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  #21  
Old 3rd April 2007, 12:14 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Originally Posted by Justin Angel View Post
Catholics are obliged to believe all that is taught infallibly by the Sacred Magisterium with a full assent
of faith ('fides divina'). There must be no room for dissenting from the belief in the Immaculate Conception
or in the sinfulness of abortion on demand. Catholics are also obliged to believe in the non-infallible
teachings of the Ordinary Magesterium, but with a different type or degree of assent, known as religious
assent ('obsequium religiosum'). Is the latter assent more an act of obedience ? For instance, I
know Catholics who claim to accept the Church's position on celibacy and her opposition to female ordination,
without active protest, but personally they feel that priests should be allowed to marry and that women
should be ordained as priests. Perhaps we are not required to share in the Church's traditional non-infallible
beliefs, but expected to nonetheless, apart from making every effort to accept wholeheartedly what the
Church teaches concerning these doctrines. I assume these are non-infallible teachings concerning Holy Orders.
I invite Ron and all of you to comment by what you understand of this subject.

The teaching that women cannot be ordained as priests or bishops, because the Church does not have this authority, is an infallible teaching.

We are generally required to give our religious submission of will and intellect to the non-infallible teachings because these can never err to such an extent as to lead us away from the path of salvation, and because infallible teachings alone are not sufficient to guide us to salvation. Therefore, the Church has the right and duty to require adherence to non-infallible teachings.

Because non-infallible teachings may contain error, to a limited extent, the faithful have the right to dissent on points not essential to salvation, if the dissent is based on a higher teaching of Tradition, Scripture, or Magisterium.

The question of celibacy is not a teaching, but a decision of the prudential order, under the temporal authority of the Church (the authority to make practical decisions).
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  #22  
Old 3rd April 2007, 12:22 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Originally Posted by St. Thomas More View Post
Ron, what are the sources and reasoning to support the claim that it is an infallible teaching that the use of artificial contraception is sinful? I understand that a few papal encyclicals have addressed this - Casti Connubi and Humana Vitae. But is there any other authority? Prior Church teachings or supporting verses from Scripture? Or is that not necessary?

-- St. Thomas More
"The King's Good Servant, but God's First"

It is my theological opinion that Church teaching against contraception falls under the infallible Universal Magisterium because one position definitively to be held has been taught by successive Popes and successive generations of Bishops, in unity of teaching, as an important doctrine on morals.

See my article on contraception:
http://www.catholicplanet.com/articles/article01.htm

For information on NFP, see my website:
http://www.natural-family-planning.info/

It is not always clear which teachings fall under the infallibility of the Universal Magisterium, but since the non-infallible teachings can only contain error to a limited extent, even if teaching against contraception is non-infallible, it cannot be the case that contraception is moral.
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  #23  
Old 3rd April 2007, 02:17 PM
Justin Angel Justin Angel is offline
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Wink Celibacy

Ron, I must admit that it had escaped my notice that celibacy is a decision under the prudential order.
With all the theological, spiritual, and eschatological reasons behind the justification of this discipline,
supported by appeals to Holy Scriptures and literature of the early Church, I assumed celibacy was the
subject of non-infallible teaching. Does this practical decision of the Church guarantee that Holy Orders can
still be a Sacrament in its full significance? In other words, would we still have this Sacrament if the
priest was not celibate as Christ was celibate and if he were no longer a sign of the future Resurrection
when we will no longer be married but like the angels? I have the impression that "practical" means the
discipline is not necessary and can just as well be revoked at any time given the circumstances in the
Church. I personally believe that a priest should be celibate, but not for just practical reasons as in the
case of St. Xavier or St. Frances of Sales who evangelized around the globe.
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  #24  
Old 3rd April 2007, 03:11 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Originally Posted by Justin Angel View Post
Ron, I must admit that it had escaped my notice that celibacy is a decision under the prudential order.
With all the theological, spiritual, and eschatological reasons behind the justification of this discipline,
supported by appeals to Holy Scriptures and literature of the early Church, I assumed celibacy was the
subject of non-infallible teaching. Does this practical decision of the Church guarantee that Holy Orders can
still be a Sacrament in its full significance? In other words, would we still have this Sacrament if the
priest was not celibate as Christ was celibate and if he were no longer a sign of the future Resurrection
when we will no longer be married but like the angels? I have the impression that "practical" means the
discipline is not necessary and can just as well be revoked at any time given the circumstances in the
Church. I personally believe that a priest should be celibate, but not for just practical reasons as in the
case of St. Xavier or St. Frances of Sales who evangelized around the globe.

the temporal decision of the Church is to require most priests to be celibate, and to permit some priests to marry, particularly in the East. The Sacrament of Holy Orders is still the subject of the teaching of the Church. The ability of the temporal authority of the Church to adjust the rules which apply to the various Sacraments is limited.

For example, the Church cannot require all priests to be married, since Christ was celibate and a virgin.

So the Church can apply some temporal decisions to Holy Orders, but the Sacrament itself is established by infallible and non-infallible teachings.

