Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Tuesday 21 September |
The Feast of Saint Matthew the Apostle
home iconUncategorized
line break icon

Can a family man become a priest?

aleteia

Caitlin Bootsma - published on 01/29/13


Gibbs provides a fuller picture of how these pastoral exceptions are made: “For Anglican priests seeking to become Catholics and then Catholic priests, the norm is celibacy, as it is for all Catholic priests in the western Church. However, Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI both have allowed case-by-case exceptions for pastoral reasons when a former Anglican priest is married. For Bl. John Paul II, this was the 1980 Pastoral Provision, which allowed former Anglican priests in the US to be ordained as diocesan priests on a limited basis. For Pope Benedict XVI, it was done through the 2009 apostolic constitution, Anglicanorum cœtibus, which permitted the creation of ordinariates for former Anglican groups. (These ordinariates are similar to dioceses, but national; they allow "corporate reunion" – entire groups of Anglicans to become Catholic together, often led by their rector.)”

“That said, Gibbs explains, “Anglicanorum cœtibus makes clear that celibacy remains the norm: VI § 2. The Ordinary, in full observance of the discipline of celibate clergy in the Latin Church, as a rule (pro regula) will admit only celibate men to the order of presbyter. He may also petition the Roman Pontiff, as a derogation from can. 277, §1, for the admission of married men to the order of presbyter on a case by case basis, according to objective criteria approved by the Holy See.”

The exceptions being made for the recently formed Ordinariate are not the only ones in the history of the Church, but certainly the most timely and relevant for Catholic parishioners today. If they do have a married Catholic priest in their parish, chances are that the priest is a convert.

Demands of Two Vocations

While some men, such as the new priests of the Anglican-Use Ordinariate, balance their vocations to the priesthood and to marriage and family, this is not the norm; it is clear that these cases are extraordinary (that is, outside the norm), for the benefit of the Church as well as for the benefit of the particular priest. When one considers the challenge of balancing a job and a marriage and family, one can understand why; the priesthood is not an ordinary job, but a vocation that demands the entirety of the person who accepts it. A priest’s family is the Church: he brings the sacraments to his parishioners, he administers parishes and other ecclesial communities, he leads activities and events, he coordinates outreach to those in need. He is a spiritual father to his parishioners. In this light, it is not difficult to understand the Church’s prudential judgment in asking her priests to observe celibacy. 

  • 1
  • 2
Tags:
Vocations

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
ANMOL RODRIGUEZ
Domitille Farret d'Astiès
Attacked with acid as a baby, Anmol Rodriguez overcomes and inspi...
2
ARGENTINE CHILDREN
Esteban Pittaro
Argentine “Mother Teresa” was a former model and actress who embr...
3
RESURRECTION
Philip Kosloski
Your body is not a “shell” for your spirit
4
Our Lady of La Salette
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady of La Salette can give us hope in darkness
5
PIER GIORGIO FRASSATI
Cerith Gardiner
12 Habits of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati that every young adult...
6
Visalia CHURCH
J-P Mauro
The largest Catholic parish church in the US will soon be in Cali...
7
CHAPEL OUR LADY MIRACULOUS MEDAL
Zelda Caldwell
A pilgrimage to Paris’ Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.