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Embracing Celibacy follow-up

Posted By: Paul B

Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/06/12 01:31 AM

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Now that everyone has calmed down it's time to offer some follow-up to the unfortunate and insensitive comment of Cardinal Sandri's prior to the North American bishops ad limina visit with the Holy Father.

I had an occasion at the clergy conference to ask about the ramifications of this perceived instruction. Metropolitan William was kind enough to engage the subject of the potential to accept married seminarians for future ordination to the priesthood. I pray that I do justice in accurately relaying his 'feel' for this subject. His comments weren't offered in confidence so I believe I'm justified with this posting. Besides, there was much damage done to my beloved Byzantine Catholic Church and I want to set the record straight.

The Metropolitan is of the opinion that nothing has changed, that we may proceed with caution. He said that it was reported that some eparchies has soured relations by ordaining priests with a inappropriate training, that is, the program was lacking, even abusive of the dignity and preparation which the Churches in America have come to expect. I have no details of this perception and did not feel that they had to be explained.

So, the policy has unchanged, our Particular Law is unchanged. This is all the detail which I will provide in this forum, so please don't ask me for more --there is no more.

I hope that our seminary will begin, if it hasn't already, to make preparations for married seminarians. For you forum members who are Byzantine Catholic I suggest that you earmark increased seminary donations for such preparations and execution. For instance, family housing while in Pittsburgh and local family contacts to show them around and provide babysitting or other assistance, or part time employment for seminarian/spouse.

For anyone who reponds with scepticm and criticism, I have nothing further to say. I request the prayers of all for the Metropolitan, the Seminary Rector, professors, and Board, and for the courage and gift of fortitude for any prospective married/engaged seminarian.

Christ is amongst us!
Father Deacon Paul
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/06/12 02:03 AM

Quote
The Metropolitan is of the opinion that nothing has changed, that we may proceed with caution.

How very . . . cautious of him.

Quote
He said that it was reported that some eparchies has soured relations by ordaining priests with a inappropriate training, that is, the program was lacking, even abusive of the dignity and preparation which the Churches in America have come to expect. I have no details of this perception and did not feel that they had to be explained.

Classic. A million reasons why NOT to do something, combined with a failure to address the reasons given for not moving ahead. An object at rest tends to remain at rest.

Quote
For anyone who reponds with scepticm and criticism, I have nothing further to say. I request the prayers of all for the Metropolitan, the Seminary Rector, professors, and Board, and for the courage and gift of fortitude for any prospective married/engaged seminarian.

I will pray that they will find courage.
Posted By: Jason D

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/06/12 02:58 AM

If Archbishop Skurla says he will proceed with caution, let him. If there are no married seminarians at the seminary within a year, then he is not being truthful. Somehow I don't think that he will be a different man than he was in Passaic or Van Nuys.
Posted By: JDC

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/06/12 03:18 AM

Originally Posted by StuartK

I will pray that they all grow a pair. At least one, which they can share.


I don't know the men or much care about the topic, but it has not been my experience that pairs are things successfully shared. Sometimes one man's fortitude bolsters another's, but as often a weaker man will let it excuse his inaction; that some other may fulfil the demands of his office. It is the curse of our time.

Again I am not commenting on the particular situation at hand. This is only a general reflection on pairs, and the sharing thereof.
Posted By: Curious Joe

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/06/12 04:24 AM

Originally Posted by StuartK
I will pray that they will find courage.


Amen! We should all do so!

Originally Posted by Jason D
If Archbishop Skurla says he will proceed with caution, let him. If there are no married seminarians at the seminary within a year, then he is not being truthful.


Who will be stepping forward first with the courage, the vocational calling and a willing bride or bride to be to make this request of the Archbishop?

If that were to happen tomorrow, what would this couple likely be told about the realities of venturing into such a life and calling in a church which hasn't really had to support a married priesthood in decades, especially if they desire to be blessed with children?

Who among us Byzantine-Ruthenian Catholics have actually been in a parish served by a married priest, and understand from witness and experience the realities under which they and their wives have undertaken this commitment in the current day and age?

Perhaps as Fr Deacon Paul suggests very directly in mentioning financial support, we should first ask how we can make this decision an easier and potentially joyful one before we condemn the Archbishop to failure.
Posted By: jjp

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/06/12 05:14 AM

It would be helpful if Metropolitan William made such a statement publicly, maybe distributing a statement to the parishes, so as to leave no doubt for any prospective married seminarians that they have the full support and sanction of the Metropolitan and the archepatchy.

As it stands now, I can't imagine anyone having an idea what the stance of this church is, and how that ambiguousness could be anything but off-putting. It's almost as if by being opaque like this, the church can claim to be open to the institution without actually having to deal with the consequence of that openness.

Leadership and clarity are greatly needed.
Posted By: RussianCath

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/06/12 01:38 PM

An interesting bit of information from Archimandrite Victor Pospishil, J.C.D., Sc. Eccl. Orient. L., "Compulsory Celibacy for the Eastern Catholics in the Americas," first published in Diakonia, issue 2 & 3, 1976, then reprinted in Toronto as a separate brochure:

"We must above all point to the dogmatic teaching of the Catholic Church on the papacy, which was never disavowed in the least, and the practice consonant to it as evident in the actions of the popes and the Roman Curia, namely, that the Roman Pontiff is an absolute monarch, though he may not always behave as such, whose power is limited solely by divine law as he himself defines it. He is above the bishops even when they are assembled in an ecumenical council. It is therefore inaccurate and misleading to speak that a 'union' had been concluded between a specific Eastern Church and a certain pope. Union implies some degree of equality between these Churches. Whenever the pope is the party of the first part, the only correct term is submission.
It is naivete to mention the promises made by one pope at the time, e.g., of the Union of Brest (1596) and point to the fact that the Roman Curia blithely ignored them. The bishops of Brest submitted to Pope Clement VIII an Act of Reunion dated June 11, 1595, in which Article 9 expressly stipulated that 'Matrimonia sacerdotalia ut integra constent.' The pope accepted this condition in the Constitution, Magnus Dominus of December 23, 1595. However, what one pope has promised does not bind him, and even less his successors. The party of the second part, the specific Eastern Catholic Church, relinquishes at the time of 'union' or, more correctly, submission, any and all rights except those which are graciously granted by the pope in office."

