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.
Oh, and by the way, soon we might have a married bishop. If that’s what it takes to welcome 400,000 Protestants back into the fold, then I’m all for it.
By the way, you might see some changings coming in a decade or two: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CE6DA143DF937A25754C0A966958260
Armenian, but interesting: http://www.theorthodoxchurch.info/blogs/news/2008/06/celibate-priests-ordained-in-antelias.html
I'm sorry, but you appear to be the one in error according to the Byzantines.
The Second Vatican Council welcomed the Eastern tradition of married priests when it stated in the Decree Concerning the Ministry and Life of the Priest that "Celibacy is not required by the priesthood itself, as is evident in the practices of the early Church, and in the tradition of the Eastern Churches" (No. 16 of the Decree Concerning the Ministry and Life of the Priest).
“I’m sorry, but you appear to be the one in error according to the Byzantines.”
Wrong again. Vatican II ended in 1965. How many ordinations of married men have taken place in America among Byzantine Catholics?
“There has been only one ordination of a married man to the priesthood in the Pittsburgh Metropolia since the promulgation of the Particular Law. On February 12, 2006 Bishop John Kudrick, Eparch of Parma, OH, Metropolia of Pittsburgh, PA ordained married deacon, Joseph Marquis, to the priesthood at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.
There may be some, but I know of not a single Byzantine diocese which is regularly ordaining married men in America. Since at least the 1920s - in America - until very recently NO married men were regularly ordained by Eastern Catholic bishops. NONE. And still, even though the rule has been relaxed, none of the Byzantine bishops has shown any movement toward regularly ordaining married men.
It would help if you knew what you were talking about.
This will help: http://www.byzantines.net/epiphany/ordination.htm
And yes, that last link is the same one you linked to.
Clearly you didn’t read the article because it proves me absolutely right in every detail.
Also, I'm curious what you think of Canons XXVII and XXXIII of the Council Of Elvira, circa 300 AD, since you are so well versed on the topic?
The article fails to mention that if Knickerbocker is preceded in death by his spouse that he will then adopt the discipline of celibacy for the remainder of his life. If he refused to accept this condition then he would not be eligible for ordination to the Priesthood.
His Excellency, the Most Reverend John R. Quinn
Archbishop of San Francisco
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in its Ordinary Session of June 18, 1980, has taken the following decisions in regard to the Episcopalians who seek reconciliation with and entrance into the Catholic Church.
I. General Decisions:
1) The admission of these persons, even in a group, should be considered the reconciliation of individual persons, as described in the Decree on Ecumenism Redintegratio Unitatis, n. 4, of the Second Vatican Council.
2) It will be appropriate to formulate a statute or pastoral provision which provides for a tcommon identity for the group.
II. Elements of the Common Identity:
1) Structures: The preference expressed by the majority of the Episcopal Conference for the insertion of these reconciled Episcopalians into the diocesan structures under the jurisdiction of the local Ordinaries is recognized. Nevertheless, the possibility of some other type of structure as provided for by canonical dispositions, and as suited to the needs of the group, is not excluded.
2) Liturgy: The group may retain certain elements of the Anglican liturgy; these are to be determined by a Commission of the Congregation set up for this purpose. Use of these elements will be reserved to the former members of the Anglican Communion. Should a former Anglican priest celebrate public liturgy outside this group, he will be required to adopt the common Roman Rite.
3) Discipline: (a) To married Episcopalian priests who may be ordained Catholic priests, the following stipulations will apply: they may not become bishops; and they may not remarry in case of widowhood. (b) Future candidates for the priesthood must follow the discipline of celibacy. (c) Special care must be taken on the pastoral level to avoid any misunderstanding regarding the Churchs discipline of celibacy.
III. Steps required for admission to full communion:
1) Theological-catechetical preparation is to be provided according to need.
2) A profession of faith (with appropriate additions to address the points on which there is divergence of teaching between the Anglican Communion and the Catholic Church) is to be made personally by all (ministers and faithful) as a conditio sine qua non.
3) Reordination of the Episcopalian clergy, even those who are married, shall be allowed in accord with the customary practice, after the examination of each individual case by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
IV. The statute or pastoral provision will not be definitive, but rather will be granted ad tempus non determinatum.
V. Particulars regarding the execution of the decision:
1) The contents of the statute or pastoral provision are to be determined with the agreement of the Episcopal Conference. In what concerns the liturgical aspects of the statute, the Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship will be asked for its accord. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will keep informed of any developments both the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity and the Congregation for the Oriental Churches (the latter in view of the possible influence on the particular dispositions for ecclesiastical celibacy among Eastern-rite priests in the United States).
