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More (Priestly) Celibacy, Not Less
National Catholic Register | May 15-21, 2005

Posted on 05/24/2005 5:05:40 PM PDT by NYer

Three Catholic issues drive critics nuts.

Articles criticizing Pope Benedict XVI keep singling out three issues: the celibacy of priests, the all-male priesthood and the prohibition of artificial contraception.

During May, our editorials will look at each of them, starting this week with celibacy, which is a little bit different from the other two. It isn’t a teaching on faith or morals - the Church doesn’t teach that it is impossible for a married man to be a priest. In fact, celibacy wasn’t required of priests for the first millennium of the Church’s history (though most priests were, in fact, celibate).

There are even a few married priests in the Catholic Church today - in some Eastern Catholic rites, and in a few cases of Protestant ministers who converted.

That said, celibacy will probably remain a requirement for the foreseeable future. That’s because celibacy was something Christ himself wanted. In the Gospel of Mark (10:28-30) Peter complained, “Lord, we have given up everything to follow you.”

Christ answered, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come” (Mark 10:29-30).

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus priased those who “renounced marriage for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven” (19:12).

St. Paul pointed out that “An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord. But a married man is anxious about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and he is divided”. (1 Corinthinans 7:32-34).

Before he became Pope Benedict, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said that Christ urged celibacy so that priests would be a sign of hope. By giving up family life, the priest shows that he believes that citizenship in the Kingdom of heaven is just as real as citizenship in this world.

The married priest issue isn’t about the Vatican allowing ordained men to get married - it’s about allowing more married men to get ordained. And, as Cardinal Ratzinger said, “Celibacy is not a matter of compulsion. Someone is accepted as a priest only when he does it of his own accord.”

You can see the fruit of celibacy in the life of Pope John Paul II, whose tireless service and irrepressible joy showed that there is a greater form of happiness available to men - the happiness of life in Christ.

That ideal may be beautiful, critics will argue, but isn’t it naive to require that that all priests be celibate? Doesn’t that just invite sex scandals?

Taken to its logical end, this is an argument not just for an end to celibacy by priests, but an end to the prohibition of sex outside of marriage. After all, we expect unmarried men who aren’t priests to abstain, too.

In fact, sex scandals come from a lack of sexual discipline, not from too much. The Church formally adopted the celibacy requirement in 1123 at the First Lateran Council - because married priests were involved in so many sex scandals.

A New York Times study suggested that the highest number of clerical sex offenders in the scandals of our day came out of an era in the 1960s and ‘70s where seminaries grew lax in the way they screened seminarians and in the way they taught about celibacy. Seminaries, trying to be hip with the times, de-emphasized sexual morality. To this day, some seminaries use professors or guest lecturers who sneer at celibacy or make light of it.

We shouldn’t be surprised when the priests who came from those cultures aren’t properly commited to their vows. But don’t blame celibacy. Blame the seminaries that stop teaching and requiring it.

Imagine the kind of married priests we would get from lax seminaries. We’d have todays scandals - as well as priests who divorce or cheat on their wives, and who abandon their children.

The celibate priesthood has also often been blamed for the vocations shortage. Critics say more men would be interested in the priesthood if we allowed them to marry.

We doubt it. A married priesthood hasn’t prevented the vocations shortage that Episcopalians and Orthodox Christians are suffering. And vocations in the Church have dried up in the places where the sacrifice of the calling is downplayed, and have flourished where it is emphasized.

Is the Church naive to insist on priestly celibacy? We think it’s naive to idealize what a married priesthood would look like.

Defend celibacy. Don’t be ashamed of it. The celibate priesthood isn’t an embarrassing relic of times past. It’s a promise for the future Church.


