The subject of married priests is one raised only last weekend at my Maronite Catholic parish. As a Roman Catholic, practicing my faith in an Eastern Catholic Church, I was prepared for the question.
In October 2005, Cardinal Sfeir, (then) Patriarch of the Maronite Church, addressed this topic at the 11th General Synod Fathers, gathered for their eighth meeting at the Vatican. 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,"
It should be pointed out that the Maronite Catholic Church, in respect of priestly celibacy practiced by the Latin Church, only sends celibate priests to serve outside of Lebanon. Our pastor is a celibate priest and missionary, and member of a monastic community.
Once this information had been conveyed, the visiting RC caught on very quickly, saying he had never considered these other aspects and the ramifications they would have on a local parish. For the most part, here in the US, parish communities are much smaller than their Latin Rite counterparts. We can barely support a celibate priest, much less one that is married with children.
It should also be noted that with regard to married priests, the process is to marry first. Essentially, a married man with a wife and family applies to become a priest. The marriage is carefully scrutinized so as not to give scandal. Ultimately, the marriage vow precedes that of the priest; hence, the family is the primary responsibility, not the parish.
The pope is confusing me. He states that homos won’t go to hell and you really don’t have to believe in God and is now considering priests getting married. Will he allow them to wed nuns, other priests. I’m not being sarcastic, I am really confused
Even if the disciplined was relaxed, currently unmarried priests would not be able to get married. They have already made their vows.