Should priests be allowed to marry/have a wife?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
I'm sure someone asked this before: I know that in the Bible it does mention that having a wife can interfere with man's worship and attention to God. But shouldn't priests have a choice to be celibate rather than it being compulsory?
thanks in advance for your feedback
-- Mark (-email@example.com-), October 03, 2004
I thought priests are married to the church? So,wouldnt that be adultery!?!??!?!
-- james (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 03, 2004.
It come up almost every week, and certainaly every month in one form or another. But you have a slightly different slant: celibate as compulsory feels different than celibate as lifestyle/choice. I would think that the choice version would be the more blessed one.
You can go to Catholic Top Level and look at the bottom for the various topics. One of them should deal with this.
-- Sean Cleary (email@example.com), October 03, 2004.
Celibacy is not compulsory, since entering the priesthood, with all that it entails, is a free choice; and men who are called to that choice are also called to embrace all that it entails. Lay people who are called to the single life are likewise called to celibacy, not just priests. Of the four major categories of vocation - priest, religious, married and single, three require celibacy.
The analogy to adultery is not accurate. If that were the case, then a married priesthood would be intrinsically immoral, and the Church would not have the authority to allow it. In fact, the Church can and does allow married priests, both as the normal situation in the Eastern Rite, and in special circumstances in the Latin Rite. And the Church possesses the authority to allow marriage more freely in the Latin Rite if that is where the Holy Spirit leads.
-- Paul M. (PaulCyp@cox.net), October 03, 2004.
How is an Eastern Orthodox priest's life different than a Latin Rite life? Could it eventually be that the Easter Orthodox model for priests win out because of the hearing problem that people called to the priesthood have in the West?
We could then give priests the option of being celebite, but they must be married before becoming priests, much like permenent deacons. But people could also become priests and chose to remain celebate. But Bishops and the Pope have to remain celibate.
To answer Marks question, no priests should not be allowed to marry. But I think married men should be allowed to become priests.
-- Scott (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 04, 2004.
That is the current situation not only in the Eastern Orthodox churches but also in the Eastern Rites of the Holy Catholic Church.
-- Paul M. (PaulCyp@cox.net), October 04, 2004.
I guess what I am asking is what are the problems, if any, associated with having married priests? Do the Orthodox and the Eastern Rite Churches have problems? Do they have priest shortages?
-- Scott (email@example.com), October 04, 2004.
Having a married clergy has never been a solution to a shortage of clergy. For example the starting salary for a Presbyterian USA minister in my area (Eastern Pennsylvania) is $60,000, plus a house and full benefits, yet it's not uncommon for one minister to be overseeing several parishes. All but one of the Eastern rites of the Catholic Church have always allowed for a married clergy, as do the Eastern Orthodox, yet again they struggle with vocations too. It's also interesting to note that the Eastern Churches (both catholic and orthodox) have by and large never gotten out of the East whereas the Latin Church has aggressively followed the Great Commission and spread throughout the entire world. The married Eastern priests haven't had as much time or opportunity to evangelize the people of the world since they're focused on raising their families.
Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it." [Matthew 19:11-13, NIV]
"It is good for a man not to marry . . . I wish that all men were as I am (unmarried). But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. . . But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this. . . 32I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs--how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world--how he can please his wife-- and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world--how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord." [1 Corinthians 7:7-8, 28, 32-35, NIV]
-- Jack Sammon (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 05, 2004.
Bad idea that doesn't solve any problem. A married clergy raises the cost and reduces the availability of priests! It also forces many bishops to send those married with children to the posh and safe parishes because who wants to send a man and his family to the styx and/or dangerous areas with bad schools, etc.?
The protestants tried this and it hasn't worked wonders for them. Why the insistence that the Catholic Church try something so underwhelming?
I think part of the problem is unfaithful clergy or those who in their heart of hearts really wish to be unfaithful. They rationalize (as they've published articles theorizing about this since at least 1970 judging from the theological magazines I've read), that having a wife will take away all their pent up sexual energies - and that marital bliss will make it easier for them to be great pastors.
But in all the articles by all these wonderful priests through the decades they never mention "holiness" being part of the wave of the future. Poverty and obedience aren't thought to be helped by the re- working of their vows of celibacy either!
Push a theologian who's OK with a married clergy and you'll probably get a guarded respect for the loosening of marital fidelity too - again because holiness and self-sacrifice for the Kingdom is low balled while self-actualization (or some other stupid excuse) is highballed.
-- Joe (email@example.com), October 05, 2004.
Thanks Jack and Joe for your wonderful insights.
-- Scott (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 05, 2004.
As a married man, I can understand why the call to the priesthood is also a call to celibacy. Before I was married, I could not understand why they would not allow priests to marry. But now that I am married and have a family, I am glad that the Church has been inspired to teach that preisthood and celibacy go hand in hand.
From time to time, I wonder if I may be called to the priesthood. But in a way, I am glad that I may not follow desire to be a priest. My responsibilities with my family are so immense, I cannot imagine balancing priestly ministry and my family. God Bless those who do balance ministry and family, but I totaly understand why that is only allowed in special circumstances.
