The Next Synod: Married Priests?

From chiesa.espressonline:

In mid-February Pope Francis will go to Chiapas, where hundreds of deacons with their wives are pushing to be ordained as priests. And in the Amazon as well the turning point seems to be near. It was all written down in the agenda of Cardinal Martini 

by Sandro Magister

ROME, December 9, 2015 – While waiting for Pope Francis to rule on communion for the divorced and remarried, which two synods discussed and split over, there is already a glimpse of the theme of the next synodal session: married priests.

The selection of the theme is up to the pope, as happened with the past synods and will take place with the next, independently of what will be proposed by the fourteen cardinals and bishops of the council that acts as a bridge between one assembly and the next.

And that married priests will be the next topic of synodal discussion can be gathered from various indications.


The first indication is the evident intention of Pope Francis to implement the agenda dictated in 1999 by Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, in a memorable statement at the synod of that year.

The archbishop of Milan at the time, a Jesuit and the undisputed leader of the “liberal” wing of the hierarchy, said that he “had a dream”: that of a Church capable of getting into a permanent synodal state, with a “collegial and authoritative exchange among all the bishops on some key issues.”

And here are the “key issues” that he listed:

“The shortage of ordained ministers, the role of woman in society and in the Church, the discipline of marriage, the Catholic vision of sexuality, penitential practice, relations with the sister Churches of Orthodoxy and more in general the need to revive ecumenical hopes, the relationship between democracy and values and between civil laws and the moral law.”

Of Martini’s agenda, the two synods convened so far by Pope Francis have indeed discussed “the discipline of marriage” and in part “the Catholic vision of sexuality.”

There is nothing to prevent, therefore, the “key issue” of the next synod from being that which Martini put at the head of them all: “the shortage of ordained ministers.”


The shortage of priests – who in the Latin Catholic Church are by rule celibate – is felt especially keenly in some regions of the world. Above all in Latin America.

One year ago Bishop Erwin Kräutler, Austrian by birth and the head of the Xingu prelature in Brazil, with only 25 priests in a territory larger than Italy and therefore with the possibility of celebrating the Mass and the sacraments only two or three times a year in the most far-flung localities, has made himself the messenger to Pope Francis of the request from many of his brother bishops to make up for the shortage of celibate priests by also conferring sacred ordination on “viri probati,” meaning men of proven virtue, and married.

The request was not new. And the Brazilian bishops – but not only them – have made it repeatedly. Cardinal Cláudio Hummes, 81, archbishop emeritus of São Paulo and a leading elector of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, even proposed it when he was prefect of the Vatican congregation for the clergy, from 2006 to 2010.

Today Hummes is president both of the commission for the Amazon of the episcopal conference of Brazil and of the Pan-Amazonian Network that unites 25 cardinals and bishops of countries in the area, in addition to indigenous representatives of diverse local ethnic groups. And in this capacity he told Vatican Radio last month that he is “working for an indigenous Church, a Church immersed in history and in the culture and religion of the indigenous, a Church that would have an indigenous clergy as its guide. They have the right to this. They are the last periphery that we have, the farthest away.”

This time Hummes didn’t say more. But it is known that saying “indigenous clergy” in this context means envisioning a clergy that is also married.

Rumor has had it this year that Pope Francis wrote a letter to Brazilian cardinal Claudio Hummes in support of a reflection on ecclesiastical celibacy and on the ordination of “viri probati.” Fr. Federico Lombardi has denied the existence of this letter. But, he added, “it is however true that the pope has invited the Brazilian bishops on more than one occasion to seek and propose with courage the pastoral solutions that they believe to be suitable for addressing the major pastoral problems of their country.”


In another area of Latin America, Chiapas, in the south of Mexico, the pressure for a married clergy has been made concrete in recent decades with the ordination of an exorbitant number of indigenous deacons, several hundred, in the vast diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, in which there are a few dozen priests and almost all of them are elderly.

The mass ordination of these deacons, all of them married, had its culmination in the forty years of the episcopate, from 1959 to 2000, of Samuel Ruiz Garcia, who became famous for his proximity to Subcomandante Marcos, in the long conflict in Chiapas between the Ejército Zapatista de Liberación and the Mexican federal government.

