To: GCC Catholic; FormerLib
GCC, why do you suppose that the author of this piece feels compelled to go to such lengths in a pathetic attempt to show that the practice of married clergy in the East wasn't what what it demonstrably was? Frankly, it is disingenuous at best to say:
"In the early Church, the vast majority of the clergy was made up of older men who assumed holy orders, left behind their wives, who gave their consent, and entrusted their families to the community. From that moment they were called to live in perfect continence, no longer living at home but rather in church buildings,""
Yeah, as unordained monastics, GCC, not as priests.
And what does this mean:
"All of the documents show that for many centuries, the abstinence practiced in the West was discussed in those communities and the exceptions that are cited today are actually based on fraudulent sources."
Are we supposed to glean from this that the Eastern practice of married clergy was deficient because we sat around and talked about the Western practice of celibacy in some areas, particularly around Rome?
The final paragraph of the article is such a marvelous example of the Roman mindset which some of us, myself included, keep forgetting in our enthusiasm for ecumenical rapprochement with the Latin Church. I'm glad of the reminder!
Bottom line, your discipline of clerical celibacy is your discipline. It rises or falls on its own merits. Attempts to dismiss it by pointing to the East or bolster it by attacking the East are offensive. One would think that the Vatican would have to good grace to leave us out of its internal squabbles.
posted on 01/20/2007 4:12:29 PM PST
(Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
Be that as it may, Pope Gregory VII and other popes before him pushed celibacy because otherwise the clergy would have formed another feudal caste. As it was, Bishops often behaved like barons. With a married priesthood, church holdings would have fallen into the hands of yet one more set of noble families. As it way, many bishoprics fell into the hands of "nephews." One of the great problems of the French Church in the 18th Century was that almost all the bishops came from noble families, leaving little room at the top for priests from the lower orders.
posted on 01/20/2007 6:18:26 PM PST
I apologize if Messori's explanations of the practices in the Eastern Church are deficient or inaccurate; being offensive was not my intent. I posted this piece for discussion. I certainly can't explain Messori's overemphasis on the East.
Remember that in the Latin Church, most of those pushing for married priests as the norm also have other modernist/liberal tendencies. I posted this more as affirmation that allowing married clergy isn't the end-all-be-all solution as many Catholics think.
So far as that last paragraph goes, those are facts that either are true or they aren't. If they aren't, then please help me (and others) to eschew that "Roman mindset."
Again, I'm still learning, and I didn't mean to offend via the post.
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