From time to time, I meditate upon the deaconate, and I do see myself pursuing it when I have reached the proper age. People shouldn't see it as the Church not allowing priests to marry, they should see it at the Church asking men raising families to focus on their families.
-- brian (email@example.com), October 05, 2004.
Well, I was a seminarian for many years. The life was beautiful in every way: having the chance to be so close to the Lord every day (mass, rosary, eucharistic adoration, etc) is a great treasure and it prepares those souls called by Christ to become truly his representatives.
But it's a special calling and not a matter of a career choice or job. You either have the right stuff - or you don't. Mere desire and intelligence are not enough. A priest isn't someone who performs certain tasks or knows certain things. A priest IS someone who is clothed in Christ, whose heart and mind reflects the will and love of Our Lord.
And that quite frankly isn't something most (perhaps 99%) Catholic men are called to - we are called to be holy, but not as persona christi... and so married life (I'm married) is our way.
After a day of work I owe it to my wife and children to be there for them - to be daddy and husband. It wouldn't be fair to leave them in the middle of the night every week to go rush out to a traffic accident, or to be gone before sun rise to go celebrate Mass, etc.
A Priest, like Christ, has little time for himself - and in today's world where the number ratio between clergy and laity is only growing, it is almost criminal for some priests to dote on a select few people while the rest are without light and hope.
No one says that the priest's life is a bed of roses but the implication of "allowing them to marry" is that marriage is easier or a bonus. I'd say this: if God created you to be a priest you'd make a terrible husband and father. And vice versa, if you are called by all eternity to be a husband and father you may be as smart as a pastor and has gentle, but you'd be a lousy priest.
We just have to face the fact that when God calls someone it's not arbitrary. He prepares the person whom he calls... we are hard-wired to be what we are - either spiritual fathers or moral/biological fathers. Very few souls can aspire to be both.
-- Joe (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 06, 2004.
Thanks for all the feedback, a lot of it makes sense.
I was just thinking about the media stating that the amount of priests in some countries is diminishing. Now I know I'm straying off the topic but even if the amount of priests do diminish we can still have the pastorates or deacons teaching God's word right?
-- Mark (-mdude22_2000_1999@Yahoo.com-), October 06, 2004.
Yes, but we cannot have the Mass or the Sacramental life of the Church without priests.
-- PaulCyp@cox.net (PaulCyp@cox.net), October 06, 2004.
As an episcolpian, I can tell you the costs of married priests. against: First divorced priests. If you can not handle that, do not go there. Second they *do* have less time to devote to the church. Then there are so many of them that we have to send some away, or put some in helping roles or what ever. For: I have personally known at least one Catholic deacon who was called to the priesthood after his call to marriage, and chose marriage. Also the unknown number of priests that have married and ceased to function as priests under the Church could be reactivated.
The married priests are likely married first, and late in life called to the priesthood. for: much life experience. Against: dude went through seminary, was too old to take the full duties. ended up as a generic fill in. But his sermons reflected a full and well examined life.
All this has been said before, but repeated as the topic turned from married priests to the pros and cons of such. You have little experience with this, and further lump all protestants together. But you need not do the social experiment yourselves, it has been done, the results are there for all to examine.
-- Sean Cleary (email@example.com), October 06, 2004.
Joe, et al,
I strongly disagree, as I have personal experience (but outside the relationship) that you are wrong. One can be a good priest and a good husband. I have seen many. But there is less time for all the priestly duties. Just as a man can get lost in his job, or lost in his family. So you might say that someone can not be a good engineer or accountant and a good husband too.
-- Sean Cleary (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 06, 2004.
Joe, I'd have to agree with Sean. I think a good priest should be able to be a good father. That's what makes them pastoral. I also think the calling to priesthood is a sacrifice. One that makes men toil over, one that makes men break down and cry over. It shouldn't be an easy choice. It shouldn't be like, "I have to be a priest because I'd be a lousy family man." That's wrong. I know many great priests that are like fathers, like family men, thats why they're great priests. Ultimately, the calling to the priesthood is the calling to be a family man, but one in which God asks us to be a father to the people of God.
-- brian (email@example.com), October 06, 2004.
I want to add that there are other professins that are on call 24/7. And I suspect that it is a strain, but some will adapt to ti.
Also if the amount of priests were so great that the problem was what to do with the extras, then it would not really by a 24/7 job. This is the epiecopla situation.
-- Sean Cleary (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 07, 2004.
First off, Our Lord was celibate and so were most of the apostles and early Church Fathers, so that must stand for something. A minority of others were married before being ordained, but it never became the norm - there must be a good reason for that which wasn't cultural or social in nature.
I was a seminarian for a good many years - and I knew priests who ran Eastern Orthodox seminaries where half the men chose to get married prior to being ordained while the other half chose to be celibate.
(Note: in the Catholic Church married men can be ordained, but unmarried men who are ordained can't then marry - a tradition going back to the time of St Paul where priests or bishops could be a man of "one wife" - once she died, they didn't remarry.)