2) A Catholic ecclisiastical Delegate, preferably a Bishop, should be designated, with the approval of the Episcopal Conference, as the responsible person to oversee the practical application of the decisions here reported and to deal with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in what pertains to this question.
3) These decisions should be implemented with all deliberate speed in view of the waiting period already undergone by the Episcopalians who have presented this request.
These decisions were approved by His Holiness Pope John Paul II in the audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation on June 20, 1980.
The complexity of the above decisions, Your Excellency, recommends early contact between yourself and the Congregation in order to discuss the details and procedures for their implementation. Given your knowledge of the matter, it would seem ideal that, even after your term as President of the Episcopal Conference has expired, you might remain as Bishop Delegate (cf. V, 2) responsible for overseeing the admission of these persons into full communion with the Catholic Church. Permit me to express the hope that, if convenient for you, you will contact the Congregation for the purpose of initiating the necessary discussion of this question during your stay in Rome to participate in the 1980 Synod of Bishops.
Finally, I am enclosing a letter which I would be grateful to you for forwarding, after you have taken note of its contents, to Father John Barker of the Pro-Diocese of St. Augustine of Canterbury, informing him that their petition has been accepted in principle. Since you will be in the best position to know what publicity may be deemed unavoidable or suitable, I would like to leave in your hands the manner and timing of any communication about the fact or nature of the decisions here reported. I am sure you will have already noted in the decisions as reported a concern for the sensitive areas of ecumenism and celibacy.
You will no doubt want to inform Bishops Law and Lessard of the abovementioned decisions, since they were so closely involved in the negotiations during various phases. Since the group in question involves a certain number of English clergy and faithful, the Congregation will undertake to give the necessary information to the hierarchy of England and Wales.
With every best wish for Your Excellency, I remain
Sincerely yours in Christ,
/S/ Franjo Card. Seper, Pref.
Stating a fact about an individual’s lack of knowledge isn’t “making it personal”.
Reading another Freeper’s mind to say what he does or does not know is indeed “making it personal.” If you were say “it seems to me that you don’t understand” then it would be your opinion and not “making it personal.”
I’m not trying to argue with you, but do you realize you’re saying that stating a fact about someone’s demonstrated ignorance is making it personal but couching the same statement in artificially subjective language is not making it personal? Where’s George Orwell when you need me?
When someone posts factually incorrect information, mind reading doesn’t need to be engaged in, Alex.
I see that some parsing is needed, such as the ordinations taking place in America.
Since this decree has been issued, there have been attempts on the part of the Eastern Catholic Rites affected by it to have it repealed in order to be able to practice the Eastern tradition of ordaining married men. However, these efforts have not been successful.http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/kephas.html
But in spite of this, some Eastern Catholic Bishops in North America have been able to obtain married priests, partly through immigration, and partly by taking trained seminarians to Europe for ordination, and bringing them back for service. Apparently, married priests who were sent abroad for ordination are considered to be "on loan" in North America, and therefore they do not require a special dispensation from the Holy See.
And more than just one it seems, anyway.
"On Saturday, December 20, 1996, Bishop John Elya ordained the first married American priest for the American Melkite Church."http://www.melkite.org/latin.htm#Married
One cannot be right on every count while getting the facts wrong.
It is when you are wrong and the first individual is correct. At that point, it's purely personal, the facts having been discarded.
Thanks for proving me right. I didn’t bring up the Byzantines. But I was absolutely right about EVERY, SINGL LAST thing I said about them.
Citing the few examples about the Melkites in America does nothing to disprove what I said about the Byzantines in America.
Thanks for proving me right...AGAIN.
“One cannot be right on every count while getting the facts wrong.”
I didn’t get a single fact wrong. I rarely ever do.
I was right about marriage among the clergy.
I was right about marriage among Byzantine clergy in America.
You have only proven me right - AGAIN - by having to cite the Melkites rather than the Byzantines.
Thanks for the assist. Please, keep helping me prove you wrong. I don’t mind.
You wish to make distinctions between the Byzantines, the Melkites, the Eastern-Rite Catholics, that’s fine.
