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Pope Francis answers questions from journalists in return from Holy Land
Catholic World Report ^ | May 27, 2014

Posted on 05/28/2014 11:49:45 AM PDT by NYer

Pope Francis greets journalists aboard the flight from Tel Aviv to Rome May 26. At right is Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican press spokesman. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Vatican City, 27 May 2014 (VIS) – At the end of his trip, during the flight from Tel Aviv to Rome, Pope Francis spoke for over 40 minutes with the journalists who accompanied him on the flight, answering their questions on various issues linked not only to his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, but also in relation to the abuse of minors, remarried divorcees, his upcoming trips, priestly celibacy, and so on. Below is a summary of some of the Pope's answers.

The Holy Land and the prayer meeting in the Vatican with Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas.

The most authentic gestures are those that we don't think about, those that come to us, aren't they? I thought about suggesting it during the trip, but there were many logistical problems, because each one has to consider the territory, and it's not easy. So I thought about a meeting, and at the end, I came up with this invitation. It will be an encounter to pray, not for the purposes of mediation. We will pray with the two presidents; prayer is important, it helps. Afterwards, each person will return home. There would be a rabbi, a Muslim, and myself.

Abuse of minors

At the moment there are three bishops under investigations: one has already been found guilty and we are now considering the penalty to be imposed. There are no privileges. … A priest who does this betrays the Body of the Lord, because this priest must lead this child, this boy, this girl, to sanctity, and this boy or girl trusts in him; and instead of leading them to sanctity he abuses them. This is very serious. It is like, by way of comparison, holding a black Mass. You are supposed to lead them to sanctity and instead you lead them to a problem that will last their entire lives. In a few days' time there will be a Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae with some survivors of abuse, and then a meeting with them. … But we must move forward on this issue, with zero tolerance!

Contradiction between the poor and austere Church and the financial scandals within

The Gospel tells us that Lord Jesus once said to His disciples that it is inevitable that there will be scandals, because we are human and we are sinners. And there will be scandals. The key is trying to avoid that there are more of them! Economic administration calls for honesty and transparency. The two Commissions, the one which has studied the IOR and the Commission that has studied the Vatican as whole, have reached their conclusions, and now the ministry, the Secretariat for the economy directed by Cardinal Pell, will carry out the reforms that the two Commissions have advised. … For instance, in the IOR I think that around 1,600 accounts have been closed, belonging to people who were not entitled to hold an account at the IOR. The IOR exists to help the Church, and accounts can be held by bishops, Vatican employees, and their widows or widowers, to draw their pensions. … But other private individuals are not entitled to accounts. It is not open to all.

European elections

There is a key word: unemployment. This is a serious matter. It is serious because I look at it this way, simplifying somewhat. We are in a global economic system which places money at its centre, not the human person. A true economic system should revolve around men and women, the human person. This economic system we have today places money at the centre and to maintain its equilibrium, it has to carry out various “waste” measures. Children are discarded, as the low birth rates in Europe show, and the elderly are abandoned.

Stable and lasting peace in Jerusalem

The Catholic Church has established its position from a religious point of view: it will be the city of peace for the three religions. The concrete measures for peace must come from negotiations. I agree that from the negotiations perhaps it will emerge that it will be the capital of one State or another, it would be madness on my part. But these are hypotheses, and I do not consider myself competent to say that we should do one thing or another. I believe that it is necessary to negotiate with honesty, fraternity and great trust in the path of negotiation. It takes courage to do this, and I pray that these two leaders, these two governments will have the courage to take this path. It is the only route to peace.

Priestly celibacy

The Catholic Church has married priests – Greek Catholics, Coptic Catholics, those of oriental rites. Celibacy is not a question of dogma, but rather a rule of life that I greatly appreciate, as I believe it is a gift for the Church. But, since it is not a dogma of faith, the door is always open.

Relations with the Orthodox Churches

Patriarch Bartholomew and I spoke about the unity we create as we walk together. Unity cannot be created in a congress on theology. He confirmed that Athenagoras said to Paul VI: “We go ahead together, calmly, and put all the theologians together on an island where they can discuss among themselves, and we walk ahead in life!”. There are many things we can do to help each other. For instance, with the Churches. In Rome, as in many cities, many Orthodox go to Catholic churches. Another thing we mentioned, that may be considered in the pan-orthodox Council, is the date of Easter, because it is somewhat ridiculous to say, “When is your Christ resurrected? Mine was resurrected last week”. Yes, the date of Easter is a sign of unity. … We also spoke a lot on the problems of ecology, and the need to work together on this issue.

Forthcoming trips and the problems faced by Christians in Asia

With regard to Asia, two trips are planned: the one to South Korea, for the meeting of young Asians, and then, next January, a two-day trip to Sri Lanka and then on to the Philippines, to the area affected by the typhoon. The problem of the lack of freedom of worship affects not only certain Asian countries, but also other countries in the world. Religious freedom is something that not all countries have. Some have a certain level of control … others adopt measures that lead to a real persecution of believers. There are martyrs! There are martyrs in our times, Christian martyrs, both Catholic and non-Catholic. There are places where it is forbidden to wear a crucifix or to possess a Bible; where it is forbidden to teach the catechism to children.

Abdication from the pontificate in the case of failing strength and the issue of Popes emeritus

I will do what the Lord tells me to do: pray, and seek God's will. But I think that Benedict XVI is not a unique case. It happened because he no longer had the strength and in an honest way – he is a man of faith, and humble – he took this decision. Seventy years ago bishops emeritus barely existed, whereas now there are many. What will happen to Popes emeritus? I think that we must look to him as an institution. He has opened a door, the door of Popes emeritus. Will there be others? Only God knows. But this door is open, and I think that a bishop of Rome, a Pope who feels that his strength is declining – because we live much longer now – must ask himself the same questions that Pope Benedict faced.

