In the same way that new customers always get a better deal with Verizon, the Church has made a number of dispensations over the years in order to boost their numbers, including allowing married Episcopal priests to convert (though asking them to divorce would have been pretty hypocritical). It would be interesting to take stock of the effectiveness of the new, married priests and compare it to the old school, celibate blokes. You'd guess that there would be more buy-in to marital advice given by someone who's been there (though I know tons of married people who I'd never ask for relationship advice). And lest we think this is a new problem, I bumped into an old New York Times article about a priest running off to Atlantic City to marry the 18-year old daughter of a waiter. Good times.
Though I know only the facts printed in periodicals and the photos evidence, it seems like Father
What-A-Waste Cutié is getting short thrift. It's possible that his popularity and maverick attitude rubbed his superiors the wrong way. Maybe he's trying to get a TV deal. Not to be flip, but it's probably a lot easier for a homely, less charming priest to keep the faith. Sometimes, like in comedy*, being really good-looking is actually a curse.
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Thoughts? Should the Church reverse course on chastity? If they do, would it be tough to hold onto those vows of poverty and chastity? Could you raise a family on a priest's salary?
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*Note: Paul Rudd claims to be severely handicapped in the comedy game by his good looks.