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So we seem to have two major issues with the priesthood today:

1. Simply a lack of 

2. Lots of homosexuality

Allowing married men to be priests seems like the single biggest antidote to both.  Eastern Catholics and Eastern Orthodox both allow married priests already.

I have heard the excuse that it's too costly to support a whole family of a priest - but it's a lot cheaper than all the lawsuits from sex abuse and loss of revenue from the loads of people that have left because of it.

And there is such huge support for it in scripture - 1 Tim. ch. 3 - Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife

and 1 Cor. ch. 9. - [/url]Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife,[url=http://biblehub.com/esv/1_corinthians/9.htm#footnotes]a as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?

It seems it should be allowed - and I wonder if we are paying the price for deviating from what God established?
I'll let the more theological literate give substantive answers, but I'll guarantee you one thing. The minute the West breaks with 1500 years of Tradition, the dam is broken. The next demand will be that Priest be allowed to marry. Then, that married men be consecrated Bishop. After that will come the demand for women as clerics, starting with deaconettes (and we're already hearing rumblings of that) and sliding into the abyss of female 'priests' and 'bishops'.

***ETA*** Oh, and to your first point. As I've said over and over, there is no lack of vocations to the Sacrificing Priesthood, of men willing to give up marriage and family to stand at the Altar of God and offer the Sacrifice of the Son to the Father. What there is is a severe shortage of men who want to be celibate social workers in a Roman collar, and to preside over the 'community meal'.

Orthodox Dioceses like Lincoln have no shortage of vocations and neither do the Traditional Orders and Institutes.
I don't think it has to go that far. It has stayed well within bounds within Orthodoxy and Eastern Catholicism - and oddly enough both of those don't seem to have the liturgical modernization that Roman Catholicism does.


They both keep it to the priesthood, and marriage before ordination. They have done it for 2000 years - a longer tradition.
Exactly. It’s part of their Tradition. Where as if the Latin Rite abandoned celibacy, we’d be destroying yet ANOTHER Tradition. And for what? Some short term gains in priesthood numbers? And for what kind of priests? Probably NOT traditionalists.
What Some Guy said. And as I pointed out there is absolutely no shortage of men who want to be real priests, just of men to be parish administrators, social workers, and presiders at the community meal.
There is a book called, Good Bye Good Men, which details how the seminaries were actively turning away heterosexual orthodox Catholic men for decades.
(07-26-2018, 09:02 PM)jovan66102 Wrote: [ -> ]I'll let the more theological literate give substantive answers, but I'll guarantee you one thing. The minute the West breaks with 1500 years of Tradition, the dam is broken. The next demand will be that Priest be allowed to marry. Then, that married men be consecrated Bishop. After that will come the demand for women as clerics, starting with deaconettes (and we're already hearing rumblings of that) and sliding into the abyss of female 'priests' and 'bishops'.

***ETA*** Oh, and to your first point. As I've said over and over, there is no lack of vocations to the Sacrificing Priesthood, of men willing to give up marriage and family to stand at the Altar of God and offer the Sacrifice of the Son to the Father. What there is is a severe shortage of men who want to be celibate social workers in a Roman collar, and to preside over the 'community meal'.

Orthodox Dioceses like Lincoln have no shortage of vocations and neither do the Traditional Orders and Institutes.

I wouldn't mind seeing some married men be allowed to be ordained to the episcopate.  I remember watching something a few years back where inscriptions were found at some site mentioning an "episcopa" and they were trying to argue that there were female bishops in the early church.  There weren't, but there certainly were some bishops wives!  So it's a disciplinary thing that even bishops must be unmarried, not doctrinal.

I've thought a good model would be to require the pastor of a church to be celibate in the West, and allow married priests as assistant priests.  I guess as far as duties go, they'd essentially be deacons that could hear confessions and anoint the sick.  In the case of bishops, perhaps the metropolitans, archbishops and patriarchs could be pulled from monasteries, but allow married priests to be consecrated as auxiliary bishops, or even occasionally as diocesan bishops when needed.  I don't see why it couldn't work under the right circumstances.
Melkite, I am an Easterner, and I'd love to agree with you, I really would, but I still maintain that if the West abolishes clerical celibacy, the dam breaks.
(07-26-2018, 08:50 PM)Markie Boy Wrote: [ -> ]So we seem to have two major issues with the priesthood today:

1. Simply a lack of 

2. Lots of homosexuality

Allowing married men to be priests seems like the single biggest antidote to both.  

In fact, those problems are not solved by allowing married men to become priests.

In the short term, of course, it is quite likely that, yes, numbers of seminarians would increase, the question is would this be because more men with vocations are going, or simply more men are going? Often times this is overlooked. The priesthood is a divine vocation, not just another job that one take up that has a public and social character like military service or social work. 

