Pope requiring Priest to leave wives

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Rob

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Okay, help me out here. I was recently faced with a challenge to explain a supposed “edict” from some pope that required priests to leave their wives during a transistion to a celibate only priesthood (rite unknown). Any truth to this?
 
I have never heard of that before…do ask.

PS. was that a transitional period you were talking about or for ever ever, like force divorce?
 
There have been many different rules on celibacy in both Latin and Eastern canon law. The following *Catholic Encyclopedia * article gives a history of these.

newadvent.org/cathen/03481a.htm

Remember that these are matters of discipline, and thus are not infallible definitions. They are simply rules which the faithful have been bound to follow.
 
Perhaps what is meant is the requirement of continency.

In the ancient Church, a few married men were ordained, but only if they and their wives agreed to live continently–that is, “as brother and sister,” forgoing marital relations. Sometimes this was referred to as giving up one’s wife.
 
I received no more detail from the individual than previously posted. That is why I did not give it a lot of merit, but as usual with this kind of stuff, it was desireable to discredit it if possible.
Looks as if this is a case of trying to prove a negative.
I suspect the circumstance Karl cites is the basis of the “forced divorce” assertion, extrapolated to serve anti-catholic purposes.
Thanks for the responses!
 
Regardless of historical accuracy, I know that currently there are a few married former Protestant priests that have converted with their wives to Catholicism and been given special dispensation for it. Does any one know if these priests have been required to live chastely in order to remain priests? (I forget the word Karl used.)
 
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Bonnie:
Ask him which pope & the name of the edict.
Partial truth here. Of course, anti-Catholics have never been known to twist the truth…

It was Pope St. Gregory the VII, at the Lenten Synod of 1074. He was fighting two widespread abuses. First, people bought different Church positions, and also Churches themselves. For example, pay a certain amount of money to be the Bishop of XXX, or money to be the pastor of YYY. The practice was called “simony”. So he banned paying for offices or church property. Anyone who had paid for their office had the right to function as a priest revoked – they were “de-frocked”. Any Church property that had been sold was reclaimed…

Second, married clergy was considered a widespread abuse and scandal. In various parts of the Church, the position of Bishop or other church offices had become hereditary, This problem was interlinked with the simony problem. So he ruled any clergy that continued in their marriage should cease their ministry. If a priest continued to live with a wife, the people should reject receiving the sacraments from that priest.

During this time period, the Church also had various decrees that declared children of clergy banned from receiving Holy Orders, and thus not able to be their father’s hereditary successor. There were various decrees that made the wives, concubines, or children of clergy slaves of the Church or seized as slaves of whatever noble (Duke, King, whatever) happened to be their ruler.

Wars were fought over these decrees.

Bottom line, in the same time period that Europe as a whole was in complete turmoil during the “Dark Ages”, the Church was also engulfed in scandal, corruption, anti-popes, and all kinds of troubles in the 11th and 12th centuries.

The scandals and problems at that time made the problems of the last 40 years here look quite mild by comparison. And the just as the Holy Spirit enabled the Church to renew itself and survive those times, I have confidence in our future now.
 
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Regenhund:
Regardless of historical accuracy, I know that currently there are a few married former Protestant priests that have converted with their wives to Catholicism and been given special dispensation for it. Does any one know if these priests have been required to live chastely in order to remain priests? (I forget the word Karl used.)
No they are not required to live as brother and sister with their wives.
 
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rfk:
Partial truth here. Of course, anti-Catholics have never been known to twist the truth…

It was Pope St. Gregory the VII, at the Lenten Synod of 1074. He was fighting two widespread abuses. First, people bought different Church positions, and also Churches themselves. For example, pay a certain amount of money to be the Bishop of XXX, or money to be the pastor of YYY. The practice was called “simony”. So he banned paying for offices or church property. Anyone who had paid for their office had the right to function as a priest revoked – they were “de-frocked”. Any Church property that had been sold was reclaimed…etc…
Great info RFK,
Can you recommend a book, www site, etc. where I might find out more?
 
