Enter your email address to receive updates by email:

subscribe in a reader like my facebook page follow me on twitter Image Map
Podcast Message Line: 512-222-3389
Logos Catholic Bible Software

« 3 Mil | Main | Milingo Update: Excommunication »

September 26, 2006



I'll say it again. I think Washingon diocese's response, "...this means nothing" was very appropriate. They know better but it is a way, in WaPo speak, to explain this.

Mary Kay

What a scary post to start the day. Those four conditions sound a lot like the Rochester diocese. "Clearly calls for prayer" is an understatement.


If the modernists were to go off and start up a schismatic movement of their own, my attitude would be "good riddance". In the town where I'm based at the moment, one priest is "married" while another has publicly denied Christ's bodily resurrection from the pulpit. I would be happy to see the back of both those men.


"They're too comfortable where they are and are content to serve out their time spreading dissent in their already secure positions of influence."

Yup. Parasites need hosts.


What's kind of frustrating about the potential for schism is that one could argue that it is largely the modernists that are responsible for protecting priests that were abusing children and now, if they schism and create a new denomination, they would effectively seperate themselves from the penalty of their actions. The Catholic Church would be left holding the bag and paying the penalty for their wrong actions!

paul zummp


At first blush your position makes the most sense. These individuals are in essence already in schism, and they'd only be making official what is already a reality.

But the concern is with the future of our Church. If a significant schism occurs, how many people in the future will be led astray by the siren song of this schismatic group? We're not talking a small group, but perhaps millions. And many of these people might be well-intentioned people who believe the schismatic group to be an authentic Church legitimately upholding the traditional Catholic name.

We should pray that a major schism does not take place, one that would lead too many souls from the right path.


This is a tough one, because I know a schism would grieve the Holy Spirit; on the other hand, I'd like to be rid of the dissidents who are messing up the Church. I'm not sure a large number of souls are being led from the right path the way things are right now. At least a breakaway group would not be able to spread their poison under the auspices of the authentic Catholic Church, like they're doing now.

Ryan Herr

"At least a breakaway group would not be able to spread their poison under the auspices of the authentic Catholic Church, like they're doing now."

Not so! There would be confusion about which is the authentic Catholic Church.

Folks, there are no inherent positives in schism. (We know that if schism were to happen, that God works for good in all things, but that's not what I'm talking about, and that shouldn't be too hard to distinguish.) This "don't let the door hit your (butt) on the way out" attitude is disturbing to me. One, because it seems like we are giving up on the dissidents and the power of God's mercy to convert their hearts. Two, because we are naive if we think that actual schism will cause less confusion among the faithful that de facto schism. Look at any schism in history for confirmation.

Jordan Potter

I can think of one reason why the Holy See might be hesitant about reclassifying the consecration of bishops without papal mandate an automatically schismatic act: China. It would be tantamount to declaring the Chinese Catholics of the Patriotic Association to be in formal schism (in a sense they already are, but not formally so).

Brian John Schuettler

When Pope Benedict XVI was Cardinal Ratzinger he wrote that perhaps before the full flowering of the new evangelization occurs the Church must contract i.e. the possibility of schism? This is essentially a spiritual issue and, as Jimmy stated, it is a time for prayer. We have a duty to pray for and help sustain all our brethren in the Church which is guided by the Holy Spirit. After that and in the end it will be their decision to choose spiritual life or death. In the meantime let us hope and pray that the Bishop Milingos of the world do not take a great many souls with them into the darkness.

Thomas A. Gill

Could Moon be behind this in an attempt bring down the Church?

Dr. Eric

If the dissidents were dealt with properly in the first place all these problems wouldn't have happened.

Mr. Flapatap

The men's elevation to the Episcopate is illicit. However, is it invalid? If that is the case, any "ordenations" that they would make would be invalid. While I believe that if a schism were to ocurr they would probably take the hardcore dissenters and maybe strengthen the faith and will of the ones who stay I'll put my trust in the Holy Spirit and pray.

Dr. Eric

Considering what is happening at the Cathedral in Milwaukee, the Schism has already taken place... just not formally. When it happens be prepared for the Catholic Church to go from 25% of the population to only 6%. The rest will join the schismatic "church" where anything goes.


It would seem that Jimmy's making something of a to-do about priests who "leave the priesthood" for marriage. (Quotes because, if I understand Jimmy right, they can't leave ... and that fact gets in their marriage)

I understand that, and I have very much tried to accept that and similar teachings I have heard. But I do have some problems, at least from understanding how what I see in practice by the Church herself and what I am told should be true.

Specifically, what I don't understand is how are these guys any different from Anglican priests who are married and then enter into communion with Rome?

I believe there are something like 4 priests in the archdiocese of atlanta, for example, who are formerly anglicans and are married and are "administrating" (not as pastors, mind you) at parishes in the archdiocese with all the rights and privileges of their Holy Orders.

It seems to smack of ... inconsistency. Either the RCC allows you to be married and practice your Holy Orders (both privately and publicly), or it doesn't. The priests who left their priestly vocation to get married have done, the best I can tell, what the Church asked it to do. Yet here, the Church allows a backdoor for Anglicans.

I don't know ... I don't even know if I'm making sense ... but, it's kinda frustrating for me to try to take hold of what I would consider a position of consistency such as Jimmy has put forth when the Church seems to kinda contradict itself. If I try to defend what I would otherwise consider to be orthodox around my more liberal friends ... this seemingly kind of inconsistency and contradiction almost always comes up.

Any explanations would be greatly appreciated.


Brief correction:

(Quotes because, if I understand Jimmy right, they can't leave ... and that fact gets in *the way of* their marriage)


Is it possible to initiate a trade with the Episocal Church - wherein the liberal Catholics go there and the conservative Episcopals come back to Rome?

I'm only partly kidding...


My heart aches at the possibility of schism. Many members of my immediate family are fairly liberal Catholics who don't see the point of most orthodox Catholic teaching. If there is a schism, I can see that my husband, son, and I would probably be the only ones to stay in communion with Rome.

Let my prayer be incense before you; my uplifted hands an evening sacrifice. Set a guard, LORD, before my mouth, a gatekeeper at my lips. Do not let my heart incline to evil, or yield to any sin. I will never feast upon the fine food of evildoers. [Psalm 141]


If a real schism occurred, I think some kind of a name change would occur pretty quickly-- they would be "American Catholic" or "New Catholic" or some such thing.

Their organizational structure would probably also change very quickly. NO WAY would these people allow themselves to be ruled by a "Pope." (Obviously B16 would already be out of the picture, but I can't imagine these guys elevating an anti-Pope.) Think committees. Think the USCC on a monstrously bloated level. Think of the Episcopalians... :-)

Additionally, it would be a matter of micro-seconds before this group would start "ordaining women to the priesthood," and just a few minutes before "elevating women to the episcopacy." They would go from just schismatic to flat-out invalid in a very short period of time.

Whether the average American Catholic is well-formed enough to catch onto all these glaring problems is another matter.

Jimmy is right-- this is a time for prayer, and probably also a time for a friendly catechesis among our fellow Catholics, on the nature of the Church, the priesthood and the hierarchy.

Ed Peters

Mary, that EXACT "trade" has been going on for some time now. I've seen it often.


I don't expect a lot of "progressive" Catholics will want to join a movement under Milingo's leadership; even his support for married priests won't get them to overlook his history or his association with the Moonies. The Moonies' politics alone are enough to discourage that.

On the other hand, some existing organization of dissenting/ex-clergy might seek Milingo's help to establish themselves with some bishops.



I think there's a huge difference between a man who is already married being ordained a priest (such as a convert in your Anglican example, or married men being ordained to the priesthood in the Eastern Catholic churches), and a man who has vowed to remain celibate forsaking his vows and his ministry to marry illicitly and invalidly.

