www.byzcath.org
Does anyone know where to find a list of canonical impediments to ordination to the priesthood or diaconate in the Orthodox Church?

Joe
Posted By: Etnick Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 10/29/07 08:41 PM
I can tell you that one of them is having a tattoo. My priest saw mine and said I could never be a priest.
Posted By: AMM Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 10/29/07 08:47 PM
I know a priest with a tattoo.
Posted By: Etnick Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 10/29/07 08:49 PM
He didn't explain why, and I didn't press the issue, but that's what he said. Maybe it applies only to Orthodox priests? confused
Posted By: ebed melech Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 10/29/07 09:05 PM
hmmm...I've never heard of that being an impediment. Does it matter if it is visible?

I could see this being an impediment, though....

[Linked Image]

I believe one impediment has to do with whether or not your spouse is Orthodox...

Gordo laugh
Posted By: AMM Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 10/29/07 09:11 PM
Originally Posted by Etnick
He didn't explain why, and I didn't press the issue, but that's what he said. Maybe it applies only to Orthodox priests? confused

The priest I know is Orthodox. I personally don't see what the big deal would be.
Posted By: Etnick Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 10/29/07 09:12 PM
I'll ask Father this Sunday. wink
This is precisely why I'm interested in seeing a list based on the actual canons of the Church, because I hear all sorts of things from people that sound strange to me. For example, this is the first time I've heard about tattoos barring someone from the clergy. I once had my ear pierced as a teenager, does that bar me?

Joe
In the old days, for instance, one could not have married an actress...because actresses at that time engaged in sexually immorality.

Canons forbid someone who has shed blood (killed) from becoming a priest, though today exceptions may have been made for soldiers.

Currently, active "impediments" sometimes differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction: Divorce (of either the candidate or his spouse) could exclude someone today in the Antiochian Archdiocese. A clean criminal record would be a definite prerequisite. If you are married, your spouse and children must be Orthodox in good standing, and your wife must support your ordination.

I've never seen a priest with a pierced ear, but I'm not aware of anyone being denied for that reason lately.

----------
Western Orthodoxy Blog [westernorthodox.blogspot.com]
Originally Posted by Western Orthodox
In the old days, for instance, one could not have married an actress...because actresses at that time engaged in sexually immorality.

Canons forbid someone who has shed blood (killed) from becoming a priest, though today exceptions may have been made for soldiers.

Currently, active "impediments" sometimes differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction: Divorce (of either the candidate or his spouse) could exclude someone today in the Antiochian Archdiocese. A clean criminal record would be a definite prerequisite. If you are married, your spouse and children must be Orthodox in good standing, and your wife must support your ordination.

I've never seen a priest with a pierced ear, but I'm not aware of anyone being denied for that reason lately.

----------
Western Orthodoxy Blog [westernorthodox.blogspot.com]

Okay, thanks. This is helpful. The pierced ear was from my foolish youth, so I am not too worried about it anyway.

Joe
Posted By: Dr. Eric Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 10/31/07 01:48 AM
Originally Posted by Etnick
I can tell you that one of them is having a tattoo. My priest saw mine and said I could never be a priest.

Get it removed.
Posted By: Etnick Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 10/31/07 05:38 AM
Originally Posted by Dr. Eric
Originally Posted by Etnick
I can tell you that one of them is having a tattoo. My priest saw mine and said I could never be a priest.

Get it removed.

Bite your tongue! I'm proud of the three bar cross on my arm! biggrin
Posted By: Jim Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 10/31/07 02:37 PM
Another impediment I've heard of, at least as far as Orthodoxy is concerned, is killing someone. That includes soldiers in battle.

One important source for answering questions like this one is Volume 14 of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, entitled "The Seven Ecumenical Councils". It includes their canons and dogmatic decrees, as well as the canons of all the local synods that have received ecumenical acceptance. Pages 638-649 of the subject index in the back deals with Clergy in particular, referring to the rest of the book.
Posted By: Dr. Eric Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 10/31/07 05:27 PM
Originally Posted by Etnick
Originally Posted by Dr. Eric
Originally Posted by Etnick
I can tell you that one of them is having a tattoo. My priest saw mine and said I could never be a priest.

Get it removed.

Bite your tongue! I'm proud of the three bar cross on my arm! biggrin

Well, if you want to be ordained, you gotta tow the line. wink
Posted By: EdHash Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/02/07 01:50 AM
How about marriage?
Ed
Not in the East Ed smile

A Priest has to be married before he is ordained and IIRC so does a Deacon.
Hi,

For Permanent Deacons in the Latin Church, this is true as well.

In general, an ordained man cannot get married. Married men can be ordianed.

Shalom,
Memo
Posted By: EdHash Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/03/07 01:41 PM
Originally Posted by Our Lady's slave
Not in the East Ed smile

Nor in the Roman Catholic Church. I know two Roman Catholic priests who are married. As for the *East*, I would like to have that qualified a bit more.

The real test is whether those students of divinity or seminarians who are Eastern Catholic know they are free to marry prior to ordination? I know Orthodox seminarians can, but can all Eastern Catholics in THIS (USA) country?

My Byzantine Catholic aunt tells me that her bishop (name withheld) will NOT ordain married men, and another (name withheld) seeks permission from Rome. If marriage was not an impediment to ordination then why the absolute refusal on one hand and red tape on the other?

If a married man contemplates seminary training or a single man contemplates it (with an eye to getting married), can they enter the seminary and train to be priests? If no impediment, as Our Lady's Slave states, then is this path freely open without hindrance? If so, then explain to me the program or student manual that clarifies this freedom.

Ed
Posted By: theophan Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/03/07 01:47 PM
Quote
If marriage was not an impediment to ordination then why the absolute refusal on one hand and red tape on the other?

ED:

A good question on this beautiful Saturday morning. If I or any of our Eastern Catholic brethren having this same frustration could answer that . . . As it is, we just throw up our hands and wonder with you.

Quote
I know two Roman Catholic priests who are married.

True enough. There are some former Anglican ministers who have come to the CAtholic Church and been allowed to continue their service as priests. But it takes quite a while to get permission from Rome for them to begin their journey. And for many, the only ministry open is one that does not involve serving in a parish. We are supposed to have one in my diocese but the last I heard he ws resticted to campus ministry as a chaplain.

In Christ,

BOB
Posted By: EdHash Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/03/07 01:53 PM
Originally Posted by theophan
Quote
I know two Roman Catholic priests who are married.

True enough. There are some former Anglican ministers who have come to the CAtholic Church and been allowed to continue their service as priests. But it takes quite a while to get permission from Rome for them to begin their journey. And for many, the only ministry open is one that does not involve serving in a parish. We are supposed to have one in my diocese but the last I heard he ws resticted to campus ministry as a chaplain.

Bob,

Why is this so? Are they priests or not? Why the two tier priesthood? This implies second class priesthood. I know several former Protestant clergyman who became Orthodox and all of them are pastors of their own church communities. The Orthodox don't seem to have a difficulty with this as much as the Catholics. Is it because marriage is held in higher esteem there?

Ed
Posted By: EdHash Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/03/07 01:56 PM
Originally Posted by theophan
Quote
If marriage was not an impediment to ordination then why the absolute refusal on one hand and red tape on the other?

ED:

A good question on this beautiful Saturday morning. If I or any of our Eastern Catholic brethren having this same frustration could answer that . . . As it is, we just throw up our hands and wonder with you.

Theophan/BOB,

So, impediments DO exist that prevent ordination for some (or most) men unlike what Our Lady's slave states. But I think she was referring to the Orthodox who do not let marriage be an impediment.

Posted By: EdHash Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/03/07 02:01 PM
Originally Posted by Memo Rodriguez
Hi,

For Permanent Deacons in the Latin Church, this is true as well.

In general, an ordained man cannot get married. Married men can be ordianed.

Shalom,
Memo

I am aware of the order - marriage before ordination. The topic was about impediments *to* (understood as *before*) ordination. Marriage DOES seem to be one such impediment (in the U.S.).

Ed
Posted By: Dr. Eric Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/03/07 02:33 PM
It depends on the discipline of the Church and the prudent judgment of the hierarchy.
Ed ,

I stick by what I said - strictly speaking there is NO problem providing that the Priest-to-be or Deacon-to-be was married before ordination.

