A Father to his Flock: In Defense of Sacerdotal Celibacy.
#21
(01-18-2020, 08:49 PM)VoxClamantis Wrote: I think you have it backwards: this thread was about celibacy in the West. Others, as usual, brought up the East. It gets tiresome hearing Eastern practices -- which *are* a falling away from the path of perfection -- being used to tell the West what to do.


It's only a way of perfection if it is freely chosen.  I propose it is not freely chosen unless a man can also become a priest without having to give up marriage.

If a man is to become a priest, but his only option is to do so as a celibate, then where is the sacrifice in giving up marriage?  I'm stretching a little bit, but I see a parallel in what Jesus said about loving others.  What credit is it to you when you love those who love you?  Rather, you receive God's blessing when you love those who hate you.  Again, there is no blessing in doing good to others who can return the favor, but rather in doing good to those whom you know can never repay your generosity.  Likewise, there is no sacrifice from the man, and no grace from a sacrifice, in being ordained celibate if he had no other choice.  Sacrifices are something you willingly choose, not something someone else decides for you.

I don't think anyone here has argued that there isn't value in priests who remain celibate.  Two of the holiest priests I have ever met were celibate (and not Latin).  And practically, there is something to be said for the greater ease a celibate man has in being able to perform his sacerdotal duties.  Beyond that, a bishop has a right to decide whom he will and whom he won't ordain.  If he doesn't want to ordain married men, he has that authority and it is within his rights to make that decision.  What's problematic is the dogmatizing of a Latin tradition that is not integral to holy orders itself, because it basically demonizes, slanderously, any other equally apostolic tradition.
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#22
(01-18-2020, 10:00 PM)PorphyriosK Wrote: I admit my initial post with the pictures was not nice, so I apologize as well.  When I read the claim that the East "fell away from perfection", that seemed to imply that the West hasn't fallen away from perfection, so I went trolling.

Haha which is funny because every Catholic trad responds to any Catholic losing faith with "The Church has always been in a crisis!" Lol!
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#23
(01-18-2020, 10:16 PM)Melkite Wrote: It's only a way of perfection if it is freely chosen.  I propose it is not freely chosen unless a man can also become a priest without having to give up marriage.

So if a true marriage precludes divorce then by this logic it is not freely chosen?

According to the principle enunciated a marriage would only be "freely chosen" if there were also marriage in which :
  • one could divorce later and remarry
  • one could have multiple partners while married to only one
  • one could have multiple partners and be married to each
  • and ever other possible liberty which "perfect marriage" restricts.
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#24
(01-18-2020, 05:39 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(01-18-2020, 04:58 PM)Augustinian Wrote: Iirc, isn't there an Old Testament connection as to why priests take up celibacy? I thought it had something to do with the nature of the sacrifice, where priests in the old covenant need to abstain from sex the day before they can offer the sacrifice. And since Catholic priests offer the Mass daily, then if this is the case, taking a vow of celibacy would be pertinent to this requirement.

I will agree that citing a private revelation does nothing to help the argument,  but I also think it's anathema to blaspheme the saints by calling Church-verified visions satanic.

That's the same practice as in the East.  No relations the night before the Eucharist. Not only for the clergy, but the laity as well.  It's not because the one precludes the other, but because you fast from the foreshadowing for the sake of what it foreshadows, and is ultimately better.

It is worth noting that the earliest practices were that married men could become deacons, priests or bishops, but that perpetual continence was demanded once the man was ordained. That is why the wife needed to consent to the ordination (a practice which was revived in the Permanent Diaconate, but has lost its meaning since the deacon is not bound to continence). In effect the wife was losing the use of right that she gained in marriage and needed to consent to this in order for the man to be married.

It is also why St Paul says that Deacons and Bishops must be "husband of one wife". They were not permitted to remarry after ordination because this would suggest that they "needed" to have a wife in order to quell their sexual appetites. A second wife suggested that these men could not remain continent. Thus one could be unmarried (like St Paul) or married, but perpetually continent.

This is also why one finds in the early councils and various documents the condemnation of priests and other clerics who were having children and failing to observe this.

The present Eastern practice is a concession. Yes, it is longstanding, but it still is a relaxation of the Apostolic tradition. It was the allowance of clerics to not observe perpetual continence but only observe a period of continence before giving the Sacraments. As such it is a "falling away from the way of perfection".

