Tuesday, October 26, 2010

East and West and Married v Unmarried Priests

A friend of mine, actually a very GOOD friend, posts this blog article earlier this year.

http://orthocath.wordpress.com/2010/01/24/can-east-west-coexist-with-married-priests

I have left a few comments there, but I think a fuller response is merited...

The Problem:
The normative Roman Catholic position is that only single men can be ordained to the priesthood. Likewise, the Orthodox have celibate clergy, but they are usually required to take monastic orders, to fill the family void. However, Orthodox Bishops will also ordain married men to the priesthood. (Neither Church allows single men who have been ordained to later marry.) In a reunited Church, could Orthodox and Catholic parishes live side by side with people possibly transferring between parishes, one ordaining married men to the priesthood and one limiting it only to unmarried, single men?
My answer to this was, and remains, SURE!  A bishop has jurisdiction over his diocese and everything which takes place, as it relates to the Church comes under his authority within his jurisdiction.  Eastern Catholics who have migrated to Western territories have to understand that the bishop of the territory they have moved to has the authority over that diocese.
Another reason the Eastern Catholic discipline of a married priesthood is relatively unknown is because it is generally restricted to the traditional homelands of these Eastern Catholic Churches.
And one would expect that the traditions of the homeland remain in the homeland!  Why would an Eastern Catholic presume that just because they had traditions back home that these traditions are to be automatically accepted by Western Catholics?  Likewise, the Sacraments of Marriage, Confession and Confirmation are all under the auspices of the local ordinary (bishop) and a Western bishop in an Eastern jurisdiction should not presume to authorize these without consent of the Eastern bishop.

For an example of a Latin Rite practice (one which I personally oppose and do not participate in) is communion in the hand.  What would the Eastern Rite priest think if a Latin Rite person were to reach for the spoon?  Of course that would be expressly forbidden!  I have witnessed some Latin Rite Catholics who "self-intinct" by taking communion in the hand and then approaching the Chalice they take the Host and dip it - this practice is expressly denied in the GIRM (#287).  It is possible for a Latin Rite priest to practice intinction, but it would be quite illicit for a communicant to self-intinct.

Vatican II issued the Decree of the Catholic Churches of the Eastern Rite wherein it states:
The Catholic Church holds in high esteem the institutions, liturgical rites, ecclesiastical traditions and the established standards of the Christian life of the Eastern Churches, for in them, distinguished as they are for their venerable antiquity, there remains conspicuous the tradition that has been handed down from the Apostles through the Fathers and that forms part of the divinely revealed and undivided heritage of the universal Church.
It must be noted, BOTH traditions are seen as apostolic in nature - and must be respected by each rite.

The Council of Trullo, 692ad (though arguments are made that this council was a continuation of the Sixth Synod, it was not represented by the Latin Church at all and when the decrees were sent to the Pope, he would have nothing to do with them) in Canon 13 states:
Since we know it to be handed down as a rule of the Roman Church that those who are deemed worthy to be advanced to the diaconate or presbyterate should promise no longer to cohabit with their wives, we, preserving the ancient rule and apostolic perfection and order, will that the lawful marriages of men who are in holy orders be from this time forward firm, by no means dissolving their union with their wives nor depriving them of their mutual intercourse at a convenient time.
My friend is not alone here:
http://catholicexchange.com/2010/10/21/139404/
Catholic Exchange presents this article which echoes the sentiments of my friend.

“My request is that the patriarch be granted personal jurisdiction over the faithful of his church wherever they might be,” he said (Coptic Bishop Antonios Aziz Mina of Guizeh, Egypt).

Now while echoing my friend's sentiments, it also brings out the point I have made:
At present, many Eastern Catholics living outside of their home territories are under the care of Latin Rite Bishops unless an Eastern Catholic hierarchy has been set up.
With all due respect to Bishop Aziz Mina, it makes sense that a Catholic living outside their homeland to expect to be under the local jurisdiction of the bishop under whom they are living. 
Note, if "an Eastern Catholic hierarchy" is established - then it is possible for the Eastern bishop to practice the traditions of their homeland without hindrance.  Again, this makes sense!  If there are enough of a given Eastern ethnicity in a given region, then an Eastern Catholic hierarchy can be and even should be set up.  Then proper and due respect is owed to both hierarchies within a given region.