These rectors and spiritual directors told me (and others there) that those who were dating throughout seminary life were different than those who chose to imitate our Lord in celibacy.
Different not in holiness or intelligence but in availability and freedom. A priest has to be absolutely open to all people - all men, all women, equally: no favorites. But a husband and daddy obviously does have his favorite woman and children, and has a primordial responsibility to be "there" for them before all others. And that dynamic shows in his ministry.
Those of you who are daddies know the unconditional rights little ones have over our time and attention.
We're also talking the laws of averages here when speaking of policy and what "the Catholic Church (or Latin rite thereof) should do".
You may know anecdotes of this or that wonderful married priest who has children. I knew a couple of these former Anglican guys who became RC priests... nice and everything...but they were exceptions.
There are 400,000 Catholic Priests in the world and tens of thousands of seminarians. Seminary training lasts on average 6 years, and most are beginning at the age of 22 and getting ordained at 28 or 30. That gives the Church about 30 to 40 years of service per priest. The averages would say that if we add marriage in the mix numbers would take a hit before they got better because who among you young husbands and fathers could afford 6 years of seminary life while supporting wife and children?
Obviously, few. So they'd have to wait until the children are older - but then again, more bills...
The norm then has been that a married clergy is more trouble than it's worth.
As far as all the priests who left their ministry to become married...I think the attitude of the man who chose to turn his back on Christ to seek fulfillment in a woman and family isn't the sort of "take my life it's your's" attitude we want and need of our priests.
Those orders and dioceses that promise the cross and a tough life tend to attract men willing to be martyrs for the faith - and they never seem to have a vocation crisis. Those orders and diocese that low ball it and highlight all the perks and ease of lifestyle never seem to get enough men! Human dynamics. It's easier to recruit Marines than Army even though Marines see more action (or is because they see more action?)
I'm not knocking the men who marry and later in life get ordained. I think that's a noble thing to do IF you are called by the Lord to that.
But it's not and can't be the norm which is what many of the partisans of this debate want. They want an already ordained man to have the option to marry (you know, like, that pretty young secretary).
If they were fighting to allow already married men to receive orders, then there is already a way to do so: leave the Latin Rite and become Eastern rite.
The fact that most theologians and other agitators AREN'T making this obvious suggestion tells me that they really aren't worried about the bottom line of being holy apostles seeking to know and do God's will, but want to have their cake and eat it too as easily as possible.
-- Joe (email@example.com), October 07, 2004.
I don't usually quote from the bible because I am not a strong believer, but lets not forget too much talk about Jesus as if he was a Catholic or a Christian. Born a Jew, lived a Jew, died a Jew, right? right on? Jesus was a Jewish rabbi period! He had no PERSONAL attachment to christianity, that was started by people that followed him, much like people who started a Beatles fan club back in 1964 when Beatlemania swept the world. As we know the only difference is tradition carried christianity onward. Jewish custom during Jesus time required rabbis to be MARRIED. Unmarried men (rabbis at that time) were considered unworthy or a curse, so I believe this Jewish man Jesus was married. Catholicism denies that notion, and the rest of Christians follow like sheep with that belief because the church says so! It doesn't fit with THEIR THEORY. As we know up until the 11th century priests were allowed to marry and 39 popes were married so we know that Jesus didn't make the rule of celebacy, nor Peter nor Paul....Current statistics show that over 70% of the USA Catholic laity (WHICH IS THE SOLE FINANCIAL SUPPORT OF THE CHURCH) believe Catholic priests should have the option to marry, and I believe well over 50% of current priests/nuns believe the same. Its time to get out of the dark ages and give more control to the laity in the parishes not the handfull of old farts that run the church now! It would be more of a closer community experience with God rather then this "DO AS I SAY" attitude the church has always had. Too much control!!!
-- john Dowling (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 07, 2004.
You need a little contemplation of all this, before suggesting answers.
Jesus founded the Church. It didn't arrive after He was ascended up to the right hand of the Father. He made us Catholics, Mr. Dowling. If we'd been asked by Him to become Jews under the Law, that's what all of us would be. No one who was baptised into His Church has a call to the Jewish faith.
He himself was celibate. If it were a fault, Jesus wouldn't have been celibate. It isn't now, either. It's just a sacrifice demanded of men by the Church Jesus Christ founded and heads to this day. It's not a fault, nor a deficiency. This can be changed by our holy father the Pope, if he should decide to change it. However, the Pope only changes some disciplines as they become counter-productive or unreasonable. Celibacy is productive as a spiritual value. It is also reasonable, as any Catholic believer will tell you. I won't try, I don't have any inclination to persuade those who already have their minds made up. Just wanted you to see it from the Church's point of view.
-- eugene c. chavez (email@example.com), November 07, 2004.
> "I don't usually quote from the bible because I am not a strong believer, but lets not forget too much talk about Jesus as if he was a Catholic or a Christian. Born a Jew, lived a Jew, died a Jew, right?"
