Does a married priest have two vocations?

I had always thought there are two vocations for a Catholic – marriage and the religious life. But, I also know that the discipline that priests must be celibate is something that could change, and in fact we already have married priests (eastern rite Catholic priests and married protestant ministers who have converted).

So if a priest is married, does this mean he has two vocations? How exactly does that work? I thought priests and other religious were supposed to be married to the Church. How can a priest be married to both his wife and the Church?

Does a married priest have two vocations?


Does a married priest have two vocations?


But how can he be married to both his wife and the Church?

Why are there no other situations where a person can be called to both religious life and marriage?

If both ordained life and marriage are Sacraments of Service…would there not still be one vocation and one charism? What about Deacons? In the prep they are never taught that they have two vocations. Their family always comes first…would that not apply to any married clergy?

Good question…

Actually, there is at least one other situation where a person can be called to both religious life and marriage. ME. i.e. deacons. Also, keep in mind that the Eastern Rite Catholic priests have always had married priests in their ranks. There is no conflict between the vocations.

Because a priest isn’t married to the Church. The Church is the bride of Christ, not the priest’s.

In the West, a religious life means being part of a Religious Order. While it is not a direct equivalency, in the East it is somewhat like being a monastic (a monk). Those people certainly never get married, although in the East we accept those who are married but either their spouse have died, or that they both agree to give up their marriage for monasticism (what is called ecclesiastical divorce, both parties must agree to it and both parties must become monastics).

Those who are not in that life, I don’t see why getting married is a detriment to serving as a priest. There are more secular jobs out there that are more demanding of a person’s time. I’ve been close to a lot of priests (Catholic both RC and EC, and Orthodox), and I have yet to meet one priest that is busier than I am.

Two vocations -unified in one person.

Well one can “bind it all together” under “personal vocation” the personal vocation of the particular person is to be a Priest, a Husband and a Father etc.

There are more problems for married priests.

**A Bishop’s Experience with Married Priests
VATICAN CITY, OCT 22, 1999 (ZENIT).- **
At the Synod of Bishops for Europe Bishop Virgil Bercea of Oradea Mare of the Rumanians, is young, joyful, strong in faith, polite, candid, clear-thinking and certain. Like other countries of Eastern Europe, Rumania has Catholic priests of the Eastern rite who are married.
“Celibacy is not a problem for us, it is a choice,” Bishop Bercea said. “I think the debate that has taken place in the West is characterized by ignorance on the subject. In our Church, 20% of the priests of the Greek-Catholic rite are married, while the others, of the Latin rite, are celibate. In my diocese, I have married priests with children and, in general, they have more problems than the others, as those who are celibate can dedicate themselves full-time to the mission, while those who are married must give part of their time and concern to guide and support a family. I understand them and help them, but it must be admitted that family life is a huge commitment.”

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