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Re: CONTINENCE for Roman-rite Married Deacons [Re: danman916] #358492 01/21/11 08:10 PM
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Tamiian Offline OP
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Thanks for the correction

Re: CONTINENCE for Roman-rite Married Deacons [Re: Tamiian] #358493 01/21/11 08:19 PM
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Roman celibacy, despite the current rhetoric about it, had everything to do with church property rights during the Middler Ages.


That was undoubtedly a big part of the drive, but when you look at the apologetics it's usually framed as a matter of ritual purity: girls have cooties and sex is icky!

Re: CONTINENCE for Roman-rite Married Deacons [Re: Tamiian] #358494 01/21/11 08:23 PM
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Then there are those embarrassing Popes who were the sons of Popes, like Silverius, son of Pope Hormosidas

Re: CONTINENCE for Roman-rite Married Deacons [Re: Deacon John Montalvo] #358515 01/21/11 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Deacon John Montalvo
Besides myself, I know of another deacon (latin) who has fathered/sired children with our wives subsequent to diaconal ordination. I have not been called into the bishop's office to discuss this... so without anyone's asking, anyone can rightly assume my wife and I have been intimate at least once after ordination. Our son is six years old, born on the feast of the Transfiguration, I was ordained in 2003...

I really do think it is silly that a canon lawyer has nothing better to do than discuss the intimate relations of married clerics. Revise the law to read "chastity" ILO of "continence" and be done with it.

Father Deacon,

The key thing, which you correctly point out, is that absolutely no one seems to be trying to enforce continence for married deacons (or priests) in the Latin Church. Therefore, it seems far-fetched to interpret the canons in the way Edward Peters suggests.

However, canon law is an academic discipline. If there is a discrepancy between what the law says and what is really intended by the Church, or if the law is open to misinterpretation, canon lawyers like Edward Peters are surely right to point this out so that the law can be revised?

Re: CONTINENCE for Roman-rite Married Deacons [Re: StuartK] #358517 01/22/11 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by StuartK
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Roman celibacy, despite the current rhetoric about it, had everything to do with church property rights during the Middler Ages.


That was undoubtedly a big part of the drive, but when you look at the apologetics it's usually framed as a matter of ritual purity: girls have cooties and sex is icky!


Speaking of ritual purity (Stuart, this may be something you may have heard)

An older rabbi and a young priest are at an ecumenical meeting. The meeting breaks for lunch, and the two ministers are in the buffet line. The table is laden with all types of food- appetizers, salad, soup, meats, desserts. As they come upon the meat section, the priest asks the rabbi if he would like some ham, to which the rabbi replies, "No thank you, ham is an unclean food and is forbidden to us."

The pair take their seats at a table with other ministers, and the subject turns to sex. The rabbi leans over to the priest and asks, "Father, how are your relations with your wife." Taken aback, the young priest responds, "Rabbi, I have no wife and have no intimate relations with a woman, it is forbidden. That would be like your eating ham." To which the rabbi replies, "Father, look, I've had both, there's no comparison."

Re: CONTINENCE for Roman-rite Married Deacons [Re: Tamiian] #358519 01/22/11 12:45 AM
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Very good, deacon.

Re: CONTINENCE for Roman-rite Married Deacons [Re: Latin Catholic] #358522 01/22/11 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
Originally Posted by Deacon John Montalvo
Besides myself, I know of another deacon (latin) who has fathered/sired children with our wives subsequent to diaconal ordination. I have not been called into the bishop's office to discuss this... so without anyone's asking, anyone can rightly assume my wife and I have been intimate at least once after ordination. Our son is six years old, born on the feast of the Transfiguration, I was ordained in 2003...

I really do think it is silly that a canon lawyer has nothing better to do than discuss the intimate relations of married clerics. Revise the law to read "chastity" ILO of "continence" and be done with it.

Father Deacon,

The key thing, which you correctly point out, is that absolutely no one seems to be trying to enforce continence for married deacons (or priests) in the Latin Church. Therefore, it seems far-fetched to interpret the canons in the way Edward Peters suggests.

However, canon law is an academic discipline. If there is a discrepancy between what the law says and what is really intended by the Church, or if the law is open to misinterpretation, canon lawyers like Edward Peters are surely right to point this out so that the law can be revised?


