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laetare (commentary on ordination of married Anglican convert to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles)
Off The Record ^ | March 18, 2007 | Diogenes

Posted on 03/18/2007 2:11:30 PM PDT by NYer

Part of the background to a puff piece on the ordination of a married Anglican convert for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles:

In the 12th century, when the Catholic Church adopted a celibacy requirement, it was as much about protecting property as it was committing priestly intimacy to God, said the Rev. Thomas Rausch, a Jesuit professor of theology at Loyola Marymount University. "The church was worried about church property going to the descendents of priests," he said.

Historically accurate? Somehow I doubt it's the whole story.

Note the topspin on the shot: the insinuation that the spiritual reasons for celibacy are a pious myth and the real explanation (for those not afraid to look at the facts) is to be sought in economics. This is the sort of reductivist account our parents might have heard from a Marxist professor of history; we get it from the senior clergy.

A young man whose father tells him that monogamy is, at bottom, a ruse concocted by women to get their housekeeping expenses paid will surmise that his father's own experience of marriage was not especially gratifying, and that, to the extent his father was a faithful husband to his mother, this fidelity was motivated less by love than fear. By the same token, when Catholics hear from celibate priests that celibacy, at bottom, concerns property control, they are unlikely to believe that such priests find the "religious side" of their lives fulfilling. We can imagine a man taken in by a scam in his gullible youth who later come to see through the hoax; but once the fraud was exposed, who would continue to play the dupe except a profound cynic or a weakling?

Some of us, perhaps, are old enough to feel residual shock at the profane apathy of the conciliar generation of clergy who, like Waugh's Dr. Beamish, are "much embittered by the fulfillment of their early hopes," and who console themselves with animal comforts or politics. Younger Catholics, I find, either accept the world-view of the 1970s liberals (in which case they drop the institutional-religion-thing altogether) or else they reject the programmatic cynicism and -- by employing a severe ex opere operato theology -- make use of "massing priests" to confect the sacraments (for lack of an alternative) while directing their spiritual attention elsewhere. Jody Bottum's article in last October's First Things touches on the same subject:

A few years ago, I was out in Southern California, visiting a school in Orange County. I can't remember the name of the parish to which the students took me for Mass, but what has stayed with me ever since is the conversation as they drove me back to the hotel. Talk about the homily's content didn't interest them; even talk about the homily's lack of content didn't interest them. "I just kind of tune it out," the driver said, and the others all agreed. "I just go to church for confession, to pray, and to take Communion," added the young woman in the back. "At least the priests can do that."

[chop]

"You remember how, you know, the old hippie types used to say, 'Never trust anyone over thirty'? Well, they were right. Only it was their own generation they were talking about," the thin, quiet one in the back announced as we pulled up to the hotel. "You can see it clearly out here in California. That whole generation of Catholics in America, basically everybody formed before 1978, is screwed up. Left, Right, whatever. ...The best of them were failures, and the worst of them were monsters."

Is this dismissiveness an instance of the impatience that every emergent generation displays towards the failings (real or perceived) of its predecessor? In part. But as Bottum points out, "These were serious Catholic kids -- daily communicants, pro-life marchers, soup-kitchen volunteers, members of perpetual-adoration societies." In the 1950s, a young Catholic could purchase esteem by partaking of these activities; to be recognized as a participant would gratify almost everyone whom it was important to gratify. But today such allegiances come at a cost. They put the Catholic at odds with profs, with fellow students, with prospective employers, sometimes with parents and pastors as well; they teach him what it's like to be an outsider -- at least an outsider to those on the make, to those who are "upwardly mobile."

In view of this, I don't think the priestly disparagement of celibacy will do much damage in the long term. It's patronizing. And young people hate to be patronized. Those who have paid a price, however modest, for a stronger-than-required religious fidelity are simply not interested in the worldlings' boredom with spiritual realities -- or, indeed, in their opinion on anything else.


TOPICS: Catholic; History; Mainline Protestant; Worship
KEYWORDS: anglican; celibacy; conversion; priesthood

1 posted on 03/18/2007 2:11:40 PM PDT by NYer
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To: Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...
Here is the referenced article, in its entirety.


CAMARILLO - When Bill Lowe preaches his first sermon as a Catholic priest in May, he will be the only clergyman in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles with his wife, children and grandchildren listening from the pews.