TOPICS: Activism; Apologetics; Catholic; Current Events; Ecumenism; General Discusssion; History; Mainline Protestant; Ministry/Outreach; Moral Issues; Orthodox Christian; Religion & Culture; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; celibacy; marriedpriests; orthodox; pcusa; presbyterian; presbyterians; priesthood

1 posted on 05/24/2005 5:05:41 PM PDT by NYer
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To: american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; ...
This article appears as an Editorial in this week's edition of The National Catholic Register. There is no link.
2 posted on 05/24/2005 5:07:26 PM PDT by NYer ("Love without truth is blind; Truth without love is empty." - Pope Benedict XVI)
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To: NYer

Dear NYer:

I subscribe to the Register. How do you get their articles to post? Their Web site does not appear to have these type articles.

Regards

Franky


3 posted on 05/24/2005 5:09:31 PM PDT by franky (Pray for the souls of the faithful departed.)
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To: franky
How do you get their articles to post?

Manual dexterity ;-D. I began my 'career' as a bi-lingual secretary - English typing at 120 wpm - on a manual typewriter. It's a lot faster on a keyboard.

4 posted on 05/24/2005 5:18:56 PM PDT by NYer ("Love without truth is blind; Truth without love is empty." - Pope Benedict XVI)
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To: NYer

"There are even a FEW married priests in the Catholic Church today - in some Eastern Catholic rites, and in a few cases of Protestant ministers who converted."

Considering that there are several thousand such priests, he must have an interesting definition of "few"!


5 posted on 05/24/2005 5:22:21 PM PDT by Tantumergo
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To: NYer

For later.


6 posted on 05/24/2005 5:26:05 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Tantumergo
Considering that there are several thousand such priests

Do you have a source for these statistics?

7 posted on 05/24/2005 5:30:43 PM PDT by NYer ("Love without truth is blind; Truth without love is empty." - Pope Benedict XVI)
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To: NYer

"Do you have a source for these statistics?"

Yes, simple mathematics.


8 posted on 05/24/2005 5:34:33 PM PDT by Tantumergo
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To: Tantumergo

A lot of people aren't so good at "simple" mathematics.


9 posted on 05/24/2005 6:00:35 PM PDT by SaintThomasMorePrayForUs
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To: NYer


I don't know which is more impressive --- your typing skills or this commentary. :)


10 posted on 05/24/2005 6:08:48 PM PDT by onyx (Pope John Paul II - May 18, 1920 - April 2, 2005 = SANTO SUBITO!)
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To: NYer

Wow!


11 posted on 05/24/2005 6:10:52 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: NYer

Nothing beats the time tested winning formula. Agenda for the opposite is to be treated with high suspicion.


12 posted on 05/24/2005 6:42:17 PM PDT by m4629
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To: NYer
I see the survival of a celibate Roman Catholic priesthood as a message of God's Spirit being present in the Catholic Faith.

This observance doesn't mean to question God's presence in other Rites, their authority to proclaim Christ's teachings, and be custodians of the Sacraments. Rather, it should show Faithful observers of the blessings bestowed upon the succession of Popes. If God's Spirit weren't with Roman Catholics, the celibate priests of this Church would have wilted and died a very long time ago.

I see a similarity of God's presence with His Chosen, the Jews. Any other people would have been destroyed by time, mankind's cruelty, and amalgamation (inter-racial/inter-faith marriage). That Jews have survived all manner of persecution is testimony to God's Covenant which He still Honors.
13 posted on 05/24/2005 7:02:56 PM PDT by SaltyJoe ("Social Justice" begins with the unborn child. "Seamless garment" is a stolen article from Christ.)
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To: SaltyJoe
That Jews have survived all manner of persecution is testimony to God's Covenant which He still Honors.

What an absolutely astute observation! Author Roy Schoeman, a Jewish convert, has written one of the most fascinating books on this very topic. Please take a minute to read his

CONVERSION STORY

an then pick up a copy of his book. You won't be able to put it down.


14 posted on 05/24/2005 7:18:34 PM PDT by NYer ("Love without truth is blind; Truth without love is empty." - Pope Benedict XVI)
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To: NYer

I stray from the reservation a bit on this one.