We must also point out that the practice of the celibate priesthood in the West is a discipline, not a dogma, and one that is even observed by some Eastern Rites.  The discipline COULD be changed allowing for married clergy from any rite.  At present the Latin Rite chooses to adhere to St. Paul's recommendation in 1 Corinthians 7:28 and especially Jesus Christ Himself in Matthew 19:11-12:

He answered, "Not all can accept [this] word, 8 but only those to whom that is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage 9 for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it."
Footnotes:
8 [11] [This] word: probably the disciples' "it is better not to marry" (Matthew 19:10). Jesus agrees but says that celibacy is not for all but only for those to whom that is granted by God. 9 [12] Incapable of marriage: literally, "eunuchs." Three classes are mentioned, eunuchs from birth, eunuchs by castration, and those who have voluntarily renounced marriage (literally, "have made themselves eunuchs") for the sake of the kingdom, i.e., to devote themselves entirely to its service. Some scholars take the last class to be those who have been divorced by their spouses and have refused to enter another marriage. But it is more likely that it is rather those who have chosen never to marry, since that suits better the optional nature of the decision: whoever can . . . ought to accept it.

Jesus Himself recommends celibacy for those who are called to it, and in the Latin Church, those who are called to celibacy are also called to serve Him in His Church.  There are places for the married too, up to and including the deaconate, so married individuals are not forbidden from serving Him through His Church - they would just do a different role within the Church.

So, to answer my friend's question, "Can East and West co-exist with married and unmarried priests?"  The answer is YES!  So long as the local ordinary and the disciplines for each jurisdiction are respected on BOTH sides, then most certainly we can co-exist.  It seems to me that those bringing up married v. unmarried clergy are actually either deliberately or subconsciously throwing up road blocks, or attempted ones at least, in an attempt to thwart reconciliation between the East and the West.  Again I wish to emphasize that if proper respect is given on BOTH sides - this is really a non-issue, or a mountain from a molehill.

AMDG,
Scott<<<

37 comments:

  1. "A bishop has jurisdiction over his diocese and everything which takes place, as it relates to the Church comes under his authority within his jurisdiction. "

    So is it actually true that Catholic Eastern rite parishes never have Eastern bishops?

    And anyway, since the topic in your referenced article was a hypothetical union of catholic and orthodox, who is to say which areas rightfully are eastern or western? And since there are eastern bishops in the US, how does this statement actually help?

    "Why would an Eastern Catholic presume that just because they had traditions back home that these traditions are to be automatically accepted by Western Catholics?"

    Well, why do you have both eastern and western rites in America then?

    ReplyDelete

  2. > So is it actually true that
    > Catholic Eastern rite parishes
    > never have Eastern bishops?


    sw: No, that's not true and I'm not sure where that question even comes from. Please recall, my article reprises the idea of the "Eastern Catholic hierarchy" being established. Perhaps I could have been more clear - that hierarchy being established within a Western jurisdiction, or overlapping jurisdictions.

    > And anyway, since the topic in
    > your referenced article was a
    > hypothetical union of catholic
    > and orthodox, who is to say which
    > areas rightfully are eastern or
    > western?


    sw: "Western" would primarily be Western Europe and the Americas. Eastern would primarily be Eastern Europe and points East of there.

    > And since there are eastern
    > bishops in the US, how does this
    > statement actually help?


    sw: It helps because those Eastern Catholic bishops in America typically have agreements with the Latin bishops with whom they "share" territory.

    > Well, why do you have both
    > eastern and western rites in
    > America then?


    sw: You seem to be taking an extremely polemical position. The reason we have both Eastern and Western rites in America is because both have migrated here. The "West" was primarily founded by those of "Western" heritage (Catholics that is). Eastern migrations didn't come till much later, therefore Western diocese were already established and as Eastern Catholics have migrated West (to the Americas) agreements have been necessary for peaceful co-existence. There haven't been such negotiations made with Eastern Orthodoxy's movements to the West, and that will be an issue of discussion for reconciliation.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  3. I said:
    There haven't been such negotiations made with Eastern Orthodoxy's movements to the West, and that will be an issue of discussion for reconciliation.

    And I would add, this is MUCH more significant than a discussion of married v. celibate clergy.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  4. "No, that's not true and I'm not sure where that question even comes from."

    The question comes from your statement that the bishop has ultimate control over his own churches. So if there is an Eastern hierarchy.... well you see the point.

    "sw: "Western" would primarily be Western Europe and the Americas. Eastern would primarily be Eastern Europe and points East of there."

    Err, who said? Just because of the international date line or something, which is hardly an ecclesial authority, besides having moved many times? So does the Philippines become Eastern rite now?

    "It helps because those Eastern Catholic bishops in America typically have agreements with the Latin bishops with whom they "share" territory."

