Scottish cardinal steps down ahead of conclave

posted at 8:01 am on February 25, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

One member of the College of Cardinals will sit out next month’s papal conclave — but it’s not the one you might have expected.  Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien abruptly retired as Archbishop overnight after several priests in his diocese leveled accusations of inappropriate sexual advances toward them.  O’Brien also declined to take part in the conclave, although he technically remained eligible to do so:

Cardinal Keith O’Brien says he will be skipping the conclave to elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI after resigning as archbishop in the wake of misconduct allegations.

The cardinal said in a statement issued Monday that he will not attend because he doesn’t want media attention focused on him during the important session in Rome.

O’Brien would have reached the mandatory age at which to offer his retirement on St. Patrick’s Day, 75, although the Pope is not obliged to accept retirement requests.  The Vatican will accept it in this instance, and is treating it as a normal retirement.  O’Brien has said he will fight the allegations, which is likely why the Vatican made no mention of them in their statement:

O’Brien has said he is contesting allegations in a British newspaper that three priests and a former priest have filed complaints to the Vatican alleging that the cardinal acted inappropriately with them.

Meanwhile, pressure continues to build on Cardinal Roger Mahony to make the same decision and skip the conclave.  He spent almost four hours answering questions in a deposition on Saturday over his role in keeping law enforcement away from priests suspected of sexual abuse, this time focusing on recently-released records from his tenure as Archbishop of Los Angeles:

A “relatively unflappable” Cardinal Roger Mahony answered questions under oath for more than 3 1/2 hours Saturday about his handling of clergy sex abuse cases, according to the lawyer who questioned the former archbishop.

“He remained calm and seemingly collected at all times,” said attorney Anthony De Marco, who represents a man suing the Los Angeles Archdiocese over abuse he alleges he suffered at the hands of a priest who visited his parish in 1987.

Mahony has been deposed many times in the past, but Saturday’s session was the first time he had been asked about recently released internal church records that show he shielded abusers from law enforcement.

With all of this and more happening over the weekend, the outgoing Pope Benedict XVI has lots of reasons to move up the papal conclave and get new leadership in place in an expedited manner.  According to Catholic News Agency/EWTN, the modification of canon law may come as soon as tomorrow, and could move the start of the conclave up as much as a week:

Pope Benedict XVI will issue a motu proprio on Feb. 25, clearing the way for the College of Cardinals to choose a date in early March to begin the conclave for electing his successor.

According to sources at the Vatican, Pope Benedict plans to publish a declaration on Monday that will enable the cardinals to select a date that is early than the 15-day waiting period currently required by Church law. …

The primary item that will be addressed is the timing of the conclave. John Paul II’s “Universi Dominici Gregis” established that it should not be sooner than 15 days after the death of the Pope, but the case of an abdication with advanced notice was not foreseen. There are also housekeeping items such as securing the Pope’s belongings and other points of procedure.

According to Michael Potemra at The Corner, the conclave may end up starting between March 9th-11th.


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I missed the Oscars last night..

Electrongod on February 25, 2013 at 8:03 AM

Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien abruptly retired as Archbishop overnight after several priests in his diocese leveled accusations of inappropriate sexual advances toward them.

I am at a loss for words.

Electrongod on February 25, 2013 at 8:04 AM

Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien abruptly retired as Archbishop overnight after several priests in his diocese leveled accusations of inappropriate sexual advances toward them.

The timing is interesting. Why did these priests come forward when they did. I’m guessing there is a backstory to why the charges were leveled when they were.

Happy Nomad on February 25, 2013 at 8:07 AM

A “relatively unflappable” Cardinal Roger Mahony answered questions under oath for more than 3 1/2 hours Saturday about his handling of clergy sex abuse cases, according to the lawyer who questioned the former archbishop.

I am sure he didn’t say in that 3.5 hours..

“At this point…What difference does it make”

Electrongod on February 25, 2013 at 8:10 AM

Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien abruptly retired as Archbishop overnight after several priests in his diocese leveled accusations of inappropriate sexual advances toward them

Wan’t there an article a few days ago concerning something like that? And that was a possible reason why the Pope stepping down?

BallisticBob on February 25, 2013 at 8:11 AM

Electrongod on February 25, 2013 at 8:04 AM

If you’re a Catholic you have to be wondering by now if this is the “abomination that makes desolate standing in the holy place” (Matt. 24:15)?

Cleombrotus on February 25, 2013 at 8:12 AM

I am sure he didn’t say in that 3.5 hours..

“At this point…What difference does it make”

Electrongod on February 25, 2013 at 8:10 AM

I was living out in Los Angeles when Mahony’s “hide the pedophile” activities first came to light. He was unflabbable then too. The dude may be a “prince of the church” but he clearly has zero empathy toward the victims of church policy.

Happy Nomad on February 25, 2013 at 8:12 AM

I might have to take a fast from HotAir for a while. All this negative news is starting to get to me.

Cleombrotus on February 25, 2013 at 8:15 AM

If you’re a Catholic you have to be wondering by now if this is the “abomination that makes desolate standing in the holy place” (Matt. 24:15)?

Because if you do a word study on “abomination” in the Bible, it’s heavily weighted towards homosexuality.

Cleombrotus on February 25, 2013 at 8:20 AM

a catholic priest involved inappropriate sexual behavior?!… how “unexpected”…

kastor on February 25, 2013 at 8:38 AM

In 1960-something and 1970-something, rehab was supposed to cure pedophilia. I’m not going to damn someone back in 1965 for not having the 1995-onwards understanding of the incorrigibility of pedophilia. I also can’t be overly upset at those who did not want to take “recovered memories” as evidence, as it would have left the Church vulnerable to charges from everybody who has ever used the jakes in their churches, who runs across a “recovered memories” specialist when quitting smoking.

But once it is understood that they cannot be treated, the evidence was good, and pedophiles need to be exposed to the law, I fault those who failed to do so.

Sekhmet on February 25, 2013 at 8:43 AM

Mahony was calm because he is a sociopath.

WannabeAnglican on February 25, 2013 at 8:49 AM

But once it is understood that they cannot be treated, the evidence was good, and pedophiles need to be exposed to the law, I fault those who failed to do so.

