Text of original "married priest" statute?

Posted By: DTBrown

Text of original "married priest" statute? - 01/31/10 08:39 PM

I used to have somewhere the wording that was in the original "married priest" statute from the Ruthenian Particular Law that had the "receptio" from Rome in 1998 before that was withdrawn and it had to be rewritten. But, I can't find my copy at the moment. We had a fire a few years ago and I lost some papers then. I may have lost it then. I also remember the Parma Horizons had published the original statute as it was the first news source to make it public.

I know some of it is quoted in this problematic news piece from that era.


The Council of Hierarchs of the Ruthenian Church explained the decision to ordain married men by quoting the encyclical of Pope John Paul II, Orientale Lumen, in which the Pontiff encouraged "a return to the original patrimony of the Eastern Catholic churches." They also noted that there are currently 100 married men acting as priests in the United States-- most of them converts from the Episcopalian Church-- and that their admission to the Catholic clergy "has been implemented without scandal to the faithful of the Latin Church."

Would anyone here have the text?
Posted By: Deacon John Montalvo

Re: Text of original "married priest" statute? - 02/01/10 02:59 AM


have you tried Father Phillip?
Posted By: DTBrown

Re: Text of original "married priest" statute? - 02/01/10 03:08 AM

I did and he no longer has it. (Might be one of those things that didn't accompany him to his retirement.)

I remember, when first reading it, that it was worded nicely to show the reason for the return to tradition. It was unfortunate that some interpreted it as some sort of rebellion.
Posted By: ajk

Re: Text of original "married priest" statute? - 02/01/10 02:20 PM

Dave, I had it; you sent it to me at my request but I can't recall when. Also, would it have been a post on cineast that could still be traced? I'll keep looking.

Though not what you want, I did find this and post it for its historical value.


Married priesthood restored to U.S. Byzantine Church
By Father Nicholas R. A. Rachford, J.C.L.
From an Internet Press Release

PITTSBURGH -- A restored married priesthood is contained in one of the 59 statutes of particular law promulgated by Metropolitan Judson Procyk on July 15. They will take effect on Sept. 1, 1998.

The new law is the result of several years of study and discussion by the Metropolia's Council of Hierarchs. They were assisted by their Commission on Canonical Affairs composed of one representative of each eparchy and a bishop-chairman. Chairing the commission was Passaic, N.J.'s Bishop Andrew Pataki, J.C.L. Other members were: Father Richard Whetstone, J.C.L., of the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh; Father Robert Hospodar, J.C.L., of the Eparchy of Passaic; Father Nicholas Rachford, J.C.L., of the Eparchy of Parma; and Father Philip Acquaro, J.C.D., of the Eparchy of Van Nuys, Calif. Metropolitan Judson M. Procyk, Archbishop of Pittsburgh

While many of the new laws do not represent a change from the past, several, such as the married priesthood, are. One such law will allow a limited number of lay persons in each parish to distribute the Divine Eucharist. Another law notes that women may not serve at the altar during the divine services. There is also a law that dispenses from the obligation of attending the Divine Liturgy on a holy day of obligation when it falls on a Saturday or a Monday, with the exception of the feast of the Nativity.

Other areas regulated by the new laws include: dignities to be bestowed upon clerics, the eparchial assembly, presbyteral councils, parish pastoral and financial councils, regulations for acolytes and lectors, seminary training, lifestyle of clerics, societies of the apostolic life, evangelization, catechisms, the holy mysteries of initiation, marriage preparation, Friday abstinence from meat, ecumenism, ecclesiastical offices and financial matters.

The promulgation of these laws is in response to the directions of the pope contained in the new Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, "...it is my intention that those who enjoy legislative power in each of the churches sui iuris take counsel as quickly as possible by issuing particular law, keeping in mind the traditions of their own rite as well as the teachings of the Second Vatican Council." Many matters in the new code are left up to the particular law of the sui iuris churches.

The Metropolia of Pittsburgh is a sui iuris church. This means that, to a large extent, it is self-governing. It has the right to enact laws to govern itself. This is done by the Council of Hierarchs composed of the eparchial bishops of the Metropolia. When the bishops have finished preparing the text of the laws the metropolitan submits them to the Holy See for "reception". Upon receiving notification of reception, the metropolitan must promulgate the new laws.

