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Tosatti & Magister See Married Priests on the Horizon

As we have reported before, the topic of married priests seems to be on the agenda of Pope Francis. Not only did Sandro Magister report on this matter right after the second Synod on the Family last year, but also Bishop Erwin Kräutler of Brazil declared, after his private audience with Pope Francis in 2014, that the pope had encouraged him to further explore this matter and to be “courageous” in doing so. This month of September has seen again two more articles announcing that Pope Francis intends to foster the idea and practice of married priests: one having been written by Marco Tosatti; the other by Sandro Magister.

Tosatti, the Italian Vatican specialist, reported on 7 September on some initiatives recently taken by the 82-year-old Cardinal Claudio Hummes, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy. Tosatti reports that there is in the air an upcoming local Synod of the dioceses of the Amazon which might discuss the matter of “transforming permanent deacons into ‘viri probati‘” — which Tosatti defines as “a kind of lay administrator of the Sacraments as a substitute for priests.” However, says the Italian journalist, this topic of the viri probati could easily also be turned into a discussion about the slackening of the requirement of priestly celibacy in the Latin Rite.

As Tosatti shows, Hummes likes to say that he speaks in the name of the pope. At one recent conference in Brazil, organized by Bishop João Bosco of Osasco, Hummes gave a speech and responded, as follows, to the proposed idea of inviting more priests from other countries to help the Amazon region, given its currently reported shortage of priests, according to Marco Tosatti:

Hummes said: no, no, the pope does not want this; since the [Second Vatican]  Council, there should not be any missionaries any more, each people has to evangelize itself alone. There should be only indigenous clergy, priests and bishops – also without academic formation.

Hummes then continued to say that, in former times, it was “a taboo to speak about married priests,” but now the pope invites the bishops to “speak among themselves,” and he counsels them “to ordain a great number of permanent deacons.” According to Tosatti’s sources, the objective of the pope is to “take the road to the ordination of married laymen in order to supply the shortage of priests.” With the encouragement of the pope, Hummes has visited many of the Amazon dioceses in order to prepare such a local Amazon regional synod which would deal with these matters in greater detail. The synod might very soon take place.

In this context, another Italian article – this time by Sandro Magister – is of great importance. On 21 September, he reports about Cardinal Hummes’ recent private audience with Pope Francis. As Magister says, Hummes is today the president both of the Brazilian bishops’  conference’s commission for the Amazon; and of the Pan-Amazonian Network that joins together 25 cardinals and bishops of the surrounding countryside, in addition to indigenous representatives of different local ethnicities.

Magister confirms that this above-mentioned Amazon synod is “effectively in an advanced phase of preparation.” He continues:

Not only that. There is renewed vigor behind the rumor that Jorge Mario Bergoglio wants to assign to the next worldwide synod of bishops, scheduled for 2018, precisely the question of ordained ministers, bishops, priests, deacons, including the ordination of married men.

Magister points out that, interestingly, not long before Hummes visit with the pope, a well-informed source had already published in detail in Italy the three sub-themes of the next Synod of Bishops on “the ordained ministry in the Church,” to include “the possibility of a female diaconate.”

It seems now that “remarried” divorcees are indeed more likely to be admitted to the Sacraments, especially Holy Communion, the next field of purported reform will be the priesthood. Thus we all should fittingly prepare ourselves for the next doctrinal and disciplinary battle.

Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, one of the most outspoken defenders of the indissolubility of marriage, has already taken up this next challenge. He has just published an article which largely stems from a foreword that he had written a few years ago for a book in defense of priestly celibacy. Since he is a Church historian – and the former President of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences – he therefore probably has the best reputation and qualification to do so.

In a recent article, I myself have translated and presented the main arguments of his foreword to that 2011 book on celibacy, entitled Reizthema Zölibat: Pressestimmen (The Provocative Topic of Celibacy: Press Commentaries), which was published by the German publishing house fe-medienverlag. Therein the German cardinal makes it clear that celibacy stems right from Holy Scripture and the Apostolic Tradition, and that it has been always upheld by the Catholic Church, even if there were at times grave violations of this priestly celibacy. In the conclusion of his introductory essay, Cardinal Brandmüller also makes it clear that priestly celibacy is part of the apostolic patrimony that cannot be given up for any reason. He shows that one needs to remind Catholics “of the binding character of the apostolic traditions” and continues, as follows: “It might be helpful in this context to raise the question as to whether it would be possible to abolish – with the help of a Council – the celebration of Sunday which, by the way, has much less of a Biblical foundation than celibacy.”

Cardinal Brandmüller concludes his well-researched defense of priestly celibacy with some beautiful words:

Furthermore, celibacy – as well as virginity – chosen for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven will always be a stumbling block for those with only a secular understanding of life. Jesus Himself had already spoken on this matter, when he said: ‘He who is able to receive it, let him receive it.’

The 87-year-old cardinal is now even more to be praised for his courage and his purposive stamina. One wonders: who else will come to the aid of one of the essential parts of the Church’s Faith, Life and Practice? What will be left if the priesthood – the pillar of the Catholic Church – comes to be further attenuated and even hollowed out?

269 thoughts on “Tosatti & Magister See Married Priests on the Horizon”

  1. Is anyone really surprised at all? This is just the next item on the agenda for the Church of Perpetual Innovation!™ that has been in place since the Council (well, if we’re being honest, since at least 1953, when evening Masses were given papal approbation and the Eucharistic fast was reduced to three hours [cf. Christus Dominus]). Francis is simply following these trends to their logical conclusions.

    Now, as always, I’m sure we will hear from the usual suspects that the whole married priest concept is a matter of “discipline, not doctrine”, just as we have heard this line these past six months regarding the implementation of AL (“The Pope didn’t change doctrine! He’s just modifying discipline! That’s not the same thing! See? See?!!!“).

    I think it’s safe to say we have reached the endgame of the Modernist revolution. It is clear to me, at least, that the whole program of the last 50 years has been to render doctrine as little more than a dead letter, for what good is doctrine, after all, if all corresponding disciplines have been mitigated to accommodate the “hard circumstances”? What still confounds me, however, is the fact that bishops and cardinals can still act so incredulous as to why their parishes are so empty, as if they still think that their acceptance of the modification of discipline over the past decades somehow has nothing to do with the practical destruction of doctrine and dogma.

    With this forthcoming assault on the nature of the priesthood itself, is it any wonder that hardly any men want to be priests in today’s Church?

    • Traditional orders -that is where The Mystical Body of Christ is.Not in the Hippy Dippy Bergoglion travesty of the church today.

    • 1953? Heck, it went downhill in the early centuries of the Church when they watered down years of fasting and penance after sin, and replaced it with private confession. It’s been nothing but liberal immovation ever since.

    • “I saw a great power rise up against the Church. It plundered, devastated, and threw into confusion and disorder the vine of the Lord, having it trampled underfoot by the people and holding it up to ridicule by all nations. Having vilified celibacy and oppressed the priesthood, it had the effrontery to confiscate the Church’s property and to arrogate to itself the powers of the Holy Father, whose person and whose laws it held in contempt. – Jeanne le Royer (Sister of the Nativity) | Catholic Prophecy, Yves DuPont

      (My emphasis)

  2. Supporting someone with a wife and a large amount of children would be an enormous burden on the average Church anywhere in the world except the very wealthy countries and neighborhoods. I would resent paying for the upkeep and education of an entire family as a supporter and there would always be the temptation to extravagance on the married priest part and if succumbed to could also lead to shall I say charitably “discretionary use of basket proceeds”…BAD IDEA…It would also lead to economic refugee ordinations en masse. Once again the spirit that ‘opened the windows to let a fresh breeze blow in’ has now found itself with the toxic fumes of a garbage dump blasting down the walls… this might help decipher where this is going.

  3. The Church has always allowed married men to be ordained from Apostolic times. That is different in the Latin Rite which centuries later installed a discipline to require celibacy, which is not the case for Eastern Rites (or Orthodox either). However, existing priests could never get married. Order is important. This is why a married deacon can never get married again if his wife dies. Therefore any move to allow priests to get married goes against the Tradition – capital T – of the Church. I *do* expect that from Francis.

  4. I think a married priesthood could help Traditionalists, because those priests would tend to have large, well-formed families… providing the parish with altar boys, stronger choirs, and future priests. I’ve seen examples of this in Orthodox parishes. I understand, of course, the complications.

    • Traditional parishes already have plenty of traditional families to be models of family life. They tend to seek out traditional parishes with like-minded people who support each other. I’m not sure they need that example from their priests as much as they need the benefit of having a priest who is celibate.

      It has been my experience that traditional Catholics ask a lot of their priests. The priests are, of course, willing to be there for their parishioners. I would think this would make it most especially difficult for traditional priests to balance family life and parish life. I think they know this. Perhaps it is also why I have found that traditional priests are often most comfortable with, and even the most enthusiastic about priestly celibacy.

      • Yes, as seen with Orthodox and Byzantine-rite priests, some will be called to marriage and others will not. Balancing family life and parish life is difficult, as is the single life.However, if priests are allowed to marry in the Latin rite, I believe the traditionalist ones that marry will be the most fruitful for the Church, whereas liberal priests will “make a mess” as usual.

        • Celibacy is a treasure and a great gift to the Church. So many regard it as little more than an outdated relic of the Middle Ages. I’m not sure caving to that attitude is a good way to respond to that.

          • My responses were not about “caving to that attitude” but about how married priests have thrived in the Eastern Church and how marriage could be a blessing for Latin-rite priests, especially for traditionalist ones.

