old Jan 14, '08, 2:56 pm
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Default Re: priest who leave to marry

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimR-OCDS View Post
It is my personal opinion, that the Church needs to lift mandated celibacy. If they had done so, all three of these men would've served the Church over the years. Instead, two sat in the pews and weren't even allowed to teach CCD. The other went and served the Episcopal church, to their gratitude.

Jim
I don't think it would be proper at the moment. Second, there are ordained married men in our Eastern Rite Catholic Churches. One of the bishops said that he didn't believe the Latin Rite should allow married men to be ordain because in the Eastern rite, there has been an increase of priest who are married getting annulments, divorce.

I also like to add that in the Latin Rite, there is what is called Pastoral Provision which allow former ministers from either Episcopal, or Lutheran become ordained priests, and these men are married. One of the chaplain here is a married priest.
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"They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not admit that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ,.." - St. Ignatius of Antioch, "Letter to the Smyrnaeans", paragraph 6. circa 80-110 A.D." - Manny
  #12  
Old Jan 14, '08, 3:03 pm
JMMK JMMK is offline
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Default Re: priest who leave to marry

The problem is not with an ordained man marrying, but with a Roman Catholic priest going back on the oath said at ordination, to never marry and live a life of celibacy. The sin of being an oath breaker, even with permission, is forgivable as are all sins for one with a contrite heart.

Remember, there are over 20 rites recognized withing the Catholic Church, the Roman Rite is the one most of us belong to. Some of these other rites allow their priests to be married. It is not a matter of dogma, but of discipline.
  #13  
Old Jan 14, '08, 3:06 pm
benedictgal benedictgal is offline
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Default Re: priest who leave to marry

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Originally Posted by JMMK View Post
The problem is not with an ordained man marrying, but with a Roman Catholic priest going back on the oath said at ordination, to never marry and live a life of celibacy. The sin of being an oath breaker, even with permission, is forgivable as are all sins for one with a contrite heart.

Remember, there are over 20 rites recognized withing the Catholic Church, the Roman Rite is the one most of us belong to. Some of these other rites allow their priests to be married. It is not a matter of dogma, but of discipline.
Actually, ours is the Latin Rite. I can understand where you are coming from regarding going back on one's vows. That's the point I meant to make, as I, too, am well aware of married former Lutheran and Anglican clergy becoming ordained Catholic priests (Latin Rite).

The key issue is the actual going back on one's vows, which, the candidate takes when he is ordained a transitional deacon.
  #14  
Old Jan 14, '08, 3:22 pm
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Default Re: priest who leave to marry

Well I'm not as judgmental as you are.

Yes, they made vows, and they believed they could live up to those vows.

However, people change and events come into your life, where you may find yourself forced to make a life changing decision.

In the case of these priest, they all believed they could live up to the vows.

OH and BTW, the one who became an Episcopal priest. He was ordained in the days when it was tradition, that families would send at least one of their sons, usually the youngest, to the priesthood. He entered the seminary, during high-school. He never had a chance to date, or be much around girls. Did he really act freely, when he made his vow of celibacy? Maybe not and who are we to judge?

Jim
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Old Jan 14, '08, 3:27 pm
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Default Re: priest who leave to marry

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Originally Posted by JimR-OCDS View Post
Not true at all and your judgment of him, not knowing the facts is uncharitable. He left because he still wanted to serve as a priest, but could not, as a married man. Had the Church allowed married men to become priest, he would never have left the Church, this I'm positive on.

Jim
I am not judging him, I am simply telling the fact by what you said. He's left his faith, hasn't he?

Why can't he serve God by being a Catholic? Do you think when he, as a non-Catholic priest, holds up the Eucharist, it is the Body of Christ?
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