There was a historical problem though - it was thought that celibacy was the ideal , and it still is for RC Priests. This period was a sad time in our history as I'm sure that you can understand - it's been mentioned enough in the past on Byzcath

HOWEVER

In recent years married candidates have been ordained, and will be in future , in the Eastern Catholic Churches where the tradition has been of a married clergy , not all EC Priests are married , many are celibate.

As to RC Priests being married - if you ask them you will find they were married before they entered the RC Church and were Ministers of Religion in another denomination.

I hope this helps
Posted By: EdHash Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/03/07 05:58 PM
Originally Posted by Our Lady's slave
I stick by what I said - strictly speaking there is NO problem providing that the Priest-to-be or Deacon-to-be was married before ordination.

If no problem in theory, but why in practice? My Byzantine Catholic aunt says that one of their church members wishes to be a priest, but was told that his desire to marry (he has a girlfriend who stated she can wait for him to finish studies) prevents him from the bishop sponsoring him. I am not naming names, but it seems that what is tradition is not what is practiced. So, in conclusion, I would say that there still are impediments to ordination.

Originally Posted by Our Lady's slave
In recent years married candidates have been ordained, and will be in future , in the Eastern Catholic Churches where the tradition has been of a married clergy , not all EC Priests are married , many are celibate.

Do all current divinity students or seminarians have that option today? What is the average age of a married priest being ordained?

Originally Posted by Our Lady's slave
As to RC Priests being married - if you ask them you will find they were married before they entered the RC Church and were Ministers of Religion in another denomination.

So a married minister who wants to be a Catholic priest has it easier than a Byzantine Catholic seminarian? I recommend that they become ministers in other denominations before applying to the priesthood. This I call the fully assembled clergyman ready for ordination.

Ed
Posted By: Zan Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/03/07 08:05 PM
Originally Posted by EdHash
Why is this so? Are they priests or not? Why the two tier priesthood? This implies second class priesthood.

No, Edhash, it does not. Roman Catholics have celibate priests, that is how Roman Catholics do things. Believe it or not Roman Catholic parishes tend to be quite big and believe it or not large parishes require a lot of time. So by putting a married priest at a hospital job frees up the celibate priest for parish work, this way the married priest can have some family life and maybe a job on the side. I don't know why you can't respect that.

Originally Posted by EdHash
I know several former Protestant clergyman who became Orthodox and all of them are pastors of their own church communities. The Orthodox don't seem to have a difficulty with this as much as the Catholics. Is it because marriage is held in higher esteem there?

Ed

Yep, us Unionizin' Homo-discriminatin' Immaculate Conception' havin' Catlicks HATE marriage - that's why that old Polish guy wrote so much about it during his 20 year reign as the successor of St. Peter, and that's why we don't believe in divorce.

Edhash it is quite obvious you have an axe to grind with the Catholic Church, I mean even the ex-Catholic Orthodox here show us more respect.

Originally Posted by EdHash
So a married minister who wants to be a Catholic priest has it easier than a Byzantine Catholic seminarian? I recommend that they become ministers in other denominations before applying to the priesthood. This I call the fully assembled clergyman ready for ordination.
Edhash, what religion are you (Anglican, Baptist, Methodist etc)? I mean this is a religion forum and you are (I guess) attepmting to debate... so I think I have a right to ask that question. Because no Catholic (or Orthodox I know) would EVER suggest doing this... the mere thought makes me sick.
Ed

I wish you would get off your soapbox about this.

Our tradition in the East is that priests may be married - it is their choice. neither you nor anyone can take that away from them.

RC priests on the other hand are expected to abide by the discipline of celibacy - if they wish to be priests then they know they are to be celibate.

However things have got more complicated with some married Clergy from other denominations entering Catholicism - these applications are considered on their individual merits.

You certainly seem to have a problem with this - get over it please.
Ed,

Just to provide some clarification here. There was a directive from Rome, implemented around 100 years ago (maybe a bit more, I'd have to find the document) that prohibted Eastern Catholics from importing married priests or from ordaining married men to the priesthood in the United States and Canada. This was at the request of the Latin bishops who feared confusion among the laity.

That prohibition is no longer in force, and technically hasn't been since the Second Vatican Council although until the first married man was ordained here in the U.S. (by Bishop JOHN or the Melkites) there had been no real test of the change. Ruthenian bishops had decided among themselves to seek permission from Rome because they were not sure of the canonical status of the former prohibition.

As has been noted, marriage is not an impediment to Orders, but Orders are an impediment to marriage. Thus, there is no canonical or theological reason why a married man cannot be ordained. There are bishops, however, who prefer not to ordain married men, and that is their right as bishops.

I hope this addresses your issues and questions.

Fr. Deacon Ed
I was told by the same Bishop John (after he had ordained a married man to the priesthood) that there would be no repeats of ordaining married men and that it was not possible for a Melkite married man to be ordained in the United States.

My understanding of things is that the retention of married clergy for the Eastern Churches is a "dispensation" for those Eastern Churches in the old country. But Eastern Catholics in the west are expected to conform to the Latin rules for celibate priests, even if it is no longer explicitly stated in canon law. In other words, a Melkite Bishop could ordain a married man here, but then he would likely get a call from the Vatican and a big slap on the wrist telling him that it was a "no no." That is apparently true to this day.

Joe
Posted By: EdHash Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/04/07 12:57 AM
Originally Posted by FrDeaconEd
As has been noted, marriage is not an impediment to Orders, but Orders are an impediment to marriage. Thus, there is no canonical or theological reason why a married man cannot be ordained. There are bishops, however, who prefer not to ordain married men, and that is their right as bishops.

I hope this addresses your issues and questions.

Fr. Deacon Ed

Dear Fr. Deacon Ed,

Thank you for the explanation. It seems to be a matter of episcopal choice in some cases. If that is what it is then that is OK.

Our Lady's slave,

I wasn't trying to preach from some soapbox; only trying to determine the reasons for inconsistencies. Fr. Deacon Ed was kind enough to state the situation matter of factly. Do I not have the right to inquire? I am currently in a state of spiritual flux. I just migh be church hunting and need to turn over every stone before I make any commitments.

I am leaning to the Orthodox. I must confess that the Eastern Catholic churches seem to be a hybrid church that is neither all here or all there. I cannot fathom living out the rest of my life trying to determine if I am more *Catholic* or more *Byzantine*. I would think that it is perfectly alright to be both one and the same without some false dichotomy; trying to prove one over the other.

What is so wrong with being Byzantine Catholic without hesitation?

I like the idea of the East being in the same church umbrella as the West/Rome. But here are my observations:

1. The model of church which is the unia or Eastern Catholic is not one and the same with the First Millenia church. Eastern bishops, from what I read, were not under the Pope of Rome. But Eastern Catholic bishops today are. The First Millenia church ended at the end of the First Millenia.

2. That Rome has rejected the very model that the Eastern Catholic churches were created by tells me that this church model is null and void. However, Eastern Catholics exist, they have a right to exist (I believe), and Rome now has to live with its decisions. Eastern Catholicism seems to be a discounted form of Eastern Christianity.

3. My questions might bother some here, but I can't but help notice that the only ones getting peturbed are Byzantine Catholic mostly. I can only imagine visiting one of your parishes, asking a question, and getting the boot. My questions on this thread are about what I perceive to be a second class clergy. As usual, the typical responses have been ad hominem. Fortunately, Fr. Deacon Ed has answered my questions by putting things into perspective. I thank him for it.

4. I ask a lot of questions. Maybe they seem to be from a soapbox. But I know more about the Byzantine Catholic churches than you think. But these issues I am not permitted to discuss publically. I will respect the policy of these forums. I do have Byzantine Catholic family who deal with these issues. If you don't like my questions then you don't like my Byzantine Catholic family. Some of these topics are of heated discussions in their homes. I see the distraught and frustration on some of their experiences. I also see the joy and prayer life that illuminates their lives as good Christians.

5. The Eastern Churches, including the Catholic ones, have a treasure chest of spiritual riches and customs. My main beaf is why would anyone not open that treasure chest and enjoy the rich benefits? Why would anyone prefer to wear junk or costume jewelry instead? If Byzantine Catholics have a just theology thta is just as equal as any other church (assuming they are not heretics), why does that theology have to be replaced, supplemented, based on other foundations to be accepted? The Administrator wrote several times on another forum that the churches, Byzantine Catholic ones, have to first enrich themselves or get acqauinted with their OWN traditions FIRST (not exactly in these words) before tinkering with it, namely their own worship service. I agree with this. You can't change something if what you are changing is not bona fide originals.

