A married New York father of three will be ordained a Roman Catholic priest this week, thanks to an unusual provision in the church’s strict celibacy laws.
John Cornelius, a veteran Episcopal minister, is being allowed to join the Catholic priesthood in Buffalo, N.Y., because of a recent papal ruling by Pope Benedict.
According to the Buffalo Evening News
, more than 100 former Anglican priests have applied to become Catholic priests. Cornelius will be among the first 30 to be ordained.
“I look forward to celebrating Mass again. It’s been two years, and I missed it greatly. That closeness to God is an amazing thing,” he told the Evening News.
Cornelius will be ordained by Bishop Richard Malone of the Diocese of Buffalo on Saturday.
The 64-year-old minister, who has three daughters, converted to Catholicism two years ago with his wife, Sharyl, after spending 20 years in the Episcopal Church.
Catholic priests are not allowed to marry, but the Pope last year altered the rule so that disaffected Episcopalians and Anglicans could join the church.
Cornelius’ disenchantment with the direction of the Episcopal Church came, in part, with its approval of a gay bishop in 2003.
“I’m a traditionalist in a lot of ways,” he told the newspaper.
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