    So you assume a-priori that in this hypothetical orthodox union, the orthodox bishops must follow the Latin bishops? Bit presumptuous isn't it?

    "The reason we have both Eastern and Western rites in America is because both have migrated here."

    Well, right. But your line in your article was that why should people expect to keep their old traditions? Now you are saying, well because they came from the East, naturally they kept their old traditions. See the confusion?

    ReplyDelete
  5. I said:
    >> "No, that's not true and I'm not
    >> sure where that question even comes
    >> from."

    John replies:
    > The question comes from your
    > statement that the bishop has
    > ultimate control over his own
    > churches. So if there is an Eastern
    > hierarchy.... well you see the point.

    sw: Well, yes I see the point - and that point was made in the original article! Let me repeat it again now: Note, if "an Eastern Catholic hierarchy" is established - then it is possible for the Eastern bishop to practice the traditions of their homeland without hindrance.

    >> "sw: "Western" would primarily be
    >> Western Europe and the Americas.
    >> Eastern would primarily be Eastern
    >> Europe and points East of there."
    >
    > Err, who said? Just because of the
    > international date line or something,
    > which is hardly an ecclesial authority,
    > besides having moved many times? So
    > does the Philippines become Eastern
    > rite now?

    sw: Seriously John, slow down and take a deep breath. Do you know what the word "primarily" means? Does it mean "ALL" or just the most significant portion? Have you studied world history? Do you know where the "Byzantine Empire" was? It made it's furthest reaching West in about 550ad, but the point is "primarily" (not exclusively) Eastern Rites stem from the Byzantine Empire - which also held on to the Greek language while the rest of the Roman Empire went with Latin. Of course there are exceptions, like the Philippines and even Japan which are geographically "East" - yet their Christian heritage is Western.

    >> sw: "It helps because those Eastern
    >> Catholic bishops in America typically
    >> have agreements with the Latin bishops
    >> with whom they "share" territory."
    >
    > So you assume a-priori that in this
    > hypothetical orthodox union, the
    > orthodox bishops must follow the Latin
    > bishops? Bit presumptuous isn't it?

    sw: You're not fairly dealing with what was said. I was speaking of Eastern CATHOLIC bishops in America - and I specifically went on to say that no such "agreements" exist between Latin bishops in America (or elsewhere) and Eastern ORTHODOXY. Why do I get the feeling you're deliberately twisting my words? I presumed nothing! There ARE agreements between Eastern CATHOLIC bishops and Latin Rite CATHOLIC bishops in America where an Eastern hierarchy has been established which overlaps Western jurisdictions. An "agreement" between the bishops is not a presumption, it is an acceptance of said agreement between them.

    (breaking here...)

    ReplyDelete
  6. (Continuing...)
    >> sw: "The reason we have both Eastern
    >> and Western rites in America is because
    >> both have migrated here."
    >
    > Well, right. But your line in your article
    > was that why should people expect to keep
    > their old traditions? Now you are saying,
    > well because they came from the East,
    > naturally they kept their old traditions.
    > See the confusion?

    sw: I see that you are confusing the facts as put forth in my article. Speaking of America - or even "the Americas" - the Latin Rite migrated and established themselves here FIRST. Territory IS established by the Latin Rite and CENTURIES LATER we have migrations of Eastern Rites to the Americas. These Eastern bishops should not (and those in communion DO NOT) just invade upon the territory of an established bishoprick and presume can just "move in" without some sort of AGREEMENT with the local ordinary (bishop). "The line" of my article was and remains THAT IS THE WAY IT SHOULD BE! If there were a migration of Latin Catholics into territory primarily occupied and already established by Eastern hierarchy, then it would be WRONG for a Latin bishop to just plop himself into an Eastern juridiction and presume to have authority in that jurisdiction.

    sw: MY POINT is that the subject of the DISCIPLINE regarding married v. celibate priests is a relative NON-ISSUE for reunification. I was answering the question regarding the possibility of co-existence with East and West if married v. celibate priests remains. My original answer is the same as my answer today - YES! Co-existence is not based in disciplines which may differ between rites.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  7. Well, I'm confused. When I asked if there were not Eastern bishops, you said "No, that's not true". That implies there is an Eastern hierarchy already, as far as I see.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi John,
    Yes, there IS an Eastern Catholic hierarchy already - but it is not everywhere or even throughout every diocese.

