Take a right at Canterbury and straight on to Rome

Written by Joel on April 29th, 2008

It has been suggested to me by several individuals that the solution to my present dilemma is to join the Episcopal Church and become a priest because they allow for a married priesthood. After about 5 years or so I could request a “pastoral provision” to enter the Roman Catholic Church as a married priest.

I have never really considered this path before. I might be more personally comfortable within an Episcopal Church, but there is a great deal of controversy within that tradition which I am decidedly uncomfortable with.

Beside that, this path is very sneaky, underhanded, and dishonest. I cannot use the church to achieve a particular ends.

From the Roman Catholic perspective this would mean that the path to the priesthood is through receiving an invalid sacrament and serving in an unrecognized ministry for sometime in order to be considered a candidate for the priesthood. That is inherently contradictory.

The trouble is in the timing. If God had allowed me to fully recognize this call earlier in life, before I was married, there would be no problem. If God called me later in life, after I was ordained, it would still be a challenge, but at least the road to priesthood would be open to me.

But it is precisely because God, in his providence, choose to give me this knowledge (that the fullness of faith is found in the catholic church) at this particular station in life that presents the problem. That I am a married man, outside of the Roman Catholic Church, not ordained but undergoing theological training. The end result of a earlier call or a later call is the same (priesthood), but not so for a “middle call.”

I wonder if there is greater meaning to God’s particular timing here.


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