          • Celibacy is a treasure especially when a monastic sensibility is there- poverty chastity obedience- celibacy shouldn’t be there simply so the priest will supposedly have time for parishioners

  5. I’m so saddened. When does it end? I’m becoming less opposed to the idea of praying for the end of this pontificate. I’m aware that this pontificate is really only a symptom of the problem, but still…

  6. Why would I trust someone who told God they’d give up everything for him except sex? That’s where they only vocations would come from by relaxing the celibacy rule.

    • The relics of a priest’s wife, Saint Maxima, can be viewed at Holy Protection Monastery in North Royalton, Ohio. Her husband was Saint Montanus, a Catholic priest. I would have trusted Saint Montanus.

        • But “the East” is still here, along with some married clergy. To insinuate that married Catholic priests could not be trusted is not a Catholic notion.

          Are their priestly vocations not from God?

          The founding priest of my former parish was married. If I had been alive at the time, why should I not have trusted him? The parish was just as Catholic as any other. In fact, it was more Catholic than the majority of most modern Roman parishes.

          If you were seeking confession and walked into one of our parishes where the priest is married, what is there about that priest that you would not trust?

          See the links for some married Catholic priests. I know all three of them. They are devout and orthodox, all three.


          • One of the priests I most highly respect is married. He is a convert, and is as Latin and as Traditional as any priest I’ve ever known. I am not saying that they cannot be devout or orthodox, because I certainly know that they can be both of those things.

            I have also known quite a few people who do not understand celibacy. They are the ones who say they’d be the first in line if the Church would only relax the celibacy rule. This even before they were married, so it’s not like they were disappointed that a door had been closed to them. They, like the rest of the world, just couldn’t bear to accept that a sane person might truly be able to bear life without sex. The Church is not and will never be so desperate as to need priests like that.

  7. “celibacy stems right from Holy Scripture and the Apostolic Tradition, and that it has been always upheld by the Catholic Church”

    OK I’m confused. There’s a married Eastern rite priest in the Maronite church near where I live. Is this against Holy Scripture and the Apostolic Tradition, something not upheld by the Catholic Church?

    • Please see here a little longer part of my article on Cardinal Brandmueller’s defense of celibacy (
      At the end of his introduction, Cardinal Brandmüller touches upon the challenges posed by two questions which could also be used to undermine the Catholic understanding of celibacy, namely: the exceptions made for the Eastern Churches and the additional concessions for Anglican converts. With regard to the Eastern Churches, the Cardinal explains that it was initially the Church in the East which had especially stressed the “apostolic practice of abstinent celibacy to be formally binding.” He then explains that “under the influence of the general religious-cultural and political decline of the Byzantine Empire, there came to be the breach with the apostolic tradition.” However, one local ecclesiastical Council which had permitted these confused disciplinary conditions, and which had been inordinately influenced by the Byzantine Emperor, “was never recognized by the popes.” From thence, says the German Cardinal, stems the current mixed practice of the Eastern Churches. However, for the sake of the unity of the Church, those orthodox churches who later wanted to re-unite with Rome themselves in the 16th and 17th centuries were wholeheartedly welcomed back, and without any requirement on their part to implement the priestly celibacy, as Brandmüller explains.
      Moreover, he says: “In a similar way, one also justifies the dispensation from celibacy which has been granted, since Pius XII, to individual Protestant ministers who have converted to the Catholic Church and have then requested to become ordained priests.” As the Cardinal shows, Pope Benedict XVI accepted the same rules for the not-so-few Anglican ministers who came into the Church “according to the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus.” The well-informed Church historian concludes: “It is the greatly valued good of the unity of the Church that justifies these exceptions.”
      I hope this helps!

      • With regard to the Eastern Churches, the Cardinal explains that it was initially the Church in the East which had especially stressed the “apostolic practice of abstinent celibacy to be formally binding.”

        Did they beat Pope Siricius (385 ) to the punch?

  8. Just as the secular world patiently, deviously and consistently tore away at the moral fabric of society , beginning with the pill, then abortion, gay ‘marriage’ and assisted suicide, now we see the infiltration of the same tactic within the Catholic church. Those Communists that Bella Dodd told us about in 1953, who infiltrated the church, coupled with the Freemasons have done a masterful job into the highest places of Christ’s Body.

  9. I would like to hear an anonymous comment, or comments, from a married anglican, now Catholic, priest on this question: Should Catholic priests be allowed to marry?

  10. We must keep this in perspective- and I am no fan of Francis.

    Yes, celibacy (rather chastity is the more accurate term) is a charism (gift) of the Holy Spirit but is not bestowed on every man who wishes to become a priest or deacon.

    The Eastern rites of the Church as well as the Latin rite of the Church allowed married men to become deacons and priests. The only exception in BOTH East and West is that married deacons and priests cannot become bishops. This is constant since Jesus and the Apostles. Remember, even St. Peter had a wife and family.

    The bottom line: Celibacy is a discipline. It is not a matter dogma, doctrine, faith, or morals.

    While I do not care one bit for Francis, he is correct on this. The Church can change this practice.

    I am one (as a former seminarian and now married with a son) who would most welcome the opportunity to enter the discernment process if the Church allowed me to do so.

    • Believing Catholics of all stripes go crazy over this.
      My opinion is that celibacy is a higher calling but there is no denying that many of the Apostles were married men, and thus there can be no doctrinal prohibition on married men being ordained. Whether such men must renounce the ‘marital gift’ I’ll have to leave to others, as Scripture does not clearly answer that question.
      I can only hope that the infestation of homosexual clergy, an overwhelming problem in the Church, might be mitigated by ordination of married men. That is in the realm of Divine Providence, I think.
      Financial difficulties re/ providing for clergy’s families don’t make for a doctrinal argument against ordination of married men. Celibate religious life is a sign of contradiction, and beautiful, and I try to encourage consideration for this life for my own children.
      But if the Church allows for a married priesthood, I’ll have no problem with it.

      • We should also keep in mind that marriage and celibacy for priests and religious do not constitute a war with the other! They compliment each other! Both remain gifts of the Holy Spirit. And both remain Sacraments (Holy Orders that is)!

        • For those of us who worship in the Byzantine Rite, this is not an issue. While there are definitely different problems arising from a married clergy (only some of ours are married), homosexuality is not one of them (at least not a known one).

          I know some very outstanding married Catholic priests, but they are all Eastern. In today’s climate, particularly in the U.S., I’m not sure whether that would work well in the modern Roman Rite.

          In any event, the pope seems to be focused on the situation in Brazil. And with his penchant for “decentralization,” it seems that, if this gets opened up, bishops would be able to say no if it were felt that it was not necessary.

          I know for a fact that at least one of our bishops will not allow married clergy in his eparchy. Parma does though. Married clergy are on the ascendancy among Ukrainians and Melkites here in the U.S.

          The priests being ordained are quite devout. I’ve met several of them.

          ETA: I’ve also met a married Roman Rite priest, and know of another one. They are converts via Protestantism. They seem more devout than the average cradle Catholic (Roman Rite) priests I know.

        • I’m a little confused by your wording but I think we’re in agreement. Of course, Matrimony is a sacrament too. We are going to represent a minority view here, I think.

          • Yes, my wording is a little off. I worked all day, and got up a five this morning! Married with wife and son:-)

          • I think you just proved one of the major reasons for unmarried priests. A marriage and family require a lot of time and energy, time and energy that the Church decided should be dedicated to the priest’s flock.

          • Well, St. Paul certainly said that he hoped that everyone who could would live a chaste, celibate life. But, BUT, he also realized that some could not and needed the sacrament of Marriage as a virtue against mortal sin and vice regarding human sexuality. Consecrated chastity (insert celibacy if you desire) is certainly the best, but not required. Some, like me, enjoy marriage and family. The truth of the matter is that the Church should allow married men who demonstrate superb maturity, holiness, personal piety, and love for God and His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church should not be turned away if God is truly calling him to both marriage and priesthood.

          • unfortunately celibacy does not equal chastity (perhaps it equals ‘consecrated chastity)- I am not accusing celibate priests of evil activity, but when the emphasis is on required celibacy instead of chastity, I fear that many men get ordained thinking they can ‘white knuckle’ through celibacy

          • Well, your argument sounds good in theory, but lets look at this from a practical view. Let’s say you and your wife have 5 kids and you are a priest. The youngest is in diapers and the oldest is in high school. On a typical day, your wife ends up exhausted by late afternoon from taking care of the baby and younger kids. There is housekeeping, grocery shopping, school activities, sports practices, games, homework and all the other things involved in having a family. In the evening, while you’re trying to write your homily, your wife beckons you because she is busy making supper and the baby is screaming because he needs changed, the other two are fighting, and the oldest needs help with homework. Then the phone rings. A parishioner needs to talk to you immediately about a personal problem. You need to go because you are the priest. Your wife is not real happy. Then on the way to talk to the parishioner, your phone rings. Another parishioner has just died and you need to go and console the family and start making funeral arrangements. You would like to go to your son’s football games on Friday nights, but that was the only time the couple getting married could do marriage prep classes. And the list goes on and on. It seems to me on a practical level, this takes away too much from the duties of priesthood while putting enormous pressure on the wife and family.

          • Being a husband and father, I cannot disagree with you. There would most certainly be challenges. But I would not say the situation you describe would happen ALL the time! A married priest would definitely have to practice superb time management skills.
            I personally know a priest in the Archdiocese of Mobile, AL, who was an Episcopalian priest. He converted to Catholicism along with his wife, and was ordained a Catholic priest under Pope John Paul’s pastoral provision. Not only was he the principal of the Catholic high school, but an associate pastor at the parish attended. He is now the pastor of that parish.
            Perhaps we need more input from married Catholic priests on this thread as to their thoughts on all this.

