married clergy
#41
I see no reason to believe that having married priests would somehow stop the trend of having sorry priests.  While I understand the sentiment that the younger priests are somehow better, I do not think that is the case.  A Novus Ordo priest is still a Novus Ordo priest -- if such a one were better, he would not be signing up for a lifetime of "presiding" at the Novus Ordo service.  (Yes, I know some would say this is a "harsh" opinion, but it is just that -- my opinion.)

The good priests are the ones attached to the Traditional groups, and those are the priests who would not accept this novelty of a married priesthood.  Almost by definition, the married priests would be sorry because they would be the sort of fellows who have no concept of the importance of tradition (since they would've rejected the tradition by becoming married priests). 

I think we have to step back and take note of the people who are floating this idea of a married priesthood.  These are the people who are hellbent on destroying the Church.  This is yet another one of their ideas to accomplish that end.  Whatever the potential merits of a married priesthood, the people making this proposal are not doing so because they think that the Church will benefit.  All other things aside, that is sufficient reason to fight against this novelty.
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#42
I think celibate Latin priests in the US are moved too often, though I suspect it may be for the best when parishes have only one priest. I have seen single-priest parishes with a long-time pastor turn into odd personality cults, where only the pastor's supporters stay and others go to nearby parishes.

My problem with looking at the East as the model is that the West simply isn't the East. I love the Eastern churches, and I go to Ukrainian and Melkite liturgies regularly. But the West does not have a tradition of married priests. It would be a novelty to the Latin church.  Ultimately, neither married nor celibate priests are essential. The Latin Church could allow married priests, or the Eastern churches could forbid married priests. But neither action would be in line with the traditions of the churches.

On a practical level, the Eastern churches have established traditions and mind sets about priests' wives and families, their role, etc.  The Western church also has established expectations for the celibate priesthood. And in the Western church there is quite a bit of chaos and confusion about sex, sexuality, gender roles, and the role of the priesthood. While this affects the Eastern churches as well, I sense that it is less extreme in the communities I encounter. The priests' wives I know do not think they are priests or that they rule the parish. But I fear that given our situation in the modern west, if the Latin church ordained married men you would get a fair number of priests whose wives are typical western feminists who believe their husbands' ordinations are just a step towards their own. Currently, celibacy is helping the Western church to separate the wheat from the chaff: only the truly committed will commit to celibacy.  Homosexuals no longer have to "hide" in the celibate priesthood, so the average seminarian has truly committed to being a celibate priest.

In short, I think we should be extraordinarily cautious about changing any tradition.
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#43
(12-14-2015, 02:04 PM)ermy_law Wrote: A Novus Ordo priest is still a Novus Ordo priest -- if such a one were better, he would not be signing up for a lifetime of "presiding" at the Novus Ordo service.  (Yes, I know some would say this is a "harsh" opinion, but it is just that -- my opinion.)

While I agree with you to a degree, I think we need to give a bit of slack to the NO priests. Many of them know nothing different, and I know of at least one local priest where the bishop actually refused to allow a traditionally-minded NO priest to get training for the TLM.

What I am meaning, however, is that I don't hear the younger priests up there saying how they think women should be ordained, for example. The only times I have heard that have been from the older generation.

(12-14-2015, 02:04 PM)ermy_law Wrote: I think we have to step back and take note of the people who are floating this idea of a married priesthood.  These are the people who are hellbent on destroying the Church.  This is yet another one of their ideas to accomplish that end.  Whatever the potential merits of a married priesthood, the people making this proposal are not doing so because they think that the Church will benefit.  All other things aside, that is sufficient reason to fight against this novelty.

I am of the same position. In the end, the people that matter (by "matter", I mean the people that will sustain the Church in the years and decades to come) are not the ones calling for married priesthoods. The future of the Church is in traditionalism, and we have no interest in married clergy, and the young men answering the call also have no interest in it.

(12-14-2015, 12:50 PM)aquinas138 Wrote: Well, if we move towards the Eastern model, we have to look at how the Eastern Churches handle it. Especially in the West where parishes are smaller, it is common for priests to have secular jobs; matushka/presbytera (the priest's wife) often works, too, but that is obviously dependent on the number of children and their ages. Eastern priests also are rarely moved from parish to parish; the model that obtains in the Roman parishes in the US is not common among Easterners (or Roman parishes in other countries, for that matter). Many priests spend their whole priestly lives in one parish.