6. In all my contacts with Orthodox clergymen, I have never been insulted. The EXPECT stupid questions and signs of ignorance. I don't feel threatened in my pursuit of answers.

7. I don't have a *problem* with former Protestant ministers getting ordained in the Catholic Church. I just view the ministries they are allowed (non parish oriented) as a sense of second class priesthood. Not being able to be a pastor is troubling. It is like their new ministry is not good enough. It is not my problem that i only point out the reality that these same ministers can get ordained in the Orthodox Churches and then find themselves really pastoring a parish of souls like their fellow clergymen who were born into the Orthodox Churches. It is not me, but this radically different forms of treatment and acceptance between the Catholic and Orthodox churches that is the real problem. If the Catholic Church had married priests, would these former Protestant ministers be treated as second class or junior priests? That the Catholic Church mandates celibacy, I can only think or imagine that this two tier system is to give or prefer the celibate clergy (the more honored ones) with parishes. I would think that a married clergyman would be just as viable in a parish setting, that his perspective in marriage would be a plus, that his dedication to a wife and children (if any) would keep him humble. The culture of celibacy is not a secret. If I gave up the opportunity to be married (to a real nice gal) for the sake of ministry, I would be a bit angered that those who came into the fold from the outside and got ordained would get the same opportunities as I. If they were given non-parish ministries (out of sight) then I would feel thta i got something out of it (out of me giving up the married life). It is the give-and-take that i would expect.

Ed
Posted By: EdHash Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/04/07 01:18 AM
Originally Posted by Zan
Originally Posted by EdHash
So a married minister who wants to be a Catholic priest has it easier than a Byzantine Catholic seminarian? I recommend that they become ministers in other denominations before applying to the priesthood. This I call the fully assembled clergyman ready for ordination.
Edhash, what religion are you (Anglican, Baptist, Methodist etc)? I mean this is a religion forum and you are (I guess) attepmting to debate... so I think I have a right to ask that question. Because no Catholic (or Orthodox I know) would EVER suggest doing this... the mere thought makes me sick.

It is the joke being passed around in my Byzantine Catholic family. Must you take everything I write seriously? Can't you see the humor?

Concerning my Byzantine Catholic family, their nephew can no longer contemplate a married priesthood because he is not permitted. He has discerned the *gift* of celibacy, and has concluded that he never got it. He is thinking becoming Orthodox, going to the former church of his mother. His family joked that he should become a Protestant minister (like his uncle) then apply for priesthood later since he might have a better chance then. Again, just a joke. OK?

Ed
Originally Posted by EdHash
Originally Posted by Zan
Originally Posted by EdHash
So a married minister who wants to be a Catholic priest has it easier than a Byzantine Catholic seminarian? I recommend that they become ministers in other denominations before applying to the priesthood. This I call the fully assembled clergyman ready for ordination.
Edhash, what religion are you (Anglican, Baptist, Methodist etc)? I mean this is a religion forum and you are (I guess) attepmting to debate... so I think I have a right to ask that question. Because no Catholic (or Orthodox I know) would EVER suggest doing this... the mere thought makes me sick.

It is the joke being passed around in my Byzantine Catholic family. Must you take everything I write seriously? Can't you see the humor?

Concerning my Byzantine Catholic family, their nephew can no longer contemplate a married priesthood because he is not permitted. He has discerned the *gift* of celibacy, and has concluded that he never got it. He is thinking becoming Orthodox, going to the former church of his mother. His family joked that he should become a Protestant minister (like his uncle) then apply for priesthood later since he might have a better chance then. Again, just a joke. OK?

Ed

Yet, Ed, it is a joke that is quite poignant and reveals the absurdity of the current rules regarding mandatory celibacy; especially since Rome doesn't consider Anglican and protestant orders to be valid.

Joe
"I just view the ministries they are allowed (non parish oriented) as a sense of second class priesthood."

Unless I am mistaken, this is not always the case. Their placement is determined by the bishop, there are married priests in Houston. I met one at a bookstore and his wife is an Episcopalian minister. When I asked him how his home life is, he told me that it was hard and that his wife does not understand his conversion. He can not divorce; if his wife leaves him on her volition he cannot remarry and will keep to a vow of chastity.

I must disagree with your judgment of the ministry you describe. I cannot imagine a priest whose clerical duties are assigned to a hospital as "second tier". Is absolution unimportant?

Terry
Posted By: Zan Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/04/07 03:01 AM
Originally Posted by Terry Bohannon
I must disagree with your judgment of the ministry you describe. I cannot imagine a priest whose clerical duties are assigned to a hospital as "second tier". Is absolution unimportant?

Terry

Indeed, I guess there is no merit in ministry to the old, sick, and dying. Such a position is in my opinion much more honorable than parish work.

Edhash, we very different views of what is humorous since I see no joke, only snide comments towards celibacy. If one can�t be handle celibacy, don�t be a priest. Even if one dose get married before becoming a priest there is always a chance that the wife would die before the man, then what? In the bible St. Paul says one should live a celibate life and only marry if you can�t control yourself.
Posted By: Zan Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/04/07 03:14 AM
Originally Posted by JSMelkiteOrthodoxy
Yet, Ed, it is a joke that is quite poignant and reveals the absurdity of the current rules regarding mandatory celibacy; especially since Rome doesn't consider Anglican and protestant orders to be valid.

Joe

I really see no absurdity at all, nor do "valid orders" have anything to do with it. It has to do with the fact the training for Anglican ministers (and to a lesser extent some Lutherans) is very similar to the training of Catholic priests, and the parish structure also has many similarities not to mention the valuable pastoral experience that these men have.

In some diocese the bishop assigns such men to a parish, in other dioceses the bishop assigns them to hospital ministry or educational roles.
Posted By: Zan Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/04/07 03:27 AM
Edhash, it is unfortunate that your relative cannot marry and be a priest since it his tradition, but in the United States the bishop has a right to decide whether or not he wants married priests in his eparchy. I will pray for your nephew tonight that he finds happiness and his true vocation, where ever that may be.
Posted By: Collin Nunis Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/04/07 03:27 AM
Its easier for an Orthodox to become a Catholic priest. As their orders are recognised, Orthodox priests are merely incardinated into ministry.
Greetings from Florida -- just to let you know, there are Ukrainian Catholic Married Clergy "working" here in FL. I know one in Ohio, who has been here at our parish to celebrate Divine Liturgy.
There is probably not enough space in this forum to debate the pro's and con's of a married clergy. I was fortunate enough to know a few when I lived in PA., among them Fr. Stephen Loya. He was probably one of the kindest, most spiritual priests I had ever known at the time -- with many children who continue to serve our churches even today. The politics of Latin Rite / Greek Catholic officials in the 1930's and '40's had a lot to do with the current celibacy requirement.
Those "old days" are gone. Meanwhile, let us all pray that the Holy Spirit will enlighten us all, and prepare us for whatever is to come. The revitalization of the deacon program is a good beginning -- We are fortunate at our parish to have a deacon who has kept our church together for the last few years, without the luxury of a full time, resident pastor.
Tomorrow at Liturgy, we can all pray for guidance.
Posted By: Nan Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/04/07 04:40 AM
pilgrimcantor, it dates back to Archbishop John Ireland's refusal to recognize the credentials of Fr. Alexis Toth in 1891.

Ed Hash, if you have Byzantine family, you must realize that due to the above, which resulted in thousands of Greek Catholics becoming Orthodox, your statement of leaning toward orthodoxy combined with your negativity toward Byzantine church is likely to be viewed as contentious.

No organization remains static for 2000 years.


Posted By: EdHash Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/04/07 12:57 PM
Originally Posted by Terry Bohannon
I must disagree with your judgment of the ministry you describe. I cannot imagine a priest whose clerical duties are assigned to a hospital as "second tier". Is absolution unimportant?

Terry,

I don't consider assignments to hospitals a second tier ministry. I've volunteered in hospitals and found it both challenging and enlightening. I view the way former Protestant ministers as second class. They are not good enough for parish ministry. Might it publicize their marriage too much for comfort? Listen. in the Roman Catholic church becoming a pastor of a church can take years. I know this from Catholic friends. After all the work then comes someone from the outside who jumps in front and gets a parish assignment? no way!

