Married Catholic clergy

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by Thomas, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    The Vatican is considering allowing the ordination of older married men of proven character to make up for the short-fall in priests serving the communities in the Amazon basin.

    This, it is said, will not undo nor reverse the Church's view on the need for celibacy in the priesthood, rather it's a pragmatic response to a situation where a married priest is better than no priest at all ...

    For trads like me, the question is simple: Is celibacy a must, or conditional? If conditional, and this pragmatic response is in the face of declining numbers, then if a married priest can act in persona Christi, then why the demand for celibacy?

    In Ireland, 9 out of 10 people believe priests should be allowed to marry. My mum, who served as something of a housekeeper/PA for in at least three parishes, believed priests should be allowed to marry.

    The RCC should adopt the Orthodox pattern. and the sooner the better.
     
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  2. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Oh, go on then. I agree. A priest can still choose to be celibate, if that's how he wants it. And monk priests will still take the celibacy vow.

    EDIT: And of course enforcing celibacy on someone who cannot be, only leads to trouble.
     
  3. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    We've yet to see whether the Curia will accept the solution.

    I wondered why they didn't do something with the diaconate, extend their authority so they can celebrate Mass, consecrate the Eucharist ... but then I suppose a deacon would then be a priest in everything but name.

    And, as there are married priests who converted from Anglicanism, I suppose the template is already there.

    I rather think the 'married older man' will be expected to observe the rule of celibacy. I'm pretty sure deacons are expected to observe the rule. A married man can become a deacon, but an unmarried deacon cannot then marry ...

    And if married, a priest cannot become a bishop nor, I expect, hold any other office. They definitely will be 'second class citizens' of the church.

    +++

    As for celibacy as such, I rather hold to the Orthodox position that it is a charism, a spiritual gift, and not conferred by becoming a priest. The idea that you would need N-number of priests to serve a global church, and that all those would be comfortable with celibacy, escapes me.

    It's pretty well accepted that the requirement of celibacy is not a factor in the cases of clerical abuse, but I do wonder if it leads to other psychological problems, simple loneliness being a significant factor. again, asking every priest to effectively become a hermit, or live a solitary lifestyle, is a really tough call.
     
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  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    It is a dictum that most of us outside the Catholic church have never understood.
     
  5. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Yes the reasoning for celibacy is that a married man with six children will obviously be at least as much concentrated upon his family as on his priesthood. Being a priest becomes just the 'job' part of his life?

    Priests take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience (to the bishop/church authority).

    The other side is that someone constantly battling with the sexual force of trying to be celibate won't be able either to be at peace. Celibacy will consume most of his mental energy?

    Would Vatican permission for orders like the Jesuits to admit married priests mean they became obliged to, or would it be left for individual orders to decide whether or not to do so?

    Things like that would have to be decided?

    (edited ...)
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  6. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    The call of God may be opposite from the call of the world. Poverty, chastity and obedience: one robe, one bowl.
     
  7. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Yup, all things we don't understand...
     
  8. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    That's a bit difficult living with the responsibility that goes with marriage and family?
     
  9. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Of course it's impossible to understand if you don't believe in God.
     
  10. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    One of many differences, between Catholics and Protestants...

    I'm not arguing, I don't need convincing
     
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  11. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Lol
     
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  12. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    That's the view, I suppose. In theory the priest is dedicated to God and the community above all else.

    Don't think so. Monastic orders are definitely celibate, although not all monks are ordained priests. So a married man stands less of a chance than he does entering the priesthood! I don't know the rule in the case of a couple in which both parties agree that he will leave the home and enter a monastic institution. He'll be obliged to live in community, and there is no provision for wives and/or children, and that kind of separation does seem a bit like a divorce, as the two will no longer be 'one flesh'?

    The monastic orders offer 'Third Order' associations which, according to canon law:
    "Associations whose members share in the spirit of some religious institute while in secular life, lead an apostolic life, and strive for Christian perfection under the higher direction of the same institute are called third orders or some other appropriate name"

    ('First orders' are the monastics themselves, 'second orders' are nuns, so a bit more sexism there :oops:)
     
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  13. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Sorry, yes that's understood -- that monastic orders would still be celibate. There'll always be cases of whether to admit, say a man who has grown-up children but whose wife has died -- that will be up to the monastery, as it is now.

    But I meant non-monastic orders like Jesuits, for instance? Would the Jesuit order be compelled to admit married priests, or would it be left for the Jesuit order to decide?

    That is all the sort of stuff that would have to be sorted out?

    EDIT:
    https://aleteia.org/2015/12/07/what-is-the-difference-between-a-friar-a-monk-and-a-priest/
    Diocesan priests do not take vows (or promises) to poverty and may possess and inherit property.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  14. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Sorry, perhaps I misunderstood you. I apologise.
     
  15. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Most of the G!d believing world does not require religious leaders to be celibate. There is plenty of thought that you should live with feet fully in both worlds.
     
  16. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Some. Probably not most, actually.

    But why the word 'require'? Where's the compulsion? Who is ever compelled to become a priest? Or a monk? It is a choice. In the Catholic and Orthodox churches only a priest can administer the sacraments. There is long training involved, and vows unto death involved. I may be wrong.

    Where does this idea come from that Catholicism forces and compels compliance? No-one's making anyone do anything. If you don't like it, you don't have to do it. You can become a Buddhist, or anything else you want to be. No-one's going to flog you in the town square. No-one's making you do anything. No-one has to be a Catholic. If they don't like it they don't have to take it? They're not children or prisoners? Many do leave.

    I'm sorry, but I just get a bit fed-up with the attitude that the Catholic church is the worst evil on the planet earth.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  17. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    No. This is the complete opposite of nearly all spiritual teaching. It is the choice between God and mammon, always.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
  18. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Lol, yes, that is what everyone writes here.

    When I say believers in G!d on this interfaith site I am referring to all believers in G!d of all faiths,.and I believe most is accurate, as is require because when one decides to be a man of G!d it is not always a requirement to be celibate.

    A
     
  19. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Ok.
    But monks and nuns of all faiths choose celibacy. Catholic priests choose celibacy. No-one forces them to. So in recent years there is debate in the Catholic church about allowing non-monastic priests to marry.

    Many Catholics think that's ok, because the church does move slowly and cautiously to accommodate the times. It has already started by allowing married Anglican priests to convert and become Catholic priests.

    Now there are discussions about allowing older married men to become priests in places like the Amazon, where people are not getting the sacraments because there aren't any priests.

    But it is a slow and careful process. The Catholic church does not lightly throw over its traditional rules, or whatever they're called. It doesn't change just because the modern society says it should. It doesn't have to satisfy an electorate.

    Divorce is a case in point. The Church cannot go against the words of Christ himself.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
  20. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Oops! My bad. I assumed the Jesuits were like other monastics.

    Apparently even an ordained Catholic priest would have to go through a Jesuit 'novitiate' to become a Jesuit! That can take between 8-14 years normally, but I suppose an ordained priest might be able to short-cut that somewhat.

    Short answer: I don't know. I can't see a Jesuit being compelled :)D) to do anything they don't want to do.

    Indeed.

    EDIT:
    Well I'm blowed. Never knew that ...
     
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