March 21st, 2011
02:59 PM ET

Married priest ordained in Wisconsin

From CNN Milwaukee affiliate WITI

It was a traditional ordination at St. Jerome Parish Saturday for a man with a non-traditional path to priesthood.

Deacon Russell Arnett, now Father Arnett, was first ordained in the Episcopal Church where priests are allowed to marry. Now Arnett is the first priest to enter the Archdiocese of Milwaukee through what is called the "Pastoral Provision."

It is a Vatican rule started in 1980 that makes it easier for Anglican clergy to convert to Catholicism.

Read the full story about the ordination of a married Milwaukee priest on WITI
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Episcopal

soundoff (215 Responses)
  1. Brian

    from one BS fairy tale religious organization to another... what a facinating story... can CNN report on peopel who switch from Magic the Gathering to Dungeons and Dragons too???

    Huh What?... *THAT* was funny!

    March 21, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
    • Matt

      No, it actually isn't all that funny that your understanding of the history of religion is so poor.

      March 21, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
  2. audrey

    This was a great video, but the reporter needs to learn how to pronounce "Anglican".

    March 21, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
  3. linda

    Jesus wasn't married and being married doesn't prevent one from being a predator. Look at the teachers, Boy Scout leaders, etc. They aren't celibate.

    March 21, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
  4. Donald

    I believe the first Episcopalian priest to marry, was a professor at Providence College, a small Catholic College in Rhode Island by the Dominicans (Order of Preachers). I believe he actually became the Vice President of the College. Than his wife and him moved to Texas, and was ordained into the Roman Catholic Chufrch. The process is called Incardention, which means he is accepted into a diocese. There is a rule ,however, that if his wife should die, he is prohibited from re-marrying.

    March 21, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
  5. Firm beliver

    Priest need to be able to get married so they won't ra-pe little choir boys anymore

    March 21, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
    • Lee

      Let me see if I understand the logic behind your statement. The same desires that might lead one into a loving relationship with his wife, if not fulfilled by a certain age (what age I wonder?), are instead expressed in violent s.exual acts with minors of the same s.ex. I think your comments–while hardly idiosyncratic to you–provide rather frightening insight into your own view of s.ex. Should I be shielding my children from all single adults that I know, since, as you've suggested, these adults are harboring perverse desires that follow from their unmarried state?

      March 22, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  6. Ivo Robotink

    Why, I think I'll give myself a PROMOTION!

    March 21, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
  7. Joseph

    Well, at least this one will probably keep his hands off the choir boys. And I hear his wife was a bit of a fox, when she was younger.

    March 21, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
  8. Gesnyc

    This happens more often than you'd believe.

    March 21, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
  9. Walter Graff

    I'll repeat what another person already said. Anglican clergy have been ordained as priests in the Catholic Church for decades. This is NOTHING NEW. It has quietly been going on in the Catholic church for years.

    March 21, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
  10. Tbailey

    I didn't realize Priests could marry until I moved to Keller Tx.,u at that time there were two men who followed the same path to become Catholic priests. Currently one remains, the other priest was asked to leave because he divorced his wife.

    March 21, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
  11. T-party

    Good for him. s-ex is as necessary as food,water,sleep,and laughter. I did not understand religion @ age 6 and still do not today @ age 46

    March 21, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
    • Matt

      That's because you probably haven't done any substantive study of religion *since* you were six.

      March 21, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
    • Lee

      Which accounts for the expression "We simply died of laughter!" and explains why se.xual deprivation is the 323rd most common cause of death.

      March 22, 2011 at 10:51 am |
  12. Follower of Jesus

    @Bible Reader
    You are exactly right. Paul wrote to Timothy that be married and follow what Jesus taught. If you want to stay single, then do so and not sin!
    There is nothing wrong with priests being married. Look back to the Old Testament and read that the Levites had wives!

    March 21, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
    • purplepuppy

      to be a rabbi they had to be married, which means Jesus was married

      March 21, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
    • Lee

      Employing modus ponens as a form of logical argumentation would be more effective if your antecedent were actually true.

      March 21, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • GMD4219

      How can BibleReader be "exacyly right" about Paul and ignore the passages where Paul encourages others toward celibacy?. IMO, this is exactly the problem with individual interpretaion of scripture, we only see what we want to see to affirm our own bias and world view, often times ignoring the greater truths of those passages that are not conveniant or do not support our own bias. Its a common tale.

      March 22, 2011 at 10:53 am |
  13. Ben

    Ummm . . . why is this news? Anglican clergy have been ordained as priests in the Catholic Church for decades. Is this just a personal interest story, or does the reporter think they're on to some hot new trend?

    March 21, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
  14. GMD4219

    @ Bible reader and others....There are scriptural reasons for every important aspect of the Catholic Christian faith, including priestly celibacy. ( 1 Cor. 7:7 – Paul also acknowledges that celibacy is a gift from God and wishes that all were celibate like he is. )

    Those folks who claim otherwise do not have a full understanding of the faith. http://www.scripturalcatholic.org is a great resource for the BIBLICAL answers to that often asked " why do Catholics do that" or the more agressively asked " Where is THAT in the Bible.".

    All that siad, in my humble opinion, please mother Church ...let our Priests marry!!!!

    March 21, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
    • GMD4219

      ooops, its http://www.scripturecatholic.com. My bad.

      March 21, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
    • S1N

      @GMD (and Bible Reader) – What then, is the scriptural basis for both "popes" of the Great Schism having illegitimate children? Just curious.

