Rome to US Eastern Catholics: New Priests Should “Embrace Celibacy”

JR

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Signaling a possible shift in policy, Catholic News Service today reported the comments of the head of the papal office overseeing US Eastern Catholic Bishops that new vocations to the priesthood in US Eastern Catholic Churches should be “embracing celibacy” because “mandatory celibacy is the general rule for priests” in the US. For the past several years, Eastern Catholic Bishops in the US have had the option of requesting dispensations from the celibacy rule from Rome to allow for the ordination of married men to the priesthood. While it is not yet known if this signifies a change in policy on the issue, this is the first time in decades for a Vatican official to publicly encourage celibacy for Eastern Catholic clergy. It also contrasts with recent allowances of some ordinations of married men to the priesthood in the Latin Rite among clergy converts from Protestant churches.

http://orthocath.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/rome-to-us-eastern-catholics-new-priests-should-embrace-celibacy/
 

Azul

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"great" more adulterous and pedophile priests coming :|
 

podkarpatska

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This development is really troubling to those of us Orthodox who have tried, with limited success, to defend the Eastern Catholic Churches online and try to present the Roman Church in a less hostile manner than others.

Is this a 'redux' of 'Ea Semper' in modern language? Those who forget the past are indeed condemned to repeat its errors. Rome, it seems, has yet to learn that venerable maxim.

I wonder how the many married priests in the BCC and the UGCC who have, in recent years, come here from Europe feel upon reading this news? I often remind my fellow Orthodox that St. Alexis Toth was an educated and well-placed Greek Catholic priest who was well aware of the terms of the unions of Uzghorod and Brest. Formerly the prefect of the Presov Seminary, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that he might have been a Greek Catholic bishop there, or in America at some point had he not migrated as a widower to minister the faithful in North America and run into the hostility and arrogance of Archbishop Ireland. Obviously those in power in Rome never grasped that reality - then or now.

In my mind's eye, this reinforces my understanding of the rallying call of my grandparents' time - "Ani do Rim, ani do Moskvi!" (neither to Rome nor to Moscow!) sigh....

Rome is Rome. This notwithstanding, I will continue to pray that all of us whose background was impacted by unfortunate unions, Eastern Catholic and Orthodox alike, remain true to our eastern heritage and that Rome at some point comes to honor her commitments made to the eastern churches in union with her. This is how Rome rewards the loyalty of those Greek Catholics who endured the perils of the 20th century - both self-inflicted by the actions of Rome and reinforced by the compact between the Orthodox and the Communists following the second world war.

As my dad always said, hold the door open for them - they may yet come home.
 

xariskai

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podkarpatska said:
I wonder how the many married priests in the BCC and the UGCC who have, in recent years, come here from Europe feel upon reading this news?
Not to mention the Anglicans running to Rome due to recent events. What's down the road for them?
 

dzheremi

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Very sad. What is it about Rome that makes it talk out of both sides of its mouth regarding such disciplines? Either you have your "two lungs" or you don't. It is clear that Rome is very sick, though I personally would like to be able to say otherwise (if only for the sake of the many good people I met in my time as an RC). Lord have mercy on those good Eastern Catholic priests who struggle to minister to the faithful outside of their traditional lands and face such astounding ignorance on the part of their coreligionists at the highest levels of their communion.
 

primuspilus

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I just cant help but imagine the following:

"Keep your liturgy? Sure!" "You want your own law? no problem!" "Your traditions? sure thing!" "Your own bishops? ok fine!" "It'll be just like usual except for communion with Rome."

*meanwhile snickers and chuckles are heard from behind the curtain*

PP
 

podkarpatska

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There is indeed nothing new under the sun.

As St. Alexis Toth observed, "I made up my mind to do something which I carried in my heart for a long time, for which my soul longed: that is, to become Orthodox. But how was it to be done. I had to be very cautious. The unfortunate Union, the source of our decline and all our ills, had been part of our people too long. We had already borne that yoke on our shoulders for 250 years. I fervently prayed God to grant me the power to make all this clear to my unenlightened parishioners." http://www.acrod.org/readingroom/saints/stalexistoth

Yet forty years after St. Alexis 'meeting' with Archbishop Ireland, little had changed: "By 1936 there was turmoil in the Greek Catholic Church after repeated pleas for recall of the decrees of celibacy and latinization which had been imposed on parishes.  After no response, parishes met in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at a Church Council.  On February 6, 1936, those parishes selected the Reverend Orestes P. Chornock as administrator for the establishment of a new diocese." http://acrod.org/diocese/formerbishops/metropolitanorestes

 

Deacon Lance

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While acknowledging DMD's valid criticism and how bad such statements look to the Orthodox I wouldn't put too much stock into this statement. Italian Cardinals keep pretending the ban is enforce and admonsihing us about it, canonists keep reminding them it was not renewed so it lost the force of law, and Greek Catholic bishops quitely keep ordaining married men, and the past two non-Italian Popes say and do nothing to stop it.
 

ialmisry

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xariskai said:
podkarpatska said:
I wonder how the many married priests in the BCC and the UGCC who have, in recent years, come here from Europe feel upon reading this news?
Not to mention the Anglicans running to Rome due to recent events. What's down the road for them?
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
 

Shanghaiski

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Azul said:
"great" more adulterous and pedophile priests coming :|
You know that this does not compute.

Besides, should the Roman Catholic Church decide to do so, if it does not already, there are means for psychological screening that could be employed to sort out unsuitable candidates for the priesthood.
 

Shanghaiski

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Enforced clerical celibacy is one of the only peculiarly Roman things older than papal supremacy. It even predates the use of azymes.
 

podkarpatska

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Deacon Lance said:
While acknowledging DMD's valid criticism and how bad such statements look to the Orthodox I wouldn't put too much stock into this statement. Italian Cardinals keep pretending the ban is enforce and admonsihing us about it, canonists keep reminding them it was not renewed so it lost the force of law, and Greek Catholic bishops quitely keep ordaining married men, and the past two non-Italian Popes say and do nothing to stop it.
But, as was asked elsewhere this afternoon, why do the Popes keep appointing Latin-rite Italian cardinals to manage the Congregation for the Oriental Churches?

It is this talking out of both sides of the mouth that is so troubling to us, particularly those of us who try to be open-minded.

Truth be told, any attempt to enforce celibacy in say, Slovakia or better yet, Ukraine, would never be attempted. The rationale used here in the USA could just as well be used in say Slovakia, which is overwhelmingly a Latin-rite Catholic country, regarding celibacy. I suspect that outside of the far eastern counties of that country, the average Roman Catholic is probably as woefully ignorant about the Greek Catholic church as are their counterparts in the USA. It is even more pronounced in the Czech republic, where my cousin is a married Greek Catholic priest with a young family, where the presence of the Eastern Rite really came about following the war with forced relocations and after 1990 as a result of job opportunities. What is the difference? I would argue that it is the willing ignorance of the conservative Latin rite hierarchy in the United States which insists on perpetuating this situation, but that is just my opinion.
 
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