The law concerning married priests is based on the decrees of the Second Vatican Council, Eastern canon law, and the pope's apostolic letter Orientale lumen, all of which direct a return to their authentic patrimony by the Eastern Catholic churches.

The Council of Hierarchs, in commenting on this restoration of the married priesthood, noted that the retention of the married presbyterate was one of the conditions of the Union of Uzhorod, that the prohibition of married clergy for Eastern Catholics in the United States brought great harm to the church, that there are currently over 100 married Roman Catholic priests serving lawfully in the United States and that there has been no difficulty among the faithful of the Latin church, and, finally, ecumenical considerations vis-a-vis the Orthodox churches. The Byzantine bishops also noted their many efforts and successes in returning to the Eastern patrimony in the areas of liturgy and doctrinal teaching.

Copies of the complete text of the new laws will be available to the public soon.


Posted By: ajk

Re: Text of original "married priest" statute? - 02/01/10 05:31 PM

Much to my surprise I found this:

Date: Wed, 6 Oct 1999 15:45:16 EDT
From: DTBrown@aol.com
To: cineast@cin.org
Subject: Whose to blame? Not CINEAST'ers!
Message-ID: <0.77ea822f.252d00cc@aol.com>

Several months ago someone on this list hinted that some CINEAST'ers might be to blame for the ruckus and delay of the implementation of the Ruthenian Particular Law. A recent news story in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette suggests another culprit.

I include some background here:

In August 1998, after receiving confirmation from Rome, the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Metropolia of Pittsburgh published the statutes of its Particular Law. Due to take effect on September 1st of that year Statute 44 of the new law caused much excitement among Byzantine Catholics:

Statute 44 - 1. The Council of Hierarchs of the Metropolia of Pittsburgh notes the very clear direction of the Second Vatican Council's Decree on the Eastern Churches, canons 373, 28, 39, and 40 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, paragraph 1 of Orientale Lumen, which direct a return to the original patrimony of the Eastern Catholic Churches. The Council of Hierarchs also notes that there is currently a married clergy in the Latin Church in the United States, and that it has been implemented without scandal to the faithful of the Latin Church.

2. This same Council of Hierarchs ascertains that the imposition of clerical celibacy introduced by the decree Cum data fuerit and reaffirmed by the decree Qua sollerti are currently in effect for the Ruthenians in the United States.

3. The Council of Hierarchs declares that these special restrictive norms imposed by the Apostolic See are no longer in force and, thus, in the Metropolia of Pittsburgh, marriage is not an impediment to presbyteral orders.

In just a few days, however, Metropolitan Judson Procyk announced that Rome had asked that the implementation of the new statutes be put on hold until further study could be done.

Released just prior to October 1, 1999 the final draft of the Particular Law for the Ruthenian Metropolia (which took effect October 1st) has a completely rewritten section on married ordinands:

Canon 758 §3

§1. Married men, after completion of the formation prescribed by law, can be admitted to the order of deacon.

§2. Concerning the admission of married men to the order of the presbyterate, the special norms issued by the Apostolic See are to be observed, unless dispensations are granted by the same See in individual cases.

Full text of the new Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Particular Law can be found at:


What had happened? Why the complete change? According to an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (published October 2, 1999) some lobbying by conservative Roman Catholics is seen as the reason:

Last year, Procyk was set to announce that Rome had approved 50 new canons governing everything from seminary education to sacraments. One would have allowed Byzantine bishops in the United States to ordain married men without special permission.

But a conservative Catholic news organization misinterpreted the change as a revolt against Rome. The Vatican then placed all 50 laws on hold while talks continued between officials of the Vatican's Congregation for Oriental Churches and Byzantine canon lawyers from the United States. The Vatican approved the final text this year. Procyk said that the new law on ordination is not a compromise.

Full text of the article with an interview of Metropolitan Judson Procyk can be found at:


Dave Ignatius DTBrown@aol.com

Posted By: DTBrown

Re: Text of original "married priest" statute? - 02/01/10 06:30 PM

Father Deacon Tony,

Thank you ever so much!!! I wish the CINEAST archives were still online.
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