In 2000, however, with the retirement of Ruiz Garcia, Rome ordered a suspension of ordinations to the diaconate. It banned the practice of calling them “indigenous deacons,” as if this constituted a new and different kind of ministry in the Church. It enjoined the wives not to call themselves “deaconesses” or represent that they too had received sacramental ordination, on account of the practice of imposing hands on them as well during the ordination of their husbands. It demanded that the deacons already ordained state publicly that their ordination ended there and did not constitute in any way a stage toward a subsequent priestly ordination, as married priests:

> Congregación para el culto divino y la disciplina de los sacramentos. Carta al obispo de San Cristóbal de Las Casas, 20 de julio de 2000

But after Bergoglio’s election as pope, the ban was revoked. In May of 2014, Rome again authorized the successor to Ruiz Garcia, Bishop Arizmendi Esquivel, to resume diaconal ordinations. And the bishop promptly announced that he had around a hundred of them planned:

> Autoriza el Vaticano ordenar más diáconos permanentes en Chiapas

Meanwhile, in Rome, Pope Francis was proceeding with a profound reorganization of the management and personnel of the Vatican congregation for the clergy, where the greatest resistance to the introduction of a married clergy lay.

But there’s more. It is now certain that on his next intercontinental journey, to Mexico in mid-February, Francis will make a stop in none other than Chiapas, in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.

Receiving last February 10 at Santa Marta twelve priests, five of whom have left the ministry to get married, when asked about it Francis replied: “The problem is present on my agenda.”

And already there are some who can see another step ahead: that Francis would bring back into discussion not only the celibacy of the clergy, but also the ban on the sacred ordination of women. This is the hope expressed by, for example, one famous American Benedictine sister, Joan Chittister:

> Ordination of married men would cause other major changes within the church

Click here for Father Z’s reaction

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44 Responses to The Next Synod: Married Priests?

  1. sixupman says:

    Liverpool Archdiocese directory [2012] contains four pages of 116 number “Permanent Deacons” – wives also named. Adjacent Salford Diocese has, at 2012, none listed, but that is about to change. In a plan to incorporate “managed decline” in the Diocese, the new bishop is to create “Permanent Deacons” to fill the gap in clergy numbers, coupled to an amalgamation of parishes. A non-stop progression to married clergy and an entirely different church. But not mine!

  2. You can see where this is going. Since “homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer,” surely the next synod will not only allow married priests, but also allow the ordination of both men in a same-sex “marriage.”

  3. Gertrude says:

    One shouldn’t make light of this depressing (but not suprising) news but having just read Father Z’s take on this whole sorry business I wonder has the Pope a lady in mind? The possibilities are endless. This is certainly not my Church.

  4. kathleen says:

    Hmmm, one can just smell the sulphur around frustrated feminists like Joan Chittister, can’t you? Well, she writes for the Fish Wrap (that despite being perhaps the most un-Catholic rag in the media, still has the audacity to call itself ‘Catholic’) so what can one expect? In fact there’s a lot of the stink of sulphur in the Church these days; it seems to have grown and multiplied ever since Pope Paul VI perceived its evil ‘smoke’ in 1972!

    I just wish these blithering idiots who want to send us all to Hell (pace Eccles) would just gather their cronies together and get out of the Church. There are plenty of liberal Protestant sects they could join where they’d be made welcome. Or they could start their own little self-congratulatory sect founded on the theology of Joan Chittister!

    We may wonder if the “dream” Cardinal Martini expounded to bring Modernism even further into the Church might not now have become his nightmare on the other side of the grave! Liberals never give up on their ‘shifting deckchairs on a sinking Titanic’, do they?
    Have they never wondered why there was no shortage of vocations to the priesthood in the hundreds of years prior to Vatican II – the time when Modernism, with all its errors, finally got a place of honour in the Temple of God? By all accounts seminaries were bursting at the seams prior to the Council… but as we have recently seen confirmed, many incipient good and holy vocations were hacked down by liberal seminary teachers in its aftermath.

    Of course living a life of permanent celibacy (the big issue dealt with here) is undoubtedly very tough for a man; surely nobody would deny that! But those special chosen souls who hear the call from God to be alter Christus, to gather in souls to know and love Him too and partake of the Sacred Body of Christ, can see beyond this life to the Kingdom of Heaven, and are therefore prepared to sacrifice everything to respond to God’s call. The humble and courageous man who can accept the many sacrifices asked of him (including celibacy) to follow faithfully in the footsteps of the Saviour should do so, for Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself tells us so – (Matthew 19:12).

