Soapbox: Where We Know What You’re Thinking

Apr 14, 2023 at 3:23 pm
Should priests marry in the Catholic Church? Some already are.
Should priests marry in the Catholic Church? Some already are. Adobe

We like it when you talk to us, even if you’re upset. This space is for you. Sometimes, we talk back.

Married priests

I listened to a “news” story on WDRB that Pope Francis is entertaining the idea of MARRIED priests. I always find it interesting that the Church denies the married priests already in their midst. 

Though their relationships are not recognized by the Church, alongside many a successful minister is a successful and healthy partnership/relationship with another person. I was one of those partners. 

My husband and I met each other through ministry. We grew together as mentors, teachers, and partners over eight years until a time when we no longer wished to keep unspoken our love for one another.

We were not as covert as we wanted to believe. Friends, family and the people of God recognized the energy we brought to our respective ministries—especially when we worked together teaching music in Catholic worship to parish ministers, composed music and ministered at liturgy. 

In my opinion, we were as married as two partners could be before and after we legally tied the knot. Following his leaving priesthood, we chose not to go through the process of leicization. This formality would put my husband in the position of saying that his years as a priest were a lie. Therefore, the Church denied us to be married in the Church. In its eyes, our legal union was not valid and therefore we lived in sin. 

As far as we were concerned, the 500 people of God who attended our celebration were witnesses to our vows to one another. From that day forward, we continued to minister as parish musicians (only a few parishes welcomed us), and as advocates for the vulnerable and those with no voice including “orphaned elderly,” blind and visually impaired adults and children, lgbtq+ community, immigrant families, individuals and families impacted by suicide, and more. 

So, the Pontiff can talk about “allowing” married priests in the future and priests can talk about the sacredness of celibacy, but I can tell you there are very good priests today who live within that vow and some damn good ones presiding outside that vow in partnership with another person. 

Not every minister should be married. If celibacy makes you a better minister—go for it. But it’s time the Church stop teaching the People of God that partnered ministry is a sin. It’s time the Church acknowledged these valued ministers as well so they can continue to do the amazing work they do without condemnation.

— Anonymous


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