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Dear catholic.com visitors: This website from Catholic Answers, with all its many resources, is the world's largest source of explanations for Catholic beliefs and practices. A fully independent, lay-run, 501(c)(3) ministry that receives no funding from the institutional Church, we rely entirely on the generosity of everyday people like you to keep this website going with trustworthy , fresh, and relevant content. If everyone visiting this month gave just $1, catholic.com would be fully funded for an entire year. Do you find catholic.com helpful? Please make a gift today. Thank you. Wishing you a blessed Lenten season.

Why does the Catholic Church allow converts to become priests if they are married with children?

Question:

Why does the Catholic Church allow Protestant ministers who have converted to Catholicism to become priests if they are married and have children? It would seem that their family would be their priority rather than the Church and the parishioners.

Answer:

The Church makes a pastoral provision for the priestly ordination of former Protestant ministers because it seems prudent to allow those who have served as ministers to continue to pursue the calling to ministry that they feel, that they have trained for, and that they have exercised throughout their careers. The prudence of this pastoral provision is especially obvious in the case of Anglican ministers who desire to become Catholic along with their parishes. In such cases, the minister has a special relationship with his parishioners that facilitates the full communion of the entire group.

However, in other cases it is true that a minister with a family would have difficulty serving as the pastor of a Catholic parish. In these cases they are not assigned as pastors but serve in another capacity.

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