"To put it crudely, I prefer to be robbed at gun point by an ordinary street mugger, than to be cheated by some "benevolent" despot who tries to convince me that he is defrauding me for my own good."-Archbishop Vsevolod of Scopelos
Posted By: DMD

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/06/12 01:51 PM

Originally Posted by RussianCath
An interesting bit of information from Archimandrite Victor Pospishil, J.C.D., Sc. Eccl. Orient. L., "Compulsory Celibacy for the Eastern Catholics in the Americas," first published in Diakonia, issue 2 & 3, 1976, then reprinted in Toronto as a separate brochure:

"We must above all point to the dogmatic teaching of the Catholic Church on the papacy, which was never disavowed in the least, and the practice consonant to it as evident in the actions of the popes and the Roman Curia, namely, that the Roman Pontiff is an absolute monarch, though he may not always behave as such, whose power is limited solely by divine law as he himself defines it. He is above the bishops even when they are assembled in an ecumenical council. It is therefore inaccurate and misleading to speak that a 'union' had been concluded between a specific Eastern Church and a certain pope. Union implies some degree of equality between these Churches. Whenever the pope is the party of the first part, the only correct term is submission.
It is naivete to mention the promises made by one pope at the time, e.g., of the Union of Brest (1596) and point to the fact that the Roman Curia blithely ignored them. The bishops of Brest submitted to Pope Clement VIII an Act of Reunion dated June 11, 1595, in which Article 9 expressly stipulated that 'Matrimonia sacerdotalia ut integra constent.' The pope accepted this condition in the Constitution, Magnus Dominus of December 23, 1595. However, what one pope has promised does not bind him, and even less his successors. The party of the second part, the specific Eastern Catholic Church, relinquishes at the time of 'union' or, more correctly, submission, any and all rights except those which are graciously granted by the pope in office."

"To put it crudely, I prefer to be robbed at gun point by an ordinary street mugger, than to be cheated by some "benevolent" despot who tries to convince me that he is defrauding me for my own good."-Archbishop Vsevolod of Scopelos


And the reality of 'submission' remains the MAIN obstacle between the Orthodox East and Rome. As I have said on oc.net, if either Rome or the Orthodox expect reunion to be upon the terms insisted by Lincoln and Grant in our Civil War - unconditional submission - it isn't going to happen. Following up on RussianCatholic's comment, history shows us that Grant was generous in the field at Appomattox but as President he could not restrain the carpetbaggers and Radical Reconstructionists. Religion is politics and politics is religion. We just have to try harder and pray more.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/06/12 02:31 PM

Father Victor is technically correct: a literal reading of the canons does make the Pope an absolute monarch. Political reality tends to make him more of a constitutional one, though. His powers of compulsion are rather limited, and a bishop's conference or even an individual bishop has myriad ways of circumventing Papal directives if he so wishes. The Pope's power is really circumscribed by what he can convince the bishops to accept, which means he tends to "mediate within a consensus".

What's really rather amazing is the unwillingness of Eastern Catholic bishops to do what their Latin brethren do as a matter of course when confronted with a Papal instruction they do not like, but instead roll over and submit with supine obedience.

Although, to be truthful, that's only the case when Rome insists on maintaining some vestigial latinization or suppression of an element of Eastern Tradition of which our bishops do not approve. When it comes to delatinization or restoration of an authentic Eastern custom, they know every bureaucratic and parliamentary trick in the book. That's why, in 1999, Cardinal Silvestrini had to meet with them in Boston and read the riot act. Father Robert Taft was tasked with delivering a rocket in the form of an essay on Church history, Liturgy in the Life of the Church . If the Vatican tomorrow commanded the Ruthenian bishops to begin ordaining married men, they'd find excuses enough to postpone action indefinitely.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/06/12 02:33 PM

Quote
"To put it crudely, I prefer to be robbed at gun point by an ordinary street mugger, than to be cheated by some "benevolent" despot who tries to convince me that he is defrauding me for my own good."-Archbishop Vsevolod of Scopelos


Vladyka once put it more bluntly: "The Pope's word is no good. You would not buy a used car from a man under those conditions".
Posted By: j.a.deane

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/06/12 02:58 PM

Glory to Jesus Christ!
JJP (et al.),
Our Metropolitan Church has a flyer entitled,
"Ordained Ministry in the Byzantine Catholic Church as a Married Man in America":
Of relevance to this post is the following section:

"While the Eastern churches retained the tradition of married priesthood, the Holy See did not allow the ordination of married men to the priesthood in America through about the last seven decades of the 20th century. The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council guided the Eastern Churches to return to their authentic traditions and the Norms of Particular Law of the Byzantine-Ruthenian Catholic Metropolitan Church currently include the following: "Concerning the admission of married men to the order of the Presbyterate, the special norms of the Apostolic See are to be observed, unless dispensations are granted by the same See in individual cases."

Even without considering whether this should be a matter of dispensations (which is in one sense a broader issue), I would ask whether our clergy are teaching us that these dispensations are a possibility. In other words, are these dispensations being sought of Rome? Is Rome denying them, if so? Why are they not being sought, if not? There are many factors in this issue, and I think it would be helpful to not put everything onto one person as we go through these issues.

In XC,
J. Andrew
Posted By: DMD

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/06/12 04:08 PM

From the outside looking in, it appears to me that 'mixed signals' on this issue remain the norm as they have been since 1884 when Fr. Wolansky first arrived in Shenandoah, PA soon to be followed by Fr. Toth.
Posted By: IAlmisry

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/06/12 04:26 PM

Originally Posted by StuartK
Quote
"To put it crudely, I prefer to be robbed at gun point by an ordinary street mugger, than to be cheated by some "benevolent" despot who tries to convince me that he is defrauding me for my own good."-Archbishop Vsevolod of Scopelos


Vladyka once put it more bluntly: "The Pope's word is no good. You would not buy a used car from a man under those conditions".

LOL. Excellent quotes both.
Posted By: jjp

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/06/12 04:35 PM

Originally Posted by j.a.deane
Glory to Jesus Christ!
Even without considering whether this should be a matter of dispensations (which is in one sense a broader issue), I would ask whether our clergy are teaching us that these dispensations are a possibility. In other words, are these dispensations being sought of Rome? Is Rome denying them, if so? Why are they not being sought, if not? There are many factors in this issue, and I think it would be helpful to not put everything onto one person as we go through these issues.

In XC,
J. Andrew


Honestly, do the clergy even know the answers to these questions? The buck has to stop somewhere.