Beatification of Pius XII

The cause for Pius XII is open. However, there has been no miracle, and if there are no miracles it is not yet possible to go ahead.

Synod on the family and remarried divorcees

The Synod in October will be on the family and the problems it faces; its riches and its current situation. I do not like the fact that many people, even within the Church, have said that it will be the Synod about remarried divorcees, as if it could simply be reduced to a case study: can they receive communion or not? The issue is much broader. Today, as we all know, the family is in crisis, and it is a global crisis. Young people no longer want to get married, or prefer simply to live together; marriage is in crisis, and therefore the family is too. The problem of family pastoral care is very broad. Pope Benedict said something about the family three times: it is necessary to study the faith with which a person approaches marriage and clarify that divorcees are not excommunicated, and very often they are treated as if they are.

Reform of the Roman Curia

The council of eight cardinals is studying the constitution “Pastor bonus” and the Roman Curia. It has consulted many people and with the Curia and is still studying certain issues, such as bringing together various dicasteries to streamline organisation. One of the key points is the economy, and it is therefore necessary to work in collaboration with the secretary of State. … The obstacles are those one encounters in any process of this type. Planning the approach, the work of persuasion is very important. There are some people who do not see this clearly, but any reform involves these things. But I am content, in truth.


TOPICS: Catholic; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: holyland
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1 posted on 05/28/2014 11:49:45 AM PDT by NYer
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To: Tax-chick; GregB; Berlin_Freeper; SumProVita; narses; bboop; SevenofNine; Ronaldus Magnus; tiki; ...

Summary, ping!


2 posted on 05/28/2014 11:50:05 AM PDT by NYer ("You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears." James 4:14)
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To: NYer

While not a fan of Pope Francis and have vehemently disagreed with many of his comments on economic policy, I am glad he seems to be open and flexible regarding the Church’s policy of mandatory clerical celibacy, which seems to apply to some, but not others.


3 posted on 05/28/2014 11:55:16 AM PDT by Trapped Behind Enemy Lines
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To: NYer

Place Mark


4 posted on 05/28/2014 11:59:23 AM PDT by kinsman redeemer (The real enemy seeks to devour what is good.)
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To: NYer
"In the Vatican with Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas."

It will be an encounter to pray, not for the purposes of mediation.


All right. That's what I thought. Still, a murderous Moslem in the Vatican ...
5 posted on 05/28/2014 11:59:50 AM PDT by onyx (Please Support Free Republic - Donate Monthly! If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, Let Me know!)
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To: All
IB4TPWMA
6 posted on 05/28/2014 12:16:24 PM PDT by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
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To: NYer; onyx

I held my breath to begin the read of this summary. I exhaled, grateful there was no apparent need for a myriad translation, or a jillion interpretations. (Apparent to me at least.)

To onyx’s point, yes, it is going to be hard to see the enemy of the sacred planting his shoes on sacred ground in the Vatican.

Dear Holy Father has been a real contradiction speaking on political things outside of faith and morals leaving confusion for me.

But then I think of Jesus Christ, and how He was a contradiction to people in the time of Jesus, who didn’t understand, or outright rejected what He was saying, teaching and reflecting.

I very much want to be on the right side of God concerning, “persona Christie”, of our earthly Shepherd.

The Holy Spirit has never let us down in all of history, so, I must lean on Him and trust Him to do His work in the Vatican, and in me.

But, regarding this summary so far, it seemed to represent a better rhetorical showing for Pope Francis, in that no real bombshells were dropped in this outing. I was relieved.


7 posted on 05/28/2014 12:34:54 PM PDT by RitaOK ( VIVA CHRISTO REY / Public education is the farm team for more Marxists coming.)
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To: RitaOK
I held my breath to begin the read of this summary.

As do I every time.

8 posted on 05/28/2014 12:44:01 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Conservatism is the political disposition of grown-ups.)
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To: Jeff Chandler

Ditto, here. I love and pray for the Holy Father... but I also privately hope and pray that he never gets close to a microphone (aside from a liturgy at the Vatican, with a prescribed script), ever again!


9 posted on 05/28/2014 12:51:58 PM PDT by paladinan (Rule #1: There is a God. Rule #2: It isn't you.)
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To: Jeff Chandler

I know. %:/


10 posted on 05/28/2014 12:55:41 PM PDT by RitaOK ( VIVA CHRISTO REY / Public education is the farm team for more Marxists coming.)
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To: RitaOK

Amen!


11 posted on 05/28/2014 1:07:06 PM PDT by onyx (Please Support Free Republic - Donate Monthly! If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, Let Me know!)
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To: RitaOK

You put everything in such a proper perspective for me.
Thank you so much, dearest, sweet RitaOK.
God bless and keep you.


12 posted on 05/28/2014 1:07:55 PM PDT by onyx (Please Support Free Republic - Donate Monthly! If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, Let Me know!)
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To: All; ebb tide; BlatherNaut
The Synod in October will be on the family and the problems it faces; its riches and its current situation. I do not like the fact that many people, even within the Church, have said that it will be the Synod about remarried divorcees, as if it could simply be reduced to a case study: can they receive communion or not? The issue is much broader. Today, as we all know, the family is in crisis, and it is a global crisis. Young people no longer want to get married, or prefer simply to live together; marriage is in crisis, and therefore the family is too. The problem of family pastoral care is very broad. Pope Benedict said something about the family three times: it is necessary to study the faith with which a person approaches marriage and clarify that divorcees are not excommunicated, and very often they are treated as if they are.

Wait, so here was an opportunity to reiterate Church teaching and say "No, remarried divorcees can not receive communion" and he says, "This issue is much broader".

Gotcha.

For those of you who are "relieved" by his comments, you might re-think that.

