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Keeping the VowThe Untold Story of Married Catholic Priests$
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D. Paul Sullins

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199860043

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199860043.001.0001

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What Are Married Priests Like?

What Are Married Priests Like?

(p.6) 1 What Are Married Priests Like?
Keeping the Vow

D. Paul Sullins

Oxford University Press

As older convert priests, married priests are similar to their contemporaries in the priesthood in terms of age, life experience, work practice, and pastoral sensitivity; but as recent ordinands, they are more like younger priests in their notably conservative moral and doctrinal views, high level of devotional practice, and their satisfaction and happiness in the priesthood. Despite the struggles and losses of the conversion transition, they are happier, more satisfied, and feel more useful in their ministry than most priests. Worshipful liturgy and music are of extreme importance to them. Married priests are concentrated in a minority of Catholic dioceses, mostly in the Southwest, and may not officially serve as pastors, though about half do so unofficially, including at some of the largest Catholic churches in America. In the dual priestly roles of intercessor and prophet, the married priests lean toward the prophet side.

Keywords:   Catholic, clergy, conservatism, convert, priest

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