    Holy priests who devote their entire lives to Christ and His Body, the Church, are an incomparable treasure in our midst, who God will raise to great heights in Heaven one day. They are our ‘bridge’ between this life and the next. It is truly the greatest of tragedies that we are witnessing so many and varied attacks and persecutions on the Priesthood today, even from some within the hierarchy itself!

  5. Cassie says:

    I think it’s worth noting that in the Byzantine Rite (which is in full communion with Rome), the Priests have been allowed to be married, as long as they were already married at Ordination. Though if they become widowed afterwards, then they can’t remarry.

    Also, it wasn’t always the case in the Church that married men couldn’t become Priests. IIRC, Peter was married. I don’t recall off the top of my head when it became a rule in the Latin Rite that married men couldn’t be Ordained as Priests, or why it became that way, but in the early Church it was allowed. For that reason, I wouldn’t think that this would be something to fret over, if you are aware of its history.

    The idea of women being Ordained, however, is a very different matter…

  6. Cassie says:

    I should mention that I’m no liberal. I’m as conservative as they come, to the point that I think things should be as they were in the Church during the first century or two, and that any major change made after that point is not a good one.

  7. Michael says:

    They had married priests for about 1100 years and in spite of all the best efforts they clearly had difficulty being eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. It is incredible to think that in today’s permissive society married priests would perform better. The disciplinary norm is there for a reason.

    Gertrude the Pope had a girlfriend back in his bouncer days. Hopefully she is an ex at this stage.

  8. Gertrude says:

    One really trusts so Michael 😉 On the subject of celibacy. In another life it was explained to me, at an appropriate time, that chastity (for me) was the one gift that we could offer to God of our own will. It was the one gift that we were free to offer at the Throne of the Almighty – or not. I was happy with that explanation, and in religious life it is very liberating. Just saying …….
    I am sure that the majority of our priests offer their celibacy too as a precious gift to God and find it similarly liberating.

  9. Simon says:

    Leaving all other ideas aside, it is high time we had married Priests – not just those in the Ordinariates. I appreciate that in ordaining married men, the Church is asking an awful lot from the man and his Wife. However, if it is done sensibly and sensitively, the Church and her people stand to gain a great deal from the life experiences and insights of the couple. Let us also remember that being a Clergy Wife is a very special vocation in its own right.

  10. toad says:

    If God wanted us to be “chaste,” He would have thought up another way of making babies (and love,) possibly involving other areas of the human body. To deny “normal” sex is nuts, unhealthy, and leads to bad alternatives. As we frequently see.

    (Nope, I know – I don’t expect it to run either..)

  11. Robert says:

    So suddenly what was unthinkable yesterday becomes excusable today!
    This is an issue dealt with centuries ago by the Holy Ghost acting in and through the Church.
    The priest is of course espoused to the Church!
    All of this happened of course with Henry VIII and his schism, in fact its remarkable the similarities (altars turn round, married priests etc..).
    Well lets get back to Fatima and start to seriously understand that far from being in the Past and or behind Us, which we were told in late 90’s, we are surely facing the consequences of Disobedience to Heaven in 1960.
    In the End (and whatever is to precede that End!) my Immaculate Heart Will Triumph. Understand whom in God’s eyes will be blamed for what sadly must precede that End.
    Do not expect a sign from Our Lord.

  12. kathleen says:

    Hi Cassie,

    That is quite true that the Byzantine Rite Catholics and others, like the Maronite Catholic Church or the Coptic Catholic Church, etc., all in Communion with Rome, have married priests among their clergy (men who were married prior to ordination), so it is only in the (largest) Latin Rite Catholic Church where celibacy is stipulated. Even then, as has been mentioned, there are some exceptions to the rule. True, priestly celibacy is not an unchangeable dogma of the Church, but only a disciplinary rule. However it is a tradition going back to the very first centuries of Christianity, even though in theory it is something that could be revoked.

