Although we have had the Eastern Rite Churches, where married clergy has been from the beginning, we now have the former Anglicans, either in an Ordinariate or as an Anglican Use priest, many who are married.
I have been re-thinking my own position on married priests vs. celibate priests. I would assume that growing up in an Eastern Rite parish, women have more of an understanding of what their obligations are, than maybe those from a protestant background.
Does anyone have an opinion on what role a wife plays in a parish? I was thinking of what kind of relationship they have with other women and maybe choosing one or two as their closest friends from the parish, whether they should be involved in many of the groups within the parish, i.e. Bible study, Rosary group, women’s group etc. as more of a leader than just one of the group.
Should they be careful not to allow parishioners to cater to their personal needs, much in excess of how others are treated. Maybe babysitting, cooking meals for them, inviting the wife and priest’s family over to socialize privately and the priest’s family also has maybe only one or two of the same families over for socializing privately, although at times if it is a small congregation might have everyone invited.
Should the wife just more or less always support her spouse, however, stays in the background and makes friends outside of the parish or can be involved in the spiritual groups at church, but also has outside friends and interests. Of course she should be friendly with everyone, but not show favoritism towards anyone.
These thoughts have been going through my mind for awhile. I know that there are many married priests whose wives seem to be very balanced when it comes to having a priest for a husband and their reflection draws people towards the parish. However, I wonder if a wife just doesn’t have what I consider a vocation to be married to a priest/pastor does that complicate his leadership. Personally I feel that before any former protestant minister who is married is ordained a priest, that it would be beneficial for the wife to also go through a formation, just as the husband, this would be helpful both for her and the Church whether or not she understands the sacrifices she will also have to make.
Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary