Cathnews is carrying the story about the American father of six to be ordained as priest. Scott Caton was a Baptist pastor before becoming Catholic.
The article calls this case “rare – but allowable”. Indeed it is both. But it is particularly rare because Mr Caton comes from one of those protestant traditions that does not have a high understanding of the office of ministry, and one of the usual arguments used to move along the ordination of former protestant clergy is that they have already been “formed” to some extent in the priestly character.
Apart from former Anglican priests, ordination of married former protestant clergy remains rare. I know of one fomer Uniting Church minister who has been ordained here in Australia, but no Lutherans and certainly no Baptists.
Given the rarity of this step, therefore, the Rochester Diocese must have made a compelling case for Mr Caton’s ordination, which makes me confident that he will be a great asset to the Church in that place.