    Speaking from my own anecdotal experience... I live in the Diocese of Phoenix. There are Eastern Catholic churches and even some bi-ritual parishes (Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Tempe is one such bi-ritual parish served by both Latin and Eastern priests) throughout the City of Phoenix, but the diocese reaches far beyond the boundaries of the city. I live about 100 miles north of Phoenix, and there is no Eastern Catholic church available to me. Now, if an Eastern Catholic bishop were to desire to establish a church or chapel in my city, he could do so, BUT, he should not do so without first consulting the Bishop of Phoenix who still has jurisdiction over my city 100 miles away. It's not so much that the Bishop of Phoenix is "over" the Eastern bishop who may wish to start a chapel in my town, but a matter of RESPECT for the local ordinary with jurisdiction. Once such a chapel was agreed upon, the Eastern bishop would have autonomy over that chapel.

    I hope this helps, and I apologize if I seemed a bit overly harsh previously.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  9. Well if there are Eastern bishops, the question then is why there aren't married eastern clergy, since I'll bet the Eastern bishops and Eastern churches would have them if it were up to them.

    Of course we know why: not because any local bishops, Eastern or Western don't want it. But rather because the Vatican said so.

    ReplyDelete
  10. John,
    You have a point. My point remains though. Eastern Catholics in the West are not in their homeland, they are in the homeland of Latin Rite bishops. Respecting the homeland is my point, and I believe Rome's too.

    More on this later. Dave and I had a long talk on the phone last night and I am seeing things a bit differently, but not fundamentally different.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  11. I don't know that "homeland" is an ecclesial category. The fundamental unit of authority in the church is a bishop and his people. Once you have Eastern bishops, and you seem to be saying you have them, well that ought to be the end of the story.

    ReplyDelete
  12. There were issues and concerns after the first migrations of Eastern Catholics (primarily Ruthenians) came to the United States in the late 19th century. In 1890 it was stated "that Greek Ruthenian priests who desire to betake themselves to the United States of America and to remain there must be celibates." This was re-emphasized in 1929 and 1939.

    As for your statement about a bishop and his people... if we take it back to the original ecclesial establishment, there was one bishop in a city, period. The allowance for another bishop within a given diocese/jurisdiction simply on the grounds of being of a different rite is itself a change in ecclesiology.

    ReplyDelete
  13. It's not clear how a city in the ancient world maps to what we have in the modern world. In the ancient world a city was a small walled community of at most about a square kilometer. Does this map to a suburb in the modern world? Can we really say Los Angeles must be considered one city in this context?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Scott,

    Most Eastern Catholic jurisdictions have their own hierarchy in the USA which operates independent of the Latin Church. They are governed by the Eastern Code of Canons, of which one canon states that Rome can rule on the ordaining of married men to the priesthood outside of the traditional Eastern lands.

    Two questions:

    1) If respecting the traditions of the homeland are paramount, then is the Latin Rite permitted to ordain married men for Latin Rite parishes in traditionally Eastern lands? Or, does the real reason for the restriction on Eastern Catholics in "the diaspora" because, all things considered their tradition is not really considered equal in dignity.

    2) As to the implications for future reunion between Catholicism and Orthodoxy: would Orthodox need to submit their tradition of a married clergy for Rome to adjudicate? Right now, the American Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church is required to get dispensations from Rome before any married men are ordained. Would Orthodox need to follow that rule? Also, if the pope felt necessary, could he impose celibacy on Orthodox churches as he did with the American Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Bishops in the 1920s and 1930s?

    ReplyDelete
  15. SW: Note, if "an Eastern Catholic hierarchy" is established - then it is possible for the Eastern bishop to practice the traditions of their homeland without hindrance.

    DB: Not as far as ordaining married men to the priesthood is concerned. The "Ban" from Cum Data Fuerit and other legislation from Rome is still on the books even for those Eastern Catholic hierarchies in the USA. It is also codified in the 1990 Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, which regulates the Eastern Catholic Churches.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I should have posted this first:

    SW: A friend of mine, actually a very GOOD friend, posts this blog article earlier this year.

    Thanks to a VERY SPECIAL friend! :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. > DB: Scott,
    > Most Eastern Catholic
    > jurisdictions have their own
    > hierarchy in the USA which
    > operates independent of the
    > Latin Church. They are governed
    > by the Eastern Code of Canons,
    > of which one canon states that
    > Rome can rule on the ordaining
    > of married men to the priesthood
    > outside of the traditional
    > Eastern lands.

    sw: I'm glad you make reference to the Eastern Code of Canons! The existing Eastern Code does not have any exclusions for married clergy. Could you point out the canon which states this? I did not find it. Many Eastern Rite Catholics already have married clergy outside the homeland. Click here for an anecdotal reference attesting to this.