There should be some book on the history of the lenten synod of 1074.
  • Kathie :bowdown:
 
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Rob:
Great info RFK,
Can you recommend a book, www site, etc. where I might find out more?
The Catholic Encyclopedia article linked by wet-rat has tons of detail on this. For example:
We may note, however that the attack was conducted along two distinct lines of action. In the first place, disabilities of all kinds were enacted and as far as possible enforced against the wives and children of ecclesiastics. Their offspring were declared to be of servile condition, debarred from sacred orders, and, in particular, incapable of succeeding to their fathers’ benefices. The earliest decree in which the children were declared to be slaves, the property of the Church, and never to be enfranchised, seems to have been a canon of the Synod of Pavia in 1018. Similar penalties were promulgated later on against the wives and concubines (see the Synod of Melfi, 1189, can. xii), who by the very fact of their unlawful connection with a subdeacon or clerk of higher rank became liable to be seized as slaves by the over-lord. Hefele (Concilienge-schichte, V, 195) sees in this first trace of the principle that the marriages of the clerics are ipso facto invalid.
 
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Regenhund:
Regardless of historical accuracy, I know that currently there are a few married former Protestant priests that have converted with their wives to Catholicism and been given special dispensation for it. Does any one know if these priests have been required to live chastely in order to remain priests? (I forget the word Karl used.)
Yes they have to live chastely, but chastity does not mean not engaging in sexual relations. It means either engaging or not engaging in sexual relations properly, and otherwise conducting oneself properly regarding one’s sexuality, according to one’s state in life.

For unmarried persons, including celibate clergy and religious, it means not engaging in sexual relations with anybody, and not misusing their sexuality in any other way.

For married persons, including married priests, deacons, and their wives, it means restricting sexual relations to one’s spouse only, refraining from engaging in sexual relations in any immoral manner, such as in any manner that is not open to both the unitive and procreative aspects of married sexuality, observing all the Church’s laws concerning marriage, and not misusing their sexuality in any other way.
 
Maybe the Pope figured he would get more men to go into the Holy Orders if they were forced (read allowed) to leave their wives! :whacky:

Kathie :bowdown:
 
Joseph Bilodeau:
Yes they have to live chastely, but chastity does not mean not engaging in sexual relations. It means either engaging or not engaging in sexual relations properly, and otherwise conducting oneself properly regarding one’s sexuality, according to one’s state in life.

For unmarried persons, including celibate clergy and religious, it means not engaging in sexual relations with anybody, and not misusing their sexuality in any other way.

For married persons, including married priests, deacons, and their wives, it means restricting sexual relations to one’s spouse only, refraining from engaging in sexual relations in any immoral manner, such as in any manner that is not open to both the unitive and procreative aspects of married sexuality, observing all the Church’s laws concerning marriage, and not misusing their sexuality in any other way.
You and Karl seem to disagree or am I misunderstanding something? Karl Keating or Joseph B Please respond. Hey If I could have sex with my wife I might become a priest…you know I have also thought of swearing off sex to become a deacon.
 
I’m writing this from memory so I may be way off on this, later today when I can I do more research on this.

From what I remember, after the Cluny reforms and the stress on a celibate clergy, Pope Gregory did issue the necessary decrees making celibacy mandatory for priest of the Latin Rite, it was met with wide spread opposition amoung the Clergy. Many of those ordained after celibacy was made the law simply disregarded this discipline a just went ahead an took on wives and or mistresses.
(by the way, for those who are/were in the military I’m sure you are familar with the addage of keeping indiscression 100 from the flag, that saying had its origin during this period of history except it was used by the clergy and went something like - keep it 100 miles from the alter). It was this wide spread disregard for the Papal decree that led to the extreme measures noted in the other post of this thread.

One note, it seems that St Gregory was operating on the high ground of spirituality, other Church leaders were more concern about the loss of Church lands through inheritance and simony.
It is important to remember, this was during the time of Feudalism. In this economic and social system, power was gathered and exercised through the control of lands (with any tract of land came the peasants who provided the labor force, revenue through taxation - based on agriculture output, and a ready made army - more land the more peasants thus more power.
 
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