Married Eastern Clergy, Traditionalist Panic?

The traditional Catholic web-log Eponymous Flower has a post up stating “Pope Francis Allows Uniate Churches Worldwide the Ordination of Married Men.” The piece is actually a (somewhat poor) translation of an Italian article. It’s tone is needlessly panicked, and I must confess I have some concern that the traditional Catholic community, without due reflection, may go into an uproar. That would be unfortunate, not only because it would demonstrate a lack of respect for the Eastern churches in communion with Rome, but also because this move is unlikely to change the status quo. While their numbers are not large, there have been married Eastern clergy in the West for some time now. There is no evidence whatsoever that their presence has adversely affected the Roman Catholic priesthood or undermined the longstanding Latin practice of clerical celibacy. Moreover, given their minority presence in the West, it is unlikely — and almost inconceivable — that this decision will lead to a wave of seminarians transferring from the Roman Church to, say, the Ukrainian Church. That process is far from easy, and I would hope the proper authorities would put their foot down if the sole purpose of a rite transfer is to receive ordination while being married.

Now, whether or not this new broad permission benefits the Eastern Catholic churches remains to be seen. I, for one, hope that it does. Too long the Eastern churches in the West have had to live a hyper-ghetto existence while being largely restrained from growing their flocks. If this new move by the Pope, which is consistent with the articles of the Union of Brest and every other unification accord ever struck with Eastern Christian communities, yields more Eastern clergy to minister to the Catholic faithful of all rites, then praise be to God. Traditional Catholics should rejoice in the strengthening and expansion of the Eastern Catholic churches, not use their differences from Latin praxis as a cause for chauvinism and scandal.

62 comments

  1. There is a older trad gentleman who attends the diocesan TLM I go to who won’t set foot in the local UGCC parish because the priest is married with children. This trad erroneously thinks in the Eastern Churches married men can be ordained priests, but must become continent after ordination. I go to the UGCC parish when the TLM gets cancelled some Sundays due to there not being enough priests to celebrate it in my parish. The TLM and DL were both at 9AM. They have since changed the time of the TLM from 9 AM to 12:30 PM to make it easier for visiting priests to celebrate the TLM. Now I go more often to the UGCC parish because I like going to an earlier Mass/Divine Liturgy so I can have more free time to go out on Sunday with my family or friends. The trad guy stopped going to the TLM completely since he fasts beginning at midnight and said he can’t wait that long to break his fast. He still won’t go to the UGCC parish at 9AM because he thinks that priest is sinning. lol He has other erroneous views about the Pope and Catholicism in general and talks like a sede. However he is the only trad at that parish that I know of who had a problem with married priests having relations with their wives.

    1. I have encountered a few other traditional Catholics who believe, also erroneously, in the continence requirement. To the best of my knowledge, the only continence an Eastern priest is supposed to maintain is on the eve of when he celebrates the liturgy. (This is true in Orthodoxy; I assume it is still true for the Eastern Catholics as well.) Then there is also the view that married Eastern clergy is just a way to “important” married clergy into the Roman Rite. That hasn’t happened. And, really, the married Anglican Ordinariate clergy would, in theory, pose a bigger “threat” to Roman celibacy than the East, and yet that hasn’t happened yet either. So I am skeptical about any and all of the fuss over this that is likely to be kicked up.

  2. No panic here, but a little disappointment. The (theoretical) perfect continence of western clergy is a superior state to that of the married eastern clergy. The laxity and lukewarmness of the Church today (both east and west) won’t be solved by looser discipline, even though the number of men affected by this particular legislation is negligible.

    One also predicts that the secular media will sensationalize these future ordinations.

    The bigger issue is the establishment of overlapping, independent Eastern hierarchies in the west where a Latin hierarchy already existed. Eastern Christians were once greatly offended when Latin-rite Catholics came into their territories and set up independent missions. But isn’t that exactly what’s happening now in reverse?

