Married priests?

Am I behind on things? I never heard of this.

“Most Catholics are unaware that Rome is ordaining married Protestant ministers into the priesthood and assigning them to parishes here in the United States. Rome is allowing them to remain married and providing support for their families. In ordaining to the priesthood over one hundred married Protestant ministers, the Vatican has, in effect, re-established the married priesthood in today’s Roman Catholic Church. They have acted upon Pope John Paul II’s public statement that celibacy is not necessary for priesthood. By ordaining married Protestant ministers to the priesthood, the Vatican has changed the rules. In doing so, it has set a precedent that Catholics can now use to call upon their own married priests for Mass and the sacraments. By its own example, Rome has clearly announced to the world a new public acceptance of married Roman Catholic priests.”

citiministries.org/about-us/quick-facts

Yes, this has been going on for a while now.

The only Catholic church in the county my son lives in has a former Anglican priest as its priest. He is married and has three children.

“Rome is allowing them to be married…” Well, they’re validly married!

This is not really very new, and has been around in this country for some time. And please note, these are converts coming into the church, and are the exception, not the rule. Like deacons, if their spouse dies, they are not permitted to re-marry, and will then be expected to live a celibate lifestyle for their remaining years.

oh wow, this is very interesting, I had no idea. Where have I been? :wink:

The ordination of married converts isn’t terribly new. As usual the focus is misplaced. Clerical celibacy is an afterthought, intended to support the older practice of clerical continence. And yes, married clerics are still legally obligated to practice continence, even if no one ever talks about it or enforces it.

do you mean that they should be celibate w/in their marriages?

If you read the New Testament you will see that Bishops were required to do this for the sake of the kingdom.


Continence is not expected of married priests by the Church.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=139355

It is called the "Pastoral Provision. " It has been around since about 1983. And it is only for converted ministers who were already married when they converted. When they convert there is no guarantee that they will ever get to become a priest. I believe there is at least a three year wait before Rome will decide on their petition to the priesthood. I have been listening to old Journey Home radio archives with Marcus Grodi and almost all of the converts and their spouses actually say the celibate life for a priest is better for all involved. These are interesting listens. Also the converts can never become bishops.

Celibate means unmarried, so it is impossible to be celibate within one’s marriage. They should be continent.

With due respect to Deacon Ed, canon 277 of the Code of Canon Law and centuries of canonical jurisprudence hold otherwise.

Certainly Deacon Ed was probably told otherwise at some point, if the topic was brought up at all; and certainly, since he was admitted to the Diaconate without the expectation that he would live continently, it could not bind him even if the canon were once again enforced today; but all he is saying is that there is a gulf between law and practice, not that the law endorses the practice.

No it’s not new. There have been married clergy in the Catholic Church. since the time of the Apostles. St Peter was married. :shrug:

Yes. :o

As many here have said, it has been happening for a while.

I could be wrong on this (please correct me), but I think I heard something to the effect that married, former Anglican priests who became Catholic priests, were given somewhat limited responsibilities within their parishes. More administrative than pastoral, something like that. This was ostensibly a recognition of existing family responsibilities that might be neglected given the 24/7 nature of parish life.

This^

I’m also aware of a couple of stories of converts (iirc Episcopalians) whose ordinations were valid through apostolic succession but illicit as these men were ordained outside of the Church. They did not have to petition Rome in the same way, but they did have to prove their ‘pedigree,’ and their faculties were suspended until their situations were resolved.

Eastern Catholics allow married men to become priests (as EC priests cannot marry after ordination).

It strikes me as…oddly ironic…that the Eastern Catholics are in union with Rome, yet it seems a simpler process for a married Protestant minister to become a Latin priest in the US and Rome than for an EC married man to become an EC priest in the US and Rome. After all, Latin and Eastern Catholics are closer in theology.

The orthodox priests have valid orders and are married. Married protestant ministers are being ordained as married priests. The Anglican ordinariate allows for married priests. Thin edge of the wedge or an allowance of differences to the one end, the glorification of God through the sacraments? I don’t care if a man is married as long as he is a priest who has the power to forgive my sins and give me the Eucharist. I look no further into his resume than my Bishop’s authority. All are welcome at my home.

So, why is this such a big issue? :confused:

Just a caution - the website you linked has taken a little bit of truth and spun it into a BIG falsehood. The priests represented by this organization did not become ordained as married men as the Protestant converts did. They left the priesthood and then got married - a huge difference. Some may have been dispensed from their promise of celibacy. The site is pretty vague on that point. But NONE have faculties to minister as priests except to administer the last rites to someone who is dying. This whole idea of “…Catholics can now use to call upon their own married priests for Mass and the sacraments.” is pure bunk. Any marriages witnessed by these laicized priests are just as invalid as a marriage at the court house. And any Mass celebrated publicly by one of these priests is VERY illicit and no Catholic should ever attend one.

To be fair, there is some dispute over the application of canon 277 (Ed Peters summarizes it here).

It should be noted that priests or ministers who convert (married or not) are not automatically ordained as Catholic priests. They need to discern the priesthood as any Catholic man would, they probably need to go to seminary, and they need the support of the bishop of their diocese, who I believe has to formally apply to Rome to ordain the convert. For example, Fr. Dwight Longenecker (a former Anglican married priest) waited 10 years after converting before being ordained.

An inaccurate statement. If they are validly married, the Pope cannot “allow” them to “remain” married, anymore than he can “allow” a rock to “remain” a rock. Marriage is permanent and Holy.

…and providing support for their families.

This is a natural duty of a married man. The Pope cannot order a married man to do otherwise; it is against the law of nature.

In ordaining to the priesthood over one hundred married Protestant ministers, the Vatican has, in effect, re-established the married priesthood in today’s Roman Catholic Church.

The bishop’s who have accepted these men for vocational formation have been given an explicit dispensation from the requirement to ordain only celibate (unmarried) men.

This is the classic “exception” that proves the rule; that an explicit exemption has been granted, “proves” that the ordinary requirement to ordain only single men remains in effect.

They have acted upon Pope John Paul II’s public statement that celibacy is not necessary for priesthood.

No Pope is bound by the words of his predecessor. Each Pope that allows a married man to be ordained does so on his own authority, based on his own opinion of its prudence.

By ordaining married Protestant ministers to the priesthood, the Vatican has changed the rules.

Again, no it has not. It has allowed a finite number of exceptions to the rule, but has not changed or removed the rule.

In doing so, it has set a precedent that Catholics can now use to call upon their own married priests for Mass and the sacraments.

Similarly, no precedent is set. Each Pope is free to accept or reject any candidate to the Priesthood. Any Pope could also suspend all married priests from active ministry if he felt it prudent (although this would not remove the sacramental seal of the priesthood).

By its own example, Rome has clearly announced to the world a new public acceptance of married Roman Catholic priests."

True, but only in a limited number of cases.

citiministries.org/about-us/quick-facts

This website’s quick “facts” appear to be misleading.

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