13 posted on 05/28/2014 1:36:08 PM PDT by piusv
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To: onyx

Onyx, you are a legend here for your instincts, your joy, for the sprit of your huge heart, to ever be at odds with a “proper perspective”. We are all on a rocky journey in these times, in the midst of so much personal loss, broad political and cultural loss and it is painfully humbling for all of us. Which,... I guess is the Point, isn’t it? Humbled until we break the spirit of this world, in us— better prepared to receive our Lord Jesus and BE received quickly.

Lord, Hear our prayers.


14 posted on 05/28/2014 1:44:37 PM PDT by RitaOK ( VIVA CHRISTO REY / Public education is the farm team for more Marxists coming.)
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To: RitaOK

You’re truly amazing in my view. I’m so fortunate and blessed to have you as my close friend. God bless and keep you, dearest, beautiful, RitaOK.


15 posted on 05/28/2014 1:47:25 PM PDT by onyx (Please Support Free Republic - Donate Monthly! If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, Let Me know!)
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To: onyx

To hear such a thing from you is a heart quickening consolation for me and I am grateful. Thank you, onyx.

The Church is just being rocked from pillar to post, from within and without, and we are so little apart from one another, but together we *are* the Church, nearly at the Red Sea it seems, and our charge is to hold on to the Pillar the Church until He comes, and shows us His mighty arm, rips out by the roots any and all evil befalling us and sets us in a high place.

Trust and humility will surely see its Reward. “Where else shall we go?”, Peter asked.

Let’s stick, you and me, with Peter, in the Seat of Moses :D Love, Rita


16 posted on 05/28/2014 2:16:08 PM PDT by RitaOK ( VIVA CHRISTO REY / Public education is the farm team for more Marxists coming.)
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To: Trapped Behind Enemy Lines
I am glad he seems to be open and flexible regarding the Church’s policy of mandatory clerical celibacy

As noted, it is only mandatory in the Latin Church. Just curious to know why you feel this way.

17 posted on 05/28/2014 2:16:57 PM PDT by NYer ("You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears." James 4:14)
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To: piusv; ebb tide; BlatherNaut
For those of you who are "relieved" by his comments, you might re-think that.

Subscribing to pessimism seems to be the purview of traditionalist catholics. Attending traditionalist masses also excludes participants from the reality of life around them. Like you, I support traditional marriage and believe that communion should be denied those remarried without a church annulment. Looking at the "real world" around me, however, indicates that many catholics follow a more secularist lifestyle and are either ignorant of or dismiss church teachings. Let me cite an example from the small townhouse community where I reside.

We have several young 'families' on the block. One is a twice divorced (catholic) mother of two children (the youngest is 7) from different fathers. She has moved a new boyfriend into the 'nest'. Another 'family' consists of a divorced (catholic) dad, his 5 year old son (who attends catholic school) and his fiancee. Yet another is a blended (catholic) family of grandparents, children and grandchildren. These children all play together and often talk to me when I walk the dog. As young as they are, they all know the 'cast of characters' in each other's lives, right down to the proper terminology. None of them has ever experienced life in a traditional family. For them, this lifestyle is normal.

Pope Francis' commented: "The problem of family pastoral care is very broad." Judging from what I see around me, I totally concur. These families rarely attend mass yet consider themselves catholic. The pope and the synod must discuss the "reality" of contemporary society and the relativism that has contributed to it. This is not a cut and dry issue with a quick fix statement. Most catholic pastors are confronted with these blended catholic families and look to the Holy See for some guidelines on how to deal with these "real world" issues.

The catholics who attend the TLM, are those who understand and choose to practice the tenets of their faith. It is commensurate on them and us to pray for their brothers and sisters in the faith, who have lost their way. More importantly, your prayers are needed for the pope and the upcoming synod.

18 posted on 05/28/2014 2:45:33 PM PDT by NYer ("You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears." James 4:14)
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To: NYer

**Abuse of minors**

No surprise that they saw this got at the top of the list.


19 posted on 05/28/2014 3:17:42 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: piusv

“For those of you who are “relieved” by his comments, you might re-think that”.

Three times he referenced Benedict when speaking of marriage. If anything at all changes on marriage it will be something to do with annulments. And they ain’t going away.


20 posted on 05/28/2014 3:34:50 PM PDT by NKP_Vet ("It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died;we should thank God that such men lived" ~ Patton)
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To: NYer; piusv; BlatherNaut
Subscribing to pessimism seems to be the purview of traditionalist catholics.

And subscribing to such absurd optimism as a "New Springtime" and a "New Pentecost" and "atheists can go to Heaven" and "prosleytism is solemn nonsense" in the current Devastation in the Vineyard seems to be the purview of novus ordo catholics.

Attending traditionalist masses also excludes participants from the reality of life around them.

So 1500 years of Catholics, including popes, were excluded from the reality of life around them, until some bugger named Bugnini opened the eyes of contemporary catholics to "reality"?

21 posted on 05/28/2014 6:30:43 PM PDT by ebb tide
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To: NKP_Vet

Says one who has himself benefited from an annulment.


22 posted on 05/28/2014 6:33:49 PM PDT by ebb tide
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To: NYer
Attending traditionalist masses also excludes participants from the reality of life around them.

Would you please clarify that statement before I pop a blood vessel?

23 posted on 05/28/2014 6:55:46 PM PDT by Legatus (Keep calm and carry on)
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To: ebb tide; Legatus
So 1500 years of Catholics, including popes, were excluded from the reality of life around them, until some bugger named Bugnini opened the eyes of contemporary catholics to "reality"?

You missed the point. At a TLM, What is the percentage of divorced/remarried or divorced/living with girlfriend catholics that comprise the congregation? Assuming, of course, that you can identify them.

24 posted on 05/28/2014 8:36:59 PM PDT by NYer ("You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears." James 4:14)
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To: Trapped Behind Enemy Lines

There is no such thing as mandatory clerical celibacy.