It's good to note that even in the Eastern Catholic churches that ordain married men, priests cannot usually marry after ordination. Same goes for permanent deacons in the Roman rite - they can be married when they are ordained, but cannot usually marry (or re-marry) after ordination.

There are priests who are laicized, released from their vow of celibacy and forbidden to function as a priest, who do then validly marry. They are still 'priests forever' but function as a member of the laity.

Hope that addresses some of your concern. There's nothing about Holy Orders that is inherently incompatible with marriage, but priests need to be obedient to the Church.

(As a convert, I love hearing about former Protestants in the Catholic Church, especially [former] clergy!)

chris K

Dr. Eric up there has a point. There is a large group that has for all practical purposes gone its merry way while still under the radar. It is drawing people really away from the purpose of valid sacraments such as reconciliation. Its numbers are rather large and its determination in self righteousness could gain more influence in the confusion of the day. I would keep an eye out for the making of the next pope - either a valid one accompanied by an invalid one, or just a very liberal one. The group (below) may be populated now by the upper age range, but it's opening the door. These may be only quasi schisms, but the effect upon the "sheep" is the same.



There are some 300 members listed on the Rent A Priest Web site. The organization’s founder said there are about 2,500 other married priests she can enlist for service.


“The bishop worked with Father Fisher for over a year in trying to get him to come around, but in the end he felt that this action was needed,” Bagg-Morgan said. “It’s not something he wanted to do, and it’s certainly not something he does every day. Basically, Father Fisher’s excommunication was automatic because he was committing the canonical offense of schism by affiliating with an organization that’s not affiliated with the Catholic Church.”

Bagg-Morgan said Rent A Priest is popular among people who want Catholic weddings but don’t qualify for one. Haggett said Rent A Priest clergymen usually charge fees for weddings, but provide other sacraments – such as baptism and last rites – voluntarily or for donations.
“Someone who was in a previous marriage that hasn’t been annulled, for example, might call Rent A Priest in order to have a priest perform the ceremony,” Bagg-Morgan said.


“You can’t take priesthood away from a man,” Father Wenrick said. “Despite that, I feel very sorry for (Father Fisher). If this spreads, and more of us are excommunicated, then so be it. It won’t stop any of us from doing what we’re doing.”

Father Gray said it’s true that a priest is a priest forever, under canon law. However, he said once a priest gets married, the law is clear that some sacraments, including marriage, are invalid if administered by that priest.


Dr. Eric

These heretics will keep chipping away at the Latin Church until She has to cave in and ordain married men to the priesthood as She did in the first 1000 years of the One Holy Cathoilc and Apostolic Church, East and West.

But the heretical church will be run by council and committee. It will be awash in bureaucracy and paperwork it will promise much and accomplish little. It will only lead many souls to perdition. Had Rome acted accordingly when this all started, possibly centuries ago, then this could have all been avoided. As it stands, the schism is only a few years away.

St. Michael protect us! O Holy Theotokos pray for us that the schism will be brief and will not lead many astray!


Leah - I think there's a huge difference between a man who is already married being ordained a priest ... and a man who has vowed to remain celibate forsaking his vows and his ministry to marry illicitly and invalidly.

Understood - and if that's what we're talking about, then I'd agree.

But ... I dunno ... still seems kinda ... wrong headed to allow some folks to be married and continue in their priestly functions and others not. It's almost kinda like giving the converts a pass ... "oh, poor converted you, you didn't know what you were doing ... so here, have your cake and eat it, too." instead of "look, we undestand why you did what you did, and we're not making a judgement about that ... but 'round here, this is how we do things ... so if you REALLY think this is the place to be, you've got to give up being a priest in public life just like all the others."

If the issue is whether you were married BEFORE you were ordained and that makes everything okay ... well, that's just playing with details behind the real issue to me. The issue is whether the Church wants men to be married AND publicly practicing their Holy Orders ... or not.

I mean, honestly, it makes me think that the rumors I hear of young guys running to the Anglican Church to get married and ordained to then return might not be that crazy.

Dr. Eric


Why not 'Dox and then come back? Besides the Orthodox have valid Orders and all the Sacraments, and they will EXCOMMUNICATE any heretic instead of letting them corrupt the Church FROM INSIDE!!!!!

Sometimes I wonder why Rome doesn't act more like Constantinople or Moscow :-(


To do that, Rome should consider revising or authentically interpreting the law in such a way that any unmandated episcopal consecration is itself schismatic.

But how would that go over with the Eastern Catholic Churches and the Eastern Orthodox Churches?

Jordan Potter

This is what Carol Glatz of Catholic New Service says about this question:

Because of the unapproved ordinations, "both Archbishop Milingo and the four ordained men are under a 'latae sententiae' excommunication, according to Canon 1382 of the Code of Canon Law," the statement said. A bishop who consecrates a bishop without a pontifical mandate and the person who receives the consecration from him automatically incur the penalty of excommunication.

So, according to Glatz, episcopal ordination without papal mandate incurs automatic excommunication. But is it necessarily schismatic?


Dr Eric - Why not 'Dox and then come back?

More Episcopalians 'round my parts is probably the largest reason why. But just the thought that defection with intent to return as even being possible AND acceptable seems wrong. But apparently it happens if rumor is to be trusted, so ...

The Church needs to pick a story and stick with it. Allowing the backdoor makes the Church's position much more difficult to defend and communicate to people who don't have a problem with married clergy.

"Old Father Bob, there ... why, he's married! Why didn't they make him hang up the collar when he converted from Anglicanism like they make our priests who want to be married? I'll tell you why: because there's nothing wrong with it, that's why. Rome is just being an irrational hard ass with its own faithful."

At which point, all I can say is, "Well, hard ass or not, it's our duty to be faithful to the instruction they give us. There's nothing intrinsically morally wrong with the way things are. It might seem to violate fairness, but whoever said life is fair." Not exactly a winning rationality there.

Jordan Potter

I forgot to include the link to the CNS story, which names all of the "bishops" that Milingo illegally and pointlessly "reordained." One of them is George Stallings, who judging from his comments is as arrogant and defiant as ever.



Hi Ed,

I know that individuals have been switching sides for a while (most recently, my sister, Kasia, a former Episcopalian, has begun RCIA classes with Fr. John Riccardo).

I'm thinking of something more along the lines of an official, giant trade. There would be an official period where you could make your intentions known to both your local churches (the Episcopal/Anglican and the Catholic) in writing, and then begin attending the other church. But also, I'm thinking of a pro-sports type trade: Rowan Williams could sit down with Pope Benedict and we could trade: they could have Garry Wills and Sr. Joan Chittister, and we could have...who? And don't say Spong - I know better!

(BTW, thanks for the compliment you paid me at American Papist a few weeks ago. It made my day!)



I believe more and more that the persecution of the Church will reflect the persecution of Christ - that one of our own will betray us and plunge the Church into tribulation. Scenarios like this are not far-fetched. One can envision a radically marginalized Roman Catholic Church in America, persecuted by a centrist/populist American "Catholic" Church. It's hard enough keeping parishes running today. A migration of attending/tithing Catholics to an American flavor of Catholicism (likely not a huge percentage) could still have very adverse effects on just the financial health of most parishes. But the fact that this guy consecrated bishops is a giant neon sign pointing towards creating a flock of Malingo-ists in America.

At any rate, even Benedict opined that the Church may be better off leaner and meaner. I don't disagree with that, but there's no telling who among our friends and loved ones would end up in the snares of these anti-bishops.


Considering what is happening at the Cathedral in Milwaukee

While I have no idea what's happening in Milwaukee right now, I DID get confirmed at Gesu parish a while back. I only recently looked back and realized how liberal they were. It was amazing.