Lowe, 68, is about to become the first married priest in the history of the country's largest Roman Catholic diocese.

"People are ready for this. They are ready for some married clergy," said Lowe, who retired in 2001 after 29 years as an Episcopal priest and unexpectedly converted to Catholicism soon after.

Lowe does not represent a sea change for the centuries-old requirement that priests remain celibate. Instead, he is the benefactor of an obscure order that Pope John Paul II issued in 1980.

That Pastoral Provision has allowed about 80 married men, all former Episcopal priests, to continue utilizing their gift for pastoral ministry after Catholic conversion. (Married former Lutheran pastors also have been permitted through a different provision.)

"We see it as a gift, his coming to the Catholic Church," said Bishop Thomas J. Curry, who leads the Santa Barbara Pastoral Region, which includes Ventura County. "He has a lot of experience. He's ministered to a lot of people


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for a long time, and he's bringing all of that to the Catholic Church."

Growing up in a fundamentalist Baptist home in Pasadena, Lowe decided at 15 he would become a priest.

"No matter how miserable the day at the parish, I always felt like I was doing what I should be doing," said Lowe, who was known in Massachusetts as the "burying parson" because of his gift for consoling the bereaved.

Rethinking celibacy

As an assistant pastor at Blessed Junipero Serra Catholic Church in Camarillo, Lowe will again be able to use his gifts for comforting and preaching.

Some priests and parishioners, however, hope Lowe brings more than experience - that his ordination will help fuel the discussion about whether celibacy should be optional, as it was for the church's first 1,000 years.

"This move is not only historic but prophetic," Monsignor Padraic Loftus, pastor of St. Mel Catholic Church in Woodland Hills, wrote in his parish's Feb.18 bulletin. "Having a married priest in our midst must surely make us pause and reconsider, at this time of rapidly diminishing priests, why this privilege given to this couple could not be more widely granted."

Since 1985 - for various reasons not limited to celibacy - the number of active U.S. priests has plummeted from 57,317 to 41,794, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University.

One proposed solution, rejected by the Vatican, is to drop the celibacy mandate. After John Paul died two years ago, a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll found 63percent of U.S. Catholics thought priests should be able to marry.

Rule to protect land

The biblical basis for celibacy comes from the Gospel of Matthew: "Others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."

But in the 12th century, when the Catholic Church adopted a celibacy requirement, it was as much about protecting property as it was committing priestly intimacy to God, said the Rev. Thomas Rausch, a Jesuit professor of theology at Loyola Marymount University.

"The church was worried about church property going to the descendents of priests," he said.

The internal drive against the celibacy requirement dates to at least the Reformation.

Celibacy has caused thousands of priests to leave ministry since the end of the Second Vatican Council 42 years ago, according to Corpus, an organization that pushes for priesthood reform.

"I am a married priest," said Russ Ditzel, the organization's president.

But to marry, Ditzel had to leave ministry in 1978, though he technically remains an ordained priest. Others, he said, have surreptitiously married and remained behind the altar - "leading a double life."

Though Lowe agrees change is needed, he said he doesn't want to be a cause c l bre. He just wants to get back to his calling.

`Where God wants us'

Lowe's journey began in early 2001, after retiring from the 100-family Parish of the Messiah in Newton, Mass.

Lowe and his wife, Linda, began celebrating Mass with friends at various Catholic churches. The liturgical experience was familiar, but he noticed the parish pews overflowing with Catholics, something he had not experienced in the shrinking Episcopal Church.

"I said to Linda, `This is where it is happening,"' Lowe recalled.

And then, around Easter of that year, Linda told her husband they needed to make the switch official.

"We don't think of it as a conversion because we weren't changing. We were growing into something," said Linda, 66, who grew up in Glendale and was raised Presbyterian. "We feel very much now that this is where God wants us to be."

About that time, Lowe was finding retirement a bore. So, in 2002, he scheduled a meeting with Cardinal Bernard Law of the Archdiocese of Boston, whose nomination he sought for the Pastoral Provision.

But three days before the meeting, the Boston Globe broke the clergy sex-abuse scandal. That slowed the process for Lowe, as did his family's decision to return to California to care for Linda's ailing parents.

Pursuit of priesthood

They moved to Camarillo and joined Junipero Serra Church, which is known as Padre Serra Parish. Lowe continued his pursuit of the priesthood, which included reading 50 books in seven theological areas - including ethics, church history and dogmatic theology - a daylong psychological exam and an all-day oral exam.

