Skip to comments.When Priests Leave the Church. How common is Alberto Cutis journey to Protestant ministry?
Posted on 06/23/2014 6:17:59 PM PDT by Gamecock
Earlier this year, Father Alberto Cutié, a popular radio and television personality in Miami, found himself the subject of tabloid headlines when he was photographed relaxing on the beach with a woman who turned out to be his longtime girlfriend. Shortly afterward, he announced that he was leaving the Catholic Church to become an Episcopal priest, and in June he and his girlfriend were married in a civil ceremony. The reasons Cutié gave for his conversion to the Anglican Communion were not theological in nature; his primary motivation seemed to be to free himself from the celibacy requirement that the Catholic Church demands of its Latin Rite priests.
How unique is Cutiés story? How many other Catholic priests have left the church for another denomination in order to marry? Could Cutiés conversion signal the beginning of another wave of men leaving the priesthood? Until November 2008, when I completed my dissertation on the transition of celibate Catholic priests into married Protestant ministry, it would have been impossible to address these questions. The data I collected over the course of a year allowed me to conduct the first-ever analysis in this field.
Though many social scientists (including my granduncle, sociologist Joseph Fichter, S.J.,) had studied the phenomenon of priests leaving ministry since the late 1960s, I could not find a single research project that dealt with this specific subset. Not even the most elementary demographic data were available. How many Catholic priests chose to become Protestant ministers? From which branch of the priesthood (diocesan or religious) did they originate? What Protestant churches did they choose to join? All of these questions were unanswered. Fifty or Five Thousand?
In his 1961 book Religion as an Occupation, Fichter noted that some ex-priests chose to continue their pastoral work in Protestant ministry, but cited only two examples. In Married Catholic Priests: Their History, Their Journey, Their Reflections (2004), Anthony Kowalski writes of many who have married and now serve in mainline churches but mentions only five Episcopalians and two Lutherans by name. Certainly there are more but no one seems to know exactly how many. Are there 50, 500, 5,000?
Thanks to information gathered from the research offices of the five mainline Protestant Churches (Congregational, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian), I was able to identify 414 such men in the United States. Following the advice of the late Dean Hoge, I did not contact the Baptist Church or any of the hundreds of small Protestant denominations, presuming that very few Catholic priests would be inclined to join them.
Nearly one-third of the 414 former Catholic priests now serving in Protestant ministry agreed to participate in my survey. Of the 131 respondents, 105 (80.2 percent) became Episcopalian, 15 (11.5 percent) Lutheran, eight (6.1 percent) Congregationalist, and three (2.3 percent) Methodist. I found a 40-year age range: the youngest was 42 and the eldest 82. Their mean age was 62.8 while the median was 64.
The typical participant in my study, therefore, was born around 1944. If we divide his life into seven 9-year periods, we find him immersed in Catholic devotions and rituals during the first two timeframes. His service as an altar boy and the encouragement he received from the nuns facilitated his entry into the seminary at the age of 18 in 1962. He dedicated the third period of his life, during the heyday of Vatican II, to preparing for ordination at the age of 27 in 1971. He spent the fourth phase in active Catholic ministry and struggled with his commitment to celibacy. At the age of 36 in 1980, at the beginning of the fifth period, he resigned from ministry, got married, worked for a few years in a non-ministerial job, and eventually began his journey to his new denomination. From 1989 to 2007, he served as a married Protestant minister, twice the amount of time he spent as a Catholic priest. An Agonizing Decision
Many respondents spoke at length about the critical decision-making juncture of their lives. Most described it, as did Alberto Cutié, as a heart-wrenching process. A former diocesan priest, who now serves as a Congregationalist minister, said:
I had such a nervous encounter with my bishop and with my parents. It was a period of constant headaches. It was a very difficult decision. I was so torn between Sally (pseudonym) and celibacy. When I finally resolved the dilemma, the headaches stopped It truly was an agonizing decision. I still recall how poorly the bishop treated me. I felt that he really didnt care about me. I remember my mother saying, But you are one of the good ones! I told her that I just couldnt do it anymore. In the end, both of my parents were very supportive; I was blessed with two great parents. It was an agonizing decision especially after spending eight years in the seminary and nine years in ministry.
