Saturday, January 14, 2012

When priests have wives, or husbands . . .

Fr. Longenecker, "The Vicarage Bedroom" (January 13, 2012), writes:

Some time ago a friend of mine (we'll call him James) who was once an Anglican vicar opined that the introduction of women priests had an unexpected consequence in the bedrooms of vicarages across the land. What made him think was the ad in a church paper for a new vicar for what had always been a conservative Evangelical parish. After stating what sort of person they were looking for the advertisers added, "Marital status not an issue."

In former times, my friend observed, this would have meant "We are willing to accept an unmarried man for the post." What it now means is "We're not going to ask any questions about the vicarage bedroom." Indeed, he knew of parishes in the Church of England with just about every permutation of modern "marriage" possible. Two men living together, two women, divorced and remarried people, single women with children, single men with children after divorce, men and women co name it.

James said, "I think what happened when women were ordained is that a certain understanding about Christian marriage was also shattered.... Read more >>
[Hat tip to J.M.]


Mercury said...

It's a good article, but you DO know that Fr. Longnecker does have a wife and several children, right? (I'm sure you do)

Pertinacious Papist said...

Yes, of course. The Church has made allowances to the general rule. We need to remember that the general rule goes back to apostolic times. Even among the Eastern Orthodox, about whom most commonly it is believed that priests can marry, this is not quite so. There are many constraints and hedges surrounding the matter. Bishops cannot be married, and my understanding is that if a priest is single or widowed, he cannot remarry. To understand the reason for the general rule, one must dig. The answers are there, but are not superficially obvious.