"It was like getting a doctorate," he said.

On Dec. 1, he joined the church staff as a lay employee handling bereavement and counseling. Last month, amid much celebration, Curry ordained him a deacon.

"Everybody was grinning from ear to ear," said Anne Hansen, a two-decade parishioner of Padre Serra.

On May 6, Lowe's five-year pilgrimage from retirement to the priesthood will conclude when he is ordained by Cardinal Roger Mahony.

"It's finally happening," Lowe said, standing in his cramped office at Padre Serra, a Southwestern-style parish adjacent St. John's Seminary. "It is getting back to work and doing what I love to do.

"Yesterday, for example - going to a funeral, to a hospital, visiting a baby, writing a sermon. It's getting back to what I love to do."


Highlight - mine. Given the 30+ years of his liberal example, one has to look at the story in the context of Cardinal Mahony.

2 posted on 03/18/2007 2:16:20 PM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: xsmommy; NeoCaveman; Texan5; Gabz; Scotswife
Lowe, 68, is about to become the first married priest in the history of the country's largest Roman Catholic diocese.

Wow! I did NOT know of this....

Lowe does not represent a sea change for the centuries-old requirement that priests remain celibate. Instead, he is the benefactor of an obscure order that Pope John Paul II issued in 1980.

3 posted on 03/18/2007 2:24:37 PM PDT by tioga
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To: NYer
Strangely enough, I don't have a problem with this man being ordained, since we're going to have only a handful of priests left here in Los Angeles in a few years.

Many, many priests are going to be retiring soon, and there are only a few seminarians in the pipeline. In a good year, we might see four or five ordinations, for an archdiocese of 5 million Catholics.

The sister is charge of the vocations office is obviously doing a bang-up job.
/sarc
4 posted on 03/18/2007 2:30:09 PM PDT by Deo volente
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To: NYer
I really HATE it when these guys make a big deal out of their being married. It's like they at once exploit but do not understand that celibacy is a matter of discipline. SO suddenly it's a big spiritual thing that a priest is married? A revolution? A great new day?. I don't think so.

And I tink I agree with what I think is the thrust of the article. The young men I know lining up to enter novitiates or seminaries see their celibacy as part of a heroic response to a heroic call, and the "Who's counting, anyway" attitude of the "spirit of Vatican II" mob is increasingly obviously rather sad and ridiculous.

5 posted on 03/18/2007 3:10:25 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Tactical shotty, Marlin 1894c, S&W 686P, Sig 226 & 239, Beretta 92fs & 8357, Glock 22, & attitude!)
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To: Deo volente; Mad Dawg; tioga; sandyeggo; redhead; Salvation; Huber
I don't have a problem with this man being ordained, since we're going to have only a handful of priests left here in Los Angeles in a few years.

And well you shouldn't but I believe freeper Mad Dawg has touched on some sensitive aspects regarding this particular ordination. Excuse my suspicious nature but married priest converts have been accepted into the Catholic Church since 1980 (with scrupulosity by the local ordinary). It strikes me a bit strange that over the span of the past 27 years, this is the first Anglican married priest to be considered as 'worthy' by Roger Cardinal Mahony.

You're absolutely right ... there is nothing wrong with admiting married men to the priesthood. This has been the practice of all the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Churches since the 1st century. So, in the Diocese of Los Angeles, why now? Why this particular priest?

As you already know, I am a Roman Catholic practicing my faith in the Maronite Catholic (Eastern) Church. In October 2005, Pope Benedict XVI convened a Synod of bishops to discuss various issues, including a married priesthood. As expected, the Eastern Catholic bishops came out in support of this but one of them delved deeper into the topic.


Speaking to the 11th General Synod Fathers, gathered for their eighth meeting this morning at the Vatican, Cardinal Nasrallah Pierre Sfeir, who is Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites in Lebanon--a Catholic rite which allows for married priests--addressed the issue, which has been brought up by many, particularly in light of the U.S. sex abuse scandal, of commonly permitting married priests in the Roman rite.

Vatican City, Oct. 07, 2005 (CNA) - The Cardinal defended the practice of the celibate priesthood and discussed the beauty of the tradition, calling it the "most precious jewel in the treasury of the Catholic Church."