This worked only because in the East it was not common for each priest to say Mass each day, and rather it was more common that one priest said the Mass and others concelebrated, if there was even a daily liturgy.

In the West where each priest came to say Mass each day, this meant there was no room for any concession, and the response to the abuses was simply to disallow marriage. If the cleric could not keep continent in marriage, then he should not be allowed to marry.

That precision is important. It is correct to say that there were early along both married and unmarried priests. It is correct to say that to be unmarried is a higher perfection (St Paul says it, not me). It is incorrect to think that married priests were allowed before the early middle ages to use their marital rights. The concession to allow this came later because of abuses and the weakness of the clergy. It was allowed in the East due to the peculiar ecclesial setup there, but was impossible in the West given the ecclesial structure there.

The present Eastern practice is no so long-established, that it should not be questioned. It is custom, even if it is a departure from the Apostolic practice. Nevertheless that does not mean that what a small part of what 4% of the Church are permitted by concession should be extended to the whole Church.

(01-18-2020, 05:39 PM)Melkite Wrote: Not all Catholic priests celebrate a liturgy every day.  Even in large parishes that did have a daily liturgy, there's no reason married priests couldn't take turns.  Just as the Levites had service periods - several weeks a year, I think?

In the West most Latin priests do celebrate a Mass every day.

The problem is that in the West the priesthood has been so disfigured that even if it were opened immediately to married men, and no requirements for continence enforced, there would not be a large increase in vocations. If today there are many priests who need to care for multiple parishes, then even if married clergy in the West doubled the number of priest in the world (it wouldn't), we would still have the problem of too few priests. And given that in the West that the bar were lowered by accepting men who were unwilling to sacrifice sex and family to care for souls, the quality of the vocations would be markedly lower. The married priests would be no better than Permanent Deacons are now, which is to say, not much help.

If a minimal continence requirement were enforced, the numbers would be that much lower, meaning that even if this resulted in an increased number of priests overall, it still would not give each parish several priests who could take turns for weeks at a go.

In short, the math just doesn't work out.
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#25
(01-18-2020, 12:41 PM)VoxClamantis Wrote: The Eastern Churches fell away from the way of perfection:  http://tinyurl.com/yxcfbgn4
 Hello,
I was referring to the Catholic Eastern Rites. They did not fall from the way of perfection. They are as catholic as the Latin Rite followers.
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#26
(01-18-2020, 05:13 PM)FlorusI Wrote:
(01-18-2020, 03:22 PM)PorphyriosK Wrote:
(01-18-2020, 12:41 PM)VoxClamantis Wrote: The Eastern Churches fell away from the way of perfection:  http://tinyurl.com/yxcfbgn4

Uh huh.

Just because you don't have all the same problems as us doesn't make you right.

I think there is a misunderstanding going on here. There are Eastern Catholics and Eastern Orthodox. I was referring to Eastern Catholics. It is well known even to the Orthodox, that celibacy is the higher and better calling, and that is why their bishops are chosen from the celibate ones (usually monks).


It is a fact that the Eastern Catholics did not change much as the Western (Latin) Catholics. They had different traditions (Liturgy included) to start with, and they just kept them, even after Vatican II.  The great Fr John Hardon grew up as a Byzantine Ruthenian Catholic (Eastern Catholic).
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#27
(01-18-2020, 10:00 PM)PorphyriosK Wrote:  When I read the claim that the East "fell away from perfection", that seemed to imply that the West hasn't fallen away from perfection, so I went trolling.

My initial answer was referring to Catholics belonging to the Eastern Rites but some understood it to refer to the Eastern Orthodox. It is a fact that the Eastern Christians (both Catholic and Orthodox) were not hit with what hit the Latin Church.
According to Fr Hardon (Byzantine catholic), the Catholic Church is going through the worst times of her existence (that was in the 90's). He even said that it is an organized effort against the Catholic Church.
 
A well known Communist leader named Bella Dodd testified before Congress that she knew of over 1000 communists entering the seminaries in the USA to undermine it from within. She came back to the Catholic Faith with the help of Archbishop Fulton Sheen. There is no reason to think that the same thing did not happen in other European countries. These seminarians are some of the priests and bishops of today (some in the high office) . Some of them became the head of seminaries, and allowed the entry into the seminary of those who would help their evil cause. They are the ones we hear about in the news today. They also undermined many of the convents by allowing bad women (some were witches according to Fr Hardon) to become heads. At the end most of these convents were closed and we do not have many nuns anymore teaching our children. I know an ex nun that had to leave a seminary because of the evil she saw there. So not only were they successful to undermine the Church from within, they are also undermine it from without through the media (parading the bad priests that they let into the seminaries). 