    1. Well, the number of Eastern Catholics in the West is surely smaller today than it was 100 years ago during the height of immigration. Perhaps there will be a boost in those numbers in the coming years due to the persecution of Middle Eastern Christians, but their numbers will still be relatively small. I see no reason why they should not be allowed to practice their own rite of their own church, or to keep those churches open for others to find and worship God.

      I don’t believe we need to take offense at the presence of the Eastern churches in the West. What we need is to support them as missionary churches which may, God willing, lead others into the Catholic fold. The problem is that we don’t do this. We don’t use the Eastern churches in the West as means of converting the Orthodox population in the West or drawing in Protestants who would rather be Orthodox or Catholic. I think there is a great missionary value to these bodies which ought to be harnessed — if they were allowed to. The present ecumenical mindset, however, confines most of these Eastern churches to living out a ghetto existence where growth is next-to-impossible and extinction is, in many cases, inevitable.

      1. Does the supposed missionary potential justify the existence of two parallel Catholic Churches in one place, with different rules and regulations each? If the Eastern Catholic parishes grow, wouldn’t they then become competition to the Latin Catholic parishes? Wouldn’t then going to a Church be a matter of taste, instead of being something one simply does – encouraging Catholics to “shop around” for churches like the Protestants do?

        I cannot let go of the ideal of a whole town or neighborhood joining in a Holy Week procession together. Impossible when some people follow a different calendar!

        In short, I do not see why Eastern Catholicism should be encouraged in the West, and viceversa; not anymore than Italian or Polish or German parishes should be encouraged in the United States. These type of arrangements are _meant_ to expire, since it is desirable for people to get out of their ghettoes by joining the rest of the Church in a given territory.

        1. “These type of arrangements are _meant_ to expire, since it is desirable for people to get out of their ghettoes (sic) by joining the rest of the Church in a given territory”; besides being incredibly stupid; this line of thought simply insinuates that all of the acts of union between Rome and Eastern Christians are a lie. That, much like western rite Orthodoxy, they are simply temporary, until the whole Catholic Church is one large never ending novus ordo, balloons provided free of charge, along with, one presumes, middle-aged liturgical dancing queens.

          What about areas of Pennsylvania, are the novus ordo parishes all to be closed if the local eastern rite parishes is larger (and it appears that the only thing that matters is size)?

          What is even more offensive is the implication that if one is not novus ordo, one lives in a ghetto. Thank you very much, I am quite happy in my ghetto!

          1. ” That, much like western rite Orthodoxy, they are simply temporary, until the whole Catholic Church is one large never ending novus ordo, balloons provided free of charge, along with, one presumes, middle-aged liturgical dancing queens. ”

            No.

            Notice my viceversa in the next line. Let the West be the West, let the East be the East. And I certainly would not wish the Novus Ordo upon anybody!

            I do believe very strongly that a newcomer to a country should try his best to adapt to that country. When generation after generation refuse to do so, they rightly invite suspicion.

        2. “Does the supposed missionary potential justify the existence of two parallel Catholic Churches in one place, with different rules and regulations each?”

          This boat has long since sailed. There have been parallel hierarchies in the West for over 100 years. In the USA the first such bishop was appointed in 1907, and given full ordinary jurisdiction in 1913, making him independent of every Latin diocese. In 1924 two separate jurisdictions were erected, one for the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholics in the USA, the other for Ukrainian Catholics. Subsequently such “parallel Catholic Churches in one place” were erected in Canada, Australia, many Western European countries, Latin America and elsewhere.

          “These type of arrangements are _meant_ to expire, since it is desirable for people to get out of their ghettoes by joining the rest of the Church in a given territory.”

          A statement of amazing ignorance, as well as reflecting the views of 19th-century “Americanist” prelates such as John Ireland, since Rome has repeatedly condemned the notion that non-Roman (rite) Catholics should be required, encouraged, or even permitted to join the Latin Church.

          1. “This boat has long since sailed.”