Once they began to doubt their commitment to celibacy, most participants began weighing the choices before them. One was to bite the bullet and remain a celibate Catholic priest. A second option was to seek a dispensation and thereby enter into a Catholic marriage, but in the process forfeit their beloved ministry. The third alternative, the one that Cutié and the survey respondents chose, was to renounce their Roman Catholic affiliation in order to enter ministry in another domination.
When asked why they made the transition, six out of ten respondents cited celibacy. I joined the Episcopal Church because I wanted to have the option of being married, one participant wrote. Some conveyed a deep attachment to the Catholic Church: My only reason was so that I could get married. Otherwise, I would have stayed. For the majority, becoming Protestant only occurred after they married. In general, the respondents did not resign because they disliked ministry or had failed at it. Had the pope allowed them to marry, many would have stayed. Three of the respondents stated that they would return to the Catholic priesthood todayif they could bring their wives along with them. The Congregationalist minister above spoke about his time in Catholic seminary as the best eight years of my entire life. He described the monks in charge of his formation as men of great kindness, role models who provided him with a solid theological education and a positive spiritual foundation. His problems began during his first assignment:
I was doing really well in my ministry, but rectory life was killing me. The pastor, who was great with the parishioners, had this notion that you need to treat the young priests harshly. He was really hard on us. He made all the rules. There was no discussion. I began to lose weight. I asked the bishop for a transfer. My second pastor was an alcoholic. Besides that, he had his boyfriend over at the rectory so often that it made me feel uncomfortable. I asked the bishop for another transfer and this time I was assigned to a truly great pastor. He was so kind to me, and he was someone that I deeply admired. I have often thought that had Father Michael (pseudonym) been my first pastor, I might still be a Catholic priest today. . . . My main issue was with celibacy, however. I always thought that it was unjust, especially when the Pastoral Provision (permission that Pope John Paul II granted in 1980 to Episcopalian ministers to serve as married Catholic priests after their conversion) came through. I thought that such a decision was a double standard. I was battling loneliness. . . . I think that I would have stayed as a Roman Catholic priest if celibacy had been optional.
Other respondents spoke about their dislike for specific tenets of Catholic dogma. Many pointed to the publication of Humanae Vitae as a major turning point in their lives. One former diocesan priest, who is now 80 years old, said, Humanae Vitae pushed me off the edge. I saw that act as the refusal of the Roman Catholic Church to enter the modern world.
One of the Episcopalians in the study clearly presented what I categorized as the two main motivating factors: the pull of the heart issue (falling in love) and the demands of the head (doctrinal dissent):
During my first three years of ordained ministry as a priest, I fell in love with a woman who was the youth minister at my parish. Even though I had questioned the discipline of celibacy before, I began to seriously question and struggle with it. I began to feel that God was calling me in a different direction, that celibacy might not be my calling. Coupled with the struggle over celibacy, I seriously questioned the Roman Catholic Churchs treatment of women, laypeople and homosexuals. The establishment in Rome was becoming more rigid and moving the church backwards. The reforms of Vatican II came under fire. It came to the point where I could not imagine being happy in 20 years if I remained in ministry in the Roman Catholic Church. I felt God was calling me to pursue something else. I dreamed of finding a denomination where I could continue to minister with my wife, a gifted youth and family minister. New Church, Familiar Liturgy
When asked why they chose their current denomination, the majority of respondents spoke of the strong similarity between their present church and the Catholic Church in terms of liturgy, ministry and theology. This was especially true for the Episcopalians and seems to explain why so many of the survey respondents gravitated to the Anglican Communion. Most of those who joined the Episcopal Church said that with only minor adjustments they felt at home from the beginning and that they found comfort in the fact that they could hold onto their core beliefs in the Resurrection and the Eucharist. Over time they modified their views on other subjects, such as papal infallibility and womens ordination, but many of them had already begun to question the validity of those doctrines.
Before I began the interviews, I hypothesized that diocesan priests would be overrepresented in my sample because they seem to be at greater risk for loneliness than religious order priests. (Most religious live in community, while diocesan priests often live alone in rectories because of the shortage of priests.) The survey results support this hypothesis. Based on the historical ratio of American diocesan clergy to religious, one would expect to find 61.5 percent diocesan priests in this sample; in fact, 72.3 percent of the respondents had served in diocesan ministry. (Recall that Cutié was a diocesan priest.)