          • That same priest’s wife filed to divorce him 10 years after he was ordained in the Catholic Church, although they ended up remaining married. Google the story if you are not familiar with it. Does the Church really need to add problems like that to the myriad of plates already spinning out of control?

          • There are pressures on families of police officers, fire fighters, men in the military, and others in public service. But we don’t necessarily suggest that they should not be married.

          • Although these occupations are important for our physical protection, the priest is important for our immortal soul, which is infinity more important. To put it bluntly, we need priests attending to the needs of his flock, not being distracted with family matters. Look, this has been the discipline of the Church for centuries, I’m pretty sure it is for good reason.

          • The discipline of one particular Church. With proper scale to both human society and parishes, harmonizing marrige with the priesthood would be easier.

          • So where I live in a rural area where the priest takes care of three parishes, and the neighboring priest is many miles away, the priest having a large family is going to make him more or less accessible to the needs of the people? What happens when there is a car wreck and the person has only minutes to live, and Father is with junior at a ball game an hour away? You might think I’m giving petty examples, but these kinds of things will happen. When a man has a family, especially with multiple kids, a great deal of time and energy is required. This necessarily will take time and energy away from other things, like being readily accessible to the needs of parishioners. Again, I really don’t think my defense is necessary when many great Saints, Popes, and Church men throughout the centuries agreed with unmarried priests.

          • And if the children are grown? Or if he has no children? Maintaining the absoluteness of one particular ecclesial discipline at the expense of the good of the Church is wrong-headed . No one is saying all priests should be married. Only that it may be possible to have some married priests.

          • So where do you draw the line? What if he only has one child? Or two? What if he has no children, and then “surprise”, he finds out he is going to have one. How old is old enough to be considered grown? Which priests should be allowed to marry and which shouldn’t? It would be impossible to implement the distinctions you propose. Don’t you think that if God calls a man to the priesthood He will give him the Grace to withstand the urges of concupiscence?

          • You are neglecting the role of the bishop and his prudence. Old enough = no longer dependent. So no, it is not impossible to make distinctions.

          • It has always been a practice of the Church, back certainly to the Church fathers at least, if not the original apostles (since scripture does not mention it explicitly), that priests cannot get married after their ordination. The marriage would have to occur first. Now I don’t know the specific reasons for this, but if it has been a practice since the earliest days of the Church, I would think it merits more than a passing waving of the wand. I wonder if there is any genuine theological reason that the sacrament of marriage cannot be conferred upon a man ordained. As I said, I don’t know, but I wonder.

        • Indeed they do. But lived by two different sets of people. When lived by the same, it becomes a war as the same person tries to grapple with the demands of living out both vocations

        • …another Byzantine-rite perspective- because (at least in the old countries) married men have not been barred from the clerical state, there can be a big difference between married priests and monks. Men discern marriage ‘versus’ celibacy at the beginning. So, if they feel called to celibacy, they will be monks and go from there- maybe staying a brother- or go on the deacon- or go on to priest. But celibacy is the root of their spirituality. They live in community with like celibates. A married man can discern the clerical state but it can differ because he will be a parish priest and his community is his wife and children and then outward to the parish community.

      • Excuse me, but we’re in no position to say “there is no denying that many of the Apostles were married men”, unless to say in the same breath that there is no possibility of asserting it either. We know nothing at all on the subject, except that Paul was celibate and that Peter had been married at some point (though if he was married when he met the Lord, why was it necessary for his mother-in-law to rise from her sick bed to see to Him?)

          • No; that passage is inconclusive. It does not support an argument that many of the apostles were married. It admits an interpretation that some of them may have been. But those women may have been otherwise related, or else merely spiritual followers as with the women who followed Jesus. We can’t go further than that.

    • “The bottom line: Celibacy is a discipline. It is not a matter [of] dogma, doctrine, faith, or morals.
      While I do not care one bit for Francis, he is correct on this. The Church can change this practice.”

      Accepting the ecclesiastical historical facts mentioned, and the general theological truth of the above quotation, we still have grounds for suspicion, especially regarding application in the here-and-now.

      Specifically, if Francis & Co. want this, can it be a good thing– here-and-now? After all, they are known to have a far-reaching agenda, which a growing number of Catholic faithful would characterize as sinister. So if they want to remove the requirement for priestly celibacy in the Latin Rite, it is not unreasonable to assume that such a reform is good for the implementation of their agenda in the here-and-now.

      At least, under the circumstances, scepticism is warranted.

    • The Anglicans have married priests and it is imploding. The other Churches who have married priests have remained pretty much national churches. Do we really want to go down that road?
      Furthermore, since we promote openness to life, who will support the children of priests who if they are truly open to life would be more than one?
      At present, Parishes could barely support one priest let alone a family.

    • Maybe it’s time to admit that Christ knew what he was doing picking a married St. Peter as the first pope, and St. Paul was divinely inspired when he repeatedly made it clear that church leaders should be married men with proven patriarchal character (, also similarly to Titus). Marriage alone doesn’t guarantee anything of course, but the qualifications St. Paul outlined do provide a good filter for several problems and perversions. Chief among these is homosexuality amongst priests and bishops.

      See also the comments near the top in for some good discussion and insight.

          • It does not establish that Simon was married when he met Jesus. Indeed, the fact that the evangelist reports that it was the MIL who waited on Jesus suggests that there was no wife in the house. Furthermore, without wishing to seem coarse, there’s the fact that Simon described himself to Jesus as a sinful man. Perhaps we should take him at his word.

          • St. Peter being a sinful man is a utter red herring to the point of the marriage topic.

            What Church Fathers support your opinion?

            The Bible is the inspired and infallible Word of God. Every word is there because God put it there. Nothing is there by accident or is irrelevant. No, the mother-in-law immediately waiting on Jesus and His Apostles illustrate the proper behavior for a disciple – service after getting healed. While that happened literally, it also has much spiritual meaning. It also shows that St. Peter was married.

            We know from Tradition – capital T – that the Church has ordained married men, and St. Peter is another Biblical example of that Tradition.

          • Peter may not have been married at the time. And Peter also indicates that he has left everything for the Lord. So even if he was still married, would not a wife constitute something of the “everything”?

            One would think so.

          • If Jesus could not be waited upon in Peter’s home without having to first cure the mother-in-law who was ill with fever, that could very well indicate that there was no longer a wife present. For wouldn’t the wife serve the guests? Seriously.

          • If Jesus could not be waited upon in Peter’s home without having to first cure the mother-in-law who was ill with fever, that could very well indicate that there was no longer a wife present. For wouldn’t the wife serve the guests? Seriously.

            Come on, you can’t be taken seriously if this is an indication of your thinking. If the MIL was very sick then whatever family was there would likely wait to serve Jesus lunch and give him a glass of wine until he had healed her. Then the point is that her miraculous recovery was so quick and complete that she was able to switch to hostess mode right away.

            If you have to come up with desperate and far-fetched explanations like Romulus then maybe it is time to revisit your assumptions.

          • Hostess mode would belong to the wife and daughters, not the Mother-in-Law. Seriously.

            I suggest you limit your hyperbolic assertions to your own venue of attempting to foist a sexually active priesthood on those who understand that abstinence from sexual encounter (even those with one’s lawful spouse) was/is the norm.

            But I do appreciate how you responded to my observation by stating that “I” couldn’t be taken seriously and that “I” am somehow desperate and far fetched.

            Projection much?

          • Hostess mode would belong to the wife and daughters, not the Mother-in-Law.

            Perhaps, but maybe the MIL felt like she should serve Jesus personally out of gratitude – he certainly wasn’t a stickler for social convention. Or maybe St. Peter’s wife had to deal with unruly kids. Or maybe she had indeed died, although there is an oblique reference to her in Corinthians and non-Biblical tradition referencing her in later years, so that is unlikely unless St. Peter subsequently had a second marriage.

            We don’t know, but if you have to clutch at straws like this you don’t have an argument.

          • …dealing with unruly kids?

            Come on. Now who is reaching?

            You don’t have an argument, just wishful thinking. But then, if St. Peter’s kids were “unruly”, then he’d have to have passed on being Pope because he obviously couldn’t have been considered as having his house in order.

            But again, thanks for the personalizing and straw man shifting of your response. And thanks for admitting that, in truth, Peter’s wife could have well been dead already. That was my original point.

          • No reach at all as I’m not claiming any of those possibilities is true, just illustrating some of the many things that could have happened, and that the exact reason isn’t really relevant.

            All children misbehave, the measure of parents is how they correct it, which was St. Paul’s point. A bishop should have demonstrated the ability to effectively correct, and delegating appropriately to his wife is part of that.

          • What you did first was imply that my proposal (something you later admitted could be) constituted a straw-man and zero argument. Now you’re dancing around attempting to instruct those with intimate and long term experience with childhood behavior and what delegation means within the family construct.

            Excuse me if I pass on future commentary from you as nothing more than wishful thinking and change for change sake.

            Enjoy your weekend.

          • It is possible that his wife had died, although there is no evidence for that and Clement of Alexandria thought otherwise. It doesn’t have any bearing on the principle here though, as St. Paul’s reasoning on this works for a widower as well.

          • The evidence is that Jesus, a guest in Simon’s home, wasn’t getting waited on till he healed the mother-in-law and she was able to get up.

