Saturday, January 03, 2004

Married priests

I'm a little behind in posting this but I still think it's worth mentioning: a story about a married-with-children Anglican priest who recently converted to Catholicism. Apparently, "the Pope allows married priests who convert to Catholicism an exemption from the vow of celibacy." Has this always been the case?

When I mentioned this, a couple of people responded that there are several married Catholic priests here in Australia who have converted from the Anglican church in recent times.

The article notes that this particular priest stated that his move is "not associated with simplistic one-off issues" (read: gay and women priests). But still, I find it an interesting idea that Anglican priests fleeing a variety of changes in their church might end up contributing to quite a radical change in the Catholic church. To me, the idea of the Catholic church having married priests is quite surprising, even if it is just a few isolated cases. Surely it must have some effect on the views of at least the people in those parishes. And surely the Vatican would see this as a dangerous precedent? Then again I can see the potential for a certain amount of pride in winning attracting converts, not just from the Anglican church, but from the clergy itself.

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