Married priests: a "temporary aberration"

Married priests: a "temporary aberration" May 4, 2011

That, according to at least one high-ranking Vatican official:

Married priests will be only a temporary aberration within the Anglican Ordinariate, says Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s secretary of state.

Speaking in an interview in the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore  Romano, and in recently published extracts from his forthcoming book, A Great Heart: Homage to John Paul II, Bertone said that although already married Anglican priests will be acceptable under the ordinariate, “the enduring value of celibacy will be reaffirmed, necessitating that for the future, unmarried priests will be the norm in such ordinariates.” Until then, the procedures developed by Pope John Paul II for the reception of already married Anglican clergy will apply.

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50 responses to “Married priests: a "temporary aberration"”

  1. Dear Deacon Greg,

    A “temporary aberration”, indeed!

    Once again, Cardinal Bertone speaks without thinking. Let’s not consider more than a millennium of history, and of course, we have those “apparently aberrant” Eastern Catholics to consider as well, with their thousands of wonderfully faithful — and married — presbyters and deacons.

    God bless,

    Deacon Bill

  2. Dcn. Bill …

    And I’m sure all those married Anglicans flocking Rome-ward are heartened to be considered “aberrations” — sort of like being double-jointed or lacking opposable thumbs …

    Dcn. G.

  3. Greetings:
    I write this as one who stands outside of the Roman Catholic Church. My faith is expressed within a mainline protestant denomination where we have married clergy (I am one myself, and so is my spouse).
    The heading of this blog post suggests to me, and my reading, that the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church has no intention of considering, or even hearing the stories, and experiences of married priests. What a shame that would be. There is something valuable in learning from diverse expressions in ministry.

  4. Does Cardinal Bertone know his Church history or the experience of the Eastern Churches?

  5. This happens all the time with literal translations. Cardinal Bertone probably used the Italian word, aberrazione, which could be translated into English as departure from a norm.

  6. The Anglican Ordinariate is part of the Latin Rite. Cardinal Bertone is ordained in the Latin Rite, and is talking about the Latin Rite. Married priests are considered a pastoral exception in the Latin Rite, and that’s no news at all.

    Sheesh. Nothing like bad reporting breeding bad reactions.

  7. So this sets up a weird set of incentives…

    Young man, raised from birth in the Anglican Ordinariate.


    Husband (but not wife) depart for the Anglican Communion.

    Husband is ordained an Anglican priest.

    Married Anglican priest converts (reverts) to Catholicism.

    Married Anglican priest is ordained a Catholic priest.

  8. HMS, Exactly my thought.

    Steven, In all charity, the statement of a single hierarch should not be taken to represent the intentions of “the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church.”

  9. I don’t understand the thin-skinned responses here. Seriously, celibacy has been the *strongly* preferred norm since apostolic times. Even the Eastern practice of married priests was a concession allowed by Rome following the non-dogmatic canons of the Council in Trullo (692 in Constantinople), neither a papally approved nor mandated Council.

    Since then, Rome has always referred to the Eastern discipline in respectful terms so as not to further weaken the lack of unity on the question. Above all, Rome has carefully avoided suggesting that the Eastern practice is of equal value with the apostolic tradition of clerical celibacy preserved by Rome. It is not, nor is it, I admit, politically correct to say so. But priestly celibacy has been robustly supported many many times over (Council of Elvira, 305 A.D.; Council of Arles, 314; Council of Nicaea, 325).

    I could go on, but if we fast forward to 1994, we see the big picture: In the “Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests,” issued by the Congregation for the Clergy, section 59 cites several of the early councils which mandated continence for married as well as unmarried clergy. It added that “the Church, *from apostolic times,* has wished to conserve the gift of perpetual continence of the clergy and choose the candidates for Holy Orders from among the celibate faithful (cf. 2 Thess. 2:15; 1 Cor. 7:5, 9:5; 1 Tim. 3:2-12, 5:9; Tit. 1:6-8).” Emphasis mine.

    Trullo was a radical departure from the tradition, a tradition that is rooted in the example of Jesus Christ, St. Paul, and in the New Testament witness to what Pope Paul VI called an “inestimable gift to the Church.” It is exceedingly unlikely to ever be modified, even though it is technically a “discipline” and not dogma.

