There has been a case in the news lately of a popular Catholic priest who wants to marry. However, he has taken the promise of celibacy and besides, marriage is not allowed after ordination. The Episcopal Church, however, has said that if he were to marry and drop out of the Catholic Church, he would be most welcome with his wife in the Episcopal Church. I know that the rule in Catholic and Orthodox is that a priest must be married before ordination. However, suppose a Roman Catholic priest were to marry and leave the Catholic Church. Suppose further that his wife to be was a fervent Orthodox Christian and he had been studying and reading and praying and thinking about joining the Orthodox Church for some time. Would then the Eastern Orthodox Church accept him as a candidate for a married priest in the Eastern Orthodox Church or Western rite were he to apply for such?
I know of a case where an entire Byzantine Catholic Church, including the priests and much of the congregation, went over to the Eastern Orthodox Church. There was a certain ceremony and prayers were said, but other than that, it did not seem to be that difficult to accomplish and the whole process went smoothly.
Would the Eastern Orthodox see it as a problem to accept a married (ex) Catholic priest, since he was ordained as a priest in the RC Church and then after Catholic ordination, he got married. Or would it be not a problem, since there will be new prayers and ceremonies according to which he would be installed in the Orthodox Church, either Eastern or Western rite?
In the Catholic view, once a priest, you are always a priest and the ordination leaves an indelible mark. However, I have used the phrase (ex)Catholic priest, since after his marriage, he would not be allowed to function officially and licitly as a Catholic priest within the Catholic Church.