While pointing out that "the Maronite Church admits married priests" and that "half of our diocesan priests are married", the Cardinal Patriarch said that "it must be recognized that if admitting married men resolves one problem, it creates others just as serious."

"A married priest", he said, "has the duty to look after his wife and family, ensuring his children receive a good education and overseeing their entry into society. ... Another difficulty facing a married priest arises if he does not enjoy a good relationship with his parishioners; his bishop cannot transfer him because of the difficulty of transferring his whole family.

He noted that "married priests have perpetuated the faith among people whose difficult lives they shared, and without them this faith would no longer exist."

"On the other hand," he said, "celibacy is the most precious jewel in the treasury of the Catholic Church,"

Lamenting a culture which is all but outright opposed to purity, the Cardinal asked: "How can [celibacy] be conserved in an atmosphere laden with eroticism? Newspapers, Internet, billboards, shows, everything appears shameless and constantly offends the virtue of chastity."

Suggesting that their are no easy solutions to the problem of priest shortages in the Church--an oft brought up point during the Synod--he noted that, "Of course a priest, once ordained, can no longer get married. Sending priests to countries where they are lacking, taking them from a country that has many, is not the ideal solution if one bears in mind the question of tradition, customs and mentality. The problem remains."


The Maronite Catholic Church has always held strong bonds to the Holy Father. The Patriarch allows for married men to enter the priesthood but, most wisely, acknowledges that their first vow is to their spouse. For that reason, the Maronite Church still advocates and only sends single, celibate priests to serve in the diaspora. Over the past century, the Maronite Catholic Church has spread to every continent in the world. Surprisingly, the largest growth of this Church has been in Mexico, Australia, South America and the US.

The Maronite Catholic Church has been a veritable blessing in my life, especially in a RC diocese subjected to 30+ years under a bishop of the caliber of Roger Cardinal Mahony. As I continue to read and post articles about the Catholic Church as a whole, it comforts and consoles me to see the shift we are all witnessing towards the more definitive teachings of the Catholic Church as a whole. God bless our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI!

6 posted on 03/18/2007 3:46:05 PM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: NYer

How is a parish support to "pay" a decent salary for a married priest to be married with, say - a large family of 8 children? The food, clothing, education of these children would be paid by each parish? How would the priest make a good father to his own children when he is "fathering" all his flock? I DO NOT see this working.


7 posted on 03/18/2007 4:05:56 PM PDT by tioga
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To: tioga
Re: "Pay" and "fathering"

It's remarkable to me how many RC's don't get even the pay part. You've got to look at retirement and bennies for a family, not just one man. What does the diocesan Health Plan do with pregnancy, hmmmm? Vaccinations and kid ailments? Education for the kiddies?

And it can be VERY rough when it's showdown time and the compost has hit the air conditioner and suddenly the collection plate is kinda skimpy AND everyone is snubbing the missus at the Piggly Wiggly. And, yeah, everyone's expectation have to change. In Protestant churches (at least in my experience) the congregations don't expect the same level of service as is provided by the three priests that serve our huge University Parish. In the Episcopal Church the priesthood was generally a financially comfortable career. All sorts of funds and endowments were set up to help with education expenses and things of that kind. It's A HUGE Cultural difference, and that's before we even get to talking about the spiritual side of celibacy.

8 posted on 03/18/2007 4:26:46 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Tactical shotty, Marlin 1894c, S&W 686P, Sig 226 & 239, Beretta 92fs & 8357, Glock 22, & attitude!)
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To: tioga; NYer

"How is a parish support to "pay" a decent salary for a married priest to be married with, say - a large family of 8 children? The food, clothing, education of these children would be paid by each parish? How would the priest make a good father to his own children when he is "fathering" all his flock? I DO NOT see this working."

But the fact is, it does work and has for 2000 years in the Eastern Church. Does it cost more money? You bet! Parishioners have to dig deeper...but sacrificial giving is a blessing in and of itself. It also means less money for the looney ideas and practices of certain religious orders and hierarchs. A married priesthood does have its own problems, but with all due respect to +Nasrallah, they don't rise to the level of what the Latin Church has faced with the sex scandals and all of the other problems which arise when celibates try to function "in the world" instead of "in the desert". Nevertheless, celibacy of the diocesan clergy is a tradition of the Latin Church and as such should not be changed because of pressures from outside or complaints from improperly formed priests.