Did you know that the Jews forbade homosexuality for the purpose of increasing their small numbers instead of for moral reasons? Who knew?
Oh yeah, and Jesus was always trying to get away from the crowds because he wasn't really a people person.


If you want to know part of the reason that the Holy See has been so soft on individuals with this tendency, the desire to avoid a schism is a big part of it. If the people in question are made too uncomfortable then they might decide that pulling up stakes would be worth it, so Rome has cut them substantial slack (far more than in the old days) in hope that the problem can be solved on a generational basis by cooking the frog of dissent slowly, gently reigning them in in a step-wise manner and waiting for the current group to pass from the scene.

But do we really know if that's the reason?

If you're right, then it means the Holy See made a conscious decision to allow the endangerment of our souls, the souls of our children and the souls of our children's children (and perhaps a few more generations after that) for the sake of a hypothetical possible future schism that may or may not have happened (and in my opinion was unlikely, for a lot of the reasons you stated).

This speculation also doesn't make sense since the troublemakers were appointed by the very people who were supposedly working diligently and slowly but surely behind the scenes to neutralize the troublemakers. And often the troublemakers were appointed long after the trouble was already apparent and the troublemakers penchant for making trouble was already established. How does one reconcile these contradictions?



Are you talking about Gesu Parish in Detroit, or another Gesu?


I want to clarify one point on the discussion about Episcopal married priests becoming Catholic and getting to be married priests.

It is my understanding that their Episcopal ordination is not valid, so they would be allowed to get ordained (validly) upon coming into the Catholic Church.

Therefore their true ordination would be happening after their marriage. That is the difference.

And I do think it is reasonable to note that they were in good conscience following the rules of the church they were in at the time by being married "priests". And Catholic priests who get married (invalidly) are breaking their church's rules. Not in good conscience.

So the situation does not seem inconsistent to me.


Could Moon be behind this in an attempt bring down the Church?

This is perhaps the most significant question asked and should be repeated. Is Reverend Moon's Unification Church behind this? Is this an attempt to coopt significant numbers of Catholics into that false prophet's movement? If so, there is potentially a lot of money to back it up and the political connections are significant.

Dr. Eric

Yet, the Eastern Churches were not allowed to ordain married men because of the encroachments of the Latin bishops who didn't want married priests to live in "their territories." Only in the last decade have the Eastern Churches started to ordain married men in America.

The former Anglican and Lutheran ministers who have been ordained are seen as a smack in the face to those who have been prevented from being ordained, when they had every right to be ordained and have been called to be priests.

The reasoning and ruling is inconsistent. Ordain married men in the Latin Church or do not. Don't let some get in the back door while kicking those who have been faithful all along out the front. And, leave the Eastern Churches alone, let them really be SUI JURIS Churches. Let them rule themselves.

Bob Fisher

Considering the question of married RC priests. Marriage by and of itself is not an impediment to holy orders. A celibate clergy has always been the preference in the Latin Rite. For over 1000 years it has been mandated by canon law.

the issue is simple. A married man may not be ordained to the presbyterate without a dispensation from Rome. An Episcopal priest who converts and wishes to continue his ministry as a Latin Rite priest must be granted the necessary dispensation and be ordained by his Latin Rite bishop. His episcopal ordination was declared invalid by Pope Leo XIII. If his wife dies he must remain celebate as his orders are now an impediment to any furture marriage....God bless.


Louise - It is my understanding that their Episcopal ordination is not valid, so they would be allowed to get ordained (validly) upon coming into the Catholic Church.

Yeah, see, if this is true, then I have to throw every single penalty flag/card I can grab. There's absolutely no consistency here if our Church validly ordains some married men and not others based on whether they have had a religious affiliation before entering into full communion with the Church.


There is an amazing ability of folks on this blog to argue minutiae of issues that are only tangentially related to Jimmy's original post.

J.R. Stoodley

There really is a big difference between ordaining married men and allowing ordained men to get married. I don't really have a problem if in certain exceptional circumstances the Latin Church allows married men to be ordained, as long as it remains the exception not the rule and as long as the faithful are educated about the reasons for the exception and the reasons why the general rule against ordaining married men remains in place. It seems this last part is being neglected. That alone is the unfortunate part in my opinion. We should remember the spirit of the law, the reasons for certain disciplins, and thus be ready to make exceptions when it is right to do so. Obviously we should be quite slow cautious about granting exceptions, but this seems to be happening. I for one will let this decision by the Church be for me the decision of my superiors who likely know better than me.

Matt McDonald


if our Church validly ordains some married men and not others based on whether they have had a religious affiliation before entering into full communion with the Church.

The Church deals with different situations by different actions. Nobody has a right to be ordained a priest, it is up to the bishop to determine if they are suitable. The Latin rite has long held that the value of a celibate priesthood outweighs the value of a married one. The Church may from time to time as circumstances that warrant it allow a dispensation from such a decision. This is the right of the ruler of the Church granted him by Christ. It is patently untrue this "rumor" you hear that men leave the Church to marry and become Anglican priests and then return to become Catholic priests. There is no way the Holy See would allow that. Ordination of married former Anglican or Lutheran ministers is quite rare, and by no means automatic.

As far as schism, there is a material schism widely spread in many areas, for this schism to become visible would be an aid in fighting it. Either way it is deeply sadenning and calls for prayer.

God Bless,


Tim J.

Another Coward -

Keep in mind that the celibacy requirement is a matter of discipline, not of moral doctrine. If the Church finds it prudent to apply this discipline in some circumstances and not in others, this is not being unfair to anyone.

So - hypothetically - should, say, the whole people of a certain faith across an entire region wish to convert en masse to the Catholic Church, (all other things being equal) it would be advantageous to allow their clergy to convert and be ordained, even if they are married.

In addition, Holy Orders is not a right. If the Church has decided that it is prudent to grant ordination to one class of individuals and not another, this is not a legitimate cause for personal grievance, IMHO.

J.R. Stoodley

About the possiblility of schism, from my limited experience. I don't see huge crowds of Catholics flocking to schismatic Churches.

I go to college at one of the armpits of secularism. Most of the Catholics here do not go to mass period (except maybe when their parents come up to visit) but as Jimmy pointed out these Catholics aren't going anywhere, except perhaps ceasing to call themselves Catholic in the not too distant future.

Amoung those who attend mass, first there are those who are very active. Though sometimes they are hesitant to speak about their ideas most of these in my experience are rather orthodox (sometimes very much so) and would never think of leaving for a liberal schismatic sect. The rest tend to be rather ignorent about the faith, but almost none have a particular grudge against the Pope. They may not believe (or think there is any obligation as a Catholic to believe) many of the teachings of the Catholic Church, but they are at home in the Catholic Church, prowed of aspects of it like its antiquity or its size or its European Cathedrals, and don't seem like they would feel any need to leave for some quisi-Catholic Church either.

Our priest is very liberal, but he sees the Catholic Church as a big family which there is no reason to leave for any reason, no matter what you do or believe. Again, no real inclination to schism there.

My limited experience of typical parishes has given me the impression that the situation is similar except everyone is more lukewarm and there is less sense of community. Perhaps if the Liberal Catholic Church were particularly exciting or community-like it would attract a section of these, but I think most are quite happy being real Sunday Catholics.

Ultimately I suspect a liberal schism will attract the loonies who spiritually left the Church long ago, and leave most everyone else. Some bad things might happen on an individual level, with individuals defecting to the horror of their relatives for example, but overall I don't think this will have too big an effect, besides perhaps getting rid of the worst liberal activists, which is a healthy thing I think.