    > DB: Two questions:
    > 1) If respecting the traditions
    > of the homeland are paramount,
    > then is the Latin Rite permitted
    > to ordain married men for Latin
    > Rite parishes in traditionally
    > Eastern lands?

    sw: If the Latin Rite permitted it (which it doesn't at this time) then sure!

    > DB: Or, does the real reason for
    > the restriction on Eastern
    > Catholics in "the diaspora"
    > because, all things considered
    > their tradition is not really
    > considered equal in dignity.

    sw: That's "two questions..." if anyone is counting! However, you again seem to be leaning to the polemics! This is NOT a matter of "dignity," and to attempt to make it such is a bit insulting. I see that you, perhaps, feel it is insulting to not have such "freedom" - but we're talking about things Eastern Catholics have agreed to in the past - AND - it would seem are not really even given much heed in modern Eastern Catholic traditions (see link above).

    > DB: 2) As to the implications
    > for future reunion between
    > Catholicism and Orthodoxy:
    > would Orthodox need to submit
    > their tradition of a married
    > clergy for Rome to adjudicate?

    sw: Orthodoxy would need to submit to whatever they AGREE TO. You're making assumptions based on hypothetical situations which do not even exist yet.

    > DB: Right now, the American
    > Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic
    > Church is required to get
    > dispensations from Rome before
    > any married men are ordained.
    > Would Orthodox need to follow
    > that rule?

    sw: That makes FOUR questions! (grin) Again, Orthodoxy would be bound by what they AGREE to be bound by!

    > DB: Also, if the pope felt
    > necessary, could he impose
    > celibacy on Orthodox churches as
    > he did with the American
    > Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic
    > Bishops in the 1920s and 1930s?

    sw: Alright, that's now FIVE questions! (grin) The pope in the 20's and 30's was merely sticking to what was agreed upon in 1890.

    (more later...)

    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  18. > orthocath said...
    >> SW: Note, if "an Eastern Catholic
    >> hierarchy" is established - then
    >> it is possible for the Eastern
    >> bishop to practice the traditions
    >> of their homeland without hindrance.
    >
    > DB: Not as far as ordaining married
    > men to the priesthood is concerned.

    sw: Yet, they are already doing it!


    > DB: The "Ban" from Cum Data Fuerit
    > and other legislation from Rome is
    > still on the books even for those
    > Eastern Catholic hierarchies in the
    > USA. It is also codified in the 1990
    > Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches,
    > which regulates the Eastern Catholic
    > Churches.

    sw: Again, I cannot find that canon, could you point it out for me?

    > DB: I should have posted this first:
    >> SW: A friend of mine, actually a very
    >> GOOD friend, posts this blog article
    >> earlier this year.
    >
    > Thanks to a VERY SPECIAL friend! :)

    sw: Well, THANK YOU! And thank you for objectively looking at this situation, which I hope you are, and not just towing the Orthodox polemics.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  19. In that Catholic Answers discussion, the participant refers us to:

    http://www.archeparchy.ca/vocations.htm

    There is no exclusion for married men entering the priesthood.

    Now, a bigger question - in my eyes - why is it that once ordained you cannot marry? Why is it that someone who is already married can become a priest, but a man who was not previously married is forbidden from marriage down the road?

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  20. John wrote:
    It's not clear how a city in the ancient world maps to what we have in the modern world. In the ancient world a city was a small walled community of at most about a square kilometer. Does this map to a suburb in the modern world? Can we really say Los Angeles must be considered one city in this context?


    I believe in this modern context a very large city could be broken into separate jurisdictions or diocese, but I'm not so sure that has happened.

    In my diocese, the Diocese of Phoenix, the jurisdiction covers all of Phoenix and most of Northern Arizona too.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  21. Scott,

    Where do you get the idea that Eastern Catholics agreed to the celibacy edicts? It was imposed by Rome even though the union agreements had guaranteed their right to a married clergy. Each time Rome decreed celibacy for the Eastern Catholics there was more schism. Read the book "Historical Mirror" by Fr. John Slivka for the particulars. There was NO agreements from the Eastern Catholic side. In that era, the idea of a married clergy was viewed by Roman Riters as repugnant. Do you really think Eastern Catholics accepted such a viewpoint of themselves?

    The Eastern Code of Canons guarantees the right of the pope to regulate married clergy in the Eastern Church. It's documented in my article:

    http://orthocath.wordpress.com/2010/01/24/can-east-west-coexist-with-married-priests/

    The Canon in question is here:

    http://www.intratext.com/IXT/ENG1199/_PL2.HTM

    "The particular law of each Church sui iuris or special norms established by the Apostolic See are to be followed in admitting married men to sacred orders."