I think it bothers me tremendously that priests and/or their spouses would have to have secular jobs. It seems to me that if those calling for the married priesthood value it enough, they would put their money where their mouths are, so to speak, and provide enough financial support so it's unnecessary. I mean, it would be a lean existence for the family in all likelyhood, but their needs would need to provided for without the need for external income.

(12-14-2015, 03:18 PM)Optatus Cleary Wrote: I think celibate Latin priests in the US are moved too often, though I suspect it may be for the best when parishes have only one priest. I have seen single-priest parishes with a long-time pastor turn into odd personality cults, where only the pastor's supporters stay and others go to nearby parishes.

That happens a lot, I have seen it many times. Almost always (I can only think of a single exception that I am aware of), the "rock star" priest is very liberal.

There is a sociologically reason for moving every 4-6 years though, which is the average here. I forget exactly how they worded it, but it's the optimal time for changes to occur within the parish without becoming stagnant. I wish they'd leave our pariochial vicars longer though, we seem to get a new one every year. I was very pleased when ours was kept on for second year, as I like him much better than our main pastor.
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#44
(12-14-2015, 02:04 PM)ermy_law Wrote: I see no reason to believe that having married priests would somehow stop the trend of having sorry priests.  While I understand the sentiment that the younger priests are somehow better, I do not think that is the case.  A Novus Ordo priest is still a Novus Ordo priest -- if such a one were better, he would not be signing up for a lifetime of "presiding" at the Novus Ordo service.  (Yes, I know some would say this is a "harsh" opinion, but it is just that -- my opinion.)

The good priests are the ones attached to the Traditional groups, and those are the priests who would not accept this novelty of a married priesthood.  Almost by definition, the married priests would be sorry because they would be the sort of fellows who have no concept of the importance of tradition (since they would've rejected the tradition by becoming married priests). 

I think we have to step back and take note of the people who are floating this idea of a married priesthood.  These are the people who are hellbent on destroying the Church.  This is yet another one of their ideas to accomplish that end.  Whatever the potential merits of a married priesthood, the people making this proposal are not doing so because they think that the Church will benefit.  All other things aside, that is sufficient reason to fight against this novelty.

It's always amusing to me to see proponents of a celibate presbyterate defend it in the name of tradition and condemn married priests as a novelty, when celibacy itself, at least as something mandatory, was a novelty just 1000 years ago.  Defend clerical celibacy for its merits.  Don't defend it because it's tradition.  Otherwise, you must explain why it was ok to abandon tradition and adopt a novelty then, but it's not ok now.
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#45
(12-14-2015, 03:47 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(12-14-2015, 02:04 PM)ermy_law Wrote: I see no reason to believe that having married priests would somehow stop the trend of having sorry priests.  While I understand the sentiment that the younger priests are somehow better, I do not think that is the case.  A Novus Ordo priest is still a Novus Ordo priest -- if such a one were better, he would not be signing up for a lifetime of "presiding" at the Novus Ordo service.  (Yes, I know some would say this is a "harsh" opinion, but it is just that -- my opinion.)

The good priests are the ones attached to the Traditional groups, and those are the priests who would not accept this novelty of a married priesthood.  Almost by definition, the married priests would be sorry because they would be the sort of fellows who have no concept of the importance of tradition (since they would've rejected the tradition by becoming married priests). 

I think we have to step back and take note of the people who are floating this idea of a married priesthood.  These are the people who are hellbent on destroying the Church.  This is yet another one of their ideas to accomplish that end.  Whatever the potential merits of a married priesthood, the people making this proposal are not doing so because they think that the Church will benefit.  All other things aside, that is sufficient reason to fight against this novelty.

It's always amusing to me to see proponents of a celibate presbyterate defend it in the name of tradition and condemn married priests as a novelty, when celibacy itself, at least as something mandatory, was a novelty just 1000 years ago.  Defend clerical celibacy for its merits.  Don't defend it because it's tradition.  Otherwise, you must explain why it was ok to abandon tradition and adopt a novelty then, but it's not ok now.
Is it possible to think that at the time it was ill advised to change that tradition, but that now it would be ill advised to change the current tradition?  A millennium isn't nothing: a thousand years of celibacy establishes certain expectations, even if initially it shouldn't have been mandated.
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#46
But clerical celibacy is a tradition. Being a mere 1,000 old doesn't make it not a tradition. And the fact that it was a novelty that became a tradition also doesn't make it not a tradition.

