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November 17, 2006

Comments

Brent Robbins

Even if this Milingo guy has a point, I sure wouldn't allow him nor anyone else that purposely disobeyed the Church prior to marriage being allowed to continue in service. He and the other bishops/priests that married directly disobeyed the Supreme Pontiff, even if it is on a matter of practice and not faith or morals.

I say punish him and the rest to the full extent of canon law. Of course, this will cause schism. Hmmnn....burn them at the stake? :-D

Terry

What garbage!

Hey, Pope guy! We violated our vows and you had to excommunicate us but you better whip into shape cause we're catholic too whether you like it or not.

Here's an interesting angle for another problematic group within the church. I wonder what Mani Milingo would think of this bunch.

Pedophile Priests Now!

Hey after all, there is a priest shortage. And we're all about quantity over quality right?

I enjoy your blog Jimmy and thanks for the entertaining read this morning.

Geoff

We are mature adults, not children, so threats, penalties and punishments are out of place in our conversation and will not work.

In other words, we want what we want and we'll thank you not to mention all those promises we broke.

Ryan C

:-O The Bishop!

I like how he abandons the structure of the letter at point 5. What needs to be done is "Marriage is a sacrament of the Church"? What? That's just bad writing.

Doing things "immediately but gradually" is pretty funny too.

The idea of a married priesthood is, obviously, not totally ridiculous, but how can the Church deal with someone who so clearly misunderstands how the Church works? And why should we be eager to fill our parishes with vow-breakers?

paul

That | was me. Not that I'm somebody. Anyway...

RyanL

In Session 24, Canon 10 the Council of Trent declared:

"CANON X.-If any one saith, that the marriage state is to be placed above the state of virginity, or of celibacy, and that it is not better and more blessed to remain in virginity, or in celibacy, than to be united in matrimony; let him be anathema."

See the third sentence of the Mad Archbishop's point #5.

Oy.

Scott W

RyanL,

BINGO!

Andy

Brent,

Burn at the stake? No Forgiveness? Doesn't sound like the Catholic way to me. I am not a proponent of married clergy, however I am a proponent of the blessed sacrement of reconciliation, penance, and grace.

bill912

I think Brent was engaging in hyperbole.

(If he wasn't, I have some lighter fluid he can use).

Clayton Barnett

Stake... it's what's for dinner!

David Hart

The real problem is that there are going to be roughly 1000 "married" unemployed priests at that meeting. If you think schism is unlikely I think you are whistling Dixie. All someone has to do is to integrate this movement with Catholics for a Free Choice and any of the billionaire funds from the Gates or Buffets. Well, you can see what can happen.

So what can be done. First a sop must be thrown out and that is to remind "married" priests that if their "marriage" results in a divorce or their "spouse" dies they can petition for reinstatement. If this was as widely promoted as annulments are it could have greater impact. If there was a priest assigned to this task in every Archdiocese it could result in great dividends.

Second, we must face the fact that schism is very likely and we must not allow them to take either the faithful with them or more importantly any deacons with their promises of new parish churches. Milingo brings up the very interesting issue of the vicariate which has been mostly used a training ground for future parish priests. Perhaps married deacons (who have served some minimum time such as 5 to 10 years) could be allowed to become ordained "associate" or "assistant" parochial vicars". That would allow parishes to offer multiple mass times, increase the likelihood of confessional times during the weekend and before Mass but still keep them lower on the totem pole any celibate priest. It could also allow cluster churches to be manned by a "assistant" parochial vicars but still under the supervision of the parish priest or newly ordained parochial vicars. To lessen confusion the married vicars could be referred to parishioners as "Vicars" rather than "Fathers" and they could where a different color collar (perhaps brown rather than black).

If their spouse were to pass on and their children were above the age of eighteen they could become parish priests.

Finally to further insulate the bishops from any movement that would allow married bishops, the Latin rite should institue a requirement that all new bishops belong to a religious order, similar to the requirement that Orthodox bishops have.

caine thomas

I love the part about the healthcare plan and pension! These guys are precious.

Universal ordination would solve our healthcare and social security problems! This letter must never fall into Hillary Clinton's hands.

David G. Smith

While I am not ready to embrace David Hart's ideas (though I do see some merit in his thought about our current corp of married deacons) and reject the idea of widespread reinstatments I think that he may have hit on to something about the real possibility of a schismatic church developing here.

There were enough people excited about the "priestess ordinations" a while back. Add some of the marginally catholic organizations and those faithful who are irked about bankruptcies and closing resulting from bishop's failing to get rid of the pedophlies and there is a large crop ripe for harvesting by Milingo and company. The possibility of a sizable "alternative catholic" church developing is not too far out there.

Could that be the concern behind the cabinet meeting? After all, the celibacy issue in the Roman church seems firmly settled and there is even less sympathy for reinstating those who left than for ordaining married men. Why the high level meeting if not for concern out a potential "parallel" church?

Just wondering.

francis 03

David Hart, I'm fascinated by a lot of your points. Your reference to the "spouses" of married priests makes me nervous though! Here's hoping that (barring exceptional circumstances) 'married' priests could only be reinstated after their WIVES pass on!

Jason

I agree with Milingo on #5. Married folks get too often get shafted with comments about how they aren't dedicated to christ, when many of us consider our dedication to our spouses to be just that.

francis 03

On the issue of schism:

In order to form their own organization, these folks need the laity's money. You can't provide health-care and pension plans for priests AND THEIR FAMILIES on buck-a-week Catholics! In my opinion, the segment of the laity that would be excited about joining such an organization would also make only limited financial contributions. Therefore, it seems likely to me that any schismatic organization woudl be forced to either (i) structure itself into large, wealthy parishes on the "megachurch" scale, or (ii) find itself some sugar-daddy who will almost inevitably become some sort of Caesaropapist.

I'm not sure where that takes us. But I find it interesting.

Ed Peters

"I agree with Milingo on point X." Ok, but even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

caine thomas

Even if a schismatic church became as big and powerful as Microsoft, they still wouldn't be the bride of Christ. That whole deal about the "gates of hell not prevailing" would be null and void for them.

Step out from under Rome's umbrella at your own risk.

Esau

on buck-a-week Catholics!

Francis03:
You've brought up a great point here!
I could never understand why when I visit a Protestant church, so many of their congregations give very generously.

Yet, when in a Catholic church (even in an affluent parish), the typical donation comes to $1!

Why is that? ? ?

Dan E.

I have noticed during the debate over "married priests" the point is always made that St. Peter was married. This is based entirely on the passages in the synoptic gospels describing the healing by Jesus of Peter's mother-in-law. I find it strange that in these same passages Peter's wife is not mentioned. In fact, it is the mother-in-law who waits on Jesus and the apostles after she is healed, not Peter's wife. Could it not be that Peter's wife had passed away by the time he was called to follow Jesus? This would be much like the ordination of a widower today.

Jason C.

I agree with Milingo on #5. Married folks get too often get shafted with comments about how they aren't dedicated to christ, when many of us consider our dedication to our spouses to be just that.

It's not about being dedicated to Christ. Celibacy is an objectively higher state than marriage because it is a sacrifical renunciation of a great natural good for a greater supernatural good (direct service to God).