    The "Ban" is part of the "special norms." That is what the recent Middle Eastern Synod brought attention to in asking that the pope remove the Ban.

    Yes, some Eastern Catholic Bishops have started ordaining married men in the US and Canada but according to the Eastern Congregation in Rome such ordinations violate the Ban, though the Vatican no longer suspends these priests. See this 2003 statement:

    http://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=3024

    Dave

    ReplyDelete
  22. sw: Orthodoxy would need to submit to whatever they AGREE TO. You're making assumptions based on hypothetical situations which do not even exist yet.

    I think the question I asked is valid.

    Are you saying that a future pope could be limited by an agreement made with Orthodox in a reunion scenario? Wouldn't that limit his "full and immediate jurisdiction"?

    The Ruthenian Church thought it had an agreement with Rome on this issue and found out that Rome's take on it was: 'we didn't mean it would apply everywhere.'

    ReplyDelete
  23. "why is it that once ordained you cannot marry?"

    In traditional Greek parishes, (regular churches rather than monasteries) you could not be a parish priest unless you were married. If you became widowed, the presumption was you would go off to a monastery and a new priest would be appointed.

    One could argue this is the teaching of 1Tim 3:2. The priest must be the husband of one wife. That doesn't mean zero wives and it doesn't mean a second wife.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks for responding and showing Canon 758.3. The canon does not say there is a "ban" - and from what I've shown, I see no such ban in place. How about the Ukranians in Canada?

    http://www.archeparchy.ca/vocations.htm

    ReplyDelete
  25. There may or may not be a ban, but clearly Rome reserves the right to institute a ban, which I think is the disturbing part.

    ReplyDelete
  26. DB: Yes, some Eastern Catholic Bishops have started ordaining married men in the US and Canada but according to the Eastern Congregation in Rome such ordinations violate the Ban, though the Vatican no longer suspends these priests. See this 2003 statement:

    http://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=3024

    According to the article, the "ban" has been nullified by Vatican II.

    Yes, there are requests for Pope Benedict to officially abrogate the ruling from the early 20th century. Even though in all practicality, it is not in effect.

    CNS article.

    Personally, I would favor such an "official" statement, regardless if it is really "needed."

    There's been a swelling of support for this discussion too...

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles_of_faith/2009/04/catholic_mag_le.html

    So... rather than deal in polemics, why not merely stand in SUPPORT of the discussion?

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi John, please note my question:

    "Why is it that once ordained you cannot marry?"

    You didn't answer that question.

    In traditional Greek parishes, (regular churches rather than monasteries) you could not be a parish priest unless you were married.

    sw: I don't think that is true, could you provide some evidence to support that claim?

    If you became widowed, the presumption was you would go off to a monastery and a new priest would be appointed.

    One could argue this is the teaching of 1Tim 3:2. The priest must be the husband of one wife. That doesn't mean zero wives and it doesn't mean a second wife.


    Um, 1 Tim. 3:2 is about a bishop, not a priest. Even Orthodoxy does not support married bishops.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  28. Scott,

    If the "Ban" was nullified by Vatican II why did the recent Synod in Rome propose a study to allow the ordination of married men?

    http://orthocath.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/roman-synod-proposal-study-married-priests-for-eastern-catholics-outside-patriarchal-territories/

    The America article did NOT say that Vatican II nullified the Ban. Re-read the article. It specifically quoted the Eastern Congregation in Rome which said the Ban was still in effect. The article did say some Eastern Catholic Bishops feel that the Ban was so nullified but Rome says it is still in effect. The Middle Eastern Catholic Bishops say it is still in effect and asked for a change in that regard.

    If the Ban was not in effect, why was it brought up at the recent Synod in Rome?

    This is not to say that some Eastern Catholic Bishops are ignoring the Ban, as was noted in the America article. But, it specifically said Rome still views it as in effect.

    After all, Rome insisted the Ruthenian Church remove the claim the Ban was no longer in effect in their first draft of their Particular Law (1998 edition) and insert that any ordinations of married men must be first approved by Rome on a case by case basis.

    ReplyDelete
  29. John writes: There may or may not be a ban, but clearly Rome reserves the right to institute a ban, which I think is the disturbing part.

    Well... Jesus singled out ONE of the Apostles to lead. Speaking of that subject, our debate on the papacy is still open. We've only got two rounds to go... how about we set a date for the IRC session, do it and then present our closing arguments to not leave that one hanging out there unfinished?