The question rather to ask to understand if married men becoming priests would solve it is to ask why the numbers are low now: Never before was there a problem attracting men to the priesthood, so what is it today that is making attracting men to the priesthood such a problem? Especially relevant : why did the number of vocations plummet and the number of priests abandoning their priesthood skyrocket immediately (within 5-10 years) after Vatican II?

I would submit that it is because the priesthood was devalued by removing the notion of the sacrificial nature of the priest and focusing too much on his pastoral and social character. With a family (like one sees in the sects and Eastern churches with married men as priests) the priesthood would become even more of a day job. Would this not add to the confusion and devaluing of the priesthood?

Secondly, regarding the homosexual problem, how does allowing married men to be ordained solve this?  The problem you present is not a lack of marriage, but a overabundance of homosexuals. This is like arguing that there are too many weeds in your wheat, so we should just plant some barley among the wheat. The problem is the weeds, not the wheat. The barley does not solve the problem of weeds.

A better question, again : why there are a disproportionate number of homosexual men in the priesthood?

I don't think one could reasonably argue that it is because it is a celibate profession. Celibacy doesn't cause, no pre-dipose someone toward homosexuality. It may provide a better occasion and venue for homosexual relationships, but is not causative, so removing celibacy wouldn't fix the problem. In short, no man ever became a homosexual because of ordination, nor because of a vow not to marry.

It is possible that for homosexual men, there was an attraction to a "profession" which would give them cover for their decision not to marry a woman, but again, that would not make them more likely to fail in practicing chastity. If anything it would seem to provide a more safe environment to keep chastity, being around the Sacraments and spiritual things as much as a priest is.

Arguably the problem is that if we suppose that more homosexuals or men disposed towards homosexuality (rather than a strong hyper-sexual heterosexual drive, which also would be a danger for a priest), entered the seminaries and were ordained, and the environment was not supportive of their chastity, then the question becomes, again, why?

Supposing the same devaluation of the priesthood and downplaying of the sacrificial nature, thus the confusion of the very nature of the priest, that also seems to fit the bill here. If a homosexually-disposed man decides to enter celibate life to protect himself and practice celibacy and chastity, and then the very nature of his priesthood is destroyed and he becomes not a man who is called to die to himself for the good of the faithful, but a counselor and social worker, it is no wonder that he would wonder why he made such a commitment. In such a desolation, it is not surprising that he would abandon his resolve to practice chastity and look for consolation elsewhere, especially sexual gratification.

As one very good priest put it, referring to homosexuals, even when people may have fantasies and thoughts about illicit things, there is a definitive element to engaging in homosexual acts. Once one does that it "breaks" something in them, which can never be repaired, and is a wound with which they will always have to live, and constantly work against. 

My own thoughts, such acts are a kind of "consecration" to unnatural things, and thus a sort of unknowing "pact" with the devil. It is not surprising that once someone does this that terrible and lasting wounds result, even when they repent of them. If so, then it is no wonder that a priest who not only has violated his consecration by unchaste acts, but then engaged is such horrifically unnatural acts and made a kind of definitive "consecration" to the devil by them is difficult to bring back and fix. Like any disease, it can spread, especially to the weak, so it is not surprising that other weak priests were drawn into such.

If that's an accurate analysis (since it's my own opinion, it could be flawed), then also marriage would not fix this. Men are unfaithful to their marriage frequently too, and if there is a crisis in the nature of the priesthood, coupled with a crisis in their home, it would not be surprising for men to be just as unfaithful, perhaps through adultery proper, or homosexual acts as well. In short, marriage does not solve that problem either.

If we also think it would be a solution to the pedophilia scandals, we could legitimately ask how many pedophiles have made vows of celibacy? Did it work? Promising to not marry does not fix a mental disorder. Marriage also doesn't. Studies showing the rates of active pedophilia (plausible crimes, not just people who have the mental disorder) demonstrate that among the Catholic clergy the rate is the same or lower than the general population. Thus neither celibacy, nor marriage would seem to have any kind of effect.

So, in short, allowing married priests does not actually address the problem. Proponents (usually those who are not faithful to the traditional and integral Catholic Faith), often make such arguments that marriage solves these problems, but studies and logic show it does not. It is just a ruse to get married priests, and as Jovan suggests, open the floodgates.

(07-26-2018, 08:50 PM)Markie Boy Wrote: [ -> ]Eastern Catholics and Eastern Orthodox both allow married priests already.

There is actually an argument that suggests that their practices were allowed at least partially because of the abuse of Apostolic practice.

Firstly, it seems from many documents that while married men became priests from Apostolic times, that they also had to remain perpetually continent after ordination. Their wives would live a quasi-consecrated life in service to the Church as well.

As time passed some did not keep this. This would seem to be shown by the fact that several documents insist on clerical continence (why insist if it was practiced faithfully?). Among these is the Council of Elvira, Council of Arles, St. Ambrose, Epiphanius, the Council of Carthage, and the Council of Orange among many others.

