CONSTANTINOPLE – The Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate has rendered a historic decision to allow priests whose wives died or abandoned them to enter into a second marriage. Priests who abandoned their own wives, however, to pursue other women, will not be allowed by the Church to remarry.
The Patriarchate will consider requests to remarry on a case-by-case basis, and will decide on such requests for evaluation sent to it by the respective hierarch.
The sacrament of the second marriage will be different; a simple prayer with close family members present.
The Patriarchate will issue a Patriarchal Letter soon outlining the details and directives.
The National Herald has learned that many hierarchs of the Metropolises of the New Lands in Greece were relieved to learn of this news, because there are many cases in their Eparchies of widowed or abandoned priests. TNH is also aware of several priests in the United States in the same situation; many left the priesthood, were defrocked, and married again. Others continue to serve in parishes while divorced, and one joined a monastery.
Also married Bishops – including Apostles Peter and Philip – was the Church’s Ancient tradition in the Apostolic era, and even as recently as the ninth century.