Where Cutié differs from most of the men I surveyed is in the historical timing of his decision. The majority of respondents began their journey to a new church in the period from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. It seems unlikely that Cutiés example will spark another wave of priestly resignations. According to research conducted by Dean R. Hoge and Jacqueline E. Wenger in Evolving Visions of Priesthood: Changes from Vatican II to the Turn of the New Century (2003), young priests today are more theologically conservative than their immediate predecessors and are more likely therefore to embrace the churchs traditional teaching on celibacy. Questions remain, however, about how many young Catholic men have chosen lay or Protestant ministry over the Catholic priesthood because of the demands of celibacya fitting area of inquiry, perhaps, for another curious sociologist.
Oh there’s gonna be people vexed with you!
1 Corinthians 7-8.
It’s a calling!
Obeying God's directive ?
Little harsh ain't'cha' skippy ?
80% Episcopagans... 11% Lutherans... Thanks. You’ve confirmed my hypothesis that precious few ever leave to draw closer to Christ: almost all those who leave are fleeing Christ into sinfulness.
I’m thinking it was not about celibacy so much, as that from the beginning he should have stayed a layman. He was not priest material. Protestant, yes, but not a priest nor a keeper of the vow.
It’s good he’s gone and happily cheered by whatever led him away and, well,— cheers him now.
There are probably more Anglican & Lutheran clergy coming over to RC or Orthodox beliefs.
Isn’t that the truth. Never Christ. But, I’m not unhappy to see the Church pruned of the unfruitful, or dead wood who are looking around for the wider, more pleasing, easy path because “we ain’t it”. :)
You celebrate a man who made a vow to God to be celibate and who broke that vow.
That’s exactly what Martin Luther did!
Both stunning examples of protestantism - break your vow to God and become a hero.
Ad Majoram Dei Gloriam
The Episcopal Church is a non-Christian cult.
So getting married is now a sin, huh? Sure is an inconsistent Church if you ask me (the RCC if that’s their official viewpoint).
Doubtful, but irrelevant.
"There are 41,500 Diocesan and Religious priests in the United States today. During the past 60 years 25,000 priests have left the priesthood in the United States and over 120,000 priests worldwide have left."
Why Did Fifty Catholic Priests Leave the Priesthood?
A Catholic Priest Biblically Saved
This book contains the moving testimonies of fifty priests who found their way, by the grace of God, out of the labyrinth of Roman Catholic theology and practice into the light of the gospel of Christ. But this is not a narrowly polemical work, nor is its relevance limited to the ongoing controversy between Rome and the churches of the Reformation. The love and concern felt by the former priests for those they left behind, and their fervent desire that they too should experience the joy and peace of salvation in Christ are seen throughout. The wider relevance of the experiences described will also be felt in many contexts remote from Roman Catholicism where human pride and presumption have erected rival sources of authority between people and the Word of God, so obscuring the way of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, and in Christ alone.
To be fair, Martin Luther was excommunicated about 3 years before meeting his future wife because he wouldn’t recant his 95 Theses, which in part was a confrontation of the RCC selling indulgences. If he felt led away from God by the church, and it was the church that influenced his needing to make his celebacy vow, then I can understand why he would believe that God wouldn’t necessarily have wanted him to make the vow.
but how many went to become Protestant clergy. Most Catholics who left the priesthood still stay Catholic, just laicized. The ones who do go to Protestantism as clergy tend to go to the mainline-liberal ones such as Episcopalians, ECLA Lutherans, and Methodist, etc.
“The ones who do go to Protestantism as clergy tend to go to the mainline-liberal ones such as Episcopalians, ECLA Lutherans, and Methodist, etc.”
it makes sense that they go where there is a liturgical approach to worship. it would be a comfortable transition.
That may partially explain it, I don’t think it explains all of it. Many priests left after Vatican II when the so ‘called spirit of Vatican II” never materialized, because the spirit of Vatican II was really not the Holy Spirit, it was a nebulous sprit that wanted the Church to conform to the modern world 100%, so many left for less stricter Churches with respect to certain moral questions that have been at the core of debates in Catholic circles [but there is a Rome that in end holds the line] and protestant groups, which are always subject to the vote of assemblies, thus issues like abortion, euthanasia, women clergy, same-sex marriage tend to split those groups. In Catholic circles, some men [priests] left over the Church not “changing with the times”, which explains a large part of the exodus and going to the Episcopalians, ELCA Lutherans and Methodists provided both a more liberal theology on those moral questions and a liturgical approach to worship.
