In the Catholic church, married priests are not new (there were many in early times. Nowadays of course, there are many more who have joined the Catholic church after first serving as married priests with other denominations. I noted recently there are also a very large number of priests who have married after leaving active ministry and receiving “dispensation” to marry.
There are also very many gay priests (possibly half of all US priests, according to some estimates). Many of these have partners, some have married them, quietly and discreetly – but this is the first occasion I have come across of a priest who is not only marrying, but doing so in the full glare of publicity. In Toronto, Father Karl Clemens is getting married Saturday to his partner Nick.
Fr Clemens is 70, retired from parish work and has spent the past decade ministering in Toronto’s gay village, so it is perhaps not quite as dramatic a move as if he were a young parish priest with a suburban congregation. Still, he will have to face the reaction of the local bishops and other Catholics, many of whom are unlikely to be impressed, and some of whom will be vocal in their self-righteous outrage. Clemens says he is not doing this to start a revolution, but because he feels strongly that it is the right thing to do. Read the rest of this entry »