Ed
Posted By: EdHash Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/04/07 01:00 PM
Originally Posted by Zan
If one can�t be handle celibacy, don�t be a priest.

So celibacy IS an impediment to vocations as much as marriage is an impediment to ordination. Strange.

I have nothing aganist those who choose celibacy or have the gift. They are spiritual heroes in my book.

would you say that Byzantine Catholic vocations to the priesthood who also have a desire to marry are not called to serve in their church?

Ed
Posted By: Job Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/04/07 01:06 PM
Quote
That prohibition is no longer in force, and technically hasn't been since the Second Vatican Council although until the first married man was ordained here in the U.S. (by Bishop JOHN or the Melkites) there had been no real test of the change.

Well we can not forget the ordination of married men by the UGCC in Canada back in the 1970's...(shortly after Vatican II) if I remember correctly Rome did not allow the priests to serve...and tried to severely discipline the bishop...and although I was pretty young at the time...I believe the priests went into and out of ministry (I believe after the dust settled years later they all continued to function as priests in the UGCC)...it was a long battle between the bishop and Rome and if I remember correctly Rome was pretty "heavy handed"
So I don't think it's right to say cum data feurit or Ea Semper were not in force as of Vatican II...
Quote
Ruthenian bishops had decided among themselves to seek permission from Rome because they were not sure of the canonical status of the former prohibition.

If I remember correctly the Norms that were presented to Rome under Metropolitan Judson explicitly stated that married men would no longer be excluded from ordination to the priesthood...it was when Rome "pushed back hard" that the Ruthenian bishops decided to end the conflict and seek permission from Rome...
Posted By: Ung-Certez Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/04/07 01:21 PM
Funny, when issuing the RDL we are a Sui Juris Metropolitan Church that doesn't need Rome's approval. If the Byzantine Metropolitan Church of America is Sui Juris, why do they need Rome's approval to ordain married men to the priesthood?

U-C
Posted By: Stephanos I Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/04/07 04:10 PM
You guys need to read the new Eastern Code of Canon Law, marriage is not an impediment to ordination.
Stephanos I
Posted By: Job Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/04/07 07:10 PM
Fr. Stephanos...

With all due respect...I think what the issue is in regards to Married clergy it's not Eastern Canon Law...the issue is the Ruthenian bishops who don't have the "guts" to stand up and be eastern...it gets back to a problem that I have loudly proclaimed in other threads...with Rome appointing the bishops they are "puppets of Rome"...when Rome wants something (or in this case doesn't want something) the puppets do what Rome wants...I was pleased when I learned they have ordained a married man in Parma...I think Ung is correct in that it is very interesting when the church Sui Juris status is invoked and when it isn't...

I think this still stays on track speaking about canonical impediments to ordination...

Chris
And the reason that they don't have the "guts" so to speak is that they know that there are folks in the Vatican who chastise them in private if they go ahead and ordain married men. Certainly, this is not in canon law, but the whole culture of suspicion toward the byzantine Churches still exists among the Roman hierarchy.

Joe
Posted By: Ung-Certez Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/05/07 02:06 PM
...and Roman Catholic bishops probably would no longer allow their priests to have Bi-Ritual faculties to serve in the Sui Juris Metropolitan Byzantine Church of America. They would probably not offer their churches to be used for the start of mission parishes as well. I believe that is why they are afraid to ordain married men to the priesthood, they don't want to lose the use of Roman Bi-Ritual priests that serve in the Metropolia.

U-C
U-C,

Which is all the more reason why this situation is absurd.

Joe
Posted By: Ung-Certez Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/05/07 02:18 PM
Yes, it's a vicious circle that will doom the Metropolia causing contraction and not expansion of the Metropolia.

U-C
Yes, very true. I see this among the Melkites as well. In the Antiochian Orthodox Church, we have the autonomy and the resources to expand. We are planting new missions all of the time. But the Melkite, and other eastern Catholic, Churches are limited in their ability to expand because they have so few men who can be ordained to the priesthood. What do you do when you only have 2 or 3 seminarians for the entire Eparchy? You shrink.

Joe
Posted By: Stephanos I Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/05/07 07:38 PM
Kinda my sentiments Chris!
Rome had accepted the promulgation of the Eastern Code which says married men can be ordained. But Rome however is not the ones who are preventing it. It is the Eastern Bishops themselves who are not living out the Traditions to the full of the Eastern Church. Rome having accepted the Code would hardly object to its fulillment,would they now?
Stephanos I
Posted By: Job Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/05/07 07:53 PM
Quote
It is the Eastern Bishops themselves who are not living out the Traditions to the full of the Eastern Church. Rome having accepted the Code would hardly object to its fulillment,would they now?

Fr. Stephanos...that is the million dollar question...why would Rome have approved the Eastern Code...then raised a fuss when the norms were presented to Rome that the metropolia of Pittsburgh put forward??? My "hunch" is that Rome could not say no to the overall cannon...however, they could "push back" on the individual jurisdictions looking to implement it...and unfortunately it appears the ruthenians "folded like a cheap suit"....

Quote
It is the Eastern Bishops themselves who are not living out the Traditions to the full of the Eastern Church.

I've also said this before, but I don't think you can say it enough, The Ruthenian bishops are the ruthenian churches own worst enemy...

Chris

Is it not the case that Bishop John of Parma ordains married men to the priesthood?

Ryan
Posted By: Ung-Certez Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/05/07 09:14 PM
So far, those are viewed as isolated cases. The Metropolia has yet to ordain a homegrown vocation who is married.

Ungcsertezs
Posted By: Job Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/05/07 09:40 PM
I give Bishop John alot of credit...hopefully it will go beyond isolated incidents...
I hope so as well. I believe that the regularization of the ordaining of married men would be a recovery of an aspect of our tradition. I also believe it has the potential to help our parishes grow.

Ryan
Rev. Joseph Marquis is home grown as far as I know and Parma has a married seminarian. 4 other married priests serve Parma, 2 ordained by Bishop John. So while certainly not yet the norm I don't think it can be called isolated. At least in not in Parma.

Fr. Deacon Lance
Posted By: Job Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/05/07 09:46 PM
The only thing I hope people realize...

Simply saying we will ordain married men is just a small step...one thing that has occured over the years is not fostering young males for this calling...I believe the BCC also needs to re-instate minor orders to "grow the farm team"...

Chris
Posted By: Ung-Certez Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/05/07 10:35 PM
...but no c_ _dle homegrown married priests.

U-C
Posted By: EdHash Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/06/07 02:09 AM
Are the seminarians free to marry and have cognizance of that reality? Is it a written policy where there can be no misunderstanding?

I read here that even though there is ordinations of married men, those men usually have found other ways to that state other than simply entering the seminary and following the current program.

It would be confusing if one authority ruled that marriage was not an impediment then turn and slap the hand of a bishop who acted on that by ordaining a married man; then give permission for certain cases, but not for all. This is not a sign of a freely operated church.

I feared that my response to the question about impediments has led to multiple, conflicting answers. Such wishy-washy-ness will greatly affect potential vocations from realizing their calling. Who would want to dedicate their lives to an organization that is so mixed up that they can't even decide who can or cannot serve as its ordained ministers? One bishop ordaines married men; another refuses.

How are the Eastern Catholilc seminaries doing in the former Communist countries?

Ed
Posted By: EdHash Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/06/07 02:15 AM
Originally Posted by Athanasius The L
I hope so as well. I believe that the regularization of the ordaining of married men would be a recovery of an aspect of our tradition. I also believe it has the potential to help our parishes grow.

Ryan

As I see in the operation of tiny church communities, when a church becomes so small that it cannot financially support its pastors, ministry will become a part-time job. Unless you are lucky enough to have all community members tithe 10% of their gross income, you will need numbers. Is this possible in all communities? How many Byzantine Catholic parishes are financially well off that they can afford the luxury of a full-time married priest, his wife, and children? Are clergy training programs set up to prepare divinity students (and their future wives) to become full-time?