            I am aware of that. Yet, policy can be overturned. I think that this policy attempts against local Ordinaries, by setting up authorities parallel to theirs; so that instead of the Bishop of Una Ciudad having jurisdiction over ALL the baptized in his territory, his jurisdiction is limited by accident of birth (of some of his territory’s faithful). I think it was and is bad policy, done by a Rome that was understandably anxious to make Eastern Catholics comfortable in the Church.

            “A statement of amazing ignorance, as well as reflecting the views of 19th-century “Americanist” prelates such as John Ireland”

            I do not know that it is ignorant. I do acknowledge that it is provincial, and very proudly so. I am not an American; I come from a small, culturally homogenous country; which is why I hold fast to such old-fashioned ideas as that when in someone else’s home, follow their times for eating and sleeping; when in Hispanic America, speak Spanish; when in Rome, do as the Romans; when in Milan, then do as the Ambrosians.

            I am not for requiring Eastern Catholics to become Romans. But they could exist as a sort of special ministry within the already existing Church of a territory, keeping their liturgy, calendar, and customs, but following the laws of the already existing Church where they are more strict. And there is certainly no need to artificially prop them up, when it is perfectly natural for second and third generations to embrace the country where they where raised.

      2. Oh, I completely agree that Eastern Christians in the West should be able to keep their rite. If the Latin-rite bishops in the West established oratories for Eastern immigrants and supported priests to minister to them – in other words showing paternal care for all Christians in their dioceses – surely that would have led to a happier situation than today’s ghettoes. But when every Eastern Church gets its own jurisdiction stretching from coast to coast here in the U.S.A., it’s hard to see how any will have the resources to move beyond their current state.

        By my count (with an assist from Wikipedia), there are nine overlapping hierarchies in the U.S.A. That’s potentially nine different rules for fasting, nine different pastoral responses, nine different qualifications for ordination, etc. These differences aren’t really desirable, are they?

        1. “These differences aren’t really desirable, are they?”

          Why not?

          “it’s hard to see how any will have the resources to move beyond their current state.”

          Move? To where or what, exactly?

            1. My use of the term was for the purposes of describing where the Roman Church has often placed the Eastern churches; it was not a call that they should move out by becoming Romans. Thriving and open Eastern churches, even in the West, is good for the universal Church.

            2. Taking this line of truly bizarre thinking to its logical conclusion Catholics in Anglophone countries should just move over to mainline Protestant denominations; and really, really get out to the ghetto.

  3. This blog post ignores that a [growing?] number of Catholics believe that the priesthood and marriage shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. They are mostly lukewarm Catholics, who do not see the superiority of the celibate priesthood over the married; yet, I am afraid, there are lukewarm Catholics even in the hierarchy. Looked at through this lens, it is obvious this is one step forward in abolishing the all-celibate priesthood. Married priests are a much more bigger issue today than are Eastern Catholic parishes in Latin territory, which most people do not even know about; as such, it is not at all a stretch of a panicked imagination to say that this has to do more with easing in the abolition of the all-celibate priesthood than with propping up a moribund type of Catholic community.

    1. Again, married Eastern clergy have been operating in the West for some time now. Few, if any, notice. Keep in mind that this permission grants the ruling bishop the authority to waive the celibacy requirement; it does not mean they have to or that they will.

      Moreover, given the downward spiral in liturgy and devotion in the West, we should be thankful that there are Eastern churches serving as safe havens for the faithful. Having grown up in that environment, I for one am grateful that they are here. They deserve to thrive over many of the Latin parishes which are barely Catholic.

      1. Also, where do we draw the line at “The West”? There are two, ancient Greek Catholic diocese in Southern Italy and Sicily; should these diocese be closed because they are in the west? And their right to a married priesthood? There are also two Greek Catholic diocese in Hungary, a land always considered part of the West, shall be close these as well? Also, “since it is desirable for people to get out of their ghettoes by joining the rest of the Church in a given territory”; whoever came up with that piece of gibberish? What is next, closing down the traditional Roman rite parishes for the same reason?

