I seem to be on some kind of rant about my Catholic Church, but the local diocesan newspaper, The Catholic Northwest Progress, has a two page spread this week about a former Lutheran pastor who is about to be ordained a Catholic priest. No, I’m not upset because the bishop plans to ordain a former Lutheran pastor. Nor am I disturbed because he is married. It is the fact that this married man is allowed to become a priest under a pastoral provision created by Pope John Paul II in 1980, while, at the same time, the Vatican remains firmly opposed to married priests. That is, apparently, unless they are converted pastors from another religion. Priests who have left to become married are barred from being priests again. Men who want to marry cannot become priests, but married pastors who convert to the Catholic religion are eligible to be priests.
Doesn’t something about that fact at least raise one of your eyebrows? It ought to. The Church clings to it’s objection to married priests even though married priests, bishops and even popes functioned for many centuries in the church. Yet it welcomes a married man who decides to convert to the Catholic church? Sorry, there’s something fundamentally wrong with that situation in my mind.