          • If that’s what you call evidence then everything you say needs to be treated with skepticism.

            Unfortunately that type of desperate and far-fetched interpolation is all too typical of Catholics, often while simultaneously trying to explain away the undeniable such as St. Paul’s repeated unequivocal guidance that bishops should be married men.

    • Perhaps you’ll realize that if the Pope takes away the obligation of celibacy for the priesthood, the floodgates will be opened for all kinds of other reforms. The Catholic laity, progressive groups in the Church, and the secular media, don’t have much knowledge nor are they interested at all in your distinction between church law and dogma. They will only notice that things have fundamentally changed, and they’ll demand similar fundamental changes in the marriage laws of the Church, including the possibility of divorce, homosexual marriage, &c.

      For all practical purposes the abrogation of priestly celibacy in the present situation would initiate a series of changes effectuating the end of all laws on sexual morality in the Church. The end-result will be that everything permissible in the secular world is also permissible in the Church.

      • if the Pope takes away the obligation of celibacy for the priesthood, the floodgates will be opened for all kinds of other reforms…changes in the marriage laws of the Church, including the possibility of divorce, homosexual marriage, &c.

        That is certainly a risk, however it shouldn’t deter doing the right thing. Framing in terms of unwinding an unwise innovation and a return to original practice could help, as would pairing with a renewed emphasis on Biblical sex roles including wifely submission.

        Expect strong opposition from homosexual elements in the Church, particularly for a return to a married episcopacy, as this would obliterate the “safe space” they’ve managed to build over many centuries.

        • “Doing the right thing” and returning to “biblical sex roles including wifely submission” is completely contrary to the policy of the present Pope. It is far more probably that the Pope will use the abrogation of priestly celibacy as a crowbar for enforcing the liberal sexual agenda on the Church.

          Apart from these considerations, everyone can easily see that a Church which is prepared to change its longstanding law of priestly celibacy isn’t much of a reliable institution at all. A religion which permits today that what was forbidden yesterday inevitably loses its credibility in the eyes of the public.

          Another perhaps more important danger would be the serious possibility of a schism. For traditionalist groups this could become the breaking point in reaching the conclusion that there is no place for them in the Church anymore.

          • It is far more probably that the Pope will use the abrogation of priestly celibacy as a crowbar for enforcing the liberal sexual agenda on the Church.

            A risk to be sure, but ultimately right is right.

            A religion which permits today that what was forbidden yesterday inevitably loses its credibility in the eyes of the public.

            A good reason to emphasize that this is a return to the example of Christ picking St. Peter and St. Paul’s unequivocal guidance, plus a needed step to suppress the gay mafia.

            Another perhaps more important danger would be the serious possibility of a schism.

            Not a valid argument any more than saying that not allowing homosexual “marriage” might cause a schism.

          • You are living in a delusion. Ever since Vatican II the tendency has been to become more liberal, more modernist, and ever more laxist in morality. A return to biblical values will simply not happen under Francis, nor under any modernist Pope. Things will only go downward, not upward.

            But, more fundamentally, you make a huge theological error. There is nothing wrong with a celibate priesthood. The whole point to emphasize is that candidates for the priesthood should first and foremost have a calling for a celibate life, and only secondary for the priesthood.

            Our Lord himself and the Apostle St. Paul were celibate. This cannot be without deep theological meaning. It is wrong to elevate the married state above celibacy. In I Corinthians St. Paul clearly expressed that celibacy is to be preferred above marriage.

          • Ever since Vatican II the tendency has been to become more liberal, more modernist, and ever more laxist in morality. A return to biblical values will simply not happen under Francis…

            True and probably true. That shouldn’t be an excuse for not returning to married priests and bishops though, as two wrongs don’t make a right.

            There is nothing wrong with a celibate priesthood. The whole point to emphasize is that candidates for the priesthood should first and foremost have a calling for a celibate life, and only secondary for the priesthood.

            Read that back, it makes no sense.

            Our Lord himself and the Apostle St. Paul were celibate. This cannot be without deep theological meaning.

            You read too much into it. For some individuals celibacy is indeed part of their vocation.

            In I Corinthians St. Paul clearly expressed that celibacy is to be preferred above marriage.

            St. Paul clearly preferred celibacy for the practical benefits it brings those who are suited for it, but that doesn’t mean celibacy is required for the priesthood or the episcopacy, and for the latter he made it clear elsewhere that it is a disqualification. We’re seeing the consequences of ignoring this now.

          • It is a distorted interpretation of Scripture to say that celibacy is a disqualification for the episcopacy in St. Paul’s eyes, in the first place because it would disqualify the apostleship of St. Paul himself.

            By the way, St. Paul’s terminology doesn’t distinguish between the ranks of priesthood (presbyter) and bishop (episcopos). These terms are more or less exchangeable in St. Paul’s vocabulary. However, St. Paul certainly distinguishes between the ranks of Apostle on the one side and episcopos and presbyter on the other. So if apostolic authority is continued in the bishops, which is the traditional teaching of the Church, then St. Paul would be disqualified to be a bishop, according to your criteria.

            Moreover, your interpretation is directly in contradiction with the texts in question, i.e. I Timothy ch. III and Titus ch. I. St. Paul says that an “overseer” (priest or bishop) must be “blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children, &c” (Titus 1:6), “one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity, &c” (I Timothy 3:4).

            Nobody would conclude from these texts that a candidate priest or bishop should first demonstrate that he has faithful and obedient children, before he can be ordained. The same is true for his married status. The meaning of these texts is clearly conditional. If a candidate priest or bishop is married, then he must be the husband of one wife; if he has children, then he must have a good reputation in educating them, in particular in matters of the faith. St. Paul doesn’t recommend that a priest or bishop should be married, but says that if he is married, then his married life and status must be an example for others.

            But apart from these scriptural considerations, it is completely anti-historical to introduce a married priesthood or episcopacy in our days, for several reasons.

            In the first place, why would the married life have better results for the morality of the priests? Because it would be an effective measure against the “gay maffia” and turn away homosexuals? Probably, but this would only be so if a prohibition of the celibate state is implied instead of a permission to marry — implying introduction of a anti-celibacy law. Such a law would constitute an anti-historical novelty of enormous proportions. From the early centuries on, the tendency in the Church has always been in favour of the celibate status for the clergy.

            But more important, I don’t see to what avail it is to combat the “gay maffia” by introducing another maffia, namely the revival of the old evils of nepotism and simony.

            For in the construction of a married clergy, priests and bishops will try to promote their sons to high places. And a married Pope would make his sons cardinals and bishops, in order to ensure that power, possessions and money will remain “within the family”. The priesthood would become tainted and corrupted by the introduction of inherited privileges.

            Perhaps equally important, it is an illusion to think that a married clergy would elevate the Church to a higher level of morality. Let me be clear: I don’t have a high opinion of the practical level of morality of the celibate clergy, in many cases. But neither do I have a high opinion of the practical moral level of the married life of many couples. We all know that Catholic marriage is in a crisis, and Amoris Laetitia is the latest ecclesial expression of this crisis. If the Church at present is wrestling with the problem of the civilly divorced and remarried, why would the clergy, if married, do better? The marriage crisis would spread over the clergy as well. So if we suppose that most priests lead a bad celibate life, why would we think they’d do better in marriage?

            My conclusion is that your solution introduces more evils than it is supposed to overcome. Your cure is worse than the illness.

          • It is a distorted interpretation of Scripture to say that celibacy is a disqualification for the episcopacy…because it would disqualify the apostleship of St. Paul himself…So if apostolic authority is continued in the bishops…St. Paul would be disqualified to be a bishop, according to your criteria.

            St. Paul was a missionary and theologian, not a bishop, and there’s no indication he thought of himself as one. It does not follow that his lack of qualification for the episcopacy disqualifies his apostleship either. A wife’s authority over the children comes from her husband, but that doesn’t mean he is qualified to be a mother. Different roles.

            Moreover, your interpretation is directly in contradiction with the texts in question, i.e. … Nobody would conclude from these texts that a candidate priest or bishop should first demonstrate that he has faithful and obedient children, before he can be ordained. The same is true for his married status. The meaning of these texts is clearly conditional. If a candidate priest or bishop is married, then he must be the husband of one wife…

            There is nothing conditional at all in the text, links and . It is simply untrue that “nobody” would take them literally, as the requirements are phrased in terms of “must”, not “if”. Even by Catholic standards of tendentious interpretations your invention is extreme.

            Now it might be reasonable to say that St. Paul was giving a norm, and that exceptions are possible. Widowers are clearly within the spirit of the guidance. Monastic priests might be another given their lower level of authority and the fact that celibacy is part of a legitimate vocation for some. Maybe bishops in dangerous countries. But to say that a uniformly celibate episcopacy is aligned with Christ picking St. Peter as the first pope and St. Paul’s explicit guidance is simply dishonest.

            Because it would be an effective measure against the “gay maffia” and turn away homosexuals? Probably, but this would only be so if a prohibition of the celibate state is implied instead of a permission to marry — implying introduction of a anti-celibacy law.

            This does not follow. Not every celibate is a homosexual, and a married norm with judicious exceptions would prevent a critical mass of poofters from forming, as well as break the power of their networks.

            I don’t see to what avail it is to combat the “gay maffia” by introducing another maffia, namely the revival of the old evils of nepotism and simony … priests and bishops will try to promote their sons to high places. And a married Pope would make his sons cardinals and bishops, in order to ensure that power, possessions and money

            Perfection will never be achieved, but would you rather have the greater hidden evil or a lesser one that is in the open, thus more easily corrected? Also nepotism and simony were more of a problem when the Church had great relative wealth and considerable civil power, so are unlikely to be issues today.

