Reply to Dirigible's post #8, 28 July 2014
#1
(07-28-2014, 11:07 AM)Dirigible Wrote:
(07-28-2014, 08:11 AM)Layman Wrote: 5. If you want a more liberal Church, just find a Protestant denomination that has the features you deem important and join it. The way has already been paved many times and it is wide and pleasant.  Just watch out for the drop at the end. It's very steep.  :Hmm:

More liberal? In what way is ordaining married men, an even more ancient practice for the Church than refusing to do so, liberal? And surely you can see how it's deeply irresponsible to tell this man to go become a Protestant rather than suggesting he join a traditional Eastern Rite church, since the only grievance he has raised with traditional western rite Roman Catholicism is that he likes the idea of married priests.

I'm sorry for resurrecting yet another old thread, but I had to answer this! The original thread is here: http://www.fisheaters.com/forums/index.p...=3465437.0

Dirigible--

First of all, I am an Eastern Rite Catholic of the Serbian Rite, subject in the US to the Eparch of Parma and in Canada to the Eparch of Edmonton. I have absolutely nothing against a married priesthood in the Eastern Churches. However, it would be radically liberal to overturn a tradition of the Western Church which has existed for at least a thousand years!
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#2
(06-13-2015, 05:18 AM)jovan66102 Wrote:
(07-28-2014, 11:07 AM)Dirigible Wrote:
(07-28-2014, 08:11 AM)Layman Wrote: 5. If you want a more liberal Church, just find a Protestant denomination that has the features you deem important and join it. The way has already been paved many times and it is wide and pleasant.  Just watch out for the drop at the end. It's very steep.  :Hmm:

More liberal? In what way is ordaining married men, an even more ancient practice for the Church than refusing to do so, liberal? And surely you can see how it's deeply irresponsible to tell this man to go become a Protestant rather than suggesting he join a traditional Eastern Rite church, since the only grievance he has raised with traditional western rite Roman Catholicism is that he likes the idea of married priests.

I'm sorry for resurrecting yet another old thread, but I had to answer this! The original thread is here: http://www.fisheaters.com/forums/index.p...=3465437.0

Dirigible--

First of all, I am an Eastern Rite Catholic of the Serbian Rite, subject in the US to the Eparch of Parma and in Canada to the Eparch of Edmonton. I have absolutely nothing against a married priesthood in the Eastern Churches. However, it would be radically liberal to overturn a tradition of the Western Church which has existed for at least a thousand years!

The Copts have been rejecting all the ecumenical councils beyond Ephesus for over 1500 years. Would it be liberal for them to change their ways? What about the Anglicans? The Act of Supremacy was in 1534, that's nearly 500 years. Would it be liberal for them to change that tradition now, or do you need the full thousand for changing something to become liberal?
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#3
(06-13-2015, 02:04 PM)Dirigible Wrote: The Copts have been rejecting all the ecumenical councils beyond Ephesus for over 1500 years. Would it be liberal for them to change their ways? What about the Anglicans? The Act of Supremacy was in 1534, that's nearly 500 years. Would it be liberal for them to change that tradition now, or do you need the full thousand for changing something to become liberal?

I would consider the return to Roman Unity of the Copts or the Anglicans to be simply a wise move brought on by the Grace of God, unlike dumping a Tradition that is at least a thousand years old. As far as I'm concerned you're comparing apples and oranges.
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#4
I don't think we should recommend people go to Protestant churches when we have Catholic spaces for them to live in.
I also don't think that the number of years something has been taking place is necessarily a measure of its importance. It often is, yes, but it is not necessarily the case. In addition, the issue of married clergy is not of doctrine, obviously, but is related to doctrinal and practical truths. So it is an open question. The Church can change it. Indeed the Church does change it, just not often. I think people need to understand that it is something that can be changed, but that if it is to be changed it must be because of reasons deeper than that "there aren't a lot of priests," and that, if this were the case, one should ask why there are not enough priestly vocations, and ask if this is so generally or if it is more so in liberal dioceses, etc. Just throwing someone to the Prots is really not good enough, unless the person is against something essential to Catholicism.
Similarly, for a person to be simply "against" celibate clergy is absurd. That is like being against the right to shave a beard. In such absurd cases (and I have met a few), the people do not so much have religious problems as problems with human nature. The bar is low . . . .
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#5

(07-28-2014, 11:07 AM)Dirigible Wrote: More liberal? In what way is ordaining married men, an even more ancient practice for the Church than refusing to do so, liberal? And surely you can see how it's deeply irresponsible to tell this man to go become a Protestant rather than suggesting he join a traditional Eastern Rite church, since the only grievance he has raised with traditional western rite Roman Catholicism is that he likes the idea of married priests.

