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"Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!!

Posted By: Anna

"Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 02/21/14 08:09 PM

The author of this poorly written, theologically flawed and insulting article is a contributor to Fr. Barron's "Word on Fire" blog. The original photo that accompanied the article showed a Ukrainian priest risking his life in the recent protests! After an angry outcry from Eastern Catholics and others the photo has now been replaced with one of Blessed Miguel Pro. Unfortunately however the article can still be accessed on the blog site. Shame on the author, Jared Zimmerer. I am very disappointed in Fr. Barron for not taking action to remedy this offense against Eastern Catholics as well as married priests within the Latin tradition. Two steps forward, three steps back-or so it seems!
Posted By: Irish_Ruthenian

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 02/21/14 08:20 PM

Okay, editing done. Found the article.

Let's rip this thing:

I would not want my priest to marry for the simple fact that, as a man, leadership requires focus. I want my priest to lead. I want my priest to be the head of his family. Were all priests to have a biological family at home, no matter how you see it, his heart would be trying to turn two different directions in matters of leadership.

Entirely the author's highly subjective and Roman biased opinion.

To give a dire example, in the case of a catastrophe, I would want my priest to be at the front of the lines leading his flock to shelter.

Perhaps he should Google "Father Adam Sexton" a priest in Nanticoke, PA, whose rectory burned down while he was celebrating Liturgy. When one of his children stuck his head in the altar area and informed Father Sexton, the good priest's response was to the effect, "I'm celebrating Liturgy now." and continue the Liturgy.

If the priest had a biological family of his own, he would first think of their safety before his flock as the natural instinct would drive his protector reaction towards sheltering his own.

Somehow people who want to oppose something they really don't like always seem to come up with some utterly rare and ridiculous point to make, as if the rarity is the norm. This is a red herring.


Well, we currently live in a spiritual battle. One in which the souls of our loved ones are constantly at risk. I want a priest who tends to his flock before all else.

Entirely subjective opinion that a married priest cannot do this. This is also a slap in the face to all the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic priests who have been married over the centuries and have done wonderful work in both raising their families and tending their flock.

I think that the implications of priestly fatherhood have been either ignored or misunderstood by the mainstream of society and perhaps this is because the very fatherhood and masculinity of Christ has been mythologized or challenged. I want a priest who acts In Persona Christi. Christ Himself was celibate and so I would expect those who are acting in His place and dispensing the sacraments to His flock to live accordingly.

Then kindly explain to me, if this is such a necessity, how the first pope, one Peter, was married. Kindly explain to me how the scriptures state that the bishop should be the husband of one wife? Kindly explain to me, if this is a canonical norm, how's come for the first thirteen centuries, the East and West had married priest as a matter of policy.

The vocation of the priest is more than just another way of life; it is a concrete reality of the spiritual marriage we hope to endure in the celestial embrace. Were a priest to give his body to another, in a way, he is dissolving that reality for those who see him as he is, a man branded in the name of Christ, dying daily for his Bride, and giving his body to the mission She reflects.

Charity, and keeping this a family forum, prohibits me from expressing in plain language what nonsense this is. If you really want to have a "concrete reality" of the spiritual reality, then you MUST have a married priest. After all, if Christ is the divine Bridegroom, then how does a celibate priest reflect the marital state of such a marriage. To be a proper icon of the Trinity, i.e. two in union from whose union proceeds a third, then a priest MUST be married! You are completely bass ackwards on this, sir!

I know how hard it can be to raise a family, be a loving husband, have a full-time job, work on my own spiritual life, take care of the house, pay bills, and all of the other hardships men are willing to endure in order to have biological offspring.

No, you do NOT add to that because first of all, you wouldn't have an outside job. The rectory would be cared for by your parishioners, if they are any kind of caring parish. This is more made up nonsense.

Add to that, running an entire parish, hearing confessions, being ready at any moment to leave for a parishioner in need, allow every waking moment to be devoted to the needs and wishes of the parish, effectively participate in the goings-on of the community, I might very well pull my hair out or lose my sanity. A man can only do so much, and he ought to do that well. Being a virtuous father is no halfhearted vocation and it requires much more than most realize. I want a priest who is fully dedicated and focused on his mission, saving my poor soul and the souls of those our Lord has put in his charge.

I got into this argument over at a Roman forum about a year ago. They brought up the norror of a harried priest trying to run a parish of 5,000 souls and raise a family. I told them that was hogwash because if the Roman Rite would allow for married men, they would have more priests and a parish of 5,000 souls might have 10 priests instead of just one. I told them point blank that this "problem" was a self-inflicted wound.

The very element of masculinity calls all men to a state of fatherhood. Whether that state is fulfilled in the biological rearing of children or in the spiritual nurturing of a flock, the bidding remains the same.

And you are saying he can't do both?

To be sure, I want a priest who lives according to the traditional vow he has taken. Were that vow to change I believe he would be doing an injustice to both himself and the mission of the Church as well as those he intends to lead. I don’t want a priest whose flock is secondary. Maybe this is indeed selfish, but I’m ok with that.

Well, I'm not and neither are many, many people in the East, especially when it comes to Western meddlesomeness in our ecclesial business. Your article does no one in the East any favors at all. It reinforces the idea that celibacy is a dogma rather than a discipline, and it could lead the more unstable in Church history and discipline to consider Eastern Catholics as not Christians. Kind of like Bible Fundamentalists do. Is that what you want?
Posted By: Anna

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 02/21/14 08:25 PM

Here is the link:
https://www.wordonfire.org/WoF-Blog/WoF-Blog/February-2014/Why-I-Don-t-Want-Priests-to-Marry.aspx
Posted By: theophan

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 02/21/14 08:37 PM

Christ is in our midst!!

Just proves that it doesn't take intelligence or a theological background or any knowledge of Church history to blog your ignorance on the Internet. Obviously hasn't seen the St. Elias website where a married priest has built a great congregation out of a very small flock to start and still raise a good family, not to mention be a shining example of what a married man in covenant relationship with his wife ought to be.