        If the Latin west had the right, which I sincerely doubt, to enforce western celibacy rules on the Eastern Churches in the West, then by rights, if all rites are equal, the East had the right to allow for the ordination of married priests to serve Roman rite parishes in the East! Funny, no one is talking about that one.

        Will this move, actually simply abiding by the acts of union, influence a demand for a married priesthood in the West. Most likely it will; thank God!

        1. “The West” for this purpose is where the Latin hierarchy was established first. So that technically Japan is “the West”, for example. There are ambiguous cases, sure enough. I would not say places like Mexico City or Paris are ambiguous, though.

          The way peoples leave their getthoes is through assimilation: that is actually a tautology. Oh yes, as I see it, the Traditional Mass would have no right to exist except for the one detail that it is objectively superior to its mutilated version, which is the one that should not exist. One may say the same about the early Christians, they had no right to scorn the gods of Rome, except for the small detail that the Christians held the Truth. But in conditions of essential equality, then the question is what promotes harmony in a given territory, which is a good.

          I would say that in the case of a group living in a territory of a different Rite than their own, the stricter rule should prevail. I imagine that the particular case of the ordination of married men into the priesthood involves a different principle altogether, since, as far as I know, an Eastern bishop cannot ordain men into the Latin Rite.

      2. I do think you are contradicting yourself a bit here: on the one hand, you say that there is nothing to worry about here, because Eastern Catholicsare a miniscule minority in the West; on the other, you say that this is a good thing because it could enable Eastern Catholics to stop being a miniscule minority in the West. . .

        The point is not so much the practical effects of this, as the message it sends.

        I guess I cannot get too excited about Eastern Catholic oases because there are none I can access where I live. Also, the way for the West to get out of its downward spiral in liturgy and devotion is to go back to its own traditions. Encouraging Eastern Catholicism in the West could, in some places, undermine the efforts of those who are trying to restore the venerable traditions of the West, who as it is face enough obstacles. But again, I don’t think that this about propping up Eastern Catholicism in the West at all. So I am not worried on that end.

  4. The problem is some Roman Catholics don’t realize traditionally the two Christian states of life are not marriage or priesthood, but marriage or monasticism. Marriage and monasticism is mutually exclusive. Marriage and priesthood is not. Married men can be priests, if they don’t intend to join a monastery. Likewise, monks may be priests or may not be called to the priesthood. Women, while they can’t be ordained to the priesthood can enter one of the two traditional states of life. Woman can get married or be monastics

    The confusion in the west that priesthood or marriage are the true two states of life is why some Roman Catholics have historically felt scandalized when they encounter married Eastern Catholic or Orthodox priests.

  5. Is there anything dogmatic that you could highlight that defines what a higher state of grace means, and how the celibate life of a clergyman or religious obtains that and the married person is unable to obtain it?

      1. Well, I’m looking for something more specific than pointing to Scripture, which, as you know, can be used to justify just about anything when it is taken out of the context of the Church. By dogmatic, I meant some formal promulgation that is declared a part of the deposit of faith and is binding, as Roman Catholics understand it. Certainly, virginity and chastity have long been revered in both east and west; and newadvent seems to give a good summary and kicks off w St. Paul. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03481a.htm “Celibacy is the renunciation of marriage implicitly or explicitly made, for the more perfect observance of chastity, by all those who receive the Sacrament of Orders in any of the higher grades. The character of this renunciation, as we shall see, is differently understood in the Eastern and in the Western Church. ”

        What I’m still searching for is more info on the underlying western theology and any formal pronouncements specifically that answer the questions of what is a state of grace, what makes ones state higher in comparison to another, and how one can know.

        1. Pope Pius XII, Sacra Virginitas, no. 32: “This doctrine of the excellence of virginity and of celibacy and of their superiority over the married state was, as we have already said, revealed by our Divine Redeemer and by the Apostle of the Gentiles; so too, it was solemnly defined as a dogma of divine faith by the holy council of Trent, and explained in the same way by all the holy Fathers and Doctors of the Church.”