My guess here is there could be some deliberate ambiguity with the wording so that it can be interpreted one way or another without changing Canon Law. Ultimately, its not the Canon Lawyer who is the final interpreter of Canon Law, its the Pope. If he says it means one way or another, the that is what it means. Its unlike the semantic gymnastics being employed in the US and Canada right now to make lawful things like same-sex marriage and polygamy.

Re: CONTINENCE for Roman-rite Married Deacons [Re: Tamiian] #358653 01/23/11 06:44 PM
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I think Dr. Peters has made an iron clad case for what the law says. It begs for a clarification from Rome because compliance with Canon 277 is nearly zero. I also believe that prudence dictates that canon 277 not apply to married clerics. The law should be clarified and if necessary changed.

The practice of requiring married clergy to observe perfect and perpetual continence is apostolic, although not necessarily universal in the early church. There is no basis for any Eastern Christian to derogate this practice in the Latin Church. After all, this is the universal practice with regard to married men who become bishops.

Re: CONTINENCE for Roman-rite Married Deacons [Re: CRW] #358654 01/23/11 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by CRW
The practice of requiring married clergy to observe perfect and perpetual continence is apostolic, although not necessarily universal in the early church. There is no basis for any Eastern Christian to derogate this practice in the Latin Church. After all, this is the universal practice with regard to married men who become bishops.


Not really. For example, the younger brother of St. Gregory the Theologian, and possibly St. Gregory himself, was conceived after their father became a bishop. I suspect that there are other examples.

Re: CONTINENCE for Roman-rite Married Deacons [Re: Tamiian] #358657 01/23/11 08:56 PM
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And Pope Hormosidas (514-523) was already a priest when he fathered the man who became Pope Silverius (536-537). Silverius, in turn, was married to a woman named Antonia. Other examples of married Popes include:

Siricius (384-399), who left his wife and children to become Pope; he most likely was already a deacon when his children were born. Ironically, he authored a decree ordering clerics to cease cohabiting with their wives. Good luck with that.

Adrian II (867-872) was married with two daughters when he was ordained; his wife and daughters continued to live in his household in the Lateran Palace.

Pope John XVII (1003) was married with three sons, all of whom became priests.

Clement IV (1265-1268), married before ordination, had two daughters.

There were also quite a number of Popes who were widowers when they were ordained. I wonder if Bishop John Ireland considered them to be legitmate priests?

Last edited by StuartK; 01/23/11 08:57 PM.
Re: CONTINENCE for Roman-rite Married Deacons [Re: Tamiian] #358658 01/23/11 09:01 PM
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Athanasius,

It was Gregory of Nyssa who was married, the son of a married bishop (who was already a presbyter when St. Gregory was born); while his brothers Basil the Great and Naucratius became monastics, their other brother, Peter, Bishop of Sebaste in Armenia, was yet another married bishop.

Re: CONTINENCE for Roman-rite Married Deacons [Re: Tamiian] #358659 01/23/11 09:02 PM
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I think Dr. Peters has made an iron clad case for what the law says.


And you know what St. Paul says about the law.

Re: CONTINENCE for Roman-rite Married Deacons [Re: Tamiian] #358676 01/24/11 01:08 AM
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Can I be blunt? Is Dr. Peters THEE authority on this subject? Chances are the answer is NO. I can almost bet that it is a matter of defination and TRANSLATION of the word CONTINENCE. A Christian married or unmarried by virtue of being in the Body of Christ is to practice continence, that is self-restraint.

So, may I suggest that we don't mistranslate, misinterpret, and tendentiously organize texts to make Canon #277 say something that is non-existent.

The Catholic Church made a major step forward when it restored the practice of ordaining married men of good character to the diaconate. Any misinterpretion by any zealous theologian would just set off an exodus of good and pious deacons into other religious communions.

