Deacons and perfect continence
I hope the lull in posting means you're actually reading Peters' articles.
Basher Wrote:Oh, I'll drag it all out in front of you and explain it in small words if you like, but really, if you can't answer this yourself, then ipso facto you cannot comment on the issue. 

This is sad. 

Feel free to lament my ignorance and enlighten the lot of us.
What a lack of effort.

"Married men were ordained to the diaconate before the 1983 Code was published, and continued to be ordained after the 1983 Code without issue. Why is it an issue only now?"

Well, the point of Peter's articles is that these ordinations are problematic.  When the modern permanent diaconate was established, Paul VI specifically established it according to the 1917 code.  The 1917 code certainly does not provide an exemption from perpetual continence for married clerics, and no one has ever claimed that it does.  What everyone involved does agree upon is that the revised code was envisioned as providing exactly this exemption.  The three major schematic revisions of the code (1972, 1980, 1982) specifically incorporated the exemption from clerical continence for the permanent diaconate.  However, during the Papal review of the revised Code, JPII struck out the exemption, and the new code does not have this exemption.

So, the people involved in the situation, already invested in a married, sexually active diaconate, undertook to discover this exemption in the "spirit"  of the law.  I am sure this sounds familiar.  You can read a variety of these proposals online now, but Peters and other canonists (note particularly the excellent work on this issue by Fr. McLaughlin at Catholic University recently) have dealt with these attempts and the issue is not settled.  What is happening is that more canonists are looking into this matter and discovering that the law does not provide this exemption which everyone thought existed.  There are multiple issues which you can read, I'll deal with just a few here.

The idea that section 3 of canon 277 allows a Bishop to provide this exemption is flawed because if so it would provide any Bishop the power to establish a married priesthood on his own.  So, no.

The idea that a married diaconate is automatically envisioned as a sexually active diaconate is belied by the abililty of the wife to veto the ordination of a deacon.  No third party can veto the reception of a sacrament unless a natural right is being given up by that third party.  What natural right would the wife of a deacon give up at his ordination?  Only the right to sex in marriage.  IOW, Canon Law is actually providing specifically here for a married but perpetually continent diaconate in its sacramental law.

..and so on.  An actual reading of Peters or the other canonists examining this position will be enlightening.  They do in fact have a compelling case.  The differential minimum ages of permanent vs. transitional deacons points to expected continence, as does the ban on marriage after the death of a spouse for a deacon. 

The fact that this "problem" existed before 1983, and JPII had the perfect opportunity to "fix" the problem but declined to allow a specific canon to address it is provocative.  Some would argue that this means that the Pope cannot, in fact, provide a blanket exeption to perpetual continence for Latin-rite clerics because this is a matter of apostolic tradition.  Maybe.  No one knows yet. 

What this does point out is that, like many aspects of the "reform", the supression of the minor orders and the reformation of the clergy into Priests and Deacons was rushed and slapdash.  Whatever the intention of Paul VI was, it did not come to pass as a clear act of the Church, but was left mired in confusion (sound familiar?).  JPII likewise did not address the issue clearly with a teaching, but only by ominous omission (again, very familiar).  What has been passed down to the Church in 2011 then, is a series of contradictions, and Peters was among the first to recognize it.  (although testimony indicates the USCCB was investigating this earlier and chose not to act - no big surprise from the "let sleeping dogs lie" society).

If one follows the letter of the law, Deacons, like all clerics of the Latin Rite, are to be perpetually continent.  Their wives are not to be dragged into this unwillingly, so they are given the not inconsequentual power to veto a Holy Ordination.  (IOW, in this one case, the wife outranks the Bishop.  Stew on that.)  They are to wait until their childbearing years are mostly passed before they are able to be ordained.  If their wife dies, they are not re-marry as this may not be conducive to the observation of perptual continence.  Etc. and Etc.

However, if one follows the "Spirit of the age of the council" then obviously most of the people involved in the re-formation of the permanent diconate intended for these men to be sexually active if married.  Various Bishops conferences have stated so, the Curia gives ample evidence of being of this mind, and lots and lots of men have been ordained with exactly this idea by their Bishops.  It's an idea that has become "too big to fail". 

So...what's going to happen?  Will Rome issue a clarification?  If so, which direction?  Why didn't JPII handle it?  Why hasn't Benedict handled it?  Everyone agrees that no actual provision has been made in the Rite of Ordination (another oversight?) and so tens of thousands of men have been advised to "keep silent" during the promise of celibacy/continence during their ordination.  This instruction did not come from Rome.  What would be the status of a priestly ordination if the candidate "kept silent" and refused to answer his Bishop on his promise?  Why would a diaconal ordination be handled differently under the law?  No one knows!   

That's a quick overview.  It's not some crackpot theory, qualified canonists are taking a close look into the entire mess and no one is certain what's going to happen here.  As traditionalists, we have no reason to support anything done "in the spirit" of anything.  We do have an interest to see the national Bishops conferences follow actual Church law on a whole variety of topics, and this is one more case in which they aren't.  Many abuses were retroactively blessed by Rome in the 70's and 80's (communion in the hand, altar girls) and perhaps this one will be too, but perhaps not.  This is an important moment in the history of the Church.  We're going to really see how democratized Catholicism has become. 

Can the wishes of about 20,000 married deacons in the world cause Rome to overturn the Tradition of the Church on the necessaity of continence for clerics who serve at the altar? 

Basher Wrote:What a lack of effort.

Anything to earn your ire and/or disappointment, sir. May I have another?

Good outlining of the case, though.
So, do you still stand by:

"I believe the argument by Peters simply defies common sense and goes to no purpose but sensationalism."

Or would you like to revise and extend your remarks?
(02-08-2011, 07:32 PM)Basher Wrote: So, do you still stand by:

"I believe the argument by Peters simply defies common sense and goes to no purpose but sensationalism."

Or would you like to revise and extend your remarks?

Sure, I think you've made some sense of it. I'll say that Rome ought to definitely issue some clarification. Of course, they probably won't....
I would think that any self-respecting traditionalist would have an opinion about what the clarification should be.  Especially one with a pre-existing interest in the organization of Holy Orders. 

Unless it's all just for show. 

(02-08-2011, 07:45 PM)Basher Wrote: I would think that any self-respecting traditionalist would have an opinion about what the clarification should be.

The right answer, I would hope.
Pitiful.  Well, at least the meat of the issue is out here, and people of good will can read through and decide if Dr. Peters is some sort of delusional, or an insightful canonist.

BTW there's consistent intellectual traditionalism and faddish traditionalism.  Rejecting real work on real issues because something smells "neocon" is the faddish type. 

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)