I swear you must read my blog Jimmy because you just answered the question I just raised about why the Bishops and Pope don't do more about dissent and heresy (of the "modernist" variety)! And your thoughts on why such a high number of Catholics are dissenters are also a little comforting. It didn't occur to me to discount non-practicing Catholics, somehow.

It seems to me that as bad as schisms are, some serious good would come out of one in spreading awareness of the true teachings of the Catholic Church. It also seems like the Pope and Bishops could do more without provoking schism.


Michael - if you think I'm trolling, I'll stop. Really isn't my intent. Marriage of ordained men seemed to central to the characteristics of the schismatics, and so I was wanting to know why that should be central at all. I'll try to wrap my thoughts up here.

JR - my point is, there really isn't any justifiable reason that I can see to allow any married man to be ordained if the general rule is to not allow it. The exceptions, from what I can gather, all have to do with previous religious affiliation. But previous religious affiliation should have no bearing on whether a married Catholic man can be ordained a priest or not.

The fact is, I agree with the general rule. But I disagree with making exceptions - especially when the entire basis seems to be about the fact that a man may be a convert (of which I am, though I suspect I don't qualify being a former lay Prot - if I only I knew then what I know now! j/k). Allowing married converts (i.e. a subset of married Catholic men) to be ordained to the priesthood just confuses the issue and, I believe, contributes to the mess we are in today with the schismatics - which is in part why I was asking for some clarification ('cause I wasn't sure I had things quite right) and why I thought I was staying on-topic.


Mary - Gesu in Milwaukee

Beutiful Church though (with an organ even.)


Though some might call it a beautiful church instead...



Well, I'll bet Beutelgeuse would call it a beutiful church!

That's interesting, because we also have a *slightly left leaning* Gesu in Detroit. Ahem.


I say keep praying and trust in God. If this schism happens, I have the feeling that He is already giving us support so to speak. More and more young men are entering the seminary and coming out of it orthodox and loyal to the Magisterium and the Holy Father. Have hope! God will always provide in a time of need. The Church will not be lost in America.

chris K

But previous religious affiliation should have no bearing on whether a married Catholic man can be ordained a priest or not.

There is an awful lot of legalism or "this world" fairness being exposed here rather than the logic of finding the intention of the Spirit for those acting in Persona Christi. I believe the benefit offered to the converted of faiths holding some of the same beliefs as the True Church is due to the conversion occurring at a time when life decisions made in good faith were already undertaken - BEFORE the acceptance by the individual of the faith of the Roman Church - and this due to respect for those the man is also responsible for. Just because certain permissions have been granted due to the will of men in particular times that does not mean that seeking the ideal should be jettisoned just as Christ spoke to divorce being permitted by Moses but not intended from the beginning by God. What is the will of God in such serious matters? The Church must never be swayed by the lowest common denominator!

Also ... it isn't as if in any affiliated Church there is no difference in the marriage permitted in it from secular privileges of marriage. There are restrictions imposed.

Celibacy for religious and monastics (brothers/monks and sisters/nuns) and bishops is upheld by both the Catholic Church and Orthodox Christian traditions. In Latin Rite Catholicism, however, all priests remain celibate unless given special permission, while in most Orthodox traditions, and in the Catholic Eastern Rites, priests may be ordained if already married, but may not marry a second time, while bishops must be unmarried men.

In Eastern Orthodox Churches, and Eastern Rite Catholic Churches (which are in full communion with Rome), married men may be ordained deacons or priests, but may not be ordained bishops, and one may not marry after ordination. The Oriental Orthodox churches and the Assyrian Church of the East follow the same rules that hold in the Eastern Orthodox Church. While some incorrectly believe all Orthodox bishops must be monks, in fact, according to church law, they simply may no longer be living with their wives if they are to be consecrated to the episcopacy. (The canons stipulate that they must also see to their wives' maintenance, for example Canon 12 of the Quinisext Council.) Typically, the wife of such a man will take up the monastic life herself, though this also is not required. There are many Orthodox bishops currently serving who have never been tonsured (formally initiated) to monastic orders. There are also many who are tonsured monastics but have never formally lived the monastic life. Further, a number of bishops are widowers, but because clergy cannot remarry after ordination, such a man must remain celibate after the death of his wife.

Correct me if I'm wrong but there have also been the restrictions of marital rights for a time period before the liturgical celebration. Since this a daily sacrifice in the Latin rite the extension of this historical precedent seems logical to celibacy. Even historically there has been the elevated reverence for some separated state for this most blessed calling. Our current times of general disobedience should not be the ones used for the bases for change ... that's for sure!



>>>Is Reverend Moon's Unification Church behind this? Is this an attempt to coopt significant numbers of Catholics into that false prophet's movement?

If Milingo and Stallings are involved, I definitely believe that this is the case.

>>>If so, there is potentially a lot of money to back it up and the political connections are significant.

True, but other factors might well torpedo this "Moonie Catholic Church". If the connection with Moon becomes well-known, how many Catholics will want to be a part of it? Will it develop cultish, Unificationist elements which might turn people off? Will members have to recognize Moon as the messiah and his "Completed Testament" (the Divine Principle) as Scripture?

I know liberal Catholics like the idea of a female Holy Spirit, but as incarnated in Moon's wife??? How many former Catholics are actually going to call her "blessed mother"? Perhaps some former Catholics might go along with all that, but I find it hard to believe that CTA or CFFC -types would effectively make Moon their new pope/messiah.

Just because he wants to do it (and it is completely within Moon's character to want to do something like this) doesn't necessarily mean it will be a smashing success.

In Jesu et Maria,


It thus seems to me that the major barrier is thus still the financial/logistical one, but the potential for a larger-than-Lefebvre schism of a modernist dissident type exists, and what Archbishop Milingo has just done has made the situation an order of magnitude worse.

This is from Jimmy's original post. Please consider that Milingoism may have Moony money behind it and with the large number of church closings, many going for cheap, the infrastructure may be available if they move on it. Also add to that that several bishops may be happy to swith allegiances, the reality of a full blown, independent Amchurch may be in the making.


Major schism? Highly unlikely.

I found the identity of the 4 bishops in question. All previously held illicit orders and were already episcopi vagantes. One is (surprise! surprise!) George Stallings of Imani Temple, who was married in the same mass Moonie ceremony as Bishop Milingo.

Makes me wonder how many loony-tune E.V.'s are going to line up to collect Bishop Milingo's line of apostolic succession?

J.R. Stoodley


What about the situation of a whole Anglican parish deciding to convert, along with their pastor. Suppose the pastor will now be a loyal, orthdox, fervent, charismatic (in the traditional sense) Catholic and supports the general rule of priestly celebacy, but himself has a wife and he and the congregation would really like to stay together with him as the pastor. Suppose some in the congregation might even consider not converting if they see that they will loose their pastor. Should we say to him "too bad, get a job"? It is not a clear situation for me, but if the Church decides to be generous and make an exception for this man who clearly seems to have a gift for ministry I will not argue.

Also I thought I heard something (I guess I won't say where in case I got it wrong) that these men are required to still live celebately and apart from their wives, while still supporting their wives and children financially. Is this right?

The Easter Bunny

Muhahahahah...everything is playing into my hands...muhahahahahhaha


True, but other factors might well torpedo this "Moonie Catholic Church". If the connection with Moon becomes well-known, how many Catholics will want to be a part of it? Will it develop cultish, Unificationist elements which might turn people off? Will members have to recognize Moon as the messiah and his "Completed Testament" (the Divine Principle) as Scripture?

It would not have to be explicit just as it is not explicit with the right wing evangelicals he is supporting financially. That has not diminished their stature as it is not well known and most who follow folks like Lehaye do not want to deal with his taking substantial sums of money from Moon's lieutenant, Bo Pak. If there is such a financial link, condition 4 discussed above could be fulfilled. I do not claim to be a prophet so I cannot dismiss or give the threat of schism too much credit. It is now, however, considerably more likely than before.