Bob
Posted By: Mark R

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 02/21/14 08:42 PM

For those who do not know, there is a veritable cottage craft in more conservative Roman Catholic circles which preoccupies itself with apologetics. Many are fine converts from evangelical Protestantism and have thus been breast-fed, so to speak, on arguing. They often reflect the rather "chastely minimal" teachings of the Catholic Church in their own subcultural funhouse mirror. They are often corroborated or egged on through friendships or by people from similar backgrounds and by others who share their maximalist opinions. Pope Benedict did not care for apologetics for explaining too much away -- maybe he never encountered plain partisan hyperbole, you know, like all Catholics must be like Roman Catholics.
Posted By: Pavloosh

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 02/22/14 01:45 AM

All one needs to say about the article is "hogwash".
Posted By: CDB1718

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 02/22/14 07:06 AM

Originally Posted by Pavloosh
All one needs to say about the article is "hogwash".

Fr. Barron's media activity, his evangelization blog, and his Catholicism series that's promoted for RCIA, means he is becoming the mouthpiece for what it means to be Catholic. Hogwash isn't enough to counter the harm articles like this cause. We can evangelize the author so he can introduce God instead of creating manmade barriers to the Lord.

http://www.stsophiaukrainian.cc/resources/marriedclergy/
Posted By: Anna

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 02/22/14 12:07 PM

Very well done St. Sophia's! I have contacted Word on Fire and asked for three things: 1. Remove the article (it can still be accessed on their WOF blog) 2. Issue an apology. 3. Educate the author on the truths of Catholicism, Eastern and Western. I also let them know in no uncertain terms that unless or until they do this Fr. Barron's reputation will suffer since he is the figurehead of the website and the wound to unity will perdure.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 02/22/14 01:26 PM

The article has since been removed. The mindset that wrote it has not.
Posted By: Anna

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 02/22/14 02:33 PM


Stuart, thank God for that! Ironically the blog that has taken its place is "Sts. Cyril & Methodius, Models of Inculturation and Evangelization".
Posted By: Booth

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 02/23/14 08:38 AM

Nice work!

God bless Fr. Barron for his openness to criticism, and also Mr. Zimmerer, who from his blog appears to love the church even if (I believe) wrong about this issue.

This may have been a providential opportunity to assert the goodness of married clergy and open others' hearts to them, praise God.
Posted By: Fr. John Morris

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/22/14 10:40 PM

Eastern Orthodox do not want Priests to marry either. A married man can be ordained to the Priesthood, but a Priest cannot get married. I think that the characterization that a celibate Roman Catholic Priest is more dedicated to his vocation than a married Eastern Orthodox Priest is very unfair. I am on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I have gotten out of bed many times in the middle of the night to minister to a family who has just lost a loved one. More often than not, I have sacrificed the welfare, and happiness of my wife and children to minister to my flock. One important difference is that in America at least, Orthodox parishes are much smaller than most Roman Catholic parishes. Thus, I can get to know my people and their spiritual needs much better than a Roman Catholic Priest who has to minister to over 1,000 people. I can also understand what they are going through, because as a married man with children, I have had similar experiences. Finally as a married man with children, I am one of the people, not a separate cast.

Archpriest John W. Morris
Posted By: StuartK

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/23/14 01:29 PM

Quote
A married man can be ordained to the Priesthood, but a Priest cannot get married.

In general, no, he can't. But exercising his oikonomia, a bishop can allow a priest to remarry. It is not unknown, and I suspect Father John knows the cases of which I am thinking.
Posted By: Fr. Deacon Lance

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/23/14 02:23 PM

Originally Posted by Fr. John Morris
Eastern Orthodox do not want Priests to marry either. A married man can be ordained to the Priesthood, but a Priest cannot get married. I think that the characterization that a celibate Roman Catholic Priest is more dedicated to his vocation than a married Eastern Orthodox Priest is very unfair. I am on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I have gotten out of bed many times in the middle of the night to minister to a family who has just lost a loved one. More often than not, I have sacrificed the welfare, and happiness of my wife and children to minister to my flock.

Archpriest John W. Morris


Don't say that too loudly because that will also be used as a reason for no married presbyterate.

I would also say nobody can be 24/7. That is a recipe for burnout and divorce. The laity have got to be made to realize this.
Posted By: bergschlawiner

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/24/14 11:10 AM

It is so sad when a priest's wife passes away leaving children to raise. Doesn't leave much of nan option for a priest except to leave the priesthood and marry for the sake of raising a family which I see is being done in many Eastern European countries where the remarried priest is allowed to move someplace far away and continue his priesthood. Allowing a widowed priest to remarry under these circumstances is neither immoral nor sinful.
Posted By: Epiphanius

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/24/14 03:11 PM

Originally Posted by Fr. John Morris
... I can also understand what they are going through, because as a married man with children, I have had similar experiences. Finally as a married man with children, I am one of the people, not a separate cast.

A very compelling argument, indeed!

Ideally, I think, we should have both. A friendly rivalry between the two would not be a bad thing. (Of course, I'm talking here about a godly rivalry--vying to see who can better serve God's kingdom--a worldly rivalry would be a nightmare!)

Still, even as a deacon, I often feel the sentiments expressed by St. Paul in 1Cor. 7:32-33:
Quote
But I desire to have you to be free from cares. He who is unmarried is concerned for the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but he who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife.

blush


Peace,
Deacon Richard
Posted By: Xristoforos

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/25/14 01:28 AM

Better to be a viewed as a "bad priest by the SOME but not all of the lay people" than to be viewed as a bad father by some or all of your family".

I think that successful priests figure out how to make excuses and balance their time without upsetting too many people.

The best thing I can say is that if you have a smaller congregation this is easier. I still think latin rite Roman Catholic Churches tend to be bigger than the Byzantine rite ones.