It might be necessary to find ministers from other communities to join yours or financially independent vocations. Money, not orthodoxy or charism, might be the main factor in who or who doesn't get ordained. I don't know if this is the case here, but I witnessed it elsewhere. A generation of young future ministers watched their own chief shepherd welcome already-ordained clergy into pastoral positions with a flick of a pen/signature while their own divinity students realized that they would have to wait many more years to get full time pastorships. Financial security and pastoral urgency was paramount.

Ed
Posted By: Etnick Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/06/07 06:14 AM
Originally Posted by EdHash
Are the seminarians free to marry and have cognizance of that reality? Is it a written policy where there can be no misunderstanding?

I read here that even though there is ordinations of married men, those men usually have found other ways to that state other than simply entering the seminary and following the current program.

It would be confusing if one authority ruled that marriage was not an impediment then turn and slap the hand of a bishop who acted on that by ordaining a married man; then give permission for certain cases, but not for all. This is not a sign of a freely operated church.

I feared that my response to the question about impediments has led to multiple, conflicting answers. Such wishy-washy-ness will greatly affect potential vocations from realizing their calling. Who would want to dedicate their lives to an organization that is so mixed up that they can't even decide who can or cannot serve as its ordained ministers? One bishop ordaines married men; another refuses.

How are the Eastern Catholilc seminaries doing in the former Communist countries?

Ed

Herein lies the problem of the Eastern Catholic Churches. Let's say that about 50 years ago there were many married priests from the old country still serving the church here. They have all since passed on, and the only people who remember them are people who themselves are now passing on.

So the last vestige of a married priesthood remaining will also soon be gone.

My Father has many times brought up Father Stephen Loya and his twelve or thirteen kids. He was the pastor of the Greek Catholic in Portage Pa, when he was a child. The church was very Latinized, but nobody thought anything of Father Loya and his large family.

These people were hard working coal miners whose nickels and dimes supported this huge family. Now the thought of ordaining a married man is such a taboo subject in a church that is supposedly trying to recover its roots? A church where married priests is the tradition?

Who's kidding who? If those in charge can't realize that inclusive language shouldn't be used, does anyone here expect to see a vast army of married priests in the next twenty or more years?

I am convinced that union with Rome will never allow the Eastern Catholic Churches to be completely Eastern, and that is a terrible shame. frown
Posted By: EdHash Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/06/07 10:43 AM
This is a terrible shame. This is like putting roadblocks in your own driveway so you can't even get onto the road.
Ed
Quote
I've also said this before, but I don't think you can say it enough, The Ruthenian bishops are the ruthenian churches own worst enemy...


Chris, you should say it still less.

What some of those men have had to deal with to take care of their flocks in the face of any number of adversaties is not small.

That they have to be second guessed at all times, challenged and outright disrespected in that way that they are is a tragedy and shame.

The HOURS that Met. Judson of blessed memory would put in as his age advanced and health declined were inspiring and heroic. The efforts made by the bishops of Parma and Van Nuys to oversee a huge diocese of far-flung parishes are not small.

When I see ByzCath forum turn into "ByzBishBash" Forum it just makes me sad and leads to despair.

Once again, non-Byzantine Catholics pontificating with ease and certitude as to what is wrong with "them". Really guys, the tone and underlying righteousness with glib pity on these "terrible shames" just seem to ring hollow.

I am the first person to recognize and admit that some pastoral decisions made were ill-informed and have not served us well. But it is not nearly as bad as some here seem to want to say.

In the past two years we have ordained some 27+ married men to the diaconate, and there are MANY more on the way. I am no insider, to be sure, but I have every reason to believe that some of today's married deacons will be tomorrows married priests.

There is in fact NO taboo on the discussion of married priests - we have some, some others are being trained, and it is fully reasonable and realistic to expect more are on the way.

Ed, I attended our seminary. The seminarians are not victims or in the dark. The ones that were there during my time were there to serve as celibates. You really don't need to feel sorry for us.

Quote
Who's kidding who? (sic) If those in charge can't realize that inclusive language shouldn't be used, does anyone here expect to see a vast army of married priests in the next twenty or more years?

I know this is your hobby horse, but yoking it to this issue is just plain odd.

We have married priests.
We have married candidates for priesthood.
We are going to have more still in the future.

Discussing conspiracies or blame-placing is just plain odd and counter-productive.

For some bizarre reason, reports keep coming to the effect that the Metropolitan and Bishops of the Pittsburgh Metropolia are not permitted to ordain married deacons to the presbyterate. As if that weren't silly enough, it is also apparent that there are ongoing efforts to convince people that a married deacon is somehow not a cleric.

The Ukrainian hierarchs, the Melkite Eparch of Newton, the Romanian Eparch of Canton, manage to ordain married deacons to the presbyterate without the roof falling in. For that matter, the Ruthenian Bishop of Parma has ordained one or two married deacons to the presbyterate, and the roof doesn't seem to have fallen on him either. So what is this all about?

As for deacons: married or single, a deacon is a cleric in Major Orders. Face it.

Fr. Serge
Posted By: Job Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/06/07 03:13 PM
Originally Posted by A Simple Sinner
Quote
I've also said this before, but I don't think you can say it enough, The Ruthenian bishops are the ruthenian churches own worst enemy...


Chris, you should say it still less.

What some of those men have had to deal with to take care of their flocks in the face of any number of adversaties is not small.

That they have to be second guessed at all times, challenged and outright disrespected in that way that they are is a tragedy and shame.

The HOURS that Met. Judson of blessed memory would put in as his age advanced and health declined were inspiring and heroic. The efforts made by the bishops of Parma and Van Nuys to oversee a huge diocese of far-flung parishes are not small.

When I see ByzCath forum turn into "ByzBishBash" Forum it just makes me sad and leads to despair.

All that people can do is continue to pray for them...I agree 100% that the bishops do not have an easy task...the problem appears to be (and it's been this way for a while so it will take a while to get out of this mentality) arrogance on the part of the bishops...not following the advice of those who speak against what the eparchs say...the bishops have, apparently, and rather unfortunately, placed themselves into an echo chamber, they continue to spout off bad policy & practice...the metropolia continues to decline...and they don't seem to be learning from mistakes that they have made since they continue to make them...but this has gone on for 100 years so I don't see it turning overnight...I just hope it's not too late...

Chris
Posted By: A student Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/06/07 03:21 PM
Some thoughts and only a few of the many questions that one can think of when considering the administrative structures needed for a married clergy. Perhaps proceeding slowly is wise. When considering whether to ordain a married man, how does the church judge the stability of the marriages of relatively newly married young seminarians? (I believe that deacons are supposed to be 35 yrs. of age or more, in stable marriages, and not aspire to be priests, though conceivably some might be interested in greater responsibilities.) Another question, what is the role of the Pani in the Church? What happens in cases where he is committed to the priesthood, but she isn't so well suited for her role? How should she be prepared, in advance of ordination of her husband, for her role? What modes of assistance are available when problems arise, and what options are acceptable? Does she/should she work outside the home to provide health care, college funds, etc. for the family, or is this something that the parish/eparchy would be expected to provide? What happens if/when there is a "special needs" child? How would the needed accommodations in the house, therapy, etc. be provided? If the priest/husband and father should die prematurely, what happens to his family? How do they move on, and still allow another priest/family to provide for the needs of the parish? What is the division of responsibility between the parish and the eparchy to provide for such contingencies? Its not that all the questions need to be answered in advance, but some structures do need to be in place. Perhaps the Orthodox and Ukrainian churches have experience that the BCC could adapt or even improve on.

As has been said by others in various contexts, the demographics of the US argue for easing the shortage of priests by opening the possibility for married Deacons to become priests and serve parishes as needed, especially if children are grown or otherwise on their own. In some cases, the priesthood may be like a second career. biggrin
Peace to you all!
My understanding, according to my Spiritual Father, is that in the Antiochian jurisdiction, the wife must consent to the ordination and must actually write a letter of recommendation to Metropolitan Philip and interview with him. Also, when placing new priests, I have heard that Metropolitan consults with the wife to find the place that would be suited for her as well as for her husband in terms of work, etc. Also, many married priests work full time jobs so it isn't necessarily the case that the parish will have to fully support an entire family. My spiritual father is a full time college administrator and serves two parishes. Many married priests work at secular occupations and then help start new mission parishes.

Joe
Posted By: lanceg Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/06/07 03:59 PM
Originally Posted by JSMelkiteOrthodoxy
And the reason that they don't have the "guts" so to speak is that they know that there are folks in the Vatican who chastise them in private if they go ahead and ordain married men. Certainly, this is not in canon law, but the whole culture of suspicion toward the byzantine Churches still exists among the Roman hierarchy.

