Skip to comments.‘The door is always open’: Celibacy for priests not unchangeable dogma, Pope Francis says
Posted on 06/11/2014 9:04:51 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
ROME Pope Francis says he believes that Roman Catholic priests should be celibate but the rule was not an unchangeable dogma and the door is always open to change.
Francis made similar comments when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires but his remarks to reporters on a plane returning from a Middle East trip were the first he has made since becoming pope.
Celibacy is not a dogma, he said Monday in answer to a question about whether the Catholic Church could some day allow priests to marry as they can in some other Christian Churches.
It is a rule of life that I appreciate very much and I think it is a gift for the Church but since it is not a dogma, the door is always open, he said.
The Church teaches that a priest should dedicate himself totally to his vocation, essentially taking the Church as his spouse, in order to help fulfill its mission.
However while priestly celibacy is a tradition going back around 1,000 years, it is not considered dogma, or an unchangeable piece of Church teaching.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.nationalpost.com ...
Wow, Pope got better fast!
Plus the Eastern Rites do permit married priests.
I know one young Catholic priest in his mid 30’s who women would absolutely fall for.
This story continues to recycle via different media outlets. Why keep reposting it?
Only if they are already married, IIRC. I think a Metropolitan cannot be married.
Accordingly, The RCC is cooked, both sides and done.
Ok, that’s a start...what’s the pay again?
St. Peter himself was married.
The discipline of celibacy is generally followed in the Roman Rite - but many other Catholic churches such as the Melkite have always had married priests.
And there are exceptions - for example, for Anglican priests who were already married when they were ordained as Catholic priests.
It is a prudential concern, though, for the reasons stated by St. Paul - a married man has his wife and children to think of (just ask the Methodists - my grandfather-in-law was a Methodist minister and he was transferred every couple of years, sometimes to very out of the way places. He had to work several jobs as well as ministry to make ends meet. His wife and kids put up with a lot!)
In the smaller bodies such as the Melkite & Anglican Use that is not so much of a concern, but in the larger Roman rite generally where men are transferred hither and yon, and many congregations barely have the means to support a priest, let alone a wife and children, it really isn't workable.
Most of the Anglican priests who have come over have been found jobs in the chanceries or other ministries rather than parishes.
Yes, but neither the Orthodox nor the Eastern Rite Unitates (nor for that matter the Monophysites nor the Nestorians) permit priests to marry. Married men may be ordained to the priesthood (with the wife’s consent), but priests (or, for that matter deacons and subdeacons) may not marry after ordination without being laicized.
Permitting priests (or even deacons or subdeacons) to marry (as opposed to married men being ordained to the priesthood) would actually be an impediment to reunion with the Orthodox.
I appreciate tradition, but this non-Catholic think it would not be bad if priests could marry.
There are some serious logistical problems with the concept. See my post above -
Centuries of Catholic tradition proves on married clergy simply, this— what’s the point of it? It’s a politically manufactured issue from mischief makers. Surveys among priests show no interest in the question.
Of course in seminaries younger minds can be turned, just as say, parents dressing their daughters in the new “slut fashions”. Where behavior modification is allowed to rule, then it these things are made to be “normalized”.
Same with conservatives sending their kids into public schools, into Common Core and socialist influence and expecting a different result. Astounding.
St. Peter himself was married.
Yeah, but Peter was not a Catholic. So its cool.
The Liberation Theologist Pope must have forgotten that the ‘back door’(nasty pun intended) to ‘marriage’ was always available to the priests, thanks to a few Top Theologians(another such pun) allowing a “Queer Qulture” to flourish at a few seminaries(no pun this time).
One must assume such behavior will not be acceptable at a certain “Judgement”. It certainly was not to alter boys, etc.
The Catholic Church can no more afford such behavior than can America. Certain Commandments carry certain punishment here and now, based on the inherent order of the universe.
Perversion is destructive, to religious organizations and to the families which are the core foundation upon which Judao-Christian nations are predicated.
