.- Father Evans David Gliwitzki, the married Catholic priest in Spain who converted from Anglicanism and has been permitted ordination under the pastoral provision, said this week he hoped his ordination would not be seen as step towards the abolition of priestly celibacy in the Catholic Church, and he rejected the notion that the ordination of women has any basis in Sacred Scripture.
Father Gliwitzki said the Anglican Communion’s decision to ordain women was a primary motive in his decision to convert to the Catholic Church. “I began this change when the ordination of women was approved in my former church, in 1992.”
“This signified a problem for my own faith—and for part of the clergy and bishops—as I believe this should never have been accepted. Therefore I thought, ‘I cannot face this here, it would be better for me to leave.’ Thus I left, but on good terms with my bishop, who agreed with my decision and supported me,” Father Gliwitzki said in an interview with the Spanish daily ABC.
Asked about the difference he sees between not accepting women priests and his being accepted in the Catholic Church despite being married, Father Gliwitzki noted that there is no basis in the Bible for women ordination. “The Anglicans have women celebrating Mass and I don’t find any justification for it in the Bible, because our Lord did not choose any woman.”
“If He had wanted to do so,” he continued, “He would have had several good ones to choose from. The Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene and Elizabeth were all close to Him, but I think Jesus knew that it would not be an easy task. And despite how much people talk about it, the decision by the Anglicans has not resulted in a large number of them being ordained,” the 64 year-old native of Zimbabwe said.
Speaking with the Spanish daily La Razon, Father Gliwitzki said he hoped his case would not influence a decision to abolish celibacy for priests and that his case was an “exception.”
“I hope not,” he said. “This is not the first time that a former Anglican minister who is married has been ordained to the Catholic priesthood. In the United Kingdom there have been many such cases. My case, like others, is an exception and has been allowed because I came from a communion in which the ministers were allowed to be married,” he explained.
Father Gliwitzki, who has two daughters and a granddaughter, was ordained last Sunday in Tenerife in the Canary Islands.
While he was the Cardinal prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, then-Cardinal Ratzinger requested a dispensation from Pope John Paul II to allow Father Gliwitzki to be ordained a Catholic priest.