Everything is possible if handled well.
A skilled bishop does not demand too much of a priest...
Perhaps he sends him an assistant priest or deacons.
At least antiochians have deacons, the greek archdiocese does not, which is strange. I wonder how many of our churches had stopped having deacons and than revived them? or is this only a latin phenenenon. (outside of seminarians and monaseries I mean, parish deacons.)

For his grace Metropolitan Philip Saliba who has departed us.. I think he understood that. May his successor continue carrying on his legacy...

Fr. John Morris, do many of your brother priests feel overworked? What solutions exist to this? Is it an inevitable cross to carry to assist Our Lord tend his flock?
Posted By: Economos Roman V. Russo

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/25/14 09:49 AM

This passage doesn't refer to the clergy but to the baptized!
Posted By: Peter J

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/26/14 07:26 AM

Originally Posted by Xristoforos
I still think latin rite Roman Catholic Churches tend to be bigger than the Byzantine rite ones.

Do you mean in the USA or in general?
Posted By: Pavloosh

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/26/14 07:48 AM

Bigger and impersonal.
Seems so many large Latin Rite churches lack a strong sense of community. Too many attend Mass because they have to then disappear immediately after Mass [or immediately after Communion] until next Saturday evening or Sunday morning.
Give me a small Greek Catholic or Byzantine Catholic parish any day!
Posted By: shawnbm

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/28/14 11:15 AM

Not all Latin Rite parishes are like this. Mine is vibrant with lots of ministries, youth and young adult groups, fish frys during Lent, rosaries and miraculous medal novenas, potluck suppers and picnics, etc. Folks don't bolt for the door after receiving communion most mornings. Our average mass attendance at 8:15 mass (we also have a 12:10 mass every day during Lent) is between thirty to fifty attendees. I certainly think we are not alone in this regard. I also attend an equally lovely and vibrant Maronite parish about a mile from my Latin Rite parish at least once a week or two. It is a wonderful thing indeed to have both.
Posted By: Fr. John Morris

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/28/14 10:49 PM

I was not complaining. I was objecting to the idea that a celibate Priest is more dedicated to his ministry than a married Eastern Orthodox Priest. I am not complaining about fulfilling my pastoral duties, but object to the idea that I am less capable of ministering to my people than a celibate.

Archpriest John W. Morris
Posted By: Fr. John Morris

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/28/14 10:52 PM

I was not complaining. I was objecting to the idea that a celibate Priest is more dedicated to his ministry than a married Eastern Orthodox Priest. I am not complaining about fulfilling my pastoral duties, but object to the idea that I am less capable of ministering to my people than a celibate.

Archpriest John W. Morris
Posted By: Fr. John Morris

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/28/14 10:55 PM

What makes you think that the Greek Archdiocese does not have deacons. Of course, it and every other Eastern Orthodox Church has deacons. A man must be a deacon before he can be ordained to the priesthood. I do not know how many deacons they have in parishes. I am sure that they have some.

Fr. John W. Morris
Posted By: Irish_Ruthenian

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/29/14 07:50 AM

In doing some study on patristics, I get the idea that this idea of the unmarried state somehow being more holy than the married state comes from St. Augustine and his ruminations on original sin. In knowing sketchy details of his life, I would say that very much like Luther, his sins clouded his judgment and made him super-impose certain ideas about sin, God, holiness, and judgment upon God's view of the world.

I may be wrong, of course, but it seems that Augustine is the jump off point in the West for this and other errors
Posted By: LatinTrad

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/29/14 09:15 AM

@Irish Ruthenian: the objective superiority of the celibate state is well-acknowledged in the East; it's not really controversial at all for the Eastern fathers. Check out St. John Chrysostom or the Cappadocian fathers on the subject; they make St. Augustine sound mild by comparison. Of course, as a married man, I never really understood why it was hard for other married men to acknowledge that although marriage is a holy thing, consecrated celibacy constitutes a higher level of asceticism. Not sure what you mean about the alleged "other errors" in Augustine . . .

@Fr John Morris: Evloyite pater! I agree that it would be absurd to say that married priests are less capable of fulfilling pastoral duties. This argument, although often found among folks defending the mandatory celibacy of the Latin priesthood, is really not the reason why celibacy was ever required for priests. Pius XII's encyclical on the subject gives a pretty good overview of the issue (with praise for Eastern customs as well).
Posted By: Fr. Deacon Lance

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/29/14 10:24 AM

How can celibacy, as honorable a sacrifice it is, compare to marriage which is a sacrament?
Posted By: Pasisozi

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/29/14 10:27 AM

The highest state in life is the state to which God has actually called you.
Posted By: LatinTrad

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/29/14 02:21 PM

Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
How can celibacy, as honorable a sacrifice it is, compare to marriage which is a sacrament?


Father Lance, I find it hard to believe that St. Paul and the entire Patristic tradition are wrong on this.
Posted By: LatinTrad

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/29/14 02:26 PM

Just to provide something specific here, remember that St. John Chrysostom argued that celibacy surpasses marriage as heaven surpasses earth, and that the great ascetics who were called to practice it were equal to the angels.

Of course not everyone is called to such heights. But let's not get confused about the hierarchy of vocations.
Posted By: Fr. Deacon Lance

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/29/14 04:03 PM

Christ made marriage a sacrament and not celibacy, pretty clear to me.
Posted By: LatinTrad

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/29/14 04:19 PM

Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Christ made marriage a sacrament and not celibacy, pretty clear to me.


What exactly is pretty clear? Are you really rejecting the consensus of Scripture and the Fathers on this subject? Why?
Posted By: Fr. Deacon Lance

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/29/14 05:57 PM

That one is a sacrament and one is not. One Christ made into a vehicle of sacramental grace. One is an ascetic discipline.
Posted By: Nelson Chase

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/29/14 09:32 PM

Quote
What exactly is pretty clear? Are you really rejecting the consensus of Scripture and the Fathers on this subject? Why?


While some saints consider the monastic life and tonsure to it to be a sacrament it is not considered one by the Church. Don't get my wrong it has a sacramental charter to it but it isn't a sacrament. Marriage is a sacrament.

