Re "Fathers, Husbands and Rebels," Column One, July 8
I'm delighted that so many married priests have organized and are making their presence felt. I was a Jesuit for seven years, about halfway to ordination when I left the order in 1963. Marriage had nothing to do with my decision -- I am still a heterosexual bachelor at 71. But most of my friends were married within a year of leaving.
There's no doubt in my mind that the Catholic Church will soon have to face this problem and allow married priests. Then comes the next question: women priests. I'm afraid that we will not live to see that, but let's hope that I'm wrong.
As a former Catholic, I can truly say I would rather be counseled by married priests; they have knowledge of the outside world. I also have a problem with people who think church law was written in stone. If I ever feel the need for a priest I will definitely go to Rent A Priest. At least you know what you are going to get.
It is a well-known fact that there are now and have in the past been married priests in the Catholic Church. Priests in the Eastern Rite Catholic Church are usually married. Former Episcopal and Lutheran clergy, who are now Catholic priests, are likely to be married. As for the married popes, some lived in a time before celibacy was mandatory. However, early in church history, popes were sometimes selected from the laity as well as from the clergy, so some likely were married.