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Clerical Celibacy


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One of a few things I still can't get my head around... clerical celibacy.
I understand the reasoning behind it, in theory, but unlike the vast majority of doctrines, I can hear an explanation, but I just don't feel it. I don't understand all that well.
It seems to me, from one way of looking at it, that enforced clerical celibacy excludes a great many people who (like myself) would seriously consider the priesthood otherwise.
Personally, I like to think that I could make it all right down that path... except for this one part.
It's not that I'm against this, not at all... I support the Magisterium 100%. I just think it seems like a bit of a shame that it has to be this way.
I would really appreciate other perspectives, so that I can finally entirely understand why things are the way they have to be.

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This is the only issue that I go back and forth on. I completely support the Magisterium on all their decisions, and am grateful I'm not the one making them, but I wish we had more priests. I don't know if a married priesthood would drastically increase the number of vocations. I'm sure it would drastically increase as many problems as it solved. We don't deal with a bunch of priests divorcing and having nasty custody or property fights right now for example. I just pray and trust.

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TeresaBenedicta

Besides the practical positives from celibacy, there is also very much a spiritual beauty to celibacy.

Celibacy for the kingdom of God is one of the highest gifts a man or a woman can give to God. I don't think there is anything that is more natural for man than to be espoused, to have sex, and to procreate. In choosing a celibate life, man is giving up that which is most natural to him. He is choosing to give up sex and spouse for something higher, for God alone. He is giving himself to God alone. He is seeking after that marital bond which we all will be in in Heaven; he is seeking out union with God: in this life. God has called him to a higher state of life (not to say that celibacy is better than marriage) in which [i]all[/i] things are considered on the spiritual level. In the priesthood or in the religious life, men and women live out the heavenly calling here on earth.

Such a beautiful sacrifice is what allows our priests to be entrusted with our spiritual well-being. It really does go hand in hand with the priesthood.

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That's a good way to say it. :) Thank you.
...and CatherineM, I agree entirely with everything you said. Definitely glad the decisions aren't up to us.
I suppose, like with a lot of things, at the end of the day we trust that things are working out better than we realize. :D

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TeresaBenedicta

[quote name='Apotheoun' post='1575474' date='Jun 18 2008, 09:24 PM']The celibate priesthood is a tradition of the Latin Church alone; in the Byzantine Churches married men are ordained to both the deaconate and the presbyterate.[/quote]

Do you happen to know the percentage of married priests in the Eastern Churches? Just curious.

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Very few in the United States at the present time, because the Latin Church in America requested the suppression of our tradition of married priests and their request was granted by the Vatican in the late 1920s.

Nevertheless, beginning in the 1990s the Ukrainian and Melkite Churches in North America started ordaining married priests, and since that time the number of married priests in all of the Eastern Churches within the United States and Canada has been slowly rising.

Hopefully over the next twenty years the idea of a celibate parish clergy in Eastern Catholic Churches wil be a thing of the past.

Edited by Apotheoun
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TeresaBenedicta

[quote name='Apotheoun' post='1575515' date='Jun 18 2008, 10:13 PM']Very few in the United States at the present time, because the Latin Church in America requested the suppression of our tradition of married priests and their request was granted by the Vatican in the late 1920s.

Nevertheless, beginning in the 1990s the Ukrainian and Melkite Churches in North America started ordaining married priests, and since that time the number of married priests in all of the Eastern Churches within the United States and Canada has been slowly rising.

Hopefully over the next twenty years the idea of a celibate parish clergy in Eastern Catholic Churches wil be a thing of the past.[/quote]

Interesting; okay, thanks!

Judging by your last comment, I take it that you're against clerical celibacy altogether? May I ask why? *Just curious, not intending any sort of argument or debate*

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[quote name='TeresaBenedicta' post='1575523' date='Jun 18 2008, 07:20 PM']Interesting; okay, thanks!

Judging by your last comment, I take it that you're against clerical celibacy altogether? May I ask why? *Just curious, not intending any sort of argument or debate*[/quote]
It is not a part of our tradition for parish clergy to be celibate.

Celibacy is connected to monasticism.

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I learned about the Eastern Catholic tradition only recently. :)
I wonder though... they're in full communion with Rome, meaning they are 'as correct' as the Roman tradition... but that raises interesting questions about the transferring of traditions from one division to another, such as the option to waive celibacy applied in the Latin tradition, perhaps?

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[quote name='Nihil Obstat' post='1575534' date='Jun 18 2008, 07:25 PM']I learned about the Eastern Catholic tradition only recently. :)
I wonder though... they're in full communion with Rome, meaning they are 'as correct' as the Roman tradition... but that raises interesting questions about the transferring of traditions from one division to another, such as the option to waive celibacy applied in the Latin tradition, perhaps?[/quote]
I doubt that it is looked on favorably for a man to transfer from the Latin Church to an Eastern Church simply to be allowed to get married and then be ordained.

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[quote name='Nihil Obstat' post='1575551' date='Jun 18 2008, 07:35 PM']Oh yes, of course.
I meant more about the translation of practices from one particular church to another.
Along the lines of "since they do it, why can't we as well?"[/quote]
I doubt that will happen any time soon.

In fact, it has only been within the last decade that the Eastern Catholic Churches in the U.S. and Canada have reasserted our own distinctive tradition on this issue, after having it forcefully suppressed for more than sixty years, so I doubt our present day practices will have any effect on the Latin Church.

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Well all I know is, like I said before, if priests could marry, I'd definitely be looking into the seminary right now.
As it stands... I really hope to get married someday in the next ten years or less, and I feel more pulled towards that.

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