That doesn't mean a celibate is necessarily holier than a married person, but that God has called him to a higher calling; really, if he's gonna live up to that higher calling, he had better double his efforts for holiness.

One body, many parts. The pinky toe can't be mad at the heart because it's not a heart.

Pseudomodo

I've got a GREAT IDEA!!

Men can get married at age 30 after a successfull civic and military career, marry a nice lady, have 10 children, then after 20 years of marriage and in spite of the objections of your children announce that you are going to be a hermit in the mountains - THEN while still in your hermitage, be both an internal affairs and a foreign policy advisor to your home country, THEN at the age of seventy die as a result of your very first illness, THEN wait 460 years to be canonized by Pope Pius XII as St. Nicholas Von Flue...

It was a good idea at the time.....

David Tarvin

Schism:

We should not be concerned about "schism", even if it is likely, because worrying about it means we are more concerned about "numbers" in the Church and less about the beliefs of those numbers. Rather, we need to keep focused on educating the faithful about all tenets of our faith, be it celibate clergy or the Real Presence. A loss of a member, whether to a new "RC" movement, to a Protestant church, or just to apethy, is cause for sorrow if we could have prevented it with correct guidance. However, the rise of any new so-called "Catholic" movement is not a threat to the Church as a whole. In fact, it may strengthen the Church by weeding out those who call themselves Catholic yet steadfastly refuse to embrace all the teachings of the Church.

These church rebels are only powerful and popular so long as they remain part of the Church. Once they leave for a new denomination, the media pays little attention.

Jason C.

Just to add this from Pope John Paul II's "Familiaris Consortio":

Virginity or celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom of God not only does not contradict the dignity of marriage but presupposes it and confirms it. Marriage and virginity or celibacy are two ways of expressing and living the one mystery of the covenant of God with His people. When marriage is not esteemed, neither can consecrated virginity or celibacy exist; when human sexuality is not regarded as a great value given by the Creator, the renunciation of it for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven loses its meaning.

Rightly indeed does St. John Chrysostom say: "Whoever denigrates marriage also diminishes the glory of virginity. Whoever praises it makes virginity more admirable and resplendent. What appears good only in comparison with evil would not be particularly good. It is something better than what is admitted to be good that is the most excellent good."

Matthew M.

What makes people think that married priests or former priests are vow breakers? Many of the former priests who are now married went through channels and were laicized. This released them from their vows of celibacy. Being priests who are not currently excercising their ministry does not stop them being priests; it only means they are not currently functioning as priests. To turn about and allow them to return to active ministry would be the least painful way to "immediately and gradually" reestablish a married priesthood. That the pope breaks with tradition and scripture in that he is not himself married (see St. Paul who insisted that the bishop should be a married man; and St. Peter who was also married) should be a greater scandal to the church than that a bishop should ordain married men. We have admitted in the past married ministers from the Anglican church and recognized their canonical ordination permitting them to continue as priests in the Catholic church as they had been in the Anglican. Keep the celibate religious orders, allow diocesan priests the option to marry or remain celibate. But do SOMETHING to address the shortage of priests in service. Sitting on our hands and bemoaning the shortage won't fix it. At least the Archbishop is trying to do something.

Jason C.

That the pope breaks with tradition and scripture in that he is not himself married (see St. Paul who insisted that the bishop should be a married man; and St. Peter who was also married) should be a greater scandal to the church than that a bishop should ordain married men.

In fact, St. Paul wished everyone were celibate as he was:

I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own special gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do. (1Cor 7:7-8)

He didn't say "I wish that all were as I myself am except for Bishops and Priests". He was a Bishop and Priest himself.

When he said a Bishop is to be the husband of one wife, he was that he shouldn't have had a previous wife, not that he has to be married. If that were the case, St. Paul was breaking his own command.

Kris

Just one thought...

Since when does a Bishop EVER make demands of a licit and valid Pope??? The Bishops owe fidelity and obedience to the Holy Father and the Magisterium. Period. It's not a two-way street! The Church is not a democracy!

So frustrated...need rosary...

caine thomas

But do SOMETHING to address the shortage of priests in service. Sitting on our hands and bemoaning the shortage won't fix it. At least the Archbishop is trying to do something.

Just doing something as opposed to nothing is never a good policy. As they led Jesus away to be crucified, Peter did SOMETHING and was instructed on the error. In fact, Jesus didn't do anything from that point up until his death!

If only he'd have had a Kingdom of God, Now! Prelature there to show him the best way to do the will of the Father.

Oh well...

chris K

Good reference on the real facts about the history of celibacy in the Church:

http://www.tfp.org/TFPForum/catholic_perspective/tracing_the_glorious_origins_of_celibacy.htm

kaneohe

While not Catholic I do have a few question reguarding this latest posting:

Does anyone really believe that the signators of this letter are actually - still - Roman Catholic? While Milingo , at least until recently, was a member of the hierarchy, Stallings started his own Imani Temple (in DC) in 1989. Not sure who the other guys are, though they were all recently consecrated by Milingo to the office of bishop.

According to the Imani Temple website part of their doctrine is that Mary was of African descent and the following is a direct quote

"...our Spirituality must include an African view of our Deity: God and a genuine proclamation of a Black Messiah, who was born an African Hebrew and who was learned in the wisdom of Ancient Kemet (Egypt). "

Can people claims things like this and still be considerd Roman Catholics? Surely at best they could be a new christian group, but Catholic??

If they barely belive what the Roman church upholds, do you still consider them Catholics or just a group that has strayed into some type of schism and heresy?

While Sacred Scripture does not say Mary, Jesus, and Joseph were anything beyond Jews, it seems there is little to go on to claim they were of African descent so in reality one would have to allow they could be claimed by any group as their own - African, Asian, etc - somewhere else in the Imani web site there is mention of Jesus or Mary also being an Asiatic Jew - is this to tie them closer with Rev. Moon? ...it gets to be a bit confusing...as I thought they were just your normal kosher kind of first century Jews.

If the group publically claimed to have left the Roman church why are they bothering Rome with such demands?

I am truly interested in knowing what you all consider this group to be...it gets a bit confusing when your not "inside"..

Greatly appreciate your comments, it's a real pleasure reading this site.

Esau

If they barely belive what the Roman church upholds, do you still consider them Catholics or just a group that has strayed into some type of schism and heresy?

kaneohe:
Love that question of yours!

Now, only if you had asked it personally to some folks I know who, although still claiming the title of "Catholic", do not even carry the very fundamental beliefs that makes one so! Considering what little of Church doctrine they actually believe in (if any), it's a wonder why they just won't leave the Church for other denominations.


If the group publically claimed to have left the Roman church why are they bothering Rome with such demands?

Another good question. I, myself, can only speculate that they would like to take advantage of the various resources that only Rome could provide considering the little faction they have.

Dr. Eric

Here is a reply to Chris K's article by Anthony Dragani PhD who answers questions on EWTN's Q&A Section:

http://www.east2west.org/Celibacy.htm

Esau

Why are Catholic priests not allowed to marry? MATTHEW PINTO

-------------------------------------------------
Q: Why are Catholic priests not allowed to marry?

-------------------------------------------------


A: Although the early Church allowed married clergy, the Church later came to see celibacy as a better example of the norm and model of Jesus’ priesthood.