A: Yes, right. He died because the Jewish authorities considered Him an insurrectionist and pressured the Roman authorities to execute Him, because He constantly refuted Jewish beliefs and practices, preaching instead the doctrines of the New Covenant, and because He publicly exposed the hypocrisy of the Jewish leaders.
> "Jesus was a Jewish rabbi period! He had no PERSONAL attachment to christianity"
A: Well, other than founding the Christian Church ("upon this Rock I will build my Church" - Matt 16:18), providing its doctrinal teaching, instituting its sacraments, ordaining its first priests, appointing its first Pope, and promising to be with the Church until the end of time, Jesus probably had no "personal attachment" to Christianity.
> "Jewish custom during Jesus time required rabbis to be MARRIED. Unmarried men (rabbis at that time) were considered unworthy or a curse, so I believe this Jewish man Jesus was married"
A: Well, regardless of what you "believe", we KNOW He was not married because His Church teaches that He was not married, and His Church teaches only the fullness of truth. Anyway, Jesus was not an official rabbi of the temple. He was called "rabbi" because He taught publicly, and "rabbi" means "teacher".
> "Catholicism denies that notion, and the rest of Christians follow like sheep with that belief because the church says so! It doesn't fit with THEIR THEORY."
A: The Catholic Church does not teach "theories". It teaches the fullness of Christian truth which is provided to it by the Holy Spirit (John 16:13). Whatsoever the Church teaches as binding doctrine is "bound in heaven", and therefore true.(Matt 16:19, 18:18) One who listens to the Church hears God Himself speaking.(Luke 10:16) Which is why the Church is called "the pillar and foundation of truth". (1 Tim 3:15)
> "As we know up until the 11th century priests were allowed to marry and 39 popes were married so we know that Jesus didn't make the rule of celebacy, nor Peter nor Paul"
A: 39 popes? Where did you get that statistic?? Yes, we do know that Jesus didn't make the rule of celibacy, nor did Peter or Paul (though Paul strongly recommended it).(1 Cor 7:32-35) The Church made the rule. You do agree that the Church has the authority to make rules governing its own priesthood? ("Whatsoever you bind upon earth ...") And if the Holy Spirit so leads, the Church may someday change the rule. But not in the foreseeable future.
> "Current statistics show that over 70% of the USA Catholic laity (WHICH IS THE SOLE FINANCIAL SUPPORT OF THE CHURCH) believe Catholic priests should have the option to marry"
A: Phone poles of people who claim to be Catholic are not a reliable method of assessing the beliefs of actual practicing Catholics. However, it would not be surprising that such a statistic might have some basis in fact, given that the average lay person is married, knows the benefits of marriage, knows very little about the priesthood, and doesn't realize that most priests consider celibacy a blessing of their vocation, not a problem.
> "I believe well over 50% of current priests/nuns believe the same".
A: I believe you are wrong. In a pole of priests in my diocese, 87% considered celibacy either a specific blessing or "not a source of concern". What "nuns" think about the matter carries no more weight than what lay people think - probably less, since they have no first-hand experience of either marriage or the priesthood.
> "Its time to get out of the dark ages and give more control to the laity in the parishes not the handfull of old farts that run the church now! It would be more of a closer community experience with God rather then this "DO AS I SAY" attitude the church has always had. Too much control!!!"
A: You mean the Catholic Church could take the same approach as Christian traditions which were spawned in the dark ages, and whose history since then has consisted of continuous disintegration into thousands of competing, conflicting, contradicting, nominally Christian sects?? Thanks for the suggestion, but it seems to me that freedom from such fragmentation would more likely promote a "closer community experience with God"; and the Catholic Church has just that. Unity of belief and worship around the world and throughout 20 centuries. You can't have truth without unity, and you can't have unity without authority.
-- Paul M. (PaulCyp@cox.net), November 07, 2004.
perhaps before you preach from such a high horse you should consider the mule you ride. Jesus was a Rabbi? Rabbis required to marry at that time? RABBINIC JUDAISM DIDN'T EXIST IN JESUS' TIME. The term RABBI didnt even exist in that time. That came about AFTER Jesus. If anything metaphorical, Jesus was an incarnation of the high priest of Judaism, which would have been the cheif PHARISEE, NOT a rabbi.
Second, the fact that a few "old farts" run the catholic church IS what makes it the church of God. These men you disdain are responsible to God for the well being of His church. they can teach no doctrinal error. All this whiney "let the people decide what part of spirituality they want" attitude has acheived is 30,000 conflicting protestant denominations, most of which are not even anywhere near communion with the fullness of truth. Religion isnt about finding what pleases you to do and worship, it is about doing what God commands. Perhaps you think that the laity in each parish shouldnt have to listen to the directives of God, because thats more or less what you've stated.
-- paul h (dontSendMeMail@notAnAddress.com), November 07, 2004.
During the past few weeks, parishes in Baltimore have been involved in a discussion about the looming problem of the decreasing number of priests.
Things apparently are looking quite dire. I have not been able to attend these meetings as I've been involved in some family matters that are unavoidable. But this seems to be a tremendous problem which will be "hitting the fan" in the next ten years.
