One reads the following excerpt about a married Lutheran pastor who became a Catholic priest complete with wife, children, and grandchildren and it sounds so normal and natural that one wonders why the Church continues to insist on an abnormal lifestyle for most of its clergy.
Celebrating firsts in family, faith and life
By Gary Soulsman,
The News Journal
December 25, 2006
...Another man feeling more contentment and joy in connection to his faith is the Rev. Leonard Klein, of Brandywine Hundred. In April, he was ordained as a Catholic priest.
Klein, 61, made the decision after almost 30 years as a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He sought to become a priest because he felt so in tune with Catholic teachings on issues such as the sanctity of life.
In 2002, he approached the Diocese of Wilmington about joining the church. With ordination, Klein joined 100 married men nationwide who've left other denominations to become priests. The Catholic church has allowed such exceptions to the tradition of celibacy since 1980.
In preparation for Christmas, Klein has been hearing confessions and celebrating Mass at Immaculate Heart of Mary in Brandywine Hundred. He likes that the celebration of Mass has become the center of his ministry. He also works part time as assistant director of the Family Life Bureau.
"My wife and daughter tell me that I am the happiest they can remember," he said. "So I suppose you could say there is a certain blessing in that for all of us."
This Christmas, the Rev. Klein's extended family of three grown children and three grandchildren will join him and his wife, Christa, at their Surrey Park home...