In the Roman Church, priests are chosen from among those who have chosen celibacy.


25 posted on 05/29/2014 12:41:31 AM PDT by Arthur McGowan
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To: ebb tide; NYer; piusv; BlatherNaut

Ever since the 60’s, people have been criticizing the orthodox for not having the sunny disposition of the dissenters. You know, Charlie Curran is such a pleasant, fun guy, compared with Fr. Gommar Depauw!

There’s a very simple reason for this: Ever since the 60’s, the dissenters have been winning, again and again and again...

Look how hysterical and bitter the dissenters were during the pontificate of BXVI!


26 posted on 05/29/2014 12:49:40 AM PDT by Arthur McGowan
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To: NYer

The policy was instituted in after the Middle Ages largely as a response to rampant corruption in the Church, primarily nepotism and simony. I question whether it is still necessary. Many Catholic priests are already married. And they do just fine. Mandatory celibacy should not be a requirement for service in the priesthood. They should be free to marry if they want.


27 posted on 05/29/2014 6:35:02 AM PDT by Trapped Behind Enemy Lines
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To: Arthur McGowan

Of course many do not keep that vow.

I found out several years ago that the priest who married my wife and I was forced to leave the priesthood. His huge crime: He fell in a love with a woman.

So sad, he truly loved the Church and serving as a priest.

Holy matrimony and holy orders need not be mutually exclusive.


28 posted on 05/29/2014 6:38:37 AM PDT by Trapped Behind Enemy Lines
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To: Trapped Behind Enemy Lines

It’s not that simple... and the problem can be seen by changing just a few words in the example:

“I found out several years ago that the marriage counselor who helped my wife and I was forced to leave the profession. His huge crime: He fell in a love with another woman.”

A priest—who has taken the Church as his Bride—has no more business “falling in love” with another woman than I do (I’m married to a lovely woman, myself). He has a grave moral obligation to guard his heart; and those who were charged with his priestly formation had the grave responsibility of training him in ways to guard his heart thusly.

Jesus Himself encouraged celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom (cf. Matthew 19:10-12). St. Paul said that celibacy was the preferred state for those who minister (cf. 1 Corinthians 7:1-7). St Paul goes so far as to say the following:

“I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided.” (1 Cor 7:32-34)

There’s often a sort of sentimental “offense on someone else’s behalf” in cases like this—akin to the idea of “Well... I’m free to have sex and intimate companionship with my spouse, and it doesn’t seem right to deprive someone else of that, so let’s get rid of the celibacy requirement for Latin Catholic priests!” That’s soft-hearted... but it’s short-sighted, too. Priests who are married have a divide in their lives which others don’t have with secular careers—or even with Protestant ministries. There are decisions which no man should be forced to make (e.g. if your 5-year-old daughter is dying across town, and a fallen-away parishioner is dying in front of you, do you give the last Sacraments to the dying man/woman who may be in a state of mortal sin, or do you leave him/her in order to be at the bedside of your daughter?). Should he abandon a soul to a serious risk of damnation, simply out of a desire to be at the deathbed of a daughter who’s in a state of grace?

Moreover, some of the strongest advocates for the celibacy requirement are *married priests!* They, of all people, have lived with the state of being torn in contrary directions—short-changing their wives and families in order to dispense the Sacraments, etc. Fr. Dwight Longnecker (a married Anglican priest who converted to the Catholic Church) comes to mind, in that regard.


29 posted on 05/29/2014 7:03:33 AM PDT by paladinan (Rule #1: There is a God. Rule #2: It isn't you.)
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To: NYer; ebb tide; piusv
Subscribing to pessimism reality seems to be the purview of traditionalist catholics.

We have a Pope who pointedly references Orthodox practices, reacts positively to Kasper's heretical theology, allows Kasper to speak in his name, makes a cold call to a woman living in adultery and gives her the green light, and staffs his inner circle with like minds who have also been very busy spouting off to the media. To assume none of this is relevant to the potential outcome of the synod is to bury one's head in the sand.

Attending traditionalist masses also excludes participants from the reality of life around them.

Seriously? How, pray tell, does the Holy Mass one attends have any bearing on one's awareness of "the reality of life around them"? Intentional or not, your post comes off as a gratuitous and stereotypical attack on traditional Catholics. It implies that we've constructed our own reality, and are out of touch with the big picture. Nothing could be further from the truth. Personally, I don't know any Catholics whose families have been spared the effects of the post-VII moral collapse. I have seen the destructive effects of divorces (and easy annulments) on my nieces and nephews. Any change in praxis which further undermines the Sacrament will lead to an increase in broken homes.

Most catholic pastors are confronted with these blended catholic families and look to the Holy See for some guidelines on how to deal with these "real world" issues.

If that were the only focus, why the full court press by the Pope and his hand-picked acolytes to promote the idea that "changes" must be made, and that 50% of marriages are not valid (by their criteria, I would have to include mine, although I didn't know it until I heard what Cardinal Kasper had to say :-0!). I think people ought to be forgiven for taking these prelates at their word rather than spinning a Pollyanna interpretation of their widely publicized comments, which taken together appear to telegraph a very definite agenda).

The catholics who attend the TLM, are those who understand and choose to practice the tenets of their faith. It is commensurate on them and us to pray for their brothers and sisters in the faith, who have lost their way. More importantly, your prayers are needed for the pope and the upcoming synod.

Ironically, though the Pope has publically mocked traditional Catholics, and in the case of the FFI, is brutally persecuting them, traditional Catholics are, as a group, the ones most likely to pray regularly and fervently for him and his intentions.