What are leaders for if not to lead?
Posted By: j.a.deane

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/06/12 05:38 PM

JJP,
Some have compared our existence as those who are not in communion with Rome, but in submission to her.
I think that I agree--there are a lot of old ways of submission that remind one of a spider web. I believe in the genuineness of that desire to move towards a model that is more one of communion vs. submission, with documents such as Orientale Lumen and the like, but there is so much history and entanglements that can't disappear in an instant. From 1729-1994 we had no infant communion--if I had evaluated things as a Presbyterian (from whence I hail prior to my reception into the Catholic Church) in 1993, it's quite likely that I would have waited on becoming Catholic to give the Orthodox Church more thought and pause. Perhaps some here feel the same way about the mixed messages about the married presbyterate in this country. I am not here to judge, but I think there is a lot of untangling still to do. For my part, I hope to help in whatever feeble ways that I might be able to do so.

With these questions of understanding who is stopping a more regular practice of ordaining married men, it doesn't seem that being unable to answer these questions of what is the rate limiting step(s) is a failure to lead. If our leaders pursue more dialogue and clarity and yes, also pursues to encourage vocations to ordain both monastic and married men, then I would argue we can't hold them at fault for not perfectly untangling things.

O Most Holy Theotokos, Save Us!

Posted By: Paul B

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/06/12 06:03 PM

So with all the grumblings about this issue I assume that the Byzantine Catholic members of this forum will speak to their vocation directors about all these married/want-to-married seminary prospects.

Married priests ARE a legitimate issue, I share the concern. I also have a concern that if a married priesthood is allowed, in another generation we will have no celibate priests and we would be like the Carpatho-Russian Church and have to "adopt" a bishop from somewhere else, RC perhaps? Think it through, guys. A married clergy alone isn't going to make our Church grow; its not a single issue dilemma.
Posted By: jjp

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/06/12 10:39 PM

JA - I think the Melkite Church has provided an excellent example in terms of leadership. Specifically Sayedna Nicholas Samra's speech published in Sophia in which he unequivocally stated that the Melkite Church in the US will begin to accept married men to the priesthood.

There is nothing stopping Metropolitan William from doing likewise. Nothing to untangle. Only the willingness to lead in this regard. We all know where the Melkite Church stands. Can we say the same of the Ruthenian Church?

Paul B - As to whether there will be no bishops if celibate priests are a thing of the past, I think that is a particularly Roman way of viewing the matter. We need to take into account the corresponding importance of a healthy monastic community, from which bishops would ideally be drawn.

This isn't a separate issue, but a necessary assertion of Eastern sacramental praxis across all vocations - priests as married men, monastics (and from them, bishops) as celebates.

It can't happen at the snap of a finger, but we need to very directly and unambiguously aim the ship in this direction - not for the growth of the church, but because it is right.

When you enact what is right, growth tends to follow.
Posted By: Ray S.

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/06/12 11:12 PM

Originally Posted by Curious Joe
Who among us Byzantine-Ruthenian Catholics have actually been in a parish served by a married priest, and understand from witness and experience the realities under which they and their wives have undertaken this commitment in the current day and age?


I have it was a ROCOR church that had only 20 families. The priest had a full-time job as an engineer at an aviation company. His wife was the cantor and his son was the altar server.

Very small parish that was lacking nothing.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/06/12 11:19 PM

My Melkite parish has a married priest. I expect in a few years, we'll have two.

Posted By: StuartK

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/06/12 11:26 PM

Quote
I also have a concern that if a married priesthood is allowed, in another generation we will have no celibate priests and we would be like the Carpatho-Russian Church and have to "adopt" a bishop from somewhere else, RC perhaps?


That brings up the other shoe: if you are going to have married priests, you need to have robust monasticism. And I don't mean the weak-kneed Basilian or "Byzantine-rite" Franciscan variety, I mean real Byzantine monasticism, of the kind we once had in Holy Resurrection Monastery, but chased away to the Romanian Eparchy.

Monasticism and marriage live in dynamic tension in the Byzantine Tradition, and we need both for a healthy spiritual body. But I get the impression that, with few exceptions, most of our hierarchs and many priests are viscerally opposed to authentic Eastern monasticism. I asked Hegumen Nicholas once why he did not try to form another monastery here on the East Coast (I had a property in mind), to which he replied, "Oh, Bishop Andrew is very anti-monastic". A couple of years later, Bishop WIlliam replaced Bishop George in Van Nuys and began making life impossible for the monks, who then departed to greener fields (quite literally, it turns out). Our bishops need to stop seeing monastics as a threat to their authority, and more as an example for all to emulate.
Posted By: Fr. Deacon Lance

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/07/12 12:29 AM

Stuart,

Must you always include a snide remark. God bless the Basilians and Franciscans and Benedictines who have served our church.

Yes, Bishop Andrew was so anti-monastic he allowed a real Byzantine monastery to be founded and prosper, Holy Cross in FL until their murder scandal and bolt to the OCA and NC.

As for Holy Resurrection, how did Metropoltian William make life impossible? By requiring them to abide by canon law? They made life impossible for themselves, not the least of which was adopting a location they could not afford or sustain.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/07/12 12:38 AM

Someone has to, if only so that the truth will out. The penchant for niceness has a way of interfering with the ability to see things plainly. I stand by my remarks concerning Bishop Andrew, and hold him at least partially culpable for the situation at Holy Cross in Florida. I also stand beside Hegumen Nicholas, who was quite right in insisting upon the rights guaranteed in the Typicon of the Monastery. It seems just about everybody appreciated Holy Resurrection Monastery except for the bishop in whose territory it existed. Their present situation is much better for them, not the least because they have the unqualified support of their Eparchial bishop.
Posted By: Fr. Deacon Lance

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/07/12 01:03 AM

sigh
Posted By: Ray S.

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/07/12 01:44 AM

Having a strong monastic community for which our future Bishops will be picked is going to be needed if we return to a married priesthood. A good point which I did not think about.
Posted By: j.a.deane

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/07/12 02:06 AM

I just want to point out that the original comment was from a Deacon who spoke with Metropolitan William. Hearing that Cardinal Sandri was not trying to restrict married priests from happening was not responded to in joy from those who have commented so far (myself included). That we have the status quo is important. It emphasizes that it's not as though we are returning to the time of Fr. Alexis Toth, where the few married priests in this country are being stricken of the ability to serve the people. Yes, it's not a message that we are expanding married priests actively, but if I remember the original response to Sandri's talk, there was more concern than merely the status quo. And I want to say I'm thankful that the news from Rome is not a return to the days of Fr. Alexis.