In referring to celibacy, St. Paul says: "Indeed, I wish everyone to be as I am, but each has a particular gift from God . . .Now to the unmarried and to widows I say: it is a good thing for them to remain as they are, as I do" (1 Cor. 7:7-8). He goes on to say: "An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord. But a married man is anxious about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and he is divided" (1 Cor. 7:32-34).

Jesus said: "And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life" (Mt. 19:29).

Celibacy is a discipline, not a dogma. This means that the Church could change the rule. In fact, there are a few instances when the Church has allowed married clergy, such as with some Eastern rite clergy and in the case of some Protestant ministers who converted to the Faith. These, however, are the exception.

It is unlikely that the Church will change this teaching at all, or any time soon, because of the many positive and practical benefits of celibacy. Here are 10 reasons why a celibate clergy makes good sense:

1. It leaves the priest free to more fully commit his life to the service of the Lord and the laity.

2. The Church has found it is better to keep priests moving from parish to parish every few years, perhaps for a few reasons, including the desire to prevent a cult of personality from building around a particular priest. This situation can put too much focus on the man rather than on the Gospel message. So, the Church prudently moves priests around. Can you imagine how much stress it would cause a priest to have to move his wife and family each time he is assigned to a new parish? Having a celibate priesthood also enables the bishop the full flexibility he needs to move priests around.

3. To be able to lay his life down for his flock. Because a celibate priest does not have the obligation of a wife and children, he can give of himself more easily, including his own life, if necessary. For example, Blessed Damien de Veuster of Belgium was able to work with lepers on the island of Molokai, Hawaii, because of the freedom he had in being a celibate minister. This work eventually led to his contracting and dying from leprosy.

4. It is a sign of contradiction and a great Christian witness to our society, which is flooded with sexually permissive messages. Celibacy surely gains the Catholic clergy a hidden respect from many people.

5. It gives the priest greater credibility when he asks the laity to make sacrifices, because the laity knows that celibacy involves sacrifice.

6. It helps the priest master his passions amd also gives him more time for prayer, which is the lifeblood of any ministry.

7. It enables a priest to be more objective when counseling married couples. Because he is not married, he is not going to project any personal marriage problems or biases onto the the couple he is counseling.

8. In many cases it enables the priest to be a "spiritual father" to more people than he would as a married man (1 Cor. 4:15).

9. It allows the Church to put the hundreds of millions of dollars it saves in priestly salaries to the evangelization and charitable assistance of a needy world. Although priests do receive salaries, they are much lower than they would have to be if they had families to support.

10. It’s a foreshadowing that there will be no marriage in heaven (Mt. 22:30).

No one is required to live a permanently celibate life (Mt. 19:12). The Church says that people are free to marry. In fact, the Church glorifies the married state. Only if one wants to become a priest, brother, or religious sister does he or she have to live a celibate life. The religious life, and the requirements that come with it, do not have to be chosen by anyone. However, when it is chosen, it needs to be followed in the manner our Lord and His Church requires.

Sure, celibacy can be difficult, especially in this sexually permissive age. But if a priest has good seminary formation that strongly supports celibacy and if he stays close to our Lord in prayer, he will be able to turn this sacrifice into a wonderful aid to his work.

Josh

kaneohe:

They are certainly in schism, and the doctrine (in my opinion) you point out is at least flirting with heresy. The bit about the "wisdom of Ancient Kemet" sounds like a strain of Gnosticism. Assuming that Jesus was African is not in itself heretical, but as you point out, there is no real scriptural basis to suggest this. But this desire to appropriate Jesus to one's own race could lead to the dangers of a kind of Docetism - rejecting Jesus' concrete historical reality as a Palestinian Jew in favor of remaking Him in our image.

As "an insider", I echo your amazement that people who actively reject Catholic doctrine have any desire to remain Catholic. As a convert to Catholicism, I can honestly say that with all of the disastrous liturgical hijinks, woeful catechesis, far-left media darlings, and ultra-right-wing looney tunes, I would NEVER have converted if I didn't believe the Catholic Faith to be true.

Dr. Eric

Father Cantalamessa disagrees with Matt Pinto's #10.

http://www.catholic.org/featured/headline.php?ID=3793

The Martyr Blessed Emilian Kovc would disagree with #3. (He was married and was Martyred for protecting Jews in Eastern Poland/Western Ukraine.)

#6 Assumes that a married person cannot be disciplined and have a rich prayer life, St. Josemaria Escriva would disagree with that. Opus Dei anyone?

#2. Moving a married priest every 3 years puts no more stress on a family than moving a military family around. Should our soldiers be celibate too?

Inocencio

Dr. Eric,

And how much weight do you give to the example of our Blessed Lord and St. Paul?

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Realist

I have heard rumors that most of the priests in South America are "married" the old fashioned way i.e by common law therefore no records. The parishoners know about this but want to keep their priests and also want to keep them happy.

A Google search indicates that there might be some truth in these rumors: (two excerpts from the many references)

1. http://orthodoxengland.org.uk/celibacy.htm
"A great many priests throughout the Western Middle Ages continued to
be 'married'. In the south of Italy and villages in Portugal and Spain even
today this continues to be the case. (Enter any bar in Braga and you will see). Their bishops turn a blind eye, As for the people, they welcome it - would you let your daughter into a confessional alone with a hot-blooded young Mediterranean priest? Similarly, in Africa and South America today, virtually all the Catholic priests are 'married'."

2. http://www.rentapriest.com/web/?_p=1025&newsId=56&title=MEDIA%20CORNER&catId=2

" Married Priests Celebrating Mass—In South America in 1972, the village people who were without a priest began inviting priests who married to celebrate Mass in their local churches on Sundays. Within a year, it became widespread in many South American countries. The bishops are aware that the practice still goes on and simply look the other way. More recent reports indicate that some Mexican villages are doing likewise—the village priest married, he wasn’t replaced as pastor, so the parishioners invite him to celebrate weekly Mass. "

Justin

Seriously, this "immediatly but gradually" thing has got me horribly confused.

How can something be instant (i.e. immediate) but done in steps (i.e. gradual)? Oh, wait, it must be a metaphor for the whole idea of married priests. You can put them together, but as a whole it's not going to happen.

Esau

Father Cantalamessa disagrees with Matt Pinto's #10.

http://www.catholic.org/featured/headline.php?ID=3793


Dr. Eric:
I believe that Matt Pinto in #10 was alluding to the time when Jesus was specifically asked about the Resurrection by the Sadducees, ‘whose wife is she going to be then?’ and Jesus mentioned that then, we’re going to be like the angels of Heaven, neither married nor given in marriage.

St. Paul clarifies even further in Romans 7 and says that not only are we not married at the Resurrection, but marriage ceases as soon as death occurs. He says a woman is not bound to her husband if he’s died and so, as a result, that’s why people who are widows and widowers can re-marry, and so marriage ends at death though there will always be a special bond between people who have been married even in the next life.

Thus, I think you should pay particular attention to the following details in that which you cited from Fr. Cantalamessa:

...only when they will be reunited "in God," and with this love there will be the joy and fullness of the union that they did not know on earth. In God all will be understood, all will be excused, all will be forgiven.