          Council of Trent, pg. 225: “If anyone saith that the marriage state is to be preferred before the state of virginity, let him be anathema.” […] “writing to the Corinthians, [Paul] says: I would that all men were even as myself; that is, that all embrace the virtue of continence…A life of continence is to be desired by all.”

          Catechism of the Catholic Church, p. 916: “The state of the consecrated life is thus one way of experiencing a “more intimate” consecration, rooted in Baptism and dedicated totally to God. In the consecrated life, Christ’s faithful, moved by the Holy Spirit, propose to follow Christ more nearly, to give themselves to God who is loved above all and, pursuing the perfection of charity in the service of the Kingdom, to signify and proclaim in the Church the glory of the world to come.”

          Saint Thomas Aquinas, ST II-II.152.4: “Virginity is more excellent than marriage, which can be seen by both faith and reason. Faith sees virginity as imitating the example of Christ and the counsel of St. Paul. Reason sees virginity as rightly ordering goods, preferring a Divine good to human goods, the good of the soul to the good of the body, and the good of the contemaplative life to that of the active life.”

          I Corinthians Chp. VII: “It is a good thing for a man not to touch a woman. [v.1] Indeed, I wish that everyone were like I am [celibate]. [v.7] I should like you to be free from anxieties. An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord; how he may please the Lord. But a married man is anxious about the things of the world; how he may please his wife, and he is divided. [v.32] Are you free of a wife? Then do not look for a wife. If you marry, however, you do not sin, nor does an unmarried woman sin if she marries; but such people will experience affliction in their earthly life, and I would like to spare you that.” [v.28] (see also Mark 12:18-27, Mtt 19:10-12, 2 Timothy Ch. 2:3)

          From here: http://www.religious-vocation.com/

          I realize you being Orthodox probably find these pronouncements of little authority. I didn’t need any convincing. I merely appealed to scripture since I thought that would be one authority we had in common. While scripture can as you noted be dissected and contorted I always saw this passage of St. Paul as one of the least unambiguous. These seems to be a passage where the great majority of “Christians” are simply just ignorant of. (I mean seriously how the hell do Mormons come up with divine marriage after passages like this?)..

          1. Great, thank you. I certainly appreciate most the more conservative language of a council such as Trent, which because of the negative formulation stands the test of time better than anything positive; hence my focus on any dogmatic and binding proclamations.

          2. So, however could Rome ever, ever have allowed the married eastern rite priesthood in the first place? It appears that it was rather rank hypocrisy. Well, at least we all now know that a married eastern rite priest, well, is not really a priest.

            St Peter was married, I suspect that that must mean the whole of the successor of St Peter thing is wrong as well?

    1. The only reason the Russian Orthodox had good relations with the Vatican during the Soviet period was because the Soviet government was using the Church to establish a beachhead in the west; and the Russian Church was more than willing to do so. Now that they are Putin’s lap-dogs, and he is anti-Western, they are following suit.

      Once again, it is indeed difficult for western Catholics to understand church as either simply ethnic social club or political pawns; but such is completely ingrained within Byzantine Orthodoxy.

  6. Priestly celibacy in patristics and in the history of the Church
    Roman Cholij
    Secretary of the Apostolic Exarch for Ukrainian Catholics in Great Britain
    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cclergy/documents/rc_con_cclergy_doc_01011993_chisto_en.html
    ===
    OSV Newsweekly
    Prayer and Celibacy The apostolic origin of priestly celibacy.
    Father Wojciech Giertych, OP [The Priest] 8/1/2011
    https://www.osv.com/OSVNewsweekly/Article/TabId/535/ArtMID/13567/ArticleID/7943/Prayer-and-Celibacy.aspx

      1. Archpriest Peter Galadza, and those who think like him, have obtained the ubiquity they desired — their ‘right’ to a Married Eastern Clergy anywhere in the West they immigrated and obtained ecclesiastical power. Did the Union of Brest and other such agreements with eastern churches – which I expect originally covered only their native historical territory and dioceses – really envision this? An honest question.

