The first principle of the Ordinariate is then about Christian unity. St. Basil the Great, the Church’s greatest ecumenist, literally expended his life on the work of building bridges between orthodox brethren who shared a common faith, but who had become separated from one another in a Church badly fragmented by heresy and controversy. He taught that the work of Christian unity requires deliberate and ceaseless effort...St. Basil often talked with yearning about the archaia agape, the ancient love of the apostolic community, so rarely seen in the Church of his day. This love, he taught, is a visible sign that the Holy Spirit is indeed present and active, and it is absolutely essential for the health of the Church.

- Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, Homily on the Occasion of his Formal Institution as Ordinary

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Quad Cities man to enter Davenport Diocese as its first married priest

By Deirdre Baker
March 22, 2014

The 29-year marriage of Chris and Jody Young will continue, even after he is ordained as a priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport this summer.

"I get to keep my wife, and I am keeping my wedding band on," Chris Young says.

Although the Catholic Church historically has prohibited priests from marrying, the 53-year-old Davenport man is joining the clergy thanks to a special 1980 dispensation from Pope John Paul II called The Pastoral Provision, which applies only to former clergy of the Episcopal -- or Anglican -- church.

This will make Young a rarity. It's estimated that about 100 Catholic priests in the U.S. have made the same conversion that he has.

Young, a lifelong Episcopalian until eight years ago, previously served as the priest at Christ Episcopal Church in Moline.

His entry to the Catholic faith brings a different dimension to the priesthood, Bishop Martin Amos of the Davenport Diocese said.

Amos, who has led the diocese since 2006, agreed with Young's quest for the priesthood and sponsored him in a 26-step process that has taken six years.

Young will be made a transitional deacon — one who intends to become a priest — in a ceremony Tuesday at Davenport Assumption High School, where he has taught religion classes for two years.

Then, on June 7, Young will be ordained by the bishop at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport. Two other men also will be ordained as priests at that time, but both are following the more traditional path...

Read the rest of this article at the web site of The Quad Cities Times.

Hat tip to Mary Ann Mueller

Blogger's Note: We posted about the ordination of Rev. Young a few days ago, but this is a new story, and worth your while. While the frequently reported "fact" that there are about "100 Catholic priests" with wives is routinely reported in stories like this, given the many ordinations for the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, along with continued Pastoral Provision ordinations such as this one, the number should clearly be bumped up to at least 150. Still a tiny percentage of the more than 45,000 priests serving the Catholic Church in the US, but a large increase all the same.

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