30 posted on 05/29/2014 7:15:26 AM PDT by BlatherNaut
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To: paladinan

Yes, but I can find a million passages in the Bible where Holy Matrimony is also glorified. Jesus in particular strongly supported the institution of marriage. He performed his first miracle at a wedding ceremony. No where does Jesus say that you must be celibate and single to be a priest. Neither does Paul. In fact the priesthood is hardly mentioned in the New Testament. The priesthood is mentioned in the Old Testament extensively and yes priests were married and had children. Mandatory clerical celibacy is even relatively new the Catholic Church. For the first 1,000 years of Church history, the overwhelming majority of priests and bishops were married men. Orthodox priests in the East are permitted to marry. Catholic priests in Greece, the Ukraine, and the Middle East are permitted marry. Celibacy in Third World regions such as Africa is often ignored by the local clergy. Here in the US the number of priests continue to decline as the number of deacons continues too increase (deacons are permitted to be married). It is only a matter of time before priests in the West will be permitted to marry. Even the current Pope has indicated this policy is subject to change if you read the above article.


31 posted on 05/29/2014 7:17:54 AM PDT by Trapped Behind Enemy Lines
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To: paladinan

“Moreover, some of the strongest advocates for the celibacy requirement are *married priests!”

I have yet to see a married Catholic priest say he thinks the discipline of celibacy is bad for the Church today and should be suspended. In fact, I can only recall praise of the discipline coming from them. I think that is because the ones that care enough to bother to become ordained married Catholic priests in the first place are already very conservative, at least that I have observed.

On the other hand, try finding a single person of any faith that accepts abortion, ‘gay marriage,’ and priestesses who also thinks the latin Catholic discipline of celibacy is valuable and should be continued. They invariably not only don’t like it but actually hate it.

FReegards


32 posted on 05/29/2014 7:37:10 AM PDT by Ransomed
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To: paladinan

I just finished reading Corinthians 7:1-7

Paul has NO issues with marriage. He does condemn sexual activity outside of marriage. No mention of priests here. Little is known of Paul’s personal family. Most Biblical scholars believe Paul was married at one time and now is either widowed or divorced (perhaps his wife did not share in his conversion). At any rate, at the time Paul wrote this letter, he is an older man. He has decided for himself that he does not want to get remarried as he is near death. Paul is in 60s when he writes most of his letters, far beyond the average life expectancy of the typical person living at that time. Paul also believes Jesus is returning very soon. So this the context in which the passage should be read.


33 posted on 05/29/2014 7:42:01 AM PDT by Trapped Behind Enemy Lines
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To: Trapped Behind Enemy Lines; paladinan
No where does Jesus say that you must be celibate and single to be a priest.

Actions speak louder than words. Jesus is the High Priest and He did not marry. Priests are an alter Christus (other Christ) and can give their entire existence to the priesthood in imitation of Christ.

Orthodox priests in the East are permitted to marry.

No they aren't. They must marry before ordination. Once ordained, no priest can marry.

34 posted on 05/29/2014 9:50:33 AM PDT by ELS
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To: ELS

I don’t think priests are even mentioned in the Bible. Jesus was a messenger, teacher, example, savior, son of God and God but I don’t recall mention of Priest.


35 posted on 05/29/2014 9:53:30 AM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: ELS

Then why not allow married men in the Catholic Church apply for ordination as it is done in the Greek Catholic Church, the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Middle Eastern Catholic churches, and Orthodox churches?

Once again there is NOTHING absolutely NOTHING in the Bible requiring priests to be celibate. Not in the Old Testament, not in the Gospels. In point of fact, priests were married men in the Bible from Aaron on down.


36 posted on 05/29/2014 10:38:19 AM PDT by Trapped Behind Enemy Lines
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To: Trapped Behind Enemy Lines
Yes, but I can find a million passages in the Bible where Holy Matrimony is also glorified.

Well... of COURSE it is! Were you expecting otherwise? Why would support of celibacy require that anyone denigrate marriage? Both are very good... though the celibate life is more suited to the consecrated ministry, for practical reasons (e.g. not having a divided heart, cf. 1 Cor 7) as well as for spiritual reasons (a celibate priest is a "sign" pointing to the fact that all marriage is a mere prefigurement--though a key and important prefigurement--of our ultimate "marriage/union" to God in Heaven [God willing]; a celibate priest or nun "skips" the sign and embraces the "Real Thing", as a living reminder that we are ultimately to do the same). Marriage between husband and wife, beautiful and Sacramental as it is, will pass away (cf. Matthew 22:30); our union with God, once established in Heaven, will not.

If you want a clearer and deeper explanation, check our St. John Paul II's "Theology of the Body"; it's a real eye-opener.

No where does Jesus say that you must be celibate and single to be a priest. Well... come on, now. Are you doing a "sola Scriptura" approach, here? Catholics don't believe in that illogical, unbiblical, self-contradictory tradition of men.

As to your point: no, it's not strictly necessary for a priest to be celibate (St. Peter was married, after all, and the NT is replete with references to the ordained ministers being married, including bishops); but it's the wisest choice, and both Jesus and St. Paul strongly recommend it... for very good reasons. The Latin Church made the (very wise, IMHO) decision to restrict the ordained priesthood to celibate men, so as to free them from divided cares (cf. 1 Cor 7:32-34).

Orthodox priests in the East are permitted to marry.

ELS answered this one; that's not quite accurate. The Orthodox Churches allow married men to become priests, but priest clergy cannot marry after ordination.

Celibacy in Third World regions such as Africa is often ignored by the local clergy.

Come, now! This isn't a good argument for *anything*, apart from an argument toward strengthening the formation and admission standards of priests! Would you seriously suggest that the Church's teaching on premarital sex (i.e. that it's a mortal sin) should be "changed", simply because an overwhelming number of people ignore that law of God? I wouldn't...

Here in the US the number of priests continue to decline as the number of deacons continues too increase (deacons are permitted to be married).

