Members of the cult founded by Felix Manalo, the Iglesia ni Cristo may surely be fretting out with this news. A married man will be ordained to the priesthood and he is a Catholic! Married Catholic priests will always be exceptional.
Local husband, dad to join Catholic priesthood Source: York Daily Record
The former Anglican pastor will be ordained Saturday in Springettsbury Township.
A former Anglican pastor will become the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg's first married priest when he's ordained Saturday in Springettsbury Township.
Paul Schenck, 51, of Manchester Township will be ordained by Bishop Victor Galeone of the Diocese of St. Augustine (Fla.) during a 10 a.m. Mass at St. Joseph Catholic Church.
Galeone, a longtime friend of Schenck's, will perform the rite because the Diocese of Harrisburg has been without a bishop since Kevin C. Rhoades moved to an Indiana diocese in January.
Schenck, a father of eight children ages 9 to 31, began his journey to the priesthood six years ago when he converted to Catholicism after more than 20 years in evangelical and Anglican ministry.
Brought up in a Jewish home, a teenaged Schenck found Jesus in a Methodist chapel in western New York.
At 16, he was baptized in the Niagara River by a Salvation Army officer and later became a Protestant pastor. For 10 years in the late 1980s and early 1990s, he and twin Rob helped lead the anti-abortion movement in Buffalo, N.Y. Later, Paul founded the National Pro-Life Action Center in Washington, D.C.
After several years serving an Anglican church in Maryland, Paul joined the Catholic Church in 2004, later expressing to Rhoades his interest in beginning the formation process to become a priest. He completed the required training and exams and learned last fall that the Vatican had approved his petition.
A 30-year-old church provision allows the ordination of married men on a case-by-case basis, although the situation is an exception.
"The norm continues to be a celibate priesthood and discernment through seminary, followed by ordination," Schenck said.
There's an estimated 100 married, former Protestant ministers in the Catholic priesthood -- many former Episcopalians and Lutherans.
"It's the first time it's happened here," said Joe Aponick, spokesman for the Harrisburg diocese.
With the special permission of Pope Benedict XVI, Schenck won't promise celibacy on Saturday. If he were to become a widower, he would be bound to celibacy like other priests and couldn't remarry.
Schenck isn't the first married pastor from York County to join the Catholic priesthood.
The Rev. Leonard Klein left Christ Lutheran Church in York in 2003 after 22 years for Catholicism. He was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Wilmington (Del.) in 2006.
Name: Paul Schenck
Hometown: Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Lives in: Manchester Township
Family: Wife, Rebecca; and children Leah Crowne, Ari, Abraham, Jordan, Miriam, Marta, Isaac and Eva
Occupation: Director of the Office of Respect Life Activities for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg
Clerical assignment: Parochial vicar, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in Harrisburg