    To call the allowance of Anglican married clergy an “aberration” is stating the obvious. His Eminence gave that interview in Italian, two likely equivalents of which are aberrazione or anomalia. Yet critics of the Cardinal (and of the Catholic tradition of celibacy) here are pretty certain he meant it pejoratively. But that doesn’t follow. Statistically and historically, married priests represent a rupture in the firm and constant apostolic praxis. Period. This is not to say that married priests in the Catholic Church today are personally “aberrations” or anything less than fine, hard-working and holy ambassadors for Christ. Obviously (?).

  10. Maureen,
    What’s the bad reporting. According to the quote, the married priests will be allowed, but going forward only celibate men will be ordained in the future. It is a temporary allowance, according to the Cardinal.
    The East has had a married and celibate clergy for two millenium, and the west had a married clergy in the early Church as well.

    One doesn’t need to affirm the gift of a celibate clergy by not allowing a married clergy. The east has recognized a both-and approach for a long time, instead of an either-or.
    Both married and celibate clergy are a gift to the Church.

    Since Blessed JPII affirmed that the Church must breathe with both lungs, we must therefore affirm the gift that a married clergy brings to the Church.

    there’s a reason why there are so many married Catholic deacons. They recognize the gift of both vocations.

  11. Maureen,

    I totally agree with you. In fact, St. Paul makes it clear that this is a superior (objectively, not subjectively) way of serving the Lord. The celibacy of the priesthood was always something that added to its attractiveness for me and various male friends of mine.

    Dan S, etc.,

    I don’t think calling something less than ideal (which is what the married priesthood is) an aberration (or, as someone stated above, something other than the norm) is a bad thing. Priests are called to be alter Christus, and so have the Church as their bride. Again, St. Paul encourages the celibate priesthood/life for those who are able. Finally, the fact that the West has had so many more vocations to the priesthood and yet has stuck with the celibate priesthood is something to take into consideration. And the celibate priesthood is a lot older than you might think … going back into the beginning. You can read about the history here:

  12. “Since Blessed JPII affirmed that the Church must breathe with both lungs, we must therefore affirm the gift that a married clergy brings to the Church.”???????

    So…. Since Blessed JPII affirmed that the Church must breathe with both lungs, we must therefore affirm the gift that a FEMALE clergy brings to the Church?

    I don’t think either is what he meant by “both lungs”….

  13. The quote could have been taken out of context. The context of what was being discussed could have been clear to imply he was talking about contemporary, western rite Roman Catholicism. Or he could have meant to say it but chose words poorly. I think we understand what he meant.

  14. 1º of all, the term and his comments are simply unacceptable, uncharitable and of course, unchristian. The Church has released a document called “Complementary Norms for Anglicanorum coetibus” that says in the future, married men that belong to the ordinariate will be able to join the priesthood, honoring the long tradition of ordaining married men in the Anglican Church. That is part of their patrimony. So cardinal, unless you wanna treat them as second-class citizens and destroy their patrimony just like you did with our eastern siblings, you HAVE to honor their patrimony. The Pope says you have to

  15. The idea of celibacy has been around since St. Paul fostered it because he thought the second coming of Christ was to be in his lifetime so getting married was not too important if the parousia was to quickly happen. Paul was mistaken, However, we are still waiting for the second coming. It was normal for priests to be married and in spite of many calls for celibacy, the married priesthood continued in both the East and the West. There were 39 married popes and most of the early Patriarchs of Constantinople, Antioch and Alexandria, etc, were married. The Church got serious about celibacy in the 12th Century when it sold the wives and children of married priests into slavery. But married priests continued to exist even during the Reformation when Roman bishops fined the priest for his marriage and for each of his children. In one diocese in Germany there were 1,200 children of married priests. It was a way for the diocese to supprort itself. Hierarchical corruption was not unknown. Whether celibacy has been called for by Councils or approved by Rome, it does not make it ethical or right to require celibacy as a job requirement for the priesthood — and that is what it is in the Roman Rite.

    It is time to end mandated celibacy.

    Bertone will not be papabile because he too often puts his foot in his mouth.

  16. Every Christian is called to be alter Christus and that phrase has been usurped by writers and preachers to seemingly only refer to priests. That is a wrong application. Its misuse robs all the baptized of their true heritage. Every Christian is an alter Christus.

    There were no priests in the early apostolic times. Yes, there were apsotles and disciples, but there was equality among them. The Priestly character of the church applies to all her members. By baptism all members of the church are set apart in a royal priesthood. The New Testament and the early church recognized no clerical class distinct from the rest of the baptized.

    St. Paul’s recommendation about celibacy was for everyone and it did not refer to deacons, priests or bishops specifically because those terms and levels of hierarchy had not solidified.

