New Zealand’s national Catholic newspaper (#362 March 27 2011) reports that an ex-Lutheran has been ordained as a Catholic priest “and is being allowed to remain married to his wife, who is already a Carmelite nun“!
The mind boggles!
It is irritating when the secular media makes mistakes in reporting on religion. It is annoying when religious media makes mistakes about other religions. But it is IMO totally unacceptable when a denomination’s media does not even understand the basic teachings of its own denomination.
Harm Klueting, 61, was ordained by Archbishop Joachim Cardinal Meisner in a private ceremony at the city’s seminary, the Cologne archdiocese said.
Pope Benedict XVI gave him special permission to remain married to his wife, Edeltraut Klueting, who became a Catholic Carmelite nun in 2004. They have two grown children.
“It doesn’t happen every day,” noted Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi.
Let’s just quickly clear some things up for the very confused NZ Catholic:
- Roman Catholic teaching is that a valid marriage only ends at death. The couple does not need, and could not receive, the pope’s “special permission to remain married”.
- Edeltraut Klueting is not a Carmelite nun. If you put “Edeltraut Klueting” into a search engine the first thing you learn that she is a Third Order Carmelite. These are lay people who live in the spirit of the order with which they are associated – they can be married or single. Edeltraut Klueting is married and in no sense a nun.
- I presume the pope dispensed Harm Klueting from the requirement of celibacy for ordination (Canon 1042).
- And yes, a married man being ordained priest “doesn’t happen every day” in the Catholic Church – but it’s regular enough. Very regular in Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church, and increasingly in the West.
ps. the story is all over the web and in secular news. That’s no excuse for NZ Catholic to repeat the nonsense.