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Sunday, November 09, 2008

UK's leading supporter of the Latin Mass, also wants married priests

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See Catholic Church has no reason to stop priests from marrying, says leading bishop

The Rt Rev Malcolm McMahon, Bishop of Nottingham, said there is no doctrinal reason preventing them from having wives.

Roman Catholic priests have been required to take a vow of celibacy for centuries, but he argued that this now seemed unfair following the influx of married Anglican clergy.

His comments are set to reignite the debate over whether the Church should end the tradition in a bid to deal with the shortage of priests.

Pope Benedict XVI blocked moves to allow Catholic clergy to wed when he reaffirmed the value of celibacy in 2006 and an archbishop has been excommunicated for ordaining four married men as priests.

While Bishop McMahon said changing the law would not solve the Church's problems in recruiting men for the priesthood, he said that there would be benefits to such a move.

He claimed that clergy with a family could offer different gifts and it would enable men who did not feel called to celibacy to enter the priesthood.


It is fitting that the holy bishops and priests of God as well as the Levites, i.e. those who are in the service of the divine sacraments, observe perfect continence, so that they may obtain in all simplicity what they are asking from God; what the Apostles taught and what antiquity itself observed, let us also endeavour to keep... It pleases us all that bishop, priest and deacon, guardians of purity, abstain from conjugal intercourse with their wives, so that those who serve at the altar may keep a perfect chastity.
Council of Carthage (390)

Nor shall clergymen who are married say mass or serve the altar in any way. We decree also that if they refuse to obey our orders, or rather those of the holy fathers, the people shall refuse to receive their ministrations, in order that those who disregard the love of God and the dignity of their office may be brought to their senses through feeling the shame of the world and the reproof of the people.
Decree of Council at Rome 1074

"We have such difficulty understanding this renunciation today because the relationship to marriage and children has clearly shifted. To have to die without children was once synonymous with a useless life: the echoes of my own life die away, and I am completely dead. If I have children, then I continue to live in them; it's a sort of immortality through posterity...

"The renunciation of marriage and family is thus to be understood in terms of this vision: I renounce what, humanly speaking, is not only the most normal but also the most important thing. I forego bringing forth further life on the tree of life, and I live in the faith that my land is really God — and so I make it easier for others, also, to believe that there is a kingdom of heaven. I bear witness to Jesus Christ, to the gospel, not only with words, but also with this specific mode of existence, and I place my life in this form at his disposal."

"... Celibacy is not a matter of compulsion. Someone is accepted as a priest only when he does it of his own accord."

—both from "Salt of the Earth: Christianity and the Catholic Church at the end of the Millennium: An interview with Peter Seewald," by the then Cardinal Ratzinger

1 comment:

A Simple Sinner said...

So let the good bishop ordain the hundred of married Anglican ministerial converts to the True Faith who were left out in the cold when certain of the diocese (think Liverpool) had no interest in them whatsoever.

Let him do that, and in ten years time let us see his thoughts on celibacy.