I have to admit I waver over this idea of whether or not Roman Catholic priests ought to be allowed to marry.
But here’s a situation that kind of convinces me that they ought not. From the Lutheran Church, ironically.
A coworker has spent her whole life very deeply involved in the workings of her church, an inner city Lutheran congregation. It’s old, small, struggling, and provides an enormous benefit to its neighborhood, which is notoriously ridden with drugs, violence, and poverty.
They just switched pastors. The old one, a former Catholic nun who was ordained into the Lutheran ministry and is married to a financial planner, retired several weeks ago. She and her husband are very well off, financially speaking. Which, I think, always rubbed my coworker the wrong way.
The new pastor is earning a salary of $73k. He asked the congregation for a loan so he can make a down payment on his new house, while he and his ‘partner’ put their 2,800 sq. ft. house in Maryland on the market for $412,000.
I know a 2,800 sq. ft. $400,000 house might be middle class in a lot of places, but in the church’s neighborhood $400,000 probably buys an entire city block of rowhouses, with money left over to bring them up to code.
And that’s a big reason why I think R.C. priests shouldn’t marry. How could the priest of a working class, blue collar parish have an income like that? It would never work.