CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – For the first time in nearly a century, a married priest has been ordained by the Maronite Catholic Church in the United States.
With Pope Francis’ permission, Wissam Akiki was ordained by the Maronite Catholic church in St. Louis Thursday night.
Maronites follow the Pope’s authority, but have many of their own rituals. In Lebanon, home of the Maronite Catholic Church, nearly half of their priests are married.
Some people that 22News spoke with in Chicopee Friday told us that they welcome the change.
“I just, I think for a long time they should have gone with married priests,” Carl Lesik of Chicopee said.
“If the Pope says it’s okay, it’s okay by me, and it was probably okay by me even before the Pope had said it,” John Minko of Chicopee said.
In the 1920’s, the Vatican banned the ordination of married men in the United States.