The fact that something became a tradition through the innovations of our forefathers in the faith doesn't give us license to innovate further.

And, as I mentioned before, the reason why a change is proposed is the way to determine whether the proposed novelty is legitimate. In the times where the married clergy in the West was resulting in scandal, the novelty of a celibate clergy was surely a legitimate prescription for the problem. In our current milieu, married clergy is not a legitimate response to the problems of an over-sexed culture or the other problems that we have seen with our clergy in recent decades. If anything, these problems are cause to affirm more strongly the celibate state and its merits.
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#47
If we take the position that the imposition of mandatory celibacy was ill-advised, we need to know why it was ill-advised. If it was illegitimate or unjust, then the time since imposition shouldn't really matter. It might require a slow, patient change and copious explanation for the change, but change would be appropriate to right an injustice. We might be stuck with the Novus Ordo for centuries - would we oppose restoring the traditional liturgy because of how long we're stuck with the NO? We're not that far off from a time when every NO parishioner will have absolutely no memory of the preconciliar rites, but I still think most of us agree restoring the traditional liturgy is optimal, questions of how practically to go about it aside.

But if the imposition of clerical celibacy was not unjust, then it is a legitimate part of the Roman tradition. There were no hymns in the Roman Rite, apart from the Gloria at Mass and the Te Deum at Matins, until the 13th century. Saints were not even commemorated in the Office until the end of the first millennium! But few would argue that Pange lingua gloriosi and the Common of Saints are not part of the Roman tradition. Innovations, even major ones, are possible, but they require a clear and definite reason to justify the disruption they can engender. I'm not sure that changing the celibacy discipline in the Roman Rite has such a reason to suggest it, and the proponents of change are suspect, to say the least. I am in the camp of being OK with it if it happens, but I will never agitate for it. I'm happy that Rome is being more open towards Eastern Catholics maintaining their own traditions and being allowed to have married clergy in the West (the ban on that being an injustice rightly corrected), but again - let East be East and West be West.
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#48
The NO is a clear break with tradition. It was created by a committee looking as from above on tradition and making their own. Celibacy, on the other hand, is a venerable tradition in the Church and goes even to the Apostles and to Our Lord Himself.

The Western Church has been organized in such a way that celibate priests makes more sense (and which I, as a humble Western imperialist, think its superior). Mandatory celibacy in the West wouldn't be a break with tradition, then. It might not be of divine law itself, but its definitively not a break.

Also, I'd suggest for the folks so obsessed with married priests: just change your rites, if you're baptized in the Latin Church. Go on. You are quite free.

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#49
(12-14-2015, 04:07 PM)ermy_law Wrote: But clerical celibacy is a tradition. Being a mere 1,000 old doesn't make it not a tradition. And the fact that it was a novelty that became a tradition also doesn't make it not a tradition.

The fact that something became a tradition through the innovations of our forefathers in the faith doesn't give us license to innovate further.

And, as I mentioned before, the reason why a change is proposed is the way to determine whether the proposed novelty is legitimate. In the times where the married clergy in the West was resulting in scandal, the novelty of a celibate clergy was surely a legitimate prescription for the problem. In our current milieu, married clergy is not a legitimate response to the problems of an over-sexed culture or the other problems that we have seen with our clergy in recent decades. If anything, these problems are cause to affirm more strongly the celibate state and its merits.

I'm neither arguing that clerical celibacy is bad nor good.  If your argument is merely that we should question the motives of changing a tradition, I have no problem with that.  But the way you phrased it, you made it sound like clerical celibacy should be held onto because it's a tradition and married clergy should be rejected because it's novel.
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#50
Clerical celibacy is tradition and married priests would be a novelty.

And I think that we should question the motives of changing a tradition like this. The motives in place when the tradition of celibacy arose justified the novelty. Now the tradition is celibacy, so to return to married priests would require a compelling reason to introduce that novelty.

In addition to the fact that traditions shouldn't be changed without due cause, I think there are other prudential reasons to reject married priests in the West, especially at the present. Among other things, the motives of those proposing the change are suspect.

That is my argument in summary form.
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