RE: I appreciate tradition, but this non-Catholic think it would not be bad if priests could marry.
Can you elaborate?
Celibacy is a gift not a curse
Let the priests revert back to Deacons then.
You may be reading too much into that. If someone is healed they may have a burst of energy and wish to help. Doesn’t prove that Paul did not have a wife. Doesn’t prove that he did have a wife either actually. Not much in scripture one way or the other on that subject. :-)
I was just talking to my son about this - a Catholic church in a small town near us has just had computers confiscated because of child pornography.
It is neither natural or Biblical to require those who lead the church to remain single, and therefore celibate. This eliminates the majority of good Catholics right off the bat.
This is the perfect setting to foster exactly what has happened. Joining the priesthood would be a perfect cover for a homosexual to hold a job, hold a highly respectable position, not have to explain to anyone why he isn’t married, and have easy access to children, in a position of trust and authority.
A disaster waiting to happen, IMHO.
I would tend to agree with SoFloFreeper on this; it would not be a bad idea to allow priests to marry. The reason I have is a pragmatic one. Catholics, like most other Christians, often look to the priest for guidance in their lives. One aspect of our lives that often presents difficult situations is our relationships with our spouses. A married priest is more likely to have a better understanding of marital problems than an unmarried, celibate one. Some things cannot be learned in seminary, but only by experience.
If I am not mistaken, in the Orthodox rite, priests aspiring to leadership positions in the church hierarchy are NOT allowed to be married, but those who are the equivalent of the parish priests in the Roman rite are. I would think such a rule would work well for the Roman rite as well.
That’s what all the liberal Catholics invariably believe too, excepting they actually hate the discipline. In fact, try to find a liberal of any faith that accepts abortion, ‘gay marriage,’ and female clergy that also thinks the Catholic discipline of celibacy is valuable and should be continued. They just get there from a completely different direction.
There are married priests in the Roman Catholic Church.
What has happened, quietly over several years, and with little publicity, is that ordained Lutheran and Anglican pastors who also happen to be married, are admitted to the priesthood as converts. There is really only one difference in how the Catholics, the Anglicans, and the Lutherans perceive the Pope, otherwise the doctrine as taught in the seminaries differs little.
Catholics consider the Pope as sitting on the throne of Peter, Lutherans and Anglicans consider the Pope to be only a most superior bishop. With the Ecumenical movement, the Lutherans, Anglicans and the Catholics found themselves more alike than different.
Currently, these converted priests are not allowed to serve the Eucharist. It would not require more than the permission of the College of Cardinals and the Pope himself to rectify this situation.
Any legitimate mode of life has some advantages and some disadvantages.
Or at least *most* of them are.Anglican priests in various Western countries (US,Canada,Europe,Australia,etc) who convert to Catholicism and are then allowed to serve as Catholic priests are allowed to be married.So why not *all* priests?
Choosing to set aside marriage for the sake of dedication to something else should always be an option for someone who wants to do it. But as Paul says, “It is better to marry than to burn [with passion].”
I've never had contact with a married priests but I know they exist.Are you sure of this? How can they be genuine "priests" while being restricted in this central way?
Then what happens vis-a’-vis gay marriage?
Gay married priests?
I could see that if a single minister later wished to marry, he ought to be expected to reaffirm his ministry before continuing on after the wedding. Just so that everybody is clear that the marriage is not supervening his idea of his responsibilities for the sake of the Lord.
Singlehood can help Protestant ministers, too, better concentrate on the calling of the Lord. I’ve seen it happen, where the wife passed away unexpectedly and the minister remained an unmarried widower.
There are virtues to being married and virtues to singlehood. There is no need to disparage either condition.
Hmm... do they get to bless it, but then someone else serves it?
Just two days ago we were told by FRoman Catholic apologists that the current Pope can’t change doctrine/dogma because it was set in stone long ago. He, we were told, is just the overseer.
