By Deacon Greg Kandra
When I think of the future of Catholicism, I think of a question I get asked a lot.
"Don't you want to be a priest?"
I suppose parishioners think it's a real conversation-starter. I hear that after mass, in the church parking lot, at potluck suppers, in the frozen foods section of the supermarket. There seems to be this consensus that my vocation is unfinished -- that, without becoming a priest, I'm somehow incomplete.
To clear things up: I'm happy being a deacon, an ordained member of the Catholic clergy who is, in fact, married. This is what God has called me to do. And it's all I want to do, and all I want to be.
But I know another question is out there -- and yes, people sometimes ask me that one, too, and it also says something about the future of the faith, and the attitude of the faithful:
"When are they going to let priests get married?"
That's more complicated. I could explain that priests in the Eastern Rite are
married, or that some clergy converts who are married are given special permission to be ordained priests. I might even try to map out the canonical nuances -- married men can, in some circumstances, become priests, but priests cannot become married men -- but the simplest answer, honestly, is one that every Catholic already knows:
"That's up to God."
God and, of course, the Vatican.
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