In XC,
J. Andrew
Posted By: Jason D

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/07/12 02:07 AM

The monks of Holy Resurrection Monastery broke no canons. When they appealed to Rome after Bishop Skurla put them under interdict Rome supported them and ordered Bishop Skurla to immediately rescind his order of interdict. Rome then offered the Romanians their choice of other Greek Catholic jurisdictions to join. Anyone who claims that they were violating canons is misinformed.

Yet another straw loaded upon the poor camel's back.
Posted By: j.a.deane

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/07/12 02:09 AM

Brethren,
Bishop John Michael is in communion with Metropolitan William, and he even joined in the enthronement of our Most Reverend Metropolitan.

As a Ruthenian monastic associate of Holy Resurrection Monastery, I would humbly ask that you all stop heaping up past issues.

In XC,
J. Andrew
Posted By: Jason D

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/07/12 02:14 AM

Originally Posted by j.a.deane
Brethren,
Bishop John Michael is in communion with Metropolitan William, and he even joined in the enthronement of our Most Reverend Metropolitan.

As a Ruthenian monastic associate of Holy Resurrection Monastery, I would humbly ask that you all stop heaping up past issues.

In XC,
J. Andrew
When the monks are attacked with falsehood I will defend them.
Posted By: Fr. Deacon Lance

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/07/12 02:42 AM

Originally Posted by Jason D
The monks of Holy Resurrection Monastery broke no canons. When they appealed to Rome after Bishop Skurla put them under interdict Rome supported them and ordered Bishop Skurla to immediately rescind his order of interdict. Rome then offered the Romanians their choice of other Greek Catholic jurisdictions to join. Anyone who claims that they were violating canons is misinformed.

Yet another straw loaded upon the poor camel's back.


I didn't say they broke any canons, I said they did not like abiding those they were under. They thought they had the right to erect other monasteries, the Bishop saw that as his perogative. They then sought canonical release and were granted it. Also please produce the announcement of interdict, a canonical penalty which comes with a formal publishing.
Posted By: Irish Melkite

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/07/12 10:41 AM

A warning - heed it!

If the tenor of this conversation continues unabated, the thread will be locked and likely removed.

Words such as 'interdict' which have specific meaning ought not be bandied about as though they can be substituted in the common parlance for any old expression of disagreement. Deacon Lance has asked a direct question which merits an answer or a retraction of the allegation made. I anticipate that one or the other will be forthcoming in short order.

The fervor which some folks are devoting to pre-emptively disparaging the hierarchy might be better addressed to prayer that we see a swift return to our traditions, instead of speculating with all the bold assurance of a storefront crystal-ball psychic as to how things will play out. Last I knew, Nostradamus was not listed among the forum membership.

Many years,

Neil
Posted By: Paul B

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/07/12 11:34 AM

Originally Posted by j.a.deane
I just want to point out that the original comment was from a Deacon who spoke with Metropolitan William. Hearing that Cardinal Sandri was not trying to restrict married priests from happening was not responded to in joy from those who have commented so far (myself included). That we have the status quo is important. It emphasizes that it's not as though we are returning to the time of Fr. Alexis Toth, where the few married priests in this country are being stricken of the ability to serve the people. Yes, it's not a message that we are expanding married priests actively, but if I remember the original response to Sandri's talk, there was more concern than merely the status quo. And I want to say I'm thankful that the news from Rome is not a return to the days of Fr. Alexis.

In XC,
J. Andrew


Thank you J. Andrew.

So, once again, for those who wish to be constructive, call your vocation director for those who wish to inquire about a vocation. We had a "called by name" program in which ALL the faithful were to submit the names of anyone who may be good candidates. I wonder if anyone actually submitted any names, or is the role of BC's just to grumble. BTW, how many of those gurmbling and demanding are actually Byzantine Catholic (a rhetorical question.)

Hegumen Leo would be DELIGHTED to have 5 or 10 names submitted to him to follow up on for monastic vocations. His phone number is 724-287-4461

Here are the phone numbers for the vocation directors:
Pittsburgh:
Fr. Dennis Bogda 412-461-0944 dmbsjbc@comcast.net
Fr Kevin Marks 724-375-2742 kevmarks@hotmail.com

Passaic:
Fr. Salvatore Pignato 407-351-0133 stnicholascathhol@bellsouth.net

Parma:
Fr Dennis Hrubiak 440-734-4644 fdhrubiak@yahoo.com

Phoenix:
Fr Robert Pipta 858-277-5191 rmp.byzcath@juno.com


Replace your talk with action, give them a call with a serious list of names!

Posted By: Fr Maximos

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/07/12 03:10 PM

I've only just caught up with this thread, and find to my dismay some falsehoods being spoken about my community, most notably from Father Deacon Lance:

I didn't say they broke any canons, I said they did not like abiding those they were under. They thought they had the right to erect other monasteries, the Bishop saw that as his perogative.

We were perfectly content to live under the canons, and to say otherwise is calumny. We asked only that the canons be respected. And we never--NEVER--arrogated to ourselves the "right to erect other monasteries."

I wish people wouldn't talk about things they apparently know nothing about.

BTW, I'm please to say we're really thriving here in our new home in Wisconsin and under the spiritual and canonical care of His Grace Bishop John Michael! We continue to have extremely good relationships with many of the clergy and faithful of our previous jurisdiction, for whom we have nothing but respectful thoughts and fervent prayers.

Fr Maximos
Posted By: Diak

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/07/12 03:40 PM

Father, bless! And other jurisdictions as well... grin
Posted By: Fr Maximos

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/07/12 05:56 PM

Of course! Every jurisdiction :-)

In the interest of fairness, I should also point out that, of course, we were never under "interdict" whatever that means. As to what did happen, frankly I'd much prefer to let the past stay where it belongs and give thanks for the present and what the Lord will bring tomorrow. I just cannot allow outright falsehoods to stand uncorrected. Everyone's entitled to their own opinions, but not to their own facts.

Fr Maximos
Posted By: DMD

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/07/12 06:00 PM

I've got to hand to my EC brothers and sister, you guys sound just like us Orthodox! One big happy, but a bit dysfunctional, family.
Posted By: jjp

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/07/12 07:54 PM

Originally Posted by Paul B


So, once again, for those who wish to be constructive, call your vocation director for those who wish to inquire about a vocation. We had a "called by name" program in which ALL the faithful were to submit the names of anyone who may be good candidates. I wonder if anyone actually submitted any names, or is the role of BC's just to grumble. BTW, how many of those gurmbling and demanding are actually Byzantine Catholic (a rhetorical question.)