9 posted on 03/18/2007 4:27:47 PM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Kolokotronis; tioga
But the fact is, it does work and has for 2000 years in the Eastern Church. Does it cost more money? You bet! Parishioners have to dig deeper...but sacrificial giving is a blessing in and of itself.

Well, no surprise, I totally disagree! Our parish can't support the cost of one priest, much less a family. In fact, they can't support the cost of the current building (our original Church burned to the ground 60 years ago).

A married priesthood does have its own problems, but with all due respect to +Nasrallah, they don't rise to the level of what the Latin Church has faced with the sex scandals and all of the other problems which arise when celibates try to function "in the world" instead of "in the desert".

Puhlease! Such nonsense! These 'scandals' have not been a factor in the Maronite Church and you know it. The majority of our priests here in the US come from Lebanon, are highly educated and are polyglots. Many of them are bi-ritual, Maronite and Latin Rite. Our pastor has one set of vestments - white - and wears donated Latin vestments during Advent and Lent. There is barely enough money to support him, much less a wife and children. He has voluntarily chosen to live a celibate life, as have ALL the other priests serving in the US, Mexico, South America, Australia, etc.

10 posted on 03/18/2007 4:49:26 PM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: Deo volente

Oh I don't know. We just have a new priest here in Pasadena this year, another new one two years before. They are both orthodox, too. The Lord is in charge. I did hear a Monseignor at the liberal church we RCIA'd in mention, "I'm having a hard time finding new priests. All the new ones coming out of Seminary are conservative (and we want a liberal one)." I still think the problem is in the liberals' eyes.


11 posted on 03/18/2007 5:01:17 PM PDT by bboop (Stealth Tutor)
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To: NYer; Kolokotronis

The sex scandals (with extremely rare exceptions) have nothing to do with celibacy. They have to do with homosexuality. It's not celibacy that leads men to hit on adolescent boys, almost universally.


12 posted on 03/18/2007 5:02:13 PM PDT by Tax-chick ("I don't know you, but I love who you seem to be.")
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To: NYer
It strikes me a bit strange that over the span of the past 27 years, this is the first Anglican married priest to be considered as 'worthy' by Roger Cardinal Mahony.

This struck me as a red flag as well, as did Father Lowe's rather vacuous comments (""I said to Linda, `This is where it is happening,"' Lowe recalled") cited in the article. It's difficult to discern truth through the fog of this "journalalism", but this does not appear to be a John Henry Newman situation.

13 posted on 03/18/2007 5:47:09 PM PDT by Huber (And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. - John 1:5)
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To: NYer
It strikes me a bit strange that over the span of the past 27 years, this is the first Anglican married priest to be considered as 'worthy' by Roger Cardinal Mahony.

This struck me as a red flag as well, as did Father Lowe's rather vacuous comments (""I said to Linda, `This is where it is happening,"' Lowe recalled") cited in the article. It's difficult to discern truth through the fog of this "journalism", but this does not appear to be a John Henry Newman situation.

14 posted on 03/18/2007 5:47:18 PM PDT by Huber (And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. - John 1:5)
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To: NYer
It strikes me a bit strange that over the span of the past 27 years, this is the first Anglican married priest to be considered as 'worthy' by Roger Cardinal Mahony.

This struck me as a red flag as well, as did Father Lowe's rather vacuous comments (""I said to Linda, `This is where it is happening,"' Lowe recalled") cited in the article. It's difficult to discern truth through the fog of this "journalism", but this does not appear to be a John Henry Newman situation.

15 posted on 03/18/2007 5:47:25 PM PDT by Huber (And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. - John 1:5)
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To: NYer
"Well, no surprise, I totally disagree! Our parish can't support the cost of one priest, much less a family. In fact, they can't support the cost of the current building (our original Church burned to the ground 60 years ago)."

Maybe your parishioners aren't giving enough. We have a budget of about $118,000.00 per year. We have 105 "pledging units". Each "unit" is either an individual or a family. On that we pay an Archdiocesan "assessment" of $12,600.00, the priest, including salary, full, no deductible health insurance, car allowance, housing allowance, retirement and disability, both sides of the FICA and telephone allowance...then we pay all the other bills. We don;t get one dime from the Metropolis or the Archdiocese. Three years ago we raised $108,000.00 to install a three stop elevator. We are also located in the second poorest county in the entire Metropolis. It takes lots of work with suppers and festivals and pastry sales, etc and real deep digging/giving.