I meant as a percentage of clerics going to serve in another faith. In many cases the more devout are discouraged from pursuing vocations...Agony in Albany, etc. I have heard similar things from people in Boston.
The Roman Catholic priest who serves the local parish in my town is a married man who converted from being an ordained Lutheran minister. He seems to be doing a great job. The parish is happy with him AND he was able to keep his wife.
Jesus spoke of celibacy (Matt 19:12) for the kingdom of heaven, and that is one part of the reason for celibate men in the priesthood. Another reason is that a family commitment distracts the priest from his parishioners. There have been a number of men who left the priesthood to marry, true enough. But if a priest has problems with Church teaching, that is a different matter entirely, and it is better for such men to leave the priesthood than stay and promote division and heresy.
You obviously don’t understand what a vow means.
Nice rationalization thou.
For the Greater Glory of God
I’m shocked: another thread about celibacy.
Nearly one-third of the 414 former Catholic priests now serving in Protestant ministry agreed to participate in my survey. Of the 131 respondents, 105 (80.2 percent) became Episcopalian, 15 (11.5 percent) Lutheran, eight (6.1 percent) Congregationalist, and three (2.3 percent) Methodist. I found a 40-year age range: the youngest was 42 and the eldest 82. Their mean age was 62.8 while the median was 64.
The typical participant in my study, therefore, was born around 1944. If we divide his life into seven 9-year periods, we find him immersed in Catholic devotions and rituals during the first two timeframes. His service as an altar boy and the encouragement he received from the nuns facilitated his entry into the seminary at the age of 18 in 1962. He dedicated the third period of his life, during the heyday of Vatican II, to preparing for ordination at the age of 27 in 1971. He spent the fourth phase in active Catholic ministry and struggled with his commitment to celibacy. At the age of 36 in 1980, at the beginning of the fifth period, he resigned from ministry, got married, worked for a few years in a non-ministerial job, and eventually began his journey to his new denomination. From 1989 to 2007, he served as a married Protestant minister, twice the amount of time he spent as a Catholic priest.
Because God would never tell you to do one thing and then tell you not to do that thing anymore.
“...young priests today are more theologically conservative than their immediate predecessors and are more likely therefore to embrace the churchs traditional teaching on celibacy.”
Liberals of any faith invariably hate the Catholic discipline of celibacy. Try to find one person who accepts things like abortion, ‘gay marriage,’ or female clergy who also thinks the Catholic discipline is valuable and should be continued. They just aren’t out there, as far as I can tell.
It would be interesting if the data included evangelical churches, but it only included five mainline Protestant Churches (Congregational, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian), while most lay converts to Prot. are to evangelical churches*.
And not due to desire for more liberal doctrine, but overall due to spiritual deficiency they found in Rome.
But that RC priests - which the Holy Spirit never titles NT pastors, and which is a result of imposed functional equivalence, and with the defense of that title relying on etymological fallacy - would be more likely to convert to these liberal mainline denoms is to be expected, since these are the most like Rome, and perhaps they can be easily recognized as a "priest" in some.
*68% of those raised Roman Catholic still are Catholic (higher than the retention rates of individual Protestant denoms, but less than Jews at 76%). 15% are now Protestant (9% evangelical); 14% are unaffiliated. Pew forum, Faith in Flux (April 27, 2009) http://pewforum.org/uploadedfiles/Topics/Religious_Affiliation/fullreport.pdf
80% of adults who were raised Protestant are still Protestant, but (analysis shows) 25% no longer self-identify with the Protestant denomination in which they were raised. ^
44 percent of Americans have switched religious affiliations since childhood, mostly mainline Protestants. 7% who were raised Protestant are now unaffiliated; 15% now belong to a different Protestant faith. ^
51% of Protestants from a different Protestant denomination cite a lack of spiritual fulfillment as a reason for leaving their childhood faith. 85% say they joined their current denominational faith because they enjoy the services and style of worship. Only 15% left say they left because they stopped believing in its teachings. ^
Those who have left Catholicism outnumber those who have joined the Catholic Church by nearly a four-to-one margin. 10.1% have left the Catholic Church after having been raised Catholic, while only 2.6% of adults have become Catholic after having been raised in a different faith.^
4% of Americans raised Catholic are now unaffiliated; 5% are now Protestant. ^
Over 75% of those who left Catholicism attended Mass at least once a week as children, versus 86% having done so who remain Catholics today.^
Regarding reasons for leaving Catholicism, less than 30% of former Catholics agreed that the clergy sexual abuse scandal played a role in their departure. ^
71% of converts from Catholicism to Protestant faith said that their spiritual needs were not being met in Catholicism, with 78% of Evangelical Protestants in particular concurring, versus 43% of those now unaffiliated. ^
50% of all Protestants converts from Catholicism said they stopped believing in Catholicism's teachings overall. Only 23% (20% now evangelical) were unhappy about Catholicism's teachings on abortion/homosexuality (versus 46% of those now unaffiliated); 23% also expressed disagreement with teaching on divorce/remarriage; 16% (12% now evangelical) were dissatisfied with teachings on birth control, 70% said they found a religion the liked more in Protestantism.