Oh well. Nothing to see here.
I'd have no problem with that at all.Regarding his dedication to the Lord's work the closest I've come to this is to see the dedication of married physicians to their patients.Being a physician,like being a priest,is a 24/7/365 calling and I know from personal experience (20 years working at a large hospital) that the married ones still get up at 3AM when a patient needs him/her and also works an 18 day when necessary.
argumentum ex silentio and argumentum ad ignorantiamare generally considered at least weak, in the former case, and fallacious in the later, sometimes in both.
If comparing the conditions, maybe advocates of the church tradition would point out that he was married prior to believing... MAYBE.
RE: Just two days ago we were told by FRoman Catholic apologists that the current Pope cant change doctrine/dogma because it was set in stone long ago.
Let’s just remind ourselves — Celibacy for Priest is NOT a Dogma ( see article ).
Evangelical dogma is closer to the original sources in the bible than Catholic dogma is. With the Catholic system, the dogma can evolve through prophecy under certain conditions. You can believe or disbelieve whether that’s really reflective of the Lord’s will for Christians (I disbelieve it), but that’s how the Catholic church conducts themselves. And it’s more subtle than a crass “Oh, the pope changed it.” There’s kind of a consensus process they go through.
FYI, there were 39 married Popes in the past ( not to mention priests ).
This is documented by historians.
See here for instance:
Kelly, J. N. D. Oxford Dictionary of Popes. New York, Oxford Press. 1986.
Somebody better tell the parish priest out in Norcross GA - he's a former Anglican and he's right there on the altar every Sunday!
Just pointing out the possibilities in the opposite direction.
The ring itself doesn't change. One ring to rule them all.
The Church's rules have always been clear that neither homosexuals nor those with homosexual inclinations should be ordained or admitted to seminary. They used to send them home from seminary.
Unfortunately the 'swinging 60s' infected seminaries and chanceries as well, and we saw the result in the scandals of the 70s and 80s.
A major housecleaning has now occurred, and bishops are more vigilant. But it will be awhile before all the dead wood is cleared out.
Interesting thoughts but how do we then explain that the vast majority of sexual abuse is done by married men, including family members.
Would that include same sex marriage? The Coptic Priests can marry—but the Coptic Pope and Bishops must be from the ranks of the Monks who are celebate. There system seems to work well for them.
Since I was a seminarian, I can assure that there is a very intense program explaining how and why celibacy is a much greater gift than married love. Every man who is ordained knows a long time beforehand the nature of the vow. He has plenty of time to consider it (6 years minimum) before taking that vow. This is because any provable deception, fraud, or misunderstanding on the part of the man taking the vow invalidates the ordination. All the men I saw ordained knew celibacy was a greater gift and embraced it. That is essential for it to be a sacrifice. One leaves behind one good for the sake of obtaining a greater good.
I just think it would help keep the temptation at bay—the scandal of the priests is a tragedy...ruined lives, children traumatized, not to mention the spiritual degradation of the people involved. Of course it isn’t a cure all; there are sexual and moral failing within the non-Roman Christian bodies as well. I do believe it addresses a necessary human need—sexual satisfaction—and would save a lot of heartache.
I am not Catholic—in fact I disagree with the theology thereof...BUT I also think the RCC has a lot of honest Christ followers in her, and what is good for one part of the church is good for the entire “catholic” (not Roman) body.
I am not a liberal either. :)
I worked with a guy who had been in the seminary for a while (can't recall if he ever specified for how long).He said he left because he was always being hit upon by other seminarians and professors.He was stunned and disgusted by what was going on.
I kid you not.And yes,he might have been lying but I sincerely doubt it.He was an honest,down to earth guy.
Of course it's understandable (to me,at least) why this could have happened.And no,I don't believe that all priests are perverts but you have to admit,as an earlier poster stated,that it's the ideal cover for a pervert looking for "respectability".Or at least it was before being a pervert was something to be celebrated.