Is an increase or recruiting of Decons the answer? Married priests? Greater laity interaction? All of the above?
-- Jim (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 07, 2004.
Do you think Nietzse was right; God is dead--?
Because if God calls men to the holy priesthood, and the number is decreasing-- He might be dead. He calls them as he sees fit. Unless He can't anymore. If He died. And, if God died, what do we want priests for?
I'm not saying all this to be funny. I believe God lives. I was always taught God will call men, and there will be priests. Our work is not to recruit or to send out feelers for young seminarians. It is to pray.
Pray for vocations. Not in greater quantity but greater quality. True vocations.
Jesus called twelve men. Then He attracted other disciples. Seventy in His lifetime, I beliecve. Not many. But the Church made do. We have as amny priests today as it pleases God, because God makes men priests. Not the seminary. We must have faith. If you raise a son, teach him what God has done for us through His Divine Son. Encourage your son to consider a vocation. God may indeed call him. No one else is going to. Ours is to call on the Lord for holy vocations. We can't create priests like a chef cooks dishes.
-- eugene c. chavez (email@example.com), November 07, 2004.
I think God is calling, but many may not be answering.
I wonder if we look at the numbers worldwide, whether there is a shortage or not.
Or is it like the shortage of food in parts of the world? A distribution problem more than anything else?
-- Andy S ("ask3332004@YAHOO.COM"), November 08, 2004.
Popes married. Last married Pope. Adrian II 867-872. Check it out! The information can be found anywhere on the internet, with all the other Popes. Even a family friend who is a Catholic priest recently acknowledged that early popes married and celebacy was not a rule up until around 1100 AD. ...........Paul M. Phone Poll of the laity? where did I say there was a phone poll? no phone poll!.. National Catholic Reporter October 8 2004, " A national survey of Catholic priests conducted by two church reform groups found that two thirds of priests favor "an open discussion of the mandatory celibacy rule of diocean priests".. Support was strongest among priests ages 41 to 70 (74 % in favor) so much for your 87% againts of your one diocese. WOW!!! This poll was taken radomly from 53 of the 176 dioceses in the USA. ....August 2003 163 MILWAUKEE PRIESTS signed letters (how many priests could there be in Milwaukee?) sent to their archbishop Timothy Dolan and Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the US Bishops conference, urging them to initate an open discussion of clerical celibacy. During the next 10 months hundreds more were singed by associtations of priests from across the USA areas such as CHICAGO, PITTSBURG, NY, ILLINOIS, OHIO, MINNESOTA etc.....The article goes on to read the rule of celibacy has been in effect since the 11th century for all you nay sayers....Report Nov 2004,..60% of priests from Dublin Ireland want change to celibacy ruling, Australia just released a report with 2/3 of the priests wanting open forum on celibacy....More enlightening statistics:.... USA TODAY November 8, 2004 report: MASS ATTENDANCE: The most damaging change in Catholic life is the precipitous decline in Mass attendance. Its the sign of a church collapsing. says Catholic University sociologist Wiliam D'Antonio, co-author of statistical studies of American Catholics...his findings: 1965 70% of catholics attended mass weekly....1987........44% attended mass weekly.......1999..........37% attended mass weekly.......2005 projected: 33% will attend mass weekly.....Each generation starts with a lower attendance rating. People don't grow into attending Mass.....Mr D'Antonio stated. Its like any business. If you don't offer a product people won't buy into it. Remember without that collection plate the church would disappear..The church sex abuse scandal huge coverup by bishops and cardinals right across the US. Right across the world, and I am disgusted with any priest/Bishop that knew of another priest that was molesting any child, and there are lots of them!, and did or said nothing, they should be in jail too everyone of them! (sex abuse current payout $772 million! USA) and the high numbers of priests that have admitted being active homosexual will spiral those mass attendance numbers even faster in years to come. The church has a lot of house cleaning still to do!, the catholic laity isn't stupid...the only reason the church is dealing with this sex abuse scandal is because THEY GOT CAUGHT....otherwise it would have been business as usual! You Bible thumpers who quote from the Bible is for people who can't make right decisions on their own. They have a fear of doing wrong. They need guidance. Its like a security blanket. I don't read the bible, I don't attend mass anymore (like most catholics)I don't feel that catholic guilt! and I haven't been struck by lightening yet! All you have to do is be a good person and do unto others! thats it! thats Gods plan....everyone in this world work together, don't divide yourself into groups saying I'm right your wrong. Thats why the world is a mess.....God created all of us! not just catholics! RIGHT? RIGHT!
-- J. Dowling (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 08, 2004.
"The Dowling Manifesto"
Who is the authority here? The Pope or Daddy Dowling who doesn't attend Mass anymore? (If he ever did?) Apparently he DOES think God is dead.
When a Catholic attends Holy Mass, he/she is there to worship in communion with the Head of the Church, Jesus Christ, and the faithful. If you believe you worship just as well elsewhere, Mr. Dowling, then just do that. You won't be where Christ gathers His faithful. Where priests are celibate, incdentally; with or without YOUR seal of approval.
