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Stuffy robes ruin marriage chances, say Greek priests
BBC ^ | Saturday, October 3, 1998 Published at 20:40 GMT 21:40 UK | BBC

Posted on 04/21/2002 12:54:01 AM PDT by Spar

Saturday, October 3, 1998 Published at 20:40 GMT 21:40 UK

World: Europe

Stuffy robes ruin marriage chances, say Greek priests.

Archbishop Christodoulos in traditional robes - but is it a turn off?

Greece's Orthodox priests say their long black robes, pipe hats and overgrown beards are ruining their marriage prospects.

And they are calling for a makeover in an attempt to increase their chances of attracting a wife.

Father Efstathios Kollas, head of the union of parish priests, says only 3,000 of Greece's 11,000 priests are married.

"If the robes create an obstacle for finding a wife, and you know they do, then the church's leadership must do something to modernise our appearance," he added.

Father Kollas, who favours a more simplified frock, argues that the frumpy cassocks are also discouraging educated Greeks from becoming men of the cloth.

He says many candidates for the priesthood fear they will repel potential partners with such attire - not to mention the obligatory long whiskers.

Archbishop says priests can wear earrings

The priests' plea to shed their head-to-foot robes comes ahead of a meeting of the Holy Synod, the Greek Church's governing body.

But it is not yet certain whether Father Kollas's call to revamp the strict dress code will come up for discussion.

The 10-day meeting to begin on Tuesday will be presided over by Archbishop Christodoulos, who at 59 is the youngest archbishop to head the Greek Orthodox Church.

Since his election in April, he has stressed the need to modernise the church, a bastion of conservatism, without abandoning its age old traditions.

In a surprise move last month, he even told young men they could wear earrings when they visit their pastors.

More than 90% of all Greeks are baptised Greek Orthodox, which is the country's official religion.

Unlike Catholicism, Greek Orthodoxy permits priests to marry.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News
KEYWORDS: catholiclist; orthodoxy
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I am not certain but I think the long hair and beards and the black cloth is a tradition that was adopted to mourn the martyrs of the Church. In that part of the world (I do not know if it is a multi-cultural tradition or one originating with the Jews) when a relative dies you do not shave your facial hair or cut your own hair for a period of time. Divorce and remarriage is allowed in the Orthodox Church for all up to 3 times but no more.

I think it is unfair to Catholics that Uniate Catholic priests can marry and in that Papal recognized church divorce is allowed just as in the Orthodox rite, but it is denied to the Roman Catholics of the Latin tradition.

1 posted on 04/21/2002 12:54:01 AM PDT by Spar
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To: Spar
PS: This is only a curiosity to me. I am not much turned on by religion beyond studying it.
2 posted on 04/21/2002 12:59:54 AM PDT by Spar
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To: Spar

I think I saw that movie. Is that Ringo Star?


3 posted on 04/21/2002 1:02:20 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler
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To: Spar
This post smells of April Fool and British prankery to me.

It is almost certainly bogus.

4 posted on 04/21/2002 1:07:07 AM PDT by crystalk
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To: Jeff Chandler
No, isn't this is Ringo Star??


5 posted on 04/21/2002 1:11:08 AM PDT by Spar
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To: crystalk
This article is very true and a few years old.
6 posted on 04/21/2002 1:12:08 AM PDT by Spar
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To: crystalk
It is almost certainly bogus.
7 posted on 04/21/2002 1:12:54 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
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To: Spar
Pulling our legs. Since when do Greek women looking for a mate care about whether the potential husband is wearing an ornate costume.
8 posted on 04/21/2002 1:14:36 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
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To: Spar
I think that's his father.
9 posted on 04/21/2002 1:19:41 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler
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To: Spar
Archbishop says priests can wear earrings
...
In a surprise move last month, he even told young men they could wear earrings when they visit their pastors.

I would assume the first sentence is wrong, and the latter correct.

10 posted on 04/21/2002 1:21:58 AM PDT by xm177e2
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To: xm177e2
He said they have acute hearing.
11 posted on 04/21/2002 1:24:57 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler
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To: Jeff Chandler
Hey Spar, let's cross-link this sucker!  Pope: Priests Must Stay Celibate
12 posted on 04/21/2002 1:39:01 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Miss Greece 2001
13 posted on 04/21/2002 1:47:12 AM PDT by Spar
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To: Jeff Chandler; crystalk; HiTech RedNeck; Jeff Chandler; xm177e2
Just one word to consider: GROUPIES

Greece is the word for pop monks

Wednesday, 13 March, 2002, 16:06 GMT

The group's first CD went platinum in Greece

A group of black-robed Orthodox monks of the Saint Augustine and Seraphim Sarof monastery in Greece want to become Europe's most unlikely pop stars. They are hoping to break into a wider market with their third album, which contains English-language songs.

