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So, basically, Paul says I high-balled the figure. I worked with Census Bureau figures, but that's neither here nor there. What I said was my figure was sustainable even by small parishes. Paul says a priest could live on half as much, which means married priests are eminently affordable. Any attempt to say that money is an impediment to restoring the married priesthood should be seen for what it is--a lame excuse to justify maintenance of the status quo.

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Originally Posted by StuartK
So, basically, Paul says I high-balled the figure. I worked with Census Bureau figures, but that's neither here nor there. What I said was my figure was sustainable even by small parishes. Paul says a priest could live on half as much, which means married priests are eminently affordable. Any attempt to say that money is an impediment to restoring the married priesthood should be seen for what it is--a lame excuse to justify maintenance of the status quo.

Stuart,

I know his user name doesn't state it but Paul is Deacon Paul. I will also have to disagree with Fr. Deacon Paul. I have a family of six and could not make it on $45k and I live far from extravagantly. As it is some parishes could pay $75k, others could not. It is at the same time and excuse and a reality.

What will the people pay and what will they expect? They could pay $15k like a local OCA parishes pays its priest but they will have to accept the priest is going to have a full time job and still need time with his family so they will be pretty much limited to Sunday Liturgy. Or they could pay over $100k like a local GOA parish and have what they are used to.


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Originally Posted by StuartK
In the near term, the Eastern Catholic Churches in the U.S. could look for its married priests among more mature men for whom it would represent a "second career". Being retired, they would have their own life and health insurance already, and would not have small children to support. This would ease the financial burden on the eparchies (though I note that the Orthodox manage to support married priests even at very small parishes).

That was Metropolitan Judson's plan. I don't see any retirees lining up at SS Cyril and Methodius's door. Even the retired among my fellow deacons don't want to do this. How many retirees really want to start a full time job in retirement? Now if the bishops would consider a priest simplex idea without the years of seminary or responsibility of prish administration you might get some takers but I don't see the bishops doing this.


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I knew quite a few mature individuals who would seriously considered applying for ordination IF the Church had simply made an unambiguous statement that it truly intended to ordain married men. No such statement was ever forthcoming, but a lot of temporizing and equivocation was. And you will note that I said most of these priests could, initially, be used on a part-time basis, either as assistant pastors or to celebrate the Divine Liturgy at those parishes that already lack a priest and are served by a priest already caring for two or three other parishes.

The bishops have a tendency to make better the enemy of the good, while not having any plant to implement the better.

I could accept a priest who worked full time. The Apostle Paul (not to be confused with the Deacon) did so, and still considered himself an Apostle. The Melkites have married priests who also work full time; they seem to get by.

As for the level of compensation, I picked $75,000 because that seemed to me, based on my experience in analyzing such things for companies bidding on government proposals, to be a reasonable and fair salary, particularly if housing was included as part of the deal. In some parts of the country you can get by on less, in others you might need more. But, as I showed, paying a priest $75,000 per year does not impose an insufferable burden upon the members of a parish as small as fifty families. They just have to stop being the tight-fisted people they have always been.

By way of comparison, look at the Reformed Jewish rabbinate. It is typical for a new rabbi at a suburban synagogue to make more than $100,000 per year, while an experienced rabbi at one of the elite urban synagogues might pull in more than $300,000--plus car, plus house. In comparison, are we asking so much of our people to cough up $75,000 a year so that they might celebrate the Divine Liturgy on a regular basis?

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I have serious doubts that any Catholic under the age of 60 would be scandalized by a married priest, here in America.

You would be surprised. There is, among younger Catholics, and especially those who converted from Protestanism, a very strong streak of rigorism. I was surprised indeed to find quite a number of them militantly opposed to the ordination of married men in the Anglican ordinariate, giving reasons which one might expect to hear from some octogenarian ultramontanist: "How can a man be married to God if he's married to a woman?" "A married priest won't be able to give his full attention to his duties". Even ritual purity excuses (the cootie problem). Attempts to explain that married men already serve, and have always served, in the Eastern Churches revealed a nasty tendency towards anti-Eastern bias: married priests may be good enough for the Eastern Churches, but the Roman Church has preserved the purity of the Apostolic tradition. Pushed on the matter, it does seem they think of our married priests (never mind their own) as being "second class". They honestly believe that clerical celibacy is a divine mandate which should be obligatory in all Churches--which puts them in the position of being more Catholic than the Pope, but such is frequently the case. A lot of these new, zealous young Latins are down on everything done by Vatican II, prefer the Tridentine Mass (because they never knew it in its heyday), live in terror of clown Masses and guitars, and believe that everything was just hunky dory back in 1963, so why did the Church have to muddy the waters? They tell themselves that nothing in Vatican II is "dogmatic", so they aren't obliged to accept its teachings, and yet they profess to love and obey the Pope. They are, for all intents and purposes, non-schismatic members of the SSPX.

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Originally Posted by StuartK
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I have serious doubts that any Catholic under the age of 60 would be scandalized by a married priest, here in America.