        1. I believe Fr. Galadza is from Pennsylvania; so I am not sure what your opening line means exactly.

          There may be more competent voices here to speak on this matter than mine, but no, I doubt the Union of Brest contemplated Eastern clergy living outside of their native territories, though I am not sure why that matters. The world of 2014 is radically different than 1596. The mass movement of peoples all around the world has changed things considerably, as has the displacement of Eastern Christians from their historic homelands. Allowing such persons to retain the rites and praxis of their native churches is a prudent pastoral decision which is good for the Church universal. Perhaps if the American Church had a clearer head about these things, we wouldn’t have lost 200,000 faithful to the Patriarch of Constantinople a century ago.

          1. You wrote: “If this new move by the Pope, which is consistent with the articles of the Union of Brest and every other unification accord ever struck with Eastern Christian communities […]”, etc.

            e,g. Some Slavic Eastern-Rite Catholics immigrated and settled in Latin Rite ecclesiastical territory and dioceses, then reportedly insist(ed) on Married Eastern Clergy for themselves in these areas. Many insisted to the point of schism, claiming injustice. I understand these areas (e.g. Canada) were not covered by the Union of Brest and other such agreements between Rome and eastern churches. However, Rome gives them bishops, supports the Byzantine Rite, etc. But out of respect and consideration for Latin Rite spirituality, practices and people already in the area, and their descendants, insisted on a celibate clergy for all equally. That was fair and consistent. This seems no longer to be the case, due to this ‘new Pope’, — from my point of view… Latin Rite traditionalists are not in this case the source of arrogance, chauvinism and scandal.

            1. Traditional Roman Catholics sometimes pick strange hills to die on. This is one of them. There is a wide gulf between the scandal of seeing married Catholic priests a century ago (when most Catholics living in America likely knew next-to-nothing about the Eastern churches) and seeing them today. In fact, I can’t even comprehend how the word “scandal” can be used here meaningfully. Your indignation, and the indignation of a handful of other traditional Catholics over this matter, has more than a whiff of insincerity about it.

            2. Most of this conversation is in many ways an eyeopener. I had not idea that such bigotry to the eastern tradition still existed. And if eastern rite Catholic immigrate to a western land and must adopt the western laws of clerical celibacy; then western riters in eastern lands should adopt the eastern tradition of a married priesthood; but, I notice that no one is saying that one. The whole message that I am hearing is that the eastern rite is somehow less Catholic and that a married priesthood is not really possible. Is an eastern rite celebrated by a married priest, not a real mass? I for one, would really appreciate some answers. Are these people insinuating that the novus ordo is the superior rite? Personally, having attended that piece of dreck, I am not convinced.

              Also, the acts of union were not geographical, but liturgical. Hence, the Italo-Greeks have no acts of union at all and their right to a married priesthood also existed until quite recently; the same with the Maronites..

              Personally, this fixation on sex is rather disturbing.

            3. Certainly, Dale, on the reasoning we have seen in these comments, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem ought to be dissolved forthwith, and its faithful instructed to become Melkites.

            4. “Your indignation, and the indignation of a handful of other traditional Catholics over this matter, has more than a whiff of insincerity about it.”

              From my perspective, I think any authentic Latin Rite Catholic traditionalist, for lack of a better term, would at least understand what I am trying to say, and why I am saying it. Your accusation of “insincerity” is wrongfully applied to me in any case. Thanks.

            5. I am going to lift a saying from an acquaintance of mine without attribution and the caveat that if and when he does utter it publicly, he deserves full credit for it: “Catholic tradition needs to breathe with both lungs.”