Sekhmet on February 25, 2013 at 8:43 AM

Exposed to the law? There are some on the Left trying to mainstream relations between adults and young people, using the I’m-born-that-way line. The only question among them, I imagine, is how far to lower the age of consent.

Liam on February 25, 2013 at 8:58 AM

With all of this and more happening over the weekend, the outgoing Pope Benedict XVI has lots of reasons to move up the papal conclave and get new leadership in place in an expedited manner.

No, he doesn’t. The Church, even in times of scandal, is bigger than one man. For an outgoing Pope to hastily change the rules that are involved in selecting his successor is not a good precedent to set. Fifteen days is not a long time, and the Church will be just fine for those extra few days.

Leave things alone for now, and revisit the issue after the next Pope assumes office if it’s such an important issue.

Shump on February 25, 2013 at 9:05 AM

I’m not sure what the motivations are for forcing out cardinals now so they can’t vote for the new pope. The accusations date from decades ago. Why didn’t they do this the last time the conclave met?

Blake on February 25, 2013 at 9:19 AM

Keith O’Brien obviously held to the traditional Scottish idea of good shepherding – if the allegations are true, of course.

Archivarix on February 25, 2013 at 9:28 AM

…more news that the Church just does not need right now.

KOOLAID2 on February 25, 2013 at 9:29 AM

The timing is interesting. Why did these priests come forward when they did. I’m guessing there is a backstory to why the charges were leveled when they were.

Happy Nomad on February 25, 2013 at 8:07 AM

I’m assuming that the allegations came out when they did because of the conclave. The priests in question didn’t want the cardinal voting or risk the chance of him becoming Pope.

Illinidiva on February 25, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien abruptly retired as Archbishop overnight after several priests in his diocese leveled accusations of inappropriate sexual advances toward them.

The timing is interesting. Why did these priests come forward when they did. I’m guessing there is a backstory to why the charges were leveled when they were.

Happy Nomad on February 25, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Indeed.

Apparently 30+ years ago according to the existence of a recent letter to the papal nuncio (whose exact contents are eluded to but have not been published) O’Brien made some inappropriate advances to 2 seminarians and one young priest after drinking heavily. One of the seminarians who was ordained left the priesthood later after O’Brien’s promotion to Bishop and married. The other two are still active priests?

O’Brien has been outspoken against Gay Marriage and has earned the wrath of the Stonewall advocacy group.

He had already submitted his resignation before Christmas and was scheduled to retire in March anyway.

None of the men who lodged the complaint have come forward publicly or been named.

They state that their motivation is to insure a “clean conclave” in the election of the next Pope.

I find the leaking of the existence of the letter to the nuncio to the press and the anonymity of the accusers to be interesting

In any event it’s probably a good thing O’Brien isn’t going since it could prove to be an unfortunate distraction to the business at hand.

As to the conclave protocol rules changes…

Since Pope Benedict XVI is the first Pope to resign in 600+ years and his resignation is due to frail health in a time of peace, it makes sense to alter protocol to allow for responsible reform and set precedent.

It is the Pope’s prerogative of the office.

O’Brien has apparently been tried and convicted by the press who are doing everything they can to influence the conclave…

workingclass artist on February 25, 2013 at 9:53 AM

But once it is understood that they cannot be treated, the evidence was good, and pedophiles need to be exposed to the law, I fault those who failed to do so.

Sekhmet on February 25, 2013 at 8:43 AM

I wonder who would stop the church from hanging convicted pedophiles from the rafters? Maybe it should be the churches new policy. Convicted of pedophilia; then an immediate death sentence. Church’s law. Sort of like Islam honor killings. Who would dare stand in the way of getting ride of a pedophile? Would the side effect cause the gays to get out of the church?

LoganSix on February 25, 2013 at 9:53 AM

I’m not sure what the motivations are for forcing out cardinals now so they can’t vote for the new pope. The accusations date from decades ago. Why didn’t they do this the last time the conclave met?

Blake on February 25, 2013 at 9:19 AM

Yes…Why didn’t they come forward 8 years ago?

Why didn’t they come forward in 2003 before O’Brien was made a Cardinal?

Before elevation to cardinal, O’Brien was regarded as liberal on the issue of homosexuality, noting the number of homosexual priests in the Church…After 2003 he became an outspoken and harsh critic of same sex marriage and aggressive secularism in the culture.

workingclass artist on February 25, 2013 at 10:04 AM

Wow..no mention about the bigger scandal that’s going on in Rome. Male prostitutes, financial corruption, blackmail, and intrigue. The Pope’s health is fading and maybe he finally realized the depth of the cesspool that surrounds him. Fascinating to see how this unfolds. Maybe he is resigning so he can influence who is the successor and can lobby for a reformer? You cannot use a credit card at Vatican City anymore because the Vatican Bank’s criminal policies has forced the EU to ban transactions in the country. The revelations keep on coming on a almost daily basis.

ZippyZ on February 25, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Do not forget that the media hates not just the Church, but also Christianity itself. These attacks are meant to portray the Church as being in disarray. Nevertheless, the Church is composed of errant individuals, but the doctrine is unassailable.

Greek Fire on February 25, 2013 at 10:12 AM

It wasn’t an abrupt resignation…It was more of a scheduled retirement moved up by the Pope sort of thingy…

Statement by the Cardinal who recently made a public statement on his opinion advocating for clergy marriages…

Britain’s most senior Roman Catholic cleric, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, is resigning as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, after being accused of inappropriate conduct – allegations he contests. This is the full statement issued by the Scottish Catholic Media Office on the resignation of the cardinal:

The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has accepted on the 18 February 2013 the resignation of His Eminence Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien from the pastoral governance of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh.

This information will be announced and published in the Osservatore Romano of Monday 25 February 2013.

The Cardinal had already presented last November his resignation in view of his 75th birthday on 17 March 2013, and it was accepted by the Holy Father with the formula nunc pro tunc (now for later).

“Reacting to the acceptance of his resignation, Cardinal O’Brien said: “Approaching the age of 75 and at times in indifferent health, I tendered my resignation as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh to Pope Benedict XVI some months ago.

“I was happy to know that he accepted my resignation nunc pro tunc on 13 November 2012. The Holy Father has now decided that my resignation will take effect today, 25 February 2013, and that he will appoint an apostolic administrator to govern the archdiocese in my place until my successor as archbishop is appointed.