    There were deacons and bishops. The bishop was the sacramental leader, the deacon was the administrator. The priest at first was a position of teaching and spiritual direction. Only later when the bishop was too far away from the people were priests commissioned to bring the Eucharist to the outlaying areas. Priests at first were guidance counselors/teachers and not the ones who offered the Eucharist. The whole idea of the priesthood is a later construction.

  17. I suppose married Anglican ministers being ordained to the Anglican Ordinariate will, as the cardinal said, be an aberration (or anomaly, or some sort of temporary accommodation) since the AO is part of the Latin Rite?

    Benedict XVI has said the present day problems with the clergy are due to a “lack of fidelity to Christ.”

    This is the root of my concern about the “discipline” of celibacy in the Latin Rite priestly orders – because it is not faithful to the example given us by the 2nd person of God, the living Word of God, with no aspect of His life being accidental, but for our instruction. If celibacy was the “required discipline”, then why did He choose married men among the 12? If a bishop is to be required to be celibate, then why did Christ Jesus commission Peter (a married man) who denied Him 3 times instead of John who did not deny Him and was not married?

    I have read a lot of church history, especially about this matter. None of the reasons given for the exclusion of the ordination of married men that I have seen rise to the level of reversing the Savior’s teaching by example in the men He chose and commissioned.

    That said, I completely agree that those in the valid line of apostolic succession have been given, by Christ’s initial commission, authority in this matter. I also believe that Christ rules them and through them and that if and when He wants this “discipline” changed – it will change.

  18. Oh brother…let’s hope this guy isn’t in line as a papabile. Of course if one reads Genesis in the same light as one does for Theology of the Body then one must conclude that single persons are indeed an abberation from the norm, a disorder from God’s plan for the human race.

  19. Chris,

    Wrong analogy.

    The East has always had a married clergy. They have never had women priests. Both lungs refers to the traditional practice of both lungs of the Church.

    Since neither “lung” has ever had women priests, your comparison makes little sense.

    I have no problems with celibacy being the practice of the West. What I see is an inference that celibacy somehow makes priests better. Since it is the tradition of the Church, from Apostolic times to have a married clergy, as witnessed to by the East (and West in the very beginning too), the married priesthood is just as valid an expression of alter Christus as a celibate one.

    Eastern married Priests are no less because they are married. I agree that we should cherish the celibate priesthood. I would also affirm that it’s high time for the West to start seeing and affirming the Eastern Traditions as having equal weight, authority, and legitimacy.

  20. MBd,

    Well said. The problem is that there is a tendency in Rome to Latinize everything, making it in confomity with Latin practice.

    They did this with the Ukrainians and Ruthenians too. It is time to let Churches be Churches and get rid of the idea that unity of faith means unity of praxis for the different traditions.

  21. Who can say that in 50 or 100 years there will not be married priests in the Roman Catholic Church?

  22. I see the wisdom in the Roman Catholic practice of celibate clergy because I think St. Paul was not merely a culturally-conditioned journalist. I think he had real insight and wisdom from God, and I would rather question my own interpretations of St. Paul than to suggest that he had erred. I could believe in biblical inerrancy as defined by papal encyclicals, papal infallibility as defined by ecumenical councils, and Church authority as delegated by Jesus to His apostles and their successors. On the other hand, St. Peter was married, and the divine directives in such matters are liable to change under the guidance of the Holy Spirit according to the circumstances in which the Church exists. Does this mean circumstance is absolute? On the contrary: it means God’s will is absolute, and historical circumstances must adapt to the fulfillment of His purpose.

  23. @HMS..and @Maureen: Thanks for your perfectly logical…and I might further add, far more charitible
    explanation for this very obvious attack on our Vatican
    hierarchy. No utterance from there is beyond obfuscation
    at this website! Sad to say!

  24. Dear “Thirst for Truth,”

    The “Vatican hierarchy” is not above criticism, and to criticize it is not an act of dissension from Church teaching. It is a perfectly human organization, and just as people can (and should) assess the effectiveness of their own diocesan staffs, so too should the “Vatican hierarchy” be assessed.

    Historically, the Churches of the Catholic Church (East and West) existed just fine for a millennium without an extravagant “Roman curia” and even Pope John Paul II asked bishops and theologians to discuss, debate and suggest ways in which the Petrine ministry and the Roman curia might be restructured to more effectively deal with the pastoral challenges of the age.

