Following the Episcopal Church’s 1976 decision to ordain women, Catholic leaders in America and Rome were approached by Episcopal clergy who opposed the decision and sought conversion as a result. The Catholics responded by establishing rules that would allow the Church to receive married convert priests as exceptions to the rule of celibacy-a decree known as the Pastoral Provision. In his fascinating new book, D. Paul Sullins brings to light the untold stories of these curious creatures: married Catholic priests. Sullins explores their day-to-day lives, their journey to Catholicism, and their views on issues important to the Church. Surprisingly, he reveals, married Catholic priests are more conservative than their celibate colleagues on nearly every issue, including celibacy: they think that priests should, in general, not be allowed to marry.
Check out the infographic below to see how the opinions of married priests on premarital sex, homsexuality, and cloning in medical research compare with the opinions held by their unmarried peers.
Featured image: St. Joseph Catholic Church, San Antonio, Texas by Ralph Arvesen. CC BY 2.0 via Flickr.