Friday, August 26, 2005

The Pastoral Provision Spreads... Again

Now in Louisville....
Jeffrey Hopper, a former Episcopal priest who converted to Catholicism in 2003, is a newly ordained Catholic deacon who is on track to be ordained a priest next May under a little-used church provision....

More than 70 former Episcopal priests to date have become priests under the provision throughout the United States -- just a fraction of the nation's 42,528 Catholic priests.

If Hopper, 47, completes training to become a Catholic priest, he cannot be a senior pastor of a church, but he will be able to teach, perform sacraments and do other ministry.

Now, I've seen this in more than one diocese -- that a married priest ordained under the pastoral provision is barred from attaining a parish of his own, per the decision of his ordinary.... A little unfair, no?



Blogger Amy Welborn said...


This part of the provision is, specifically: By the rules, he is not allowed to be pastor of a territorial parish. He can, however, be pastor of a non-territorial, personal parish (which, I assume, was put in for the sake of Anglican-use parishes).

However, as my husband likes to say, "You can get a dispensation for anything." Just off the top of my head, there's a married Catholic pastor of a large parish in the Fort Worth diocese, and at least one in the diocese of Charleston, SC.

26/8/05 11:38  
Blogger Jeff said...

The rules here are sound. It's an attempt to respect and encourage the priestly vocation of those who already committed themselves, despite the invalidity of their orders.

But that doesn't mean that there isn't a danger in giving people the idea that married clergy are "normal." Priests should be celibate and if you don't make that the practical norm, you end up dissolving the discipline.

26/8/05 12:18  
Blogger Disgusted in DC said...

And there is a pastoral provision priest in the Raleigh Diocese who has been a pastor of several different parishes.

26/8/05 12:39  
Blogger Gyrovagus said...

One can only wonder if the prohibition on being pastor of a territorial parish has something to do with that old business of property, clerical dynasties, etc. which are apparently some of the assorted "practical" motives (as opposed to the spiritual-theological motives) for mandatory celibacy in the first place.

At any rate, in one large Archdiocese there is a very large pastoral-provision "personal parish" of which the priest is most assuredly the pastor and has been for about 20 years. According to the official records, however, he is a parochial vicar of the Cathedral parish, assigned in the name of the Archbishop to provide sacramental care for the personal parish.

Or something like that.

But he lives in the rectory of the personal parish with his wife and children and not at the Cathedral Rectory with the Pallium and his Crew! :-)

26/8/05 13:06  
Blogger Don Biaggio said...

The Magdalene House is open for business.

27/8/05 15:15  

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