    God bless,

    Deacon Bill

  25. It is obvious that the above referenced commentors do not understand whT the Holy Priesthood is, nor do they understand the difference between the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglecan, may I say “ruptered Anglican Church?”
    As a married convert to the Roman Catholic Church, a faithful husband, father, and grandfather, I can state with certainty that no married man can serve in the Church Christ instituted and be a successful married man.
    As an Evangelical Christian, I saw many, many married ministers and families as splintered as our denominations are. Why? Because the duties of a pastor, and the duties of a husband and family man demand the total attention and dedication of the “spiritual head” of both the congregation in the caase of the priest and of the wife in the case of a husband and father.
    I am not surprised to read the self centered comments of the aforementioned commentors of this subject. It is the state of Christendom in the Post-Modern world.

  26. If the Anglican priests who sought unity with Rome do not appreciate the position which has kept the Holy Roman Catholic Church in tact for some two-thousand years, let them go back to thier lesbian priests and homosexual bishops.

  27. On celibacy…
    Matt. 19:11-12 – Jesus says celibacy is a gift from God and whoever can bear it should bear it. Jesus praises and recommends celibacy for full-time ministers in the Church. Because celibacy is a gift from God, those who criticize the Church’s practice of celibacy are criticizing God and this wonderful gift He bestows on His chosen ones.
    Matt. 19:29 – Jesus says that whoever gives up children for the sake of His name will receive a hundred times more and will inherit eternal life. Jesus praises celibacy when it is done for the sake of His kingdom.
    Matt. 22:30 – Jesus explains that in heaven there are no marriages. To bring about Jesus’ kingdom on earth, priests live the heavenly consecration to God by not taking a wife in marriage. This way, priests are able to focus exclusively on the spiritual family, and not have any additional pressures of the biological family (which is for the vocation of marriage). This also makes it easier for priests to be transferred to different parishes where they are most needed without having to worry about the impact of their transfer on wife and children.
    1 Cor 7:1 Paul teaches that it is well for a man not to touch a woman. This is the choice that the Catholic priests of the Roman rite freely make.
    1 Cor. 7:7 – Paul also acknowledges that celibacy is a gift from God and wishes that all were celibate like he is.
    1 Cor. 7:27 Paul teaches men that they should not seek marriage. In Paul’s opinion, marriage introduces worldly temptations that can interfere with one’s relationship with God, specifically regarding those who will become full-time ministers in the Church.
    1 Cor. 7:32-33, 38 – Paul recommends celibacy for full-time ministers in the Church so that they are able to focus entirely upon God and building up His kingdom. He who refrains from marriage will do better.
    1 Tim. 3:2 – Paul instructs that bishops must be married only once. Many Protestants use this verse to prove that the Church’s celibacy law is in error. But they are mistaken because this verse refers to bishops that were widowers. Paul is instructing that these widowers could not remarry. The verse also refers to those bishops who were currently married. They also could not remarry (in the Catholic Church’s Eastern rite, priests are allowed to marry; celibacy is only a disciplinary rule for the clergy of the Roman rite). Therefore, this text has nothing to do with imposing a marriage requirement on becoming a bishop.
    1 Tim. 4:3 – in this verse, Paul refers to deceitful doctrines that forbid marriage. Many non-Catholics also use this verse to impugn the Church’s practice of celibacy. This is entirely misguided because the Catholic Church (unlike many Protestant churches) exalts marriage to a sacrament. In fact, marriage is elevated to a sacrament, but consecrated virginity is not. The Church declares marriage sacred, covenantal and lifegiving. Paul is referring to doctrines that forbid marriage and other goods when done outside the teaching of Christ and for a lessor good. Celibacy is an act of giving up one good (marriage and children) for a greater good (complete spiritual union with God).
    1 Tim. 5:9-12 – Paul recommends that older widows take a pledge of celibacy. This was the beginning of women religious orders.
    2 Tim. 2:3-4 – Paul instructs his bishop Timothy that no soldier on service gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim his to satisfy the One who enlisted him. Paul is using an analogy to describe the role of the celibate priesthood in the Church.
    Rev. 14:4 – unlike our sinful world of the flesh, in heaven, those consecrated to virginity are honored.
    Isaiah 56:3-7 – the eunuchs who keep God’s covenant will have a special place in the kingdom of heaven.
    Jer. 16:1-4 – Jeremiah is told by God not to take a wife or have children.

  28. I think we are focusing on the word aberration when we should be focusing on the word temporary. In other words, allowing married priests is just a temporary situation.

