Church in Spain ordains first married priest under pastoral provision

.- In what he called “a very unique exception,” Bishop Emeritus Felipe Fernandez, who is currently acting as the Apostolic administrator for Tenerife, Spain, bestowed the sacrament of the Holy Orders on Evans David Gliwitzki, an Anglican convert who is married and has two daughters and a granddaughter, thus becoming the first such case to occur in Spain under the Holy See’s pastoral provision. Gliwitzki, 64, who is from Zimbabwe, where he was pastor and vicar general of the Anglican diocese there, was ordained to the priesthood at the Parish of Our Lady of Conception in La Laguna (Tenerife), with his family members in attendance.

After his ordination, Gliwitzki “will of course remain married to his wife, Patricia,” Bishop Fernandez said.  He clarified, however, that this was not a move towards the abolition of celibacy, “but rather a very unique exception in consideration of his situation” and “his very peculiar circumstances of coming from the Anglican Church, a community that does allow its ministers to marry.”

Bishop Fernandez said he was pleased with the ordination and that from the beginning he accepted the request by the Bishops’ Conference of Spain to supervise Gliwitzki’s period of formation.  He also noted that the pertinent authorization from the Holy See was requested and granted.

Conversions to the Catholic Church by Anglican ministers “is somewhat more common” in the United Kingdom and each case is studied individually to see if the candidate fulfills the requirements, a diocesan official said.


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