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#394348 05/16/13 05:28 PM
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Peter J Offline OP
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I remember, back in the 90s, some of my college friends (all Latin Catholics -- indeed, I don't think any of us had much understanding of Eastern Catholicism at the time) would joke about (none of them were actually considering doing this of course) converting to Orthodoxy and then coming back to Catholicism as a married priest.

This came to mind (I don't recall how) the other day, and got me to thinking: would that even be possible? That is to say, I know that someone who did that would continue to be a priest intrinsically, but would he be allowed to serve as a priest in the Catholic Church. (I'm thinking not, but I don't have source for that.)

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Peter J Offline OP
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P.S. Another question I might throw in ...

We know that an Eastern Orthodox who becomes Catholic is automatically enrolled (by default, although there can be exceptions) in the corresponding Greek Catholic Church. But what if he or she was Latin Catholic before becoming Orthodox? Would that mean that he or she becomes Latin Catholic again, or can he or she choose to become Greek Catholic?

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I would hope that his spiritual directory would stop him from converting to Orthodoxy for such purposes (being a married Roman Catholic priest).

Similarly, wouldn't a Greek Catholic priest discourage a Protestant from converting to (Eastern) Catholicism if she planned to use it as a "springboard" into Orthodoxy?

I'm no canon lawyer, but it seems to me that if the person's intentions were pure throughout their journey, they would be accepted back into the priesthood. They would probably be able to become bi-ritual.

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Peter J Offline OP
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Hi lovesupreme. Two things ...

First, I don't want to set the wrong tone to this thread. I'm not really talking about someone becoming Orthodox with the intention of later becoming Catholic again. (That's just something I remember friends kidding about.) Like you said, hopefully nobody would do that.

Second, I'm a little surprised by your answer,

Originally Posted by lovesupreme
I'm no canon lawyer, but it seems to me that if the person's intentions were pure throughout their journey, they would be accepted back into the priesthood. They would probably be able to become bi-ritual.
but then, what do I know. smile cool

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From what I know in the Latin Church it is impossible to do just such a thing. At best the Priest would be allowed to serve as a Deacon, but even that I doubt would be allowed. I don't know if the situation would be different if the man returned to the Catholic Church through one of the Eastern Churches though.

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Peter J Offline OP
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Originally Posted by smad0142
From what I know in the Latin Church it is impossible to do just such a thing. At best the Priest would be allowed to serve as a Deacon, but even that I doubt would be allowed. I don't know if the situation would be different if the man returned to the Catholic Church through one of the Eastern Churches though.
Even if he requested to return to Catholicism thorough an EC Church (as opposed to going back to the Latin Church) I really can't see how he could be allowed to serve as a priest.

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Dear Peter J.,

Great to see you here - I believe you were really wasted at CAF!

I have two acquaintances who did exactly as you describe - they became "vagante" married priests and then came back to RCism where they now currently serve as bona fide and married Latin Catholic priests.

What I don't understand is how the Latin Church can have thousands of her priests who have left to get married and who want to return to active ministry and deny them the chance. Yes, that would be breaking canon law - but it is a human law that Rome can change tomorrow, can it not?

Why is the Roman Church so intransigent on this matter, especially at a time when the "priestly scandals" have really shaken its credibility to the nth degree?

Alex

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Peter J Offline OP
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Thanks, Alex, it's great to see you too. smile

Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
I have two acquaintances who did exactly as you describe - they became "vagante" married priests and then came back to RCism where they now currently serve as bona fide and married Latin Catholic priests.
Question: were they Latin Catholic at the time they left Catholicism? If so, I'm pretty surprised that such as allowance was made for them.

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Yes, they were indeed Latin Catholic, sir.

And very little surprises me nowadays . . .

Alex

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Peter J Offline OP
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Well, I'm hardly ever surprised by things anymore. I guess this is one of the hardlies. grin

We know, of course, that exceptions can be made for married LC men that want to be ordained ... but one of those rare exceptions just happens to be for someone who just converted from Orthodoxy back to Catholicism ... coincidence or bribery? :shifty-eyed smilie:

cool shocked blush


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