"...How unique is Cutié’s story? How many other Catholic priests have left the church for another denomination in order to marry? Could Cutié’s conversion signal the beginning of another wave of men leaving the priesthood? Until November 2008, when I completed my dissertation on the transition of celibate Catholic priests into married Protestant ministry, it would have been impossible to address these questions. The data I collected over the course of a year allowed me to conduct the first-ever analysis in this field....Anyway, the entire article is very worth reading: http://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=11896
...Thanks to information gathered from the research offices of the five mainline Protestant Churches (Congregational, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian), I was able to identify 414 such men in the United States. Following the advice of the late Dean Hoge, I did not contact the Baptist Church or any of the hundreds of small Protestant denominations, presuming that very few Catholic priests would be inclined to join them.
Nearly one-third of the 414 former Catholic priests now serving in Protestant ministry agreed to participate in my survey. Of the 131 respondents, 105 (80.2 percent) became Episcopalian, 15 (11.5 percent) Lutheran, eight (6.1 percent) Congregationalist, and three (2.3 percent) Methodist. I found a 40-year age range: the youngest was 42 and the eldest 82. Their mean age was 62.8 while the median was 64...
...When asked why they made the transition, six out of ten respondents cited celibacy....Other respondents spoke about their dislike for specific tenets of Catholic dogma. Many pointed to the publication of Humanae Vitae as a major turning point in their lives. One former diocesan priest, who is now 80 years old, said, “Humanae Vitae pushed me off the edge. I saw that act as the refusal of the Roman Catholic Church to enter the modern world.”...
Friday, September 25, 2009
From Priest to Minister
Rev. Stephen Joseph Fichter has an article on the Web edition of America (10/5/2009) about Catholic priests who, like Fr. Alberto Cutié, have converted to Protestant denominations.