There are large numbers of validly ordained Catholic Priests who have asked to be returned to the lay state, many left in order to marry. Now we are in a position where Anglican ministers who convert to Catholicism are allowed to remain married and practice as Catholic Priests. Having accepted that marriage is not an impediment to the validity of the priesthood surely we should be asking these men back to the ministry.
We should be asking these men back to the ministry? Says who? They committed to living their lives as celibate priests for the rest of their live and then took back their commitment. The Catholic Church has never considered marriage, of itself, as an impediment to the priesthood. It still maintains a married clergy in many of its Eastern rites. But commitments matter—especially those made to God.
It must be noted that Anglican priests who convert to Catholicism are breaking no commitments—and there are no guaranties that the Catholic Church will ordain them.
Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.