The married men who were ordained were expected to remain sexually continent (which is why many of their wives ended up in nunneries). Refraining from sex before a sacrifice goes way back to the OT, and the Church offers The Sacrifice once a week at the very least. Daily Masses are pretty standard, at least in Latin parishes.  So talking about ordaining married men AND "ancient practice of the Church" while leaving out the bit about sexual continence isn't telling the whole story at all.


Council of Elvira, ca. 305:

"We decree that all bishops, priests and deacons in the service of the ministry are entirely forbidden to have conjugal relations with their wives and to beget children; should anyone do so, let him be excluded from the honour of the clergy."


First Council of Aries A.D. 314:

"Moreover, (concerned with) what is worthy, pure, and honest, we exhort our brothers (in the episcopate) to make sure that priests and deacons have no (sexual) relations with their wives, since they are serving the ministry every day. Whoever will act against this decision, will be deposed from the honour of the clergy."


Letter of Pope Siricius to Bishop Himerius of Tarragona, A.D. 385 (Ed. Pierre Coustant, Epistolae Romanorum pontificum (Paris, 1721; reprint Farnborough, 1967), 623-638):


Concerning the Incontinence of the Clergy

Let us come now to the most sacred orders of clerics, which we learn from your report, beloved, are thus so scorned and disordered throughout your provinces, to the injury of religion which should be venerated, that we should be speaking with the voice of Jeremiah, "Who will give water to my head, or a fountain of tears to my eyes? And I shall weep for this people day and night."  If, therefore, the blessed prophet says that tears are insufficient for him in lamenting the sins of the people, by how much grief can we be smitten when compelled to deplore the iniquities of those who are in our body, [we] to whom especially, according to blessed Paul, ceaselessly falls the daily concern and solicitude of all churches? "For who is weak and I am not weak? Who is offended and I do not burn?"    For we learned that many priests and deacons of Christ, long after their ordination, have produced offspring both from their own wives and even through filthy liaisons, and defend their sin with this excuse, that it is read in the Old Testament that the opportunity to procreate was given to priests and ministers.

Let him speak to me now, whoever is an addict of obscenities and a teacher of vices. If he thinks that here and there in the law of Moses the restraints of indulgence are relaxed by the Lord for sacred orders, why does He admonish those to whom the Holy of Holies was committed saying: "Be holy, because I, the Lord your God, am holy"?  Why indeed were priests ordered to live in the temple, far from their homes, in the year of their service? Just for this reason: so that they could not engage in physical contact even with wives, and that shining in integrity of conscience they might offer acceptable service to God. The period of service having been completed, use of wives was permitted to them for reason of succession alone, because no one from a tribe other than of Levi was directed to be admitted to the ministry of God.

Whence the Lord Jesus, when he enlightened us by his advent, testified in the Gospel that he had come to fulfill the law not to destroy it.  And he wished thus that the figure of the Church, whose bridegroom he is, radiate with the splendor of chastity, so that on the day of judgment when he comes again he can find her without stain and blemish, just as he taught through his Apostle.  All we priests and deacons are bound by the unbreakable law of those sanctions, so that from the day of our ordination we subject our hearts and bodies to moderation and modesty in order that in every respect we might please our God in these sacrifices which daily we offer. "They who are in the flesh," says the chosen vessel,  "are unable to please God. But you are not now in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you."  And where can the Spirit of God dwell except, as we read, in holy bodies?