In the meantime I will give every assistance to the apostolic administrator and to our new archbishop, once he is appointed, as I prepare to move into retirement.

I have valued the opportunity of serving the people of Scotland and overseas in various ways since becoming a priest. Looking back over my years of ministry: For any good I have been able to do, I thank God. For any failures, I apologise to all whom I have offended.

I thank Pope Benedict XVI for his kindness and courtesy to me and on my own behalf and on behalf of the people of Scotland, I wish him a long and happy retirement.

I also ask God’s blessing on my brother cardinals who will soon gather in Rome to elect his successor. I will not join them for this conclave in person.

I do not wish media attention in Rome to be focused on me – but rather on Pope Benedict XVI and on his successor. However, I will pray with them and for them that, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, they will make the correct choice for the future good of the Church.

May God who has blessed me so often in my ministry continue to bless and help me in the years which remain for me on earth and may he shower his blessings on all the peoples of Scotland especially those I was privileged to serve in a special way in the Archdiocese of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21575931

workingclass artist on February 25, 2013 at 10:17 AM

Although a Protestant, I have great respect for the Catholic Church and share the sorrow many must feel at this seemingly endless parade of sexual sin and criminal malfeasance.

No rehabilitation is possible for the pedophile. Insofar as pedophiles are concerned, the Lord said, “Whoever harms one of these little ones that believes in me, it would be better for him if a millstone where tied around his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the ocean.” (Matthew 18:6). So no, no pity, no second chances, no rehab, not for them. Personally, I’d like to see recividist pedophiles executed out of hand, but that’s just me.

Homosexual men and lesbian women are likely to stay that way. I’ve seen any number of unconvincing apologetics written over the last several years somehow attempting to reconcile gay practices with the Christian faith. It doesn’t work. It can’t. That doesn’t mean gay people are condemned. There is Divine Grace, after all, and it certainly isn’t my place to pass judgement on another. Another thing, too: the Bible hardly ever discusses homosexual behavior. From the way people talk (particularly anti-Christian gay rights advocates), you’d think every second page of Scripture concerned itself with hatred of homosexuals. That simply isn’t true.

Anyway, it seems clear to me the Catholic Church is under spiritual attack. If it makes you Catholics feel any better, the Adversary wouldn’t bother with you if you weren’t doing any good.

troyriser_gopftw on February 25, 2013 at 10:17 AM

Wow..no mention about the bigger scandal that’s going on in Rome. Male prostitutes, financial corruption, blackmail, and intrigue. The Pope’s health is fading and maybe he finally realized the depth of the cesspool that surrounds him. Fascinating to see how this unfolds. Maybe he is resigning so he can influence who is the successor and can lobby for a reformer? You cannot use a credit card at Vatican City anymore because the Vatican Bank’s criminal policies has forced the EU to ban transactions in the country. The revelations keep on coming on a almost daily basis.

ZippyZ on February 25, 2013 at 10:07 AM

The credit card kurfluffle has been corrected.

The other scandals you mentioned have been in the Italian press since the early days of Benedict XVI’s pontificate…and in one case the Pope shut down a seminary in Rome and booted the priests involved in the scandal.

Pope Benedict XVI added to canon law more power to Bishops with regard to Catholic institutions who do not support,administer or teach Catholic doctrine…allowing them added authoritative power to shut these institutions down.

There needs to be serious reform in the curia…given O’Brien’s recent public statements on clergy marriages maybe Pope Benedict XVI didn’t want a potential headache in the conclave if he could easily avoid it by moving up the start date of O’Brien’s scheduled retirement.

workingclass artist on February 25, 2013 at 10:27 AM

Let the priest marry. In 25 years you’ll have a better priesthood.

Oil Can on February 25, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Although a Protestant, I have great respect for the Catholic Church and share the sorrow many must feel at this seemingly endless parade of sexual sin and criminal malfeasance.

No rehabilitation is possible for the pedophile. Insofar as pedophiles are concerned, the Lord said, “Whoever harms one of these little ones that believes in me, it would be better for him if a millstone where tied around his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the ocean.” (Matthew 18:6). So no, no pity, no second chances, no rehab, not for them. Personally, I’d like to see recividist pedophiles executed out of hand, but that’s just me.

Homosexual men and lesbian women are likely to stay that way. I’ve seen any number of unconvincing apologetics written over the last several years somehow attempting to reconcile gay practices with the Christian faith. It doesn’t work. It can’t. That doesn’t mean gay people are condemned. There is Divine Grace, after all, and it certainly isn’t my place to pass judgement on another. Another thing, too: the Bible hardly ever discusses homosexual behavior. From the way people talk (particularly anti-Christian gay rights advocates), you’d think every second page of Scripture concerned itself with hatred of homosexuals. That simply isn’t true.

Anyway, it seems clear to me the Catholic Church is under spiritual attack. If it makes you Catholics feel any better, the Adversary wouldn’t bother with you if you weren’t doing any good.

troyriser_gopftw on February 25, 2013 at 10:17 AM

Indeed.

Conservative Catholics are praying for the election of a Pope who will continue the reforms.

Many have seen the recent accelerated attack on the US Church by this administration as a wake up call…Pope Benedict XVI certainly did.

workingclass artist on February 25, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Let the priest marry. In 25 years you’ll have a better priesthood.

Oil Can on February 25, 2013 at 10:29 AM

The Eastern Orthodox marry but the married priests cannot advance to Bishop etc. while married.

workingclass artist on February 25, 2013 at 10:36 AM

workingclass artist on February 25, 2013 at 10:27 AM

Don’t give the OFA troll any logic.. Its head will explode.

Illinidiva on February 25, 2013 at 10:50 AM

See what happens when you play ‘hide the haggis’?

Denver Bob on February 25, 2013 at 10:55 AM

workingclass artist on February 25, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Interesting.

Oil Can on February 25, 2013 at 11:12 AM

Father Z’s commentary on conclave schedule…

The Holy Father – Pope Benedict XVI now gloriously reigning – released a Motu Proprio (in Latin) by which he empowers the Cardinal Electors to move forward the day of the beginning of the conclave.