I don't see what this has to do with married men being included in the priesthood or how it can be translated into action that would help bring a married priesthood about.

Are married men even eligible to be included on the list of leads?
Posted By: Paul B

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/07/12 09:35 PM

JJ,
Do you know a better way? You'll never get such a seminarian if no one applies, will you? Certainly talk on a forum doesn't accomplish anything, so the past 10 years I've been a member tell me. Actually, it probably keeps good men from applying.

Christ is amongst us!
Fr Deacon Paul
Posted By: Fr. Deacon Lance

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/07/12 09:58 PM

Originally Posted by Fr Maximos
I've only just caught up with this thread, and find to my dismay some falsehoods being spoken about my community, most notably from Father Deacon Lance:

I didn't say they broke any canons, I said they did not like abiding those they were under. They thought they had the right to erect other monasteries, the Bishop saw that as his perogative.

We were perfectly content to live under the canons, and to say otherwise is calumny. We asked only that the canons be respected. And we never--NEVER--arrogated to ourselves the "right to erect other monasteries."

I wish people wouldn't talk about things they apparently know nothing about.

Fr Maximos


Fr. Maximos,

I ask your forgiveness. My wording was poorly chosen. Obviously however, your Monastery and the Bishop disagreed in the interpretation and implementation of the canons or you would still be in the Metropolia. As to the erection of monasteries your typicon contains the right to erect dependent sketes. Are you saying the situation with Holy Theophany played no part in your decision to leave? I bear your monastery no ill will but this is not the first time your situation has been presented as Metropoltian William had a vendetta against you and I tire of it.

Fr. Deacon Lance
Posted By: jjp

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/07/12 10:45 PM

Originally Posted by Paul B
JJ,
Do you know a better way? You'll never get such a seminarian if no one applies, will you? Certainly talk on a forum doesn't accomplish anything, so the past 10 years I've been a member tell me. Actually, it probably keeps good men from applying.

Christ is amongst us!
Fr Deacon Paul


My thought is that if the church, particularly its leadership, is vocal in encouraging married priests (and monastics), creates favorable conditions for accepting married priests (and monastics), and is outspoken in its advocacy of such, the rest - with prayer - will fall into place.

You can have a list of leads as big as the Bible, but who would want to take on such a burden, not to mention invest the well-being of his family, when one can't even be sure if his own church is going to support him?

Leaders need to lead, and the rest will follow. Not cautiously, but boldly. Caution is a good thing in and of itself, but is detrimental when it leads to paralysis and decay.
Posted By: Paul B

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/08/12 12:23 AM

I appreciate your thought, and yes, leadership has to lead. But it also needs supporters. Constructive criticism only leads so far.
Are there any interested young to middle-aged men interested? Who will push the envelope?

I know that govt and churches are different, but they are alike in many ways. Take our federal government, for instance. Will they take leadership on there own, or does the grass roots have to push them? This supports your contention, but remember, complaining about Congress/President accomplishes nothing. You have to vote. In our case we have to encourage vocations and we have to pray and we need to be helpful to build the logistics to support the re-establishment of a married priesthood. In language that Stuart will understand, the supply bases of the army has been destroyed, they have to be re-built. No general can just order it.
Posted By: jjp

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/08/12 01:07 AM

You need somebody to give the order, unless you propose to work at cross-purposes with your superior.

If the church won't support married priests and monastics, there is little use in attempting to start a grass-roots married clergy effort without the support of the church.

People are voting - the onlyway they can, with their feet.
Posted By: Fr Maximos

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/08/12 01:31 PM

Dear Father Deacon Lance:

Thanks for the apology. I assure you, no one is more tired of this topic than I am. But our reputation is important enough that it needs to be protected.

The situation with regard to Holy Theophany is too complex to go into fully here. I would point out, though, that the section in our Typikon that refers to dependent houses invokes canon 436, which in turn requires the permission of the canonical authority to which the sui juris monastery is subject before the erection of a dependency. Bishop George Kuzma, of blessed memory, had blessed the initial formation of the womens' community. We knew we needed Bishop William (as he then was) to approve the next step. Yes, the fact that this was unlikely to be forthcoming, despite the fact that three sisters had committed themselves to this project, was a factor in our looking for a new canonical home.

You’re correct to say the fundamental problem was a clash of understanding and, I think, of vision, regarding the place of a monastery in the American Byzantine Catholic Church. It wasn’t a problem of canonical malfeasance. That’s why the Holy See agreed with both bishops that the best solution was a transfer to an eparchy in which we’d be a better fit.

Fr. Maximos
Posted By: DMD

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/08/12 01:47 PM

I don't know of this issue, but from the Orthodox side, I thought it should be noted that the relationship between monastic communities and Orthodox diocesan Bishops is not always smooth and easy-going either. This is so even though Orthodox Bishops are theoretically monastics - albeit many are so in name only. God bless you and your endeavors.
Posted By: Paul B

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/08/12 02:48 PM

Originally Posted by jjp


People are voting - the onlyway they can, with their feet.


Not always, but most times this is a copout. This is why we have lost so many members to the Latin Church, a shorter and/or more convenient Mass is a "good" reason to switch Churches.
Posted By: DMD

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/08/12 02:58 PM

Originally Posted by Paul B
Originally Posted by jjp


People are voting - the onlyway they can, with their feet.


Not always, but most times this is a copout. This is why we have lost so many members to the Latin Church, a shorter and/or more convenient Mass is a "good" reason to switch Churches.


It's sad as I've heard that from BCC friends who don't like the 'easterninzations' - meaning 'longer' Liturgies - it's easier to pop into the Slovak church down the block on a Saturday afternoon for 30 minutes to fulfill one's 'obligation'. Probably teaching that Liturgy is less of an 'obligation' and more of a spiritual fountain is a good starting place from an Eastern pov.
Posted By: jjp

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/08/12 06:05 PM

Originally Posted by Paul B
Originally Posted by jjp


People are voting - the onlyway they can, with their feet.


Not always, but most times this is a copout. This is why we have lost so many members to the Latin Church, a shorter and/or more convenient Mass is a "good" reason to switch Churches.