            Catholic marriage is in a crisis, and Amoris Laetitia is the latest ecclesial expression of this crisis … The marriage crisis would spread over the clergy as well. So if we suppose that most priests lead a bad celibate life, why would we think they’d do better in marriage?

            You should have led with this question, as it encapsulates your only point with any validity. Returning to a married clergy doesn’t solve every problem, and is not the only necessary reform. What it does do though is allow selection from a much larger pool, and one that has demonstrated relevant qualities, thus enabling a much better group of leaders. It also tends to select against some specific perversions that the clergy is prone to, as some aspects of the vocation can attract men with less masculine qualities.

          • Your opinion is essentially Protestant, not Catholic, because you have no reverence for the tradition of the Church. And as to St. Paul being not a bishop, he was more than a bishop and had authority over bishops, e.g. Titus. So if bishops must be married, as you say, then certainly St.Paul as a superior of bishops wasn’t giving them a good example.

            Your interpretation of St. Paul’s texts is so contrary to common sense that it is hardly worth an answer. By your interpretation that a bishop must be married, he would lose his office if his wife dies. By the logic of this interpretation he also must have believing children. When he has no children, or very young children, he cannot become a bishop. Is there a more risible and unscholarly interpretation possible? It is completely crazy. You are just “interpreting” St. Paul’s texts in a way to fit your own private opinion. Well, if you prefer your private opinion, why are you Catholic?

          • St. Paul was a bishop

            That’s an interesting point of view – what makes you think it’s true? Which see did he have, or where did he maintain administrative authority as opposed to an advisory role?

          • Yes, St. Paul was a priest. For that matter he was also a bishop. We know this
            because of his letters to Timothy, in which he said:


            I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the
            laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a
            spirit of power and love and self-control. Do not be ashamed then of
            testifying to our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the
            gospel in the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling,
            not in virtue of our works but in virtue of his own purpose and the grace which
            he gave us in Christ Jesus ages ago, and now has manifested through the
            appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and
            immortality to light through the gospel. For this gospel I was appointed a
            preacher and apostle and teacher, and therefore I suffer as I do. But I am
            not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am sure that he is able to
            guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me (2 Tim. 1:6-12, emphasis added).

          • So that still doesn’t answer the question. Presumably you’re referring to Timothy’s ordination, but that doesn’t demonstrate Paul as a bishop as opposed to an apostle.

            Again which see did he have, or where did he maintain administrative authority as opposed to an advisory role?

            Saying that Paul was a bishop because he exercised a power that they have doesn’t make the case, especially when he definitely did not fulfill other known elements of the role. Note also that Paul doesn’t describe himself as such in the verses you cite, even when describing himself as a preacher, teacher, and apostle.

          • As a bishop, an official representative of the Church received directly from God instructions to heal / ordain Paul by the laying on of hands.

            Yes, Paul ordained Timothy, and others. Scripture clearly calls St. Timothy an apostle, thereby attesting to his apostolic authority:

            “Paul, Silvanus [Silas], and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians… nor did we seek glory from men, whether from you or from others, though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ.” (1 Thess. 1:1, 2:6)

            It is not only St. Timothy who is called an apostle by Sacred Scripture, but also St. Barnabus, Apollos, and St. Titus:

            St. Titus
            “This is why I left you in Crete, that you might amend what was
            defective, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you.” (Tit.1:5)

            Therefore, because Paul was directly commission by Christ in his ministry to the gentiles he could claim that he too was an “Apostle” whose authority was equal to the “12” but just as with the “12” (with the exception of Matthias there was no “Ordination” or “Laying on Hands” but a direct commission from Christ Himself. However, it should be noted that Paul was not out doing his “own thing” and preaching a gospel different from everyone else. We see this especially in Paul’s letter to the Galatians Chapters 1 & 2 and in Acts 15 & 21 and with Paul’s emphasis that he was in fellowship (or communion – to use a term dear to Our Holy Father).
            I hope this answers your question.

          • St. Paul’s apostleship isn’t a point of contention here. You seem to be responding to an entirely different conversation, not defending your assertion that he was a bishop, so it’s difficult to reply.

          • It is quite obvious that Sacred Scripture is not good enough for you. It is quite obvious in Scripture that Paul ordained Titus. [Only bishops can ordain one to the clerical state]. Nor would the fact that when St. Paul’s tomb was found and probed by archaeologists they discovered the bones wrapped in the same purple linens as were St. Peter’s. Purple linen in the first century of the Church symbolized one who was extremely important.
            Perhaps someone else can answer your question to your liking.

          • Only bishops can ordain one to the clerical state

            This is true today, and we know that Christ invested the Apostles with the ability to ordain, however there is no evidence he required them to assume the other responsibilities of the episcopacy.

            Given that St. Paul didn’t claim to be a bishop even when describing himself, and didn’t act like one by taking on direct leadership and administrative responsibility, he almost certainly wasn’t one. You can speculate, but the Scriptural support isn’t there.

          • You can speculate, but Traditional support IS there. If you’re Catholic you should know that we believe in both Scripture and Tradition as equally important and authoritative sources of doctrine and discipline. If you’re not Catholic then you should know what we believe before arguing with us about Catholic matters.

          • “…We’re seeing the consequences of ignoring this now.

            What is being willfully ignored is the reasoning behind affirming a celibate priesthood.

    • The East was wrong on celibacy which is more properly called continence.

      Continence is of Apostolic Origins as documented by Fr Christini Cochini, “Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy” and the decretals of Pope Saint Siricius in 385 were not an innovation on discipline, they were documents developed and promulgated to remind all priests of their DUTY to be continent; that is, even if they were married they were not to have sex with their wives – at any time.

      This is recondite knowledge within a tiny minority of the traditional movement but you will never hear the truth about this by any Bishop.

    • To Al the Silent Crusader; you are wrong. Nowhere in the Golspel does it appear that Peter was married at the time of his discipleship. The only mention is about his mother in law, but it does not speak of his wife, an enven less so of any son or daughter. This suggest that possibly he might be a widower.
      Anyway, from the moment that he followed Jesus, he left behind wife, mother in law and everything to follow Christ.


      • Whether I am right or wrong, the bottom line is that this is a matter of Church discipline- not doctrine, dogma, or the Original Deposit of Faith. It is within the pope’s power of the keys to bind or unbind such disciplines or to make exceptions. Argue all you want. God Bless.

        • Receiving Holy Communion in the hand is a Church discipline and a
          very bad idea. The Church required celibacy because the discipline of married priests, probably was not working very well. I know a
          traditional married Catholic priest who knows it is simply too difficult
          and does not recommend it…..married priests is a very bad idea.

        • Don’t you think that there must have been a good reason as to why permanent deacons had not been allowed until about the time of the Council? Was the Church somehow deficient, before that, in her practice of the deaconate as only being a temporary step to the priesthood?

          • Deacons in the early Church certainly served a good purpose. Otherwise, the Apostles would not have laid hands on them, ordaining them to the ministry of the cup, and serving at the altar. I would not say the Church is in any way deficient. I am not sure why, historically, permanent deacons fell out of use. However, it is worth noting at this time in the U.S. that permanent deacons outnumber priests by 2 to 1. My question is: what exactly has that done for the Church? All I know is that the Church needs more priests. Again, my thoughts, for all their worth, is that if the Church allowed me, as a married man, to become a married priest, I would certainly go for it!

            Pope JPII must have had a good reason for the Anglican/Episcopalian Pastoral Provision which allowed converting Anglican/Episcopalian “priests” to Catholicism to be ordained as married Catholic priests. After all, he is now a saint. Was he right or wrong to allow these married men to become Catholic priests? Additionally, why is there a difference between the Eastern and Western Catholic Church?

            Married priests will NOT solve the shortage of priests. However, if the Holy See would allow such men to become priests, I am sure the Church would certainly benefit from it. For those concerned about whether or not a married priest could respond “in the middle of the night” to an emergency, let Rome put a restriction on them so that only celibate priests could become pastors of the parish. The married priests would serve as associate pastors.

            Just a few thoughts. God Bless.

          • Being a husband and a father yourself, you are the head of your family, and ultimately responsible for the faith being maintained in your family. I assume that you lead the family Rosary every evening, and that you are teaching your children to pray. The wife/mother in the family is a good person to teach religion, either directly, or by example, but she cannot take the place of a father and husband who is the prime example. If the father in a family strives for holiness, and encourages his wife and children to also do so every day, then you can be sure that at they will keep the Faith. However, if you have responsibilities in a parish, then you have to focus on the Faith formation of others, rather than your family.

    • Excuse me; you are mistaken on multiple levels. Celibacy is a charism. Chastity is a moral imperative. All of us are called to chastity; not all to celibacy.

      There is good evidence that Simon had no wife at the time he met Jesus.

      Ordination of married men in the Latin Rite would be a catastrophic decision and departure from ancient and even apostolic discipline. It would reduce priesthood to a profession, would inevitably introduce the evil of divorce as an immediate reality in clerical lives, and would compromise the priestly vocation by introducing demands of marriage and (natural) fatherhood. It would invite unending financial difficulties, temptations, scandals, and jealousies. It would create entire new categories of parish gossip. It will tempt bad priests to be worse, while good priests will be assailed by wave after wave of moral challenges compromise. And yes, Father will become even less available to the faithful.

      Insanely bad idea.

