Married Catholic Priests: Their History, Their Journeys, Their Reflections

 A new book out this week explores the lives of Catholic priests in America who have married, and the married priesthood in the history of the church. The author, Anthony P Kowalski, was an assistant priest, Latin teacher, seminary rector, first secretary of a senate of priests and delegate to the initial gatherings of the National Federation of Priests' Councils (NFPC). After he married, he became a member of the first board of CORPUS - the national association for a married priesthood, and organizer of annual days of prayer for married priests and their wives. He has also held executive positions in university, trade association and social service management fields. Besides priestly studies, he gained a masters' in Latin from Fordham and a doctorate in education from New York University. Kowalski says he writes from "a life-long commitment to the Church" and to "his deep hope for the renewal of the Church he loves." The book discusses married popes, bishops and priests of the first millennium, before tracing the moves toward a celibate clergy in the West and analysing the pre- and post-Conciliar period. While describing the "shame and humiliation visited on married priests and their wives" in statement says the book is "balanced by accounts of those who have continued active in church life, some on the national scene." Gerard S Sloyan, Priest of Trenton, Retired Professor in the Catholic University of America and Temple University, said: "The book makes one ask how and when the Roman See will set up vicariates like those of Opus Dei and the military chaplaincies to reinstate to active service in any diocese those who wish to resume priestly ministry. The need in Europe is far greater than here." Anthony J Tambasco, Professor of Theology, Georgetown University, said: "Anthony Kowalski puts a human face on married Catholic priests. Through descriptions of real life experiences he shows their joys and their struggles and their ongoing commitment to their faith. If theology starts by reading 'the signs of the times,' then this biographical work helps shape theology in the new millennium." Married Catholic Priests: Their History, Their Journeys, Their Reflections by Anthony P. Kowalski is published by Caritas Communications. We hope to carry a review later this year. First posted LONDON - 13 September 2004 - 385 words

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