They are all just Uniates to us.
Sorry that we don’t appreciate your distinctions.
You said only one married Priest, and that was proved wrong.
How many married priests do I have to cite as being in Union with Rome to prove you wrong?
Oh wait, only one more than one, as I have done.
You drew that line, you live with it.
Shout that you are still right all you want; we’ll try not to laugh too hard at the egg on your face! LOL!
Saying "that statement is false" is not making it personal. It spurs debate not enmity. Saying "you are a liar" is making it personal. It causes flame wars; it stirs up contempt and I do not tolerate it on the Religion Forum.
As another example mentioned elsewhere - consider the difference between telling your child "that was a stupid thing to do" and telling him "you are stupid." When a parent opts for the latter, his child will either believe him and fulfill the prophecy or else he will become indignate or rebellious.
Ditto for the difference between saying "here's something you might not know" and "you do not understand."
And, A.A. Cunningham, my name is not Alex.
This thread is tagged “ecumenical” in the Religion Forum. That means no antagonism is allowed. Tone it down.
“You wish to make distinctions between the Byzantines, the Melkites, the Eastern-Rite Catholics, thats fine.”
No. First Byzantines were brought up. Then Melkites were brought up. Now Uniates. Make up your mind as to what you want to talk about. To say that they are all just Uniates to you is rediculous since they are all different. They are from different regions of the world, came back into commune with the Church at different times and in different ways. Even how they relate to the Orthodox is very different. To lump them together as if they are interchangeable - even though they’re not - makes no sense. If you picked the example and it didn’t work out for you, then deal with it.
“They are all just Uniates to us.”
They’re all Catholic Christians to us.
“Sorry that we dont appreciate your distinctions.”
Your Churches do. If you think the Orthodox relate to the Melkites the same way they would to the Byzantines, then you are seriously mistaken.
“You said only one married Priest, and that was proved wrong.”
Nope. So far, not in the least. I also said I knew of only one. Name the other married Byzantines REGULARLY ordained in America. Go ahead. How many can you name? I know of only one and so far you have yet to disprove that. And even if you found two, or three or even a few more that wouldn’t disprove my point - it isn’t happening REGULARLY in America in the Byzantine Church. By the way, the priest at the Byzantine parish I attended many moon ago was married.
“How many married priests do I have to cite as being in Union with Rome to prove you wrong?”
Cite as many as you like. None of it will disprove what I said. If you don’t believe me then look at the seminarians at the Byzantine seminary over the last 30 years and tell me how many are REGULARLY ordained as married men in America. How many?
“Oh wait, only one more than one, as I have done.”
No. Again, you keep claiming you did something that you didn’t do.
“You drew that line, you live with it.”
I am living with it just fine, but it is apparently killing your phony argument. Again, show me that the Byzantines are REGULARLY ordaining married men in America. Show me or stop making silly claims.
“Shout that you are still right all you want; well try not to laugh too hard at the egg on your face! LOL!”
Again, show me where I was wrong. To do that you must show that the Byzantine Church REGULARLY ordains married men in America. You can’t do that because it isn’t happening, has never been happening and might not happen for quite some time. Those are the facts and they are undeniable.
Sorry for the “antagonism”.
The Melkites are Byzantine Catholics from the Near East (Syria and Lebanon, mostly).
Melkites have their own Patriarch: http://www.melkite.org/PatriarchWritings.html
The Byzantine Catholics, as they are commonly referred to in the US, are Ukrainians, Ruthenians and Slovaks from Eastern Europe, while the Melkites are exclusively (originally of course) from the Middle East. They share essentially the same liturgy, but then again, so do most Eastern Christians. There are several churches which are lumped together as “Byzantine” because of their Greek basis and liturgical background: Melkite, Romanian, Ruthenian, Russian, Slovak, Ukrainian, and Italo-Greek (Old Albanian?).
Again, however, the Melkites have their own jurisdiction, and their own patriarch.
When you see a “Byzantine Catholic” parish it is not going to be a Melkite parish. That would be listed as a Melkite parish: http://www.melkite.org/
Example: Melkite: http://www.melkite.org/parishinfo.html
and the same name, but different county in Pa. is a St. Anne’s that 25 years ago was called “Byzantine” but now is said to be “Ukrainian Catholic”: http://www.stanneukrainiancc.com/