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I went to a parish where there was a married priest on staff. How was that permitted?

Since 1980 through a “Pastoral Provision” the Vatican has been ordaining into the Roman Catholic priesthood, married Protestant ministers  who converted to Catholicism. Priests who were initially ordained as Roman Catholic priests were forced to leave their ministry if they decided to marry.

Does CITI Ministries ordain Roman Catholic priests?

No. When we receive inquiries about ordination we refer those gentlemen to their local bishop.

Are all of the CITI priests married?

The large majority of our priests are married, but some are single, partnered or widowed.

Why does the church require celibacy?

Celibacy was first made mandatory in Spain in the 4th century and then made universal in 1139. One of the chief reasons had to do with real estate: the institution wanted the homes that belonged to priests and their families once the priest died. In some instances, wives and children of deceased priests were sold to slavery in order to get rid of them. (Desire and Denial, Gordon Thomas author). Prior to 1139, Popes, bishops and priests were married. As late as the 15th century, Popes were still begetting children. Over the years the teaching on celibacy has evolved and is considered a gift given to the ordained and it allows them to be more fully open to ministry without the responsibilities of family.

What are the requirements for priests to be affiliated with CITI and is there a screening process?

Priests are required to provide documentation of ordination into the Roman Catholic priesthood. They also submit a birth certificate, an application, educational documentation, reference letters, and a resume since their time out of ministry. Background screenings are done by Bishop Accountability and a national background screening company.

CITI Ministries says it is a Catholic lay organization but doesn’t it go against church teaching?

CITI Ministries was founded in 1992 by a woman named Louise Haggett, who could not find a priest to minister to her dying mother because of the priest shortage in her area. She came to realize that a large number of priests had left their order or diocese to get married. Upon further research Louise discovered that there were 21 canon laws which supported a married priesthood. Within Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church she felt it was within our right as laity to make use of the ministerial gifts of these priests. Canon 290 “After it has been validly received, sacred ordination never becomes invalid”  Canon 213 “ The Christian faithful have the right to receive assistance from the sacred pastors out of the spiritual goods of the church, especially the Word of God and the sacraments.” CITI Ministries is Catholic.

How can I start a home mass community?

Go to the priest directory on our website to find a priest nearest to where you live. Depending on the location we may have several priests to choose from or unfortunately, none available to serve. If there is a priest in your area, contact him by phone or email with your request. If no one is available please call or email our office and perhaps we can assist you in getting a small faith group going on your own.


We do not regularly attend a church or parish, and I cannot find a priest who will marry us. What can we do?

Most Roman Catholic parishes require that you have at least some connection to it before they will allow you to marry there. If you would like, you could find a parish where you feel comfortable and approach the parish priest and explain that you would like to join the parish and that you have plans to marry. If it isn’t the right time to join a parish, CITI priests will be happy and proud to assist you by providing the blessing of God’s people as you begin your journey together. Be assured that you that you will be treated with respect, kindness and acceptance.

One of us is (or both of us are) divorced and we do not wish to use the annulment process. Our priest has told us that we cannot be married in the church. Can you help us?

For many reasons, marriages sometimes fail. If God blesses you by sending love into your life again, that love is a sign of hope and gives you another chance to journey through life with a beloved partner. CITI Ministries welcomes couples who have had this additional chance for happiness and will work with you in marriage preparation and creating a meaningful ceremony for you and your families.

If we choose you to witness our marriage, will it be legal in the eyes of the state?

CITI Ministries is a Roman Catholic lay organization that uses canon law as a resource to support the existence of a  married priesthood. We call validly ordained  Roman Catholic  priests back into ministry. Because of that call, CITI priests are recognized ministers in good standing with the International Council of Community Churches (ICCC). They also belong to the Society of Christ’s Priesthood. Since they are ministers of religion, your marriage will be legal in the eyes of the state. Some states do have special licensing requirements which our priests will meet.

If we choose you to witness our marriage, will it be recognized by the Roman Catholic Church?

The International Council of Community Churches and all other Christian denominations will recognize your marriage. Because CITI priests are no longer ministering within the Roman Church, they lack jurisdiction from that organization to witness marriages on its behalf. Your ceremony may well utilize some of the traditions of the Catholic Church if you choose to use them including Eucharist; but since CITI priests do not act as a ministers for the church, the Roman Catholic hierarchy will not recognize the marriage as valid.

We want to be married in an outdoor ceremony, but our priest will only perform a ceremony in a church building. Will you perform an outdoor ceremony?

Yes! CITI priests will be happy to witness your vows at a reception hall, home or any setting you feel is appropriate inside or outside.

Will you perform ecumenical, interfaith or non-denominational ceremonies?

Yes! CITI priests  will be proud to be part of any ceremony that reflects your love for each other. The presence of ministers of other faiths adds a wonderful sense of beauty and peace to the day that marks the joining of two lives.

Do either or both of the parties need to be Catholic?

Neither person needs to be a member of any particular religious persuasion, or an active member of a church. As long as you want to acknowledge the gift of love comes to all of us from God, CITI priests would be honored to call the blessings of God’s people on your union.

Do you witness same sex weddings?

CITI priests can only witness same sex weddings where marriage equality laws have been passed. That said, it is up to each individual CITI priest to determine if that is a ministry they are called to. Please contact a CITI priest near you if you have this particular request.

Do you witness union celebrations?

This is a decision made by the priests, individually. However, many CITI priests have blessed same sex unions. Please contact a CITI priest near you if you have this particular request.

How far will you travel to celebrate our wedding?

This answer varies according to individual priests. Some CITI priests answer this question on their personal websites which you can access from our priest directory. It is always worth contacting a priest by phone or email to inquire about travel.

What is the typical fee for a CITI priest?

Each priest sets his own fees which vary according to the couple’s needs. Marriage prep, geographic location, travel and rehearsals are all things that can be taken into consideration when determining a fee. Please contact a CITI priest by phone or email to inquire.