"Puhlease! Such nonsense! These 'scandals' have not been a factor in the Maronite Church and you know it."

NYer, I wasn't speaking of sex scandals in the Maronite Church here. I specifically referred to the Latin Rite. +Nasrallah sends celibate priests here because the Maronite Church has traditionally been deferential to Rome outside of Lebanon and Rome has, again traditionally, been opposed to married Eastern Rite clergy serving here in the States.

"Our pastor has one set of vestments - white - and wears donated Latin vestments during Advent and Lent. There is barely enough money to support him, much less a wife and children."

Why so little money for him? As for the vestments, doesn't anybody sew in your parish? Some of our priest's vestments and all of the altar clothes and altar boy vestments were and are being as I write, made by the parishioners.

"He has voluntarily chosen to live a celibate life...."

All monastics, I would hope, voluntarily choose that life.
16 posted on 03/18/2007 6:02:18 PM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Tax-chick; NYer

"The sex scandals (with extremely rare exceptions) have nothing to do with celibacy. They have to do with homosexuality. It's not celibacy that leads men to hit on adolescent boys, almost universally."

You are right. But TC, the fact is that the celibate priesthood has attracted homosexuals in proportions rather beyond their presence in the general community. Being out in the world in parishes, as opposed to closed up in a monastery, just provides "opportunities", the "near occassions of sin" for them and some of them act on it. I am not suggesting that for that reason celibacy should be done away with, but making the Latin Rite priesthood less attractive as a "hiding place" for gays seems a good idea.


17 posted on 03/18/2007 6:08:01 PM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Huber; NYer
I have a theory. Most of us guys who were allegedly ordained in the PepsiCola Church didn't swim the Tiber to become liberals. It's kind of like Grouch Marx's joke that He didn't want to be a member of a club that accepted people like him. If Bishop Walter the Pink of Richmond had allowed me in under the Pastoral Provision, I wouldn't be a Freeper or hoping to explore my vocation as a Dominican tertiary, get what I mean? It took His Eminence 27 years to find one of us turncoats who did think that his diocese would be a good one to stay away from.

JUST a theory ....

18 posted on 03/18/2007 6:09:53 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Tactical shotty, Marlin 1894c, S&W 686P, Sig 226 & 239, Beretta 92fs & 8357, Glock 22, & attitude!)
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To: NYer

If I am not mistaken our Archdiocese has two married priests, formerly Anglican, serving now as fully ordained Catholic priests.


19 posted on 03/18/2007 6:12:50 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Kolokotronis
the celibate priesthood has attracted homosexuals in proportions rather beyond their presence in the general community

I agree ... but the fact that they have been ordained is a function of ideology, not of celibacy. The American Catholic heirarchy has been loaded with leftists, and they've tended to cuddle gays instead of monitoring or dismissing them.

The Boy Scouts realized the problem and instituted highly-effective screening procedures, along with security procedures for every adult, in about the same time period that the Church leaders here were going limp. It's a phenomenon of recent history, in my opinion, and the celibate priesthood is not a recent invention.

It's interesting that the public schools have not yet made the slightest effort to protect the students from sexual predation, either by teachers or by other students. One suspects this is because they are even more sheltered from (ahem) feedback than the Church heirarchy.

20 posted on 03/18/2007 6:40:20 PM PDT by Tax-chick ("I don't know you, but I love who you seem to be.")
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To: Deo volente
I had read sometime back that unless you had serious feminist sympathies you would not get into any seminary in the Los Angeles Archdiocese. If you were to conservative, they would make a reason for you not to be in the seminary. Some day I'm going to finish Goodbye Good Men.
21 posted on 03/18/2007 8:48:14 PM PDT by Jaded ("I have a mustard- seed; and I am not afraid to use it."- Joseph Ratzinger)
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To: Kolokotronis

The numbers showed that the homosexual acts peaked AFTER V2. Come out come out where ever you are. There were probably diocese already leaning way left at the time.