Also, The Church is clear that the monastic life and the married life are two paths to the same goal: theosis. Both are paths blessed by God for salvation. While monastic life is a lofty calling so is marriage. We damage both by trying to say one is more superior than the other.

Quote
Just to provide something specific here, remember that St. John Chrysostom argued that celibacy surpasses marriage as heaven surpasses earth, and that the great ascetics (aka monks/nuns: NC) who were called to practice it were equal to the angels.


When you quote the saints on celibacy and the Angelic life they are referring to the monastic vocation. part of that is being celibate and also being a monk/nun in a monastery.

Celibacy is a state in life and should be lived out within monasticism if it is going to be a life long state.

I wish that the Roman Church would make their diocesan priests, who are celibate, live a semi monastic life with brother priests. (Same thing for celibate non monastic Eastern priests) celibacy was meant for the monastic and monastics need other monastics for support in the Angelic life. (Much like a husband needs his wife and the wife needs her husband)
Posted By: LatinTrad

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/29/14 10:50 PM

Oy vey. I really don't see what's hard about this. "We" don't say that one is superior to the other. Scripture and Tradition say that one is superior to the other. Let's be docile to reality here. The Christian tradition is unequivocal on this subject.

Of course, you are absolutely right that consecrated celibacy is normally lived in community, and that this is a problem in situations where priests are asked to live a celibate life with no community support. But come on. Saying that all vocations are equal is like saying everyone is the MVP or all teams are the champion. It's postmodern nonsense. Monks occupy an objectively higher state than I do, and I thank God for calling them to that state. Why is this hard? It's like acknowledging that Olympic athletes are objectively faster than we are, or that LeBron James is better at basketball. Even if I'm the best player in the rec league.
Posted By: Nelson Chase

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/29/14 11:29 PM

I am saying that all true vocations, which come from God, are equal. You and I are equally called by God to our vocation to marriage as a man who is called by God to be a monk.

Now, do they require different levels of living out our common baptismal promises? Yes, they do. They are not equal in practice but they are equal in holiness and they both offer paths to salvation in Jesus Christ. Christ calls us to live the ascetical life in a radical way. True Christian marriage, not modern marriage, and monasticism are radical calls to die to oneself and to live for Christ.
Posted By: Cavaradossi

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/30/14 07:24 AM

Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
That one is a sacrament and one is not. One Christ made into a vehicle of sacramental grace. One is an ascetic discipline.


But according to the fathers, marriage is a sacrament because God blessed the post-lapsarian reality of carnal desire and sexual intercourse for the propagation of the species, whereas celibacy is the natural state of man (i.e., most of the Fathers seemed to believe that there was no sexual intercourse before the fall). Celibacy requires no sacrament because it is how we are intended to be in the kingdom.
Posted By: Peter J

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/30/14 08:13 AM

Originally Posted by LatinTrad
Of course, as a married man, I never really understood why it was hard for other married men to acknowledge that although marriage is a holy thing, consecrated celibacy constitutes a higher level of asceticism.

You raise an interesting issue ...
Posted By: jjp

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/30/14 09:03 AM

I don't think you are talking about the Eastern concept of Crowning, which the Byzantine Church pretty clearly regards as Nelson describes. From Fr Meyendorff:

"The Lord said that "in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven" (Matthew 22:30), and St. Paul, thinking primarily of the constant expectation by Christians of the glorious day of universal resurrection, wrote, "To the unmarried and widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do" (I Corinthians 7:8). Such is also the meaning of the "eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom," mentioned by the Lord (Matthew 19:12). By remaining celibate, monks or nuns want to manifest the real presence, in the Church and in themselves, of the Kingdom of God and try to express this presence through their own lives.

"But we have seen that true Christian marriage is also an image of the union between Christ and the Church. Both monasticism and marriage are, therefore, two different ways to manifest the great Mystery of our communion with Christ, but neither of these states of life can be justified by any egoistic or individualistic motivation."

I do think that Roman Catholic theology may be more open to considering marriage an accommodation to depraved desires useful only for the propagation of children, although where all the new monks would come from if everybody took the idea seriously that being celibate was better is an interesting question.
Posted By: jjp

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/30/14 09:12 AM

Originally Posted by Cavaradossi


But according to the fathers, marriage is a sacrament because God blessed the post-lapsarian reality of carnal desire and sexual intercourse for the propagation of the species, whereas celibacy is the natural state of man (i.e., most of the Fathers seemed to believe that there was no sexual intercourse before the fall). Celibacy requires no sacrament because it is how we are intended to be in the kingdom.


Then the Lord God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him." . . . and the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man He made into a woman and brought her to the man . . . Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh. Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. (Genesis 2:18-25)
Posted By: LatinTrad

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/30/14 09:28 AM

Originally Posted by jjp

I do think that Roman Catholic theology may be more open to considering marriage an accommodation to depraved desires useful only for the propagation of children


No. That's a ludicrous caricature.
Posted By: mardukm

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/30/14 10:58 AM

Originally Posted by jjp
I do think that Roman Catholic theology may be more open to considering marriage an accommodation to depraved desires useful only for the propagation of children,

Wouldn't satisfying depraved desires be more likely within a marriage that uses contraceptives?
Posted By: Athanasius The L

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/30/14 11:07 AM

Originally Posted by LatinTrad
Originally Posted by jjp

I do think that Roman Catholic theology may be more open to considering marriage an accommodation to depraved desires useful only for the propagation of children


No. That's a ludicrous caricature.
Not really, especially in light of St. Augustine's teachings on the matter. The current emphasis on the unitive aspect of conjugal relations is not representative of much of the tradition, which has often taught things such as taking pleasure in sex is always sinful (except for pleasure in anticipation of conception) and that sex is only for procreation and the mere legitimization of unholy desires.
Posted By: Irish_Ruthenian

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/30/14 11:53 AM

My sinful .02 worth on this issue (which I have been following with interest)

It seems that the inference from the Roman Rite is that a priest cannot be holy if he is married, that somehow the conjugal act somehow is defiling to his personal in toto. This is the part that bothers me.