That which was truly love and self-surrender between each of the husbands or wives, being objectively a good coming from God, will not be dissolved.

Esau

Further, Dr. Eric--

Mind you, when Fr. Cantalamessa says "That which was truly love and self-surrender...being objectively a good coming from God, will not be dissolved", this is certainly forshadowed by the priest's sole commitment in this life to God alone.

Im in the desert

Bishops back in the day where Deacons

Esau

Bishops back in the day where Deacons

REALLY? That's odd -- how come in Phil 1:1, Paul says:

1 ¶ Paul and Timothy, the servants of Jesus Christ: to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons.

In other words, even then, there was that heirarchy.

Dr. Eric

Esau,

I've read and re-read Fr. Cantalamessa's Homily.

Innocencio,

I take Our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ's example VERY seriously (I don't know how to use bold type here.)

I take St. Paul's example VERY seriously.

Our Lord is GOD and therefore needs no woman.

St. Paul was an Apostle and for all intents and purposes a "Cardinal." He didn't need to marry either.

Other Saints were married and were priests and/or bishops, hence the example I cited of Blessed Emelian Kovc the Martyr under Nazi Germany.

In the first millenium it wasn't either/or, it was both/and in regards to the clergy and marriage. If a man wanted to be celibate for the Kingdom of God then he became a monk like St. Basil the Great or St. Benedict.

If he wanted to be a secular priest in charge of a parish, he would be married first and then later pursue the Holy Priesthood. Like many of the early priests that we celebrate on All Saints Day and the Martyr Emilian.

My only complaint with Mr. Pinto's points are that they are not logical. Am I less of a husband and father if I go on a house call or have to go in for an emergency?

I submit to everything that Holy Mother Church requires us to believe for our Salvation. And I follow the Moral Teachings of Holy Mother Church, I have 4 kids under the age of 5 1/2.

But mandatory celibacy for the Holy Priesthood is neither necessary for Salvation or immoral.

To imply that a man cannot be a priest and married without hurting his priesthood and/or his family is an egregious insult to the married priests who were tortured and killed by the Soviets in Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic because they would not give up their Catholicism to join the State Orthodox Church.

Esau

In fact, the Greek shows up as:

(1) episkopos (ep-is'-kop-os) which meant bishop and overseer and

(2) diakonos (dee-ak'-on-os) which meant deacon or minister

Esau

The above was about Bishops and Deacons being a separate office which is proved, among other things, by Phil 1:1.

Esau

...and it was in answer to I'm in the Desert's Bishops back in the day where Deacons

Esau

Dr. Eric:

Are you denying what Jesus said that then, we’re going to be like the angels of Heaven, neither married nor given in marriage?

I believe that's the very reason behind #10, among other things, which you neglected to refute in my posts.

Ryan C

"To imply that a man cannot be a priest and married without hurting his priesthood and/or his family is an egregious insult to the married priests who were tortured and killed by the Soviets in Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic because they would not give up their Catholicism to join the State Orthodox Church."

Dr. Eric has a point here. Arguments for or against the celibate priesthood can prove too much, given that we have equally rich traditions and histories in the east and west with celibate and non-celibate priestly disciplines.

Inocencio

Dr. Eric,

Am I less of a husband and father if I go on a house call or have to go in for an emergency?

Are you pretending that having a husband gone for such occasions with his wife at home with young children doesn't put a strain on a marriage?

I submit to everything that Holy Mother Church requires us to believe for our Salvation.

What is your opinion of the disciplines of the Church, that they are optional?

To disobey a Church discipline will jeopardize a person salvation.

You seem to give more weight to your personal opinion than that of the councils. That article you linked to only tried to discredit the actual documentation of the councils it did not offer any proof for its arguments.

Whatever the pope decides I will accept completely.

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Esau

Dr. Eric has a point here. Arguments for or against the celibate priesthood can prove too much, given that we have equally rich traditions and histories in the east and west with celibate and non-celibate priestly disciplines.

That one, Ryan, I have no issue with. After all, I'm open to celibacy being lifted if it comes to that as it is a matter of discipline rather than Church doctrine.

I just couldn't understand Dr. Eric's argument that just because Fr. Cantalamessa's Homily, to him, seemed to contradict Pinto's #10 "It’s a foreshadowing that there will be no marriage in heaven (Mt. 22:30)"; that that would actually make what Jesus said then any less true.

Dr. Eric

Inocnecio said:

"You seem to give more weight to your personal opinion than that of the councils. That article you linked to only tried to discredit the actual documentation of the councils it did not offer any proof for its arguments."

From the Council of Elvira, Canon 33

"It has seemed good absolutely to forbid the bishops, priests, and the deacons, i.e., all the clerics engaged in service at the altar, to have [sexual] relations with their wives and procreate children; should anyone do so, let him be excluded from the honor of the clergy."

So, then the practice of permanent deacons who are married violates this Canon.


Canon 2 of the Council of Carthage also reads the same way. Deacons are included in those who are bound to continence.

Canon 25 of Codex Canonum Ecclesiae Africanae from 419 declares that not only bishops, presbyters, and deacons are supposed to be celibate but also the subdeacons (which were abolished at Vatican II.) The Subdeacons were responsible for handling the holy chalice, paten, and ciborium. So should not only our Permanent Deacons be continent but also the Eucharistic Ministers?

Inocencio

Dr. Eric,

Googling doctors and divorce rates shows that a serious strain is placed on marriage resulting in a high divorce rate.

I am not insulting any priest but the Church guides us as loving Mother and she has a better understanding of the issue than us.

Mr. Pinto's approach is very logical and realistic.

Again, I will accept whatever the pope decides.

God bless you and your wife in your marriage and your children.

Inocencio
J+M+J

Dr. Eric

Fr. Cantalamessa said:

"One day, some Sadducees presented Jesus with the unlikely case of a woman who was successively the wife of seven brothers, asking him whose wife she would be after the resurrection. Jesus answered: "When they rise from the dead they will neither marry nor be given in marriage but will be like angels in heaven" (Mark 12:25).

Interpreting this saying of Jesus wrongly, some have claimed that marriage will have no follow-up in heaven. But with his reply Jesus is rejecting the caricature the Sadducees presented of heaven, as if it were going to be a simple continuation of the earthly relationship of the spouses. Jesus does not exclude the possibility that they might rediscover in God the bond that united them on earth.

According to this vision, marriage does not come to a complete end at death but is transfigured, spiritualized, freed from the limits that mark life on earth, as also the ties between parents and children or between friends will not be forgotten. In a preface for the dead the liturgy proclaims: "Life is transformed, not taken away." Even marriage, which is part of life, will be transfigured, not nullified.

But what about those who have had a negative experience of earthly marriage, an experience of misunderstanding and suffering? Should not this idea that the marital bond will not break at death be for them, rather than a consolation, a reason for fear? No, for in the passage from time to eternity the good remains and evil falls away. The love that united them, perhaps for only a brief time, remains; defects, misunderstandings, suffering that they inflicted on each other, will fall away.

Indeed, this very suffering, accepted with faith, will be transformed into glory. Many spouses will experience true love for each other only when they will be reunited "in God," and with this love there will be the joy and fullness of the union that they did not know on earth. In God all will be understood, all will be excused, all will be forgiven.