      March 21, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
    • Lee

      The empirical events in the life of a 14th-century figure can have a "scriptural basis"? I remember no such prophecies in scripture. Category mistake, perhaps?

      March 21, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • Matt

      Oh snaap!!

      March 22, 2011 at 8:06 am |
    • CatholicMom


      Yes, you have a very good site in ‘http://www.scripturecatholic.com’ Perhaps you missed this verse….

      Matt. 19:11-12 – Jesus says celibacy is a gift from God and whoever can bear it should bear it. Jesus praises and recommends celibacy for full-time ministers in the Church. Because celibacy is a gift from God, those who criticize the Church's practice of celibacy are criticizing God and this wonderful gift He bestows on His chosen ones.

      Marriage is another vocation that is specially blessed by God. Each vocation has special blessings from God. So do you still say, ‘please mother Church ...let our Priests marry’ ….? Would you also ask that married folk all be blessed with the blessings for Priesthood also?

      March 22, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • GMD4219

      Yes CatholicMom, I still wish our awesome church would allow Priests to marry. But its also not my decision to make, I understand that and it does not diminish the affection I have for our faith and our leaders, thank God for them all.. Bless you and have a meaningful lent.

      March 22, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      The priests that I have talked to do not want two vocations...they chose the priesthood. Perhaps you feel they are 'missing out'...but the ones I have spoken to don't feel that way!
      God bless you for wanting 'all the best' for our dear priests...but I feel I can say this because of what they have said, 'They already feel like they have the very best blessing on their lives.'
      Have a blessed Lenten Season.

      March 22, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  15. Huh What?

    That "report abuse" link is kind of ironic on this thread...

    March 21, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
    • Evil Beetle

      Yes! Good! Good!

      March 21, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
  16. Kid with zombie makeup

    I like turtles.

    March 21, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
    • Enoch100

      I like cookies.

      March 21, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
  17. Perilous

    It is utterly ridiculous that Catholic clergy aren't allowed to marry. Then again, there is very little about religion overall that isnt utterly ridiculous.

    March 21, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
    • Bob

      Not really, if you're devoted so much to God that it is your life calling, you shouldn't need earthly pleasures

      March 21, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
    • Calvin

      Perilous, the only udderly ridiculous, is you.

      March 21, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
    • Smite Me

      I say keep them celibate. 40,000 priests with 8-10 offspring each ***shudder***

      March 22, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  18. Bible Reader

    @Catholic MOM and Wife
    Did you read what Paul wrote to Timothy? He wrote this under inspiration form God. He stated that anyone who forbids a person to marry is speading the teachings of demons. If someone whats to stay single because of their devotion to God then great. When the Pope demands that Priests not marry he is not conveying the teachings of Jesus Christ but those of His Father Satan. Read Matthew Chapter 23 Jesus would say the same things about the Catholic Church today.

    March 21, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      In Matthew 19:12, Christ clearly commends those who, "for the sake of the kingdom of God", have held aloof from the married state, though He adds: "he who can accept it, let him accept it". St. Paul is even more explicit:
      I would that all men were even as myself; but every one hath his proper gift from God .... But I say to the unmarried and to the widows, it is good for them if they so continue, even as I.

      March 21, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
    • Bob

      Is that why Jesus Himself married?

      March 21, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
    • T3chsupport

      And in Matthew 15: 3-7, Jesus chastises the Pharisees for disobeying the word of god by not killing their unruly children.

      Isn't the Bible fun?!

      March 21, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
    • Jack

      Ah, the old "I have the truth." That Catholic/Protestant battle again. The Pope is the anti-Christ to the Prods (fundies). To the papist's the Prod's are the heretics and Catholicism is the "one true religion."

      The other guys are going to hell, not us. "We are the true believers and the chosen." Bunch of silly kids. Religion is a bit bigger than this pettiness.

      March 21, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
  19. im so smart

    if you fools studied the early catholic church you would find lo and behold! priests were allowed to marry until the 16th century!

    March 21, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
    • Calvin

      Actually, so smart, if you studied history you'd find out that there was only a short period of time in their history that marriage was allowed, and not, geographically, in all areas. But I am glad that you are so smart.

      March 21, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
  20. Ieat

    The ideal is for someone to be only concerned about the church to become a priest. I have met many pastor's children who are messed up because their father spend so much time in church. Just because there are issues with the RCC, it doesn't mean the idea of celibacy is wrong.

    March 21, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
    • Tom

      I hear you. I have never seen kids of doctors, lawyers, CEOs, actors, bricklayers, street sweepers etc that are messed up because their dad has not spend enough time with them.

      March 21, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
    • S1N

      @Tom- Your sarcasm made me lol.

      March 21, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
    • T3chsupport

      The only reason they're celibate is because the church didn't want pesky heirs around to inherit their properties. If priests married, they'd have kids. If they didn't have kids, they'd have no one to inherit it, and it was left to the church.

      God never told anyone to be celibate for life.

      March 21, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
    • Lee

      "I have never seen kids of doctors, lawyers, CEOs, actors, bricklayers, street sweepers etc that are messed up because their dad has not spend enough time with them."
      Right, because the particular devotion that a priest is supposed to have to God and to his ministry to God's people–in which he sees himself as a unique instrument in the salvation of souls–is comparable to that of a bricklayer's devotion to his clay and mortar. This comment would be funny and helpful, if it didn't betray such a lack of imagination.

      March 22, 2011 at 11:11 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.