One of the more interesting Catholic stories over the next couple of weeks involves ordinations.
On December 10, many eyes will be on Archbishop Milingo as (he claims) he ordains three married men to the priesthood at the end of a conference on marriage and the priesthood in Parsippany, New Jersey. The link takes you to a press release from Milingo's organization. These ordinations will, of course, be valid. Illicit, but valid, because Milingo is, well, an Archbishop.
But will any journalists catch another story that would provide some interesing compare and contrast context to Milingo's actions?
For there will be other married men ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood in December, but not by Milingo, and not illicitly.
Dwight Longenecker, former Anglican priest and married father of four, was ordained to the Roman Catholic diaconate yesterday for the Diocese of Charleston and will be ordained to the priesthood on 12/14 at St. Mary's in Greenville, South Carolina.
This Sunday, December 3rd, married former Anglican priest and blogger Al Kimel will be ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood for the Archdiocese of Newark.
Any conversation about marriage and the RC priesthood prompted by Milingo has to take the Pastoral Provision into account, and in a serious way. For the interesting thing that will set the uninformed's heads spinning is that, of course, neither Bishop Baker nor Archbishop Myers are wild-eyed liberals. St. Mary's in Greenville is a vibrant parish, with a strong evangelistic mission, in which the Mass is celebrated in in a very traditional manner. Both Dwight and Al are vigorously orthodox, intellectual, and pastoral men - if you don't know about Dwight's books - check them out (my husband has worked on a couple of them as editor).
I can't help but think that the juxtaposition of these December ordinations poses fascinating questions and challenges from several different directions.