And because a considerable number of those of whom we speak, as your holiness reported, lament that they lapsed in ignorance, we declare that mercy should not be denied to them, with this condition: if henceforth they strive to conduct themselves continently, they should continue as long as they live in that office which they held when they were caught, without any advancement in rank. But those who lean on the excuse of an illicit privilege by asserting that this was conceded to them in the old law, let them know that they have been expelled by the authority of the apostolic see from every ecclesiastical office, which they used unworthily, nor can they ever touch the mysteries which ought to be venerated, of which they deprived themselves when they were obsessed with obscene desires. And because present examples forewarn us to be vigilant in the future, any bishop, priest, and deacon henceforth found in this situation--which we hope will not happen--should understand right now that every avenue of forgiveness from us for himself is blocked, because it is necessary that wounds which do not respond to the medication of a soothing compress should be excised with a knife.

Concerning becoming a Priest

Whoever, therefore, vows himself to the services of the Church from his infancy ought to be baptized before the years of puberty and attached to the ministry of readers. From the beginning of adolescence up to thirty years of age he ought to be an acolyte and subdeacon, if he lives properly, content with only one wife whom he received as a virgin with a public benediction by a priest. Subsequently he should advance to the grade of deacon, if first, with continence leading the way, he proves himself worthy. If he performs this ministry laudably for more than five years he should attain the priesthood. From there, after a decade, he is able to reach the episcopal office, provided that during these times the integrity of his life and faith was demonstrated.

But he who, having been called to the conversion of a better way of life already advanced in years, is in a hurry to move from the laity to the sacred militia, will not otherwise obtain the fruit of his desire unless when baptized he is attached at once to the rank of readers or exorcists, if, that is, it is clear that he had or has one wife and that he received her as a virgin. Two years after his initiation having elapsed, he can be made an acolyte and subdeacon for five more, and thus can be advanced to the diaconate, if during these times he was judged worthy. Then subsequently, with the passage of time, if election of the clergy and people designates him, he justly can obtain the priesthood and the episcopate.

Any cleric indeed who marries a widow or a second wife should thereupon be stripped of all privilege of ecclesiastical rank, with communion as only a layman conceded to him, which he can then have provided that he does nothing henceforth for which he should lose it.

We certainly do not allow women in the houses of clerics, other than those alone whom the synod of Nicaea, for reasons only of necessity, permitted to live with them.

We also desire and wish that monks who are commended by depth of character and a holy pattern of life and faith be added to the ranks of clerics in this way. Those under thirty years of age should be promoted in minor orders over time through the individual ranks and thus reach the honors of the diaconate and the priesthood with the dedication of maturity. They should not ascend in a jump to the height of the episcopate, but only after having served the same periods of time which we established above for the individual ranks.

It is proper also for us to ensure that just as it is not conceded to any member of the clergy to do penance, thus after repentance and reconciliation it is not permitted to any layman to attain the honor of clerical office. For although they have been cleansed of the contamination of all sins, nevertheless those who formerly were vessels of iniquities ought not to take up any of the instruments of the sacraments.

And because for all these things which come under censure the singular excuse of ignorance is pleaded, for the moment, out of consideration of piety alone, it is necessary that we indulgently make allowances for it. Any penitent, any twice married man, any husband of a widow who improperly and unsuitably slipped into the sacred militia should understand that pardon has been bestowed on them by us with this condition, that it should be counted as a great benefit if, having removed from himself all hope of promotion, he remains with perpetual steadfastness in that order where he is. Hereafter the bishops of all provinces will know that if they believe that anyone of this sort should in the future be taken into sacred orders, an appropriate judgment is to be given by the apostolic see concerning both their own status and that of those whom they promoted contrary to the canons and to our prohibitions.


The Council of Nicaea:

CANON III

The great Synod has stringently forbidden any bishop, presbyter, deacon, or any one of the clergy whatever, to have a subintroducta dwelling with him, except only a mother, or sister, or aunt, or such persons only as are beyond all suspicion.



From the Council in Trullo (a.k.a. the Quinsext Council), A.D. 692.  It was a Church council held in Constantinople under Justinian II and was attended by 215 bishops from the Eastern Roman Empire. In the East, it's considered to be a part of the Sixth Ecumenical Council (681-2)