This would be a great discussion for the next USCC Meeting. Write your diocesan bishop and express your concern by asking him put this on the discussion table. The body can then issue a clarification of Canon #277 or petition the Vatican to do so. I can guarantee you that there is not one Catholic bishop in that room that would be willing to go on record stating that married deacons must practice celibacy.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

1571
Since the Second Vatican Council the Latin Church has restored the diaconate "as a proper and permanent rank of the hierarchy," while the Churches of the East had always maintained it. This permanent diaconate, which can be conferred on married men, constitutes an important enrichment for the Church's mission. Indeed it is appropriate and useful that men who carry out a truly diaconal ministry in the Church, whether in its liturgical and pastoral life or whether in its social and charitable works, should "be strengthened by the imposition of hands which has come down from the apostles. They would be more closely bound to the altar and their ministry would be made more fruitful through the sacramental grace of the diaconate."


Ray


Re: CONTINENCE for Roman-rite Married Deacons [Re: Tamiian] #358696 01/24/11 10:56 AM
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The Catholic Church made a major step forward when it restored the practice of ordaining married men of good character to the diaconate. Any misinterpretion by any zealous theologian would just set off an exodus of good and pious deacons into other religious communions.


There is no way to escape the fact the Latin Church, when it restored the "permanent" diaconate, changed its discipline regarding clerical celibacy. Going back into the first millennium, every Latin Church decree on celibacy included the diaconate (some included the sub-diaconate as well)--and at the time, the diaconate was very much an order in its own right, not merely a transient step on the cursus honorum.

By allowing the ordination of married men to the "permanent" diaconate, the Latin Church did two things: (a) it bifurcated the order, and created the impression that "permanent" deacons were somehow lesser beings than "transitional" deacons--thus affirming the supremacy of clerical celibacy; and (b) it gave tacit recognition to the failure of mandatory clerical celibacy, for if the Latin Church could not attract enough celibate men to meet the needs of the presbyterate, how could it hope to attract those needed for the diaconate?

When married men were ordained to the diaconate in the Latin Church after Vatican II, at first the requirements followed those laid out in the Council in Trullo: they could be the husband of just one wife (i.e., either married for the first time, or widowed after one marriage, were not permitted to remarry (no marriage after ordination); and their wives likewise had to be married just once. Then remarriage after ordination for widowhood was allowed by dispensation (which is OK, because this falls under an Orthodox bishop's oikonomia), usually when the deacon had small children. But then it became routine: deacons may remarry at will, as long as there is no valid preexisting marriage, which is a major departure from the canonical principles of Trullo (which Rome did endorse, contrary to popular belief). I'm sure the Orthodox will have some questions about this.

I am not sure if a man must still be on his first marriage in order to be ordained to the diaconate, but somehow I doubt that.

Last edited by StuartK; 01/24/11 10:57 AM.
Re: CONTINENCE for Roman-rite Married Deacons [Re: 70x7] #358713 01/24/11 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by 70x7
Is Dr. Peters THE authority on this subject? Chances are the answer is NO.

Without knowing anything about Dr. Peters' credentials, I would be leery of anything coming from a website that calls itself "http://remnantofremnant.blogspot.com." I mean, the phrase "remnant of remnant" suggests that there are "only a few faithful Catholics" left, and that furthermore, only a few of those are "really" faithful. I've heard stuff like this before, and lend it no credence whatsoever. If Dr. Peters doesn't mean to imply such things, he should certainly be more prudent about how he expresses himself.


Originally Posted by 70x7
This would be a great discussion for the next USCC Meeting. Write your diocesan bishop and express your concern by asking him put this on the discussion table. The body can then issue a clarification of Canon #277 or petition the Vatican to do so. I can guarantee you that there is not one Catholic bishop in that room that would be willing to go on record stating that married deacons must practice celibacy.

Frankly, I don't think there are any RC bishops who would find this "issue" worthy of their time and attention. They know that one of the principles of Canon Law is that it should always be interpreted according to accepted practice. Since it is clear in this case what the accepted practice is, there is no reason to discuss it.


Originally Posted by CRW
I think Dr. Peters has made an iron clad case for what the law says.

Without having read his article, I feel reasonably comfortable in dismissing it offhand. The only exception to the principle of accepted practice is when there is a movement to put an end to a long-standing abuse, since in that case the bishops would be compelled in justice to re-consider the matter. If Dr. Peters' statements give rise to a movement within the RCC (and, seriously, do you think this would really happen?), it will be a different matter. Until then, there is literally nothing to discuss.


Peace,
Deacon Richard

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