Equating leaving a church for a "convenient" liturgy versus leaving a church for very principled theological reasons is disingenuous and doesn't really serve the conversation very well.
Posted By: Paul B

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/08/12 06:21 PM

For the same reason, posters should stop relating the decrease in the census figures solely because of the DL changes or lack of easternization, etc, etc, etc.
Posted By: jjp

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/08/12 06:36 PM

I don't think I pinned this decrease solely to the topics you mention, only that it is a factor. There is a long and documented history of this being the case, so it's not worth debating to me.

Regardless of attendance, this issue (the priesthood & monastics) needs to be addressed by our church not because of census impact (in either direction), but because it is right.
Posted By: Herbigny

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/08/12 07:20 PM

sorry, joining this thread rather late, but...

can someone explain the issue, given that this is a non-issue in the UGCC in Canada and the US?

I was also given to understand that it is a defacto non-issue with the Melkites who have been ordaining married men to the presbyterate in the US even before His Grace Nicholas (S) became the ruling hierarch.

Herb
Posted By: DTBrown

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/08/12 10:03 PM

Actually, as far as the Melkites -- after the 1995 ordination that made the news in the press, all ordinations of married men to the priesthood for the US have taken place in the Middle East.

According to the Eastern Congregation this is the procedure in place in areas outside the "canonical territories":

Quote
Archbishop Cyril Vasil, secretary of the Congregation for Eastern Churches, told CNS [Catholic News Service] in Rome that the Vatican reconfirmed the general ban in 2008, “but in individual cases, in consultation with the national bishops’ conference, a dispensation can be given” allowing the ordination. [See source ]



Posted By: jjp

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/08/12 11:14 PM

Right.

What I admire about the Melkite Church is their leadership in moving the married presbyterate forward in the United States. Specifically, this part of Sayedna Nicholas's address:

"God calls men and women to religious vocations. And I believe he also calls married men to the priesthood. We need to study this situation in our country and develop the proper formation for men who are truly deemed worthy of this call. The Deacon Formation Program is a good program; however is not the backdoor to the priesthood. Married men who are called to priesthood need the same formation as those celibates who are called. I have already discussed this issue with those involved in priestly formation and hopefully soon we can see the growth of properly formed married clergy. Of course there are also major financial issues to be looked at and we will embark on this also."

We have heard Fr Loya and others in our church repeat this need.

I believe it is important to hear this stated clearly from our Bishops and our Metropolitan as well. I am becoming increasingly dubious that it will happen, though. I think that the status quo is right where they want to be. As we heard Met. William has said, "Nothing has changed."
Posted By: JDC

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/09/12 01:30 AM

Originally Posted by Herbigny
can someone explain the issue, given that this is a non-issue in the UGCC in Canada and the US?


It seems to me like Saskatchewan is the historic canonical territory of the UGCC.
Posted By: Herbigny

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/09/12 01:33 AM

for a while the UGCC also sent people to Lviv to get ordained (esp. by the holy confessor Metropolitan Volodymyr), but after a while they just started ordaining people in Canada and then the US.

This includes the Slovak/Rusyn eparchy in Canada (Abp. Cyril Vasil's own autonomous Catholic Church [eccl. sui. iuris]).

so...I am not sure what His Eminence Cyril is referring to when he says that the "ban" still being in effect - because according to the article in CNEWA-US, it is a ban on married presbyters SERVING. Clearly the ban is not in effect given the general practice of the UGCC in North America where, seems to me, the majority of parishes are served by married clergy nowadays. And, given the canonical principle that "custom is the best interpretation of the law".....

Not sure why His Eminence is making what appears to be a rather anachronistic statement but I am sure he has his important reasons. Maybe they have to do with Church politics. I am also pretty sure His Eminence knows exactly what is going on in the UGCC in North America.

Plus after the eparchy's parishes are fully of local priests who are married, I suppose it makes little difference whether they were ordained in the traditional "territory" or in the local Cathedral or parish.

To reiterate, it is totally a non-issue in the UGCC in Canada & the US - even with the most latinized of our hierarchs. In other words, no one thinks twice about ordaining a married candidate to the presbyterate. AND the Vatican does not say or do anything in disapproval of it - much less try to take any disciplinary action.

So a little mystified that it is such a huge issue in the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church in the US. (esp. given that their counterpart in Canada does not have a problem with it.)

ps: the very issue of the canonicity of the ban post Vatican II is under some considerable question (cf. the article(s) by Choly on it - who points out that the ban was strictly speaking against married presbyters coming to serve in the new world).

pps: I don't think that the UGCC hierarchs in Canada or US ever asked for individual approval of married candidates from the Roman Dicastery - which has a whole lot of other important work to do (not the assessing the aptitude of individuals for ordination).
Posted By: DTBrown

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/09/12 01:59 AM

Originally Posted by Herbigny


pps: I don't think that the UGCC hierarchs in Canada or US ever asked for individual approval of married candidates from the Roman Dicastery - which has a whole lot of other important work to do (not the assessing the aptitude of individuals for ordination).


The published guidelines by the USCCB would indicate that individual approvals from Rome for the ordination of Eastern Catholic married men to the priesthood is required:

Quote
"An applicant for the priesthood must testify that he is not married or, if he is married, he has the approval of the Holy See. If an Eastern Catholic candidate is married, a certificate of marriage is required along with the written consent of his wife (CCEO, c. 769§1, 2°) and the approval of the Apostolic See…” (Program of Priestly Formation, 5th edition, 2006, paragraph 66) Source


An earlier article in the Italian media refers to the same 2008 decision by the CDF as was mentioned earlier in this thread:

Quote
"On 20 February 2008, the regular meeting of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reaffirmed the validity of the norm of a binding obligation of celibacy for priests of Eastern Catholic Churches who exercise the ministry outside the canonical territory. The pope, however, has given the Congregation for the Eastern Churches the authority to give a dispensation from this norm, with the approval of the Episcopal Conference in question." (Text here , translated from Italian.)


I believe that the US, Canada and Australia are the only Episcopal Conferences which have given their approval to the policy of allowing these ordinations by dispensations. Otherwise, in other countries outside the "canonical territory" the "binding obligation of celibacy" is in force for Eastern Catholic clergy.
Posted By: Herbigny

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/09/12 02:13 AM

The hierarchs of the UGCC are not properly part of the Latin church episcopal conference (eg, not allowed to President, because it is a Latin Church organization). Our hierarchs are only there (kinda) out of courtesy.

Vatican policy and Vatican practice (and UGCC practice) obviously 2 very different things. As to the wherefore and the why of it...(not a simple thing).