The canonist Ed Peters has looked at the Motu Proprio Normas nunnullas. My emphases:

In the wake of Benedict XVI’s startling resignation, a problem arose: the 17-day delay between the announcement and effective date of the resignation, followed by a minimum 15-day delay before the conclave could legally begin (per UDG 37), meant that the Church was to be, de facto, leaderless for over a month, with basically nothing to do but fret about being leaderless for over a month. As a way around this problem, some speculated (not unreasonably, but wrongly) that the cardinals charged with running skeleton operations during the sede vacante could, on their own authority, advance the start date of the conclave. This apparently simple idea, however, raised some very serious canonical and indeed ecclesiological issues.

Benedict’s motu proprio Normas nonnullas (22 feb 2012) solves the problem, as follows:
37 [Revised]. Praecipimus praeterea ut, ex quo Apostolica Sedes legitime vacat, antequam Conclave incohetur, mora sit interponenda quindecim solidorum dierum, facta tamen Cardinalium Collegio potestate Conclavis initium anticipandi, si constat omnes Cardinales electores adesse, vel etiam proferendi per aliquot dies, si graves obstant causae; tamen viginti diebus ad summum elapsis ab initio Sedis vacantis, cuncti Cardinales electores praesentes ad electionis negotium procedant.

Derogating from UDG 37, the pope has authorized an earlier start of the conclave if all the electors are present. Such a decision now falls squarely within the pontifical provisions for a conclave, and one may leave the choice of a start-date to the competent authority without further concern for the legality of the assembly. [Therefore, it is more likely that there could be a new Pope before Easter and - importantly - there is no question now that the Conclave could have any stain of illegality were the date to be moved up. The question is resolved.]

Time-permitting, I have a few more thoughts later.

Updated:

Another aspect of Benedict’s motu proprio catches my eye, namely, its reiteration that no otherwise-eligible elector can, for any reason, be barred from participation in the conclave. Over the weekend I saw several chattering heads speculating about Cdl. Mahony arriving in Rome only to be politely shown the door. [They wouldn't do that.] Nonsense. Mahony’s right to admittance is indisputable. As the pope will not disbar an eligible elector at this late date, only Mahony can resolve the complications that his participation in the conclave occasion. [Card. O'Brien of Scotland has voluntarily chosen not to participate because of allegations.]

Recap: As of this moment, there are 118 eligible electors. By Thursday, 8 pm Rome time, there will be 117. One of them, Darmaatmadja, has declared that he will not participate because of physical infirmity (as such, he would be allowed to change his mind and be admitted even if the conclave had started); another, O’Brien, has declared he will not participate for reasons unstated but apparent to all (as such, he would not be allowed to change his mind and be admitted once the conclave has started).

Link to Father Z’s site is slow to load today…but it’s a good site (what does the prayer really say)
wdtprs.com

workingclass artist on February 25, 2013 at 11:15 AM

Although a Protestant, I have great respect for the Catholic Church and share the sorrow many must feel at this seemingly endless parade of sexual sin and criminal malfeasance.

No rehabilitation is possible for the pedophile. Insofar as pedophiles are concerned, the Lord said, “Whoever harms one of these little ones that believes in me, it would be better for him if a millstone where tied around his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the ocean.” (Matthew 18:6). So no, no pity, no second chances, no rehab, not for them. Personally, I’d like to see recividist pedophiles executed out of hand, but that’s just me.

Homosexual men and lesbian women are likely to stay that way. I’ve seen any number of unconvincing apologetics written over the last several years somehow attempting to reconcile gay practices with the Christian faith. It doesn’t work. It can’t. That doesn’t mean gay people are condemned. There is Divine Grace, after all, and it certainly isn’t my place to pass judgement on another. Another thing, too: the Bible hardly ever discusses homosexual behavior. From the way people talk (particularly anti-Christian gay rights advocates), you’d think every second page of Scripture concerned itself with hatred of homosexuals. That simply isn’t true.

Anyway, it seems clear to me the Catholic Church is under spiritual attack. If it makes you Catholics feel any better, the Adversary wouldn’t bother with you if you weren’t doing any good.

troyriser_gopftw on February 25, 2013 at 10:17 AM

Thank you for your wise and reasoned comment. As a Catholic myself, I do believe the Church is under spiritual attack — a much more out-in-the-open attack than has been seen in recent decades. But I also will be praying that the Holy Spirit will guide the Cardinals to choose a pope, as workingclass artist has said, who will continue the reforms and stand strong against the onslaught.

PatriotGal2257 on February 25, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Let the priest marry. In 25 years you’ll have a better priesthood. Oil Can on February 25, 2013 at 10:29 AM

… agreed.

Physical and emotional intimacy is one of the strongest human drives that there is. It’s hard-wired into our brains. It explains the vast majority of our behavior as humans: from the most beautiful 60 year long partnerships to the ugliest crimes of passions.

To deny an entire class of people this basic part of humanness is not only cruel and misguiding, but incredibly dangerous when these priest are in positions of power and have no outlet for love, intimacy and human contact. Obviously we have seen the extreme criminal result in pedophilia, but can any of us imagine how many additional priests are in (illicit) consensual relationships? The answer would absolutely blow our minds.

Then again, why would it? Most every human that I know — my parents, friends, family, myself — greatly desires love, partnership and intimacy and many spend their lives chasing it. As I have just explained, it’s basic human psyche. Why do we expect any different? Priests are encouraged to lie, hide, cheat and bring out the worst of their human behavior to fulfill one of the most beautiful human experiences.

The Catholic church has an awful problem that will never be solved until they too come to terms (as most Christians have already done) with sexuality and human nature. Yes, Paul was well-intentioned which is why his writings are featured in canon, but he is ultimately flawed and misguided in his beliefs. I am one who hopes for the Church’s recognition of this someday.

ZachV on February 25, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Yes, Paul was well-intentioned which is why his writings are featured in canon, but he is ultimately flawed and misguided in his beliefs. I am one who hopes for the Church’s recognition of this someday.

ZachV on February 25, 2013 at 11:33 AM

St. Paul was an Apostle of Christ. Who are you?

troyriser_gopftw on February 25, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Interesting.

Oil Can on February 25, 2013 at 11:12 AM

Yeah.

It presents some potential problems for the episcopate…Must they divorce to advance to Bishop?

According to tradition St. Peter was married when he was called to be apostle and after wards his was a chaste marriage.

