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Pastoral Provision

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The Pastoral Provision allows for some exceptions to the normal practice of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church in the United States. The provision allows diocesan bishops to establish Anglican Use Catholic parishes, which use a liturgy adapted from Anglicanism and are often led by former priests of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. Parishes are located in the states of Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas, among others. It also allows for married former Episcopal priests to become priests within the Catholic Church. This is an exception to the general rule requiring Latin Rite Catholic priests to be celibate.


As presented in the Pastoral Provision website:

In 1980 the Holy See, in response to requests from priests and laity of the Episcopal Church who were seeking full communion with the Catholic Church, created a Pastoral Provision to provide them with special pastoral attention. The Pastoral Provision is under the jurisdiction of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith whose Delegate directs the working of the Provision.
Under the Provision the ordination of married Episcopalian priests was made possible (Cf. Pope Paul VI, Sacerdotalis caelibatus, no. 42.). It also authorized the establishment of personal parishes in dioceses of the United States in response to the request of former faithful of the Episcopal Church in which they may retain certain liturgical elements proper to the Anglican tradition. The special liturgy was subsequently approved by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Committee for the Liturgy of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The Pastoral Provision is a service rendered to the bishops of the United States by which former Episcopalian priests who have been accepted as candidates for priestly ordination receive theological, spiritual, and pastoral preparation for ministry in the Catholic Church.
Since 1983 over seventy men have been ordained for priestly ministry in Catholic dioceses of the United States; seven personal parishes have been established and the Book of Divine Worship has been authorized.


In Canada, there is no formal pastoral provision. However, The Toronto Star reports that there are approximately half a dozen married former Anglican priests who are ministering in Roman Catholic parishes in the country. One of these, Fr. Rick McKnight, was quoted as being against lifting priestly celibacy for priests in general. He is a priest on the staff of Our Lady of Grace Parish in Aurora, Ontario, and chaplain at St. Basil the Great College School in North York, Ontario.


Pastoral Provision Faculty

All faculty members are members of the Theological Faculty of Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology at Seton Hall University

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