The Theotokos in an approved apparition told us that this will happen:

"The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres...churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.
 
"The demon will be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of my sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will be no longer pardon for them"

https://www.ewtn.com/library/mary/akita.htm
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#28
(01-18-2020, 10:00 PM)PorphyriosK Wrote: I admit my initial post with the pictures was not nice, so I apologize as well.

I didn't mind it, as it's a good wake up call. I also want to be careful how I tread here because I do have much respect for the Orthodox Church especially if they have a valid Eucharist. I also pray for Russia and see some good things with the Orthodox Church there which gives me hope. I also hope that when the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is restored there may be opportunity for a reunion in truth without compromise.

Like I've said before though, the three biggest stumbling blocks with Orthodoxy for me are Papal Succession, Married Priests and Divorce being allowed (so I've heard). If one is married their vocation is for their family, look at these heretics like James Martin in the Church today, It would be so much worse if they were married, unfaithful or neglectful husbands and had kids going off the rails too. What an even greater mess. Celibate priests are 'Fathers' to their flock, they can't serve two families. The Priesthood is far more then a job and if one has a family, it's a job and the family must take priority, which then undermines the Priesthood.

Celibate Priests are capable of giving their whole lives to the service of Christ and His Church and to attending the needs of their flock, which is why we revere them so much. If they are married that cannot be so for the family must come first and the Priesthood must take a back seat to that. Every father has a duty to their family first and foremost then anything else, just like every Celibate Priest being 'Father' to their flock has a duty to their 'family' first and foremost then anything else, hence why they are truly worthy of the title Father and can take care for their flock if they are celibate.

Those heretical Priests like James Martin are like a deadbeat dad, if they are like that to their flock they would also be like that to any 'personal family' they would produce.

Are you an Orthodox Priest?

God Bless You
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#29
(01-19-2020, 03:37 AM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: The present Eastern practice is a concession. Yes, it is longstanding, but it still is a relaxation of the Apostolic tradition. It was the allowance of clerics to not observe perpetual continence but only observe a period of continence before giving the Sacraments. As such it is a "falling away from the way of perfection".


If a concession can even be made in the first place, then it is an issue of ecclesial law, not divine law, right? That is, if it were of divine law that priests be unmarried, or rather, continent while priests, then no concession would be possible. Since continued marital relations do not invalidate one's priesthood, then celibacy is not something God requires. At least, not absolutely.

I have no problem with saying that celibacy, for a cleric, is the way of perfection on a personal level. It is more perfect for them to remain celibate regarding their personal growth in holiness. It doesn't make much sense to me if we're talking about it as a perfection of the objective nature of holy orders. Again, because the concession is even possible in the first place, then whether one is celibate, married and continent, or married and continuing relations - none of these have any effect on the substance of holy orders. One is either a validly ordained priest, and as such, truly and fully a priest, or they are not.

Since we're talking about the way of perfection as an ideal, not as an objective measurement of validity, then it seems to me inappropriate to be applying it to ecclesial practice in this way. Allowing a married, and continued conjugal, priesthood is, and is also no more, a falling away from perfection than allowing the faithful to only fast and abstain from meat on Fridays of Lent, rather than all animal products during the whole duration of Lent. Or allowing penitents to confess privately and be absolved right away, rather than making them confess publicly and not receive the sacraments for a long duration of time depending on the nature of their sins.

So, again, the problem isn't so much with the Latin practice as is the pious dogmatizing of it.
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#30
If I try to picture opening up the priesthood to married men, I just can't see how this idea would even work. The average married man who is still going to a typical Novus Ordo parish presumably already is set in an established, full-time career in addition to his familial responsibilities. What man in that situation in his right mind would also add on the seminary training time (equivalent of graduate studies for 4+ years) and the added professional workload? How could he possibly be of significant benefit to the parishes or dioceses he would serve? If such a man were to become a priest, I would probably trust him even less because I don't see how I could trust his basic judgment in the first place.
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