    However, I believe the majority of traditional Catholics would not like that to happen. Thy see the incomparable beauty and generosity that characterise priestly celibacy. As Gertrude mentions above, it is a “precious gift”, freely chosen, a total self-giving to Christ’s Church, and it becomes a powerful living witness of Man’s longing for the Kingdom of God, our final destiny.

    Our Blessed Lord in the Gospel, and later St. Paul in his Epistles, preach celibacy for “those capable of it”. From ‘Catholic Answers’:

    St Paul even goes on to make a case for preferring celibacy to marriage: “Are you free from a wife? Do not seek marriage. . . those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. . . . The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman or girl is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please her husband” (1 Corinthians 7:27-34).

    Paul’s conclusion: He who marries “does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better” (7:38).

    One noticeable characteristic of liberals in the Church (as we see in this article from chiesa, and as we saw in the recent Synod on the Family, plus all the abominable goings on we are bombarded with almost every single day) is that they never stop in their desire for change. “Tradition” appears to be an accursed word for them. But worse than that – they want to change Doctrine too! Blind to how the changes after the Second Vatican Council have been an absolute disaster for the Church, with perhaps millions having fallen away from the Faith – thanks mainly to a new type of Protestant ideology (worldliness), the watering down of Catholic instruction to the young, and the doing away with the sublime Tridentine Liturgy – they try to hack away at all the good and holy things still left!

  13. Gertrude says:

    Toad, I approved your comment so that I could inform what you already know.To live a chaste life is not everyone’s vocation. To marry and make babies is equally a vocation. God calls us all to one state or another. I am sure there are folk who thank God daily that they were not called to live a chaste life, but that in no way diminishes the calling of those that are.

  14. Simon says:

    This comment has been removed by a moderator.

  15. sixupman says:

    What personal sacrifice is a priest making if it is not celibacy and marriage? I will leave aside the crude image which comes to mind relative married clergy and Celebration of The Mass.

    Also clergy wives will become parish bosses per Mrs. Proudy (?) of Barchester!

  16. Robert says:

    What has copulation to do with what Christ? He said about Man and Birth? “Unless a Man is reborn”? The Virgin Birth means without copulation.
    As I keep saying you have to look through the eyes of the Faith. If you follow the naturalist (ie.. no need for God) then there can be no such thing as Sin.
    Beastility? Divorce? Polygamy? Incest? Sodomy? after all its just being natural isn’t it? Sin includes Fornication, Adultery, Sodomy, I could go on. Open your eyes to Man experiments on Man, they use human foetus cells in experiments!! no better than the Nazis.
    Our Father who Art in Heaven this is where true Fatherhood and Motherhood are to be found.
    This worldly, spurious poisonous garbage, is precisely what was dumped in the Grotto at Lourdes was it not? The Immaculate Conception choose the dumping ground of the soiled waste from a Hospital and turned that dump into Holy ground.
    The many, many miracles of Lourdes.
    The Church is the mystical Body of Christ and the Cain’s and Abel’s found in the Church today will surely be divided. I am not surprised that in Our Day the Abel’s are persecuted and derided by the Cain’s.
    So who will prevail God and His Laws or this World with its Dictatorship that demands that what was Sin be now considered as Virtue?
    Hell was shown to the Children at Fatima!! Heaven? or Hell?

  17. Michael says:

    I’ve come to this a bit late, so I imagine much has already been covered re the pros and cons of married priests, but I remember Fr. Ray Ryland (and his wife Ruth) having some very interesting things to say about clerical celibacy in this episode of The Journey Home*, and which contradict the idea that celibacy for priests was a discipline only firmly insisted on in the Middle Ages, or that married priests was a common thing before then:

    Also, this interview with Fr. Sebastian Walshe at Catholic Answers has some really instructive (and quite beautiful) things to say about the gift of celibacy in and to the Church:

    *I think they get into the topic at around the 10-15 minute mark.

  18. GC says:

    I wouldn’t have thought that the “synodal” way of doing things has worked that well for the Bishop of Rome and those he supports*. Even after stacking the synod with his special appointees they still had to pull rabbits out of hats in order to suggest in Civiltà Cattolica and through the Jesuit world network that the synod said it’s now time for your Holy Communion if you yourself think you have a right to it.

    The recent synod of course was notable in that it really was in no real mood to endorse Wally K’s pet projects and none of them appeared in the final documents of either parts of the synod. And the Bishop of Rome seemed at the conclusion of everything to be sulking and walking off in a huff, not at all pleased with the synodal outcome.

