Saturday, February 11, 2006

Married, ex-Episcopalian ordained a Catholic priest in California
Associated Press

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - A former Episcopalian priest who converted to Catholicism became the first married cleric ordained in the Diocese of San Bernardino under an unusual provision.

As his wife and two children looked on at Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral, Gregory Elder was ordained into the Roman Catholic clergy Friday through a rarely invoked exemption to Canon Law called the Pastoral Provision.

"I'm humbled, it's an honor, and only God could have made this happen," Elder told The Associated Press. "I didn't leave the Episcopal Church because I was mad at them. I wanted to join the church of history. I love my Episcopal friends."

Since 1983, about 80 former Episcopal priests in the United States have been ordained as Catholic priests through the provision, said the Rev. William Stetson, director of the Catholic Information Center in Washington, D.C.


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