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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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Why Aren’t There More Married Priests?

Why Aren’t There More Married Priests?

Chapter:
(p.146) 6 Why Aren’t There More Married Priests?
Source:
Keeping the Vow
Author(s):

D. Paul Sullins

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199860043.003.0006

After opening the door to married convert priests, only a few Catholic dioceses have ordained a married priest, and ordinations have been dropping over time. Married priests can only be ordained by diocesan bishops, who, in a survey, expressed mixed support and reservations about the prospect of ordaining a married priest. After the stability of the priests’ marriage, the bishops’ top concerns are the receptiveness of their celibate priests to having a married colleague and the financial support of the married priest. Most bishops believe married priests cost a lot more than celibate ones, though an analysis of compensation shows that they cost only a little more, often much less. While supporting their reception in principle, 40% of the bishops believe the number of married priests should be kept to a few. Nonetheless, over half of the bishops say they would welcome the opportunity to ordain a married priest.

Keywords:   Catholicism, Catholic diocese, priests, clergy, bishops, clergy compensation

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