55% of evangelical converts from Catholicism cited dissatisfaction with Catholic teachings about the Bible was a reason for leaving Catholicism, with 46% saying the Catholic Church did not view the Bible literally enough.
81% of all Protestant converts from Catholicism said they enjoyed the service and worship of Protestant faith as a reason for joining a Protestant denomination, with 62% of all Protestants and 74% Evangelicals also saying that they felt God's call to do so. ^
42% of those now unaffiliated stated they do not believe in God, or most religious teaching. ^
54% of millennial generation Catholics (born in 1982 or later) are Hispanics, while 39% are non-Hispanic whites. On the other hand, 76% of pre-Vatican II generation Catholics (born 1943 or earlier) are non-Hispanic whites, while 15% are Hispanics. Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University, September, 2010 . http://www.osv.com/tabid/7621/itemid/6850/Openers-More-evidence-of-the-browning-of-US-Cat.aspx
68% of all Latinos in the U.S. identify as Catholics. Changing Faiths: Latinos and the Transformation of American Religion http://pewforum.org/Changing-Faiths-Latinos-and-the-Transformation-of-American-Religion.aspx Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion - American Piety in the 21 Century 9-2006 http://www.baylor.edu/content/services/document.php/33304.pdf
Among Catholics under the age of 30, 47% are white, and 45% are Latino. In contrast, among Catholics over the age of 65, 82% are white (Pew Forum 2007, reported in http://publicreligion.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Catholics-and-LGBT-Issues-Survey-Report.pdf)
Latinos comprised 32 percent of all U.S. Catholics in 2008, versus to 20 percent in 1990. However, Catholic identification has slipped from 66 percent in 1990 to 60 percent in 2008. There has also been a significant rise in the number of Latinos who do not adhere to a religion. The longer a Latino has lived in the United States, the less likely he or she is to be Catholic. Study of Secularism in Society and Culture at Trinity College, http://theamericano.com/2010/03/18/new-report-on-u-s-latino-religious-identification/
18% of all Latinos say they have either converted from one religion to another or to no religion at all. http://pewhispanic.org/files/reports/75.4.pdf
1,000 Mexicans left the Catholic Church every day between 2000 and 2010, a decline that has continued uninterrupted over the past 60 years, from 98.21 of the population to 83.9 percent today. Latin American Herald Tribune, March 10, 2011, based upon census data and study by sociologist and historian Roberto Blancarte of Colegio de Mexico and the National Autonomous University of Mexico
The percentage of of Protestants and Evangelicals rose from 1.28% in 1950 to close to 8% of the total population in 2010, (excluding so-called Jehovahs Witnesses or Mormons). 5.2 million say they profess no religion. ^
This decline is seen as extending across the region (Catholics represent between 55% to 73% in Central America, 70% in Brazil, 50% in Cuba and Uruguay).^
Brazils National Statistics Institute reported that the number of evangelical Christians in Brazil (the worlds largest Catholic country) has risen from 15% of the population in 2000 to to 22% of the population in 2010, and 4% 40 years ago, while the proportion of Catholic Brazilians fell from 93.% of Brazilians 40 years ago, and 74% of the population in 2000 to to 65% in 2010. http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/29/ratio-of-evangelicals-in-brazil-jumps-44-in-10-years/
Almost 20% of all Latino American Catholics have left the Roman Catholicism, with 23 percent of second-generation Latino Americans doing so. http://www.baylor.edu/content/services/document.php/33304.pdf
54% of Hispanic Catholics describe themselves as charismatic Christians. http://pewhispanic.org/reports/report.php?ReportID=75
51% of Hispanic Evangelicals are converts, and 43% are former Catholics. ^
82% of Hispanics cite the desire for a more direct, personal experience with God as the main reason for adopting a new faith. Among those who have become evangelicals, 90% say it was a spiritual search for a more direct, personal experience with God was the main reason that drove their conversion. Negative views of Catholicism do not appear to be a major reason for their conversion. ^