Celibacy in the priesthood goes back to apostolic times as a preferred act of sacrifice encouraged in the New Testament by Jesus and St. Paul and confirmed by the early theologians of the church. The vows of celibacy for ordination were always a requirement for monastic life of the monastic orders, which grew in number and influence during the middle ages.

This was one of the many legal/doctrinal issues during the first schism (1054) between the East and the Western churches…

Fundamentally when Constantine moved the capital of Rome to Constantinople in 1054 it was assumed by the Bishop of Constantinople that Papal authority moved with the Emperor.

The Latin church has always maintained that the Holy See is in Rome as the Chair of St. Peter and has authority based on Apostolic succession from St. Peter who was chosen by Christ; when St. Peter established the church in Rome and supported by St. Paul in his recognition of that authority.

Recently both JP II and Benedict XVI have worked toward healing the breach and the recently elected Patriarch is publicly encouraging the continual ecumenical progress.

workingclass artist on February 25, 2013 at 11:41 AM

Interesting summary made by catholic.com here…

Celibacy and the Priesthood

“Fundamentalist attacks on priestly celibacy come in a number of different forms—not all compatible with one another. There is almost no other subject about which so many different confusions exist.

The first and most basic confusion is thinking of priestly celibacy as a dogma or doctrine—a central and irreformable part of the faith, believed by Catholics to come from Jesus and the apostles. Thus some Fundamentalists make a great deal of a biblical reference to Peter’s mother-in-law (Mark 1:30), apparently supposing that, if Catholics only knew that Peter had been married, they would be unable to regard him as the first pope. Again, Fundamentalist time lines of “Catholic inventions” (a popular literary form) assign “mandatory priestly celibacy” to this or that year in Church history, as if prior to this requirement the Church could not have been Catholic.

These Fundamentalists are often surprised to learn that even today celibacy is not the rule for all Catholic priests. In fact, for Eastern Rite Catholics, married priests are the norm, just as they are for Orthodox and Oriental Christians.

These Fundamentalists are often surprised to learn that even today celibacy is not the rule for all Catholic priests. In fact, for Eastern Rite Catholics, married priests are the norm, just as they are for Orthodox and Oriental Christians.

Even in the Eastern churches, though, there have always been some restrictions on marriage and ordination. Although married men may become priests, unmarried priests may not marry, and married priests, if widowed, may not remarry. Moreover, there is an ancient Eastern discipline of choosing bishops from the ranks of the celibate monks, so their bishops are all unmarried.

The tradition in the Western or Latin-Rite Church has been for priests as well as bishops to take vows of celibacy, a rule that has been firmly in place since the early Middle Ages. Even today, though, exceptions are made. For example, there are married Latin-Rite priests who are converts from Lutheranism and Episcopalianism.

As these variations and exceptions indicate, priestly celibacy is not an unchangeable dogma but a disciplinary rule. The fact that Peter was married is no more contrary to the Catholic faith than the fact that the pastor of the nearest Maronite Catholic church is married.

Is Marriage Mandatory?

Another, quite different Fundamentalist confusion is the notion that celibacy is unbiblical, or even “unnatural.” Every man, it is claimed, must obey the biblical injunction to “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:28); and Paul commands that “each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband” (1 Cor. 7:2). It is even argued that celibacy somehow “causes,” or at least correlates with higher incidence of, illicit sexual behavior or perversion.

All of this is false. Although most people are at some point in their lives called to the married state, the vocation of celibacy is explicitly advocated—as well as practiced—by both Jesus and Paul.

So far from “commanding” marriage in 1 Corinthians 7, in that very chapter Paul actually endorses celibacy for those capable of it: “To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion” (7:8-9).

It is only because of this “temptation to immorality” (7:2) that Paul gives the teaching about each man and woman having a spouse and giving each other their “conjugal rights” (7:3); he specifically clarifies, “I say this by way of concession, not of command. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own special gift from God, one of one kind and one of another” (7:6-7, emphasis added).

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” (7:27-34).

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

Paul was not the first apostle to conclude that celibacy is, in some sense, “better” than marriage. After Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 19 on divorce and remarriage, the disciples exclaimed, “If such is the case between a man and his wife, it is better not to marry” (Matt 19:10). This remark prompted Jesus’ teaching on the value of celibacy “for the sake of the kingdom”:

“Not all can accept this word, but only those to whom it is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of God. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it” (Matt. 19:11–12).

Notice that this sort of celibacy “for the sake of the kingdom” is a gift, a call that is not granted to all, or even most people, but is granted to some. Other people are called to marriage. It is true that too often individuals in both vocations fall short of the requirements of their state, but this does not diminish either vocation, nor does it mean that the individuals in question were “not really called” to that vocation. The sin of a priest doesn’t necessarily prove that he never should have taken a vow of celibacy, any more than the sin of a married man or woman proves that he or she never should have gotten married. It is possible for us to fall short of our own true calling.

Celibacy is neither unnatural nor unbiblical. “Be fruitful and multiply” is not binding upon every individual; rather, it is a general precept for the human race. Otherwise, every unmarried man and woman of marrying age would be in a state of sin by remaining single, and Jesus and Paul would be guilty of advocating sin as well as committing it.

“The Husband of One Wife”
Another Fundamentalist argument, related to the last, is that marriage is mandatory for Church leaders. For Paul says a bishop must be “the husband of one wife,” and “must manage his own household well, keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way; for if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how can he care for God’s Church?” (1 Tim. 3:2, 4–5). This means, they argue, that only a man who has demonstrably looked after a family is fit to care for God’s Church; an unmarried man, it is implied, is somehow untried or unproven.

This interpretation leads to obvious absurdities. For one, if “the husband of one wife” really meant that a bishop had to be married, then by the same logic “keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way” would mean that he had to have children. Childless husbands (or even fathers of only one child, since Paul uses the plural) would not qualify.

In fact, following this style of interpretation to its final absurdity, since Paul speaks of bishops meeting these requirements (not of their having met them, or of candidates for bishop meeting them), it would even follow that an ordained bishop whose wife or children died would become unqualified for ministry! Clearly such excessive literalism must be rejected.