CANON III

SINCE our pious and Christian Emperor has addressed this holy and ecumenical council, in order that it might provide for the purity of those who are in the list of the clergy, and who transmit divine things to others, and that they may be blameless ministrants, and worthy of the sacrifice of the great God, who is both Offering and High Priest, a sacrifice apprehended by the intelligence: and that it might cleanse away the pollutions wherewith these have been branded by unlawful marriages: now whereas they of the most holy Roman Church purpose to keep the rule of exact perfection, but those who are under the throne of this heaven-protected and royal city keep that of kindness and consideration, so blending both together as our fathers have done, and as the love of God requires, that neither gentleness fall into licence, nor severity into harshness; especially as the fault of ignorance has reached no small number of men, we decree, that those who are involved in a second marriage, and have been slaves to sin up to the fifteenth of the past month of January, in the past fourth Indiction, the 6109th year, and have not resolved to repent of it, be subjected to canonical deposition: but that they who are involved in this disorder of a second marriage, but before our decree have acknowledged what is fitting, and have cut off their sin, and have put far from them this strange and illegitimate connexion, or they whose wives by second marriage are already dead, or who have turned to repentance of their own accord, having learnt continence, and having quickly forgotten their former iniquities, whether they be presbyters or deacons, these we have determined should cease from all priestly ministrations or exercise, being under punishment for a certain time, but should retain the honour of their seat and station, being satisfied with their seat before the laity and begging with tears from the Lord that the transgression of their ignorance be pardoned them: for unfitting it were that he should bless another who has to tend his own wounds. But those who have been married to one wife, if she was a widow, and likewise those who after their ordination have unlawfully entered into one marriage that is, presbyters, and deacons, and subdeacons, being debarred for some short time from sacred ministration, and censured, shall be restored again to their proper rank, never advancing to any further rank, their unlawful marriage being openly dissolved. This we decree to hold good only in the case of those that are involved in the aforesaid faults up to the fifteenth (as was said) of the month of January, of the fourth Indiction, decreeing from the present time, and renewing the Canon which declares, that he who has been joined in two marriages after his baptism, or has had a concubine, cannot be bishop, or presbyter, or deacon, or at all on the sacerdotal list; in like manner, that he who has taken a widow, or a divorced person, or a harlot, or a servant, or an actress, cannot be bishop, or presbyter, or deacon, or at all on the sacerdotal list.

We learned, furthermore, that men of unexamined life, who even had many wives, boldly and freely aspire just as they please to the aforementioned ranks. We place blame for this not so much on those who reach for these things with immoderate ambition as on the metropolitan bishops specifically, who, when they close their eyes to forbidden strivings, disdain as far as is possible the precepts of our God. Let us be silent about what we suspect more deeply; but what of that which our God constituted in the law given through Moses, saying, "Let my priests marry once," and in another place, "Let a priest take a virgin as a wife, not a widow, not a divorced woman, not a prostitute"?  Guided by this the Apostle, a persecutor turned preacher, commanded that both a priest and a deacon should be made "the husband of one wife."  All of these things are thus despised by the bishops of your regions, as if they were decreed more in the opposite sense. And because we should not ignore presumptions of this sort, lest the just voice of an indignant Lord reproach us when he says, "You saw a thief and you ran with him, and you cast your lot with adulterers,"  what henceforth should be followed by all churches, what should be avoided, we decree by general pronouncement.

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#6
(06-13-2015, 05:07 PM)maldon Wrote: I don't think we should recommend people go to Protestant churches when we have Catholic spaces for them to live in.

I never  suggested anyone become a protestant. That was just part of the original quote.
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#7
(06-13-2015, 05:55 PM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: The married men who were ordained were expected to remain sexually continent (which is why many of their wives ended up in nunneries). Refraining from sex before a sacrifice goes way back to the OT, and the Church offers The Sacrifice once a week at the very least. Daily Masses are pretty standard, at least in Latin parishes.  So talking about ordaining married men AND "ancient practice of the Church" while leaving out the bit about sexual continence isn't telling the whole story at all.

Council of Elvira, ca. 305:

/snip/

Thanks, Vox! I was going to mention those Councils, but, TBH, the Rule was often more honoured in the breech than the observance, at least in the West until about the 12th century.
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#8
I know it was not you, Jovan, but in the quotation at the beginning. I wasn't arguing against you at all, but just cautioning against hyperbolic reactions against people who need our help more than our condemnation.
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#9
(06-13-2015, 09:41 PM)maldon Wrote: I know it was not you, Jovan, but in the quotation at the beginning. I wasn't arguing against you at all, but just cautioning against hyperbolic reactions against people who need our help more than our condemnation.

I agree, my friend!
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