The general practice and reality of the Church is: no problem with ordaining married candidates to the presbyterate. The Vatican and the specific Eastern Dicastery has not and does not enforce any ban vis a vis the UGCC. Dispensations are neither sought nor given. That's the way it is.
Posted By: DTBrown

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/09/12 02:27 AM

In the US, the Eastern Catholic bishops are part of the USCCB. See a listing here.

So, the dispensation policy in the US mentioned by the USCCB publication would seem to be in effect unless there is evidence to the contrary that can be produced.

As for Canada, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops lists the Eastern Catholic Bishops here.

Quote
Dispensations are neither sought nor given.


I was just going by published statements by the Eastern Congregation and the USCCB. Are there published statements to the contrary that you are aware of?
Posted By: Herbigny

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/09/12 02:57 AM

Dear Mr Brown (et al.):

I am pretty sure that the US UGCC bishops (Vladykas Stefan, John, Richard, and prior to them, Robert, Michael) do not and have not gotten dispensations for their ordination of married candidates.
(but I cannot produce the documents [or Lack of documents] from the Chancery, but I have it on pretty good authority from those working in the chancery [not just hearsay, I can assure you that much])

Yes, our hierarchs attend the meetings, but as I said, they are not full members (forget where exactly I read it, and it is too technical a point to find on the internet and it was explained to me by one of our hierarchs) because the episcopal conference is a Latin church organization, and the hierarchs of the UGCC are there only by courtesy (and are expected to pay the fees - a strange sort of courtesy). We are trying to get out of both attendance because the issues shared and coordinated by and large have nothing to do with us but ESP. trying to get out of paying the fairly hefty costs of our courtesy membership (same price as proper members).

The Episcopal Conference also seems neither to raise nor object to or enforce any sort of ban - and for sure THEY know the praxis of the UGCC in Canada (and I dare say, in the US too).

I would be VERY surprised if the technical vagaries of the canonical status of Eastern Catholic Hierarch's status would be explained on the internet. I would suspect most latin canonists and most latin bishops would not have known this. (are you surprised at this?)

If you don't believe, ok - I can live with that. :-)
Just sharing what I know and asking a question that does honestly mystify me: if ordaining married men is no issue with the UGCC AND the Slovak Eparchy of Canada, then (whatever the "ban" or official policy might say) why is it a such a big deal with the Ruthenians?
Our hierarchs just did it. Not one, not the Vatican, nor the Dicastery, nor the local Episcopal conference had a problem with it.

However, as you point out, if one asks what the Dicastery or some Vatican official what the Vatican's policy is: one will get the Vatican's "declared position" on this matter. Their REAL position in practice, seems to be a very different matter indeed.

ps: not sure in the whole of the Canton Eparchy, but in Canada there is a married presbyter of the Romanian Byz. Catholic Church serving (I know in that case, no dispensation was petition nor granted). Not only is he serving in a parish, but also serves as the official Catholic chaplain in a hospital.

clearly the reality of church polity and canon law is not just what is on paper. why it should be such, I don't know. I just know what is.

I can understand how confusing this must be to those who are not muddling about within the Catholic Communion. Should be logical and simple, yes, and yet, here we are (for ill and sometimes for good).

hope this helps.

ps
maybe looking at (what I am told by hearsay) how things operate in Italy (between law and praxis) may give one some idea....
--if this is not a good or appropriate example, I happily withdraw it with corresponding apologies.



Posted By: DTBrown

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/09/12 03:30 AM

Herbigny,

I have never said that there's any problem with the Latin Church in the US, or Canada, I would imagine, over the ordination of married priests in the Eastern Catholic Churches.

Nor have I heard if any dispensations were refused. Personally, I would guess that any problematic ordinands don't even get that far so the dispensations may be safely assumed. But, that's just my guess.

The case in Italy is different because the Romanian Catholic priests there are subject to the Latin ordinaries as there are not any parallel Romanian Catholic eparchies established in Italy.

I would hope that if there is a different procedure in place in the US and Canada where Eastern Catholic bishops freely ordain married men without following the USCCB protocol of getting the approval of Rome, that it becomes public knowledge. As it stands, the dispensation route communicates a bad message ecumenically to the Orthodox.
Posted By: DMD

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/09/12 02:11 PM

The Ukrainian Greek Catholics in particular have advanced the concept of 'Orthodox in union with Rome.' If that is in fact how they view their own eccesiology, then the entire concept of 'dispensations' etc... is foreign to Orthodoxy and perhaps, as Herbigny has stated, his Hierarchs are engaging in a 'wink, wink; nod, nod' with those elements in the Curia and in Rome who view things differently.

Regardless of whether the Greek Catholics are in Italy or North American, D.T. Brown is absolutely correct in that the continuing type of comments as were made by the head of the Congregation last month are extremely distressing.

The North American Theological Consultation is going to take up this matter at its fall convocation as both the Orthodox and the Eastern Catholic representatives thereto expressed their strong concerns over these conflicting developments at the recently concluded session this month.
Posted By: Economos Roman V. Russo

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/09/12 03:14 PM

It's not just Cardinal Sandri's ecclesial myopia that needs adjustment! Why have our Patriarchs and other Hierarchs not addressed Pope John Paul II's frequent and ill-advised statements (Sacerdotalis Coelibatus, Pastores Dabo Vobis and the like) that virtually contradict the bi-millennial tradition of the Church Universal (not to be confused with the local Roman Church) up through Vatican II on this subject. The Council solemnly taught that celibacy is not required of the essence of the priesthood. The late pope very nearly states the opposite. What do we hear from our leaders? The silence is deafening!
Posted By: DTBrown

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/09/12 03:51 PM

Originally Posted by DMD

The North American Theological Consultation is going to take up this matter at its fall convocation as both the Orthodox and the Eastern Catholic representatives thereto expressed their strong concerns over these conflicting developments at the recently concluded session this month.