Also, the priest, as one who is acting in persona christi to me gives an odd view of Christ, for in the Eucharist, Christ as the Bridegroom places the life-giving Eucharist, the sum and substance, the energies and fullness of Himself, into His Bride, the people of the Church. A celibate priest is to me a somewhat odd representation of the life giving self-donative personal of the Bridegroom when he does not do the same in his private life. I am not saying that celibacy has no place in God's Kingdom. Scriptural references to that state forbid me to say that. But the imposition of celibacy as a universal good rather than a particular calling just seems an odd representation of our Lord since the Church and Her people are in many ways shadows and types of the reality of eternity (Heb. 8:5; 9: 23-24)

And I think that Augustine's profligate life did have an impact upon his writings, just as the anthropological and soteriological understandings of man were shaped by the cultures of East and West respectively and are different in certain ways.

Again, just my .02, totally open to criticism.
Posted By: Apotheoun

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/30/14 11:57 AM

Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
How can celibacy, as honorable a sacrifice it is, compare to marriage which is a sacrament?

I agree. It really is foolish to denigrate either marriage or celibacy. God is the giver of all gifts.
Posted By: Apotheoun

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/30/14 12:04 PM

Originally Posted by Cavaradossi
Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
That one is a sacrament and one is not. One Christ made into a vehicle of sacramental grace. One is an ascetic discipline.


But according to the fathers, marriage is a sacrament because God blessed the post-lapsarian reality of carnal desire and sexual intercourse for the propagation of the species, whereas celibacy is the natural state of man (i.e., most of the Fathers seemed to believe that there was no sexual intercourse before the fall). Celibacy requires no sacrament because it is how we are intended to be in the kingdom.

I think that both marriage and monasticism are holy mysteries, and so I see no reason to denigrate one or the other (not that you are advocating doing that). After all, both are holy callings, each in its own way. That said, the monastic life does afford one the greater possibility of controlling the passions through the practice of prayer and ascesis and this no doubt is a great spiritual gift, but married life has its own rewards and it also requires a type of maturity and control through self-renunciation that is ordered to one's spouse and children. Both are sacred callings if they are lived for God.
Posted By: jjp

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/30/14 05:08 PM

Originally Posted by mardukm
Originally Posted by jjp
I do think that Roman Catholic theology may be more open to considering marriage an accommodation to depraved desires useful only for the propagation of children,

Wouldn't satisfying depraved desires be more likely within a marriage that uses contraceptives?


You are being too vague to give a useful reply.
Posted By: LatinTrad

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/31/14 01:09 PM

I guess the thread has wandered; the issue of a married priesthood is of course distinct from the whole question of whether consecrated celibacy is "higher" than marriage. I guess my final word would be this: the "Latin" or "Western" or "Roman Catholic" theological tradition is not one bit less affirming of the goodness of marriage than the Eastern tradition. Marriage is good. Marriage is holy.

But that does not mean that the vocation of consecrated celibacy is not an objectively higher one. Forum posters who think that my mind is polluted by Latinitis or Frankoporosis really should read St. John Chrysostom or St. Basil on this subject. It's no offense to marriage to acknowledge that celibacy is a higher calling. To argue with Scripture and the saints on this subject is pretty bold.
Posted By: Nelson Chase

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/31/14 02:03 PM

I would suggest reading the excellent article by Fr. Maximos of HRM entitled Celibacy in Context

In it Fr. Maximos explaines the Eastern Churches call to all Christians to practice celibacy.


Quote
Celibacy in Eastern Christianity is viewed primarily as a form of asceticism . Asceticism means, in essence, to live at the same time on earth and in heaven. It means to understand that everything we see in this life, everything we touch, taste, think, and feel, is in some way a revelation of the life to come. This means far more than an understanding that this life will come to an end and be replaced by another one. It means that the life we live right now and the life we will live for eternity are in some mysterious way one and the same. “The darkness is passing away,” says St. John, “and the true light is already shining” (1 John 2:8).

For an ascetic, time reveals eternity. The ascetic thus wants to be freed from a merely human way of looking at time as a cycle of work and rest, life and death. Instead, the ascetic lives in time as though in the undying freedom of eternity. Therefore the ascetic prays. For an ascetic, food reveals the heavenly Feast. He is freed from a merely animal attraction to food and instead tastes only the spiritual promise that lies hidden inside earthly appetites. Therefore the ascetic fasts. For an ascetic, possessions reveal the many“mansioned Kingdom of Heaven. The ascetic is freed from the slavery to things by seeing in everything the Creator of all things. Therefore the ascetic gives alms.

It is the same with sexuality. For an ascetic, all human relationships”even the sexual act itself”reveal divine love. Hidden beneath the surface of all smaller loves lies the immeasurable abyss of God’s love. The ascetic realizes that what other people give him by way of love finds its true and deeper meaning in the One who is the source of all love. Celibacy is the practical recognition of the reality that lies behind the image, of the prototype behind the icon. Human love without celibacy is at best mere sentiment, at worst a form of idolatry.

In either case a merely human love is a closed system, like a river with no outlet to the sea. Face to face, two human beings in love become locked in an embrace of death. St. Gregory of Nyssa”himself a married man”writes of this in his treatise On Virginity :

Quote
Whenever the husband looks at the beloved face, that moment the fear of separation accompanies the look . . . . Some day all this beauty will melt away and become as nothing, turned after all this show into noisome and unsightly bones, which wear no trace, no memorial, no remnant of that living bloom.
The tragedy of love and death can only be overcome by the communion of humanity and divinity in Christ through the Holy Spirit. Only when two become three, when a couple becomes a trinity, the third being God, only then can the triumph of death be trampled down in the resurrection. “If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied, but in fact Christ has been raised from the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:19“20).


