How Can A Married Episcopalian Priest Become A Catholic Priest When Catholics Deny Marriage To Their Priests?

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Christopher Adam Profile
In rare circumstances, married Episcopalian (Anglican) priests may be admitted to the Roman Catholic priesthood, provided that they convert to the Catholic faith. Since these Episcopalian priests were married prior to their conversion and their decision to join a Catholic order, the Church essentially waives the requirement of celibacy. This relatively new take on celibacy took effect in 1980.

In the United States, there are an estimated 100 married Catholic priests, and most of them were converts from the Episcopal, or the Lutheran Church. Nevertheless, the only way to be considered for this type of special consideration is to submit a request to a diocesan bishop, who will then forward all requests to the Vatican. This waiver, however, is not applicable to female Episcopal priests who would want to convert to Catholicism and join the priesthood, as the Catholic religious hierarchy is still only open to men.

The requirement of celibacy, however, is not waived for those who were single prior to converting to Catholicism. Moreover, even in the case of married Episcopalian priests who choose to convert, there is no guarantee that the Catholic Church will accept their application.

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