Some accounts indcate that some of these "new bishops" are part of the Old Catholic Church which bagan in the late 1800s. This church already ordains women as well as non-Catholic clergy, married and unmarried, and has within its various splinters some Catholic priests who left to get married. They seem to run the gamut from "almost Catholic" to New Agers.
In charity, we should pray for them.

J.R. Stoodley

Isn't the Old Catholic Church in the Anglican Communion now? I read that somewhere.

I also have heard several times that the validity of its Orders are in question. From what I know of its history I do not know why this is (except where women are involved) but I know that the Charismatic Episcopal Church (not connected to the Episcopal Church, more like Pentacostals with a sacramental theology), at first got its Orders from the Old Catholics, but discovering whatever this problem is decided to get everyone re-ordained through a recently excommunicated Catholic bishop to be sure of Apostolic succession. The guy who made that decision later became a Catholic himself and on The Journey Home on EWTN he gave the impression that he still stood by his conviction that the Old Catholics have questionable Orders.


Dr. Eric what exactly is going on at the cathedral in Milwaukee? I might be out of the loop, but I am relieved A. Bishop Weakland has been replaced by A. Bishop Dolan. Are you speaking of the Wreckovation? of the physical cathedral? I'll accept that: It took me a while to find the tabernacle the first time I entered.


Seems like these folks could find a ready home in the Episcopal Church of the USA.


There are several quasi-Catholic churches in America already that, if you go to their websites, espouse heterodox, if not schismatic views. These would be the Old Catholic Church, the Catholic Apostolic Church in North America, and the American Catholic Church. They provide lists of parishes, and while their number is small, it could provide a germ of a seed to fulfill condition #4.

Here in metro Detroit, there is a heterodox group calling themselves "The Elephants in the Living Room", and they've invited speakers such as Joan Chittister, Rev McBrien to headline their functions. Coming in late October is the founder of "Take Back Our Church" (I can't recall the man's name, but he was blogged about here earlier in September). This group is made up of priests and at least one bishop, and sympathetic laity - and Mary from Detroit, I bet you can name the bishop.

Still, Jesus Christ remains in charge of His Church. Heaven forbid that such a schism occur, but let's not forget the story of Gideon - God led him to victory with only 300 soldiers, vastly outnumbered by the enemy. If the majority of Catholics were to switch sides, then much prayer and fasting is in store for the Catholics who remain faithful. We have to pray for conversion and unity, but we cannot despair. God has already won the victory for us, and as the Church Militant, He will continue to lead the one, holy, apostolic and Catholic Church.


I had a nightmare last night that the world will end when there are only 12 genuine bishops left.


Condition 4 can be met through the Moonies, who have considerable funds, have an strong, disciplined infrastructure, and who first enticed Archbishop Milingo on this adventure of his.

And the organization Milingo would head would not merely be a schismatic Catholic group, but a satelite of the Moonie cult.


I remember the man's name now - Robert Blair Kaiser, and he's going to be in Detroit October 26 and 27 for two talks.

The Old Catholic Church derives from the See of Utrecht which went into schism after Vatican I. Before that, it was a legitimate See in Communion with Rome. They are not part of the Anglican Communion, but they are in communion with the Anglicans. :) When they broke Communion with Rome (over the dogma of Papal Infallibility), they formed the Union of Utrecht, and this Union established communion with the Anglicans in 1931 per the Bonn Agreements.

Dr. Eric

A true story:

A young Orthodox man was just given charge of his first parish as a priest. He noticed that he had to celebrate Divine Liturgy every day. He asked his bishop, "Master, if I am to celebrate Divine Liturgy every day; am I supposed to live with my wife as brother and sister, never to embrace, since the canons call for fasting the night before Divine Liturgy?"

The bishop replied, "My son, that's what the afternoons are for!"

Most Orthodox and Eastern Catholic parishes only celebrate Divine Liturgy only on Sunday and Feast Days. Daily Liturgy is USUALLY (see above) reserved for Monasteries as it was in the early days of Christianity. Also, in the East there is "economy" where the Spirit of the Law trumps the Letter of the Law.

In fact, most Latin Churches actually only have Mass on Saturday Night and Sunday morning as well. Only in the cities is Daily Mass found frequently. Come out to the country, you'll see.


Why Larry,

A bishop here in Detroit who's involved with Elephants in the Living Room? I have *no idea* who you could possibly mean. (eyes rolled toward the ceiling and a snarky grin on my face)

If you are a Detroiter, you must know that we have no priests meeting that description here in the AOD! (sticks out tongue)

The rumors I have heard, though, seem to indicate that:
1. Cd. Maida's retirement is imminent (before 2007)
2. The next Archbishop will be conservative. I have heard 3 names bandied about, and each one has me drooling in anticipation. It's not a pretty picture.

Here's hoping.

Say "Hi" to Moe and Curly for me. But not Shemp. I hate that guy.


You're already too late. There's only 11 left. :P

Matt McDonald

There are several quasi-Catholic churches in America

you forgot to mention the Archdiocese of Los Angeles...

J.R. Stoodley

Dr. Eric,

In my experience country churches may only have mass once or twice a week, but that is because the country priest has a bunch of parishes. He is still saying mass once a day.

Why are you so intent on having married priests in the Latin rite. That is an Eastern thing. Are you the type to only respect non-western cultures and traditions? Besides, our priests already have brides, the Church! No priest polygamy!

Seriously, marriage and the priesthood are distinct vocations, and celebacy is a gift appropriate to the priesthood. There may be some exceptional situations where this discipline should be set aside, but in general it is both right and the tradition of the West. Don't mess with it!


When J. Akin starts up a really good thread, I give him a pat on the back. When he "blows" it, as he has today, I am not going to be silent about correcting him. Let's see what he wrote:

"As tragic as that situation is, I fear that an even greater tragedy may be about to unfold. Since the debacle following Vatican II, the Holy See has been terrified of a major schism occurring that would involve modernist dissidents."

Notice that, in the first sentence, James reveals his PERSONAL "fear." Notice then the inaccuracy and impropriety of what he says in the second sentence, wherein he PROJECTS his personal fear, half-way around the world, upon the pope and hundreds of people who work with and for the pope!

This is a grossly inaccurate phrase: "the Holy See has been terrified ..."

What are the errors in the phrase?

1. The "Holy See" is not a person who can experience emotion (being "terrified").

2. James is in no position to know how many, if any, of the people who work within the Holy See are "terrified."

A moment's rational thought should lead any of us to realize that it is unlikely that ANYONE inside the Holy See is genuinely "terrified" about a potential schism. Perhaps a few pessimists are WORRIED about such a possibility. But "terrified"? Highly unlikely, given all that has happened in almost 2,000 years of Church history.

Such shameless sensationalism was at least an act of imprudence, if not serious sin, on the part of Mr. Akin, causing an improper concern in the hearts of some poor readers of this web-log. I look forward to his forthcoming apology.

Tim J.

"Such shameless sensationalism was at least an act of imprudence, if not serious sin"

Wow, free spiritual counsel! You are lucky, Jimmy, to have such generous posters, always ready to point out every foible, and then to be so open to accepting your apology. It warms the heart.

Take note, Jimmy; the use of even the mildest hyperbole is now prohibited in your blog entries. We expect you to treat every post as a carefully crafted theological dissertation, devoid of colorful language.


BTW, Jimmy, your *real* name is James. Your PermaPost, "Jimmy vs. James" is wrong.