[Who]then is called to be celibate? Simply put, every single Christian who is capable of love is called to discipline that love through the asceticism of celibacy. Just as every Christian is called to prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, so also every Christian is called to be celibate. Seen in its true context of asceticism, celibacy ceases to be a legal requirement for a small section of the Christian faithful and is revealed instead as an aspect of the universal vocation of all believers.

What does this mean in practice? It means that we must no longer divide up the Church in our minds and separate the lay majority who are “allowed” to have sex under certain conditions and the clerical and religious minority who are “not allowed” to have sex at al[/i]l. The difference is nowhere near so stark. It is merely one of degree. For a legalistic mind, the division between celibate and non“celibate seems vast. [i]For an ascetical mind, however, the difference is negligible. Both the life of marriage and the life of celibacy are directed entirely toward God, and find a common meaning in Him.

It may come as a surprise that I speak of a universal call to celibacy . This word has largely juridical associations, especially for Latin Catholics. Chastity is the term used in the more general sense to speak of the obligation of all Christians to use the gift of their sexuality in accordance with the divine will. Sexuality is conditioned in the East according to the principles of asceticism and mysticism, not legalism. It is precisely because the East does not think in juridical terms that I have felt free to apply to celibacy a very general meaning, for in the East there is no other way it can be understood. In this area East and West think quite differently. We must be wary of a facile assumption that what works in one tradition will automatically do so in the other.

Looked at from the perspective of the Eastern Churches, celibacy has very little to do with the sacrament of Holy Orders. It has everything to do, however, with the sacrament of Holy Baptism. Through the latter we are born into a new kind of life, into citizenship in the Kingdom of God. We die to this world in Christ and rise again to eternal life. And in this resurrection we “neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven” (Matthew 22:30).

Once again we see how it is that celibacy is part of the universal vocation of all Christians. Seen in the light of eternity, marriage is revealed as having no meaning in itself. Marriage is honorable not because it “joins two hearts as one,” nor because through it new life comes into the world, nor because it provides for a life of comfort and security. Marriage is worthy of reverence only because the two hearts fall into a sacramental embrace with a Third, only because the children born of the union are born again through baptism into a new life, only because together the couple apply to their comforts the balm of asceticism that gives their possessions true and sacramental meaning.

Christian celibacy is marriage baptized. Christian celibacy is the revelation of the presence of the Kingdom of God in every relationship. It is the refusal to see other people as things to be used, even for the sake of romantic love. Celibacy means the willingness to see in sexuality not something merely animal, or simply useful or enjoyable, but instead something mystical.

What then of those who commit themselves to radical celibacy? Herein lies the value of monasticism as a public vocation in the Church. Radical celibates present to all Christians flesh and blood tokens of the promise lying mystically beneath every authentic and holy relationship. Celibacy loses its value when it is seen as the preserve of an elite. It takes that value up again when it is seen as part of the common heritage of the entire Church, an asceticism shared by all the baptized.

Here we come to another important insight within the pastoral tradition of Eastern Christianity. Celibacy is not primarily an individual calling. In the first place it is a vocation for the whole Church. Only secondarily is this vocation realized in individual lives. It follows that celibacy cannot be authentic if it is attempted individually. Celibacy can only be lived in a real way if it is seen as a shared way of life. For the Christian East, celibacy is lived corporately and within the context of communal asceticism.

This is the real meaning behind the combined tradition of married clergy and celibate monastics in the Eastern Churches. The proper place for radical celibacy is a life of radical asceticism within that tradition of mutual support provided within the monastic milieu. For parish clergy, such radicalism is seen as out of place”neither improper nor impossible, but immensely difficult. This assessment in no way makes the life of the parish priest somehow inferior to that of the monk. Both are called to the same ascetical program, but in different degrees. The tradition simply recognizes that each must put this program into effect in the real world he inhabits. Each must rely on the other to supply that kind of holiness in the other’s own life that he cannot produce in his own. The Church needs both the holiness of marriage and the holiness of radical celibacy in equal measure.

To underline this, the canonical tradition of the Eastern Churches even encourages married couples to regulate their sexual appetites by fasting from conjugal relations before Holy Communion, for example, and during Lent. This makes it clear in the most practical way imaginable that both monk and married person are engaged together in the same ascetical labor.

For various historical reasons the insights of the Eastern Christian experience have been mostly ignored in the Western Church (and, consequently, by the Eastern Catholic Churches who have found themselves in the West). Celibacy in the West is not seen as related primarily to monasticism, but rather to priesthood in general. Nevertheless, it is possible for the West to draw some useful lessons from the Eastern viewpoint.

Unless all Christians accept their vocation to live the asceticism of celibacy within their own lives it is pointless to expect a small group of “elite” Christians to live up to this ideal. Not only is it psychologically difficult to expect one group of men to do this, it is also extremely bad theology. Celibacy is a common calling, expressing the faith of the Church in the coming Kingdom. It will only be possible for this faith to be lived in its most radical way if this life is deeply understood and valued by the wider community.

To be blunt: it is both psychologically dangerous and theologically illiterate for a Christian community that values sexual “freedom,” including sex outside of marriage, adultery, abortion, and the contraceptive mentality, to then demand an entirely different sexual standard from its priests. Priests do not become celibate merely because they feel a personal call to a life of sacrifice”at least, they ought not. Priests accept celibacy because they lead a community that is as a whole committed to the ascetic discipline necessary to transfigure human sexuality into an experience of the divine. Celibacy is healthy when it is regarded as a common labor in which each Christian has a share.

Posted By: LatinTrad

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 03/31/14 02:15 PM

Kudos, Nelson Chase. I hit the metaphorical like button.

For the record, though, I don't think that an "ascetical" and a "legalistic" approach to celibacy are mutually exclusive. The law is meant to be in service to truth and goodness, and to the ascetical goals of the Christian life.
Posted By: Cavaradossi

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 04/01/14 07:04 PM

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by Cavaradossi
Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
That one is a sacrament and one is not. One Christ made into a vehicle of sacramental grace. One is an ascetic discipline.