22 posted on 03/18/2007 8:57:34 PM PDT by Jaded ("I have a mustard- seed; and I am not afraid to use it."- Joseph Ratzinger)
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To: NYer

I am continually puzzled that the only men ordained in the Catholic Church seem to be from the Episcopal or Anglican (and maybe a Lutheran or two?) lines who convert to the True Faith. Why not other Protestants, such as Marcus Grodi or Scott Hahn (to name only two - there are many others, of course)? There must be a good reason somewhere.


23 posted on 03/18/2007 9:00:18 PM PDT by ducdriver ("Impartiality is a pompous name for indifference, which is an elegant name for ignorance." GKC)
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To: Tax-chick

A few months ago I took a class from a Evangelical-turned-Anglican Priest-convert. He was married with two or three kids. He didn't even try to become and ordained priest. He's trying to get a dispensation to become a Deacon and he's teaching high school for the archdiocese. He was very inspiring.


24 posted on 03/18/2007 9:03:49 PM PDT by Jaded ("I have a mustard- seed; and I am not afraid to use it."- Joseph Ratzinger)
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To: ducdriver

Only men or only married men? One of my favorite priests is a convert from the Presbyterian Church. Check out the archives for the Journey Home on EWTN's web site. There are priest converts from other denominations.


25 posted on 03/18/2007 9:06:25 PM PDT by Jaded ("I have a mustard- seed; and I am not afraid to use it."- Joseph Ratzinger)
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To: Jaded

I thought there must be, but rarely hear of them - it seems mostly the Episcopalians make the news. I was thinking mainly of the married ones, as I know there would be less or no impediment for a single man to be ordained from any background as long as there is a true call. I think it should remain the exception, and if the spouse should die, no remarriage should be permitted (I think that's about how it stands now).


26 posted on 03/18/2007 9:21:37 PM PDT by ducdriver ("Impartiality is a pompous name for indifference, which is an elegant name for ignorance." GKC)
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To: NYer

I know the reason why vocations in the LA Archdiocese are so low, from a personal perspective, and it has nothing to do with celibacy. In the past I was considering entering the priesthood, however I was looking for a prayerful environment which would help me discover and cultivate my vocation (if I had one). I did not know where I wanted to go, I was leaning toward the Capuchin Franciscans. However, I knew exactly where I did NOT want to go: St. John's Seminary (the official seminary of the LA Archdiocese). My decision was based not only on the fact that the environment offered by the Archdiocese lacks in prayer, but on the fact that it is also very hostile to traditional catholics. In the end, celibacy was not the reason that made me decide priesthood was not for me. In fact I knew that celibacy would be a gift that I could offer to God, so that I could serve Him fully.


27 posted on 03/18/2007 11:11:35 PM PDT by lost-and-found
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To: NYer

What the Jebbie is saying is a half-truth, which is what the Jebbies are famous for. Fact is, as Judge John Noonan has said in his book "Contraception," Christians have always valued celibacy over marriage, even why raising marriage to the level of a sacrament. That's because that is why Christ did. Christian heresies deprecated marriage to the point of calling it--and sex--evil. The Church has always called celibacy preference precisely because it was the sacrifice of a good and noble thing, something comparable to Christians' union with the Church. But celibacy is one step beyond nobility and like poverty and obedience a renunciation of good things for better ones.


28 posted on 03/18/2007 11:32:34 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: Tax-chick

A serious study of the schools would show that sexual deviants are shunted from district to district as part of the dance of the lemons.


29 posted on 03/18/2007 11:35:52 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: Kolokotronis
Maybe your parishioners aren't giving enough. We have a budget of about $118,000.00 per year. We have 105 "pledging units". Each "unit" is either an individual or a family. On that we pay an Archdiocesan "assessment" of $12,600.00, the priest, including salary, full, no deductible health insurance, car allowance, housing allowance, retirement and disability, both sides of the FICA and telephone allowance...then we pay all the other bills. We don;t get one dime from the Metropolis or the Archdiocese. Three years ago we raised $108,000.00 to install a three stop elevator. We are also located in the second poorest county in the entire Metropolis. It takes lots of work with suppers and festivals and pastry sales, etc and real deep digging/giving.

We have less than 50 'registered' families. Were they to fulfill their weekly financial obligation, we might be in better shape. However, only a small handful are considered regulars. The others come when the mood strikes; otherwise they go to a RC Church closer to home. No amount of cajoling or reminders to make up their weekly envelopes, has been effective.

