Vatican Approves Married Priests (Updated)

As long as they are “disaffected” Episcopalian clergy.

From NCR online:

Vatican reveals plan to welcome disaffected Anglicans

Married priests to be part of the deal in new ‘personal ordinariates’

In a move with potentially sweeping implications for relations between the Catholic church and some 80 million Anglicans worldwide, the Vatican has announced the creation of new ecclesiastical structures to absorb disaffected Anglicans wishing to become Catholics. The structures will allow those Anglicans to hold onto their distinctive spiritual practices, including the ordination of married former Anglican clergy as Catholic priests.

In their concern to reach out to “disaffected “ traditional Episcopalians and Anglicans, why are they not showing similar concerns about disaffected progressive Catholics?

If they can accommodate married Episcopalian or Anglican married priests, why not married Catholic priests?

Does the offer extend to female Episcopalian priests?

Why not?

(Ek vra maar net – just asking).

UPDATE: When posting this yesterday, I was very much in a reflexive mode, reacting specifically to the welcome given to priests. This, of course was not wise: impulsive writing can be honest, but can also miss the real point – which was the case here.  The wider significance lies in the proposal to welcome not just priests, not just individual Anglican worshippers, but whole communities, who will be accommodated in some sort of parallel structure within the Roman Church, thus allowing to join the  “Catholic” church, while still remaining Anglican.

This has attracted ide attention, and not only from those most affected – the Catholics and Anglicans.  Evangelicals to are showing interest.  The Internet Monk sees an opportunity here to open up a new style of ecumenism:

Thom at Ad Dominum, who pointed me to the Internet Monk on this makes this pertinent observation:

Yes, you can be sure, this move will affect more than just Anglican and Roman Catholic dialogue.

This is Big Stuff, the likes of which have not been seen for a long, long time.

It is much too early to say what will actually happen, and it is way too early for me to offer any substantive commentary.

Keep an eye on this one.

Benedict the 16th is making a historic overture that underlines what has happened in Catholic Christianity since Vatican II. My allowing Anglicans to be Anglican, he presents a new model of communion that holds substantial possibilities within world Christianity. It is an example of Christian vision that seem, at least to me, to be about the Gospel in ways that we should all be able to appreciate.

Could we all ask ourselves this question: How could I meet other Christians halfway, and not demand that they become like me to be legitimate?

Thom at Ad Dominum, who pointed me to the Internet Monk on this makes this pertinent observation:

Yes, you can be sure, this move will affect more than just Anglican and Roman Catholic dialogue.

This is Big Stuff, the likes of which have not been seen for a long, long time.

It is much too early to say what will actually happen, and it is way too early for me to offer any substantive commentary.

Keep an eye on this one.

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6 Responses to “Vatican Approves Married Priests (Updated)”

  1. Phillip Clark Says:

    Being a former Anglican this story has a bit of a personal resonance with me (ironically, considering I was then in denial about my own sexuality and left the Anglican Communion because of it’s progressive motions towards women’s ordination and the acceptance of homosexuality! =P).

    Today showed to so many people, as was evidenced by the many comments all expressing the same sentiments on the National Catholic Reporter’s site today, that a very blatant doubel standard exists when it comes to entering into dialogue with certain conglomerations within the Church. If you have progressive, new, and innovative forward thinking ideas about the Church today then you are denied from speaking your mind, under the threat of condemnation or exocomunication.

    On the other hand, if you toe the Roman line and agree and support everything they stand for then you are rewarded, and in the Anglican’s case, even encouraged to join the club. As so many have already said, Rome as bent over backward to welcome back those who agree with them, so that they can boost their crediblity factor, even going out of their way to welcome the fundamentalist, ultra-traditionalist, blatantly anti-Semetic Society of St. Pius X.

    This signal today from the Vatican to me is a dangerous sign of the direction the Church could move in if REAL dialogue and debate is continued to be surpressed.

    • queeringthechurch Says:

      Phillip, that’s exactly my take on it. However, I have since seen an short post by Thom Carnutte at Ad Dominum, referring to observations by the Internet Monk, that puts a more inetersting case in favour. This view focuses not on the simple fact of welcoming the Anglicans, but on the new idea of allowing them to remain “Anglican” in a special structure within the Roman church. This even some evangelicals are seeing as a sign of new flexibility on the road to ecumenism. Thom says this is “big stuff”.

      This doesn’t change the fact that only the traditionalists are being welcomed: but what if the precedent later became applied to other groups – say the “Old Catholic Church” that Michael Bayley has written about at the Wild Reed? Our actions are often accompanied by unintended consequences. I wonder if this is one such?

      • William Lindsey Says:

        Wonderful headline, Terry. And from your mouth to God’s ears, re: the way our actions often have unintended consequences.

        My family tree is thickly leaved with Episcopal vestrymen in Virginia and Maryland, and I know from reading their history that lay control of churches was a thorn in the side of the Anglican communion on this side of the Atlantic. There are instincts and traditions deeply woven into Anglicanism that run directly counter to the top-down, one-man-says-it-all approach Benedict wants to impose from Rome.

        This new arrangement may not be all champagne and roses for the Vatican, as time goes on.

      • queeringthechurch Says:

        Hi, Bill. reading a little more this morning, I now see why Thom called it big stuff – the implications of the welcome extend beyond just the clergy themselves to entire congregations. This is indeed big stuff, but a very mixed bag, which I’m still trying to evaluate.

  2. ANGEL DECRUZ Says:

    PRIEST SHOULD NOT MARRY
    St. Paul says a Christian serves Jesus better if he remains unmarried (1Cor 7:32-34)

    • Terence@queerchurch Says:

      He also said that for some people it is better to marry than not.


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