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"Liberal Catholic" doesn't have to be an oxymoron
October 5, 2009 10:03 AM   Subscribe

Looking for liberal Catholic parishes in Toronto.

My partner and I don't live in Toronto, but we'll be getting married there in 2011 (the hall is booked) and would like to find a liberal priest to marry us. I'm from the GTA originally, but I don't have a home church there anymore because my family stopped going to church when I was about 12. My partner and I have started going again in the city where we live and we love how liberal our (university-based) church and our priest are, and we'd really like to find that with wherever we get married in Toronto. We live together and would like a priest who wouldn't look down on that so much; an accepting outlook on things in general would be most welcome. If you're Catholic and in Toronto and have an awesome liberal priest and/or church community, where do you go? We'd prefer downtown-ish or west GTA (to Mississauga at the most western limit).

To pre-empt some potential questions:
As much as we'd like to be married in our current city with our current priest, it's too difficult to work out logistically with travel for family and friends. We live about 2 hours away from Toronto, so can't go to church there every Sunday, but we do visit my parents often and can put in appearances whenever we are in town. We'd also probably do all the pre-marriage counselling stuff at the church we choose in Toronto. I'll answer any other questions as they come up.
posted by pised to Religion & Philosophy (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Why dont you ask your current priest to come to officiate the wedding in Toronto. Or ask your current priest for a recommendation as to a church and priest in Toronto?
posted by BobbyDigital at 11:11 AM on October 5, 2009


You could try the Newman Centre at U of T. I'm not catholic, but a friend is and her experience sounds like it might be the solution you are looking for, or a place that can point you in the right direction.
posted by girlpublisher at 3:25 PM on October 5, 2009


When I got married in the GTA the only option available to Roman Catholics were to be married in thei home parish (based on residence). Are you sure you can shop for a priest/church you like? Unless you were planning to move to an area that someone suggests has a liberal priest.
"It is the policy in the Archdiocese of Toronto that a marriage should take place at a parish church under normal circumstances. Exceptions are only made when there is a grave and urgent cause such as illness or physical disability."
posted by saucysault at 5:41 PM on October 5, 2009


saucysault, most of the websites for Toronto parishes have been saying that you have to be a resident/member of the parish. But I figure that lots of people live away from their hometowns and want to come back to be married, and the churches can accommodate them, right? We're thinking that we'll (hopefully) get our priest to write a letter vouching for us.

BobbyDigital, I don't think Catholic priests like to travel to do weddings -- they usually do them at their home church. We'll ask our priest for recommendations though.

girlpublisher, Newman Centre looks promising - thanks!
posted by pised at 8:47 PM on October 5, 2009


It really comes down to the individual priest and I know a lot of people that had similar difficulties - the Catholic church is very bureaucratic and takes parishes very seriously.

I was living in Toronto for nine months due to school and the priest at the church I had attended for twenty years previously (and attended at holidays while living in Toronto and my entire extended family still attended) refused and really fought against me marrying in my hometown at his church because technically I belonged to a Toronto parish. I ended up saying my boyfriend and I had moved back in with my parents to get back in the parish. Seriously, the fact I was living in sin and pregnant was not an issue but my home parish was. My sister had a similar battle about baptising her daughter.

So my advice to you would be to find the parish you like first, set up an address in that parish and then approach the priest. Some priests are really funny about rules (maybe in the past they had their wrists slapped by the bishop and don't see the point of risking it again for a stranger) and the church is stricter now (I know Catholics that couldn't get their child baptised because the priest felt they were only baptising to get into separate school).

Other than that, I know a cool Anglican priest in Woodbridge.
posted by saucysault at 4:49 AM on October 6, 2009


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