    A case of their thinking they’ll “have better luck next time” perhaps?

    The Bishop of Rome and his supportees really need to try and get this “synod thing” working more in their favour next time, by hook or by crook.

    *For those who may not have seen it yet, please read George Weigel’s What really happened at Synod 2015 from next month’s First Things.

  19. Robert says:

    If my memory serves me correctly Our Lady was asked about Politics at an Apparition site (Left Right wing etc.. etc..) . There is NONE of this nonsense in Heaven! So don’t use the language of Masonry!
    The Creed!!
    Understand that Celibracy is not a matter of opinion or discussion. Neither is Fornication, Adultery, Sodomy, Bestiality ie SIN.
    Look it was Pilate who asked Our Lord What is Truth? Well Our Lord is Truth! Either you recognise or you don’t.
    Beware the Silence of Christ! Why should Truth enter into a debate over TRUTH?
    So the minute they start talking of Traditionalist, Left or Right etc.. WALK AWAY the place for debate and diversity is where it exists in abundancy HELL!
    Think THE CREED!

  20. toad says:

    “Understand that Celibracy is not a matter of opinion or discussion.”
    Then why on earth are we discussing it, Regbot?

    “If my memory serves me correctly Our Lady was asked about Politics at an Apparition site (Left Right wing etc.. etc..) “
    What did she say, Robeg?
    Nothing “politically incorrect,” can we hope?

  21. Robert says:

    Nothing new here! Just think Luther and Henry VIII.
    Celibracy is a sacrifice made by the candidate for the priesthood and religious.
    If you are called out of the world why seek the opinion and ways of the world.
    The only reason for the Curia to raise this is to satisfy a Masonic agenda! It isn’t a matter of opinion or discussion because with the Mystical Body Of Christ (the Church) there is the accord and selfless Love of the Trinity. What is there left to discuss? where there is selfless Love and Accord?

    Henry VIII placed the Faith under the State (the Crown, president, etc..) on the basis that He the King had been Divinely Crowned by God. The State under Henry VIII becomes the supreme judge and head of the Faith on Earth.
    The State Church separation rapidly deifies Caesar! The State the judge of God?
    Without the Light of Faith the Call is NOT out of the World it rather a calling into the World. This is where this synod is heading away from God and into the World.

    The State has copulation as its pinnacle of Love. But the eyes of the Faith have the selfless Love of the Trinity. The selfless Love where the Father begats the Son and their mutuality of selfless Love begats the Holy Ghost.

    What goes under the title State cover? From Crown to Presidency BUT it idolises the world. Politics rapidly becomes the worship of Idols.

    Our Lady and worldly Politics Toad? Our Lady is Full Of Grace which means that what She speaks has Gods Authority! Where there is Selfless Love and Truth there can only be accord, so where does debate enter the equation? Thy Will be Done On Earth as it is In Heaven that of course is the answer and road to Peace, Love.

  22. toad says:

    “The State Church separation rapidly deifies Caesar!”
    Roger, give us all a straight answer.
    Do you want to live under Sharia law? Or would you have preferred the Puritan and Protestant States where Catholicism was forbidden by law? Or Soviet Russia where the State was the Church? You are all in favour of State and Church being one – provided Roger can choose which church.
    …And mostly, you can’t .
    The Spanish National Catholic Church State, under Franco, was a very nasty one indeed. Unless you were a right-wing Catholic, of course.
    If you were a left-wing Catholic, (or anything else) you were probably in jail

  23. Robert says:

    Toad ALL States apply a Moral Code; the issue is whether that Moral Code is of God? St Bernadette when asked what Sin was said “its the Love of Evil”. Laws which force Sin which is what you have cited.
    Left and Right are a favourite Masonic terminology.
    Thesis and Antithesis and then a resolution. Its just a tool to force change! So how convenient to create a division left-wing and right-wing Catholic because this provides the Massonic excuse to change the Faith and Dogma!
    Show me in the Trinity where the Left and Right exist!