Latino evangelicals are more than 20 percentage points more likely than Catholics to say that abortion should be illegal in most or all circumstances. http://www.nhclc.org/news/latino-religion-us-demographic-shifts-and-trend
The first generation of Latino immigrants is 74 percent Catholic, and 15 percent Protestant. The second generation is 72 percent Catholic, and 20 percent Protestant. The third generation is 62 percent Catholic, and 29 percent Protestant. ^
According to the Census Bureau, the Latino population in the United States grew from 22.4 million in 1990 to 41.3 million in 2004, adding a staggering 18.9 million people in 10 years. Broader estimates, which include Puerto Rican islanders (4 million) and undocumented immigrants (5 million), put the U.S. Latino population at over 50 million. ^
When ask to choose, three-fourths of all Protestant pastors surveyed said  they are pro-life, and 13 percent said they were pro-choice. LifeWay Research; http://www.lifeway.com/ArticleView?storeId=10054&catalogId=10001&langId=-1&article=LifeWay-Research-protestant-pastors-share-views-on-gay-marriage-abortion
In a 2010 LifeWay Research survey 77 percent of American Protestant pastors (57% of mainline versus 87% evangelical) strongly disagree with same-sex marriage, with 6% percent somewhat disagreeing, and 5% being somewhat in agreement and 10 percent strongly agreeing. (5% of evangelical).
Only 3% of evangelical pastors (versus 11% mainline) somewhat agree that there is nothing wrong with homosexual marriage.
11% of evangelical pastors (versus 30% mainline) somewhat agree that homosexual civil unions are acceptable, with 67% of the former and 38% of the latter strongly disagreeing with homosexual civil unions. October 2010 LifeWay Research survey of 1,000 randomly selected Protestant pastors. http://www.lifeway.com/ArticleView?storeId=10054&catalogId=10001&langId=-1&article=LifeWay-Research-protestant-pastors-oppose-homosexual-marriage
A 2002 nationwide poll of 1,854 priests in the United States and Puerto Rico reported that 30% of Roman Catholic priests described themselves as Liberal, 28% as Conservative, and 37% as Moderate in their Religious ideology. 53 percent responded that they thought it always was a sin for unmarried people to have sexual relations; 32 percent that is often was, and 9 percent seldom/never. However, nearly four in 10 younger priests in 2002 described themselves as conservative, and were more likely to regard as "always a sin" such acts as premarital sex, abortion, artificial birth control, homosexual relations, etc., and three-fourths said they were more religiously orthodox than their older counterparts. Los Angeles Times (extensive) nationwide survey (2002). http://www.bishop-accountability.org/resources/resource-files/reports/LAT-Priest-Survey.pdf http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1141/is_2_39/ai_94129129/pg_2
The survey also found that 80% of Roman Catholic priests referred to themselves as mostly heterosexual in orientation, with 67% being exclusively heterosexual, 8% leaning toward heterosexual, 5% completely in the middle, and 6% leaning toward homosexual and 9% saying they are homosexual, for a combined figure of 15% on the homosexual class. Among younger priests (those ordained for 20 years or less) the figure was 23%. ^
One-third of surveyed priests said they do not waver from their vow of celibacy, while 47% described celibacy as an ongoing journey and 14% said they do not always succeed in following it. 2% said celibacy is not relevant to their priesthood and they do not observe it. not celibate. ^
71 percent of priests responded that it always was wrong for a woman to get an abortion, 19 percent that it often was, and 4 percent seldom/never. ^
28 percent judged that is always was sin for married couples to use artificial birth control, 25 percent often, 40 percent never. ^
49 percent affirmed that it was always a sin to engage in homosexual behavior, often, 25 percent; and never, 19 percent. ^
A stunning example of Catholicism, which celebrates the theological equivalence of Herod's vow in obedience to Rome over Scripture!