The number of faithful Catholics in the USA continues to decline, as well; should we hold out a hope that faithfulness to the Church will become optional? You're also assuming a causal relationship that's unproven (and even unprovable); a sex-saturated society could certainly expect to see a decrease in those willing to "die to self" enough to surrender their sexuality to God alone, just as a sex-saturated society could expect to see a decline in Catholics who refrain from divorce, contraception, extramarital sex, etc. Even the current Pope has indicated this policy is subject to change if you read the above article. I know it is (it's a discipline, not an irreformable dogma); I never argued that it was impossible. I merely argue that it is a good rule, put in place for good (and Christ-centered, Christ-given) reasons, and that it would be very unwise to remove it simply as a concession to a society which can't imagine life without genital activity.
37 posted on 05/29/2014 11:50:41 AM PDT by paladinan (Rule #1: There is a God. Rule #2: It isn't you.)
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To: paladinan

I am simply saying that holy matrimony is an equally acceptable state for a priest as being single and celibate.

We have a number of married priests in our archdiocese and they are just as good, just as holy as the single celibate priests. A married priesthood is in the tradition of the early Church. Required clerical celibacy did not become institutionalized until after the Middle Ages.

Even the Pope recognizes the current celibacy requirement is not dogma etched into stone and that the policy is subject to change.


38 posted on 05/29/2014 12:01:21 PM PDT by Trapped Behind Enemy Lines
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To: Trapped Behind Enemy Lines
I just finished reading Corinthians 7:1-7. Paul has NO issues with marriage.

Good grief! Were you assuming that I thought he *did*? Again: we don't have to tear down marriage in order to build up celibacy, any more than we have to tear down Mary and the Saints in order to build up Jesus!

Most Biblical scholars believe Paul was married at one time and now is either widowed or divorced (perhaps his wife did not share in his conversion).

With all due respect: I've heard enough "theories from [usually modernist] theologians" to last me 100 lifetimes (including "theologians" who speculate that Jesus was married ["the Bible doesn't say that He wasn't, does it?", as they say]! That's simply empty speculation with no substantial data, and it flies in the face of 2000 years of Catholic patrimony.

Beyond that: it's utterly plain that St. Paul is holding up celibacy as the PREFERRED state for the man or woman of God (especially in the ministry); no one can read 1 Cor 7 reasonably and conclude anything else. No, he doesn't say that it's a general mandate (he explicitly denies that it's a general mandate, several times); he says that, if someone is incapable of living up to this standard should marry, rather than sin through lust (cf, Jesus' own words: "He who is able to receive this, let him receive it." -Matthew 19:12)

Re: all the other points: we either believe (as the Catholic Church teaches) that the Scriptures are inerrant, or we do not. We are not free to assume that the teachings of St. Paul are so tainted with self-interest that St. Paul is encouraging celibacy only on the basis of his own waning libido (i.e. "I'm not eager for sex, so no one else should be concerned with it, I guess!")! The Holy Spirit included those words in Sacred Scripture for a reason, despite what modernist theologians might speculate and invent.
39 posted on 05/29/2014 12:01:55 PM PDT by paladinan (Rule #1: There is a God. Rule #2: It isn't you.)
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To: paladinan

If you read Paul carefully in all of these passages, yes you hear him saying he has chosen to remain chaste for the remainder of his life. He says this is best for him at this stage in his life. He is in his sixties when he wrote most of his letters which was quite old for that time in history-—considering life expectancy at that time was about 40. No one in their right mind would insist a young 20 or 30 year old would refrain from marriage in order to the join the priesthood. Paul is simply saying that is saying that he is very old and being single is best for him at this point in his life. He has no issues with the married state. You are reading into the Bible rather than reading it the way it is written. Paul never insists that anyone adopt celibacy unless they choose to. Because of his advanced age, it is no surprise that he prefers that for himself.

An interesting aside. I have noticed in my own archdiocese that the age of seminarians entering into the priesthood is significantly older than it was a number of years ago. For those interested in keeping the celibacy requirement, this could be seen as a positive trend. At least many if not most of the new recruits are older men, presumably sexually mature, most have been around the block a few times, are subject to a full battery of psychological examinations, and know full well what is expected of them.


40 posted on 05/29/2014 12:22:21 PM PDT by Trapped Behind Enemy Lines
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To: Trapped Behind Enemy Lines
If you read Paul carefully in all of these passages, yes you hear him saying he has chosen to remain chaste for the remainder of his life.

I read it carefully (as I did before), and I don't see the word "remainder" anywhere... nor did I see anything which implies it. Nothing in the passage indicates any previous marriage, whatsoever; theologians who speculate in that direction are pulling that idea out of thin air.

He says this is best for him at this stage in his life.

Again: I see no reference to "this stage of his life". In fact, he specifically directs his instruction (which is an exhortation, not a command) at ALL AGES (young men and women, as well as old--see 1 Cor 7:28 and 7:34, etc.). To cap it all off, St. Paul writes:

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

You seem to be going through very many mental gymnastics in order to avoid the plain sense of what St. Paul actually said (quite clearly); he made no qualifier for age, here or anywhere in the text.

He is in his sixties when he wrote most of his letters which was quite old for that time in history-—considering life expectancy at that time was about 40.

First: St. Paul was roughly 52 when he wrote 1 Corinthians (hardly a dotard in the grave). Secondly, re: life expectancy: that's simply not true... and it's a fallacy of equating the average (.e. the mean) with the norm. The *mean* (i.e. average) life expectancy might have been in the 40's... but that was not due to everyone turning gray, wrinkly, arthritic and senile at age 39, and dropping dead at age 40! Infant mortality was much higher, for example... which does quite a number (pun not quite intended) on an arithmetic mean of the ages:

Example:
5 people of ages 60,60,60,60,60; mean = 300/5 = 60.
5 people of ages 60,60,60,0,0 (2 infant deaths); mean = 180/5 = 36.