The Catholic Church is not a democracy, FYI. You have no vote; and no matter how many letters a group of priests sign, they can't overturn any prelate and/or our Holy Father. Are you by any chance an unfrocked priest? If so, why don't you know the Church is a hierarchical communion with authority coming from above? Christ rules His Church through the successors to the holy apostles. Primarily Peter, who acts for Christ in the persons of our Popes. And Christ doesn't take polls.
Whatever you suspect about any preceding married Popes, it's nothing to worry about. Marriage isn't a sin. Once more let me repeat: If the Pope decided tomorrow that there no longer would be any vow of chastity or celibacy, that would make it law. No bevy of complaints from negative Catholics will change the laws of the Catholic Church. This ought to settle any question you still have; so that you can return to Mass as a faithful Catholic.
PRAY-- for the vocations you seem to be anxious about. God will send them as His Divine Will allows. We can all have faith in Him. Not in that famous USA Catholic laity WHICH IS THE SOLE FINANCIAL SUPPORT OF THE CHURCH.-- (Since you don't attend Mass anymore, what is it you've been contributing? You ought to be ashamed of bragging about ''financial support.'')
-- eugene c. chavez (email@example.com), November 08, 2004.
I see and understand your point, but why then are Baltimore parishes taking this situation so seriously and trying to be "proactive" about it. I do see your point about not being able to "create" priests, but the arche diocese must see some point to their attempt to prepare for this looming problem. Is this only happening in Baltimore? Is there any point to trying to prepare for what seems to be the inevitable. Or will God provide?
I'm still a bit jaded (a left over, I can't seem to shake) for the "God will provide argument,"--- seems like we have to "do" something. Is prayer enough? Baltimore seems to be making plans for whats to come. Just can't imagine what to do because actually Eugene I tend to agree with you. I just worrie that things won't work out because I tend to carry a brown cloud with me from time to time.
-- Jim (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 08, 2004.
Fear not, good soul. Which would we rather have serving God: the factory model clergyman surrogate, or holy men?
I might be wrong, but I sense this is but one more trial the Church must suffer after two millennia. Christ prophesied all of it. Let's remember those words of Jesus Christ, in Luke 8, :23. ''Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.'' And, they put out to sea. But as they were sailing , He fell asleep. (We are now experiencing something similar, Jim.) And a squall swept down upon the lake, and they were filling and were in peril.
24. So they came and woke Him (Isn't that prayer?) saying, ''Master, we are perishing!'' Then Jesus awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water; and they ceased, and there came a calm. 25. And He said to them, ''Where is your faith?'' But [WE--] they were afraid, saying to one another, ''Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the sea and they obey Him?''
Of course the Boston and other diocese have great problems. That's why we are supposed to have great faith, Jim.
-- eugene c. chavez (email@example.com), November 08, 2004.
That's a great relation between Scripture and the priest shortage. I hadn't heard that before. Your bit of enlightenment regarding that passage gives me hope.
-- Andy S ("firstname.lastname@example.org"), November 08, 2004.
This lesson is applicable to most any unsolvable problem.
We don't always have just faith and perseverance to fall back on. As these others say, Let's try to do something as well. Sometimes that's an option. We work, as well as rely on faith.
But vocations aren't a work of men at all. The Holy Spirit calls a man to become God's holy priest.
When Saint Francis of Assissi went to Rome to ask the Pope's confirmation of his new order, the Holy Father directed Francis to the priesthood. Yet, Francis did not become a priest. There was no impediment; he simply told the Pope he had never been called by God. Therefore, he would live as a Brother. That was the proper response, without a doubt. Surely he ought to know. If and when a man hears God's call, he'll ordinarily receive the grace to say ''Yes, my God.'' And, should he turn God down, another will surely be called.
Catholics more than all other believers must have unwavering faith in God's Divine Will. If Jesus Christ taught us to have faith-- He meant faith without reservations. More so if something appears impossible or unresoluble. Not only if it suits me or you.
-- eugene c. chavez (email@example.com), November 09, 2004.
Celebacy should be an option!....Daddy Dowling....I like that Eugene...
-- j. Dowling (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 10, 2004.
Option? Let me ask the Holy Father, (hypothetically.)
Dear John Paul II-- Why not make priestly celibacy just an option?
Answer: I'll ask God in my prayers. I'll really pressure Him, Gene.
You see, Daddy Dowling? The Pope is a reasonable man. It's the Father Son & Holy Spirit who give us these unreasonable and UNFASHIONABLE principles. Such as, ''Take up your cross and follow me.''
-- eugene c. chavez (email@example.com), November 10, 2004.