    Scott<<<

    Papacy Debate

    ReplyDelete
  30. "But Ukrainian, Ruthenian and Melkite Catholic bishops who support the ordination of married men throughout their communities have said the Second Vatican Council’s call to respect the traditions and disciplines of the Eastern churches and similar affirmations in the 1990 Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches have nullified the ban."

    http://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=3024

    ReplyDelete
  31. The Vatican's position is that those Eastern Catholic Bishops who state the Ban is nullified is wrong. The same article says:

    "Msgr. Lucian Lamza, an official in the Vatican’s Congregation for Eastern Churches, said on May 22 that the Vatican’s ban on the ordination of married men for the Eastern churches in the West “remains unchanged.” The ordinations “are against the norm,” he said. “But, of course, these priests can validly celebrate the liturgy and sacraments,” since the ordinations are sacramentally valid. He would not discuss the Vatican’s reaction or lack of reaction to the ordinations."

    http://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=3024

    I don't know how you can quote that article without admitting that the Vatican's position is that the "Ban" is still in effect. It is expressly stated in that article.

    The Vatican website acknowledges that the "Ban" is still in effect in its coverage of the recent Synod of Middle Eastern Catholic Bishops:

    http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/sinodo/documents/bollettino_24_speciale-medio-oriente-2010/02_inglese/b06_02.html#-_H._Exc._Mons._Antonios_Aziz_MINA,_Bishop_of_Guizeh_of_the_Copts_%28ARAB_REPUBLIC_OF_EGYPT%29_

    http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/sinodo/documents/bollettino_24_speciale-medio-oriente-2010/02_inglese/b25_02.html

    See Proposition 23.

    This was also reported in the press:

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2607445/posts

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  32. SW: Thanks for responding and showing Canon 758.3. The canon does not say there is a "ban" - and from what I've shown, I see no such ban in place.

    DB: Oh, really? Take a look at the Ruthenian Particular Law here:

    http://www.byzcath.org/index.php/resources-mainmenu-63/document-library-mainmenu-124/33-documents-of-the-byzantine-catholic-churches/334-particular-law-for-the-byzantine-ruthenian-church-in-the-usa

    Many of the canons of the Particular Law are numbered to match their corresponding canons in the Eastern Code of Canons.

    Notice that canon 758 in the Ruthenian Particular Law matches the canon from the Eastern Code of Canons which I cited earlier:

    "§2. Concerning the admission of married men to the order of the presbyterate, the special norms issued by the Apostolic See are to be observed, unless dispensations are granted by the same See in individual cases."

    This is a re-affirmation of the Ban in the Ruthenian Particular Law. It was imposed in 1999 after some conservative Latin Rite Catholics misrepresented the first Law which almost was promulgated in 1998. It had said:

    "2. This same Council of Hierarchs ascertains that the imposition of clerical celibacy introduced by the decree Cum data fuerit and reaffirmed by the decree Qua sollerti are currently in effect for the Ruthenians in the United States.

    3. The Council of Hierarchs declares that these special restrictive norms imposed by the Apostolic See are no longer in force and, thus, in the Metropolia of Pittsburgh, marriage is not an impediment to presbyteral orders."

    Rome forced this to be removed from the Ruthenian Particular Law and had the canon 758 (which matched the Eastern Code)inserted which required dispensations for ordaining married men.

    A news report from the time:

    http://www.post-gazette.com/regionstate/19991002byzantine4.asp

    I ran my article "Can East and West Co-Exist With Married Priests?" past one of the members of the canonical commission which handled the Ruthenian Particular Law (both 1998 and 1999) and he told me I had presented the facts accurately.

    As it stands, from Rome's POV, the Ban is still in effect.

    ReplyDelete
  33. "You didn't answer that question."

    Err, can't you join the dots from what I said? To be the husband of one wife, you need a wife. The normal way of getting a wife is to get married. Thus you need to be married before ordination.

    Concerning your disbelief about this being the norm, see here: http://www.christendom-awake.org/pages/mcgovern/celhist3.html


    "the Eastern church prohibited men being ordained to the secular clergy if they were unmarried. It was, as Cholij points out, from the perspective of the remedium concupiscentiae that marriage was considered a suitable state for the priesthood. Celibates who wished to be ordained had to enter a monastery. In this way all priests who lived in village parishes were required to be married"

    Concerning 1Tim 3:2, I don't think it refers to bishops. This was written prior to the settling of the terminology about episcopos and presbyter etc. That's why he refers to episcopos and deacons, but not presbyters.

    About the debate, can you email me privately and remind me where we were up to?