No one in their right mind would insist a young 20 or 30 year old would refrain from marriage in order to the join the priesthood.

Are you Catholic? Because you're saying (here) that no one in the Catholic Church has been in his or her right mind for nigh until 1000 years! I'm sure you don't mean it this way, but that sounds rather arrogant, frankly...

It also smacks of the spirit of the age, rather than the Spirit of the Gospel; "it's so hard to be celibate, so we should stop!" Is that what Jesus came to preach? Is this what the Holy Spirit empowers us to do? Cave in to the inflamed passions of the secular society? The idea that young men are "dogs in heat" who cannot possibly do without sex is not only wrong, but it's insulting.

Paul is simply saying that is saying that he is very old and being single is best for him at this point in his life.

FRiend, I don't see how you could be reading the same chapter that I read, and still say that! What part of "So that he who marries his betrothed does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better" suggests that St. Paul was "musing exclusively about himself"? The chapter is *replete* with references to this being St. Paul's strong advice to ANYONE and EVERYONE who can bear it, and who has the grace for it. Not all are called to it; true. But it'd be a sad mistake to assume that NO ONE is called to it, or that the priests of Christ's Church are not called to it (in the Latin rites, anyway).

He has no issues with the married state. You are reading into the Bible rather than reading it the way it is written.

I'm afraid YOU are reading into what *I* said! Nowhere did I say that St. Paul had any "issues" with the married state. It's not a "zero-sum" game, where "celibacy" wins and marriage "loses"! One might as well suggest that nuns can only exist so long as every last woman enters a convent!

Paul never insists that anyone adopt celibacy unless they choose to.

St. Paul plainly says that he who is *weak*, and who is not "firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity but having his desire under control" should marry, rather than burn in lust and sin... but he says quite plainly that those who DO have their desire under control will do better not to marry.

Because of his advanced age, it is no surprise that he prefers that for himself.

:) Um... you just suggested that *I* was "reading into the Scripture" what I wanted to see; but I see nothing at all of this (that you just wrote) in the text, AT ALL. It's speculation on your part (and on the part of the modernist theologians who inspired the idea), without any clear data. Nowhere does St. Paul say, "I say this because I am old and tired of intercourse with women", or any other such thing; it's pure invention, and it flies in the face of virtually everything St. Paul (and the entire NT) teaches about self-control, living in the One Who "empowers me to do all things, through Him Who strengthens me", and such.
41 posted on 05/29/2014 1:36:37 PM PDT by paladinan (Rule #1: There is a God. Rule #2: It isn't you.)
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To: Trapped Behind Enemy Lines
Do you not understand that priestly celibacy is a discipline, and not a dogma? There is a distinction that you seem to choose to ignore.

Once again there is NOTHING absolutely NOTHING in the Bible requiring priests to be celibate.

So what? The Catholic Church does not obtain all of its practices from the Bible. Sola Scriptura is a Protestant idea. The Catholic Church relies on Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium. Priestly celibacy has been a millennial tradition in the western Catholic Church and in its wisdom the Church has decided that priestly celibacy is a very good idea. This tradition began LONG before the Middle Ages.

Having married priests can create as many or more problems than you seem to think it will solve. Be careful what you pray for.

42 posted on 05/29/2014 1:56:35 PM PDT by ELS
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To: Trapped Behind Enemy Lines
The policy was instituted in after the Middle Ages largely as a response to rampant corruption in the Church, primarily nepotism and simony.

Source?

Many Catholic priests are already married. And they do just fine.

Again, source? reference?

Mandatory celibacy should not be a requirement for service in the priesthood. They should be free to marry if they want.

Let's clarify any possible misunderstandings. There are 22 churches that make up the Catholic Church; 21 are Eastern, 1 is Western. Only the Latin (Western) Church mandates priestly celibacy. The exception arises from married protestant ministers who convert. The understanding, however, is that they may not remarry should their wife predecease them.

The Eastern Catholic Churches allow for married priests. Since marriage and ordination are sacraments that entail vows, the order determines the relevance. Hence, in both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, marriage precedes ordination. As such, the marriage vow takes precedence over that of the priest.

In 2005, the Vatican convened a Synod that addressed the topic of married priests. At that meeting, it was the Patriarch of the Maronite (Eastern) Catholic Church, who addressed the topic as follows.

Vatican City, Oct 7, 2005 / 12:00 am (CNA).- 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. 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."

I am a Roman Catholic practicing my faith in a Maronite Catholic Church. Our pastor is a Lebanese missionary who is monastic and a priest. He has chosen priestly celibacy but supports a married priesthood. Due to a family emergency, he is currently in Lebanon. In his absence, we have been served by celibate priests and one who is married. All delivered excellent homilies but only the celibate priests proffered extended outreach to our parish because they can adjust their schedule whereas the married priest cannot.

43 posted on 05/29/2014 2:45:37 PM PDT by NYer ("You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears." James 4:14)
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To: BlatherNaut
Personally, I don't know any Catholics whose families have been spared the effects of the post-VII moral collapse. I have seen the destructive effects of divorces (and easy annulments) on my nieces and nephews. Any change in praxis which further undermines the Sacrament will lead to an increase in broken homes.

You missed the point. At a TLM, What is the percentage of divorced/remarried or divorced/living with girlfriend catholics that comprise the congregation? Assuming, of course, that you can identify them.

44 posted on 05/29/2014 3:19:35 PM PDT by NYer ("You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears." James 4:14)
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To: NYer
You missed the point. At a TLM, What is the percentage of divorced/remarried or divorced/living with girlfriend catholics that comprise the congregation? Assuming, of course, that you can identify them.

So is it your point that unless we assist at a Mass with a significant percentage who flout Church teachings regarding divorce and remarriage, we are "excluded from the reality of life around us"? What percentage of attendees who flout Church teachings must be attained before we are no longer "excluded from the reality of life around us"? And how could I be expected to know the percentage of adulterers in attendance? Do you track the percentage of adulterers in your pew from week to week?