Celibacy for priests is a practice and a tradition within the latin rite church. From what I've read, it isn't as much a practice or a tradition within the eastern rite churches, except in the U.S. and Canada.

I think there is plenty of room within the larger church for both perspectives. I think that as a practical matter it is necessary for the western church to continue with it's traditions and practices, and for the eastern church to continue with it's. I do not agree with eastern catholic priests in the U.S. and Canada needing to amend their practices to conform with the latin norm.


15 posted on 05/25/2005 1:34:18 AM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Rumors of the demise of the conservative Democrat have been greatly exaggerated)
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To: SaintThomasMorePrayForUs; NYer

"A lot of people aren't so good at "simple" mathematics."

OK, let's take as an example the largest Eastern Catholic Church - the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

There are now over 3,500 parishes in the UGCC, each one with at least one priest. Their tradition is to have a married parish clergy, while the celibates are mainly monks. However, about 15% of their parish clergy are also celibate. This means that 85% of the priests are married men, therefore, the number of married priests in the UGCC is approximately:

3,500 x 85% = 2,975.

In other Eastern Catholic Churches, the proportion of married priests ranges from about 45% to 80%. There are roughly 10,000 priests in the Eastern Churches, and therefore, taking a conservative estimate of 45%, there will be a minimum of:

10,000 x 45% = 4,500

married priests in the East.

Obviously this is the Eastern tradition and so it is to be expected. In the West married priests only exist as an exception to the norm and these as a result of convert married clergy being ordained to the priesthood. These are mainly confined to the Anglophile provinces such as the US and UK and probably number no more than 800 worldwide (last figures released in UK were that 500 had taken advantage of the "Roman option").

Thus it is safe to say conservatively that there are 4,500 + 800 married priests in the Catholic Church, i.e. 5,300.

While it is a very small per centage of the approx. 400,000 Catholic priests, nevertheless I would hardly describe 5,300 as just a "few". A "few" would tend to imply a number that one could count on the fingers of two hands.

However, that is not to say that the discipline of the Latin rite should change. Ordaining celibate and homosexual men only will remain the norm in the West long after we have all gone to our reward.


16 posted on 05/25/2005 2:48:08 AM PDT by Tantumergo
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To: NYer
Taken to its logical end, this is an argument not just for an end to celibacy by priests, but an end to the prohibition of sex outside of marriage. After all, we expect unmarried men who aren’t priests to abstain, too.

Bingo! It's funny how many of the so-called "controversial" issues regarding the church really just involve people saying, "We're just upright apes, after all ... we gotta scr*w!"

17 posted on 05/25/2005 4:46:34 AM PDT by Tax-chick (I'm a shallow, demagoguic sectarian because it's easier than working for a living.)
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To: NYer

Notice how in 100 years, these topics have become "controversial". It's all just a part of trying to destroy the church.


18 posted on 05/25/2005 4:58:08 AM PDT by Desdemona (Music Librarian and provider of cucumber sandwiches, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary. Hats required.)
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To: NYer

1 Tim 4:3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.


19 posted on 05/25/2005 6:11:55 AM PDT by biblewonk (Socialism isn't all bad.)
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To: biblewonk

"1 Tim 4:3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth."

How is this in any way relevant? The Church has never forbidden anyone to marry as long as they have been free to marry.

Neither does the above passage have any relevance to fasting which was encouraged by Jesus Christ - I suppose He was unscriptural as well, was He?


20 posted on 05/25/2005 6:30:26 AM PDT by Tantumergo
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To: Tantumergo

I'd like to simply say that forbidding a priest to marry is exactly what 1Tim is talking about but I can't say it that simply because the RC priesthood is unscriptural. Lets pretend that an RC "priest" is really just a misguided Christian who wants to enter into the ministry, forbidding him to marry is completely wrong.


21 posted on 05/25/2005 6:34:24 AM PDT by biblewonk (Socialism isn't all bad.)
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To: biblewonk

Firstly, your interpretation of Scripture is wrong.