    ReplyDelete
  34. oc writes:
    If the "Ban" was nullified by Vatican II why did the recent Synod in Rome propose a study to allow the ordination of married men?


    sw: First off, my apologies for not responding sooner, I got occupied in a couple other discussions.

    sw: Second, I said "according to that article..." but I happen to AGREE with the article. I would say VCII has essentially nullified this "ban" - and in all practicality, it's not being observed. One thing I'm perceiving is that they may see things as "working well as they are" and are not real interested in upsetting the applecart.

    sw: As I recall from my earlier readings, this "ban" was first put in place as a "test" for a "ten year trial period." It was renewed once, but was it ever made a "permanent ban?" I don't recall seeing that. If my recollection is correct, the "ban" has self-dissolved.


    http://orthocath.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/roman-synod-proposal-study-married-priests-for-eastern-catholics-outside-patriarchal-territories/

    Proposition 23 from the Final List of Propositions sent to Pope Benedict XVI for the Synod of Catholic Bishops for the Middle East (dated 23 October 2010) includes this request:

    Propositio 23
    Married Priests

    Clerical celibacy has always and everywhere been respected and valued in the Catholic Churches, in the East as in the West. Nonetheless, with a view to the pastoral service of our faithful, wherever they are to be found, and to respect the traditions of the Eastern Churches, it would be desirable to study the possibility of having married priests outside the patriarchal territory.


    sw: Which brings us back to MY point of respecting the "patriarchal territory/jurisdiction of Latin Rite bishops!

    (breaking here...)

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  35. (continuing...)
    oc: The America article did NOT say that Vatican II nullified the Ban. Re-read the article.

    sw: Um, yes it did: "But Ukrainian, Ruthenian and Melkite Catholic bishops who support the ordination of married men throughout their communities have said the Second Vatican Council’s call to respect the traditions and disciplines of the Eastern churches and similar affirmations in the 1990 Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches have nullified the ban." What part of "nullified the ban" is not in that article?

    oc: It specifically quoted the Eastern Congregation in Rome which said the Ban was still in effect.

    Reread the last paragraph of the article.

    oc: The article did say some Eastern Catholic Bishops feel that the Ban was so nullified but Rome says it is still in effect. The Middle Eastern Catholic Bishops say it is still in effect and asked for a change in that regard.

    sw: I believe what is being asked for is an "official" lifting of the 'ban.'" Again, if my recollection is correct, that too may not really be necessary.

    oc: If the Ban was not in effect, why was it brought up at the recent Synod in Rome?

    sw: Oh, (sarcasm on) perhaps even though this "ban" has been quietly dissolved, there are some who wish to rub Rome's nose in it and are asking for a louder recantation of it (sarcasm off).

    oc: This is not to say that some Eastern Catholic Bishops are ignoring the Ban, as was noted in the America article. But, it specifically said Rome still views it as in effect.

    sw: Yes, it makes vague, uncited references stating someone in Rome insists it is officially still in place... I'm going to need more than that.

    oc: After all, Rome insisted the Ruthenian Church remove the claim the Ban was no longer in effect in their first draft of their Particular Law (1998 edition) and insert that any ordinations of married men must be first approved by Rome on a case by case basis.

    sw: Read between the lines with me here... that has essentially affirmed the "ban" (a "ban" means there are to be NO such ordinations) has been lifted! Your uncited reference implies that Rome would like input on such ordinations, but is not "banning" them. This brings us back to my original argument of respecting patriarchal territory/jurisdictions! What I am seeing here is Rome saying, "You can ordain married men, but if it is within our patriarchal jurisdiction, please have the courtesy and respect to let us in on it."

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  36. Scott,

    Essentially you are taking the position of a few Eastern Catholic Bishops and not that of Rome. When asked, Rome says the Ban is still in effect. I've cited that several times and all you do is cite what a few Eastern Catholic Bishops say. When a whole Synod of Bishops (both Roman and Eastern) meeting in Rome ask for the Ban to be rescinded you imply that they're just trying to rub Rome's nose into it, even though Rome has said when questioned the Ban is still in effect.

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  37. Just some more thoughts to your statement that those calling for an end to the Ban are just trying to rub Rome's nose into it. From a very faithful Byzantine Catholic priest's blog:

    http://frchriszugger.wordpress.com/2010/10/18/back-to-blogging/

    "Notice that at this Synod, the bishops have been blunt about the need to respect and incorporate the Patriarchates into Catholic government, the need to end the ban on ordaining married priests to serve Eastern Catholics in the Western countries, and that this is the first Catholic Synod to be addressed by a rabbi."

    ReplyDelete

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