100 Married Priests Join Catholic Ranks In Growing Trend
(Marion, MA)—Despite its insistence on celibate priests, the Catholic Church is opening its arms to married priests who convert from other denominations, causing some to question the necessity of celibacy in the first place.
Father Ameen (not his real name), author of Confessions of a Passionate Priest, says the practice of allowing priests from Protestant denominations to become Catholic priests highlights the fact that priests are capable of administering to their parishes even while in intimate relationships.
“It’s hypocritical for the Catholic Church to say that some priests can do their jobs while married and having sex but others can’t,” says Father Ameen. “If they’re allowing married priests into the Catholic Church, then clearly they are capable of doing the job.”
Married priests were first allowed to enter the Church from other denominations in 1980, when Pope John Paul II created an exception for Protestant priests seeking to convert. About 100 priests have so far been allowed entrance into the Catholic priesthood since the former pope’s decision.
“The Church has gone against its own rules time and again,” says Father Ameen. “Eastern Rite priests recognize the Pope’s authority but are legally allowed to marry. The Church has never said that they are incapable of being good priests.”
Confessions of a Passionate Priest is the story of Father Ameen’s work as a priest and his intimate relationship with a married woman. His book discusses the Church’s hypocrisies, including:
• How mild punishments for priests who violate celibacy laws are designed to retain as many priests as possible.
• How Church law allows married Catholic priests to return to ministering if their community is in need of a priest.
• The Church’s refusal to allow its priests to marry despite possible candidates for the priesthood citing celibacy as a negative prospect.
• Father Ameen’s own relationship was overlooked until his bishop was sued by his lover’s husband.
“I love the Church,” says Father Ameen, “but it is turning away people who want to serve God simply because these same people want to participate in the very human act of sex.”
Father Ameen remains dedicated to the priesthood despite his contradiction of specific Church rules. He currently lives in an undisclosed location in the United States, preferring to remain anonymous to avoid recrimination. His book is available at the Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Borders websites.
(Confessions of a Passionate Priest by Father Ameen; ISBN: 0-9816892-0-5; $14.95; 224 pages; 5˝” x 8˝”; softcover; East Mountain Books)
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