Secondly, the Church does not forbid him to marry. If he wants to marry, he can. Its just that the Church will not call him to the priesthood if he does. The Latin Church chooses to take its priests from those who God calls to a celibate life as Jesus and St. Paul encouraged.

Your use of the word "forbidding" is as inappropriate as if I claimed that you were "forbidding" all the women of the world to be your wife because you had already got one and you refused to consider bigamy!


22 posted on 05/25/2005 6:58:29 AM PDT by Tantumergo
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To: Tantumergo
Firstly, your interpretation of Scripture is wrong.

Actually not, forbidding to marry is forbidding to marry.

Secondly, the Church does not forbid him to marry. If he wants to marry, he can. Its just that the Church will not call him to the priesthood if he does. The Latin Church chooses to take its priests from those who God calls to a celibate life as Jesus and St. Paul encouraged.

Thanks for repeating what I just said. I'm glad we're clear on that part.

23 posted on 05/25/2005 8:40:36 AM PDT by biblewonk (Socialism isn't all bad.)
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To: biblewonk
You need to look to St. Paul to start to understand what is going on here in the Roman Catholic Church. He encouraged celibacy for those that could handle it, St Peter and his ability to bind and loose long pre-dates the Bible. With St. Paul in mind, joining the priesthood is to be encouraged, for those who can take up that cross.

You just cannot handle the 2000 year old ascetic, monastic, Pauline, priesthood of Jesus Christ that long pre-dates the Bible. It does not fit into your Protestant ideal ... so, you have the marriage of Martin Luther and Henry VIII as your archtype ... so have at it and see where it gets you....it's just that we're happy to be served by priests in the Jesus/St. Paul mode and the direct replacement of St Peter says it shall be so ... we're not interested in Benny Hinn/Billy Graham/Martin Luther.

24 posted on 05/25/2005 10:22:02 AM PDT by Pio (Vatican II, thy name is Modernism, Madness and Death.)
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To: biblewonk

Things slow today on the justification threads, biblewonk?


http://ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ109.HTM
Dave Armstrong
CLERICAL CELIBACY: THE BIBLICAL RATIONALE

(Bible Verses: RSV)

With regard to clerical, or priestly celibacy, Protestants (and today, many Catholics) often mirror Luther's viewpoint that chastity is well-nigh impossible. Orthodox Catholics contend that such a view is not biblical. Our Lord Jesus and St. Paul were of a different opinion. Jesus said (Matthew 19:12):

For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it.

Other modern translations use the phrase others have renounced marriage. One might argue that Jesus was merely describing this state of affairs, not sanctioning it, but this is made implausible by His concluding comment, He who is able to receive this, let him receive it.

But if it is to be denied that Jesus taught the desirability of celibacy for those called to it, there can be little doubt about St. Paul's position, expressed in great detail in 1 Corinthians 7:7-38:

7 I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own special gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.

8 To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do.

9 But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion . . .

20 Every one should remain in the state in which he was called . . . . .

27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek marriage.

28 But if you marry, you do not sin . . . Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. . .

32 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord;

33 But the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife,

34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman or girl is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please her husband.

35 I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord . . .

38 So that he who marries his betrothed does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better.

These verses form the scriptural rationale for the much-maligned Catholic requirement of celibacy for priests, monks, and nuns. St. Paul's argument is clear enough, for anyone able to receive it. The celibate priest can singleheartedly devote himself both to God and his flock. The practical advantages of having more time and not being burdened by multiple loyalties are obvious to common sense.

Why, then, is there so much uproar today (and in Luther's era) over this disciplinary requirement (it is neither a dogma nor irreversible, although it is firmly established in Catholic Tradition)? I submit that it is a lack of belief in the power of God to assist one in such a difficult life-choice (especially given the present sexually-crazed atmosphere). Opponents of celibacy often simply assume, like Luther, that a life without sex is utterly impossible, whereas our Lord Jesus and St. Paul undeniably teach the contrary, and the desirability - even preferability - of celibacy for those so called. One must make a choice for or against the biblical teaching. If sexual abstinence is impossible and "unnatural," men and women are reduced to the level of mere beasts, devoid of God's image and strengthening power, utterly unable to control their appetites and passions. This is not the Christian view!

