On the 10th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood, Miles informed the congregation of his Roman Catholic parish in Montana that he would not be able ``to preach the gospel any longer among you, for that matter, anywhere else in the church.'' He thus joinedsome 12,000 American priests who, in the decade following the Second Vatican Council, left active ministry. Miles's departure had a difference, however. For three years, he functioned as a married priest, supported in his ministry by parishioners, clerical friends and an unorthodox archbishop. Efforts were made by Miles and his wife, a psychologist, to continue his active priesthood. He enlisted the help of seminal theologians at home and abroad; tilted with church administrators on the issue of clerical celibacy and, eventually, hopes dashed, gave up the presbyterate. Miles is now the father of three children and works as a senatorial assistant in Washington. (July 21)
Miles is a Roman Catholic priest who reluctantly accepted the condition of lifelong celibacy in order to be ordained into a church he felt called to serve. Later he fell in love and married, joining the thousands of American priests who have been ``laicized'' by Rome. With the support of his parish and a sympathetic bishop Miles continued his priestly ministry in the Helena, Montana, diocese for several years. He was eventually removed by a new bishop, who was prompted to act by the Vatican itself. Love Is Always is Miles's poignant first-person account of these events, which he recorded as a legacy to his children. A good selection for readers who wish to examine the implications of mandated celibacy in the contemporary Catholic Church and for those lay Catholics who wonder where all the priests have gone. Myriel Crowley Eykamp, formerly with MIT Libs.