Eugene, people that continually quote from the bible or have to follow the direction of others are individuals who have very low personal self esteem, worth, or direction of their own lives.I know people like you! Usually the nerdy type...they are usually closed minded individuals that always have to be guided...Individuals like you would be great candidates for Dr. Phil. He would give you guidance. I taught my children to be open minded to learn, about the world, learn about others, learn about other religions. I am sure if you have children they were probably not given that opportunity...and thats sad. Let them learn about other religions in this world and let them make their own decisions, don't jam your personal beliefs down their throat.. Praying is just a selfish act of wanting something. Lets enjoy this world and quit worrying about the next, and again yes I believe in God, but you don't have to be a conservative catholic to believe in God....Eugene contact your bishop and ask him whats the latest on the sex scandal within the church, or why is it that priests are contacting aids more then then the US population per capita these are the current issues..whats going on in the church! ..but you won't you haven't got balls to question the mighty church....keep quoting the bible and puffing up the pope everything will be OK! ya right! Your just a soft shit! who marches to their drum!!! THERE ARE LOTS OF EUGENES !!! I see guys like you every day! I love it!
-- j.dowling (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 12, 2004.
Go on, Daddy Dowling,
Spreading cheer everywhere you go. Start by corrupting your children, sending them straight to the wilderness. There certainly are a lot of daddys like you; so-called free-thinkers who haven't thought out a thing.
''Let them learn about other religions in this world and let them make their own decisions, don't jam your personal beliefs down their throat.'' (Keep them in darkness as long as they enjoy life's treats. But when it comes time to suffer, all these children will have learned is to commit suicide. According to their Dad.)
It's the unbeliever's conventional argument that faith in God has to be ''jammed down a person's throat.'' You think there's no other way to call sinners to repentence, and to have faith in Our Redeemer. Why? I guess because the unbeliever is unhappy if he must give up his sins. He may have everything invested, in this life-- in crime, debauchery, pornography, hatred and selfishness. God would take all of those things away. Is what you imagine--? How that idiocy has led you to the conclusion that ''praying is just a selfish act,'' I have to ask--? ? ? When in fact we are consecrated to LOVE, not selfishness, as faithful followers of Jesus Christ. We agree to sin no more and love God forever; and be loved in return.
This is something you just haven't experienced, Daddy. Because you seem to love yourself as a god, but have no clue of how much God LOVES YOU.
It surpasses all other joys to live in love with God, Who has created us to love and serve Him. I'm far from your typical nerd; believing in this love and in God. I live without fear of anything in the world, even death. In fact, I'll never have to die. Not on account of what is written in the Bible. I'm not a Bible-thumper at all. I know all this because-- I have suffered. I lived with affliction for the first forty years of my life. I turned to HIM from young adulthood; and because of God's love for me, I survived it all until 1982. Determined never to despair.
Then He brought me out of pain and unhappiness into a marriage; a great woman who gives me endless love and cheer and goodness. She is a firm believer too; a Catholic. Hey-- neither of us two is a saint. We have the same faults as your own. But we don't live in unrepentent sin. We have Jesus Christ. He brought us together, Daddy. He is more than willing to accept us even if we're sinners. No one had to jam the Sacred Heart of Jesus down our throats.
No one would ever jam anything down your childrens' throats, either. It wouldn't be real faith. God asks for our hearts, He never forces us. That's been just a figment of your imagination, because you're determined to live in sin until you die.
-- eugene c. chavez (email@example.com), November 12, 2004.
people that continually quote from the bible or have to follow the direction of others are individuals who have very low personal self esteem, worth, or direction of their own lives.
Wow, this is the second reversal in this week. normally catholics are the ones who get accused of NOT following the bible.
I know people like you! Usually the nerdy type...they are usually closed minded individuals that always have to be guided... Individuals like you would be great candidates for Dr. Phil. He would give you guidance.
Dr. Phil is a ratings hogging network hack job. He's amusing, sure, but if he's your idea of a role model that should be giving guidance to others, you need some work.
Let them learn about other religions in this world and let them make their own decisions, don't jam your personal beliefs down their throat..
at what age? again, the world is a place which works AGAINST the faith. are you going to hand a child a six pack of beer and the keys to your car? no!!! why not: because the world is DANGEROUS to allow children to make a decision outside their scope. now, you're telling me you wouldnt allow your child to make decisions that could seriously harm their physical well-being, but you dont care for their spiritual well-being, which could potentially damn them for eternity. The surprising thing is that YOU actually accuse eugene as being the bad parent.
Praying is just a selfish act of wanting something.
nonsense. People pray ALL THE TIME for things that dont affect them in any way. I would say that of the times i pray, maybe 1 in 20 is something that has an effect on me. you want to see selfish? how about shirking the responsibility of a parent to give their child a proper spiritual upbringing because you're too uncomfortable to take up the yoke of being a guiding father.
Eugene contact your bishop and ask him whats the latest on the sex scandal within the church
The sex scandal has panned out. accusations have dropped of drastically as the catholic church has settled on a strict policy against such things. You know the funny thing? you support the american government right? well, isnt that the same government who's judicial system STILL allows michael jackson to go around molesting little boys? your hypocracy is amazing, mr. dowling.
why is it that priests are contacting aids more then then the US population per capita these are the current issues..whats going on in the church!
this information is patently false. the priestly molestation rate is lower than that of any other group in the united states. you know what that entails right? if i met you on the street (as a stranger), next to a random priest i had never met, YOU would have a higher percentage chance of being a sexual predator than a priest.