The Council in Trullo (considered an ecumenical council by the Orthodox) itself makes it clear that perpetual continence is demanded at least of all bishops.

On 1 Cor 9.5, while the West interprets these women as consecrated helpers and not a spouse, St. Clement of Alexandria in his Stromata thinks that Paul and all the Apostles were married, and these "sisters" were their wives, but with whom they lives as a sister, thus in perpetual continence.

Secondly, at the very least all historically accepted that a priest needed to remain continent in order to offer the Mass/Divine Liturgy, so it could be understood that in the West, where the tradition was that every priest said Mass every day (privately or publicly), that he had to remain perpetually continent, whereas in the East, there was typically only one Mass by one priest each day, which, with a perpetually continent bishops, would make it possible that priests with wives could at least occasionally engage in marital relations.

This is also supported by the lack of many example in the early Church of mentions of the children of priests, which undoubtedly there were, but are not frequently spoken of in any way. Surely some Father would have addressed the issue at length if it were a common situation.

(07-26-2018, 08:50 PM)Markie Boy Wrote: [ -> ]I have heard the excuse that it's too costly to support a whole family of a priest - but it's a lot cheaper than all the lawsuits from sex abuse and loss of revenue from the loads of people that have left because of it.

Again, this presume that marriage solves the pedophilia problem, which it doesn't.

Even so, it's a pretty decent practical argument : If a priest has a large family, as a Catholic following the laws of the Church will often have, then this becomes a serious problem.

In the diocese where priests are salaried, they may make a decent living ($30-40k per year), but certainly nowhere near enough to support a large family. Ask a traditional priest what he makes and I think you would be shocked. I know some priests of traditional societies that receive as their only income Mass stipends (in one case totaling about $5,000 per year) ... and these are the faithful priests that we demand more of.

If this is what the faithful and church can afford, then do you really think that introducing married priests will get the faithful to double or triple their offerings to fix this deficit? Would this then not create a jealous situation between the married priests who draw much more than an unmarried priest, or would we pay them the same, enriching the unmarried (which would probably again devalue the priesthood).

(07-26-2018, 08:50 PM)Markie Boy Wrote: [ -> ]And there is such huge support for it in scripture - 1 Tim. ch. 3 - . Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife.

The Latin (and Catholic) text, not this Protestant forgery says "bishop" not "overseer", and also 1 Tm 3.12 deacons are meant to be "of one wife".

Is St. Paul demanding that they marry? How's that possible when he says (1 Cor 7.7) : "I wish all men were like me" after discussing marriage, and how it is better not to marry, but if this will help one control and direct his passions then it is good. The Catholic interpretation is that St. Paul was not married, even if a few argue from 1 Cor 9.5 that he might have been married but perpetually continent.

What of Mt 19.12 where Our Lord says that there are those who have decided to remain celibate and chaste for the kingdom of God and "he who can take it, let him take it"? Is this an abberation? If not would not those who especially consecrated in the priesthood be the ideal candidates? So is St. Paul really insisting that a deacon or bishop marry?

Rather, does it not make much more sense that because the clergy if married were expected to be perpetually chaste, that if their wife died, they could not marry again, since this would show an inability to remain continent?

(07-26-2018, 08:50 PM)Markie Boy Wrote: [ -> ]and 1 Cor. ch. 9. - Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?

Well, the Latin does not say "wife". It says, "woman [who is a] sister" as does the Greek. While "woman" can mean wife, at best we could argue here that it is a "wife who is as a sister". To translate it as "believing wife" is certainly not a faithful translation. Only in a very remote sense could this be intended. Coupled with the passage two chapters earlier in the same book it seems impossible to read it in this way.

Thus, this "woman" is either an actual sister, a consecrated woman, or a wife with whom these men were living as a sister.

Given the account of Peter's Mother in Law in the Gospels, though, it does not seem like Peter's wife was still alive at this point, since the Mother in Law was in Peter's own house, his wife is never spoken of, and it would have been the wife serving in the house, not getting up to do the serving after her healing. If he was not married any longer at that point, it is unlikely that he took a second wife in view of what was clearly the Apostolic notion expressed by St. Paul that bishops be of one wife. It would be a bit unfitting that St. Peter could have second, when he was the head of the Church and model for the others.

(07-26-2018, 08:50 PM)Markie Boy Wrote: [ -> ]It seems it should be allowed - and I wonder if we are paying the price for deviating from what God established?

...except it's not a deviation, and a realistic read of Church history shows this.
(07-26-2018, 10:29 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: [ -> ]Studies showing the rates of active pedophilia (plausible crimes, not just people who have the mental disorder) demonstrate that among the Catholic clergy the rate is the same or lower than the general population. 

I've seen studies that show paedophilia (not ephebophilia, which is what the 'paedophilia scandal' in the Church actually is) is statistically more prevalent amongst heterosexual, married men'.
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