Anglican response to article defending celibacy for Roman Catholic priests

Discussion in 'Questions?' started by Traveler, Nov 16, 2021.

  1. Traveler

    Traveler Member

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    This article defends celibacy for Roman Catholic priests. Being in a denomination with married priests (which I think is the case for all denominations other than the RCC), what's your response?

    https://www.catholiceducation.org/e...s/why-can-t-roman-catholic-priests-marry.html

    Considering that every other denomination I know of functions with married priests, I don't think the article persuasively defends the RC prohibition of married priests. Even the Eastern-rite Catholic and the Orthodox Churches allow their priests to marry.
     
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  2. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    the simplest answer seems to be, that a whole half of RCC consisting of eastern churches, doesn't believe in priestly celibacy
     
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  3. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    As the article says, it is a matter of discipline in the Latin rite church. In other words, it is a choice and decision made by its hierarchy, and that decision was made long ago so it became a matter of tradition in that church. They aren't about to change that tradition, and two of the reasons are: first, the laity expects it to be that way and it would be unwise to 'rock the boat' so as to lose laity to other rites or denominations; and second, changing such a long-standing practice would open the RCC to criticism that it now admits to error in its discipline.
     
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  4. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    Characterizing the Eastern Catholic Churches as a half of the whole is a disservice to the statistics. If one chooses to look at the data from the perspective of rites, then there are more Eastern than Western. But in terms of followers, there are only somewhere in the low tens of millions of Eastern Catholics (I encountered the figure of 16.3 million a couple of places) which represents a single percentile or two of the Catholic population. With the rise of the internet people are more aware of these churches but if you ask your average cafeteria Catholic in Boston or New York or Houston they aren't going to know the first thing about the Maronites or Byzantines, Ruthenians, Ukrainians etc. Other than maybe that they sell pierogies and pastries for fundraisers.

    Rexlion made an interesting point when he mentioned that the laity have the expectation that the clergy will be unmarried (notice, I said unmarried, I think they prefer just not to think of celibacy but most probably wouldn't care that much if the priest were involved in a sexual relationship). And this is odd but it's true. I really question whether it would be more scandalous to a Catholic to have a married priest or a female priest. I think probably the former since most Catholics are rather more socially liberal than their evangelical peers. And so, even though everyone laments the vocations crisis and the over-abundance of closeted homosexuals in the ranks of the clergy, I think women's ordination is a more likely event than a reprieve on the discipline of celibacy.
     
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  5. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

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    In practice the prohibition has not always been limited to the Latin (Roman) Catholic Church. In the West, priests from Eastern (Oriental) Catholic churches were very often prohibited from marrying. This prohibition was often imposed by the Latin Catholic hierarchy. The reason given was that it would cause scandal to the Latin Catholic laity who were used to celibate priests. This changed somewhat after Vatican II but not at any great pace.
     
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