Mary - don't lose your eyeballs, and don't keep me in suspense. Email me with those 3 names please. If his replacement is half as good as Bishop Carlson in the Diocese of Saginaw, then I'd feel our prayers will have been answered.

As for the Stooges - Moe calls you a wise guy, Curly says "nyuk nyuk nyuk" and Shemp's feelings are hurt. He also said something about a cream pie with your name on it....

Wow.. you guys must be really secure in your eternal salvation to be telling a Texan he's wrong! :)


So who wants to guess how soon Cardinal Milingo will be a keynote speaker at a Call to Action function?

Tim J.

I feel I simply must defend Shemp. He did a decent job filling in for Curly, and I find him pretty funny.

Now Curly Joe, on the other hand... that was when the Stooges jumped the shark.

Personally, I always preferred Larry, Darryl and Darryl to Moe, Larry and Curly.


There is no way this would last... They would have no leadership, only committies and it would be a few short years and they would look exactly like the Episcopals... then only wackjobs would join them... they would fade into the pool of dissidance... I think this is why they would never leave. They feel too important in the Church and know once they leave no one will listen to them.. They enjoy trying to change from within.. and is why we need to get tough on them...


Actually, Shemp was the original third Stooge, before they got into movies. Curly replaced him. Then, after Curly suffered a stroke, Shemp rejoined Larry and Moe.

Joe Besser("Stinky" on "The Abbott and Costello Show") then replaced Shemp for a very short time. He was dumped after he informed Larry and Moe (in the middle of filming a short) that he wouldn't take a pie in the face. Makes you wonder if he ever actually saw the Three Stooges before he agreed to join them.

Joe Derita (Curly Joe) replaced Besser. He was no Curly, nor even a Shemp, but he was an improvement over Besser.

"Now me and my friends, we love Larry and Moe. We love Curly's brother Shemp and his big clone Joe", but we don't like Besser!

Dr. Eric

Let's not forget that Shemp was THE original Stooge.


Let's be clear on one thing, the practice for the first one thousand years of Christianity was to have two types of priests: celebate monastics and married secular ones.

The bishops of Spain at the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea tried to enforce manditory celebacy on all priests, when St. Paphnutios from Egypt spoke out to reaffirm the Apostolic Teaching everything was settled, having both kinds of priests. St. Paphnutios, having been celebate his whole life and lost his eye and use of his leg for the Faith, was a trusted voice for orthodoxy.

I am not pitting East versus West, but since the ephebophilia scandals with our priests sexually abusing teenage boys, maybe we should reconsider having married secular clergy. Let's be real here, over 90% of all cases involved homosexual contact. The Orthodox have only had one major scandal involving homosexula contact at a monastery. Married secular priests can be trusted with your sons as can married secular deacons.

Another thing, if we can have married deacons (which is the Apostolic practice;) and the Sacrament of Holy Orders is conferred upon a Deacon by a bishop, aren't we already 75% of the way there in the Latin Church any way?

Last, either the Latin Church allows married men to be ordained or She doesn't but allowing some converts to be ordained while ignoring her native sons is a slap in the face. I am asking for consistency. Of course the Eastern Churches have never departed from the ancient discipline.


Just signing in to your blog for the first time, I appreciate your view, and especially your direction, namely, that this mst be attended to in prayer. You will be in my prayers as well.

Dr. Eric

Oops, Bill912 beat me to it!



Michael writes:
>>>It would not have to be explicit just as it is not explicit with the right wing evangelicals he is supporting financially. That has not diminished their stature as it is not well known and most who follow folks like Lehaye do not want to deal with his taking substantial sums of money from Moon's lieutenant, Bo Pak.

So what you would need is a bold reporter to expose the connection. Then Catholics who might otherwise join up may think twice. Some members of Imani Temple protested when they found out about Stalling's connections to Moon:


Not everyone is going to cherish the prospect of becoming a semi-Moonie.

>>>If there is such a financial link, condition 4 discussed above could be fulfilled. I do not claim to be a prophet so I cannot dismiss or give the threat of schism too much credit. It is now, however, considerably more likely than before.

I agree, it may just happen. I do believe that Moon wants to exploit the dissent in the Catholic Church in order to increase his religious power base. I absolutely believe he is going to give this his best try. However, that doesn't necessarily mean it will surely succeed on a huge scale. The Moonies have had failed ventures before; even lots of money doesn't ensure success.

As Hammerbrecher points out, many of the most vocal dissidents have stayed within the Church precisely because they hope to "change it from within." So long as they think they have any hope of doing that, they will most likely stay put. Leaving would be tantamount to an admission of defeat. Also, those liberals who are in positions of bureaucratic power within the Church would probably be less willing to give up that power and start afresh in a new organization under the likes of Moon, Milingo and Stallings. I mean, imagine for just a second what it would be like to be a cog in a bureaucracy administered by a cult leader with messianic delusions, a loopy demon-busting renegade and the man who believes he is "a god" and who counts the "Pope of Pot" among his students:


Talk about Three Stooges! Frankly, I'm wondering how long that triumvirate of immense egos could run a sizeable American Moonie Catholic Church together in harmony.

In Jesu et Maria,



Also, Moon's connection to certain American Evangelicals has never been widely reported in the press, while Milingo and Stallings' 2001 Moonie wedding got considerable coverage. So I'm sure many Catholics are well aware of the latter, even if most Evangelicals are unaware of the former. So if Milingo and Stallings start up their own church, people will naturally suspect Moon is behind the venture.

Also, Moon, Stallings and Milingo may be getting along swimmingly now, but what if a major schism does occur, with millions upon millions of Catholics in North America and Africa defecting to join a cult headed by Bishops Stallings and Milingo, under the aegis of Sun Myung Moon. Think of the immense power Stallings and Milingo will suddenly possess - religious authority on a scale they never had before! Don't you think that these two great egos may eventually begin to chafe under Moon's headship? Power corrupts, after all.

In Jesu et Maria,

chris K

Let's be real here, over 90% of all cases involved homosexual contact.

Are you saying that there wouldn't still be allowance for those men who wish to make the offering of celibacy (thus remain single) if married priests are permitted? Since that would therefore not change any of the milieu that permitted active homosexuals to enter, this would not remedy a thing. What was really missing was in the training in obedience, spiritual life, and dismissal of those not suited, from the seminaries. Permitting marriage would not solve that problem nor should such change of important qualities of the Latin Rite be based on such a negative foundation. Plus, those good men who would continue to be available 24/7, offering a total self giving could be subjected to prejudice and judgment, questioning their motivations. Not a good thing at all especially for a Church that has been lacking in its emphasis on the eternal spiritual dimension over the past 4 decades. We need more of that emphasis ... not less - the sacrificial model of Christ worth the reward.

Last, either the Latin Church allows married men to be ordained or She doesn't but allowing some converts to be ordained while ignoring her native sons is a slap in the face. I am asking for consistency.

How can there be consistency when dealing with two completely separate situations? They themselves are not consistent examples. The consistency now is that once those permitted to be ordained under special circumstances enter into the single life again (through death or separation) they too are then subjected to the same. Of course no one has even begun to discuss the economics of support of large families, the time limitations and split attentions - in an atmosphere of debt, closing parishes, need for evangelization in all parts of the world - especially where there is great danger, etc. Even with prosperity, charitable giving should always be in favor of the world's poor, evangelization, while those choosing to marry can serve in so many other ways without dependency for support.

Let's be clear on one thing, the practice for the first one thousand years of Christianity was to have two types of priests: celebate monastics and married secular ones.

There is no evidence of an established Church allowance for two types of priests in the early Church. There may have been confusion during formation in those times but the emphasis was the teaching toward the example of Christ and such was toward the request to leave everything, take up the cross and follow Him. You sound like those apologists for women priests who say that because women were hostesses in homes for the early liturgies or made the bread that they too must have consecrated; or that because they offered teaching or counseling that they also heard confessions!