  24. kathleen says:

    Michael @ 21:22 on 10th December

    Thank you very much for these two very important links.
    Having been very busy, I only last night finally managed to listen to those two interviews on priestly celibacy that you gave. They are really marvellous and most insightful, filling in all the many gaps in all my own and others’ arguments in favour of this most beautiful gift and sacrifice of the Latin Catholic priesthood. I take back my words that priestly celibacy is not a dogma of the Church, only a disciplinary practice that could be (unfortunately) “revoked”. Wrong! It never will be, Deo gratias. Fr Walshe explains very well and sensitively why this is so.

    The profound gift of priestly celibacy is little understood even in the Church, I think. Many Catholics, who may recognise its undoubtable practical benefits, fail to identify its higher calling of self-giving witness to heavenly truths. We live in a world today blinded to spiritual awareness by overwhelming sensuality, greed and materialism. But it is only “heavenly truths” – all of them – that can truly ‘set us free’.

  25. Robert says:

    The use of a Synod and the Bishop of Rome one amongst his peers!! Creates the equivalent of a Parliament and a party system in the Vatican. Thesis and Antithesis and a democratic vote?
    What did Our Lord teach Us? The Our Father, Father and Mother, Sister and Brother. Honour Thy Father and Mother!
    As Created Man and woman (because from Man). The Family is what Heaven places before Us and the Sacrament of Marriage! Now the priest and religious wear rings because theirs is a Celibrate Marriage with the fecundity of spiritual children.
    So the attack started against Marriage, Divorce, Abortion, etc. etc. Family Planning SIN

  26. kathleen says:

    Toad @ 7:10

    The Spanish National Catholic Church State, under Franco, was a very nasty one indeed. Unless you were a right-wing Catholic, of course.
    If you were a left-wing Catholic, (or anything else) you were probably in jail.

    Not true at all! ! (Nothing to do with the subject of this post either, but I can’t let this one go uncontested.)

    Roughly half of Spain could be considered “left-wing”… only a very small number indeed of their extremists were put into jail for criminal activities related to their politics. In the subsequent years of the Spanish Civil War, i.e. during the forties, nearly all of them were released. This is a fact!
    It’s all a myth what you say, Toad… a totally false myth as any (now) elderly Spaniard who lived during Franco’s time could tell you. I have talked to many, even one whose father had been imprisoned at that time, before being released.

    The renown author, Alexander Solzheintsyn, who had suffered much under the totalitarian Communist regime in the USSR, visited Spain. Solzhenitsyn said in a television broadcast that Spain was by contrast with the Soviet Union a wildly free country. “The progressive forces of this country,” he said in Madrid, “tell us that the Spanish regime is a dictatorship… If in the USSR we had the liberty I have witnessed here, we would not be able to believe it.”

  27. toad says:

    “Left and Right are a favourite Masonic terminology.”
    So, when I say my house is the second on the right, I’m being Masonic, am I?
    Left and right are also employed regarding hands, feet, ears, and testicles.
    And also when screwing nuts, and marching in step. All Masonic, no doubt.
    Roger – you are unique. (I hope.)

    I wonder what Solzhenitsyn was allowed to see (or stopped from seeing). I’m quite prepared to believe Russia was nastier than Spain back then. But Spain then was far nastier than the rest of Europe. Nobody now denies it was an extremely repressive dictatorship – except maybe you, Kathleen.
    We have old men who talk about those days here, too (and old women.) And they didn’t like it. One bit.

  28. Robert says:

    Toad has raised the issue of “ house is the second on the right..”
    “..The term “Great Architect of the Universe” (or “Grand Architect of the Universe”) is used to permit a more generic worship to the Supreme Being of all present. All Masons understand this concept and when prayers are offered in their lodge, they understand that regardless of the person speaking the words or the manner of prayer of others present, the prayer is addressed to their Supreme Being. ..”
    Masonry = pluralism.
    Toad how many Religious, Priests, Bishops were killed by the Reds in Spain? I believe the Reds even machine gunned the Sacred Heart! Repressive? its now a crime to criticise sexual bestiality.

  29. GC says:

    The use of a Synod and the Bishop of Rome one amongst his peers!! Creates the equivalent of a Parliament and a party system in the Vatican. Thesis and Antithesis and a democratic vote.

    Robert, it is hard to deny that our Church is one of council after council together with the voice of Peter. The history speaks for itself.

    If we want to have one authoritative voice only then we could well look at the Toad model we see here. Erm, no thanks.