Joe

Unfortunately, this is probably true.

According to Code of Canon Law of the Eastern Churches, we can have married priests. The prohibition against married Byzantine Priests in America and other places was very unfortunate, because Rome broke the terms of the Reunion Councils when they prohibited married men from serving in the priesthood in our country. Prohibition of married men was always an injustice, and our Bishops need to find their courage and do what is right, regardless of what some people in the Vatican think. Our church is dying man! The lack of vision among our bishops, the lack of married men serving as priests, and this new liturgy are all undermining our future. Bishop Elko probably set us on the course of self-implosion back in the 60's.

Just another reason among many that our Orthodox brethren have no interest in reuniting with us; they see how the Eastern Catholic Churches are dealt with historically, and they want no part of it. I do not blame them.

Okay- my soap box for the day...

Posted By: tjm199 Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/06/07 05:36 PM
It is a big problem with no quick fix or easy solution. At my home parish, and Ung will remember this, we had a wonderful priest. Father William. Unfortunately I can't remember his last name at this point in time. Early onset I guess. It was a good slavic name though. He was a great speaker, very full of energy, young, on the move and really brought life back to the church. But he left the Byzantine Church and became an Orthodox priest. Why? Because he would be allowed to be married, of course. Things were looking up--attendance, donations, the church as a "community" and the race to get out of the parking lot after Liturgy dwindled as people started to talk to each other again. The Orthodox gained a really good man.

How do the Protestants handle the questions raised about a married clergy? How do they handle the wife and the specific challenges she will face? How do they handle someone who wants a divorce? Or special needs children? I don't know. I'm asking a serious question. And how are the Protestants doing as far as growth? Is a married priesthood the cure all for the Byzantine churches? Or at least the Byzantine-Ruthenian church? It seems a bit simplistic to say that everything would be great if only we went back to our traditions.

The world is different in 2007 than it was in 1957. Or 1897. Going back to our full traditions, which would include a married priesthood as well as the full Liturgy--would that really turn the Metropolia around? Would we see an explosion--either fast or slow--in the number of people attending church and donating money? I don't know. I know I would feel more comfortable with doing things the way they were done before the latinizations. Even though I have never experienced them. But we are making progress--no more Stations of the Cross in most churches, an iconostasis either replaced or put in place where there was none among others.

I wish I had the answers. But I don't. I do know that the Bishops do have to walk a fine line. They can't antagonize the Roman Catholic priests or Bishops or there could be some serious consequences in some areas. There has to be closing of some churches. It's impossible to keep a church open when there are only six to ten parishioners and a priest has to drive half an hour to get there. And there will be hard feelings no matter which churches have to be closed. I wouldn't want the job. But they need our help, not criticism. I don't agree with every decision that has been made. But some of the posts I've read on this Forum really do tend to get vicious about the Bishops and their decisions. I'm not saying they can't be wrong. Far from it. But they need our help in the form of guidance, not saying hateful things or name calling. Letting them know your opinion is a good thing. We should all take the time to let our Bishops know what we think of some of the decisions. You never know what might happen if enough people speak up. Just a thought!

Tim

Posted By: lanceg Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/06/07 05:54 PM
Tim,

I agree with you somewhat, certainly in the sense that we should respect our bishops.

But I disagree with your premise, if I understand you correctly.

I believe our bishops should do the right thing, over church politics. I think that is a perfectly reasonable expectation. We need leaders to have integrity and be courageous. We need to honor our authentic traditions, otherwise, what's the point?

I am not sure married priest would save us now, but I think it historically has hurt us not having them.

I think it would help.

Blessings,

Lance
Originally Posted by JSMelkiteOrthodoxy
And the reason that they don't have the "guts" so to speak is that they know that there are folks in the Vatican who chastise them in private if they go ahead and ordain married men. Certainly, this is not in canon law, but the whole culture of suspicion toward the byzantine Churches still exists among the Roman hierarchy.

Joe

Joe, can you point to this culture among the monolithic Roman hiearchy? The liberals are all for it. One of the most conservative bishops in the US - Bp. Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln (bi-ritual, he served the Ukie community during his time in Rome...) is fine with it. All this whispering about "the Romans" can we demonstrate that? 10 years ago in seminary we were told they were polled and most were in favor or indifferent.

The majority of Latin bishops west of the Mississip' or south of the Mason-Dixon are far more likely to run into Pastoral Provision priests and their own married clergy - deacons. I really have no reason to believe the Latins are giving it much thought at all - let alone fearing it or lobbying against it these days. I just remain unconvinced that it is (tacitly) to be understood that our involvement with the Latins is the root of our problem here.

But again, we DO ordain married men to the priesthood and the diaconate. I seem to recall that being mentioned a few times...

Originally Posted by lanceg
Unfortunately, this is probably true.

According to Code of Canon Law of the Eastern Churches, we can have married priests. The prohibition against married Byzantine Priests in America and other places was very unfortunate, because Rome broke the terms of the Reunion Councils when they prohibited married men from serving in the priesthood in our country. Prohibition of married men was always an injustice, and our Bishops need to find their courage and do what is right, regardless of what some people in the Vatican think. Our church is dying man! The lack of vision among our bishops, the lack of married men serving as priests, and this new liturgy are all undermining our future. Bishop Elko probably set us on the course of self-implosion back in the 60's.

Just another reason among many that our Orthodox brethren have no interest in reuniting with us; they see how the Eastern Catholic Churches are dealt with historically, and they want no part of it. I do not blame them.


Our bishops DO have the courage to do what is right. They are ordaining married men to the priesthood. Where are all the candidates?

Three things:

1) The prohibition did not necessarily break the terms of the unia. I haven't read the document (which I only can read in English anyway) in some time, but I recall no assurance that the Ruthenians would be given carte blanche to go worldwide in all practices and privelages, rights and rites. We could start a new thread on that if you like.

2) It it not chic of me to be contrarian in this fashion and in this place, I know, but the merits of the celibate clergy in building up our beloved church. (You know, the majority of the fellas that built and pastored that place we go on sunday and love.) There are babies and bathwater issues here, to be sure, but it seems like the half-dozen celibate pastors I have had in fact we were lucky to have them and have them unattached.

3) The "lack of married priests" may or may not explain some of the lack of growth in the BCC. Frankly, I think it explains SOME (not all) of the vocations shortage but I don't know that it would stymie the decrease appreciably. It might (or might not) add a whole lot more priests to the mix. But will all these priests in turn engender an evangelistic spirit that will lead to growth while time is divided between a parish, a career and a family?

To be clear I am NOT taking aim at the Orthodox on this matter, but rather looking at the WHOLE of eastern Christianity (Oriental and Byzantine, Catholic & Orthodox) and have to note that we are all shrinking. Third and fourth generation eastern Christians who are active and attend are far outnumbered by their cousins who do not. My cousin was brought up Latin and married another Greek Catholic who was brought up the same. Their daughters? You can guess. Our parish could have had 5 married priests and this would just as likely have happened.

Now as to the actual topic of impediments to ordination... On the two-way street issue of mutual trust and union/re-union, it is a little bothersome to me that most jursidictions in America today will readily accept married (post-ordination) Greek Catholic priests into their fold through chrismation and vesting. If they are bothered by our particular canonical and disciplinary oddities, I must be clear, I am a rather bothered by this one at times myself.

Married priesthood is not the cause of or solution to all our problems. It is a complex situation that is not half as easy to understand, implement or deal with as people make it out to be. I wish the bishops - who do consider and do ordain married men - were given just a little more slack. In time as it becomes more common still, a lot of people who thought it would be a panacea of all good things are going to see that it brings its own challenges, and some of the problems we have today, we will still face then.

Posted By: tjm199 Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/06/07 07:15 PM
Lance--I agree with you 100% that our Bishops should do the right thing, regardless of politics. The reality is that it doesn't happen. It never has happened. People have different ideas of what the "right thing" is. Just look at church history--Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria Egypt (If I remember correctly) was in and out of office several times over his tenure as Bishop. He was in, then a heretic, then back in, then a heretic again, etc. Who was right? Both sides thought they were right. Despite the riots and loss of life.

