Married Priests? Yes but No

Here’s how the conversation usually goes:

Typical Catholic: “A married priest! Wonderful! I think they should all be allowed to get married!”

FDL: “Well, I am so blessed to have a family and to be allowed to be ordained, and I’m glad you approve, but have you really thought this through?”

TC: “What?”

FDL: “Well, if a man is married and he and his wife are fertile they would have to be living by the teaching of the church right?”

TC: “So?”

FDL: “They wouldn’t be using contraception.”

TC: (looks at her two children) “Oh. That.”

FDL: “Well they might have a dozen kids. Who’s going to pay for them?”

TC: “The Bishop??”

FDL: (When he stops laughing) “Sorry. No. The parish will pay.”

TC: “Reeeeelly?”

FDL: “Uh huh. And he might need a bigger house and his wife won’t be able to go out to work and the kids will need to go to Catholic school and then college and all those Catholics who are so enthusiastic for married priests will have to start taking tithing seriously and put more than their usual $5.00 in the collection.

TC: “I don’t think having married priests is such a good idea…”

These are the realities of married priests. In fact, most married men and their families could probably squeeze by with the pay and benefits a priest receives, but it varies from diocese to diocese and from parish to parish.  It ain’t easy.

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