It needs to be stressed at this point that no one is forced to be celibate. It is both a matter of personal choice, and, on a deeper level, an acceptance of one's calling, as given by God. Paul acknowledges both the divine impetus (1 Corinthians 7:7,20) and the free will initiative of human beings (7:35,38). These two are not contradictory, but rather, complementary. In other words, if a man is called to celibacy (and further, to the priesthood in the Latin, Western Rites), he will be given both the desire and the ability to carry out this lifestyle successfully (see Philippians 2:13). If one is not called, like most of us, to celibacy and/or the priesthood, then he or she ought to get married (1 Corinthians 7:7,9,20,28,38).

The issue is not a matter of either/or, with one option being good and the other bad. Both are good, but one has a certain practical superiority and an obviously somewhat heroic aspect. To personally renounce something is not equivalent to regarding the state or thing renounced evil. I may give up eating potatoes, reading fiction, ice skating, or swimming, for various and sundry reasons, but this does not make any of them evil in and of themselves.

Likewise, the Catholic Church is not in any sense whatsoever against marriage, or sexuality (7:38), as long as these are within the proper biblical and moral guidelines. Marriage and ordination are both sacraments in Catholicism; both are positive and wonderful means of God's grace. The Catholic view of holy matrimony, which considers a valid, sacramental marriage between two baptized Catholics absolutely indissoluble, provides women in particular with the greatest degree of security and dignity known to history (we are already reaping the bitter fruit of today's "easy divorcism"). The Church only wants to see everyone fulfill the estate in life to which they are called (7:20).

No one is compelled to become a Catholic priest, and the complaining and moaning of those who have ill-advisedly taken on such a commitment, or, who (through loss of the supernatural virtue of faith) no longer believe it to be possible, is highly annoying. Anyone who is not called to celibacy is free to become a married priest in the Orthodox or Anglican Churches (or even in the Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church, where married men can be ordained).

When Catholic priests today forsake their vows of ordination (usually taking on wives), this is no disproof whatsoever of the Catholic doctrine of the desirability of celibacy, but rather, an indication that (oftentimes) something was seriously awry in the intellectual honesty of these men or in the perception of God's calling on their lives. Again, no one forced any of these men to take the vows they did, and it is improper for them to complain about it after the fact. This is as foolish and silly as a man whining that he can't join the army because he can't stand constantly being with thirty other men! Numerous other analogies could be given. Every institution has the inherent right to create whatever rules and regulations it deems necessary for its purposes. In this case, the Catholic Church is simply trying to follow the clear recommendations of its Lord and one of the premier Apostles, St. Paul, and to go against the grain of today's decadent culture, where unrestrained sex has often replaced the quest for God and righteousness, and become an idol.

Furthermore, today there seems to be a lack of understanding (or downright denigration) of the validity and seriousness of vows and oaths, from the biblical and Christian perspective. We see how lightly the marital vows are taken by many in our time ("for better or worse" and "till death do us part" are almost forgotten by thousands, it seems). The Law of Moses made vows and oaths sacredly and solemnly binding (Exodus 20:7, Leviticus 19:12, Deuteronomy 5:11, 23:21-23). Ezekiel says that perjury is punishable by death (Ezekiel 17:16-18). Jesus taught that oaths were binding (Matthew 5:33). St. Paul once had his hair cut off as the result of a vow of some sort (Acts 18:18). Even God bound Himself by an oath (Hebrews 6:13-18). The notion of covenant is closely related to oath-taking. A deceptive vow is an affront to God, and brings about His curse (Malachi 1:14, Ecclesiastes 5:4-5). Vowing is completely voluntary and optional in biblical thought, but once made, the vow must be performed and is a very serious matter indeed.