              I believe that line fully captures where I come down on this issue. If I am going to staunchly uphold the doctrinal, theological, spiritual, and liturgical traditions of the Roman Church, then I am going to do the same with respect to the Eastern churches we are in communion with. That does not always mean I am in perfect agreement with fellow traditional Catholics on what that means in practice, but so be it. I am sure, from Roman traditionalist eyes, I am “too Eastern” in some of my leanings and, by Eastern lights, “too Latin.” (For instance, I have discussed numerous times how I have no problems whatsoever with Eastern Catholics retaining Latinizations if that is their choice; I just don’t believe it should be imposed on them.)

            6. Some of the comments on this thread strike me as an illustration of something that I have noticed before: how Latin Catholic “traditionalists” cling, not to dogmas or teachings of the Church of Rome which may have been unduly neglected or slighted, but to mere Roman “attitudes” (or “stances”) which have been, in my view often happily, superseded – and somehow seem to conceive that the integrity of the Catholic Faith hangs upon them. Contrast, e.g., “praestantia ritus Romani” with Orientale Lumen and its predecessor Orientalum Dignitas. There seems to be a lot of “praestantia ritus Romani” on this thread; at least, nobody has yet seconded to dissolve the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and send its people “home” to the Melkites.

            7. William, a very interesting observation. I see, for example above, teachings by Popes and fathers that proclaim that the clerical state is indeed a higher state of grace of than the lay. What I have not found – yet – is a proclamation by a council or by the Pope “from the chair” declaring something that is binding on RC Faithful. What exactly is binding on Roman Catholics then regarding the issue of a higher state of grace being available to those in the clerical state, and not to the lay? And is that grace there upon the taking of vows and laying on of hands, or is possible over time to just clerics?

            8. “Some of the comments on this thread strike me as an illustration of something that I have noticed before: how Latin Catholic “traditionalists” cling […]”

              Please let me make one thing clear: I am not one – nor do I not speak for – so-called “Latin Catholic “traditionalists””.

              What I am opposed to are comments from people who appear (to me) to insinuate that “Latin Rite traditionalists are […] in this case the source of arrogance, chauvinism and scandal” (re: ‘Married Eastern Clergy, Traditionalist Panic?’). That they are or may be a problem. “They” are not in my opinion.

              Who are these ‘Latin Catholic “traditionalists”’ anyways? The FSSP, etc.? The Remnant newspaper? “Roman traditionalist [s]” appear to have one offical bishop, Bishop Rifan from Campos, Brazil, and I for one have never heard nor read anything from him on this case. SSPX bishops are not official and have no jurisdiction or canonical status in the Church. Never heard from them anyways on this case.

              That some Ukrainian Catholics immigrants in Canada in the late 19th early 20th century became apostate (Sorry, I was mistaken to write: “Many insisted to the point of *schism*, claiming injustice.”) over Married Eastern Clergy, etc. was unfortunate. I still do not think that Rome did them an injustice or violated the Union of Brest, etc., re: priestly celibacy law in the ‘New World’. No one here has proved to me otherwise; all they appear to do is cast aspersions.

            9. “There seems to be a lot of “praestantia ritus Romani” on this thread”
              Sorry. I have no idea what you are writing about, i.e. should I interpret most of what you and Dale have to say as aspersions and mockery?

            10. Sorry. I meant to write:
              *”Please let me make one thing clear: I am not one – nor do I speak for – so-called “Latin Catholic “traditionalists””.”*
              Don’t kick a man when he’s down. Thanks

  7. Oh good grief. Much ado about nothing. This is a positive for the Church. Why are the ultra-trads always such party poopers? Can Rome do nothing right?

      1. In what circumstances has this “deeply offensive” ploy ever really worked for you, Paul? Most people find your sort of passive-aggressiveness far more transparent than its practitioners ever imagine.

        1. I fail to see how my being deeply offended by Diane’s comments (or perhaps her attitude), could be construed as a “sort of passive-aggressiveness”; maybe you have some sort of agenda or training that guides you to think so – I honestly don’t know. I won’t even try to psychoanalyze you and others.

