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St. Thomas More Catholic Parish, Scranton, PA
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Frequently Asked Questions

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You have a different Mass and your Priest is married... Are you sure you are real Catholics?

To be Catholic is to be in full communion with the Bishops and the Pope. Our Priest was ordained with permission from the Holy Father himself; our Bishop was appointed by the Holy Father himself and sits on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; and our liturgy is a valid, fully approved variation of the Roman Rite Mass used by most Catholics worldwide.

This question implies that diversity is a sign of disloyalty, which is simply not the case; there are twenty-two Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Pope, all of which celebrate different liturgies and have a married priesthood.

If your Priest is allowed to be married,
shouldn't all Catholic Priests be allowed to marry?

The Celibate Priesthood in the west is not a doctrine, but a discipline; doctrine can never be changed, while careful exceptions can be made to disciplines when called for by special pastoral circumstances. On a case-by-case basis, Protestant ministers whose former tradition is unaware of the discipline of clerical celibacy are allowed to be ordained, rather than being excluded for what they did not know prior to their calling to the Catholic Church. (This is a different circumstance than the man raised in the Catholic Church whose entire experience is of the celibate priesthood.) Additionally, in our own case, Fr. Bergman brought with him into the Catholic Church an entire congregation who knew him as their Pastor, so this exception to the rule allowed the reconciliation of many separated Christians to the Catholic Church.

This question assumes that marriage is a gift, while celibacy is a burden; properly understood, marriage and celibacy are both gifts, with some priests called to one state of life and some to the other. Additionally, from a purely practical standpoint, many Catholics who are proponents of a married priesthood imagine priests with the national average of just two children; but in their faithfulness to Catholic teaching, many former Anglican priests in our movement have five to ten children.  Our parishes tend to be small, but Catholics in parishes with thousands of members (as many of them do) may want to think twice about the level of pastoral and sacramental ministry available to large parishes by priests whose fidelity to Catholic teaching results in very large families.

Why leave the Diocese of Scranton and form your own Parish with your own liturgy and music?  Do you think you are better than other Catholics?

Congregations like ours who have been graciously allowed to join the Ordinariate and to continue worshiping in the beautiful traditions of our upbringing do so not simply to grasp what is familiar and comfortable to us. Our purpose is evangelistic, as we hope to use these means to welcome into the Catholic Church other separated Christians of our background (and of many other backgrounds) who likewise find these traditions attractive.

Additionally, in the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus which established our special jurisdiction, the Holy Father himself calls our traditions "a precious gift" and "a treasure to be shared" with the wider Church.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

St. Thomas More Catholic Parish   |   116 Theodore Street, Scranton, PA 18508
570.343.0634   |   |


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Got Questions?
Are you an open-minded seeker with questions about Truth, God, the Christian Faith, and the Catholic Church?

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