45 posted on 05/29/2014 6:22:04 PM PDT by BlatherNaut
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To: NYer
You missed the point. At a TLM, What is the percentage of divorced/remarried or divorced/living with girlfriend catholics that comprise the congregation? Assuming, of course, that you can identify them.

I think the percentage is not much less or more than it was in all Catholic congregations prior to VC II, when the Church started handing out annulments like lollipops and even entertained the notion of artificial birth control. We now see a Pope entertaining giving Holy Communion to active non-repentent adulterers.

46 posted on 05/29/2014 9:37:00 PM PDT by ebb tide
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To: NYer

“The tenth century is claimed to be the high point of clerical marriage in the Latin communion (Catholic Church). Most rural priests were married and many urban clergy and bishops and wives and children.”

Why the policy was put into place:

“....a large number of the clergy , not only priests but bishops, openly took wives and begot children TO WHOM THEY TRANSMITTED THEIR BENEFICES (emphasis added) “

Source: Wikipedia.com subject: clerical celibacy.


47 posted on 05/30/2014 7:57:45 AM PDT by Trapped Behind Enemy Lines
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To: paladinan

In NONE of these passages to do you ever see Paul say that in order to serve as a priest you must be single and celibate. In fact NO WHERE in the Bible can you find such a passage. To the contrary priests in the Bible were married men with wives and children. No one had any issues with that lifestyle. Paul says his celibacy is a gift but never suggests it should be imposed on others. . Yes Paul was in his 50s and 60s when he wrote most of his letters-—the equivalent being in your 80s and 90s in today’s world considering that average life expectancy in that time was about 40.

One interesting footnote. The pastor at our church recently said the average of a person entering into the seminary today is 35. And that average continues to increase with each passing year.


48 posted on 05/30/2014 8:14:05 AM PDT by Trapped Behind Enemy Lines
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To: Trapped Behind Enemy Lines
FRiend... after reading your latest post, I'm thinking that either you didn't read my previous posts at all! To sum up:

1) In NONE of these passages to do you ever see Paul say that in order to serve as a priest you must be single and celibate. Did you miss the part where I agreed with you on this point? (cf. "As to your point:)

2) To the contrary priests in the Bible were married men with wives and children. Did you also miss the part where I agreed with that (and strengthened it, including bishops), as well? (cf. the exact same paragraph; see above link)

3) "Yes Paul was in his 50s and 60s when he wrote most of his letters-—the equivalent being in your 80s and 90s in today’s world considering that average life expectancy in that time was about 40. Now, I can only believe that you either missed or ignored my math-related post on this point, completely. See here, re: average age not equaling typical age. Your assumption about St. Paul's age is--forgive me--just silly... and it had nothing to do with the point, anyway (unless you're suggesting that all 50-year-old men lose all interest in sex--and you're also suggesting that St. Paul was (even if we grant your false premise, for the sake of argument) so shallow as to mistake a "personal low libido" for "reason to recommend that no one else marry". Honestly: if St. Paul had (hypothetically) lost his taste for salted fish, do you think he would then have exhorted his followers to give up fish altogether, in general? That makes no sense at all.

4) The pastor at our church recently said the average of a person entering into the seminary today is 35. And that average continues to increase with each passing year.

Let's assume that this is true, for a moment (and it's not at all true for the seminaries which are actually orthodox, as opposed to 1960's-hippie-professor-taught seminaries; Mt. St. Mary's Seminary in Maryland, for example, has a waiting list of young (below age 25) men waiting to enter). Your conclusion of, "Oh, it must be because people can't bear to be without sex!" would only affect young men who've completely lost sight of what it means to be a Latin Rite priest in the first place. If these men were married, and their wives then suffered some sort of disorder which rendered it impossible to have sex, would you then advocate polygamy for these "poor, deprived men"? Would you advocate "easy annulments" on the basis of sex deprivation? Would you advocate a loosening of the Church's "policy" on extramarital sex and/or masturbation and/or pornography, in an effort to give such men an outlet?

On that point: are you against the celibacy requirement for religious sisters and brothers, as well? Why keep them "in sexual chains", while releasing priests to marry? With all due respect, I don't think you (or your pastor) have thought this through; the celibacy requirement didn't come out of thin air... and you have no sane basis for saying that it was instituted foolishly, thoughtlessly, capriciously, or the like.

You may not intend it, FRiend, but your view of manhood (and womanhood, for that matter) is so low that it makes me shudder. Caving in on a Scripture-urged discipline, simply in the name of secular "expediency" (and an indulgence of an animal passion, at that), is not the way to go, to put it lightly.


49 posted on 05/30/2014 9:03:44 AM PDT by paladinan (Rule #1: There is a God. Rule #2: It isn't you.)
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To: paladinan

I guess we’re talking over each other but you don’t seem to be addressing ANY of MY points as well:

1) The Bible does NOT require a policy of celibacy for service in the priesthood.

2) Priests in the Bible were in fact married men with families.

3) Mandatory clerical celibacy was not instituted in the Church until after the Middle Ages and for reasons that had nothing to do with either the Old Testament or the Gospels.

4) St. Paul chose to remain abstinent in his final years, says it is a gift, but also has high praise for Holy Matrimony, and does not say that married people cannot be priests.

5) The current Pope says the policy is subject to change which is in fact mentioned in the article above.

6) Catholic priests in the Eastern Europe and the Middle East are permitted to remain married. Same with Orthodox priests.

Holy Matrimony and Holy Orders are not necessarily mutually exclusive. As the Pope said the policy is subject to change. I agree.


50 posted on 05/30/2014 10:49:20 AM PDT by Trapped Behind Enemy Lines
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