Deacons and perfect continence
#47
I think the problem here is that I've made the mistake of assuming some general knowledge on this topic.  OK, let me correct that.

Absolute clerical continence is the constant tradition of the Latin Rite of the Church.  Bookended Canonically by Elvira and Trent, the entire period from the triumph of the Church over persecution until the suppression of married men admitted to tonsure provides ample evidence that married men were welcomed to the major orders only if they with the consent of their wives (and the judgement of their superiors that their wives were of sufficient moral character) would promise absolute continence after ordination.  This lex continentiae applied of course to married deacons, priests, and Bishops.  The formulation found in Canon 33 of Elvira reflects the practice of the Church during this period:

33. Bishops, presbyters, deacons, and others with a position in the ministry are to abstain completely from sexual intercourse with their wives and from the procreation of children. If anyone disobeys, he shall be removed from the clerical office.

The precursor for the congregation of the clergy, the Sacra Congregatio Cardinalium pro executione et interpretatione concilii Tridentini interpretum, the body charged with interpreting and implementing Trent in the Church, restated the necessaity of all clergy to follow the lex continentiae in 1610.  The 1917 code of Canon Law established marriage as an impediment to Orders subject to dispensation, but this dispensation required the promise of perpetual continence.

The above is a simple exposition of the constant practice of the Church.  If someone wanted to research this, some excellent sources are Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy by Christian Cochini S.J. and  The Case for Clerical Celibacy by Cardinal Stickler.  Stickler was himself present during the debates immediately following the Council, and wrote in defense of perpetual diaconal continence as the constant law of the Church (subject to penalty of dismissal from the clerical state) applying specifically to married deacons.  These scholars establish the the *traditional purpose* of receving the permission of the decaon's wife, of limiting the age of married men admitted to orders, and of examining the moral character of the wife of a potential cleric was indeed to insure the observation complete continence after ordination.  This is not within the bounds of argument or opinion, but is historical information established by Catholic scholars and is not disputed by their peers.

Let's start with that.  This is the traditional practice of the Church which would require more than omission to modify.  Exactly what would be required to modify it is an interesting topic in itself, since it is the opinion of some that the practice of some form of continence by married men who serve at the altar has apolstolic origin and is not subject to any modification.  At the very least, a matter of ancient and constant tradition (with elements of apostolic origin) cannot be modified by omission or by silence, and most certianly not by an uneasy silence of a single generation. 






 

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Messages In This Thread
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Basher - 02-08-2011, 12:43 AM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Basher - 02-08-2011, 01:12 AM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Basher - 02-08-2011, 01:31 AM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Basher - 02-08-2011, 02:38 AM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Basher - 02-08-2011, 07:32 PM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Basher - 02-08-2011, 07:45 PM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Jesse - 02-08-2011, 07:46 PM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Basher - 02-08-2011, 07:51 PM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Basher - 02-08-2011, 08:05 PM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Jesse - 02-08-2011, 08:10 PM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Basher - 02-08-2011, 08:15 PM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Historian - 02-08-2011, 08:23 PM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Basher - 02-08-2011, 08:35 PM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Historian - 02-08-2011, 08:40 PM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Basher - 02-08-2011, 08:50 PM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Basher - 02-09-2011, 12:05 AM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Resurrexi - 02-09-2011, 12:24 AM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Resurrexi - 02-09-2011, 12:26 AM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Basher - 02-09-2011, 01:06 AM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Historian - 02-09-2011, 04:14 AM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Historian - 02-09-2011, 05:04 AM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Basher - 02-10-2011, 01:57 AM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Historian - 02-10-2011, 03:23 AM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Basher - 02-10-2011, 08:24 PM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Historian - 02-10-2011, 08:41 PM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Basher - 02-10-2011, 09:00 PM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Historian - 02-10-2011, 09:31 PM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Basher - 02-10-2011, 10:38 PM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Historian - 02-11-2011, 09:46 AM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Basher - 02-15-2011, 04:31 AM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Historian - 02-15-2011, 11:46 AM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Historian - 02-15-2011, 08:36 PM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Basher - 02-15-2011, 09:06 PM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Basher - 02-15-2011, 09:13 PM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Basher - 02-15-2011, 09:32 PM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Basher - 02-15-2011, 09:34 PM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Historian - 02-15-2011, 09:46 PM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Historian - 02-15-2011, 10:04 PM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Basher - 02-15-2011, 10:13 PM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Historian - 02-15-2011, 10:18 PM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Historian - 02-15-2011, 10:23 PM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Basher - 02-15-2011, 10:25 PM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Basher - 02-15-2011, 10:27 PM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Basher - 02-15-2011, 10:28 PM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Historian - 02-15-2011, 10:28 PM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Historian - 02-16-2011, 12:22 PM
Re: Deacons and perfect continence - by Jesse - 02-16-2011, 12:46 PM



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