Some will ask of course about those who have been legitimately married to different people, widowers and widows who have remarried. (This was the case presented to Jesus of the seven brothers who successively had the same woman as their wife.) Even for them we must repeat the same thing: That which was truly love and self-surrender between each of the husbands or wives, being objectively a good coming from God, will not be dissolved. In heaven there will not be rivalry in love or jealousy. These things do not belong to true love but to the intrinsic limits of the creature."

Read it and re-read it. His words do not sound like people married on earth will not be married in heaven. Father Cantalamessa is the Papal Preacher.

Dr. Eric

Since doctors have high divorce rates should they also be celibate?

This argument proves too much, it does not compute.

If moving a married priest around (which in the East they do not, he is the father of the parish) hurts his ministry and marriage then moving a military family around is bad and therefore soldiers should be celibate.

Being on call is bad for a marriage, and therefore since priests are on call then priests should be celibate is the argument. Doctors, truckdrivers, airline pilots, railroaders, businessmen, (do I need to go on?) etc... are on call and do things that separate them from their families, therefore everyone who has a job that requires them to be separated from their families should be celibate.

These are bad arguments people!

Inocencio

Dr. Eric,

Again you are quoting the documents that point to the development of the discipline of celibacy.

Can you quote any councils or pope's that say otherwise?

And a small pet peeve of mine:

So should not only our Permanent Deacons be continent but also the Eucharistic Ministers?

[154.] As has already been recalled, “the only minister who can confect the Sacrament of the Eucharist in persona Christi is a validly ordained Priest”. Hence the name “minister of the Eucharist” belongs properly to the Priest alone.

[156.] This function is to be understood strictly according to the name by which it is known, that is to say, that of extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, and not “special minister of Holy Communion” nor “extraordinary minister of the Eucharist” nor “special minister of the Eucharist”, by which names the meaning of this function is unnecessarily and improperly broadened. Redemptionis Sacramentum

And I hope for the day when only the ordinary minsters of Holy Communion would distribute the Most Holy Eucharist. Even if that meant married Deacons could not.

Again, whatever the discipline is I accept.

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Inocencio

Dr. Eric,

These are bad arguments people!

I ask again are you pretending there is not a strain on marriage because of these situations?

The statistics do not support your argument.

St. Paul's recommendation should not be ignored.

"An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord. But a married man is anxious about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and he is divided" (1 Cor. 7:32-34).

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

bill912

"...therefore, everyone who has a job that requires them to be separated from their families ahould be celibate." Huh? How does one get from "a single man can devote himself completedty to the Lord" to that?

Dr. Eric

Pope John VIII affirmed the Council of Trullo.

Check out Canon VI which permits men who want to become priests or deacons to become married first. NOT AFTER, MILLINGO!

Canon XIII is the one that is the sticky wicket. It says:

"If therefore anyone shall have dared, contrary to the Apostolic Canons, to deprive any of those who are in holy orders, presbyter, or deacon, or subdeacon of cohabitation and intercourse with his lawful wife, let him be deposed. In like manner also if any presbyter or deacon on pretence of piety has dismissed his wife, let him be excluded from communion; and if he persevere in this let him be deposed."


I suggest we read these ancient documents.

Catholicism existed before Trent!!!

(I know that it was not an Ecumenical Council even though it was called for by the Emperor and was attended by Papal legates, Patriarchs, Patriarchal legates, bishops, priests, and deacons. So it does bear some weight, beyond a local synod.)

Inocencio

Dr. Eric,

Catholicism existed before Trent!!!

Is just a bizarre statement. Are you somehow undermining the authority of the Council of Trent? Dogma, Doctrine and discipline have all developed. But not by your authority or mine. Since the pope has the keys to the kingdom what he binds upon us is bound.

I am not arguing for doctors or any layperson to be celibate. If you think that I have not been clear and I apologize. Do you really want to see priests in divorce rate statistics?

The link below seems to suggest that the Orthodox are taking an honest look at the problems their married clergy face.

A Series Of Papers Prepared By The Holy Synod Of Bishops Of The Orthodox Church In America Concerning Contemporary Issues

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Inocencio

Maureen,

"Help us, Obi-Wan Benodict. You're our only Pope!"

Thank you even though I almost choked because I was eating and laughed so hard.

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Inocencio

Dr. Eric,

The Catholic Encyclopedia contradicts your understanding of the Council in Trullo.

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Inocencio

Dr. Eric,

I recommend reading this article.

The Gift: A Married Priest Looks at Celibacy
By Rev. Ray Ryland

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

chris K

Moving a married priest every 3 years puts no more stress on a family than moving a military family around.

Again, why do people speak so knowingly outside of their own living experience? Military families feel the strain of moving once the children enter into their teens and find it much harder socially to make new friends when having to move to new neighborhoods and schools. Kids have already formed their groups. So a lot of them either retire when that time comes or one of the parents stays behind while the active member goes overseas or elsewhere, splitting the family. (Don't you rememer Margaret Hoolihan's lament about being a military brat and having to stop allowing herself to get close to others, knowing that she would always have to leave them??!! Ha!)

You're not speaking of apostle in the restricted meaning of the 12 original when you speak of Paul as an apostle. Paul was called the apostle to the gentiles, but you are expanding the selected ones for specific purposes. And when citing various married priests of history you don't seem to distinguish between the rites and their particular histories of how their traditions developed....beyond the original call for leaving everything.

And ... Jesus was only God?? Not fully man as well with all of the same experiences of man? Hmmm... How convenient for your purpose here. Then how can any man depend on His knowing humanly what they suffer?

Better that we put our faith in the writings of the early Church Fathers than those coming later who can merely speculate as they diverge from the course and the only witnesses out there.

Read it and re-read it. His words do not sound like people married on earth will not be married in heaven.

Well, if you really believe that Father expressed no difference in the concepts of earthly marriage versus the Divine portion of whatever is good upon earth being the lasting elements into eternity then your heaven can only be an extension of the limitations of earth which rather defeats the real evidence. Please tell that to the many authenticated near death experiences (even of the saints) who, once experiencing even the distant proximity to God and heaven begged to remain in such Presence rather than return to their own beloved on earth. And, since the ideal of the Priesthood is to witness to things beyond - to eternal life - the concentration was to be only on the Divine goal and to be constant reminders to all of that ultimate goal. Like so many others in history who would like to skew the facts to only respect human nature, you conveniently leave out the greater interpretations. And if you can't or refuse to differentiate between the "ministries" of the mainly earthly goals of the various occupations vs the mainly spiritual goals of the priestly ministry,...well, what can anyone say. The mandated limitations are just what Paul instructs us about.

Maureen

Reading between the lines of this letter, I see:

"We're sooo confused. We need someone who's a Rock, someone who can strengthen the brethren. The more we insult you, the more we admit we need you.

"Help us, Obi-Wan Benodict. You're our only Pope!"

Fr. Cantalamessa said:

"One day, ..." (Mark 12:25).

Interpreting this saying of Jesus wrongly, some have claimed that marriage will have no follow-up in heaven. But with his reply Jesus is rejecting the caricature the Sadducees presented of heaven, as if it were going to be a simple continuation of the earthly relationship of the spouses. Jesus does not exclude the possibility that they might rediscover in God the bond that united them on earth.