That is good news! Was there anything put on the web about this? I'd love to read about this.
Posted By: Diak

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/09/12 05:35 PM

It seems there is almost an obsession with some here regarding Latin discipline based on mutable law. In the UGCC we ordain married men to the priesthood in the US, have done so for decades, and that's the way it is. The Latins now have as many married priests in North America through the Anglican pastoral provision as all of the Eastern Catholics besides the UGCC combined. While I don't like some of the recent curial comments, as I mentioned previously what is on paper may be one thing but the reality is something else. I do see the concerns of Orthodox observers, however, regarding potential duplicity in some of the statements and what happens "on the ground", and I also share those concerns. It seems some of the curia still have to catch up with understanding the magisterial teaching of their own Pontiff i.e. Orientale Lumen , etc.
Posted By: Peter J

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/09/12 08:31 PM

Quote
"On 20 February 2008, the regular meeting of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reaffirmed the validity of the norm of a binding obligation of celibacy for priests of Eastern Catholic Churches who exercise the ministry outside the canonical territory. The pope, however, has given the Congregation for the Eastern Churches the authority to give a dispensation from this norm, with the approval of the Episcopal Conference in question." (Text here , translated from Italian.)



Isn't language there a bit problematic? That is to say, it speaks as though anyone outside their own territory is in Latin territory, but they could in fact be in the territory of another Eastern Catholic Church.
Posted By: Utroque

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/09/12 10:16 PM

Quote
...the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reaffirmed the validity of the norm of a binding obligation of celibacy for priests of Eastern Catholic Churches who exercise the ministry outside the canonical territory.


I find it quite ironic that the Vatican seems to resent it when the Patriarchate of Moscow uses this terminology when faced with the presence of Latin missionaries on what they consider their "canonical territory", yet they quickly convoke it when faced with a tradition alien to their own, albeit from Eastern brethren with whom they are in union. What of infant Chrismation and reception of the Eucharist? The disconnect befuddles me. A married clergy among Eastern Catholics should not be a problem anymore. Openly gay priests, pedophiles...yes, but a chaste married clergy? Yikes!
Posted By: Peter J

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/09/12 10:47 PM

Originally Posted by Utroque
Quote
...the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reaffirmed the validity of the norm of a binding obligation of celibacy for priests of Eastern Catholic Churches who exercise the ministry outside the canonical territory.


I find it quite ironic that the Vatican seems to resent it when the Patriarchate of Moscow uses this terminology when faced with the presence of Latin missionaries on what they consider their "canonical territory", yet they quickly convoke it when faced with a tradition alien to their own, albeit from Eastern brethren with whom they are in union.


Now there's a can of worms.
Posted By: likethethief

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/12/12 02:37 AM

Originally Posted by DMD

The North American Theological Consultation is going to take up this matter at its fall convocation as both the Orthodox and the Eastern Catholic representatives thereto expressed their strong concerns over these conflicting developments at the recently concluded session this month.


Excellent! Where did you get that information?
Posted By: Peter G.

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/13/12 03:43 AM

Notwithstanding the great sacrifice made by married priests, Catholic and Orthodox, I cannot help but wonder how celibate (specifically Roman Catholic) priests feel when their parishioners and even close friends advocate for a married (Catholic) priesthood. Are we inadvertently undercutting them and overlooking, under appreciating, the sacrifice that these men make for us? I do not wish to disparage the good intentions and reasons of those advocating for a married Catholic priesthood, but what are the effects of our words on those who have left the great good of wife and children behind for us? Should we not be cognizant and considerate of the human dimensions of these good celibate men?
Posted By: jjp

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/13/12 05:17 AM

Originally Posted by Peter G.
I cannot help but wonder how celibate (specifically Roman Catholic) priests feel when their parishioners and even close friends advocate for a married (Catholic) priesthood.


Why would Roman Catholic priests concern themselves with how Eastern Catholics feel about a married Eastern Catholic presbyterate?
Posted By: ByzKat

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/13/12 12:48 PM

I think it's safe to assume that the parishioners in the question are not Eastern Catholics, but Roman Catholics.

Certainly the discussion of a married priesthood for Eastern Catholics cannot be completely separated from the idea of changing the Roman discipline of celibacy for Roman priests - not only do progressive Romans cite the Eastern example, but we Eastern Catholics often seem to propose that our discipline is so superior that it will or should be adopted by Roman Catholics.

Question: we claim to support monasticism, but the discourse about celibacy often makes it seem a much poorer option, imposed by force, rather than "the angelic life." We have never had a tradition that all celibates live in community, for that matter!

So I think it is reasonable to look at it occasionally from the point of view of a Roman priest, or a (celibate, non monastic) Eastern Catholic priest: DO we affirm that giving up a wife and children for the sake of the kingdom of heaven is a sacrifice made for God and for the good of all? Is it reasonable and possible for an adult (with support and prayer) to give up SEX for the sake of Gospel witness?

I doubt we will see a flourishing of monastic life until we can also answer yes to the above questions. It doesn't mean that we shouldn't ordain worthy married men, but we need to avoid undercutting those who give up even more to follow Christ.

And we should absolutely not undercut another church's disciplines if we expect ours to be respected.
Posted By: ByzKat

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/13/12 01:21 PM

P.S. I am not saying that having married priests undercuts other church's disciplines - but the way we present ours sometimes seems calculated to have that effect. We want our disciplines to be held in honor; do we extend that practice to other churches? The Christian East once claimed the right to excommunicate Rome for fasting on Saturdays; would we do that today?
Posted By: Peter J

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/13/12 01:31 PM

Originally Posted by ByzKat
The Christian East once claimed the right to excommunicate Rome for fasting on Saturdays; would we do that today?


Can you provide a link? (I don't want to get into a conversation about it on this thread, but I'd like to read up on it on my own.)
Posted By: Economos Roman V. Russo

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/13/12 02:11 PM

This point about 'canonical territory' is very well taken. The 'canonical territory' of the local Roman Church sui iuris extends to intergalactic space! The 'canonical territory' of my own Melkite Church is 'defined' as coterminous with the Ottoman Empire and Egypt! Have they not noticed in Rome that there is no longer an Ottoman Empire? Holy Writ deals with this problem most adequately: Infinitus est autem numerus stultorum.
Posted By: DMD

Re: Embracing Celibacy follow-up - 06/13/12 02:25 PM

Originally Posted by Ot'ets Nastoiatel'
This point about 'canonical territory' is very well taken. The 'canonical territory' of the local Roman Church sui iuris extends to intergalactic space! The 'canonical territory' of my own Melkite Church is 'defined' as coterminous with the Ottoman Empire and Egypt! Have they not noticed in Rome that there is no longer an Ottoman Empire? Holy Writ deals with this problem most adequately: Infinitus est autem numerus stultorum.


That is hysterical!

Seriously, unless that issue is resolved - i.e. 'universality' - we will be unable to come to any resolution of the Great Schism.
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