The band's manager Father Nektarios said the group wanted to save young people from the temptations of modern life and bring them closer to God - by using the same tools as the devil.

By Your Side, the group's third CD, was launched at a concert in Athens on Monday.

It contains an English-language club remix of I learned To Live Free, a song which established the act in their home country in 2000.

The song came from their first CD, which sold 60,000 - platinum sales in Greece.

Their songs have titles like Anarchy And Rock and Pal, I'm Down and appear to have struck a chord with Greek youth.

The monks have said they are also supported by Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece, who has tried to reverse dwindling church attendance with fiery speeches - and reversed church policy by allowing boys to wear ear-rings.

'Boiling'

The monastery is near the coastal town of Nafpaktos

The monks claim support from Archbishop Christodoulos

Group member Father Panteleimon, 30, has said: "We have many messages - on human relationships, the dead-end young people find themselves in.

"We are all boiling in the same pot under the new world order."

Now, says Father Panteleimon: "We want to let people outside Greece know what we are about.

"That's why we translated it into English."

The 12 members of the group, all between 18 and 30, hail from a monastery in the village of Trikorfo near the central Greek town of Nafpaktos.

14 posted on 04/21/2002 2:09:52 AM PDT by Spar
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To: Spar
Father Efstathios Kollas, head of the union of parish priests

They have a UNION???

15 posted on 04/21/2002 7:33:25 AM PDT by pgkdan
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To: pgkdan
It seems so. Why not? They draw a salary.
16 posted on 04/21/2002 11:53:38 AM PDT by Spar
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To: Spar
Papal recognized church divorce is allowed just as in the Orthodox rite, but it is denied to the Roman Catholics of the Latin tradition.

Can you back that up? I don't have a copy of the Code of Canon Law for the Eastern Churches right on hand... but I'd be very interested to know.

17 posted on 04/21/2002 12:38:03 PM PDT by De Fide
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To: De Fide
I thought that men were more attracted to looks and women to status. If that is the case, these old guys in ornate robes can land some pretty bodacious Greek babes!! "Hey babe, I have a congregaton of 1,500 and I uphold a 2,000 year tradition...money? I preach the invaluable Word of Life, better than riches or gold..." If these guys are not married...they are not trying.
18 posted on 04/21/2002 12:44:37 PM PDT by trevorjohnson
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To: De Fide
It is to me a great double standard: Eastern Rite churches are communities of eastern Christians in union with the Roman Catholic church. Also known as Uniate churches, they retain their own distinctive spiritual, liturgical, and canonical traditions. In addition to differences from the Roman (Western) rite in liturgy, many of the Eastern Rite churches permit a married clergy.
19 posted on 04/21/2002 1:12:22 PM PDT by Spar
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To: Spar
The Greeks don't want no freaks.
20 posted on 04/21/2002 1:13:11 PM PDT by AdA$tra
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To: Orual; aculeus
"I'm not making this up, you know."
21 posted on 04/21/2002 1:15:17 PM PDT by dighton
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To: Spar
I think it is unfair to Catholics that Uniate Catholic priests can marry and in that Papal recognized church divorce is allowed just as in the Orthodox rite, but it is denied to the Roman Catholics of the Latin tradition.

"Fairness" is not a concept that one can apply to Traditional Roman Catholic priests. Marriage is not denied to them, it is understood and accepted when they become priests that they cannot marry. If marriage were a goal, they wouldn't have become priests. If they change their minds, they are free to leave the priesthood and marry, or to become priests in a sect that allows marriage.

22 posted on 04/21/2002 1:26:18 PM PDT by Orual
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To: dighton; aculeus
Franco Uomo has a nice alternative.
23 posted on 04/21/2002 1:35:33 PM PDT by Orual
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To: dighton ; Orual
They could hire a clever Greek to design new outfits ... the person who created those mascots for the Athens Olympics.
24 posted on 04/21/2002 1:41:13 PM PDT by aculeus
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To: Orual
You still did not address the point I made. Eastern rite Catholics can marry and divorce up to three times, and priests can be married something denied the Catholics of the Latin rite.

I call it unfair or a double standard, that I would like explained.

In addition even though under some rare conditions Catholic priests can be married, once ordained they have to be married and celibate, again something the Eastern rite Catholic priests does not have to be. This is called the law of continence:

However, there was another Apostolic practice which the Western/Roman Church insisted upon from the very beginning. That is: absolute continence. In other words, the Apostles were married but from the time that they began to follow Christ, they never engaged in sexual intercourse with their wives again and, in most cases lived separate from them from the day that Christ called them on ward, though they provided for them. Remember that according to ancient custom, Peter’s daughter Petronilla died with him during the persecutions in Rome. The earliest local (the third and fourth centuries) Synods and council of the Church insisted upon this absolute continence and the West continued to do so consistently into the second millennium. The East, at a council not recognized by the West, repealed the law of continence.

