Roman Catholics: The Married Priest


With his son serving as acolyte, a Detroit man named Ernest Adam Beck was ordained a fortnight ago in Germany as a priest of the Roman Catholic Church. A former Lutheran minister, Father Beck, 42, is married and has two children. He is the first American among a handful of Latin Rite Catholic priests who have received dispensations from the Pope to take holy orders without a vow of celibacy.

Canon law has insisted on priestly celibacy since the Middle Ages, although Eastern-Rite Catholic priests may marry before their ordination. But within the past 13 years, Popes have from time to...

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