    • The intake for new Priests this year in Bordeaux was “zero”.

      Al, you experienced what many a good man experienced, I know that here in France there were very few Priests that would surrender to the deception that was actively being taught in the seminaries. This was approx 22 years ago and has most probably continued ever since.

      On the opposite side of the coin, We have many priests that need our help, they have been ejected from their vocations. If anyone has the time please look at and read through the stories about our Priests. The men that run help our Priests in all sorts of circumstances and many after going through the canon law process re-enter the Priesthood, however opusbono needs our Prayers and support to enable them to continue to help every Priest.

    • The Church can change this practice, but this is absolutely the wrong time to do it. And, venerable tradition should not be altered at one’s own opinion, even the Pope’s, because, as we have seen, he cannot understand what tradition even means. It may all be a part of the greater plan of re-fashioning Catholicism. Pastors of the Church should do everything they can to be in a state that yields the most grace and Our Lord Himself states that the life of the celibate is greater than the married life.

      Also, Pope St. Pius X (last truly Saintly Pope to be canonized) writes this about the Modernists:

      “The ecclesiastical authority must change its line of conduct in the social and political world; while keeping outside political and social organization, it must adapt itself to those which exist in order to penetrate them with its spirit. With regard to morals, they adopt the principle of the Americanists, that the active virtues are more important than the passive, both in the estimation in which they must be held and in the exercise of them. The clergy are asked to return to their ancient lowliness and poverty, and in their ideas and action to be guided by the principles of Modernism; and there are some who, echoing the teaching of their Protestant masters, would like the suppression of ecclesiastical celibacy. What is there left in the Church which is not to be reformed according to their principles?”

    • By saying it is not a dogma, you are limiting the importance of an Apostolic Tradition which the Church has always mainntained even against tremendous pressure. For instance, at the Council of Trent the Emperor pressured for celibacy to be ended, not to mention the gigantic struggle by Pope St. Gregory VII in the 11th century, as well as other epochs. Why this if it is not extremely important? As for the Eastern Chuch, see my previous comment on how they abandoned the original apostolic tradition and also one of the results of that was the fact that they don’t have daily Mass. I invite you to read Pope Paul VI’s encyclical on Priestly Celibacy of 1967, available on the Vatican website. I am saddened that many Catholics like you are unaware of the great importance of priestly celibacy and hold such opinions, mainly I think due to ignorance of its immense importance for the Church.

      • Thomas, thank you for the reply. I read Pope Paul VI’s encyclical on celibacy while in the major seminary years ago- required reading list. I am well aware of the Church’s teaching on celibacy as a discipline to which God does not necessarily give the charism to all men. I stand by my assessment. While celibacy and chastity remain two different things, they can and do go together with one another. My “opinion” is not merely an opinion. Nor is it dogma or doctrine. A discipline can change is the pope wants. I can agree to disagree. God bless!

  11. This step is to further undermine and destroy belief in the Holy Eucharist and the Church’s discipline.

    Celibacy has ALWAYS been valued. Since the time of Melchidezek who left no heirs. The priesthood always became more exclusive as time went on. From the first born sons as representatives (genetics)- to Aaron and the Levites (again genetics, but reduced to only 1 tribe) – to the Apostolic age (spiritual, not genetically). This is how the line of Order of Melchidezek continued. A fulfilment of prophecy, as he did by offerings of bread and wine.

    When David and his men, fleeing Saul took refuge in the Temple. They needed something to eat. There was only the CONSECRATED BREAD solely for the PRIESTS. The Priest allowed them to have it – PROVIDING THEY WERE OBSERVING A STATE OF CELIBACY. Being at war, they were indeed. A military discipline for military men – HINT HINT!

    The priests serving in the Temple observed RITUAL PURITY – which included Celibacy – before they were to perform their duties. The High Priest had to abstain from Sex to be RITUALLY PURE before entering the presence of the Tabernacle where the Ark of the Convenant containing the Law, Staff of Aaron and the MANNA were kept.


    CELIBACY is ritual discipline to ACKNOWLEDGE BELIEF in its Holiness! Sure the Priest also ritually washes his hands, but so did the Priests of the Temple in Jerusalem and they STILL Abstained when necessary before entering the Holy of Holies!

    The Church didn’t just invent this for no reason! Yes having Married Men initially was NECESSARY! But we have PROGRESSED now to understand the value of celibacy more fully!

    Only the Priest should TOUCH the EUCHARIST! Just as only a HUSBAND has rights to his Wife’s body and her to his! The significance of this relationship is maintained by the ordained Priesthood, serving in the Church who is Christ’s Bride!

    CELIBACY is therefore the norm! You will want men who understand this to serve the Lord on our behalf! You certainly don’t want the guy who wants SEX! You think Parish finances are bad? Wait till you have to put his children through college! Wait until his wife is running the show! God-fearing Women who know their faith will want none of this!

    This is ALL to attack the Eucharist and undermine the Theology, and further reinforce in the minds of the flock that everything is CHANGE / EVOLUTION / ETC.!

    Making concessions for Orthodox or Anglicans is one thing. To get rid of the NORM of Celibacy is another. Just look at the switcheroo between kneeling for communion or sticking out your hands and taking it for yourself! Soon discerning men who want to enter the priesthood in a celibate discipline will be turned away for being too radical for the new age they are ushering in. That’s how this will work! Look forward to the homosexual-infested seminaries to begin marrying each other in secret too. Don’t pretend that won’t happen!

      • You’re confused and thinking of the ritual laws for laypeople who were not priests.

        The Temple Worship and Tradition of the priesthood are the SAME. The only difference being that we now offer the true sacrifice and have greater insight.

        The Sacrifice of the Mass and the Priestly rituals are in CONTINUATION with what came before because what came before foreshadowed what was to come. So if anything it is MORE INCUMBENT on priests today to be MORE RITUALLY PURE before offering the Sacrifice. And as we went along GOd made the priesthood MORE EXCLUSIVE and RESTRICTIVE. This is why even the married priests of the Orthodox ALSO OBSERVE Abstinence from Sex for a time alongside intense Fasting etc. before they offer the Mass.

        People need to educate themselves on why Priests today do what they do. The Mass and the priesthood isn’t some random tossed together hodgepodge to suit the modern world’s tastes and lack of discipline. It certainly should change for the tastes of the most degenerate generation living today, especially when the Mother of God and Christ Himself have appeared in our time to saints weeping and angered over the sexual immorality of people and priests who do not observe their vows of chastity. The answer is for priests to obey those vows that please God. not get rid of the vows to make life ‘easier’ and undermine the faith and our understanding of the Mass and what is required of us to be pure to enter Heaven, which many fail to do due to sins of the flesh. A marriage certificate isn’t going to make it all better.

        • No, the OT priesthood has been replaced by the Christian priesthood (not the ministerial priesthood), which includes the Christian faithful.

          • You’re still confused. The Christian Priesthood (SPIRITUAL according to Melchidezek – no offspring) did replace the Levite priesthood (biological hereditary).

            But the purpose remains the same – SACRIFICE. OFFERING A PURE SACRIFICE.

            To be in the presence of PURITY also likewise requires PURITY, SIGNIFIED by RITUAL PURITY that is maintained just as the sacrifice does but in the complete fulfilled way.

            You too will have the opportunity to go to heaven. You need to be PURE to stand before the Glory of God. This entails PURGATORY. A CLENSING. Which the ritual discipline of the priest does because He is LITERALLY Holding God in his hands! This is why you also by discipline fast and go to Confession before receiving it.

          • Yes and the way to be morally pure is through DISCIPLINE and the ritual of the Sacraments God has provided with ritual and disciplinary actions. Then if necessary through purgation itself after death if you have deserved it. This is how you know you are doing what God has said by these outward signs. it is a result of action, not left to internal feelings which you cannot know until you stand before the Judge and he makes it known in its completeness.

          • It was an outward action to signify of moral purity. The Jews knew it then and we likewise understand it now and observe it in the same way. This is why Christ called out the Pharisees for observing ritual but not moral purity. Everyone understood what Christ meant. Because the significance was clear.

          • If you think I’m confused, back up what you’ve written with documents from the Latin Church to support your claims.

          • Here you go. You’re welcome.


            ARTICLE 6

            Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by
            Christ to his apostles CONTINUES to be exercised in the Church until the
            end of time: thus it is the sacrament of apostolic ministry. It
            includes three degrees: episcopate, presbyterate, and diaconate.

            The one priesthood of Christ

            Everything that the priesthood of the Old Covenant prefigured finds its
            fulfillment in Christ Jesus, the “one mediator between God and men.”15
            The Christian tradition considers Melchizedek, “priest of God Most
            High,” as a prefiguration of the priesthood of Christ, the unique “high
            priest after the order of Melchizedek”;16 “holy, blameless, unstained,”17 “by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified,”18 that is, by the unique sacrifice of the cross.