In my married life this question has bedeviled me. It does seem clear though that the actual Marriage bond dissolves at death. Otherwise polygamy would be legitimate. If I am married to my dead wife and remarry and that’s ok then marrying two living women would be ok too. Clearly the Marriage bond itself dissolves at death. This also spares us of the possible obligation to continue our progeny in Heaven (Impossible, yes?)

On the other hand, the greater bond: the Love of God that we share never disappears. Just as we will recognize our friends and share the love we had. Married couples will see each other and the love they shared will be even greater. After all, which is greater the bond of love we share or the bond of obligation to raise a family?

Late at night I will risk babbling by offering what is no doubt an invalid analogy. A priest is a priest forever in the order of Melcheidek because his wife, the Church, is alive forever in heaven and earth. Their bonds will never dissolve in Heaven or Hell.


Ryan C

"The Catholic Encyclopedia contradicts your understanding of the Council in Trullo."

Inocenio,

The article does not say that John VIII did not confirm the council, so how does it contradict Dr. Eric?

Here's the relevant passage from Dragini's article:

"Before continuing we would do well to pause for a moment and consider the authority and legitimacy of the Council in Trullo. The Cardinal portrays it as some sort of rogue assembly that deviated from the teachings of the holy apostles. Yet beginning with Pope John VIII the Papacy has considered the canons of Trullo to be binding on Byzantine Christians, both Catholic and Orthodox. In fact, up until 1949, when Pope Pius XII promulgated a partial Code of Eastern Canons, the Council in Trullo was considered to be the definitive source of marriage law for Eastern Catholics of the Byzantine Tradition.

Even today the Papacy continues to show respect for the Council's enduring legacy. In the second paragraph of the apostolic constitution Sacri Canones, Pope John Paul II explicitly recognizes the value of Trullo's accomplishments. Such papal recognition would never be given to a council that abolished genuine apostolic traditions. In truth, the council's legislation was quite conservative. According to the noted Roman Catholic canonist Frederick McManus, the Fathers of the Council in Trullo hardly thought they were innovating. Rather they were affirming past disciplinary traditions."

Inocencio

Ryan C,

Basil of Gortyna in Illyria, however, belonged to the Roman patriarchate and called himself papal legate, though no evidence is extant of his right to use a title that in the East served to clothe the decrees with Roman authority. In fact, the West never recognized the 102 disciplinary canons of this council, in large measure reaffirmations of earlier canons.

Fr. Ray Ryland in his research says:

"To justify this departure, Trullo quoted the earlier canons of the Council of Carthage. That council, as we have seen, had restated the rule of perpetual continence for all married clergy by appealing to what it called the apostolic tradition. Its records were widely available. Trullo changed the wording of the Carthaginian canons so that they mandated only temporary continence for married clergy only on days when they served at the altar. (This is effectively the Old Testament law for levitical priests who served in
the Temple.)

Despite this radical alteration of the Carthage council's ruling, the Council of Trullo blithely assured all who would listen that by their decrees they were only “preserving the ancient rule and apostolic perfection and order.” 11 The Catholic Church, of course, has never recognized the Council of Trullo."

If you have documentation that it has specific papal recognition as a binding council please point me to it.

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Ryan C

Inocenio,

The article I refer to above, Dragini's, provide's documentation about the recognition of Trullo.

I think perhaps a distinction is necessary: the Latin church did not recognize Trullo as applying to its churches, but did recognize it as applying the Eastern Churches. That seems to be what Dragini is saying, and what he documents, and that seems to resolve the apparent discrepancy between his article and the CE's.

Ryan C

Actually, correction: Trullo is held to be only applicable to the Byzantine Churches by the Eastern Churches themselves.

Esau

Dr. Eric:

Jesus mentioned we’re going to be like the angels of Heaven, neither married nor given in marriage.

St. Paul clarifies even further in Romans 7 and says that not only are we not married at the Resurrection, but marriage ceases as soon as death occurs. He says a woman is not bound to her husband if he’s died and so, as a result, that’s why people who are widows and widowers can re-marry, and so marriage ends at death though there will always be a special bond between people who have been married even in the next life.

Thus, I think you should pay particular attention to the following details in that which you cited from Fr. Cantalamessa:

...only when they will be reunited "in God," and with this love there will be the joy and fullness of the union that they did not know on earth. In God all will be understood, all will be excused, all will be forgiven.

That which was truly love and self-surrender between each of the husbands or wives, being objectively a good coming from God, will not be dissolved.

Mind you, when Fr. Cantalamessa says "That which was truly love and self-surrender...being objectively a good coming from God, will not be dissolved", this is certainly forshadowed by the priest's sole commitment in this life to God alone.

What Fr. Cantalamessa is accentuating here is what will be the highest aspect of our heavenly life which will be REUNION WITH GOD and, thus, he said:

"But with his reply Jesus is rejecting the caricature the Sadducees presented of heaven, as if it were going to be a simple continuation of the earthly relationship of the spouses.

Jesus does not exclude the possibility that they might rediscover in God the bond that united them on earth.

AND, AGAIN:

"That which was truly love and self-surrender...being objectively a good coming from God, will not be dissolved"


IN OTHER WORDS, LET ME SPELL IT OUT FOR YOU:

YOU ARE DOING EXACTLY WHAT THE SADDUCEES WERE DOING IN THAT YOU THINK THAT IN HEAVEN IT'LL MERELY BE THE "SIMPLE CONTINUATION OF THE EARTHLY RELATIONSHIP OF THE SPOUSES", JUST AS FR. POINTED OUT -- NO, IT'S NOT!

IT IS GOING TO BE REUNION WITH GOD WHICH IS THE UTMOST, HIGHEST STATE FOR US IN HEAVEN AND, THUS, FR. GOES ON TO SAY THAT IN THAT UNION WITH GOD, THAT WHICH WAS "TRUE LOVE AND SELF SURRENDER" IN THEIR EARTHLY MARRIAGE MAY BE RE-DISCOVERED IN THEIR UNION WITH GOD SINCE UNION WITH GOD WOULD ACTUALLY BE THE HIGHEST FORM OF THAT VERY BOND, SINCE IT IS UNION WITH GOD THAT'S THE HIGHEST STATE OF BEING FOR US, SINCE WE ACTUALLY BECOME UNITED WITH GOD, OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN!


What are you expecting in Heaven? Families having homes with a white picket fence, raising their children -- all in all, being just like how it is now? Please explain, I'd be interested to hear your profound concept of Heaven. Maybe that will help.


Father Cantalamessa is the Papal Preacher.

By the way, I know who he is since he was the one who did the homily in a Communion Service at Rome during the time of the Triduum this year!

Ryan C

Sorry, I should have provided the link:

http://www.east2west.org/Celibacy.htm

Inocencio

Ryan C,

This article seems to concur with the Catholic Encylopedia and Fr. Ray Rylands understanding that this council is not recognized.