Perhaps the future Church will be more in line with the expectations of P. Benedict - a smaller (remnant?) one but one that still adheres to Church teachings in obedience ... until the even more serious times of dissent, schism and persecution that P. JPII warned of even to the point of the need for a preparation for martyrdom arrives. The very self-centered boldness of such antics as are seen in the Milingo case or in those priests who have left and are literally forming their own churches demonstrates the appropriateness of those warnings and prophecies. People should not be making convenient spaces for dissidence, blatant disobedience and scandal to continue and grow in a Church whose strength has been built on the blood of martyrs and saintly offerings of total self sacrifice.


I see no benefit in married priests from the point of view of reducing sexual molestation. A molester is a molester is a molester. Married or single doesn't make a difference. In 18 years as a police officer in a large department, I've seen a whole lot of married sexual predators.


I meant to add: chris K has the right idea.


I think Bill is right. Has anyone seen Reformation.com with all of the news reports (838 in total, to date) of ministers who abused children? These are Protestant ministers who are allowed to marry, mind. (My point isn't to pick on Protestants).

Quote from the site:

"We would be naïve and dishonest were we to say this is a Roman Catholic problem and has nothing to do with us because we have married and female priests in our church. Sin and abusive behavior know no ecclesial or other boundaries." Rt. Rev. William Persell, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, Good Friday Sermon, 2002.



Fr. James Porter was a notorious Catholic priest who molested hundreds of children. He then left the priesthood and got married - but continued to molest children.

Marriage is not a cure for pedophilia or homosexuality. If we marry off priests with those tendancies, we will just end up with a bunch of unhappy priests' wives whose husbands have no interest in them sexually but pursue perversion instead. Worse yet, if the pedophile priests actually manage to impregnate their wives (by fantasizing about children?) then they will have their own children to potentially molest!

It's a recipe for disaster, folks.

In Jesu et Maria,


Also, if we have a lot of married priests, then we will have to pay them enough so they can support their wives and children. Unless you have some way of guaranteeing that every family in every parish is going to increase its donation to caover that expense, you have a major problem.

Dr. Eric

I never said that those who are called to the celebate life should not be ordained. Nor do I support any teaching that is opposed to the Faith and Morals of the Holy Catholic Church. But the eveidence IS there that there were married priests in the "good ol' days" and that they lead holy lives of heroic virtue.

As far as economics are concerned, if the Church can afford to pay billions and billions of dollars in settlements, She could pay for a married priest and his family. Even better yet, parishioners should actually TITHE. I have been asked to take up collection and I know that a family of 5 makes more than $20.00 per week, why are they giving only $2.00? (I know I'm not supposed to look, but sometimes I accidentally see.) A married priest could work a secular job like deacons do or his wife could work. The economic excuse is a red herring.

Instead we have priestless parishes run by radical feminist nuns or "administrators." Would you rather have a married man as a priest or none at all. Wake up, the seminaries are empty... Except for the conservative ones, but actually how many are there really.

I am asking consistency for all married men who wish to be ordained, not JUST for converts.

I wonder why this is a problem. St. Peter was married as was St. Gregory Nazianzen the Elder, and a Holy Martyr for the Faith, Blessed Emelian Kovc who was killed by the Nazis.

And the Orthodox have a myriad of saintly married clergy, including Alexis Toth who left Catholicism because,among other things, bishop John Ireland and his cronies tried to expell all of the married priests and Eastern Catholic clergy from America. In fact, half of all Orothodox Christians in America are descended from the Eastern Catholics who joined the Orthodox Church after bishop Ireland tried to force his will on them and banished the married clergy from America.

When your parish closes or is run by an "administrator" maybe you'll think differently. But I can't imagine how our local parish priest is supposed to serve 4000 families by himself.

A Simple Sinner

Eccl. 1:9 "there is nothing new under the sun"

So many issues, so little time.

ANOTHER COWARD: “Specifically, what I don't understand is how are these guys any different from Anglican priests who are married and then enter into communion with Rome?” The Pastoral Provision is just that – a provision being made. In allowing these men and sometimes whole congregations to become Roman Catholic prists it helps to breach a schism and to heal and reunit the faithful. It is a situation where relaxing a discipline for the sake of unity can reap greater good. It is also the case that those men enetering the priesthood in that way are coming from a non-Catholic background to begin with, and before they fully understood the necessity of communion with the Catholic Church, they had made good efforts to bloom where they were planted.

“I mean, honestly, it makes me think that the rumors I hear of young guys running to the Anglican Church to get married and ordained to then return might not be that crazy.” Actually they are just that crazy and they are just rumors. It does not happen.

Roman Catholic men who run to the Episcopal Church to get married and ordained, to my knowledge, are EXCLUDED from coming back to Rome as Catholic priests. I have known a handful of married Latin priests who took advantage of the Pastoral Provision - none of them did as you say. In each case-by-case instance investigations into the history and claims made by a candidate presenting himself for ordination is made. It would be determined in very short order that a man had left the church to break a rule and try to take advatage of a loophole. It is not done. One instance of a convert ex-Episcopalian being examined for RCC ministry

LOUISE : “It is my understanding that their Episcopal ordination is not valid, so they would be allowed to get ordained (validly) upon coming into the Catholic Church. Therefore their true ordination would be happening after their marriage. That is the difference. “

It is not the difference. Some men considered validly ordained and married have returned to Rome. Some Episcopalians ordained to the priesthood a la Graham Leaonard, former Bishop of London are ordeained “sub conditione”. I remember some liberal Catholics pointing to that VERY case as though it were proof positive that Episcopal orders must be valid because it was conceded some might be valid.

The issue of Episcopal orders being valid or invalid has near nothing to do with the Pastoral provision. There are married men ordained from time to time outside of the RCC who are admitted to communion with Rome as priests. Some have even made arguments that certain Episcopal lines may be valid because they included bishops of break-away Catholic Church that Rome viewed as having valid but illicit orders. The (in)validity of those orders have nothing to do with why Rome admits married ex-clergy to the priesthood upon conversion - in some instances.

DJ: (Quoting a liberal parish tongue-in-cheek) “Did you know that the Jews forbade homosexuality for the purpose of increasing their small numbers instead of for moral reasons? Who knew?”
">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moravians_%28religion%29"> Moravians

An excellent example of a misleading HALF truth. Natural Law and Divine Law go hand-in-hand. I have heard this statement before and it is true… but not the whole story. Homosexuality does not have an openness to procreation because the sex in homosexual relations can no more make a baby than a dog and a cat could make a kitten. Or a puppy. Not even a kippy. Natural law tells us what it cannot do. Moral law tells us what we are to do with what can be done!

JIMMY AKIN: "These men could turn around and start ordaining their own priests--and I assume that this was the purpose of elevating them to the episcopate since they could already perform all the other sacraments--and they could draw upon the pool of modernist ex-priests and, one way or the other, have a large number of clergy for their movement in fairly short order."

This concearn, I should think, is no more than it ever has been. As it stands right now these folks could go to the Polish">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_National_Catholic_Church">Polish National Catholic Churchfor the same, they could go down to ">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Apostolic_National_Church_of_Brazil"> Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church , or go the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charismatic_Episcopal_Church "> Charismatic Episcopal Church which has already gotten orders from ">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Apostolic_National_Church_of_Brazil"> Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church .

Most modernist priests I have dealt with actually scoff at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostolicae_Curae "> Apostolicae Curae . (Pope Leo Xiii's 1896 proclamation of the nullity of Anglican orders). When asked privately for their opinions on the matter, I suspect the vast majority of dissidents are so unconcearned with form and substance that they would already believe Episcopal orders are as valid as their own.