            The redemptive sacrifice of Christ is unique, accomplished once for
            all; yet it is made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Church.
            The same is true of the one priesthood of Christ; it is made present
            through the ministerial priesthood without diminishing the uniqueness of
            Christ’s priesthood: “Only Christ is the true priest, the others being
            only his ministers.”19

            The ministerial or hierarchical priesthood of bishops and priests, and
            the common priesthood of all the faithful participate, “each in its own
            proper way, in the one priesthood of Christ.” While being “ordered one
            to another,” they differ essentially.22 In what sense? While
            the common priesthood of the faithful is exercised by the unfolding of
            baptismal grace –a life of faith, hope, and charity, a life according
            to the Spirit–, the ministerial priesthood is at the service of the
            common priesthood. It is directed at the unfolding of the baptismal
            grace of all Christians. The ministerial priesthood is a means by
            which Christ unceasingly builds up and leads his Church. For this
            reason it is transmitted by its own sacrament, the sacrament of Holy

          • Yes it does. Go read some more of it, and plenty of commentaries and books exist tracing the rituals all the way from Adam to the Levites to Christ and the Church. Particularly in the Sacraments. This is also why as the topic we are discussing observes the fact that CELIBACY is a part of the priesthood that God Himself has directly desired. Including in the ritual of the Mass itself where the priest WASHES himself before offering the sacrifice. The Levite priests Abstained from Sex. The married priests abstained from sex. And likewise the Latin rite priests abstain from sex to a greater extent because they must offer the Mass EVERYDAY. Concessions are made in certain cases like the Anglican ordinariate. But these are EXCEPTIONS tot he rule. You do not make exceptions into the rule. This destroys the discipline and the ritual and thus the theology surrounding it which is tied to it.

          • WRONG!

            The Christian laypeople DO NOT participate in the Mass the same way as the role of the Priest.

            You are NOT a priest. You are not Ordained. You are present but the PRIEST intercedes for you on your behalf. The priest is set apart from you. To say otherwise is heresy.

            You need to study more. What you said is a common error on the part of those who have not been taught Tradition and further reinforced in error by the actions of the Novus Ordo Mass which generally creates confusion as to the roles of the priest and the layperson.

          • What you said –

            “All Christian faithful participate in the priesthood of Christ.”

            Should’ve made yourself clear then.

          • You have helped highlight a problem many have with Lumen Gentium and much of Vatican II. The documents and statements are too vague and easily lead to error and misunderstanding. The Church must be clear. Not vague. The distinction must be made both in its statements and also in its ritual, hence why many prefer the Traditional Latin Mass to the problematic Novus Ordo Mass. particularly where the separation of the laity and teh altar is concerned, an observance that is maintained from the Levite priesthood and the Temple where only the high Priest and no layperson could enter the holy of Holies and there was strict separation of the common people from the priests.

          • The physical and architectural separation between the altar and the nave is later than you suppose and may be due to increased clericalism. The participation of all the Christian faithful in the priesthood of Christ is an apostolic and patristic teaching.

          • I can’t read your mind. You should’ve been clear. This is why what you do outwardly should reflect what you do inwardly. Hence the importance of ritual.

          • No you were vague and coupling it with the fact that all along you are trying to deny the traditional rituals of the Church and are ignorant about the continuation of the priesthood from the Old testament into the New Testament which maintains the bread, wine water, ritual washing, laying of hands and celibacy disciplines, one can easily see that your knowledge of the subject is inadequate, yet you are trying to be obstinate about it. Given that you are now clearly antagonistic and simply making replies where we are going around in a circle, there is no further need for me continue. you know how to use the internet, so you know where to look for answers, which should be obvious any time you attend a mass and see the priest’s actions right in front of you alongside the fact that the Latin rite requires celibate priests for centuries as the norm and was the overwhelming norm in the lives of the saints. At least such things are still noticeable for the time being until further innovators continue to destroy the Mass by destroying the priesthood and undermining its meanings in the eyes of the common man. Make certain you are not a party with them.

          • That is incorrect. The Church continues to observe ritual purification right down to the sacrament of Baptism and the use of holy water. So too is the Priesthood carried on in the NT. The rituals are maintained but with new and greater significance.

          • Everything I’ve said is correct. The rituals of the temple worship and the priesthood are continued under their fulfilled form. The ritual purification is a call to remind us of our moral purification. This is why all of these things are maintained today.

          • How about you try attending Mass and see for yourself. Watch what a priest does, even in the Novus Ordo. Then ask yourself why he does those things, particularly the ritual washing. Because the Church maintained it. Unless you are claiming they simply made this up out of thin air for no reason.

          • A non-answer. Like many other actions by the priest and servers, the ritual washing originally had a practical purpose.

            No longer engaging in a discussion with you since you’re not opening to reconsidering your reactionary viewpoint.

  12. It should be noted that there are, right now, married Catholic priests present in the United States.

    There are just over 38,000 diocesan and religious-order priests in the United States, of whom we can note:
    a)18 Eastern Catholic eparchies and archeparchies include a small number of married priests, the Eastern tradition on priestly celibacy being somewhat different;
    b) the 1983 Pastoral Provision for the reception of certain Anglican ministers (subsequenyly expanded to selected other mainline Protestant ministers) converting to Catholicism, most of whom are married – there are about 100 Pastoral Provision priests in the US at present;
    c) the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, an ecclesial structure erected for the reception of converting communities of Anglicans, which numbers, at last, count 62 priests, of which all but a handful are married.

    All of which are, of course, bound by vows not to remarry if their wives pre-decease them.

    So it’s important to understand that we already have married priests among us – there just are not very many of them.

    And yet, make no mistake: none of these present structures and permissions really alter the reality that the Latin Rite Church holds to the practice of a continent priesthood. What is being rumored here *would* change that reality – and that is no small matter.

    • “And yet, make no mistake: none of these present structures and
      permissions really alter the reality that the Latin Rite Church holds to
      the practice of a continent priesthood.”

      Only since the year 1139 did the Second Lateran Council decree mandatory celibacy for those entering the priesthood…and ONLY for the Roman (West) rite of the Church. The Eastern rite Catholic Churches maintain the constant option of ordaining married men.

      And until the Second Lateran Council, optional celibacy for those entering the priesthood remained UNIVERSAL.

  13. First of all, I apologize in advance if anything I say upsets anyone but quite frankly… the truth hurts.

    This is my opinion:. If the Roman Catholic Church wants to have a married clergy, then they should adopt in toto ALL the rules and regulations that married Eastern Catholic priests and deacons observe. Otherwise, DON’T DO IT. Period.

    This is from Christ With Us by Bishop (later Metropolitan) Ambrose Senyshyn:

    “The priest who desires to administer the Divine Mystery should first of all be reconciled with all and not hold anything against anybody and by all means keep from his heart bad thoughts. ***From the night before he must abstain and keep the fast*** until the time of celebration and by prayers prepare himself for the Sacrifice.”

    ***emphasis added

    What this means is that a married priest must not only fast from food and drink but also from the marriage act.

    If a man wants to become an Eastern priest, he must FIRST ask the permission of his wife. If she says NO, that’s it – the Bishop will not accept him.

    True story: When my pastor was in the seminary, a lady with 5 children came to the seminary and asked to see the Bishop. Why? “Bishop, I want my husband back.”. Upon investigation, the man had to leave the seminary.

    If the wife of a married priest dies, he CANNOT remarry (cf. Ephesians 5).

    There are a lot more restrictions on married priests than celibate priests.

    My pastor is a married Ukrainian Greek Catholic priest. He could tell you all the rules he and Pani have to follow.

    So don’t think that a married priesthood will solve anything. We have our Tradition and the Latin Church has its own Tradition. Be faithful to your own Tradition.

  14. As I was raised in a decidedly “Spirit of VII” atmosphere, I honestly had no idea as to how to respond to the idea of married priests. However, my instinct was to say no, and even more, no way. I read all of the responses here and tried to reconcile my instincts with your arguments for such a change.

    In the end, I sought knowledge on the subject from this great talk on
    The Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy:

    This is on the Sensus Fidelium channel of Youtube. The sermons, missions, and talks are from traditional priests and laymen.

    If you are open to the idea of married priests, please, I urge you to listen to the history of celibacy and the lies that opened the door to married priests. It is fascinating and it will change your mind. (Hopefully)

    If you are against it, I urge you to listen to understand why. All of the arguments for married priests are rebutted in depth from the words of Christ, St. Paul, apostolic tradition, and good old history.


  15. Since homosexual priests will still not be allowed to marry, might married heterosexual priests dilute the homosexuals’ numbers or influence?

  16. Not sure I hate the idea of married priests. Having been married for almost twenty years and raised a family, I know there are many things that a married man has a unique perspective on, one that a celibate man simply could not know. There are delicate and involved moral issues that come up within a marriage relationship that someone who has never been married simply could not understand as well as could someone who has been married. I’ve experienced, in sacramental confession, spiritual and moral advice from [never married] priests that was simply unrealistic and unhelpful because they could not comprehend the intricacies of the situation. No fault of their own: they had never been married. And I’ve experienced the opposite too: where previously married priests gave very helpful, marriage-specific advice because they could, precisely, understand exactly what I was referring to within the context of a long-term married relationship.

    Women priests [or deacons]? Obviously Never. Homosexual anything? Obviously Never. But married priests? Could be a benefit to the Church. Would have to pray on it more to make a final decision.

    • Priests can help with untangling spiritual and moral problems, but they are not marriage counselors. And most priests actually grew up in families and were not found under toadstools. So they already know a thing or two about family life.

      • Inane reply. I never suggested priests needed to be marriage counselors. It is precisely their spiritual and moral advice that is lacking in regard to marriage-related issues, as I said, not their opinion on the need for “better communication”. In my experience, even with all the good will in the world, even otherwise holy priests do not have the life experience as a married person to be able to understand the intricacies of many questions and moral judgments that can come up in any healthy married relationship.

        And knowing “a thing or two about family” sounds nice. Until the actual question you’re asking them is not included in that “thing or two” they know. And I believe that was my point to begin with: there are things that “never married” priests cannot understand simply because they have… never been married. Sometimes they just don’t ‘get it’. Period.