Sadly, many "former" priests, rather than face honestly their own inadequacies, choose instead to cast doubt on the Church's teaching on celibacy in general, which causes them ultimately to deny the affirmations of both Jesus and St. Paul on this subject. No amount of admitted difficulty (no one maintains the easiness of abstention) or self-serving rationalization can undo the plain teaching of Holy Scripture in this regard. There is an old proverb to the effect that "all heresy begins below the belt." This is certainly not the reason for all priestly defections, but it is undoubtedly true far more often than is admitted. Priests, (even "good" ones) - like all of us - are fallen and fallible human beings, subject to temptations and moral lapses, and are special targets of Satan due to their lofty office. They need our prayers continually.

Addendum:

Catholic apologist Paul Seberras (agitato@pathcom.com) sent me the following interesting biblical analysis from his book, The Perpetual Holocaust, which, I think, nicely complements the above material:

Isaiah 56:3-7 And let not the son of the stranger, that adhereth to the Lord, speak saying: The Lord will divide and separate me from his people. And let not the eunuch say: Behold I am a dry tree. For thus saith the Lord to the eunuchs: They that shall keep my sabbaths, and shall choose the things that please me, and shall hold fast my covenant: I will give to them in my house, and within my walls, a place, and a name better than sons and daughters: I will give them an everlasting name which shall never perish. And the children of the stranger that adhere to the Lord, to worship him, and to love his name, to be his servants: every one that keepeth the sabbath from profaning it, and that holdeth fast my covenant: I will bring them into my holy mount and will make them joyful in my house of prayer; their holocausts, and their victims shall please me upon my altar; for my house shall be called the house of prayer, for all nations.

The 'eunuch,' is not to be considered a "dry tree,." i.e. barren. In fact, the eunuch will be blessed with children. What Isaiah is implying in this regard, is that the eunuch will be blessed with a spiritual fecundity, a harvest of souls. Through his progeny, the eunuch will have an 'everlasting name'. The 'everlasting name' pertains to the graces conferred upon the eunuch by God. He is rewarded by God for his work in bringing spiritual children into God's Eternal Kingdom. The eunuch, therefore, will be greatly honored and revered in heaven by his spiritual offspring.

The eunuch is to keep God's sabbaths and hold fast to his covenant. God's sabbath in the new creation is Sunday. Sunday is a holy day of obligation which is binding upon all Catholics. Lying at the core of the Catholic sabbath is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is not by accident that Isaiah combines sabbaths with covenant. In the New Covenant dispensation the Mass, i.e. the Eternal Sacrifice is a mandatory part of the Eternal Covenant trilogy. The Eternal Sacrifice is the visible bond, affirming that the people celebrating this rite, are in an Eternal Covenant relationship with God. As you are aware we continually underline the important significance of this covenant trilogy, Eternal Sacrifice, Gospel and its people (Israel), the Church.

The eunuch in maintaining the sabbaths and holding fast to the covenant is in effect therefore, the celebrant at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Henceforth, we can cease calling this man a eunuch, since Isaiah's prophecy, finds its fulfillment in the celibate priesthood of the Roman Catholic Church.

This house of prayer for all nations is the Church, where pleasing sacrifices acceptable to God, through Jesus Christ, (I. Pet. 2:5) are offered by all nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun, as prophesied by Malachi, (Mal. 1:11). Isaiah had clearly foreseen the universal dimensions of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. An account was recently given of the manner in which these pleasing sacrifices are offered, in our outline of that section of the Eucharistic Liturgy called the Offertory.


25 posted on 05/25/2005 10:35:28 AM PDT by Frank Sheed
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To: biblewonk

Biblehack makes his/her/its typical ignorance of Scripture plain for all to see, yet again.


26 posted on 05/25/2005 10:36:11 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham
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To: Pio
You need to look to St. Paul to start to understand what is going on here in the Roman Catholic Church. He encouraged celibacy for those that could handle it, St Peter and his ability to bind and loose long pre-dates the Bible. With St. Paul in mind, joining the priesthood is to be encouraged, for those who can take up that cross.

