There are thousands of validly married Roman Catholic priests, members of

the Eastern Rite (not Eastern Orthodox) churches that do not have a vow of

celibacy. Melkite Rite Roman Catholic priests are allowed to marry, but not

while exercising priestly ministry in the West. In spite of this, 3 married

Melkite Rite priests are serving in the U.S. The Vatican censured them, but

has taken no action against them. All Latin Rite (which is the norm for

American Catholicism) priests must be unmarried.


In December, 1977, a Guatamalan Roman Catholic priest, Salvador Valenzuela,

was married to Maria Lopez by a Roman Catholic priest, Carlos Palencia.

Within 3 days, Valenzula was ex-communicated, told that his marriage was

invalid and that he was no longer a priest.

It is reported there is a strong feeling among Polish Roman Catholics for

an end to the law of celibacy. Some had thought that the Polish Pope might

initiate this, but the first years of his reign have shown very

conservative leanings, so such a change during the pontificate of John Paul

II seems unlikely.


From THE DAY, New London, Ct, 10/28/90. "A worldwide gathering of bishops,

affirming celibacy in the prieshthood, urged Pope John Paul II to make it

clear that the controversial rule won't be changed. The pope was quick to

take up the invitation. He told the bishops that although there is a

shortage of priests in some parts of the world, ordaining married men is

not the solution."

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