Your just a soft ****!
and you, child, are violating this forums rules with your foul language. clean it up.
-- paul h (dontSendMeMail@notAnAddress.com), November 12, 2004.
I suggest Daddy Dowling WISHES our Catholic priests were contracting AIDS every day. It would suit him fine.
He hardly worries that his own children could come up with a venereal disease. Even AIDS, assuming a needle was to blame. (Wouldn't want him to think I said they'd be promiscuous gays.)
When he ignores their immortal souls extending them freedom to sin as they please, where are they going if not the gutter?
Dowdling thinks priests are the ones who inhabit the gutter. But even an evil priest can repent. When will Dowling repent? Or, is he without sin?
-- eugene c. chavez (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 12, 2004.
In a democracy Michael Jackson is innocent until proven guilty, he has money to fight just like the church has paid out nearly a Billion $ so far in payoffs (disgusting) ..thats america right?.....latest statistics show that over 8030 catholic priests have been charged/convicted of molesting children in the past 50 years in the USA, (not counting the ones that people were afraid to come forward about) those figures were just recently released...out of 100,000 priests in that time period. I believe there are currently 44,000 active priests in the USA and dropping...I don't believe that 8% of the male population have been charged/convicted of child molestation. Example: At a NFL football game I don't think 8000 people at a game are one time convicted molesters...the priest numbers are much higher...every major news media reported months ago that every diocese in the USA I believe all 176 have been affected by priests that have been charged. When I was growing up I would have never thought ANY priest could ever do such a thing, but in the past few years the church came out with that catchy line "there only human" ...the only reason the church is addressing the issue is, and you know, is because they GOT CAUGHT!...before that they shuffled these guys from parish to parish, didn't matter they buggered kids or not, had to protect the church...what a crock. Where was God!....anyone and I mean anyone who defends the church over this issue is a conspirator with them. any other priest, or bishop who was aware of any child being molested and looked the other way should be punished just like anyone else in our society.......think of the damage to the thousands of current children and current adults who were physically/emotionally destroyed by these demons who were the same guys who gave themselves holy communion every sunday week after week...and you people on this forum defend these guys....you should all be ashamed of yourselves.....but your not, just keep rolling along, look the other way, right! Your right I make mistakes but I will stand up and take my lumps for what I have done, not sweep it under the carpet and have all the sheep continue to follow these #$$ @*&(* Eugene and others, if you defend these guys your obviously sad cases....stand up and be counted for once....do whats right, let them know it!! but you won't!
-- j dowling (email@example.com), November 12, 2004.
I am sure most are familiar with the organization SNAP. Survivors network of those abused by priests.....(I am not a member) but this website has a lot of current information that most would not believe...someone recently posted that the church scandals have been taken care of...I think not: November 2/04 Father Stephen Fernandes Our Lady of Fatima from New Bedford Maine just charged with child pronography on his computer....Oct 12/04. Cincinnati Enquirer reported Arch Bishop concealed (lied) of sexual abuse allegations of his priests from the authorities, the victims/families want to know the truth so charges can be layed....Snap also reports several parishes/throughout the USA are filing for bankrupcy and closing....Go to google go to PRIESTS SNAP and check out the latest HEADLINES or PRESS RELEASES and learn the truth of the church that you don't know about...or maybe don't want to know about. There is also positive info on the church.
-- j. dowling (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 12, 2004.
What does any of this have to do with the theologically impossible desire for currently ordained priests to marry (as opposed to letting married men become ordained)?
Do you think perverts such as the handful of these *(liberal) priests who went through shake-n-bake seminaries in the 1960s and 1970s would STOP looking at porn or hurting kids if they also had a woman to man- handle?
-- Joe (email@example.com), November 12, 2004.
Nice try, Daddy.
You think standing in judgment on bad priests makes you virtuous? No, you're only muck- raking. Go ahead; you aren't the only one. In this forum we never defended ONE evil priest or bad bishop. We argued for months during that sad time; it must still be in our archives. Look up the threads. I don't want to bother explaining it all over for you-- you can't come up out of the gutter for all we try.
Priests who commit sins against boys, and so doing against God (sacrilege); are simply evil. Evil crops up even in the midst of holiness. Christ called to Himself twelve apostles; called them to holiness. One of them sold Him for thirty pieces of silver. Sold Jesus up to His enemies who crucified Him.
But God didn't damn the remaining eleven apostles. Who, BTW-- began this faith and our Church now known as Catholic. The faith you reject.
You act just as Judas acted. Not interested in Jesus, nor in the other eleven apostles. In fact you don't even care about your own children. If they go to hell, it'll be your fault. But you're more interested in cursing pedophile priests than in them. Because you're the hypocrite. You're casting the first stone. Forget me & forget this forum, poor simpleton. How much longer will you defy God? Soon He'll lower the boom on Dowling. When He does, just remember: we ''toilet you!'' Haha!
-- eugene c. chavez (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 12, 2004.