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Nightcrawler for a long time thought he had managed to become an ordained priest, but for some reason this was retconned as an illusion and all his hard work was undone.

Did he eventually become a priest?

  • 3
    If the current answer doesn't have enough detail, why is it accepted? – DCShannon Apr 4 '17 at 22:44
  • @DCShannon the ignorance of youth... – AncientSwordRage Apr 5 '17 at 7:20
  • I think you can un-accept answers by clicking on the green tick, if that helps. – EleventhDoctor Apr 6 '17 at 11:10
  • @EleventhDoctor I can and will when I'm ready. – AncientSwordRage Apr 6 '17 at 11:28
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+300

Nightcrawler was quite sure he became a priest

In X-Men #100 (May 2000), a 6 month gap has occurred and we discover that in the intervening time, he began studying to be a Roman Catholic priest.

X-Men Nightcrawler Catholic priest

In the small hours of the morning, when the world around him is still and at Peace…

…in the heart of ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL…

KURT WAGNER stands alone before his God, and celebrates his faith.

For quite a few issues, he says he is studying to be a priest, occasionally leaving the X-Men to focus on his studies. In Uncanny X-Men #408 (September 2002), he said for the first time that he was ordained, although we did not see a ceremony.

And then his teammates told him that it was an illusion

In Uncanny X-Men #424, Nightcrawler discovered that his teammates had no recollection of him studying to become a priest, and were quite sure he wasn't.

X-Men Nightcrawler priest illusion 1 X-Men Nightcrawler priest illusion 2

Havok: You were a priest? That's a joke, right?

Nightcrawler: A joke? No, not at all Alex. I've been studying for years now. I was recently fully ordained. Why do you find that hard to believe? […]

Ice Man: Hey, wait a minute here -- did you say you finally made priesthood? Was there a ceremony? Why weren't we invited?

Nightcrawler: But -- you were. You were all there.

We find out later that this was all a convoluted plot from the sinister Church of Humanity to overthrow the Catholic Church, which involved Nightcrawler thinking he was a priest so he could eventually become the Pope.*

Behind the scenes, Chuck Austen started writing for Uncanny X-Men around issue 410. It seems Austen did not like having Nightcrawler be a priest, and within the next few issues, Nightcrawler began having a crisis of faith. This culminated in the incident described above in which he found out his entire study to become a priest was an illusion.

Since then, he has not tried to become a priest again

For a variety of reasons, Nightcrawler has continued to have doubts of faith despite being religious over all. He has not tried to become a priest again since this incident, perhaps due to how traumatic it was.

He does officiate Deadpool's wedding, but does not wear a priest collar

Nightcrawler officiated at Deadpool's wedding in Deadpool #27 (April 2014). Clergy commonly officiate weddings, but Nightcrawler is clearly wearing a necktie, rather than a priestly collar that would be worn by Catholic priests.

Deadpool wedding close-up

Unfortunately, there isn't really any context to Nightcrawler being the one officiating the wedding: he's just there without explanation.

It's most likely that the writers just figured that because clergy often officiate weddings, the only Marvel character who has ever been a clergy should officiate it. However, Nightcrawler at this point in his own comic series does not consider himself to be a priest. He has also never officiated a wedding aside from this one (and given how Deadpool's stories are often fuzzy with canon, it's not clear if that's something Nightcrawler is normally able to do).


* Basically, Nightcrawler's main teacher was secretly a member of the Church of Humanity and had been tampering with his memories. They had a convoluted plan to overthrow the Catholic church involving making Nightcrawler become the Pope, making his image inducer fail at a key moment so that the world sees that the Pope has a demonic appearance, and timing that with a delivery of nano-tech laced communion wafers to every Catholic church on the planet so that when people ingested them, their bodies would disintegrate. Then the Church of Humanity planned to tell everyone that the demon-looking Pope was the anti-Christ and all the exploding churchgoers were being taken up by the Rapture. This plan makes no sense whatsoever for a variety of reasons (most notably that the Rapture is not part of Catholic theology, so the whole plan is bound to fail). Needless to say, this is often pretty high up on "worst story" lists.

Thanks to Geeks Out and Nightcrawlers.com for providing much of this information.

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    As someone who has officiated a wedding using a certificate obtained in a few minutes from an internet website, the level of qualification required by most states is very low (although still almost universally religious). – FuzzyBoots Apr 5 '17 at 9:52
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According to Wikipedia, yes and no.

Wanting to devote more time to priesthood, Nightcrawler shares team leadership with Archangel. However, his work as a priest is ret-conned to be an illusion; he had, in fact, never attained priesthood.

At first he did attain priesthood which was a reason he left the X-Men, so he could devot himself to his studies, but later, it was changed to it all being an illusion.

I also remember a story arc where Nightcrawler was trying to become the pope or a high up clergymen, but his image inducer was sabotaged. All as a plan from a renegade nun who was raped and/or molested by some priests and wanted to take the whole religion down by proving there were demons in the clergy. I couldn't give you an issue or anything, this is only from memory.

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    ... I could give you an issue, but I won't. Nobody deserves to be subjected to that story. – Tynam May 21 '12 at 15:24
  • @Tynam Is that the same story arc with the exploding communion wafers? – Discord Jul 24 '13 at 14:19
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    @Discord: Yep, that's the one. There is this to be said of the writing Austen did for this run: the exploding communion wafers are not in the top three stupidest things in the story. But since it's been identified elsewhere: it was Uncanny X-men #424. Please, for your soul's sake... don't read it. Whatever you've done, you don't deserve that. – Tynam Jul 24 '13 at 23:31
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    That doesn't sound like a yes and a no so much as just a no. – DCShannon Apr 4 '17 at 22:44
  • oh, is the Nightcrawler/Archangel pairing a thing in the comics? They are fighting in the clandestine fight in the Apocalypse movie, but I thought it was just to introduce the characters. – Taladris Apr 5 '17 at 5:40

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