An American priest has stopped having sex with his wife after his own sect had become too accepting of gays.
Deacon John Cornelius, who has spent 20 years as an Episcopalian preacher, was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest yesterday (27 January).
As part of the deal of becoming Catholic, the 64-year-old and father of three agreed to become celibate.
Sharyl, his wife of 33 years, is reportedly happy with the new arrangement.
‘We have decided to do that voluntarily,’ he told WGRZ-TV. ‘I have always had friends that are Roman Catholic priests and I appreciate what they’ve given up to serve God and the priesthood.’
He said the Episcopal Chuch had become too liberal for him, as the Christian denomination is one of the few in the US to back marriage equality.
‘There was the ordination of the homosexual priest in New England’, Cornelius said. ‘Then it came time for women’s ordination… It may have been okay for other people, but it was just too much for me.’
‘I needed some place where there was some order,’ he added.
Cornelius retired from priesthood in 2010, but after Pope Benedict XVI issued a directive last year aimed at filling depleted Catholic ranks with converted Episcopalian priests, he ‘jumped at the chance’.
After his ordination, Cornelius will preach to a flock of other recently converted Catholics at the Fellowship of Saint Alban, in Rochester, New York.