The theory that Church leaders must be married also contradicts the obvious fact that Paul himself, an eminent Church leader, was single and happy to be so. Unless Paul was a hypocrite, he could hardly have imposed a requirement on bishops which he did not himself meet. Consider, too, the implications regarding Paul’s positive attitude toward celibacy in 1 Corinthians 7: the married have worldly anxieties and divided interests, yet only they are qualified to be bishops; whereas the unmarried have single-minded devotion to the Lord, yet are barred from ministry!

The suggestion that the unmarried man is somehow untried or unproven is equally absurd. Each vocation has its own proper challenges: the celibate man must exercise “self-control” (1 Cor. 7:9); the husband must love and care for his wife selflessly (Eph. 5:25); and the father must raise his children well (1 Tim. 3:4). Every man must meet Paul’s standard of “managing his household well,” even if his “household” is only himself. If anything, the chaste celibate man meets a higher standard than the respectable family man.

Clearly, the point of Paul’s requirement that a bishop be “the husband of one wife” is not that he must have one wife, but that he must have only one wife. Expressed conversely, Paul is saying that a bishop must not have unruly or undisciplined children (not that he must have children who are well behaved), and must not be married more than once (not that he must be married).

The truth is, it is precisely those who are uniquely “concerned about the affairs of the Lord” (1 Cor. 7:32), those to whom it has been given to “renounce marriage for the sake of the kingdom” (Matt. 19:12), who are ideally suited to follow in the footsteps of those who have “left everything” to follow Christ (cf. Matt. 19:27)—the calling of the clergy and consecrated religious (i.e., monks and nuns).

Thus Paul warned Timothy, a young bishop, that those called to be “soldiers” of Christ must avoid “civilian pursuits”: “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier on service gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to satisfy the one who enlisted him” (2 Tim. 2:3–4). In light of Paul’s remarks in 1 Corinthians 7 about the advantages of celibacy, marriage and family clearly stand out in connection with these “civilian pursuits.”

An example of ministerial celibacy can also be seen in the Old Testament. The prophet Jeremiah, as part of his prophetic ministry, was forbidden to take a wife: “The word of the Lord came to me: ‘You shall not take a wife, nor shall you have sons or daughters in this place’” (Jer. 16:1–2). Of course, this is different from Catholic priestly celibacy, which is not divinely ordained; yet the divine precedent still supports the legitimacy of the human institution.

Forbidden to Marry?

Yet none of these passages give us an example of humanly mandated celibacy. Jeremiah’s celibacy was mandatory, but it was from the Lord. Paul’s remark to Timothy about “civilian pursuits” is only a general admonition, not a specific command; and even in 1 Corinthians 7 Paul qualifies his strong endorsement of celibacy by adding: “I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord” (7:35).

This brings us to Fundamentalism’s last line of attack: that, by requiring at least some of its clerics and its religious not to marry, the Catholic Church falls under Paul’s condemnation in 1 Timothy 4:3 against apostates who “forbid marriage.”

In fact, the Catholic Church forbids no one to marry. No one is required to take a vow of celibacy; those who do, do so voluntarily. They “renounce marriage” (Matt. 19:12); no one forbids it to them. Any Catholic who doesn’t wish to take such a vow doesn’t have to, and is almost always free to marry with the Church’s blessing. The Church simply elects candidates for the priesthood (or, in the Eastern rites, for the episcopacy) from among those who voluntarily renounce marriage.

But is there scriptural precedent for this practice of restricting membership in a group to those who take a voluntary vow of celibacy? Yes. Paul, writing once again to Timothy, mentions an order of widows pledged not to remarry (1 Tim 5:9-16); in particular advising: “But refuse to enroll younger widows; for when they grow wanton against Christ they desire to marry, and so they incur condemnation for having violated their first pledge” (5:11–12).

This “first pledge” broken by remarriage cannot refer to previous wedding vows, for Paul does not condemn widows for remarrying (cf. Rom. 7:2-3). It can only refer to a vow not to remarry taken by widows enrolled in this group. In effect, they were an early form of women religious—New Testament nuns. The New Testament Church did contain orders with mandatory celibacy, just as the Catholic Church does today.

Such orders are not, then, what Paul meant when he warned against “forbidding to marry.” The real culprits here are the many Gnostic sects through the ages which denounced marriage, sex, and the body as intrinsically evil. Some early heretics fit this description, as did the medieval Albigensians and Catharists (whom, ironically, some anti-Catholic writers admire in ignorance, apparently purely because they happened to have insisted on using their own vernacular translation of the Bible; see the Catholic Answers tract Catholic Inventions).

The Dignity of Celibacy and Marriage

Most Catholics marry, and all Catholics are taught to venerate marriage as a holy institution—a sacrament, an action of God upon our souls; one of the holiest things we encounter in this life.

In fact, it is precisely the holiness of marriage that makes celibacy precious; for only what is good and holy in itself can be given up for God as a sacrifice. Just as fasting presupposes the goodness of food, celibacy presupposes the goodness of marriage. To despise celibacy, therefore, is to undermine marriage itself—as the early Fathers pointed out.

Celibacy is also a life-affirming institution. In the Old Testament, where celibacy was almost unknown, the childless were often despised by others and themselves; only through children, it was felt, did one acquire value. By renouncing marriage, the celibate affirms the intrinsic value of each human life in itself, regardless of offspring.

Finally, celibacy is an eschatological sign to the Church, a living-out in the present of the universal celibacy of heaven: “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven” (Matt. 22:30).

http://www.catholic.com/tracts/celibacy-and-the-priesthood

workingclass artist on February 25, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Homosexual men and lesbian women are likely to stay that way. I’ve seen any number of unconvincing apologetics written over the last several years somehow attempting to reconcile gay practices with the Christian faith. It doesn’t work. It can’t. That doesn’t mean gay people are condemned. There is Divine Grace, after all, and it certainly isn’t my place to pass judgement on another. Another thing, too: the Bible hardly ever discusses homosexual behavior. From the way people talk (particularly anti-Christian gay rights advocates), you’d think every second page of Scripture concerned itself with hatred of homosexuals. That simply isn’t true.

troyriser_gopftw on February 25, 2013 at 10:17 AM

I have a book by Fr. Benedict Groeschel of EWTN called “Healing the Original Wound.” In it, there is a long passage from a homosexual man who is an example of the Divine Grace you are talking about. He describes his confusion as a young man about his sexual orientation, his allowing himself to be drawn in to the homosexual lifestyle, and finally realizing that the life was not only destroying him, and his family and friends, but was against God’s will. He turned back to God and became active in Courage. One very perceptive statement he makes at the end of his story is that when God calls us to atone for our sinfulness, He also leads us to bring good out of it, and this man’s way was to help lead other people with homosexual orientations back to God and to live chaste lives through this group.