But according to the fathers, marriage is a sacrament because God blessed the post-lapsarian reality of carnal desire and sexual intercourse for the propagation of the species, whereas celibacy is the natural state of man (i.e., most of the Fathers seemed to believe that there was no sexual intercourse before the fall). Celibacy requires no sacrament because it is how we are intended to be in the kingdom.

I think that both marriage and monasticism are holy mysteries, and so I see no reason to denigrate one or the other (not that you are advocating doing that). After all, both are holy callings, each in its own way. That said, the monastic life does afford one the greater possibility of controlling the passions through the practice of prayer and ascesis and this no doubt is a great spiritual gift, but married life has its own rewards and it also requires a type of maturity and control through self-renunciation that is ordered to one's spouse and children. Both are sacred callings if they are lived for God.


That is all true. We should always remember that above all, the crowns used in the sacrament of matrimony are the crowns of martyrdom. As you correctly perceived, I did not mean to denigrate Marriage, but only to explain why celibacy does not have a sacrament proper attached to it as marriage does, because the one took something that was itself a rather tragic incident (the fall of mankind and the subsequent infiltration of carnal desire into our lives), and blessed it into a way for a man and a woman to grow in holiness together, whereas the other has no particular sacrament proper attached to it because it is simply emulating the angelic life and the life of the kingdom where there will be no sexual intercourse or sexual desire.
Posted By: Economos Roman V. Russo

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 04/02/14 08:42 AM

The assumptions that marriage was instituted after the fall and that carnal desire is also postlapsarian are entirely gratuitous as they are perniciously false. In addition, you confuse celibacy (not marrying) with monasticism: two entirely different things!
Posted By: Cavaradossi

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 04/02/14 02:55 PM

Originally Posted by Ot'ets Nastoiatel'
The assumptions that marriage was instituted after the fall and that carnal desire is also postlapsarian are entirely gratuitous as they are perniciously false. In addition, you confuse celibacy (not marrying) with monasticism: two entirely different things!


If it were so pernaciously false, I would then have to ask you why it is that Ss. Augustine, Leo, John Chrysostom, Gregory of Nyssa, Maximus the Confessor, and John of Damascus all could have taught such a pernicious error.

St. John of Damascus elegantly summarizes the patristic teaching up to that point in time in this passage from On the Orthodox Faith 4.24:

Quote
Men who are carnal and given to pleasure belittle virginity and offer by way of testimony the saying, 'Cursed be every man who raiseth not up seed in Israel.' But we, made confident by the fact that God the Word took flesh of a virgin, declare that virginity is from above and was implanted in men's nature from the beginning. Thus, man was formed from the virgin earth. Eve was created from Adam alone. Virginity was practiced in paradise. Indeed, sacred Scripture says that 'they were naked, to wit, Adam and Eve: and were not ashamed.' However, once they had fallen, they knew that they were naked and being ashamed they sewed together aprons for themselves. After the fall, when Adam heart 'Dust thou art, and unto dust return,' and death entered into the word through transgression, then 'Adam knew Eve his wife: who conceived and brought forth.' And so to keep the race from dwindling and by being destroyed by death marriage was devised, so that by the begetting of children the race of men might be preserved.

But they may ask: What, then, does 'male and female' mean, and 'increase and multiply'? To which we shall reply that the 'increase and multiply' does not mean increasing by the marriage union exclusively, because, if they had kept the commandment unbroken forever, God could have increased the race by some other means. But, since God, who knows all things before they come to be, saw by His foreknowledge how they were to fall and be condemned to death, He made provision beforehand by creating them male and female and commanding them to increase and multiply.
Posted By: Apotheoun

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 04/04/14 07:11 AM

Originally Posted by Cavaradossi
St. John of Damascus elegantly summarizes the patristic teaching up to that point in time in this passage from On the Orthodox Faith 4.24 . . .

St. John does not summarize the patristic teaching, but only a patristic teaching. That some Fathers taught a post-lapsarian view of the conjugal relationship - in opposition to the clear teaching of sacred scripture that God created man as male and female and that He from the beginning intended the sexes to experience the marital embrace - is a fact, but it does not mean that anyone is bound to accept that rather gnostic notion. This is a case where scripture must trump the teaching of certain Fathers, i.e., Fathers who are only binding when they are teaching in consensus a particular idea as de fide. That said, Christ is quite clear in the Gospel when He says that God created man as male and female in order for them to live together in marriage. Moreover, the union of Christ and the Church, in both the New Testament and in the writings of the first two centuries of the Christian era (i.e., the writings of the Apostolic Fathers), signifies the importance of marriage. Jesus in the Gospel presents the eschaton as a marital feast, and the Pseudo-Clementine homily makes an explicit connection between Christ (as male) and the Church (as female) and the creation of mankind in the unity of two sexes. I see no reason to accept the rather gnostic notion that conjugal life is a result of the fall into sin, or that the propagation of the species only became necessary as a consequence of the fall.

I accept that certain consequences in relation to marital life result from the fall, but the marital embrace is not one of them, because it was intended by God from the very beginning. Disordered passions certainly are a result of the fall, but the conjugal act is not.
Posted By: Apotheoun

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 04/04/14 07:21 AM

Originally Posted by Ot'ets Nastoiatel'
The assumptions that marriage was instituted after the fall and that carnal desire is also postlapsarian are entirely gratuitous as they are perniciously false. In addition, you confuse celibacy (not marrying) with monasticism: two entirely different things!

