Adopting Eastern Rite Marriage for Priests

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Mokey

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Does anyone believe that the Latin Rite will follow the Eastern Rite when it comes to married priests? The Eastern Rite allows ordination to the priesthood if you are already married. To me, this seems like the most likely change that could occur given the priest shortage. It would be a huge change and one that would cause some outrage (I still know people who are still fumming 40 years later over Vatican II).

If the Latin Rite did adopt this change, I definitely would consider the priesthood. I am married and have been discerning the deaconate but there is something lacking for me with it. I don’t have the same feeling about the priesthood. The Holy Spirit seems to be prompting me in that direction which makes no sense since it can’t happen. Maybe it will. What do you think?
 
A note on the termonology. In this discussion, its more accurate to refer to the Latin “Church” and the Eastern “Churches.”

“Church” is a community, “rite” a form of worship.

That having been said, I trongly doubt that what you propose will ever happen. Priestly celibacy is a very, very ancient tradition of the Latin Church, and a constituent part of her mystical and theological tradition. To abandon it would not be for any legitimate reasons of development, but a cavein to secularism and materialism.
 
I would agree here. While it is possible that the Western Church might remove that disciple, I would consider it a loss.

Even in the Eastern Churches, the celibate life is considered the most ideal. Paul said so himself in 1 Cor

32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs–how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world–how he can please his wife–

I would like to see the Church strive more for the ideal, than settle for less.
 
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DominvsVobiscvm:
Priestly celibacy is a very, very ancient tradition of the Latin Church
while very ancient, it is not the most ancient. and the latin pratice of trying to impose celibacy is far more ancient than the actual practice of priestly celibacy. but i do agree, it is very unlikely to change in the near future.

perhaps, mokey, you should attend a church that practices the most ancient tradition of allowing ordination to married men. check out the rite, the spirituality, and see if the “call” gets any clearer.
 
p.s. is it true that if you commit to the so-called permanent diaconate in the latin church that even if (god-forbid) your wife should pass away, you would still not be permitted to seek priestly ordination? if this is true, mokey, and you believe you have a call to priesthood, then you should be careful about jumping in the roman diaconate too soon.
 
and the latin pratice of trying to impose celibacy is far more ancient than the actual practice of priestly celibacy.
As far as Catholic Christianity is concerned, what can be more ancient than Jesus and Saint Paul?!?!?!?!

Yes, priestly celibacy was originally very, very hard to enforce, due to various geo-political factors It was first made obligatory in the late 4th century, by Pope Saint Siricius… It often fell into disuse, even in the Western Church, however. But this has been the case in every single century, our own included. In some countries (in Latin America and Europe) it’s common for priests to have mistresses. Usually they serve as “maids” for the rectory. These mistresses are accepted by the Catholic community; all the lay people know that most of their priests have them. And its accepted. The bishops adopt a “don’t ask, don’t tell” mentality. Ditto for Africa.

We in America don’t often realize this. I’d say that our clergy have a higher percentage of faithfulness to their promises of celibacy than most other countries’.
 
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Brendan:
I would like to see the Church strive more for the ideal, than settle for less.
are you saying that all catholics should strive to be celibate monks (both east and west consider monastic life to be the “highest”, whatever that might mean)?
 
are you saying that all catholics should strive to be celibate monks (both east and west consider monastic life to be the “highest”, whatever that might mean)?
I think that, to an extent, yes, this is the case.

I think all Catholics are morally obligated to at least consider whether or not they have a calling to the religious state. That doesn’t mean all of them have to become religious postulants, just that they need to give this possibility serious though, being as it is a higher, and more perfect, form of life (objectively speaking).
 
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DominvsVobiscvm:
As far as Catholic Christianity is concerned, what can be more ancient than Jesus and Saint Paul?!?!?!?!
i’m not saying that there was no celibacy from the beginning. i am saying that both were quite acceptable from the beginning. the latin practice of imposing celibacy is the innovation. and i’m not saying it was illegitmate to impose celibacy on the clergy. i’m just happy that the majority of the church (at the time) didn’t follow suit.
 
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Mokey:
Does anyone believe that the Latin Rite will follow the Eastern Rite when it comes to married priests? The Eastern Rite allows ordination to the priesthood if you are already married. To me, this seems like the most likely change that could occur given the priest shortage. It would be a huge change and one that would cause some outrage (I still know people who are still fumming 40 years later over Vatican II).

If the Latin Rite did adopt this change, I definitely would consider the priesthood. I am married and have been discerning the deaconate but there is something lacking for me with it. I don’t have the same feeling about the priesthood. The Holy Spirit seems to be prompting me in that direction which makes no sense since it can’t happen. Maybe it will. What do you think?
1.) There is nothing to suggest that the shortage of priests would be helped by ordaining married men into the priesthood. It’s possible that it could actually make things worse.

