The Rev. George Augustus Stallings Jr., who broke from the Roman Catholic Church last year in part because it forbids priests to marry, plans to wed next year, his spokesman said yesterday.
William Marshall Jr., Stallings's spokesman, said the bishop of the African-American Catholic Congregation intends to marry Candace Mosley, 29, an assistant district attorney in Houston, in late spring or early summer. The wedding will be in Houston.
"This is something that he has wanted to do for a long time," Marshall said. "He has wanted children for a long time, and he believes she will be a wonderful mother to his children. He is very proud of her."
Stallings, 42, announced the engagement Friday in New Orleans at an inaugural banquet for a new branch of the African-American Catholic Congregation there, the spokesman said.
Marshall said that Stallings proposed to Mosley about a week ago in Houston.
Neither Stallings nor Mosley could be reached for comment yesterday.
Stallings broke from the Roman Catholic Church last year, calling it racist and criticizing its refusal to allow the use of contraceptives and its ban on married priests and women priests. His movement has churches in Washington, Philadelphia, Norfolk and Baltimore.
"When he finally settled down and got his temples going," Marshall said, "he decided to look full time for a companion. He feels like a man who has finally made the ultimate accomplishment."
Marshall said that Stallings met Mosley in Houston through mutual friends about a year and a half ago, and that their relationship developed as Stallings traveled there for speaking engagements.
Mosley, an Episcopalian, is considering converting to Catholicism, Marshall said.
Since forming the African-American Catholic Congregation, Stallings has continued to deride the Roman Catholic Church's policies on celibacy and women priests as "folly."
Earlier this month in Baltimore, Stallings ordained as priests a married Baptist minister from Richmond and a married deacon of a Baltimore church. He also ordained a former nun from New Jersey as a deacon.
Last August, Stallings offered a position in his church to Eugene A. Marino, the nation's first black archbishop, who resigned in June because of his relationship with a woman.
Stallings said Marino's relationship was not "a personal failure but a failure on the part of the Roman Catholic Church to deal realistically with the issue that a call to ordained ministry is not synonymous with celibacy."
Several former parishioners have alleged that Stallings had sexual relationships with altar boys and others. Stallings has denied those allegations.