"And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath's sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her. " (Matthew 14:9)
"But do not thou yield unto them: for there lie in wait for him of them more than forty men, which have bound themselves with an oath, that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him: and now are they ready, looking for a promise from thee." (Acts 23:21)
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;...Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth." (1 Timothy 4:1-3)
"This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife...One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)" (1 Timothy 3:1,2,4,5)
"Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?" (1 Corinthians 9:5)
For the fact is that the normative state of NT pastors was that of marriage, and fatherhood (as an argument against contraception) is even invoked as a preparatory ability for the pastorate.
And while celibacy certainly has its advantages as Paul describes, and as in 70AD which Paul seems to foresee, the future now will esp. be difficult for families, yet the apostle also states that celibacy is a gift:
"For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that." (1 Corinthians 7:7)
Thus to presume all basically who are called to the pastorate have that gift is both unScriptural and presumptuous, and is asking for trouble.
Yet the true NT church began in disobedience to men who sat in the seat of Moses.
And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:7)
"But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye." (Acts 4:19)
For indeed, under the Roman model for authority and determining Truth, the NT church itself is invalidated!
But if she dies, he must remain single, an ecclesiastical law which is foreign to the NT, but so is the church of Rome.
“but how many went to become Protestant clergy. Most Catholics who left the priesthood still stay Catholic, just laicized. The ones who do go to Protestantism as clergy tend to go to the mainline-liberal ones such as Episcopalians, ECLA Lutherans, and Methodist, etc.”
You may be correct, but I have no statistical evidence to confirm or not...
“...and protestant groups, which are always subject to the vote of assemblies, thus issues like abortion, euthanasia, women clergy, same-sex marriage tend to split those groups.”
That brief snippet is not universally true. Church polity varies greatly according to denomination.
So let's just cut a whole group out because the researcher has jumped to a major conclusion.
Is this "study" worth the paper it is printed on.
Possibly, if you are in the smallest room in the house.
Otherwise take with a number of very large grains of salt.
We have been down the priest [presbyter] discussion before. Most of the Catholics who go evangelical are “make up your on religion Catholics” and tend to be very poorly catechized Catholics and if truth be told, many are divorced Catholics who remarried and did not like to be told they could not receive Communion in the Catholic Church, so they go to a evangelical church and are told to call the altar [or something to that effect] and they are now once saved always saved protestants and many of those types never really at their core leave Catholic Church as many of them continue to vent over leaving it or attack the faith of their ancestors. I do believe in many instances the happiness they project in their new found evangelical protestant faith is a façade.
And nothing in those statistics is inconsistent with what I stated. I was only referring to Catholic priests and where they go when they leave. Very few go to fundamentalist or evangelical protestant groups.
As for Catholic laity, that is a whole different discussion. It seems as many go unaffiliated as Protestant 14% to 15% and of those that go Protestant 40% go mainline and 60% go evangelical. But in total, of the 29% of Catholics who left [lets say 29% of 1,000 to use a number] would give you 290 Catholics, 140 of those are basically atheist or agnostic [unaffiliated] 60 are mainline-liberal protestants, so that is 200 and the other 90 or evangelical, so about 69% of former Catholics who leave go to more liberal directions, atheist-unaffiliated or mainline-liberal Protestantism. Catholic Clergy almost exclusively go that direction, i.e. towards liberal Protestantism [Episcopalians, ELCA Lutherans, Methodist].
In summary, those statistics don’t surprise me at all an confirm what would be my ex ante predictions.
Really, show me one Protestant Group which does not have assemblies which a theological issue can go one way or the other via a vote of said assembly. If the votes become to controversial, eventually some of those churches that use to belong to that assembly will split away. In my home town, the First Presbyterian Church [a very large one] left the PCUSA a few years ago because of what they saw going on at the National assembly meetings. My guess is more will leave the PSUSA over this recent vote.
The United Methodist are heading down the same direction. My prediction, a major split is coming in that group as well in the next few years.