You are cutting and pasting tiny little tidbits here and there without really caring what Paul was saying. Yes he discussed not getting married for those who were called to that but he also lays out the requirements for entering into the ministry as an Elder and one of them is to be married and have kids.

You just cannot handle the 2000 year old ascetic, monastic, Pauline, priesthood of Jesus Christ that long pre-dates the Bible. It does not fit into your Protestant ideal ... so, you have the marriage of Martin Luther and Henry VIII as your archtype ... so have at it and see where it gets you....it's just that we're happy to be served by priests in the Jesus/St. Paul mode and the direct replacement of St Peter says it shall be so ... we're not interested in Benny Hinn/Billy Graham/Martin Luther.

I definitely can't handle things that are not from the bible being passed off as being Christian tradition. You are quite right about that. Interestingly, Nickolus Shrek of the Church of Satan is just about the only other person I've heard use the word archtype. Can you show me where the bible says that there will be a priesthood that is other than the "priesthood of believers" which gets between my direct connection to God? Can you show me where the bible says Mary is the distributer of all graces or even where the bible says that Graces are spiritual credits to be weighed against sins?

27 posted on 05/25/2005 10:40:03 AM PDT by biblewonk (Socialism isn't all bad.)
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To: NYer
More Celibacy, Not Less
28 posted on 05/25/2005 10:40:26 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham
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To: Frank Sheed
Things slow today on the justification threads, biblewonk?

Why are RC's so quick to cut and paste and so slow to simply explain what they know?

29 posted on 05/25/2005 10:41:26 AM PDT by biblewonk (Socialism isn't all bad.)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

Real nice, why don't you use a little profanity too.


30 posted on 05/25/2005 10:42:13 AM PDT by biblewonk (Socialism isn't all bad.)
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To: biblewonk

We have free will.

Cheers,
Frank


31 posted on 05/25/2005 10:43:42 AM PDT by Frank Sheed
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To: biblewonk
Yes he discussed not getting married for those who were called to that but he also lays out the requirements for entering into the ministry as an Elder and one of them is to be married and have kids.

Is that a requirement or merely a permission? Is he saying "husband of one wife" as in "married, not single" or "husband of one wife" as in "has been married, at most, once"?

All the evidence is in favor of the latter interpretation. We know, for example, that St. John the Apostle served as bishop of Ephesus. There's no evidence that he ever married. Jesus himself never married; you can hardly argue that divine law excludes Christ himself from the ministry. St. Paul says flatly that it is better not to marry, but your interpretation has him saying "it is better not to marry, but you can't be an elder or an overseer unless you do". The Holy Spirit can't contradict himself.

32 posted on 05/25/2005 11:02:56 AM PDT by Campion (Truth is not determined by a majority vote -- Pope Benedict XVI)
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To: Campion
Is that a requirement or merely a permission? Is he saying "husband of one wife" as in "married, not single" or "husband of one wife" as in "has been married, at most, once"?

2A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; 3not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,[b] but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; 4one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5(for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?);

It's the former.

33 posted on 05/25/2005 11:34:07 AM PDT by biblewonk (Socialism isn't all bad.)
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To: NYer

Wow!


34 posted on 05/25/2005 12:24:41 PM PDT by franky (Pray for the souls of the faithful departed.)
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To: Tantumergo; biblewonk
How is this in any way relevant?

Sola Scriptura silliness doesn't require relevance or context. Abhors it, actually. Everything Scripture must be quoted in a vacuum.
35 posted on 05/25/2005 5:27:47 PM PDT by Conservative til I die
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To: biblewonk
You are cutting and pasting tiny little tidbits here and there without really caring what Paul was saying.

Isn't that the same as what Protties do? Only they do it with the Bible and the words of Christ?
36 posted on 05/25/2005 5:31:44 PM PDT by Conservative til I die
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