  30. toad says:

    “’s now a crime to criticise sexual bestiality.”
    Where in the world is that a crime, Roger? In the country where you live (wherever that is) ? In the UK, bestiality itself seems to be a serious crime.
    But I have no doubt that criticising the act is not a crime. So whereabouts is criticising bestiality a crime?
    Unless, of course, you live in Saudi Arabia, or somewhere equally horrible. In which case, you might be right. Also, unless, of course – you are simply lying.
    I’m capable of believing anything awful about places like “The Holy Land,”. or, indeed, anywhere in the Middle East.
    It will be the death of us all. Quite soon.

  31. toad says:

    “If we want to have one authoritative voice only then we could well look at the Toad model we see here.”
    Do you really see Toad as one “authoritative” voice, GC?
    How flattering. But, I suggest, misplaced.
    Especially for someone like Toad whose ‘cracked record’ gospel is that nobody can be remotely knowledgeable, let alone certain – of anything metaphysical, and who is highly sceptical of all “authoritative” voices, including Atheist philosophers, and Christians of every conceivable stripe (which are legion, and all “know” that they – and they alone – are right.).
    Don’t, listen to what Toad says, people! (Not that any of you do) He may be wrong!
    Examine what facts are available, then make up your own minds, after due and sober consideration.
    Then you will be all right.Or, at least, all wrong in an honest, decent, way.

  32. GC says:

    Examine what facts are available, then make up your own minds, after due and sober consideration. Then you will be all right.Or, at least, all wrong in an honest, decent, way.

    Well that sounds all pretty authoritative, Toad, even dogmatic. Wonder how I could have got that false impression?

  33. Robert says:

    Toad if you believe in Evolution then you believe in bestiality surely that is obvious. The topic is married priests (when Catholic priests are de facto married as Kathleen has discovered!). But Evolution is rooted in bestiality is it not (Marriage amongst Apes)? Evolution is also elitist and favours crossbreeding and hybridisation. All of this is logical and part of Evolution and Natural Selection.
    The Middle East? Well go back and start to think and see through the eyes of Faith the last 200 years. Start with the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception which recognises Created Man and Original Sin. Consider the role of the Masonic Nations who divided and set up the Middle east as it is known today. In particular look at 1917 (the year of Fatima) and the Balfour Declaration, the Russian Atheist Revolution. But before that go back 33 years to Pope Leo XIII and why he invoked St Michael.
    St Michael he would fought the dragon when the Fall angels rebelled against God. Rebellion in the Curia was evidenced by that Masonic members list in 1960’s. Fatima for told WW II and Akita is recognised.
    Back to La Salette and the prophecy’s of the two children.
    Right now global governance and a Masonic single Faith are within touching distance. The Death of Us All? Spiritual Death and Famine have existed for a few decades and proven through the Apostacy of Europe. Think what Our Lord said about spiritual Death and spiritual Food. Then look through the eyes of Faith and you will see Death and a Dead generation, anti Christian Laws.

  34. toad says:

    “Toad if you believe in Evolution then you believe in bestiality surely that is obvious.”
    [One sentence deleted by a moderator]
    …Because it’s not obvious at all. I believe both evolution and bestiality are facts. They happen. But they are independent facts. Do I ‘”approve” of either of them ? No.
    “Approving” of bestiality would be simply beastly.
    “Approving” of evolution would be as pointless as approving of leprosy, or earthquakes, or rain.(or Mel Gibson movies.)
    “But Evolution is rooted in bestiality is it not (Marriage amongst Apes)?”
    No, it is not, Roger. Lots of apes don’t bother getting married. Can’t afford the rings and think the ceremony is silly, anyway.
    It’s exchanges like this that make CP&S so special – and so wonderfully funny.

    “Well that sounds all pretty authoritative, Toad, even dogmatic.”
    Well, it’s not dogmatic – only advice, GC. Take it, or leave it. Like people do (or should do) with religion. A great many of them leave it. [15 words deleted by a moderator.]

    “Wonder how I could have got that false impression?”
    The way people usually get false impressions – making their minds up in advance, perhaps?

  35. toad says:

    Wow, not bad – only two deletions. The ever-diligent moderatingers were right to censor the uncharitable remark about Rogbert.
    He is a unique and wonderful fellow. For Toad, joy cometh in the morning – by way of of his latest comment.