Even the Southern Baptist have some issues brewing over a Pastor in California stating he will no longer preach on homosexuality as a sin [I think that is the case, but I may be off on the specifics]. I think his son now is stating he is a openly practicing homosexual and now the pastor is changing his tune. Now, if the son is struggling with orientation, then he should be welcomed as any other person struggling with sin, but I think the Pastor is now stating he is changing his understanding on the entire issue. So who knows where even the Southern Baptist are heading in the next few years if more and more of their churches adopt this one in California’s theology.
Where you find the splits tend to be in Churches who tend to follow more closely the Roman Catholic tradition of the leaders telling the assembly what they are going to believe. In both cases the clergy tends to be much more liberal about everything then the laity. Which is why you find "democratic" (assembly vote) and "republican" (pastoral vote but churches have elected their pastor) Churches tend to be much more conservative. Where you find church splits in those cases is generally in the realm of personality and fellowship rather then doctrine. Which means that you can have Churches that believe basically the same doctrine with minor variations (women wear a covering in church vs they don't or men may play on non church sports team vs they may not).
But in these Churches you usually (there are exceptions) find very conservative beliefs.
Can you tell me who these churches are that follow the process that you laid out. The ELCA, Episcopalians, Methodist, Presbyterians and even most Baptist don’t follow those procedures.
Not quite: they actually wish conservative Catholics (though a minority) were all celibate, and are alarmed that conservatives overall have more kids then they do (which they replace with pets, with 4 times as many being in the USA than kids), but what they basically hate is real marriage.
Studies for the United States now show that Catholic families have, if anything, fewer rather than a greater, number of children compared to Protestant families who have similar incomes and education. A similar reversal has occurred in international comparisons. Catholic countries like Spain, Italy, and Poland now have total fertility rates-the number of children born to the average woman over her lifetime- of only 1.4, 1.4, and 1.2, respectively, far below these rates in the predominantly Protestant countries of Northern Europe. Even Irish family patterns no longer hold in Ireland, where the typical woman has a little less than two children over her lifetime instead of four or five, even though she is not marrying any later than the typical Irish woman did in the past. - http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/2010/11/the-behavior-of-catholics-and-contraceptive-use-becker.html
Monsignor Vittorio Formenti, who compiles the Vatican's yearbook, said in an interview with the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano that "For the first time in history, we are no longer at the top: Muslims have overtaken us". He said that Catholics accounted for 17.4 percent of the world populationa stable percentagewhile Muslims were at 19.2 percent. "It is true that while Muslim families, as is well known, continue to make a lot of children, Christian ones on the contrary tend to have fewer and fewer," the monsignor said. - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim_population_growth
“Not quite: they actually wish conservative Catholics (though a minority) were all celibate...”
Well, the way I see it is that they want everyone to have sex, including the unmarried and especially clergy. They just don’t want them to have kids because of it. The discipline of celibacy for clergy and religious in the latin Church is universally hated by liberals of any faith. Just like the prohibition of birth control within marriage is invariably hated by the liberals of any faith.
“Because God would never tell you to do one thing and then tell you not to do that thing anymore.”
Martin Luther was not called to make his VOWS (plural) unless he was called by God.
And there is no “gee I’m sorry Lord, didn’t mean it, fingers crossed, never mind Lord, maybe later......
A vow of celibacy is like a marriage vow - it’s like Herpes, its forever.
HTB has described to a tee most every baptistic church with which I have ever fellowshipped. The SBC, for just one example, is an association. It’s not a controlling hierarchy. Individual pastorates are filled by deliberation of the local body of believers. Indeed, these congregations do tend tob retain their conservatism despite failures of association leadership.
The main threat of corruption, IMHO, in these scenarios is the association seminaries. If they go bad, then it becomes more difficult to find good pastoral leadership. This is essentially what happened to American Presbyterianism early last century. The modernists staged a coup in the seminaries, took the money, the property, and effectively forced those who wanted to remain conservative to flee and form new churches.
That’s a terrific book.
I guess I’m not so bold to think that God could lead me to do one thing for a season and then another thing when He said that season was over. Clearly the season of RCC priesthood was over for him when he was excommunicated.
Spoken like a 'true' Mormon.
Pope John XII (955964), who gave land to a mistress, murdered several people, and was killed by a man who caught him in bed with his wife.
Pope Benedict IX (10321044, 1045, 10471048), who "sold" the Papacy
Birds of a feather...
Do you; Mary; take this man Joseph; to have and to hold...
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