As to women who sew, there are a few who can fix things up but none who can make vestments. We have a vestment fund but here again, that entails additional giving on the part of those who already don't attend on a regular basis. Abouna will look into a new set of vestments made by the nuns in Lebanon. There is also the question of who owns the vestments - the priest or the parish.

When it comes to fundraisers, those monies now go to keeping the existing facility up and running until we complete restoration of the future church. The big difference, K, is that the parish sold off its Hall about 20 years ago. Once we move, the current building will become the parish Hall which we expect will generate sufficient revenue for both facilities. Until then, the annual challenge is to keep everyone sufficiently motivated to sell their share of fundraiser tickets - no mean feat.

30 posted on 03/19/2007 1:11:55 AM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: NYer
Lowe, 68, is about to become the first married priest in the history of the country's largest Roman Catholic diocese.

There have been other Priests (Anglo-Catholics, and Anglican) who have sought to enter the Roman Catholic Priesthood in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. They were all turned down. St. Mary of the Angels was the one which has received the most coverage as wishing to enter the Catholic Church corporately.

Two of it's Priests became Catholic Priests, but had to do it through different Diocese, than Mahony's.

31 posted on 03/19/2007 1:23:02 AM PDT by sockmonkey
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To: NYer

"We have less than 50 'registered' families."

There's the major part of your problem. When we were down around 65 pledging "units" we were up against it. I remember one year as moderator of the parish Geneneral Assembly telling the assembly that we were in the hole and bills were ue. I pulled out my checkbook and told them to get writing. They did and the bills barely got paid. Other times individual members simply paid, say, the light bill. Personally, I think 65 is about as low as one can go and still have a viable parish with a full time priest.

What you need to do is go to a pledging system in addition to the weekly collections (we have two) and even more important, grow the parish. The suppers and the festival and the annual Greek Dance attract all sorts of people and we pick up at least a family or two every year from the festival alone. We've also had a number of Lebanese families join over the past 6 or 7 years as they are still coming to America. I can remember years ago discussions at the General Assembly about how there was no more Greek immigration into America so the day would come when we would simply die out. We really thought that would happen. Well, a few new Greek families did show up, but the majority of the "new people" are converts (especially) or other types of ethnic Orthodox people from Eastern Europe, the Middle East or North Africa and Ethiopia. Now we are sort of a "multicultural" group.

I should think that growing your parish through conversions might be difficult, however. All of our converts have come from Protestantism or simply unchurched people. Roman Catholics don't seem to convert, which is understandable. We do have a Maronite woman, married to one of the Orthodox Lebanese guys but we just pretended we are in Lebanon and recognize the de facto communion for her! She was chrismated about a year after her wedding. :) For you guys, however, I should think that Protestants would either convert to the Latin Rite or become Orthodox all things being equal. The main source for people, I should think, would be Roman Catholics like you. But clearly your priest can't start on a campaign to "convert" Latins to the Maronite Church. That would lead to big trouble no doubt. In the end then, it will all come down to hospitality, to "philoxenia", friendship to strangers to such a level that people will want to be part of your community because you have a good community. It can be done. We did it, though it very nearly took a personality transplant to pull it off! :)


32 posted on 03/19/2007 4:16:55 AM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: tioga

Maybe this is new in LA, but if my memory serves me right it's been going on for awhile elsewhere with converted episcopalian priests, although I'm not sure if they get their own parishes.

I don't have much of an opinion one way or another. Both situations present challenges.
I have a Lutheran friend who sits on her church council's finance committee.
The Lutheran minister has a decent sized family and the board is trying to figure out how to provide decent medical benefits for them. The costs are skyrocketing and they don't know how they're going to do that.

Stick a buch of nice sized catholic families in that situation where dad is a priest.

And then celibacy has its own set of problems of course.

I'm glad it's not up to me.


33 posted on 03/19/2007 10:23:56 AM PDT by Scotswife
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To: Kolokotronis
The main source for people, I should think, would be Roman Catholics like you.

This will happen once we move across the river to Watervliet. In that community, the RC bishop just closed 5 of their 6 parishes. These residents are in serious pain. They know we're coming and are cautiously following the work at the future Church. In early April, the first sign will be erected in front of that church. It is the official NYS Parks sign listing the Church's name and Father's as well. Like a tulip slipping through the snow, that sign will bring hope to a community in mourning.

34 posted on 03/19/2007 10:25:40 AM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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