Who's right here? I agree with you. Our traditions are great and should be returned to us and enforced. A married priesthood certainly would not hurt, it would help. But it will not be the cure all that some people seem to think. Why are our traditions not enforced? I wish I knew.

There seems to be a division among the Bishops. One ordains married men. But that leaves three others. Why have they not ordained married men? Is it because there were no candidates? That hardly seems likely. Why would only one Eparch have married candidates? That doesn't make sense. Or could it be the Bishops have let it be known, unofficially, that they won't ordain a married candidate? I don't know. But statistically speaking, it doesn't make sense that only one Eparch would have married candidates.

How do we get our Bishops to enforce tradition? Butting head to head and name calling, as some have done, is certainly not the way to go. That's going to cause problems. They're in charge and they will win. We need to find a different way of getting our Bishops to enforce tradition.

But we are in agreement much more than we disagree.

Tim

Originally Posted by tjm199
Why would only one Eparch have married candidates? That doesn't make sense. Or could it be the Bishops have let it be known, unofficially, that they won't ordain a married candidate? I don't know. But statistically speaking, it doesn't make sense that only one Eparch would have married candidates.


Have any married men here approached these eparchs with a view to priestly ordination? Do we know for certain that deacons and diaconal candidates at this time who are married are not or will not be considered for priestly ordination in the future?

Why is everyone so quick to assume (even though they are not privy to the mind of our hierarchs) that they have no plans or goals in this area?

Our bishops get beat up left and right and up and down in this forum, when most of us don't have the first clue what they are facing, and what their plans are.

Are we praying for them?
Posted By: Etnick Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/06/07 08:39 PM
Originally Posted by A Simple Sinner
Originally Posted by tjm199
Why would only one Eparch have married candidates? That doesn't make sense. Or could it be the Bishops have let it be known, unofficially, that they won't ordain a married candidate? I don't know. But statistically speaking, it doesn't make sense that only one Eparch would have married candidates.


Have any married men here approached these eparchs with a view to priestly ordination? Do we know for certain that deacons and diaconal candidates at this time who are married are not or will not be considered for priestly ordination in the future?

Why is everyone so quick to assume (even though they are not privy to the mind of our hierarchs) that they have no plans or goals in this area?

Our bishops get beat up left and right and up and down in this forum, when most of us don't have the first clue what they are facing, and what their plans are.

Are we praying for them?

I don't think it's a matter of beating up on the bishops, as it is a matter of people trying to get their point across. I'm sure the bishops read this forum. Are we to assume that they just ignore what they read here? That they will do as they see fit, and could care less what the faithful think?

Are they shocked by the conversions to Orthodoxy or don't they care?

The bishops can make the right decisions if they want to. I think the prevailing attitude is to be Catholic first, and Eastern second.
Posted By: lanceg Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/06/07 09:03 PM
Originally Posted by A Simple Sinner
Originally Posted by tjm199
Why would only one Eparch have married candidates? That doesn't make sense. Or could it be the Bishops have let it be known, unofficially, that they won't ordain a married candidate? I don't know. But statistically speaking, it doesn't make sense that only one Eparch would have married candidates.


Have any married men here approached these eparchs with a view to priestly ordination? Do we know for certain that deacons and diaconal candidates at this time who are married are not or will not be considered for priestly ordination in the future?

Why is everyone so quick to assume (even though they are not privy to the mind of our hierarchs) that they have no plans or goals in this area?

Our bishops get beat up left and right and up and down in this forum, when most of us don't have the first clue what they are facing, and what their plans are.

Are we praying for them?

I do not wish to "beat up" on our bishops. But I think it is perfectly appropriate to offer up legitimate criticisms and questions.

I do pray for our Bishops everyday, and I believe that my bishop is a very good man. I honor him, and I am willing to share in a respectful manner all of the concerns I express here on the forum to him personally when I have opportunity.



Posted By: lanceg Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/06/07 09:30 PM
Dear Simple Sinner,

After reading your post, I looked up on-line the articles of Union for both Brest & Uzhorod. I must admit that the right to ordain married men is more ambigous than I had thought I remembered, unfortunately, like many other questions about the Unia.

However, the Code of Canon Law for Eastern Churches is crystal clear: "the state of married clerics, sanctioned in the practice of the primitive Church and in the Eastern Churches through the ages, is to be held in honor. (#373)"

Articles of 9 of the Union for Brest reads: "That the marriages of priests remain intact, except for bigamists."

The following was incorporated into the Union of Uzhorod: "We believe all and everything that our Holy Mother the Roman Church bids us believe. We acknowledge that the most holy Father Innocent X is the Universal Pastor of the Church of Christ and our Pastor, and we with our successors desire and wish to depend on him in everything; with, however, the addition of these conditions: First: That it be permitted to us to retain the rite of the Greek Church; Second: To have a bishop elected by ourselves and confirmed by the [Roman] Apostolic See; Third: To have the free enjoyment of ecclesiastical immunities."

This article has some interesting history and background on married clergy in our Church:

http://www.byzantines.net/epiphany/ordination.htm

Originally Posted by A Simple Sinner
Originally Posted by tjm199
Why would only one Eparch have married candidates? That doesn't make sense. Or could it be the Bishops have let it be known, unofficially, that they won't ordain a married candidate? I don't know. But statistically speaking, it doesn't make sense that only one Eparch would have married candidates.


Have any married men here approached these eparchs with a view to priestly ordination? Do we know for certain that deacons and diaconal candidates at this time who are married are not or will not be considered for priestly ordination in the future?

Why is everyone so quick to assume (even though they are not privy to the mind of our hierarchs) that they have no plans or goals in this area?

Our bishops get beat up left and right and up and down in this forum, when most of us don't have the first clue what they are facing, and what their plans are.

Are we praying for them?

I approached Bishop John Elya back in the late 1990s and was told that it was not possible in the United States for a married man to be ordained a priest, but I should consider the deaconate. This was about a year after he ordained a married deacon to the priesthood.

Joe
Posted By: EdHash Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/07/07 01:38 AM
Originally Posted by A Simple Sinner
Have any married men here approached these eparchs with a view to priestly ordination? Do we know for certain that deacons and diaconal candidates at this time who are married are not or will not be considered for priestly ordination in the future?

My aunt tells me that a married priesthood for one fella is out of the question. I shared a discussion with someone who is familiar with Catholic canon law and he states that there are other requirements necessary for priestly ordination thta their current training programs do not fulfill. I can't imagine what that would be.

Originally Posted by A Simple Sinner
Why is everyone so quick to assume (even though they are not privy to the mind of our hierarchs) that they have no plans or goals in this area?

Lack of action? You will know them by their deeds (or lack thereof).

Originally Posted by A Simple Sinner
Our bishops get beat up left and right and up and down in this forum, when most of us don't have the first clue what they are facing, and what their plans are.

What are they facing? What is the plan?

Originally Posted by A Simple Sinner
Are we praying for them?

I would think that your people have done their share of prayers in their worship. Some claim that the Holy Spirit has answered prayers for clergy elsewhere because their bishops acted. The work of the Spirit has also offered many potential clergy candidates, but they might have been turned down because of ... an impediment. Do you have an idea what impediment that might be? Maybe everyone is waiting for your bishops to finally act?

It seems that the bishops you claim might be still in planning will wait until Rome makes revisions to that plan. of course, with Rome's permission.

Might I suggest thta your clergy vote for their bishops in the future instead of having them handpicked by Rome? I think I detect a connection here.

it is obvious from reading the posts here that there really is no impediment in marriage (this *impediment* being a tradition of man). No. it comes from the top. in one round of elections of bishops in my former community, we made it known to them that they would be held accountable; if not here, at least in the next world where they would have to give dang good reason why they worked so hard to cripple or kill their church with stupid rules and political playing.

"If a overseer/bishop cannot manage his own household ..."

Ed
Originally Posted by JSMelkiteOrthodoxy
Originally Posted by A Simple Sinner
Originally Posted by tjm199
Why would only one Eparch have married candidates? That doesn't make sense. Or could it be the Bishops have let it be known, unofficially, that they won't ordain a married candidate? I don't know. But statistically speaking, it doesn't make sense that only one Eparch would have married candidates.


Have any married men here approached these eparchs with a view to priestly ordination? Do we know for certain that deacons and diaconal candidates at this time who are married are not or will not be considered for priestly ordination in the future?

