Roman Catholics: What I Wanted as a Person


As head of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus, which extends from North Carolina to Ohio, the Very Rev. Edward J. Sponga, 50, was, in effect, the Jesuit equivalent of a bishop. Last week Father Sponga quietly abandoned his vow of celibacy to marry Mary Ellen Barrett, 33, a nurse at a Roman Catholic hospital in the Philadelphia suburb of Darby, Pa., and the divorced mother of three children. In so doing, he became the highest ranking ecclesiastic of the 350 or so priests who have left the Catholic Church in the U.S. within the last two...

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