Thursday, January 22, 2009

Married Priests

Celibacy may very well be one of my favorite things. Granted, I don't believe it is for me, but I find it more than appealing and I have the utmost respect for those who have committed their lives to it.

On that note, I also greatly desire freedom for the Catholic Priesthood, that they may have the choice to celebrate the Sacrament of Marriage. There is a very small population of married priests in our world, for two reasons: 1, they belong to the Eastern Catholic Church, which although under the Pope, holds to many of the Eastern Orthodox traditions, including marriage in the Priesthood; or 2, because they converted to Catholicism after serving as the Pastor of another denomination, and were married before their conversion. The second is the exception and not the rule. This week, the Archdiocese of Seattle welcomed its first married Priest. The man was a Lutheran convert who was "okay'd" by the Pope to serve in the full capacity of Roman Catholic Priest.

I go back and forth on the issue of marriage in the Priesthood. As a Protestant who is confirmed as Catholic, I have seen the beauty of a man devoted only to the Church in the Pulpit, and then in the same day, a married man devoted to both Church and family in the same position. I don't know the answer. I fear that allowing marriage will mean that all of our priests give up the beauty and dedication of Celibacy and the practice will be lost forever. However, freedom to marry and still serve the Church in such a capacity seems beneficial to the entirety of the world congregation.

Either way, I am happy to know that our Diocese has a new priest, one so dedicated to the reunification of the denominations. These are his words..."It has been especially gratifying to be received by people who are coming from very different theological perspectives," he said. "I just rejoice in the gathering for Eucharist with this incredible diversity of people. ... "

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