          But perhaps I did want to initiate a debate with Diane, by telling her tersely how I felt inwardly in reaction to what she wrote against the so-called “ultra-trads” . I was offended (not personally) by her dismissiveness of what I – and some others – think is an important and serious issue: priestly celibacy in western Catholicism, in the Latin rite, jurisdictions and in the ‘New World’, etc.; priestly celibacy in the eastern Catholic churches in diaspora (past to present); and Pope Francis ***. Some past and recent popes, bishops and others, obviously thought – rightly or wrongly – the issue of great spiritual and practical significance.

          In my estimation, for Diane to write: “Oh good grief. Much ado about nothing.” and “Why are the ultra-trads always such party poopers?” seemed off base: — if not sarcastic and contemptuous, at least inappropriate and shallow. “party poopers”?! ( http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/party+pooper ) (Merriam-Webster: “person who spoils the fun for other people”). What a way of viewing Pope Francis’ changes, — changes which might become a potential source of conflict and confusion in the Church. –I don’t know, but I do not think it is “nothing”. Why should not people be concerned, or ask questions? The priesthood is already in crisis in the western world, etc. Will it cause erosion to the spiritual commitment and rule in favour of priestly celibacy? “This is a positive for the Church.” Diane, that remains to be seen.

          ===
          ***
          Are married priests next on Pope Francis’ reform agenda?..by David Gibson, Religion News Service | May. 2, 2014
          http://ncronline.org/news/theology/are-married-priests-next-pope-francis-reform-agenda

          1. Once again, if eastern rite priests must be celibate in the west, then western rite priests should be married in the east. If rites and traditions are, as Rome keeps saying, equal.

            1. Dale
              “eastern rite priests must be celibate in the west”:

              It is my understanding that this is no longer the case in the Catholic Church. I assume you meant Eastern-rite Catholic priests (those in communion with the Church of Rome, i.e. with the Pope), not Eastern Orthodox. I assume also that Eastern-rite Catholic bishops and Eastern Orthodox bishops must be celibate.

              “western rite priests should be married in the east”:

              I am not sure how to answer you. I am not a canonist or theologian. I have no standing in the Catholic Church to speak of, so I am not in any position to offer a proper, professional, expert or official answer to you or anyone. Also, I may have used improper or incorrect words, terminiology or ideas to describe what I have been trying to say; also, I may be just plain wrong and in error. I also find it difficult to grasp and understand what you are writing. Perhaps if I try to explain with my own imaginary hypothetical example I might be more clear:

              Let us pretend that Roman Catholics in the west ordained married bishops ONLY. Let us also pretend it was necessary that a pastoral mission to immigrant Roman Catholics be established in the geographical territory covered by the Union of Brest — and that those immigrant Roman Catholics in the Ukraine demanded a married episcopate for themselves because of their rite and exclusive custom. Further, what if Greek Catholic priests and bishops protested against the ordination of Roman Catholic married bishops in their (Greek Catholic) ecclesiastical territory. What if the Pope decided and ruled (papal primacy) that Roman Catholics in the Ukraine, in the geographical territory covered by the Union of Brest, COULD NOT HAVE a married episcopate or ordain married bishops, only celibate ones? From my perspective at least, in this case there would not be any injustice against those regional immigrant Roman Catholics in the Ukraine.

  8. Sorry that I’m late to this party.
    I’ve never understood how one priest’s marriage devalues another priest’s celibacy. If anything, the one’s marriage highlights the other’s celibacy.
    And to the commenter who believes that allowing married men to become ordained is a relaxation of discipline, I presume you have not had many dealings with married priests. In a sense, they are the most disciplined non-monastic clergy! Christian marriage is a mutual sacrifice, not a selfish party. The married priest gives of himself twice over.
    And generally, one can’t logically complain (and I’m not saying anyone here did, but I hear this a lot) that a married priest will have too many obligations to be fair to either his family or his flock, and then also say that being married is a indulgence below the priesthood. Which is it? Is the married priesthood overworked or indulgent? It can’t be both.

Comments are closed.