        And “they grew up in a family”. Great. how does that answer anything?And?? There can still be many things that their celibate vocation leaves them in the dark about. And, again…errr…that was my point.

  17. One question on the subject, to which I should like an answer if possible. What does the wife do while her husband undergoes six or seven years of seminary formation? Do she and her husband live apart for most of the year during this time? How is she financially supported, especially if there are children already?

  18. My husband is a Romanian Byzantine Catholic priest, so I have ‘no dog in this fight’ as we have a different code of canon law (we are a sui juris church in communion with Rome)- but may I make one suggestion for the Roman-rite celibate clergy? Celibacy should equal a monastic sensibility with vows (or promises- if the man is a secular priest) of poverty, chastity and obedience. ‘Celibacy’ is simply the lack of marriage- it can be positive or negative- ‘chastity’ is a virtue that we are all called to and the celibate priest should be always striving for this virtue- perhaps more than any other kind of no unchaste computer activity- no suggestive films- regular confession to a trusted confessor- no friendships that could lead to unchaste thoughts or activities, etc. A celibate priest should also be ‘poor’- supposedly, he is unmarried for the sake of the kingdom- why does he have the time and money to own a small plane? It is not ‘liberal’ for Pope Francis to warn priests away from the newest car when the parishioners have ‘junkers.’- yes, a priest needs a reliable car… but not the newest and most luxurious. And then there is obedience. Celibate parish priests- be obedient to your bishop and Pope. Be obedient to your promises as priest. Follow the Mass rubrics, pray your office, be 100% respectful of the parish’s money, etc, etc….

  19. I don’t trust this Pope, he listens to a lot of liberals. Even though it is a dicipline having a wife and kids could make it harder for them to either give proper time to family or church. And who financial supports the family?. God help us!

    • it really depends on the priest- if he ‘gives time’ to the people…. and I don’t know any married priest in my rite that gets a housekeeper, cook, gardener, car allowance, etc…. but I guess it would work differently in Roman rite

      • A priest who makes time for his people the way they need will not have time for the legitimate needs of his own wife and children. Someone will have to lose, and I doubt he will routinely choose as loser the faces he goes home to see every night.

  20. REMINDER: Married priests means married homosexual priests, perhaps not immediately, but very soon. For the same reason, too. You know? Mercy.

    Mother Mercy’s a rambunctious lass.

  21. This may be a discipline, but it does seem to be one more fairly radical change. This isn’t the tradition of the Latin Rite … and maybe not a good fit for American culture. Maybe other parts of the world will/do have great success with this, but as Margaret commented below, there are lots of restrictions that go with it. (Maybe those will “change” too, who knows.) My sister is married to a Presbyterian minister. Perhaps it’s a different kettle of fish altogether- however there are similarities. It isn’t just the pastor who is pastoring, or being held up as the role model. It is both of them. And their kids. (And sorry to say, but my sister is the antithesis to a humble, docile, wife …. true, full-blown feminist. We know who “wears the pants” in that family.) I have always admired the clergy. Set apart. Not hindered with the daily tasks that consume our attention – wiping faces and bottoms, planning and cooking, and disciplining – yes…. these things can be a prayer, but a distracted sort. You would not expect your General to peel potatoes and cook the meals for the soldiers. That is accomplished by those lower in rank. The strategizing, and planning, and readying the troupes for battle should be the General’s main concern. As a married mom of 10, and knowing my husband now for 27 years, it would certainly be a “super” man who could juggle all the physical, emotional, and spiritual requirements that a wife and family AND a parish would demand.

  22. If we are to have a conversation about a married priesthood, should we not also have a similar conversation about the likelihood of a married same-sex priesthood? The fact that our seminaries have been churning out such men for over half a century cannot be ignored & it is possibly with this in mind that PF & his cronies are actively considering breaking with such a long held tradition of celibacy. They have, after all, succeeded in splintering the rule on being in a state of grace to receive Holy Communion, downgraded Holy Matrimony giving as much relevance to cohabitation (both heterosexual & homosexual), introduced explicit, even pornographic, sex ed to young children contrary to their parents wishes, while at the same time not catechising them in the True Faith, which should be their priority.

    By embracing a married clergy would there be any prospect of getting the return of TLM, all seven sacraments, fully functioning Catholic schools, colleges, universities, hospitals? Will married priests answer night calls, visit hospitals & those confined at home? And what about the ongoing problem of Deaconettes which suggest an opening for Lesbian women & again, probably, a married LGBT ministry of some sort?

    It seems this crowd want to do away with Christ’s Church on earth – it cannot be improved as no-one can better the Master – but it can be demolished to such a degree that there will be very few remaining adherents.

    • Personally, I see a married priesthood as the *only* viable way of breaking the homosexual monopoly on the priesthood. Perhaps the option of a married priesthood will encourage some heterosexual men to pursue a vocation and turn the tide.

      But I’m open to other ideas—however, nothing else tried so far has been even remotely successful.

      • What about Bishop Gene Robinson, the Episcopalian that divided the Anglican communion when he came out as gay, married & divorced his husband four years later? There is bound to be similar waiting in the wings if a married clergy is allowed. The LGBT brigade will latch on to it as they have in the civil law to the detriment of the meaning of marriage. Better formation in our seminaries & rigid selection,i.e. anyone displaying a tendency towards homosexuality should be turned down for ordination.
        Maybe a more communal life for diocesan seminarians wold be a help in their ability to understand the many marital problems people face in to-day’s society. From what I can see the Diocese of Malaga is now sending out young seminarians to parishes where they assist the priest at Holy Mass (the older ones actually pouring the wine & water into the chalice & placing the Host on the patten for the priest to consecrate) & are acquiring some first hand knowledge in the daily life of a diocesan priest. If they can infiltrate the lives of young cohabitants & get to know why they are opting out, it might be a good way to help getting them back on track & supporting them in making the necessary commitment to married life for the sake of their children as well as their own spiritual well-being.

        • I agree with strict entry requirements, which we actually already have in place by the way, but they will never be enforced because homosexuals oversee the seminary admissions process–it’s a vicious cycle that needs to be broken somehow.

          Seminarians already do internships at parishes in the U.S. I’m surprised you’ve never had one at your parish.

          • Our seminaries need to cleared of any homosexual influence – out with the old & in with the new, immediately.

            The seminarian internships were only introduced here last year & continue this year with more young men being sent around the various parishes. I think it is a good idea as it got rid of the female readers etc. One bossy old woman who used to bring the consecrated hosts from the tabernacle to the altar (a distance) has been made redundant & I haven’t seen her in attendance since.

  23. It is not apparent to me that having married priests in the Roman rite will resolve the crisis of masculinity and male leadership in the Latin churches. In some ways it could perpetuate the problem as married men who cannot even function as head in their own families could then hold themselves up as examples for the faithful to emulate. Catholic feminism and all that nonsense…

    • Marriage alone doesn’t solve the problem, which is obviously why St. Paul was explicit that not only should bishops be married men, but ones who have proven themselves to be strong patriarchs.

      • Yes, this underlying question of feminism needs to be resolved by the Latin churches first. I don’t see Pope Francis doing much to counter less-radical Catholic feminism.

  24. The SSPX, even the FSSP (average age 35), are overwhelmed with vocations. There was little problem before the V2 which has seen a 90% drop in seminarians, a 60% drop in priests (and those who remain are often aged and well past retirement age). It should also be noted that Greek Rite Catholics and the schismatic Orthodox do not have married bishops, only monks become bishops. It won’t help the Ecumenism Pope Francis so treasures.

    • Novos ordo is dying, wonder what the apologists of V2 (yes including this website but usually anyone associated with Franciscan U) will do when it finally kicks the bucket?

  25. They have gone too far. I have long loved my Catholic faith, tried to bring my son up to be a good Catholic, and have sincerely tried to live out that faith, failing, succeeding, but always having the Catholic faith as my foundation. However, these innovators are destroying the Church I once loved and trusted. Every day there is a new outrage, as we see mere men tear apart Our Mother, piece by piece. These Modernists are devils. I will spare my heart more pain, by seriously considering whether I can be part of this any longer.

  26. I fully agree with Cardinal Brandmuller’s position and this has been exahaustively demonstrated by French Jesuit Fr. Cochini, in a very important work called The Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy, which I understand is in English in Ignatius Press. There are many other studies, in fact a whole body of sound historicla and theological research on the matter. I see no way that this can simply be ignored or brushed under the carpet. As for the Orthodox, they abandoned the universal tradition in a synod called In Trullo or Quinisexto, held in Constnatinople in 691/692, which was very anti-Roman and never approved by any Pope. They misinterpeted a text by a Council of Carthage of 393, as one of their arguments. However, by maintaining celibacy for bishops, they did not totally abandon the apostolic tradition.
    As for the viri propati argument of ordaining married men with no academic training, it is off the wall. It doesn’t respond to a real analysis. Firstly, it would be possible to ordain such men, but they and their wives would have to commit themselves to perfect continence, as in fact, permanent deacons should do right now. However, that would involve introducing a second class theologically uneducated clergy. Besides, a whole lot of practical considerations argue against it. There is no evidence that such a move would help solve the vocation problem, as Protestants have a similar problem. How does Cardinal Hummes think that a Church in a Third World place like Amazonia could pay priests who also have a family? I have lived in South America and priests who work in poor areas have to work by teaching or doing some other job in order to survive. I was professor in a seminary in Peru and one of my former students, now a priest, has to teach in a school or do accounts for some business in order to be able to keep body and soul togehter. What would be do if he had to feed wife and children.


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