This is a hypothetical question, but one that is worth considering, I think.
In some rites of the Church, married men are allowed to be priests. Even within the Latin rite, there are some married priests who converted from other faiths.
So, the question is this: if God calls a man to the vocations of marriage and the priesthood in some rites, is it possible that God would call a man to both vocations within the Latin rite, as well?
Corollaries to this question are: 1) Are there some married men whom God really wanted as priests but they were forced to choose between two genuine callings by Church discipline, and 2) Are there some priests whom God also intended to be husbands and fathers?
Know that in my answer, I only speak for myself, as I do not know what others have been through or may think.
I went to seminary to discren priesthood for a year. While I was there, I met a girl. I thought for sure this girl was the one I was going to be with forever. After leaving seminary, actually, fairly shortly after leaving seminary, I realized the relationship was not meant to be and ended it. For some time after that, we tried several different times to make it work but it didn’t. During one of our “on” times I met the woman who would become my wife. I’ve been married now for what will be 7 years in October. I’m telling you all of this because I truly feel that had I not left seminary for that first girl, I would be wearing clerics and a collar while typing this. I can also say that if for some crazy reason the Latin rite opened up the priesthood to married men, I’d push people out of the way to be first in line. I do believe that some people can be called to both. I think God gave me the either/or option because He knows that I would have been just as happy and fulfilled with either one. Like I said, this is just my opinion. I respect the disciplines of the Church and wouldn’t consider changing sides (going Orthodox) or trying to get the Latin side to change, not that I could or they would.
It is possible that a man discerns both vocations. Otherwise we wouldn’t have married EC priest or married Anglican rite priests.
It is wrong to think that God really wants a married man to become a priest but somehow the Church is standing in the way of God’s will.
God’s will for us is grounded in our current spiritual reality and how well we are living out our current vocation. What that means is that, if you are living out your vocation as a married man, you cannot discern a vocation to the celibate priesthood and if you are living out your vocation as a priest, you cannot discern a vocation to marriage and parenthood.
Remember God’s will for us is to know Him, love Him, serve Him in order to be happy with him in Heaven. He sometimes offers us multiple paths to do that and lets us chose.
I think that God does truly give many men the choice of vocation. When a Latin Catholic chooses his vocation and enters it sacramentally, God likely withdraws the other calling due to the power of binding and loosing He left in the charge of St. Peter. However, the calling has already left an imprint upon the man. He is forever changed by it even though it is no longer to be.
I defer to the tradition of unmarried priests (unless newly ordained priests are converts from Anglican Churches). I believe those who push for married priests and women’s ordination are knowingly or unwittingly, trying to subvert the Papacy.
An excellent book, that touches this subject is “No Turning Back” by Father Don Calloway. He notes that traditional orders (i.e. the Marians, etc.) are seeing an uptick in vocations.
One of my husbands’ married cousins is a deacon in his parish and provides alot of terrific spiritual counsel to others. This might be a terrific way for married men to respond to such a call without neglecting their families.
I do not see these two Sacraments of Service as dueling. They each have their own call…Marriage to propagate and increase the human race and care for the children God desires and Priesthood to govern and guide souls to their ultimate end which is to God.
Can either one have a part in the other? Absolutely. However it is not their main call. Yes we may see married priests due to various reasons within the Catholic Church. Are any of them Pastors? I do not believe so - many of them are associate pastors or have other roles within the parish.
I have many seminarian friends studying right now and most of them understand the beauty of celibacy and the wisdom of not having a wife and children.
Your story is beautiful - I would say that God had your call to the married life in His great plan and you can find other ways to serve the Catholic Church.
The Church, since Christ’s calling The Apostles, some Married, to Teach, fish for people, has always wanted Single Priests, and told the Apostles to ‘Leave friends, family and goods’. (1) the ‘married Priests’ are Converts from other Faiths, who are each judged by the Bishop to Remain or Become a Catholic Priest; there is a special requirements policy for Anglican Convert Priests. (2) A few Orthox Church priests can remain married; they, like us, are prohibited From Marrying while a Priest. (3) The Priesthood is a Far too busy Daily Calling to also be married. (4) We had a Widowed Cancer survivor Dad of 3 who Became a Priest in his 50’s, Very Knowing, Very Motivated Priest. One Thousand, including 80 local Priests, attended his Wake (10 Hours), then Funeral Mass, including his 3 sons who Had had been, were inactive Until his Funeral Mass. Some Become Priests after other careers, or widowed; Each is Evaluated u=individually, as are all who Want to be Priestrs or Sisters, or Clergy. (5) Every Catholic Clergyman or Woman Answers The Call of God ton the Catholic Clergy; instead of Marriage.
Please remember that the Latin rite is not the Catholic Church. It is one of the 23 Churches that make up the Catholic Church. All submit to Rome and the Pope. Some of the Eastern Catholics Churches allow married priests. Therefore your statement about trying to subvert the papacy is nonsense.