Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Catholic Church accepts married priests

German Catholic church ordains married man
Reuters Life!
BERLIN – A married father of two was ordained as a priest by the Catholic Church in Germany on [Feb. 22, 2011] after receiving an exemption from priestly celibacy from Pope Benedict XVI.

Harm Klueting, a theologian and former Protestant pastor, will not have to adhere to the Church's celibacy law for the duration of his marriage, the diocese of Cologne said. The case sheds light on a little-known 60-year-old Roman Catholic church law that allows ordained clergy from other Christian faiths to become priests.

"This happens seldom but it's not unusual," diocese spokesman Christoph Heckeley said, adding that it is more usual in Scandinavia.

The 61-year-old converted to Catholicism in 2004 after which he served as a deacon and taught religious history at universities in Germany and Switzerland. He currently teaches at the University of Cologne where he will also serve as a priest. Last year a married father of four was ordained as a priest in Regensburg, southern Germany. More>>

U.S. will no longer defend anti-gay marriage law
(NPR) Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department has defended the law until now because the government was able to advance reasonable arguments for the law based on a less strict standard. The Obama administration says a federal law that bans recognition of same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and has directed the Justice Department not to defend the law anymore in court cases across the country.

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