2.) If you are setting a condition to even look into the priesthood, it would seem unlikely that God has given you a priestly vocation…

3.) Are you aware that absolutely no Eastern Catholic (or Eastern Orthodox) bishops may be married? Ponder that one for a bit. (No, it has nothing to do with Church property…)
 
If the deaconate is lacking for you, you may not want to even consider the priesthood. Reflect and pray upon the deaconate.
 
I’m sure I’m just asking for it here, so make note that I do this in love and in sincere desire to know an answer. Please clear these passages up for me if you would…

1 Corinthians 9:5 - Do we not have the right to take along a Christian wife, as do the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Kephas?

1 Timothy 3:1-5 - This saying is trustworthy: whoever aspires to the office of bishop desires a noble task. Therefore, a bishop must be irreproachable, married only once (Gk. husband of one wife), temperate, self-controlled, decent, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not aggressive, but gentle, not contentious, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, keeping his children under control with perfect dignity; for if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how can he take care of the church of God?

Titus 1:5-6 This is why I left you in Crete, that you might amend what was defective, and appoint elders (presbyters or priests) in every town as I directed you, if any man is blameless, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of being profligate or insubordinate.

Maybe my understanding of these passages is faulty (and I’m open to correction if offered in a gentle spirit), but it seems to me that, while the apostle says that he feels single life is preferable, he goes on to go against those who would mandate it.

Peter, the first Bishop of Rome, had no scruples about being married. Neither did James (bishop of Jerusalem) or any of the other apostles. Isn’t the church going beyond Paul’s recommendation and making it mandatory where it need not be? (Note: I have no problem with celibate priests. It’s mandatory celibacy I question) Does marriage and the physical union somehow make someone unworthy to be a priest?
 
the latin practice of imposing celibacy is the innovation.
I have to disagree here. Its not an innovation per se, rather, it’s the fruit of what had been centuries of development, guided, I believe, by the Holy Spirit.
 
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DominvsVobiscvm:
I have to disagree here. Its not an innovation per se, rather, it’s the fruit of what had been centuries of development, guided, I believe, by the Holy Spirit.
you are right. innovation is the wrong word. but the roman practice of a celibate-only priesthood is, i think universally admitted, to be the newer practice. do you believe the east was also guided by the Holy Spirit in her development?
 
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astralis:
If the deaconate is lacking for you, you may not want to even consider the priesthood. Reflect and pray upon the deaconate.
i’m not sure what you mean here, astralis. practically speaking, i’m not sure if the deacons in the roman rite do much more than lay-people. i know that in the byzantine rite, where, at least liturgically, the role of the deacon has been maintained, when the priest is absent, a “reader service” (for vespers or matins or whatever) could be led by a deacon or a layman without very much difference at all. i know that the diaconate is one of the orders in holy orders, but i can totally understand the desire to be the minister of the sacraments, to consecrate, to absolve, etc. so, again, i think if mokey is feeling called to the priesthood, he should begin searching where the Good Lord has left the possibility open to him (that would be my side of the divide!!–not that i’m biased or anything!).
 
you are right. innovation is the wrong word. but the roman practice of a celibate-only priesthood is, i think universally admitted, to be the newer practice.
Sorry I misunderstood. Yeah, I admit this to be the case.
do you believe the east was also guided by the Holy Spirit in her development?
Yes, I would say so to. Or, rather, this is what the Church says, and I submit to her findings. 😃
 
Anne Carmel said:

Good article. It presents a case on why it may be preferable for a priest to be celibate. But it nowhere says why, counter to the Bible, the Eastern Churches, and the early Church, that celibacy should be mandatory. This is my question - I’m not wishing to be a pain about this. If we have to agree to disagree, so be it.
 
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stephenthomas:
i’m not sure what you mean here, astralis. practically speaking, i’m not sure if the deacons in the roman rite do much more than lay-people. i know that in the byzantine rite, where, at least liturgically, the role of the deacon has been maintained, when the priest is absent, a “reader service” (for vespers or matins or whatever) could be led by a deacon or a layman without very much difference at all. i know that the diaconate is one of the orders in holy orders, but i can totally understand the desire to be the minister of the sacraments, to consecrate, to absolve, etc. so, again, i think if mokey is feeling called to the priesthood, he should begin searching where the Good Lord has left the possibility open to him (that would be my side of the divide!!–not that i’m biased or anything!).
Deacons can do everything in the Latin Rite than they can do in the Eastern Churches. They can minister every sacrament except for the sacraments of Healing and Penance, and they cannot confect the Eucharist of course.

You seem to be trying to pre-set conditions in order to consider the priesthood and that strongly suggests that you don’t have a priestly vocation, or that you are in dire need of spritual direction so that you may truly discern if you do.
 
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