  29. diakonos09

    you wrote:

    “one must conclude that single persons are indeed an abberation from the norm, a disorder from God’s plan for the human race.”

    and that is exactly right. when one gets to the very core of celibacy in the christian tradition, it is an eschatological sign of the kingdom. of course there are many ancillary reasons ( more time for ministry etc) but they are not the real reason. being single is a life style, being celibate for the sake of the kingdom invites one to be a radical sign in his very person of the kingdom to come.

    marriage as a sacramental sign of the love between Christ and his church is a more incarnational emphasis.

  30. Perhaps one has to have been raised with English only as a second language to recognize that your understanding of “aberration” is not necessary the cardinal’s intention for it. An aberration simply means something out of the norm, i.e., unusual. Can anyone deny that married Catholic priests are unusual?

    Also, these are all gifts of God, and they are all good: celibacy, marriage, and holy orders. It’s no good pitting them one against another. Far better to recognize that they all have their place as God orders them, for the good of the Church and to the glory of God.

  31. Maureen,
    You probably do not realize that “sheesh” is a vulgarism for

  32. OhTheHorror:

    You gave a good list of scripture references concerning the worthiness of celibacy. I agree that celibacy undertaken to serve God more fully is worthy of praise and honor.

    Where I think there is an aberration (or temporary accommodation), is in having the ordination to the Latin Rite priesthood of a married man be a rare exception rather than a normal occurrence. This is not the way Jesus chose the 12. He is God, after all, and could have chosen 12 celibate men – but He did not. He could have chosen a celibate man to be the first Pope, but He did not. I do not believe those choices were accidents, mistakes or accommodations for that era. His life is the example by which we live. So when His example in those choices is deviated from, it is natural to ask why.

    I certainly believe that God guides the church through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit on clergy and laity alike. I have honestly looked for a good reason for the Catholic church, which is so tediously faithful to God in other ways, to appear to regard Latin Rite married men as less fit for the priesthood than our Savior’s example indicates. I have not found reasons other than to justify a temporary accommodation for utilitarian purposes.

    Utilitarian purposes can be good and valid reasons for having only celibate men be ordained priests for a while, even a long while for us here on earth. But given the Savior’s example in choosing the 12, I consider the current Latin Rite “discipline” of celibacy to be more properly called an aberration. What are 2000 years of history to an eternal God?

  33. I think God guides the church through the inspiration of the holy spirit of the catholic church.the catholic church is so much merciful to God in other ways.

  34. The Cardinal has a history of making silly statements. Perhaps it is time for him to go to a rest home. Quit insulting towards the Eastern Churches, and degrading to Anglicans who have taken the huge step of coming over to Rome.

  35. Anglicanism came out of the Latin Rite, and the ordinariates are in the Latin Rite. Priests in the ordinariates will not be consecrating leavened bread, and they will be expected to include the filioque. The cardinal was not saying anything about the Eastern Churches, and the experience of the Eastern Churches is not really relevant.

  36. Sometimes people deify celibacy. While it is true celibacy is better than married life in the order of states of life, the 21 other rites in the Church would have a problem with Cardinal’s statements.

  37. The practice of the Eastern Churches is totally irrelevant but at least it provides some with an opportunity to be critical of our Latin overlords.

    Anyway, it would be nice to have the actual words of the Cardinal and not those of the “Anglican Journal.” Could you find those for us, Deacon Greg?

    In the brief quote provided above, it seems he is only restating what was said in Anglicanorum coetibus, art. VI § 2. “The Ordinary, in full observance of the discipline of celibate clergy in the Latin Church, as a rule (pro regula) will admit only celibate men to the order of presbyter. He may also petition the Roman Pontiff, as a derogation from can. 277, §1, for the admission of married men to the order of presbyter on a case by case basis, according to objective criteria approved by the Holy See.”

    And for this, he is told to go to a retirement home and said to be insulting and degrading and ignorant. See how they love one another.

  38. Deacon Bill,

    The Roman Curia is going to have to be greatly reformed if the West wants reunion with the East. The early models of the Church have been synodal, not curial. Youa re right, that the curia is a human organization, not above criticism. it is certainly to be respected and Latin Rite Christians fall under its authority.

    But the fact of the matter is that the Vatican needs to begin to act like a first millenium Church and let the other Churches handle their own matters in the manner of their own particular traditions. That means letting the Anglicans be Anglicans. If Rome did this, then we would still have the other Western Rites, which barely exist anymore due to Roman suppression of them. Unity does not mean falling under the uniformity of Rome. The Vatican still has a long way to go in understanding that.

