Married Priests? Probably Not Where You Think.

Phil Lawler examines the implications of the Vatican move to ease the process for Anglican clergy (including married priests) to become Catholic priests. His thoughts: this won’t lead to the Latin-Rite priests being married, will lead to few (if any) Latin-Rite raised Catholics switching Rites to marry and then become priests, but might lead the Eastern Rite Catholics to end their moratorium on ordaining married priests. Right now, the Eastern Rite churches will ordain married men to the priesthood in their home countries, but don’t do it in the US out of respect for their celibate Latin Rite brethren (there are married Eastern Catholic priests in the US, but as I understand, they weren’t ordained here). However, if “the Pope’s new apostolic constitution brings a large number of married Anglican priests into the Catholic fold, it will no longer be a novelty– or a cause for raised eyebrows– to encounter a married Catholic priest. So the reason for the old agreement with the Eastern Catholic churches will no longer exist.” Lawler’s guess: this could lead to the Eastern Catholic churches ordaining married priests in the US.

If he’s right, this could lead to some sort of awkward situations, like Catholic seminaries with houses of formation for English-Rite (or whatever it’ll be called) and Eastern seminarians. The Latin Rite students will be planning to live as eunuchs for the Kingdom while at least some of their English/Eastern classmates may be going home to their wives.

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