Greek Church to help priests find wives - and keep them
Wed Nov 3, 5:39 PM ET
ATHENS (AFP) - The Greek Orthodox Church launched a campaign to help young
priests overcome a growing problem -- finding a wife in an age when Greek
women are more and more reluctant to embrace an austere lifestyle.
The highly conservative church announced that a new committee would
examine "pastoral methods to obtain and prepare priests' wives."
Young Greek would-be priests are expected to find a spouse before being
ordained. But many run into problems because potential spouses are often
discouraged by constraints on entertainment and by the dress code
associated with their future husbands' profession, church officials admit.
"They just need to be told convincingly that life with a priest is not
substantially different from that with any other husband," said one priest,
who declined to be named.
But a church spokesman rejected notions that church-run catechism classes
could be turned into match-making courses.
"As part of its pastoral vigilance, the Church may well speak out about
priests' wives' role in the world -- something not done today," said Bishop
Dorotheos, spokesman of the Standing Holy Synod.
Better psychological preparation before marriage might also spare
would-be priests' spouses from possible frustrations once the knot is tied
-- which often lead to their collapse.
Divorce puts Greek clerics in a tight spot because regulations bar them
from marrying a second time. According to media reports, the commission may
propose lifting the ban.
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