I agree. There is no dogmatic consensus among the Fathers on this point, and scripture itself is clear that sexual complimentarity was intended by God from the very beginning, and that is clear both in the Genesis narratives about the creation of man, and in Christ's own teaching about marriage in the Holy Gospels.
Posted By: Apotheoun

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 04/04/14 07:24 AM

As far as the holy mysteries are concerned, having read through the prayers of the Great Book of Needs it is clear to me that the rite for entering monastic life is a holy mystery (i.e., a sacrament), and so I do not accept the notion that marriage is a sacrament while monastic life is not. To put it another way: why should I hold to the late medieval Western notion that there are only seven sacraments when the prayers of the Church make it clear that there are many more holy mysteries? After all, the rule of prayer is the rule of belief.
Posted By: Economos Roman V. Russo

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 04/04/14 07:25 AM

Sorry, but after last evening's Great Canon I am more convinced than ever that I must spend the rest of my life in peace and repentance rather than sparring with bloggers about the lives of first-created Adam and Eve in Paradise! I am called to live my life in this sinful world and do so (as a miserable failure) with the aid of the seven Holy Mysteries, none of which is counterindicated by another! By the way, in St. Gregory of Nyssa's treatise on virginity he mentions that he himself did not preserve his: he bestowed it on his lady wife, St. Theosebeia!
Posted By: Apotheoun

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 04/04/14 07:34 AM

Originally Posted by Ot'ets Nastoiatel'
Sorry, but after last evening's Great Canon I am more convinced than ever that I must spend the rest of my life in peace and repentance rather than sparring with bloggers about the lives of first-created Adam and Eve in Paradise! I am called to live my life in this sinful world and do so (as a miserable failure) with the aid of the seven Holy Mysteries, none of which is counterindicated by another! By the way, in St. Gregory of Nyssa's treatise on virginity he mentions that he himself did not preserve his: he bestowed it on his lady wife, St. Theosebeia!

I also must live as a sinner in a fallen, but redeemed, world, and I trust only in the aid of grace that comes to me from the innumerable holy mysteries of Christ's Church.
Posted By: Talon

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 04/06/14 01:55 PM

You have mentioned Chrysostom and other fathers, and even Paul in Scripture, but no one has yet brought up the words of Christ himself on the matter. What did Jesus say when the disciples suggested it's better to remain single one's whole life than to be married if it's true that there is basically no justification at all for a man divorcing his wife?

"Not all can accept this word, but only those to whom that is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it." (Matt 19:11-12)

In other words, yes, objectively speaking, consecrated celibacy is a higher form of life than marriage is. (While, subjectively speaking, the "highest" form of life for each individual is the one to which they are called.) What the disciples file as a complaint, Jesus turns into a unexpectedly positive affirmation. (cf. John 11:49-52)

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
As far as the holy mysteries are concerned, having read through the prayers of the Great Book of Needs it is clear to me that the rite for entering monastic life is a holy mystery (i.e., a sacrament), and so I do not accept the notion that marriage is a sacrament while monastic life is not. To put it another way: why should I hold to the late medieval Western notion that there are only seven sacraments when the prayers of the Church make it clear that there are many more holy mysteries?


I can't speak for Eastern praxis as I am currently Roman Catholic (albeit with very strong eastern sympathies, and in fact strongly contemplating transferring rites soon). I'd just like to ask a question - which is higher/loftier: a sacrament or the reality it represents/manifests? While it is true that marriage is a sacrament and consecrated celibacy (at least in the west) is not, that, I might suggest, only reinforces the point. Marriage is "only" a sacrament while consecrated celibacy is the eschatological reality itself in its fullness, right here and now.
Posted By: Talon

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 04/06/14 02:23 PM

Returning to the first page of posts in this thread, I would plead with Anna, Irish, and others of like mind to be very aware of the fact that Roman Catholics in America today are not very aware of you. Very few even know you exist, and many of those who do know you exist don't give any sort of consideration to eastern Catholicism, probably for two main reasons:

1) Last I checked, the number of all eastern Catholics combined in this country dwarfs the Roman Catholic population by tens of millions, if I'm not mistaken. No, this does not mean the East should be ignored. I'm just saying that it simply hasn't been "big enough" to date in America to be on Roman Catholic radar.

2) Perhaps more importantly than this fact is the fact that, in stark contrast with the eastern Churches, the Roman Catholic Church (in America at least) no longer has much of a central culture to it. This is something I presume most easterns take for granted having, and shouldn't. A society that has no single, unifying culture to it has to do a lot more psychological work to "keep all the pieces of the puzzle together" in terms of who they are and what they actually stand for than someone who is a part of a society with a rich, coherent, central culture.

Does that make sense?

So, what I'm suggesting by it is that even of those Roman Catholics who do know you, it's enough for us to just to keep track of what's really orthodox theology and praxis in the West in the first place; nevermind considering the alternate (equally valid) perspective of the East. That's too much to handle and keep straight in one (or maybe even many) sittings. This is no slight to anyone's intelligence. It really is a lot more psychological work for us.

So, the next time you read an article like the one mentioned, don't read, "Why no priests of any kind should be married." Read it, "Why I don't want Roman Catholic priests to marry." Because that's most likely what the author means to actually say. And then, as you read the article and come across theological arguments that simply don't follow from the perspective (or experience) of the East, keep this struggle for western Catholic identity in mind. Don't take offense to stuff like this, is what I'm trying to say. Quite the contrary. Pity (in charity, not condescendingly) those who have lost a full sense of who they are as Catholic Christians.

Peace be with you.
Posted By: bergschlawiner

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 04/08/14 03:22 AM

Isn't it history that at Christ's time it was more likely for pagan clergy to be celibate in their temples and the mainstream Jewish clergy including the high priests were all married. The only exception were the Nazorites who were more of a desert sect.
Posted By: Talon

Re: "Why I Don't Want Priests to Marry"-UGH!!! - 04/08/14 02:36 PM

I'm not a historian, so I couldn't tell you. wink But it doesn't really matter either. Let's say what you suggest happens to be true. If the inference is that being celibate is some sort of evil or, at least, lesser state than the married life, the inference is incorrect. Multiple saints and Christ himself are pretty clear on the matter.

Celibacy (for the sake of the kingdom, not just for its own sake) is an objectively higher form of life than marriage is inasmuch as it reflects that higher state of life lived in Beatitude. (cf. Matt 22:23-30)
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