The opportunity for droves of modernists to seek ordination or consecration or form a truly independent AmChurch under the leadership of a dissedent bishop has been there since the founding of the Church, it has certainly been there in the past several centuries.

"Why not 'Dox and then come back?" The Orthodox would put up with this even LESS then Rome. But they would also be fractured much further. At this point in time a good deal of Orthodox Churches have breakaways over issues of calendars, ecumenism, old rites and the like.

The disunity of Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions in the US, several groups like monasteries and individuals have gone jurisdiction shopping from ROCOR, the OCA, the GOA, and to various Old Calendar and "Independent Orthodox" bodies variously being kicked out or leaving one after the ohter.

JR Stoodley: "Isn't the Old Catholic Church in the Anglican Communion now? I read that somewhere."

In fact they were and then some weren’t and then some were and then some still are. Got that?

More accurately the Anglican Communion and the Old Catholic Churches of Utrect have been in communion with each other since the ">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonn_Agreement_%28religion%29"> Bonn Agreement of 1931 . UNTIL…

We fast-forward to PECUSA ordaining women to the priesthood here in the US in 1976 and Old Catholics (especially the Polish">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_National_Catholic_Church">Polish National Catholic Church- the only body in the US that is part of the ">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utrecht_Union"> Utrecht Union of Old Catholics until 2004 ) broke communion with PECUSA, but maintained communion with some of the rest of the non-female-priest-ordaining members of the ">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonn_Agreement_%28religion%29"> Bonn Agreement of 1931 . communion.

(For the most part, bodies claiming to be Old Catholic trace their orders back to one or two "Episcopal Vagantes" and are mostly made up of clergy (not laity) who give themselves grand titles, consecrate each other over and over again, and have no real property. With the exception of the Polish">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_National_Catholic_Church">Polish National Catholic Church, almost no one seems to have been born an OC.)

Fast forward again to the 1990s when ">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utrecht_Union"> Utrecht Union of Old Catholics ) started to Ordain women to the diaconate and priesthood. Now the Polish">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_National_Catholic_Church">Polish National Catholic Church, is no longer in communion with">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utrecht_Union"> Utrecht Union of Old Catholics bodies that are ordaining women, but it is presumed that ">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utrecht_Union"> Utrecht Union of Old Catholics bodies would be in communion with the rest of the Anglican world also ordains women.

What I do not know is weather the ">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utrecht_Union"> Utrecht Union of Old Catholics were also in communion with the ">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Sweden"> Swedish Lutheran Church and the ">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evangelical_Lutheran_Church_of_Finland"> Lutheran Church of Finland You see the ">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Sweden"> Swedish Lutheran Church and the ">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evangelical_Lutheran_Church_of_Finland"> Lutheran Church of Finland were in communion with the Anglican Communion since at least 1922.

I further do not know if the ">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utrecht_Union"> Utrecht Union of Old Catholics and the the ">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Sweden"> Swedish Lutheran Church and the ">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evangelical_Lutheran_Church_of_Finland"> Lutheran Church of Finland were also in communion with the ">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moravians_%28religion%29"> Moravians . The ">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moravians_%28religion%29"> Moravians are in full communion in turn with the United Methodists and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Here is where it gets fun again… the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America just entered into communion with the Episcopal Church in America which is in communion with the worldwide Anglican Communion (for now) which is in communion with several Lutheran bodies in Northern Europe…

Now, with the acceptance of the ">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porvoo_Communion"> The Porvoo Common Statementthe Anglican Communion has entered into communion with a number of Luterhan bodies which do NOT have Historic Apostolic Succession (except for the Luterhan Church of Sweden & Finalnd). So it can be presumed that the Old Catholics od the UTrecht Union COULD be in communion with the Anglican Churches that have the same policy (yea or nea) of women's ordination, but may no longer be interested in communion because the Anglicans are in communion with the Lutherans, but, on the other hand, MAY be interested in having communion with the Lutherans and the Anglicans now that under the terms of the Anglican-Lutheran Communion, all future Lutheran and Anglican bishops will be consecrated by at least 3 Ang and 3 Luth Bishops, grand-fathering the Lutherans into Historic lines of Apostolic Succession. Confused yet?

In the end, I believe that given how very little most modern dissidents seem to care for the actual Faith, I don't think they can be bothered to get a divorce. See, unless they could take buildings, trusts, and treasures with them, and continue to live in the old convents, rectories, monasteries and the like... IT would be a whole lot of effort. Look at groups like Joan Chrtisiter's Erie Benedictives, filled with contempt for the Church, the would be very happy and welcome in Episcopal Church

DR. ERIC: "And the Orthodox have a myriad of saintly married clergy, including Alexis Toth who left Catholicism because,among other things, bishop John Ireland and his cronies tried to expell all of the married priests and Eastern Catholic clergy from America."

If I had to guess, DE, I would say that you are a rather zealous new Byzantine Catholic like I was 14 years ago. I agree some of what you say, and want to see the married presvyterate restored fully to the Eastern Churches that have always enjoyed that tradtion. I am not sure I think Alex Toth saintly.

My radical moderate suggestion is to allow the Eastern Catholic Churches in the US greater latitude in ordaining married men, and remove the impediment against Roman Catholic men transferring churches to become married priests. Let the Latins maintain their own disciplines, let us do the same, and do not inhibit or impeded RC's from becoming Eastern Catholics.

JIMMY AKIN: “I also think that Rome should give serious consideration to establishing the consecration of a bishop without papal mandate as of itself a schismatic act. Thus far it has not done so.”

Jimmy I agree but I have to be honest… This story is most noteworty for being just plain odd.
As odd as it is, we need to remember there are something ike 4000+ bishops in full communion with the Pope of Rome... And this happens how often?

With all the dissident groups inside and out of the Cahtolic Church, all the retired folks, all the temptations, this really happens very little. It is newsworth especially for being so atypical of the behavior of most Catholic Bishops.

There have ALWAYS been a few renegades out there who have done this sort of nonsense. That is how we have groups like the Polish">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_National_Catholic_Church">Polish National Catholic Church, the ">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Apostolic_National_Church_of_Brazil"> Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church , the SSPX, the SSPV or the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charismatic_Episcopal_Church "> Charismatic Episcopal Church …


"The economic excuse is a red herring."

So do "you have some way of guaranteeing that every family in every parish is going to increase its donation to cover that expense?"


I will pray for God's will to be done through this very trying time for the Catholic Church. Unfortunately, I think that a lot of folks in the US would like to see Catholic priests able to marry in light of the abuse scandal. They feel (incorrectly) marriage--and with it, the regular ability to get laid (pardon the crudeness)--would prevent a recurrance of the said scandal.

I will pray for God to bless B16 with His divine wisdom and that He will work through all of the leaders of the Church.

I will pray for all Catholics to keep their eyes on Jesus.

Dr. Eric

I don't have a way to guarantee that members tithe. But if they want to support a married priest, they'd better do it or he'd have to leave or charge more at the Fish Fry!

Simple Sinner,
I'm a Latin Catholic, so far... but I love the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.

David B.

Anyone who has the patience to read through a post as long as the post by A Simple Sinner's will surely cut some time off of his stay in purgatory :-)

A Simple Sinner

David B,

Glad I cut some time off ANYONE'S stay in Purgatory. Sometimes it takes more than a soundbite.

I have always admired Jimmy & the gang for being thorough and well thought out. While some bloggers prefer snippets, Jimmy & Co. always do a good job of being balanced, charitable, and articulate well-thought-out positions.

Also, suffering from insomnia doesn't help.

Here comes another one.....

The comments to this entry are closed.

January 2012

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31