Here are two excerpts from the article:

"that when the Emperor afterwards sent the canons to the Pope to receive his signature, he absolutely refused to have anything to do with them; and it is further true that they were never practically observed by the West at all, and that even in the East their authority was rather theoretical than real"

and

"Pope Sergius refused to sign the decrees when they were sent to him, rejected them as "lacking authority" (invalidi) and described them as containing "novel errors." With the efforts to extort his signature we have no concern further than to state that they signally failed. Later on, in the time of Pope Constantine, a middle course seems to have been adopted, a course subsequently in the ninth century thus expressed by Pope John VIII., "he accepted all those canons which did not contradict the true faith, good morals, and the decrees of Rome,"

Since Dr. Eric seems to be using this council to undermine the authority of valid councils, such as Trent, I would hope to see documentation that it had specific papal recognition.

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J


Inocencio

Ryan C,

Actually, correction: Trullo is held to be only applicable to the Byzantine Churches by the Eastern Churches themselves.

Thank you for that clarification.

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

kaneohe

Another quick question from a guy trying to learn the ropes...I am not Catholic, but seriously trying to learn - this is a great site with many incredible people participating - so thanks to all for sharing your knowledge and opinions!

If you can bear another question from a neophyte...the letter from Milingo, et. al., states the following:

" The Married Priests Now! Prelature with its archbishops, bishops and priests considers itself to be a Roman Catholic Personal Prelature in Communion with your Holiness and is part of the Roman Catholic Church. "

Now, in my limited knowledge I had assumed that a prelature, while governed by its own rules nevertheless had to be established by the Holy See. Is this correct?

Are these renegades, if I may call them so, just blowing smoke, trying to make appear in communion with the Church?

Stallings of the Imani Temple has a very interesting title "His Holiness, Patriarch and Founder"

Maybe I should stop signing in as kaneohe and go for "The Grand Pooh-Bah, Lord High Everything Else," what do you think, catchy uh?

As always it is equally stimulating and humbling reading
your postings. Keep up the great work!

NB: Esau and Josh, thanks for your reply to my other Qs.

Ryan C

Inocenio,

I did not think that Dr. Eric was trying to undermine Trent, I thought he was simply defending the Eastern practice (which is all I am interested in doing, of course). I also think you might have appeared critical of the Eastern discipline in your comments, even though I'm sure you don't intend to, and that that's what he's responding to. Thus I think both of you, and you and I to a certain extent, are talking past each other. It's hard to talk about the Eastern vs. Western discipline without feelings getting bruised.

Anyway, I encourage you to look at the article by Dragini noted above. He documents John Paul II's appreciation of Trullo. Furthermore, the new article you cited supports his contention that John VIII did sign on to the canons. Again, here's the relevant passage: "yet beginning with Pope John VIII the Papacy has considered the canons of Trullo to be binding on Byzantine Christians, both Catholic and Orthodox. In fact, up until 1949, when Pope Pius XII promulgated a partial Code of Eastern Canons, the Council in Trullo was considered to be the definitive source of marriage law for Eastern Catholics of the Byzantine Tradition."

The other Eastern rites, of course, have their own tradition of married priests who are allowed to enjoy conjugal relations, which is not dictated by Trullo. This, again, is an important point, showing that Trullo is not the be all and end all for the Eastern tradition.

kaneohe

Does anyone have any experience with having married Catholic clergy in their parish?

Not being Catholic (how often must I use this phrase?!) it’s because I don’t want you to think I am a complete douf in regard to the Roman Catholic Church...

Anyway, one of my aunts is Catholic and several years ago an Eastern rite priest who came to the RC Church was assigned to her parish. He was married, and showed up with his wife and two teen-ages boys. The parish - this is a very conservative French-Canadian parish - apparently loved this priest and his family. He was an excellent priest, ministering to the people and was a holy celebrant of the Mass and a great preacher. Several years later he was assigned to another parish... a few years later her parish was assigned a widower who took orders (stop me whenever I get the lingo wrong!!)

The reaction was different - people apparently feel he is too casual - usually no collar but khakis and polo shirts, only speaks of loving one another (touchy feely was one description) and his homilies were usually about his late wife, their relationship, and the family...I guess he was using them to help illustrate his homilies.

Do you think because the Eastern rite priest might have been educated differently, or maybe he did not see being married as something usual, he was able to be a better minister to his flock than the Catholic widower who took orders?

Thought it interesting to hear about the different reactions of one Roman Catholic parish to two married priests .

Realist

Did Paul not marry because he thought the second coming was at hand?? Or maybe he did it the way of the traveler i.e. a gal in every port? :) Being a Roman citizen and Jew, and having the gifts of speech and prose probably allowed him to easily woo the ladies.

Also, much of the discussion above is based on Mark 12:25. For those interested, the historical Jesus "experts" have concluded that this saying is not from the historical Jesus.

262-. On the Resurrection: (1) Mark 12:18-27 = Matt 22:23-33 = Luke 20:27-40;Item: 262
Stratum: II (60-80 CE)
Attestation: Single
Historicity: -
Common Sayings Tradition: No


Ryan C

kaneohe,

That may be true for that particular case, but one of the things I was trying (unsuccessfully) to point out in this thread was that generalizations about married vs. celibate priests are not very helpful. Grace and calling always comes down to the individual. To make overgeneralizations for either side would disturb those who follow the other discipline in their church. Regardless of discipline, both Eastern and Western Churches have a lot of respect for celibacy, the West with the great majority of its priests, the East with its monks.

Anyway, given that both Eastern and Western Catholic Churches have been well served by their priests for two millenia, and given that both have a number of saints they're devoted to, I think it's clear that a married priest can do just a good a job as a celibate priest and vice versa. Or rather, God can use either to minister to his flock, and can lead both to leading very holy lives. For that's clearly been the case during the Church's history in East and West. Anyway, that's what I was trying unsuccesfully to say.

Esau

Also, much of the discussion above is based on Mark 12:25. For those interested, the historical Jesus "experts" have concluded that this saying is not from the historical Jesus.

OH BROTHER!

Just when I thought I would finally enjoy some 'radio silence' from the 'Realist'! I knew it wouldn't last!

Esau

...one of the things I was trying (unsuccessfully) to point out in this thread was that generalizations about married vs. celibate priests are not very helpful. Grace and calling always comes down to the individual. To make overgeneralizations for either side would disturb those who follow the other discipline in their church. Regardless of discipline, both Eastern and Western Churches have a lot of respect for celibacy, the West with the great majority of its priests, the East with its monks.

Anyway, given that both Eastern and Western Catholic Churches have been well served by their priests for two millenia, and given that both have a number of saints they're devoted to, I think it's clear that a married priest can do just a good a job as a celibate priest and vice versa. Or rather, God can use either to minister to his flock, and can lead both to leading very holy lives. For that's clearly been the case during the Church's history in East and West. Anyway, that's what I was trying unsuccesfully to say.


Ryan:

Kudos on such a fine post!

Hopefully, we can one day heal the fraction between the East and West!

Ryan C

Esau,

When are you going to email me so we can chat about Sir Thomas More? You can use the email my name links to, or this one: paladinryan@gmail.com.

Esau

I did when I finally saw your message around 9 pm PST!
Hopefully, you'll get it soon!
I'll try at the other one you just suggested.

The 'English' is killing me!

"Mary trouth it is yt a mannes oth receyueth interpretacyon / & is not always bounden precysely to ye wordes."

