January 20, 2004 at 8:38 pm #630
There has been a lot of commotion amongst some priests in the United States lately pushing for bishops to at least look into the idea of optional celibacy. Specifics include allowing diocesan priests the option to marry while priests in religious orders will be governed by their particular order.
Some have said this will lead to a decline in the numbers of men joining religious orders while others praise it as a way to get more people into the priesthood.
Most of us know that many of the Apostles were married and that Paul was no against marriage, but actually for it.
Celibacy was not required by the Catholic Church until after the year 1000 and is not something that is set in stone. If the pope announced tomorrow that celibacy was not necessary then priests could get married.
One reason why priests cannot get married is because if they were ordained a bishop and the bishop eventually died then all the property in that diocese would go to the son or next of kin of that bishop and not go back to the Catholic Church (mind you this was in the early 2nd millenium).
Based on all of this information, [b:3vi33zd3][color=darkred:3vi33zd3]what do you think about the idea of optional celibacy?[/color:3vi33zd3][/b:3vi33zd3]
Personally, I think it is something that should at least be explored. I think that if the Church is still worried about the thing with the bishops then only celibate priests should be ordained bishops and married priests would be permanent priests (much like permanent deacons today).
I do think that it would increase the number of people considering the priesthood and I do think that it would help to have priests with families so that they have some real-world experience raising a family and they can hopefully be a model for others.
I have much more to say, but I do not want to make this post too long so I will wait and see what others have to say.January 22, 2004 at 5:11 pm #2344
Since I am only familiar with unmarried priests, I think that it would take some getting used to if the celibacy rule was to change.
I think the family of the priest would feel pressure since they would be in the “lime-light” and might think everything has to be perfect in the way they act.
Some issues of balance between devoting oneself to the church and devoting oneself to his wife and children might also surface.
However, as you say, I think this would make preisthood an option for more men.
Also, I agree it would need to be explored and well thought-over before any decision is made.January 25, 2004 at 4:38 am #2347
[quote:3555xmx7]I think the family of the priest would feel pressure since they would be in the “lime-light” and might think everything has to be perfect in the way they act.[/quote:3555xmx7]
Yeah, that’s one thing I did not consider when thinking about this topic.
It’s kind of like political leaders though too – their families are under a lot of scrutiny if one of them happens to “screw up.”
[quote:3555xmx7]Some issues of balance between devoting oneself to the church and devoting oneself to his wife and children might also surface. [/quote:3555xmx7]
To me, this brings up the issue of the role of a priest. Should he be the parish administrator too or should he be in a role that is more strictly dealing with “delivering” the sacraments? I think priests need to have more free time to do pastoral things such as counseling and talking with people and doing mass rather than keeping tabs on eveything in the parish. I think parishes should spread out the workload and not leave it all on the priest.
Maybe, if they consider having optional celibacy they could consider having married priests as only associate ministers. That way there would still be the pastor, not married, but able to devote all of his time to his church instead of balancing between a family and the church. The associate ministers would have less of a role obviously, but would still be priests.January 25, 2004 at 6:12 am #2352
[quote:1nxtlogg]Maybe, if they consider having optional celibacy they could consider having married priests as only associate ministers. That way there would still be the pastor, not married, but able to devote all of his time to his church instead of balancing between a family and the church. The associate ministers would have less of a role obviously, but would still be priests. [/quote:1nxtlogg]
That is an idea that I did not think of before either.
I think it would help priest to have a pastoral-based role, instead of more of an administrative-based role in the parish.
What if deacons were hired to do the administrative tasks?January 27, 2004 at 5:49 am #2360
Well, in some parishes they do and others I think they take on less of a role. I think there are some decent lay people that can do the administrative tasks as well.
However – this all runs into an issue of money and can the Church really afford it?
Suppose we do get more people in the priesthood – what will the dioceses do to pay all these new priests? Supposedly they do not have much money and such, but what if one day there is a huge rise in vocations to priesthood?
They need to get paid to live and eat somehow.January 27, 2004 at 6:13 pm #2368
The Pope always asks us to pray for vocations. The money issue is probably not something that many people think of when they ponder the need for religious vocations. I know it is not the first think I thought of.
Perhaps God is working on pumping some money into parishes so that they can afford priests. Until then, we might not see the fruit of our prayers. God sees all the details of what needs to be done first before he answers what we ask in our prayers; humans tend to overlook those same details, I think.
Until then, I will never quit praying. ” title=”Very Happy” />January 28, 2004 at 5:52 am #2373
[quote:16p2vzmx]Perhaps God is working on pumping some money into parishes so that they can afford priests. [/quote:16p2vzmx]
Not if we keep having all these sexual abuse lawsuits will we able to afford priests.
Yes, I think praying is good, but I do not think it is enough. As you say, “if you want to win the lottery you have to buy the ticket too.” Clearly humankind has a role to play in the decisions that are made regarding our faith and we need to [b:16p2vzmx]do something[/b:16p2vzmx].January 31, 2004 at 6:28 am #2390
Yes, I agree. I was not saying that we could pray and that would solve [u:3et8937v]all[/u:3et8937v] the problems. What I really was trying to say is that just because we pray for something and do not see results right away, doesn’t necessarily mean that God has not done anything about our request.
We need to have [u:3et8937v]prayer[/u:3et8937v] to guide us with our [u:3et8937v]actions[/u:3et8937v]. ” title=”Very Happy” />
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