  39. Celibacy is “better than” married life?

    This has really been mis-used over the years in the west because it infers a deficiency in the married state and has also been used to infer that sexual intercourse is somehow sinful.

    Both the married and celibate state are complimentary to each other (rather than a good, better, best, approach that was prevalent in the past in the west) because each is an icon of the divine life of the Trinty.

    The practices of the Eastern Church are most certainly relevant! To say they are not infers that they bring no gift and no mystery to the vocation of both matrimony and Holy Orders. The Eastern Church has shown how valuable and wholesome both approaches to the clergy have been and continue to be. Both a married and celibate clergy each brings gifts to their ministry.

    Oh, where is the Theology of the Body when you need it!

    The West can most certainly keep the practice of ordaining only unmarried celibate men. The problem comes in thinking that this is the only way, or the best way. It comes from the attitude in the west that the Latin way is the normative way that should be extended to all. It is that attitude needs to be challenged and changed if we are ever going to appreciate the full tradition of ALL of the ancient Apostolic Churches and regain the unity we once had.

  40. Is the cardinal saying that the person of a married priest is an abberation, or that a married priest is an abberation from the current (and changeable) norm of the Western Church.

    Regarding union between the Eastern and Western Church, both John Paul II and Benedict XVI have stated that they think that the Easter Church should only follow the norms established by the first seven(?) ecumenical councils. Nothing from subsequent councils would be expected from the Eastern Churches. Even now, with Eastern Church united with Rome, the Roman Curia does not determine liturgy or discipline (including celibate or married priests). Those decisons are left to the legitimate bishops of the particular church. While it is true that Eastern Churches did not have freedom from Rome one hundred years ago, they do today.

  41. Gotta love it! Deacons of the church mocking the heirarchy for their opinion on the value holy celibacy!

    Why is it that the permanent deoconate is such a vocal center of dissent?

  42. I think it is good that the offspring of Ordinariate converts know where they stand from the beginning.

    This clarity is necessary.

  43. Dan S. said: “The West can most certainly keep the practice of ordaining only unmarried celibate men.”

    Then, you have no quarrel with what the Cardinal said and with what Anglicanorum coetibus legislated. The commentary venture into the Eastern/Orthodox Churches is unwarranted and their practices are irrelevant to this comment of the Cardinal. This comment of mine does not “infer” what you presume it does anymore than your comment “infers” that there is “no gift and no mystery” brought forth by Latin practice of celibacy.

    This whole discussion was started by the term “aberration.” It will be interesting to see what the Cardinal acutally said and see if this translation is appropriate.

  44. If the good Cardinal meant something different from what has been translated, I would expect a clarification from Rome. Promptly. Otherwise, the signals this sends to Anglo-Catholics and others are crystal clear.

    Frankly, this is the best news committed Anglicans had heard all year!

    The boatloads of former Anglicans headed across the Tiber will *now* be few and far between. Or perhaps Orthodoxy may well benefit from this unfortunate Latin inflexibility of ‘discipline-not-doctrine’?

  45. Re: Daniel #45
    “Gotta love it! Deacons of the church mocking the heirarchy for their opinion on the value holy celibacy!

    Why is it that the permanent deoconate is such a vocal center of dissent”

    Perhaps I am missing something. Every competent Church historian knows that at the Council of Trent, the Council Fathers ruled that celibacy was “Church Law” and not “Divine Law.” That meant that celibacy ws a rule that could change and was not an eternal command from God. They really could not rule otherwise: (1) Up to that time (sixteenth century), Roman Catholicism has had thousands of married priests, hundreds of married bishops and maybe as many as 34 married Popes/ “Bishops of Rome”; (2) Those Tridentine Council Fathers also realized that Eastern Christianity had always had the charism of married priesthood and they really could not historically deny that fact.

    Now, I do not have the actual text of all 600+ proclamations of Trent at my fingertips, but all of those statements that I ever saw had an “anathema” prescript attached — condemning you if you doubted that specific statement.

    I have read a lot of these blog-comments from the many deacons who post here and I have met/ emailed quite a few. Not one of them is a “center of dissent.”

  46. J.Thomas,

    The point is, we don’t even have “aberration” in translation. Anyway, if Anglicans never read Anglicanorum coetibus, maybe this comment of the Cardinal’s will be a surprise.

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