Skip to comments.Married man to be ordained (RC) priest [Ecumenical]
Posted on 12/29/2008 1:34:54 PM PST by NYer
Waldo Emerson "Knick" Knickerbocker, a married former Episcopalian minister, will be ordained as a Roman Catholic deacon at 11:15 a.m. Sunday at St. Theresa Church in Junction. The ceremony will be conducted by Bishop Michael Pfeifer, OMI .
A month later, on Jan. 28 at Sacred Hearth Cathedral Church in San Angelo, Knickerbocker will be ordained a priest for the Catholic Church.
Knickerbocker will be the first married man to be ordained a priest for the Diocese of San Angelo, according to a news release.
In 1993-94, Knickerbocker and his wife, Sandie, became members of the Roman Catholic Church. After review and prayer, Knickerbocker asked to become a Roman Catholic priest in September 2005. Knickerbocker taught church history and Christian spirituality for 32 years on the faculty of the Memphis Theological Seminary, a Cumberland Presbyterian school in Memphis, Tenn.
After becoming a Roman Catholic, Sandie Knickerbocker worked for Catholic Charities, then served on the staff of the seminary in the Doctor of Ministry program .
Knickerbocker's ordination to the diaconate and priesthood is in accord with the 1981 decision by the Holy See to make an exception to the general rule calling only non-married men to priesthood. The "Pastoral Provision," which was established by Pope John Paul II, was adopted especially for use in the United States and has also been extended to England and other countries where bishops have requested special permission to ordain married former Anglican or Episcopalian ministers to the Roman Catholic Church.
"I came to a conviction that the fullness of truth was to be found in the Catholic Church," Knickerbocker said of his decision. "It's not that other Christian communions don't have truth, but I became convinced that the fullness of truth was in the Catholic Church."
Knickerbocker's realization was a long route, starting with his ordination as a Methodist minister in 1966. In 1972, he completed his doctorate in church history at Emory University in Atlanta. In 1973, he began teaching at Memphis Seminary.
Knickerbocker said that it was teaching church history, as well as other factors, that led him to the Episcopal Church and, ultimately, the Catholic Church.
The decision to allow married Episcopalian clergy to serve as priests in the Roman Catholic Church respects not only the decision of their conscience that requires them to profess a fully Catholic faith in the Catholic Church, but also their call to ministry, accepted in good faith, in their tradition that permitted a married priesthood.
In providing this exception to individual married clergymen, the pope and the bishops of the United States wanted to make sure that everyone understood that celibacy remains the normal tradition for priests in the Western Church.
Pfeifer, bishop of the Diocese of San Angelo who has worked for several years to prepare Knickerbocker to become a Roman Catholic priest, stated: "I am very happy that finally my good friend can be ordained a deacon and priest of the Roman Catholic Church. It pleases me to know that he and his wife have sought to use the special 'Pastoral Provision' of Pope John Paul II to become, not only members of the Roman Catholic Church, but that Knick can become a priest of the Roman Catholic Church.
"There is no finer candidate for the diaconate and priesthood than Knick Knickerbocker. I ask God's blessings upon him and his good wife."
Knickerbocker's duties will be sacramental in nature; he will not be designated the pastor of a church but will assist in both Junction and Menard. His diaconate ordination comes on his 70th birthday.
So he starts as a Methodist, teaches at a Presbyterian school, becomes an Episcopalian, and ends a Catholic.
This happens more than most people think. My brother-in-law and his family in Northfield, MN went to a parish where the pastor was a widowed grandfather, and married Anglicans can receive Holy Orders.
Permanent Deacons can be married. Priest can not.
Don’t think so!!
Actually, in the Catholic Church, it is the Latin Church (Roman Rite) where the norm is for non-married men to be the only ones ordained. However, starting in 1980, Pope John Paul II approved Pastoral PRovision, which was set up to allow many Anglican clergy, leaving the Church of England as it moved more and more into theological heterodoxy, to be ordained as Catholic Priests, even if they were married. By most estimates, some 500 former Anglican clergy have been ordained in England and some 100 in the United States under pastoral provision, and about half of those were ordained as married Priests.
In sum, celibacy is a Church discipline, albeit, one with eschatological significance, but it is not a Catholic Doctrine/Dogma.
The man is short and while a truly Godly man shows many signs of a Napoleonic Complex.
The Priest at Holy Angels in San Angelo (same diocese) Fr Charles Greenwell was married but I believe his wife died before his ordination. Another true man of God.
I understand completely why priests cannot and should not seek marriage. Yet those who are previously married and receive the call should not be penalized for the manner in which God has chosen to arrange their lives.
And as Fr Greenwell illustrates so very well, marriage does not preclude one from truly serving God - even as a priest.
Myself, I was a long-time Methodist, left for a non-denominational church, and then became a Catholic. My husband, a life-long Methodist, became a Catholic a year after I did.
We are very happy, and feel we made our decision similar to this gentleman. The fullness of truth is exactly what we were looking for, and we found it.
**In 1993-94, Knickerbocker and his wife, Sandie, became members of the Roman Catholic Church. **
Welcome home, Knick and Sandie.
Many people are searching for the REAL truth.
**married Anglicans can receive Holy Orders.**
After studying Catholic theology and being approved as a candidate for the priesthood by the bishop and seminary.
Nope. It’s true. There are lots of them in the south. A lot used to be Anglican. Whole churches have switched, along with their priests.
Being Orthodox, I always thought the rule was weird. I get it for bishops, but married men were allowed in the West longer than they have been not allowed. Go figure.
You are correct. There are at least 7 Anglican Parishes that converted in mass (4 in Texas alone), and their pastor was also ordained as a Catholic Priest. Here is the link to the pastoral provision website, which more clearly explains what I was mentioning above.
yes, true. thanks for clarifying.
“Being Orthodox, I always thought the rule was weird. I get it for bishops,...”
Why? They were originally married too.
“...but married men were allowed in the West longer than they have been not allowed. Go figure.”
No, actually the time is evenly split. Throughout the first millenium, most priests, but not all, were married. Throughout the second millenium, most priests, but not all, have taken vows of celibacy.
Not an illogical journey. The Methodist church is all about heart and faith, the Presbyterians bring intellectual rigor the Episcopalians brought (past tense) tradition and liturgy. Put all of these pieces together and your only options are to go Anglo-Catholic, Orthodox or Roman Catholic.
I will always find it odd that the Roman Church allows married priests in all of the Byzantine and Eastern-Rite Catholic Churches in union with Rome and accepts married priests from other denominations.
It’s a curious double standard.
Personally, I prefer the consistency of the Orthodox view on the matter.
“I will always find it odd that the Roman Church allows married priests in all of the Byzantine and Eastern-Rite Catholic Churches in union with Rome and accepts married priests from other denominations.”
You’re wrong. There is no blanket policy of married priests in the Eastern Catholic Churches. If there were then all of their priests in America would be married (except for monks of course). The reality is that few are married.
“Its a curious double standard.”
There’s no double standard. We are talking about different things. And different policies can be applied to different things. The situation of a life-long Catholic is different than that of a convert later in life who is married.
“Personally, I prefer the consistency of the Orthodox view on the matter.”
We are consistent. You are consistent. But neither of us is perfectly consistent. The Orthodox don’t allow married bishops. Either do we of course. But that shows a certain wrinkle to the idea of a married priesthood. (Again, I know they’re almost always monks, but still, they’re priests, they’re not married, and that’s a wrinkle).
The way I look at it, we have no problems with it either way. We have married priests. So do you. We have unmarried priests. So do you.