Cincy to ordain married man as priest; update on Byzantine discipline

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So, ESH finds that the Archdiocese of Cincinnati for the Roman (Latin) Rite will be ordaining a married layman as a priest soon, a first. He is a former Protestant minister with spouse and family in tow, and this kind of concession–which is a discipline not a dogma–has been in practice for some time now among Roman Rite Catholics, especially in the Novus Ordo.

The norms are spelled out here…

Tom Wray is set to become the only married                        Catholic priest in Cincinnati (FOX19/Brett                        Hoffland)

Tom Wray is set to become the only married Catholic priest in Cincinnati

Even Byzantine priests, who have a history of allowing a married clergy, were not permitted that right due to the blowout with the Bishop of Minneapolis-St Paul , John Ireland, in the 1920s and 30s. That led to a schism here led by Bishop Basil Tkach to form the Rusyn (Ruthenian) Orthodox eparchy out of Johnstown, PA.

Bishop (Eparch) Basil Tkach

Today, Byzantine clergy from the old country coming here are permitted to be married if done so in the old country. But once married, they cannot advance to being an eparch (bishop).

ESH has been informed from a well placed source that the Holy Father has already signed a document allowing the consecration of married men in the Byzantine Rites in the US, provided that is their Rite when they were baptized. Bishop John Kudrick, of the Parma (OH) Eparchy, in August, did just that (newly ordained Fr Andrew Nagrant).

Bishop (Eparch) John Kudrick

It is unusual for the discipline in the Roman Rite to have a married clergy in the US and Canada, but is allowed as noted below with former Protestant clergy becoming Roman Rite priests.

Questions not asked by those promoting this idea: who will support both a priest and spouse/children? Will they tolerate moving every 5 to 10 yrs to different parishes? And then, if accepted for some time, will the next push be for same sex “couples” among the clergy? It’s not a stretch.

Advantages of celibacy are both on the grace/virtue level as well as the practical real world.

ESH prays for all  priests and consecrated souls for infusion of the Holy Ghost’s wisdom and gifts and protection of the Bohorodica, so needed more than ever as the father of lies goes about sowing dissension and discord in the Bride of Christ.

Nonetheless, the bigger problem of a dwindling clergy in the Novus Ordo and even in the Byzantine Rites is not solved by allowing married clergy. Rather,  only solid orthodoxy, a missionary spirit and good catechesis can bring that back. Orders and congregations attached to Tradition have well proven to be fertile grounds for new vocations.


One thought on “Cincy to ordain married man as priest; update on Byzantine discipline

    […] predicted earlier last week on this blog, the Holy Father has issued a document allowing Eastern Rite married clergy in any location, not […]

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