Why is everyone so quick to assume (even though they are not privy to the mind of our hierarchs) that they have no plans or goals in this area?

Our bishops get beat up left and right and up and down in this forum, when most of us don't have the first clue what they are facing, and what their plans are.

Are we praying for them?

I approached Bishop John Elya back in the late 1990s and was told that it was not possible in the United States for a married man to be ordained a priest, but I should consider the deaconate. This was about a year after he ordained a married deacon to the priesthood.

Joe


Anyone more recently than 12 years ago?
Originally Posted by Etnick
I'm sure the bishops read this forum. Are we to assume that they just ignore what they read here? That they will do as they see fit, and could care less what the faithful think?

Are they shocked by the conversions to Orthodoxy or don't they care?

The bishops can make the right decisions if they want to. I think the prevailing attitude is to be Catholic first, and Eastern second.


You are imagining Metropolitan Basil in his jammies with a mug of cocoa anxiously sitting down to log in and read up on the pontifications from the online peanut gallery maybe? I am not.

Shocked by which conversions to Orthodoxy? There have always been a stream into and out of the Greek Catholic Church for any number of reasons. You may have gone to "where we still say mankind" and God bless you and keep you, but just because you are in the convert boat and everyone in the boat is, well, in the same boat... Don't go thinking that it has been mass abandonment left and right.

But if you are thinking the abandonment of our church on the part of clergy who have married up and 'doxed... Pragmatically speaking, I am not certain it makes a big difference. No one had to be ordained, no one had to start dating after ordination. The day the first married Greek Catholic priests gets a divorce, remarries, and still manages to convert there will be a whole lot of people smacking their own forehead saying "Oh, so that's how that works."

Catholic frist, Eastern second... Well, sounds about right. The unia exists for a reason above and beyond externals of discipline. Sorry if it was difficult for you. I know you feel differently. But I give you credit for having the integrity to move on. It seems like bigger issues would be at play than married priests or RDLs before such a move.

Originally Posted by EdHash
Originally Posted by A Simple Sinner
Have any married men here approached these eparchs with a view to priestly ordination? Do we know for certain that deacons and diaconal candidates at this time who are married are not or will not be considered for priestly ordination in the future?

My aunt tells me that a married priesthood for one fella is out of the question. I shared a discussion with someone who is familiar with Catholic canon law and he states that there are other requirements necessary for priestly ordination thta their current training programs do not fulfill. I can't imagine what that would be.

Ed, my aunt tells me they can. My canon lawyer does too. biggrin

I can't really respond to what "this person said" just accepting the veracity and merit with no other detail here. So I don't know what to tell you.

But really that does not answer my questions: Have any married men here approached these eparchs with a view to priestly ordination? Do we know for certain that deacons and diaconal candidates at this time who are married are not or will not be considered for priestly ordination in the future?

Quote
Quote
Why is everyone so quick to assume (even though they are not privy to the mind of our hierarchs) that they have no plans or goals in this area?

Lack of action? You will know them by their deeds (or lack thereof).

We are ordaining married men as suitable candidates present themselves. I don't know what action you want.

Again, anyone here more recently than 12 years ago presented themselves to one of our hierarchs for consideration? Anyone?

Quote
Originally Posted by A Simple Sinner
Our bishops get beat up left and right and up and down in this forum, when most of us don't have the first clue what they are facing, and what their plans are.

What are they facing? What is the plan?

Does anyone else want to field this one?

Ed, do you have good clear solid ideas about what they face? about what it takes to run eparchies spanning over states? About what it takes to set up a formation program? About what it takes to manage blends of ethnic groups, immigrants, converts, Latins, in parishes from the inner cities to the suburbs? About what it takes to set up a seminary program for married students? About what it would take to screen not one but TWO candidates for the priesthood? That is right, how do they evaluate the home lives and domestic situations? Maybe three men in Toledo would be GREAT and the wives are for it, but the kids are young and they can't really move around... but would be happy to serve in Toledo... if they can do a correspondance course, because they can't afford to pack up, go to seminary, enroll the kids in the local Catholic gradeschool... Or maybe we tell fathers and husbands to leave their families behind for the time? Maybe the wife should go to work, or take on a second job.

It really just seems so easy to you? It really seems like no action from your outsider perspective because it is not the action you feel it should be? Its not the pace you like?

Quote
It seems that the bishops you claim might be still in planning will wait until Rome makes revisions to that plan. of course, with Rome's permission.

Might I suggest thta your clergy vote for their bishops in the future instead of having them handpicked by Rome? I think I detect a connection here.

I don't. But let me try...

...putting the imagination into overdrive here and trying my darnedest to picture Vaticanistas (let alone the Holy Father) over in Rome losing sleep about the odd chance some married guys in the US might be ordained like, you know, the other 100+ pastoral provision priests and the 16,600+ deacons of the Latin Church...

In my imagination this low level prelate is up all night talking to his teddy bear (which he named Aloysius because he is a Brideshead Revisited fan also) saying "Oh-a-no, what we gonna do? Those-a Greek-a Catholics are-a gonna ordain 'emselves uppa some married-a men! Mamma mia!!" (OK, I admit it, in my imagination this guy is Father Guido Sarducci from SNL because it seems like he should be a bishop by now...)

Let's get back to reality. Rome is not that monolithic, the Latin hierarchs - most of whom west of the Mississip'/south of the Mason-Dixon have no Greek Catholic presense in thier diocese really probably don't care (plus they have their own 16K married deacons to worry about). (I would wager 2 out of 3 of them don't give a whole lot of thought to the fact we are even around except when noticing the guys with the "cool hats who never have much to say at the USCCB meetings when we are chatting about Roman things")

And what makes us so certain that up until a few years ago, prebyteral voting for bishops would have availed us married priests sooner?

But if this is the perception of the nephew of a Greek Catholic dissatisfied at the direction and actions of a church to which he is not a member or affiliated with otherwise... well so be it. I doubt I can convince you.

Really Ed, after the great "Immaculate Conception" thread of last month I am not sure we can communicate - you have a very clear idea of what our church should be and how we should act. (Seems like a lot of people on here who aren't members do, so you are in good company.) But I can't help but wonder if your relentless criticism of us, of our practice and unia doesn't stem for your general apparent distaste for Rome, and what seems like your annoyance with our relationship to Rome.

Quote
"If a overseer/bishop cannot manage his own household ..."

Honestly, that just sounds glib.

But thank you for your concearn about our household, but I don't believe our bishops can't manage them.
Posted By: Etnick Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/07/07 05:44 AM
Let's go back about about 400 plus years and see what the unia was really about. Everyone knows it was all about clergy having equal rights with their Latin counterparts. Can you tell me that any of the faithful in the old country even had a clue what was going on? I seriously doubt they did. The faithful were kept in the dark because nothing externally changed.

Fast forward to 100 years ago when the Unia moved to the USA. Boy, it really went over like a lead balloon. Priests actually told they can't chrismate at baptism. An archbishop (Ireland) on a relentless campaign to abolish this movement of "Greek Catholics", Rome handing out Ea Semper, Cum Data Fuerit, et al. What happened? Did the documents of union get lost or burned in 250 years time?

When you're among a Latin majority you must not agitate them or you are not a good Catholic? Take down your Icon screens, put up stations of the cross, PROVE your Catholic!

I'm sorry. With a past like that, a present that isn't much better, Bishops who just don't get it, and what looks like a pretty dim future for the "Unia", I hope you hold up well. I know I'm doing fine. biggrin



Posted By: EdHash Re: canonical impediments to ordination - 11/07/07 11:19 AM
Originally Posted by Etnick
PROVE your Catholic!

That's it! I think Etnick hit the nail on the head. It is not so much as the *Catholic* but really the *PROVE IT*. Everyone is trying to PROVE their Catholicism by being Catholic, not Byzantine Catholic. This best summarizes my study on this church. Thank you, Etnick.

Simple Sinner,
Do the seminarians in your divinity school understand that they can marry prior to priestly ordination? Is this part of the plan - written somewhere in a school handbook or program contract?

Ed
It appears that this thread is no longer serving as a place for discussion, but rather is degenerating. Before it becomes totally out of scope for this forum I'm going to close it.

Thank you to all who participated.

Fr. Deacon Ed
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