For further reading see Council in Trullo

Once again I call it unfair or a double standard, that I would like explained and I find few Latin Catholics able to do so.

25 posted on 04/21/2002 3:46:40 PM PDT by Spar
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To: De Fide
my #25 might intrest you.
26 posted on 04/21/2002 3:51:25 PM PDT by Spar
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To: Spar
Not bad.
27 posted on 04/21/2002 7:34:20 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
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To: Spar
I call it unfair or a double standard, that I would like explained.

It doesn't require any further explanation than that which I have already given. Priests cannot marry. They are fully cognizant of this fact when they are ordained, they enter into the priesthood knowingly and willingly and no one drags them kicking and screaming into the religious life. There can be no equivocation. As I said before, if they change their minds and wish to break their vows there are alternative avenues open to them.

28 posted on 04/21/2002 8:25:11 PM PDT by Orual
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To: Orual
Why is it that a Latin rite priest has this restriction placed on him but an Eastern rite priest is free of it? Both come under the Pope's jurisdiction so again I ask why?

You will agree it is a restriction for the Latins, no?

29 posted on 04/21/2002 8:39:28 PM PDT by Spar
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To: Spar
Okay, I read the link but can find nothing on Uniate churches following the Orthodox error of allowing divorce (albeit "only" twice)...
30 posted on 04/21/2002 9:00:15 PM PDT by De Fide
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To: Spar
Yes,it a restriction, a rule, just as celibacy is a restriction, but the question of "fairness" does not enter into whether or not a man decides to become a priest in the Traditional Roman Catholic Church. Once he decides, he must obey the rule or forfeit his right to be a priest. I see no contradiction here. He is free to become a priest in whatever sect allows marriage if that is his wish or free to choose another religion.
31 posted on 04/21/2002 9:47:04 PM PDT by Orual
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To: De Fide
Uniate churches following the Orthodox error of allowing divorce (albeit "only" twice)... How can the original be in error?

Marriage after divorce, Eastern Catholic way

32 posted on 04/22/2002 12:14:01 AM PDT by Spar
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To: Orual
OK once again, I find Catholics have a hard time dealing with this.

Why is the Latin Catholic clergy restricted in this way and not the Greek Catholic? They are both Catholic under the Pope, so why?

If an Irish Catholic man wanted to join the preisthood but he wanted to be wed first he would not be allowed to join, but if he was a Ukranian Greek Catholic he would be ordained a preist and he could father children legaly with full approval of the Catholic Church.

Again I ask why?

33 posted on 04/22/2002 12:21:05 AM PDT by Spar
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To: Spar
OK once again, I find Catholics have a hard time dealing with this.

I don't know where you are getting your information, but it is not correct. Traditional Catholics do not have a "hard time" dealing with this, in fact it is not even an issue with them. Those who are liberalized, and represent the Protestantized American Catholic Church, which is a pale and sad copy of the Roman Catholic Church, represent the group who are calling for women in the priesthood, acceptance of gay priests and married priests.

If an Irish Catholic man wanted to join the preisthood but he wanted to be wed first he would not be allowed to join, but if he was a Ukranian Greek Catholic he would be ordained a preist and he could father children legaly with full approval of the Catholic Church.

I would suggest your Irish Catholic man go directly to a seminary under the jurisdication of the Ukranian Greek sect in order to become a priest and if he wants to get married before entering the priesthood, he should convert to some other religion.

34 posted on 04/22/2002 3:46:52 AM PDT by Orual
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To: Orual
I did not mean to badger you. I just find such a division puzziling and I can get no clear answer as to why the Pope sanctions two sets of rules for Catholics. It seems you accept it with no question as a Papal edict and that is your duty as a Catholic (I assume). If you ever run across something that might explain this I would love a link. Thanks.
35 posted on 04/22/2002 9:54:18 AM PDT by Spar
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To: HiTech RedNeck
It is bogus indeed. Marriage is permitted prior to ordination, but Greek Orthodox priests cannot marry after they are ordained.
36 posted on 04/22/2002 10:01:31 AM PDT by tracer
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To: Spar
Greek (and all other) Orthodoxy is governed by its own ecclesiastical leadership and, being separate and distinct from the Roman Catholic Church since the Schism of 1066 A.D., is not under the aegis of the Pope....
37 posted on 04/22/2002 10:05:38 AM PDT by tracer
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To: trevorjohnson
If that is the case, these old guys in ornate robes can land some pretty bodacious Greek babes!!

