Date of Paper/Work
Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.)
Type of Paper/Work
Karen Rogers, Sarah Noonan, Massimo Faggioli
This qualitative research study examined the lived experiences of fifteen married, Latin Rite, U.S. Catholic priests who were ordained through either the Pastoral Provision or the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. The purpose of this study was to understand the unique experiences these men share, differentiated from that of their celibate brethren. Data were collected through semi-structured phone interviews. Questions focused on leadership, celibacy, a priest shortage, the abuse crisis, homosexuality and same-sex attraction in the priesthood, priestly identity, the priest/parishioner relationship, alienation, the Pastoral Provision, the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, and the roles and effects that married priests might have on the U.S. Catholic Church. Analysis was crafted through the lens of postmodern American culture and role theory, including frames of Collective Consciousness, Complex Religious Systems, Symbolic Interactionism, and Presentation of Self. Themes that emerged were identity, role and career limitation. The more salient findings of this study are that these men are institutionally disadvantaged due to barriers of identity construction and their prescribed roles within the Church, both of which hinder career development within the Latin Rite, U.S. Catholic Church. Married priests tend to fully respect and admire those men called to the priesthood and who have accepted the vow of celibacy. They often struggle with financial hardships, particular to answering the call to the Catholic priesthood while supporting a spouse and family. This study highlights frustration with their limited roles in the Church and the effects those roles have on their identities and careers. Additionally, this study identifies necessary areas of support for this unique cohort of Catholic priests
married Catholic priests, Pastoral Provision, Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, priestly celibacy, priestly identity
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Varble, Kenneth D., "Married Catholic Priests: Their Unique Priestly Identity and Potential Catalyst for Change in the U.S. Catholic Church" (2017). Education Doctoral Dissertations in Leadership. 120.