    Anyway, I am reading the New Testament at present, and have some questions regarding the odd circumstances of Christ’s birth. CP&S will refuse to even run them, so can anyone recommend a web site which might be prepared to tackle it? A learned priest, say?

  36. Tom Fisher says:

    Anyway, I am reading the New Testament at present, and have some questions regarding the odd circumstances of Christ’s birth. CP&S will refuse to even run them, so can anyone recommend a web site which might be prepared to tackle it? A learned priest, say?

    I can recommend some critical commentaries available online. And in fairness I can also recommend some Patristic commentaries, also freely available. But what questions do you have? Perhaps the CP&S commenters can share some ideas before getting moderated.

  37. Robert says:

    Toad if you are interested the New Testament is rooted in the Old Testament and this is especially true of the Nativity. The unique signs and circumstances had already been prophesied sic a virgin shall conceive! same is true of Our Lords Passion. Knowing Prophecy is one thing and recognising its fulfilment is another.
    St Pope Gregory the Great the Bible text has three levels.
    1/ Literal Truth
    2/ Moral Truth
    3/ Mystical Truth
    The Bible is interlinked and correlated forming a single whole. I would recommend getting hold (if you can) of a copy of the old Douay Rheims pre Challoner with those wonderous Notes! These Notes would answer some questions BUT inevitable raise other questions. The Douay Rheims Fathers were the leading Scholars of their Day.
    Man doesn’t live by Bread alone (Our Lord) and the Scriptures are essential food!
    Toad if man is a Beast (Evolution) bestiality applies to his life and actions. As Toad points out
    “Lots of apes don’t bother getting married. Can’t afford the rings and think the ceremony is silly, anyway” Which is true of modern Man!

  38. Michael says:

    Kathleen @ 10:08, December 12th:

    I am glad you enjoyed the talks/interviews. I haven’t had a chance to re-listen to either of them yet, but I do remember finding them equally useful and inspirational as well. I would still maintain myself that clerical celibacy is in the realm of discipline (as opposed to doctrine or dogma) though. I personally think it a wise practice, and it does indeed represent a longstanding and authoritative tradition within the Church that I think we’d be foolish to revoke in the Latin Rite, but there are plenty of other rites within the Church that do allow for married priests and have done for a good while.

    I think the principal problem with any present debate on the topic is that the reasons for its being debated would most likely have little to do with trying to witness to the Church’s catholicity in and through its diversity of practices, but more to do with undermining traditional practices per se as part of a wider programme of accomodating the Church to worldly ‘values’. If this topic ever is debated (and again, I personally think that the Latin Rite should keep it, as it is as distinctive within this rite as married priests are in others, and has much to commend it) then it should be at a time when it is not being used as a tool by the ‘progressive’ wing to increase secularisation within the Church.

    Here’s a couple of articles that take a balanced look at the question, pointing out some genuine benefits of both married and celibate clergy (and which may, hopefully, redirect the thread back to the original topic of the post):

    Notwithstanding some of the positives of married clergy mentioned in these articles, I think that the biggest thing for me is that maintaining clerical celibacy in what is the largest rite in the Church provides us with a continual living sign, at every level of the Church’s life, of the free gifting of the whole of a life to God – that is what it is fundamentally about, IMO.

  39. Robert says:

    The word woman is interchangeable for the Church and Our Lady.
    Talking of the Latin Rite etc.. misses the key point St Peter. Whatsoever you bind!
    Marriage Our Lord “the two shall become one”. If you look at this through wordly eyes, which is what you are doing you miss the spiritual Truth.
    The priests becomes one with the Church and is therefor outside of the world. Called out of the world and married to the woman! This is why they are called Fathers.
    But if Rome pursues this then La Salette comes True.

  40. Pingback: Thoughts On Married Clergy | Donal Graeme

  41. Marissa says:

    We are all called to be chaste. Chastity as a Catholic virtue does not equal virginity.

  42. Robert says:

    Marissa Yes! Chastity as a virtue however is in accord with our vocation.
    With the priest and religious this means virginity.
    God is hierarchical. Creation is hierarchical. Family’s are hierarchical.
    The greatest example of children and virginity is Our Lady who was given to Us as Our Mother.

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