Again, Thanks!

kaneohe

Aloha Ryan, it was not my intention to make a generalization regarding married clergy of the various Catholic churches, so thank you for pointing that out to me if my posting read as such.

Not being Roman Catholic I was wondering how many RC’s might have had any actual experience with married clergyman – celibate clergy does seem the norm.

From personal church/parish experience of having been ministered to by both, married and celibate clergy, I understand and agree with what you and Esau are saying.

Again, mahalo (thanks) to both of you.


Ryan C

Kaneohe,

Just so you know, I didn't mean to say you were. I just worry that that's how discussions about this topic generally go.

Miguel Garcia

Ya Know, Sounds to me like Millingo's "Married Priests Now! Prelature" is taking a page from the SSPX playbook.

"We're our own Prelature, we do it our way"

but

"We still love you, you're still our Pope"

Funny. I somehow don't think that Rome sets up prelatures with Exclamation Marks in their title.

Inocencio

Ryan C,

Furthermore, the new article you cited supports his contention that John VIII did sign on to the canons.

The last article I listed stated that Pope John VIII., "he accepted all those canons which did not contradict the true faith, good morals, and the decrees of Rome," but no where have I found any documentation that he "signed on to them" and which canons would that be? That is the documentation I am looking for and it has not been presented.

Dr. Eric said Catholicism existed before Trent and than quoted the Council in Trullo as his authority.

The article by Fr. Ray Ryland claims that:

"To justify this departure, Trullo quoted the earlier canons of the Council of Carthage. That council, as we have seen, had restated the rule of perpetual continence for all married clergy by appealing to what it called the apostolic tradition. Its records were widely available. Trullo changed the wording of the Carthaginian canons so that they mandated only temporary continence for married clergy only on days when they served at the altar. (This is effectively the Old Testament law for levitical priests who served in
the Temple.)

I thank you for your comments and I read the article you are citing when Dr. Eric pasted the link. I am going to have to go back and read Council of Carthage and compare the text to Trullo to see why Fr. Ryland makes his claim.

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

chris K

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=8082

Dan Brown now too?

Asked if he though it was likely to convince Milingo to come back to the Church for a life of penance, considering the level of public exposure he enjoys and also considering he has signed a commercial agreement with “Da Vinci Code’s” Dan Brown to advise him in his next project, the official responded: “the Church works always on the assumption that the human heart can always open itself to God’s grace and come back to God’s path.”

Realist

More on Paul and marriage: From Bruce Chilton in his book, Rabbi Paul, p. 211, "Despite his inexperience and disinclination, he appoints himself the Ephesian Dr. Ruth."

p.212, "Still to Paul, marriage was an institution of this world, a world that was passing away. As far as he was concerned he was an emissary from another, eternal world, a world that had no room for touching women. In heaven, flesh was irrelevant; copulating, like eating and drinking had no place".

Hmmm, because the quick second coming did not materialize, our priests have been unduly penalized in enjoying one of God's greatest gifts???? Although if you believe all the rumors about married priests in Europe,South America and Africa, maybe the penality is centered only in isolated regions, regions having many frustrated priests?

Michael

Ya Know, Sounds to me like Millingo's "Married Priests Now! Prelature" is taking a page from the SSPX playbook.

"We're our own Prelature, we do it our way"

Has the SSPX ever made claim to being a Prelature? Who and when? Or was this assertion simple calumny?

Ryan C

Inocenio,

As you may have noticed, Dragini makes a distinction between what the canon says, and the "intervention" Bishop Genetlius added onto it says. The canon simply states that: "It pleases us all that bishop, priest and deacon, guardians of purity, abstain from [conjugal intercourse] with their wives, so that those who serve at the altar may keep a perfect chastity." It seems, then, that it is not the canon proper that makes reference to the Apostolic tradition, rather it is the intervention.

Eileen R

Can we ban Realist, pleeeeeeeease? Pretty please? He's made three offensive posts on the same topic, the first of which also approvingly quoted a racist website.

J.R. Stoodley

It seems to me that the Church has made it quite clear that celibacy is the state of life most suited to the priesthood. It is possible to allow a married priesthood but to take Dr. Eric's position and argue against the value of celibacy goes against all the statements of the Church in recent centuries about the inestimable value of priestly celibacy.

While there are, shall we say, political reasons to not complain too loudly about the Eastern practice of married clergy, I don't see how a faithful Catholic can say their policy is just as good as the Western one and not contradict the guidance of the Church.

The issue of our new married deacons is quite interesting. Given that they also participate in Holy Orders and that the requirement for celibacy previously applied to them I have difficulty with the current policy.

Does anyone know if permanent deacons were ever required to be celibate, or did the requirement for celibacy come only after the deaconate had become just a stepping stone to the priesthood? If the latter is the case one could argue that the rule against married deacons existed just because a married person should not, under that age's discipline, be ordained to the deaconate if they could not soon be ordained a priest.

On the other hand if Carthage recommended sexual abstinence for deacons as well, that suggests marriage may not be suited for them after all. Further, how can we interpret the requirement that deacons, and our priests both East and West, are not allowed to (re)marry after ordination except that marriage is not suited to either the presbyterate or the deaconate? We may for one reason or another (like the shortage of mature unmarried men in the ancient world) ordain married men, but we never allow ordained men to marry because celibacy is better for that vocation. If then the Church has decided (not forcing it on the Eastern Churches of course) that mandatory celibacy from the beginning is the way to go for priests, why not deacons too?

J.R. Stoodley

Eileen, I propose just shunning Realist until he grows up.

J.R. Stoodley

To be clear about my other post, I in no way want to say that marriage is bad. As has been discussed above denegrating marriage denegrates celibacy as well. I indeed am coming to believe I may possibly be called to marriage after all (thanks Inocencio and anyone else for your prayers, turns out the situation was WAY better than stupid old me thought it was!!!).

While apparently in an abstract sense celibacy is a "higher" calling than marriage (because it is a renunciation of a great good for the sake of God) it does not mean that celibates are always holier than married people. Also, God calls most people to marriage, and for them to reject that call, even to aspire to something greater, is to reject the plan of God for their life. Such a person I think could never achieve the level of sanctity they would have in their original vocation.

Obviously this also goes for those called to celibacy who marry, which brings us back to married priests. If celibacy is more suited to the priesthood than marriage it is probably safe to say that all men called to the priesthood are called to celibacy. Those who marry instead may still achieve great sanctity, but would have been better off celibate. Yet another reason for mandatory celibacy.

Esau

Can we ban Realist, pleeeeeeeease? Pretty please? He's made three offensive posts on the same topic, the first of which also approvingly quoted a racist website.

Eileen R:
I double that sentiment, too!

Tim J.

Ironically, Realist seems oblivious to the REALITY that his one-note symphony is not welcome here. He has been warned as politely as possible, IMHO.

Please, go peddle your sophisms elsewhere.

Esau

Please, go peddle your sophisms elsewhere.

Here, here!

Inocencio

J.R. Stoodley,

Nice to see you jump into the discussion. I hope all is well at school. You are and remain in my prayers.

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

radio45

Each day that passes brings us one day closer to Married RC priests. Women priests ain't gonna happen, but married priests, yes. May take 50 years but eventually it is a reality.

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