You would be surprised. There is, among younger Catholics, and especially those who converted from Protestanism, a very strong streak of rigorism. I was surprised indeed to find quite a number of them militantly opposed to the ordination of married men in the Anglican ordinariate, giving reasons which one might expect to hear from some octogenarian ultramontanist: "How can a man be married to God if he's married to a woman?" "A married priest won't be able to give his full attention to his duties". Even ritual purity excuses (the cootie problem). Attempts to explain that married men already serve, and have always served, in the Eastern Churches revealed a nasty tendency towards anti-Eastern bias: married priests may be good enough for the Eastern Churches, but the Roman Church has preserved the purity of the Apostolic tradition. Pushed on the matter, it does seem they think of our married priests (never mind their own) as being "second class". They honestly believe that clerical celibacy is a divine mandate which should be obligatory in all Churches--which puts them in the position of being more Catholic than the Pope, but such is frequently the case. A lot of these new, zealous young Latins are down on everything done by Vatican II, prefer the Tridentine Mass (because they never knew it in its heyday), live in terror of clown Masses and guitars, and believe that everything was just hunky dory back in 1963, so why did the Church have to muddy the waters? They tell themselves that nothing in Vatican II is "dogmatic", so they aren't obliged to accept its teachings, and yet they profess to love and obey the Pope. They are, for all intents and purposes, non-schismatic members of the SSPX.

This is a caricature which seems to exist mainly on the internet. The RC's I know of the Wacky Latin Masser Variety are entirely supportive of the Anglican ordinariate, including the ordination of married formerly Anglican ministers.

Celibacy in priests is something we value highly and recommend above any other practice.

Your remarks about the Mass and decades past entirely miss the mark, except for the caricature. Also, as a point of fact, the members of the SSPX are all "non-schismatic" so the distinction seems unnecessary, begging the question, and a strawman.

Otherwise, despite the error-ridden route you took to arrive, you are right to conclude that married clergy, except by way of exception, would not be embraced by RC's, especially those of us under 60.

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particularly if housing was included as part of the deal

Years ago the OCA had a series in its national newspaper that discussed the place housing should have in clergy compensation. The suggestion was that if the parish provided housing rather than a housing allowance, then the priest should have some value added to the package so that hew ould not lose the equity ordinarily gained by each year he would ahve paid on a home of his own. The rationale was that at some point he would leave parish housing and need to buy his own place. Beyond that, something had to be in place in the event he died while not yet retired and his wife and family needed the money to buy a place of their own. I remember a case of a priest who died in an auto accident and his wife was given 30 days to vacate the parish home following his death. Justice seems to demand that we not make clergy families homeless in that case.

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I would agree that it seems to be pretty much a caricature, although I know a couple of people who might meet those standards.
Anyhow, I agree that many young catholics are way more traditionalist than their elders and so have a gut reaction against anything that seems liberal. I'd be considered one of them by many people...

However, this raises an important issue which I constantly repeat, which is the fact that married priesthood has been hijacked as a cause by ultra-liberals who also tend to promote female ordination and, worse, put them all on the same level. This is a great shame and something which will always affect serious discussion of the matter.
Even if they recognize that doctrinally they are two seperate issues, they see it as a slippery slope.

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StuartK, I'd add myself to the voices pointing out that your depiction is a caricature.

I'm not even convinced it's a particularly accurate one. It's certainly not helpful to use such harsh and uncharitable words in building bridges between communities that are and should be part of the same Church.

In many places, there are strong ties between the "traditionalist" (for lack of a better word) and Eastern Rite communities. I sang Roman Vespers according to the 1962 Rite last night, tonight I'll be singing Vespers according to the Russian Rite. There's a Latin Daily Missal and a Jordanville Prayer Book sitting on the desk where I'm typing this.

(Theophan made the point I was going to make about accruing equity.)

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Here's an interesting take on a celibate clergy. Celibate Civil Unions [cnn.com]. Perhaps this merits another thread.

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StuartK, I'd add myself to the voices pointing out that your depiction is a caricature.

Shall I link to the discussions I had, which went pretty much the way I described? Here is one:

Understanding Married Priesthood [osv.com]

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Stuart isn't depicting a caricature as I have run into the same people. For goodness sakes I've seen a married priest ordained through the pastoral provision argue against the married priesthood. There is a lot of ignorance and misconception surrounding the issue pretending it doesn't exist won't help.


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Except Stuart that it wasn't. You wrote "There is, among younger Catholics, and especially those who converted from Protestanism" etc.

The conversation you link to the early critical voices that describe their backgrounds are someone who calls herself "oldwoman" and someone who says they converted in their fifties. These are not the young converts. These are not, "new, zealous young Latins."

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There's a lot of ignorance and misconception about lots of things. But we can admit that without blaming it on young, Latins (converts or not converts) who like the Latin Mass, especially since many of those people are working hard to support the Eastern Churches.

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Originally Posted by StuartK
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StuartK, I'd add myself to the voices pointing out that your depiction is a caricature.

Shall I link to the discussions I had, which went pretty much the way I described? Here is one:

Understanding Married Priesthood [osv.com]

I'm not sure if maybe I missed the part about the Latin mass and Vatican II, but from what I read you were arguing with a person demonstrating pretty comprehensive ignorance.

I point out in addition that this is another internet debate and I said to begin with that the type you describe lives mainly online.

Us nutso Latin trads, in my experience, are completely supportive of a full and perfect restoration of the Eastern traditions, as well as our own.

As far as the ordination of married formerly Anglicans, we take what seems to me now as a very Eastern approach, embracing a derivation from the law for the good of souls. The ordinariate, too, has been universally supported and rejoiced over by those of us on the rigorous fringe of RCism.

I don't want to derail the discussion and I've said my peace.

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