NEW YORK (NY)
The New York Times
August 31, 2019
By Peter Manseau
My parents may not get to see the transformation of Catholicism they dreamed of when they married 50 years ago, but some changes are underway.
It made news around the world when my parents married 50 years ago this summer. They weren’t remotely famous. Their wedding was no lavish affair. The surprising interest in their nuptials can be summed up by a headline that ran in a Vancouver newspaper, thousands of miles from the ceremony in my grandmother’s modest Boston home: “Priest Weds Nun.”
The headline wasn’t precisely accurate. My mother was a teaching sister for a decade, but she had left her order the previous summer; my father by then had been a priest for eight years. On the day of the wedding, he was on a leave of absence from his nearby parish and, according to canon law, was automatically excommunicated for marrying without first receiving dispensation from the obligations of his ordination. As he told reporters waiting outside, he knew that his decision broke the rules of the church, but he had done so for its benefit.
“We believe in the goals of the church and love the church very deeply,” he said. “We have committed our lives to the church, and believe we are doing this for the good of the church.”
For him, to marry publicly as a Catholic priest was an act of protest meant to nudge Rome toward reconsideration of clerical celibacy and the church’s view of sexuality generally — a reconsideration he had come to regard as inevitable after the reforms of the Second Vatican Council earlier in the 1960s. “I really felt that in order to be true to the Gospel,” he said, “I should enter into the deepest relationship possible for the church.” By this he meant not his celibate religious vocation but marriage, family and the complicated relationships they would bring.
Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.