Not if they can't dance, don't drive Ferarris, and don't care about saving the rainforest...

38 posted on 04/22/2002 10:07:07 AM PDT by Mr. Jeeves
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To: tracer
Uniates are both Orthodox in rites and Catholic in submission to the Pope (if that is the term for it).
39 posted on 04/22/2002 10:07:23 AM PDT by Spar
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To: Spar
Were I not happily married, I would have to say: "AIIEE, CARAMBA!!
40 posted on 04/22/2002 10:10:07 AM PDT by tracer
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To: *Catholic_list
bump
41 posted on 04/22/2002 8:18:37 PM PDT by Spar
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To: Spar
I call it unfair or a double standard, that I would like explained.

I'll let you know after they let me climb Mt. Athos. Is that fair or not?

42 posted on 04/22/2002 9:31:03 PM PDT by Aliska
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To: Aliska
That is not the same thing exactly. For that example you made to apply it would be that Orthodox women would not be allowed to climb Mt. Athos, but women of for example's sake from a fictional Western rite Orthodox church who were allowed up on Athos.

See what I mean? No women of any stripe are allowed on that Athos mountain commune.

Under this Uniate system, you have married priests of one side of the Catholic faith and then you have priests that are required to be celibate in another side of the same Catholic faith.

Again, I am not saying this as a dig to Catholics, I just can't get anyone to explain why this double standard/restriction exists for divorce and married clergy in the Catholic tradition(s).

Thanks.

43 posted on 04/22/2002 10:14:39 PM PDT by Spar
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To: Spar
If you view the church as a series of "orders" with different rules; i.e., the Benedictines didn't eat much meat, Carmelites had to maintain silence . . . Latin rite priests must be celibate, Uniate priests can marry.

Allowing divorce and remarriage isn't right because that involves sin. One rule was laid down in the beginning concerning that and it shouldn't be circumvented by any discipline.

You are talking to the wrong person about priests being/not being allowed to marry because it is silly. It was a matter of choice in the bible. There are many things, traditions, in the church, both east and west, that are nonessential to the faith and cause divisions. This issue would seem to be one.

This will really get me flamed but I think the tradition of monks and nuns is something that grew out of innovation and cultural adaptation. There is no precedent for it in scripture. It throws people into abnormal living situations, and to overcome the isolation and abnormality of it, harsh rules were made which has nothing to do with holiness or lack of it. One could argue that that life is freely chosen, which is true for some, but those same individuals could become just a holy living in the world.

44 posted on 04/22/2002 10:31:53 PM PDT by Aliska
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To: Spar
See what I mean? No women of any stripe are allowed on that Athos mountain commune.

Why? Would women defile the mountain or the monks or both? It is sexist and reminds me of some old desert hermits in the west who wouldn't let women near them because they had a warped view of devils, temptations, and women.

45 posted on 04/22/2002 10:38:54 PM PDT by Aliska
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To: Aliska
It arises from religious traditions found in all religions. The Greek pagans had a festival called the Thesmophorus which was strictly women only (men would be killed if cought observing). Original Christians adopted the Jewish tradition of seperation of the sexes when praying in church (women on one side men on the other). It is nothing new or unique in religions of all stripes.
46 posted on 04/22/2002 10:54:55 PM PDT by Spar
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To: Aliska
Your attempt to link this practice to different orders inside the Latin Church is not correct. Orders are not rites.
47 posted on 04/22/2002 10:58:31 PM PDT by Spar
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To: Spar
No they are not rites but that was the only analogy I could think of. Rites are governed by rules made by churchmen. Orders are governed by rules made by churchmen. Rites are written by humans in an attempt to find words of communal worship pleasing to God. I shouldn't try to compare apples and oranges.

Maybe it isn't that way in the Eastern church, but rites in the Western church have undergone many changes.

48 posted on 04/22/2002 11:03:23 PM PDT by Aliska
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To: Aliska
not really. Here I will attempt to simplify it using secular examples.

Consider a rite to be the equivalent of the constitution of the USA in which rules on celibate priests, etc are ingrained.

Now consider orders to be the army or the FBI or the police dept of fire dept.

These organizations have diff ways of doing things but they all must follow the constitition same as orders in respect to the Latin rite.

49 posted on 04/22/2002 11:25:27 PM PDT by Spar
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To: Spar
Here's what it says there -- "The Eastern Catholic Churches require a decree of nullity from the tribunal with jurisdiction before a divorced person may remarry."

Thank goodness!

50 posted on 04/23/2002 11:13:54 PM PDT by De Fide
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