PatriotGal2257 on February 25, 2013 at 12:01 PM

St. Paul was an Apostle of Christ. Who are you? troyriser_gopftw on February 25, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Someone who is living ~ 2,000 years after Paul’s life death, who has the benefit of modern science and psychology, and has the entirety of human knowledge at his fingers tips (aka Google).

For example, contrary to Ephesians 5:22-24, Colossians 3:18, 1 Corinthians 11:7, no sane psychologist or medical professional would recommend that a woman submit herself entirely to her husband and worship him as if he were Christ. Paul verges on the encouraging domestic abuse; in no way is that healthy.

Contrary to Romans 1:27, the “natural use” of women is not a sexual object for men. I don’t think I err when I say science and our liberal ideas of freedom, liberty and justice have deftly rejected Paul in entirety.

Homosexuality in Romans 1:27 and 1 Corinthians 6:9 is likewise explained by prenatal hormones, epigenetics and about 20 years of scientific study that concludes it to be a natural and normal part of human sexuality. In short, let’s defer to the American Medical Society and the American Psychological Association rather than Paul, who lived in a time where evil spirits killed people, because germs and cancer had not yet been discovered.

Finally, God did not create ‘male and female’ as Paul recites repeatedly from Genesis 1:27 and 5:2. About 1% of live human births have some degree of intersex or mixed-male/female characteristics. In a world of 7 billion people, that’s 70 million people who are not going to be thrown into hell because of some ancient nonsense.

(* i.e., who can an XXY person (Klinefelter’s Syndrome) marry, if God only created male and female to be complimentary, but this person is neither? Or, two XY persons with Androgyny Sensitivity Syndrome are each in a relationship; one to a male and one to a female. Who is going to hell for being gay? Both individuals are male, but physically appear female with female organs.)

ZachV on February 25, 2013 at 12:10 PM

The example was set by Jesus.

In Ephesians 5, we have the famous exhortation for spouses to model their relationships on the relationship between Jesus and his Bride—not a woman but the Church. It’s hard to understand why this analogy would have been used if Jesus had a wife.

The manifest absence of a wife continues in the book of Acts. It is true that there is no mention of Peter’s wife here either, but Luke had told his readers of Peter’s mother-in-law in his Gospel (Lk 4:38-39), so her existence was known. When Peter tells Jesus that he and the others have left their homes to follow him, Jesus says, “There is no man who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive manifold more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life” (Lk 18:29-30).

Jesus’ statement accounts for why we don’t see spouses of the apostles mentioned in the Gospels and in Acts; the apostles and their wives were separated for the sake of the apostolic ministry. Some apostles later took their wives along to assist them, as we have seen from Paul’s comments in 1 Corinthians 9:5. Yet we have no similar mentions of Jesus separating himself from a wife as the apostles did, no mention of a wife assisting him during his ministry, and nothing about a wife continuing Jesus’ work in the early Church, as later the apostles’ wives seemed to have done. The Gospels mention the putative father, mother, and “brothers” and “sisters” of Jesus (actually kinsmen of Jesus, not “blood” brothers and sisters). They mention his hometown of Nazareth and the people’s response to him there. They mention how some of Jesus’ family thought he was out of his mind, at least at one point during his ministry. But we find absolutely nothing about a wife. There is as much historical evidence for Jesus being married as there is for him being a professional surfer….”

Evidence of Absence

Supporters of a married Jesus still object. Most Jewish men of Jesus’ age were expected to marry and had wives, they say. The Jews, they add, rejected celibacy, so, in the absence of explicit testimony to the contrary, we should assume that Jesus had a wife.

These are weak arguments. Celibacy was rejected by later Judaism, but whether it was widely rejected in Jesus’ time is not clear. At least some of the Essenes of Qumran—of Dead Sea Scrolls fame—practiced celibacy. Old Testament prophets such as Jeremiah were celibate. John the Baptist appears to have been celibate. Furthermore, some Jews of Jesus’ day thought Moses had lived as a celibate after his encounter with God on Mount Sinai. We have no reason, then, to rule out a celibate Jesus based on a supposed universal practice of Judaism.

Furthermore, Jesus talks about those who are radically committed to serving the kingdom of God—those who are “eunuchs” for the kingdom of God (Mt 19:12). Since Jesus saw the kingdom as embodied in his ministry and his actions, it makes the most sense to see Jesus himself as the quintessential “eunuch for the sake of the kingdom.”…

Only in a few obscure and very late apocryphal gospels is Mary Magdalene depicted in romantic terms. But these writings were generated by sects known to have specific ideological agendas and axes to grind. As they were attempting to counter the canonical Gospels and existing Christian beliefs in their “gospels,” we have no reason to think that they give us reliable information about the Jesus of history.

What’s more, none of the writings of those who immediately followed the New Testament writers—writers such as Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, and Irenaeus of Lyons—refer to Jesus as having been married. We have to jump a century or more, ignoring all the evidence in between, to find even the slightest support for a married Jesus…”

http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/was-jesus-married

workingclass artist on February 25, 2013 at 12:11 PM

Homosexuality in Romans 1:27 and 1 Corinthians 6:9 is likewise explained by prenatal hormones, epigenetics and about 20 years of scientific study that concludes it to be a natural and normal part of human sexuality. In short, let’s defer to the American Medical Society and the American Psychological Association rather than Paul, who lived in a time where evil spirits killed people, because germs and cancer had not yet been discovered.
ZachV on February 25, 2013 at 12:10 PM

The Catholic Church holds that sex outside the sacrament of marriage is sin and contrary to God’s Will for humanity.

Science has nothing to do with it…Neither does your moral relativism.

Homosexual & Heterosexual Catholics are equally held accountable to this moral standard.

