Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Eastern Catholics and Married Priests

"Validity of Eastern Catholic traditions?"  

The following article from the USCCBlog does a pretty good job of summarizing what transpired between Eastern and Latin Rites about the turn of the 19th century.  All in all, I appreciated what was being said, but I would offer one correction.  In the final paragraph it states:
The fact that Pope Francis has decided to allow Eastern Catholic bishops anywhere in the world to ordain worthy married men to the priesthood is a great step forward. He has recognized that the validity of Eastern Catholic traditions is not limited to certain geographical areas, but applies to those churches wherever they may be found.
Well, that's a bit misleading a bit condescending to all the popes of the 20th century!  There NEVER was a question of the Eastern Catholic traditions, even that of the married clergy!   Now what DID happen was the Western bishops decreed that Eastern Rite priests who wished to stay in the United States could not be married.  There is nothing about validity here - what the decree did was make it "illicit" for married priests to remain in the United States.   That being said, several exceptions to that rule were made, especially in recent years.

Personally, I welcome the married clergy among Eastern Catholics - and would support the Latin Rite creating a special order which allows for married priests too.  At a time when there is a shortage of priests in the world, removing obstacles - like the discipline of a celibate priesthood - may help to alleviate the situation.  The full article I refer to can be found here:


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