The Vatican/Pope doesn’t approve…
Some places have’m anyways….
“I wanted to be honest with her,” said Kindiy, now 41.
Her agreement helped to launch, for Kindiy, the kind of life impossible in most parts of the Catholic world — that of a priest who is married, not celibate, and who divides attention between his family and his clerical duties.
Catholic leaders have long resisted the idea of married clerics in the mainstream Latin Church, considering celibacy an essential element for devoted priests, and this week Pope Francis declined to approvethe ordination of married men in the Amazon region.
But in parts of Eastern Europe and the Middle East, in relatively small and distinctive branches of Catholicism that are loyal to the pope, married clerics are the norm — and their lives represent an alternate version of the Catholic priesthood…
Beyond the day-to-day logistics of being a priest and a father, there is also a sense among married priests that the broader Catholic fears are unfounded. Married priests say they admire the tradition of celibacy, but they also feel like having a family can help them be more integrated in the community and understand of some of their parishioners’ problems.
“Basically priests and lay people are on the same level,” said Kindiy, who lives in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv and serves at a large parish where eight of the nine priests are married. “Married priests are not above the folks. My wife is friends with the parishioners. My kids are growing up with parishioners’ kids.”
The rules of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church might feel contradictory to Roman Catholicism, but they show how Catholic leaders have generally been willing to tolerate self-contained exceptions to the celibacy rule.
image…Oleh Kindiy, a priest in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, with his wife, Ivanka, and two of his four children. Kindiy serves as a pastor in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, at a parish where eight of the nine priests are married. (Courtesy of Oleh Kindiy