“I. The Sacramental Character of Marriage

For Christians of both the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches marriage is a sacrament. Through the prayers and actions of our wedding rites we profess the presence of Christ in the Spirit and believe that it is the Lord who unites a man and a woman in a life of mutual love. In this sacred union, husband and wife are called by Christ not only to live and work together, but also to share their Christian life so that each with the aid of the other may progress through the Holy Spirit in the life of holiness and so achieve Christian perfection. This relationship between husband and wife is established and sanctified by the Lord. As a sacred vocation, marriage mirrors the union of Christ and the church (Eph. 5:23).

Christ affirmed and blessed the oneness and profound significance of marriage. Christian tradition, following his teaching, has always proclaimed the sanctity of marriage. It has defined marriage as the fundamental relationship in which a man and woman, by total sharing with each other, seek their own growth in holiness and that of their children, and thus show forth the presence on earth of God’s kingdom…”

http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/ecumenical-and-interreligious/ecumenical/orthodox/sanctity-of-marriage.cfm

workingclass artist on February 25, 2013 at 12:23 PM

Someone who is living ~ 2,000 years after Paul’s life death, who has the benefit of modern science and psychology, and has the entirety of human knowledge at his fingers tips (aka Google).

Er, hate to break it to you, but Google is not ‘the pathway to the entirety of human knowledge’. That you would write such a thing tells me a great deal about you, however.

What you have, I’m afraid, is an Unwarranted Sense Of Self-importance. It’s a common malady among those prone to grandiosity and self-delusion, easily addressed. One addresses it by telling the person suffering from it to get over himself.

Get over yourself. Access to Google has not endowed you with super-powers. Invoking your knowledge of science and psychology (no doubt accessed via Google) does you no good, either. St. Paul understood human nature well enough, and human nature remains the same regardless of technological innovation. The one thing we can count on in this fallen world are flawed, foolish human beings doing and saying flawed, foolish things. You’re proof.

troyriser_gopftw on February 25, 2013 at 12:25 PM

St. Paul understood human nature well enough, and human nature remains the same regardless of technological innovation. The one thing we can count on in this fallen world are flawed, foolish human beings doing and saying flawed, foolish things. You’re proof.

troyriser_gopftw on February 25, 2013 at 12:25 PM

We can also count on steady progress of Paganism…the ancient enemy.

Scientism are one of many clothes the pagan enemy wears.

It’s an old story…and the Church has seen many Neros in her long history.

workingclass artist on February 25, 2013 at 12:31 PM

In the cause of the Pagan guise of Scientism we are now being encouraged as a culture to advance Utilitarian Eugenics…

Murdering the useless and inconvenient for the advancement of society.

workingclass artist on February 25, 2013 at 12:34 PM

What you have, I’m afraid, is an Unwarranted Sense Of Self-importance. troyriser_gopftw on February 25, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Or as I like to call it, ‘learning’ and ‘critical thinking’.

I could, for example, read some fact in a book and accept it without reason or any thought. That’s a very easy thing to do.

The only risk I face is if that unchallenged fact is wrong. Let’s say I watch an ‘Inconvenient Truth’ by Al Gore. Religiously, I wouldn’t challenge any of the facts presented and accept it as doctrine. So in order to prevent myself from falling for that, I evaluate both my beliefs and new information by applying critical thought, knowledge and evidence to these ideas.

For example, Paul wishes us to cover women’s heads when worshiping, because women are created from man and not from God (1 Corinthians 11:2-16). It is well-known by Biblical teachings that women are unequal to men. If the head-covering practice is violated, we should shave her head to shame her (1 Cor 11:6).

Do we apply critical thought to that, or do we believe the Christian Bible? Are women truly unequal to men? Does science (evidence) support that woman was only made from man? Should we deprive women of a voice in society (1 Timothy 2:12), or of her vote? Can we claim to know it is it self-evident that all are created equal?

Certainly, only a person with an Unwarranted Sense Of Self-importance would ever seek to question the Bible, God’s law.

ZachV on February 25, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Certainly, only a person with an Unwarranted Sense Of Self-importance would ever seek to question the Bible, God’s law.

ZachV on February 25, 2013 at 12:46 PM

A person with an Unwarranted Sense Of Self-importance would consider himself spiritually equal to an Apostle of God. However, to the point: please note that even the Apostles were capable of mistakes. The New Testament is rife with examples. Unlike you, they were also capable of humility and were amenable to correction. For example, Paul chided Peter for refusing to eat with Christian gentiles (Ga. 2:11-16).

All of this brings us back to Grace, in the end. We all fall short. We all rely on the unearned love of God for our salvation. The key, as I understand it, is humility. Nothing you’ve written evinces the slightest iota of this very necessary Christian attribute.

troyriser_gopftw on February 25, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Or as I like to call it, cherry picking the gospel and calling it ‘learning’ and ‘critical thinking’ to suit my argument.
ZachV on February 25, 2013 at 12:46 PM

fify

workingclass artist on February 25, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Let the priest marry. In 25 years you’ll have a better priesthood.

Oil Can on February 25, 2013 at 10:29 AM

No, you wouldn’t. Keep homosexuals out of the priesthood and, in 25 years, you’ll have a better priesthood. That is the answer.

Marriage — meaning the Catholic definition where you have a man married to a woman — would solve neither the problem of homosexual acts by priests nor the problem of pedophilia. Those are are motivated to practice pedophilia do so not because there doesn’t happen to be an adult woman available. If the problem with our priests was that they couldn’t get married, then all the news stories would be about priests getting caught sleeping with adult women. They’re not. It’s almost universally a scandal of priests getting caught with men and boys.

The problem is that in the 60′s and 70′s, the same progressive attitudes that were infecting society infected the seminaries. Homosexuals began to flood the priesthood. And many of them also happened to turn out to be pedophiles. While there are certainly many good priests who were ordained during that era, the seminaries were a cesspool of sexual deviance and perversion. That is what needed cleaning up. Fortunately, a lot of that cleaning up has begun in earnest, and has been ongoing for some time. The priests of the more recent generation are far more devoted to orthodox Church teachings than their preceding generations.

And, for the record, the practice of having unmarried priests has been Church law since around the early Middle Ages. The priesthood did not become the mess that it is until the last 40-50 years. Human nature has not changed during that time. People are no more drawn to being married now than they were 200 years ago. The issue is that those running the Church’s offices changed and allowed these deviants into the priesthood. And that’s what needs to be fixed.

Shump on February 25, 2013 at 2:45 PM