The term 'practical' does not refer to expediency, but to decisions requiring the judgment of things that are outside of Tradition and Scripture, such as the circumstances of modern society, and the changing needs of the faithful.
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  #25  
Old 3rd April 2007, 03:49 PM
CRW
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by St. Thomas More View Post
Ron, what are the sources and reasoning to support the claim that it is an infallible teaching that the use of artificial contraception is sinful? I understand that a few papal encyclicals have addressed this - Casti Connubi and Humana Vitae. But is there any other authority? Prior Church teachings or supporting verses from Scripture? Or is that not necessary?

-- St. Thomas More
"The King's Good Servant, but God's First"

Concerning contraception sources:

Gen 1-28: "Be fertile and multiply, fill the earth"
Gen 38, 9-10: (Onan killed for spilling his seed on the ground, not for disobeying Levirate Law, whose penalty was not death. See Deut 25: 5-10)
Psalm 127: 3-5: (Children are gifts from God)
1 Chron 26: 4-5: (God blessed Obed-edom with 8 sons)
Matt 21: 19: (Jesus cures barren fig tree)
Luke 18: 16: "Let the Children come to me, and do not prevent them"
Acts 5: 1-11: (Ananias and Sapphira slain for withholding part of their gift)

See Catechism 2366 - 2372 also for more specific detail.

Cecil
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  #26  
Old 3rd April 2007, 03:55 PM
CRW
 
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Post delete by author, wrong discussion, sorry. Cecil
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  #27  
Old 3rd April 2007, 06:47 PM
Nathan
 
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Default Liturgical Light from the East

Some light from the East again (seems to be my specialty on this forum):

We would add that this is also a phronema (mindset) that is taught by the Church, rather than a law that can be easily deduced from a few scriptures.

Here are some interesting anti-contraceptive mentality texts from the Orthodox Crowning (marriage) service. They illustrate the Eastern Church's perspective on the purpose of marriage (which, by implication, is contrary to the use of artificial contraception and even at best ambivalent regarding NFP):

...Glory to You, O our God, Glory to You.

Your wife shall be as a fruitful vine on the sides of your house.

Glory to You, O our God, Glory to You.

Your children like young olive plants around your table.

Glory to You, O our God, Glory to You.

Behold! The man shall be blessed that fears the Lord.

Glory to You, O our God, Glory to You.

The Lord shall bless you out of Zion, and you shall see the good things of Jerusalem all the days of your life.

Glory to You, O our God, Glory to You.

Yea! You shall see your children's children, and peace be upon Israel...


Another excerpt:

"O God most pure, Author of all creation, Who through Your manbefriending love transformed a rib of Adam the forefather into a woman, and blessed them and said, "Increase and multiply, and have dominion over the earth," and, by the conjoining, declared them both to be one member, for because of this a man shall forsake his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and the two shall be one flesh‑and whom God has joined together let not man put asunder; Who did also bless Your servant Abraham, and opened the womb of Sara, and made him the father of many nations; Who bestowed Isaac upon Rebecca, and blessed her offspring; Who joined Jacob and Rachel, and from them made manifest the twelve patriarchs..."

"...Remember, O Lord our God, Your servant (Name) and Your servant (Name), and bless them. Give to them fruit of the womb, fair children, concord of soul and body. Exalt them as the cedars of Lebanon, and as well‑cultured vine; bestow on them a rich store of sustenance, so that having a sufficiency of all things for themselves, they may abound in every good work that is good and acceptable before You. Let them behold their children's children as newly planted olive trees round about their table; and, being accepted before You, let them shine as stars in the Heavens, in You, our Lord, to Whom are due all Glory, honor, and worship as to Your eternal Father, and Your All‑Holy, Good, and Life‑creating Spirit, both now and ever, and to the ages of ages..."

"...Join them together in oneness of mind; crown them with wedlock into one flesh; grant to them the fruit of the womb, and the gain of well favored children..."

These are just very brief excerpts: the full service is rather... well, Byzantine.

After the priest removes the crowns from the heads of the bride and groom (the crowning, and then the leading of the couple around the altar three times, is the marriage sacrament in the Eastern liturgy, which contains no marriage vows), he says:

"Be magnified, O Bridegroom, as Abraham, and blessed as Isaac, and increased as was Jacob. Go your way in peace, performing in righteousness the commandments of God."

He takes the Crown of the Bride and says:

"And you, O Bride, be magnified as was Sarah, and rejoiced as was Rebecca, and increased as Rachel, being glad in your husband, keeping the paths of the Law, for so God is well pleased. "

What strikes me is a constant three-fold repition of petitions for their marriage:

1. unity together
2. abundant procreation
3. abundance of good things, so that the couple can extend mercy to the poor and downtrodden.

This echoes the Latin emphasis on the unity of the uniative and procreative, but emphasizes the procreative more, and addds the further aspect of a married life being a home to others! How rich. It reminds me of the Nazzour family in Damascus, to whom the Virgin MAry commanded that they open their family home to all pilgrims at all times....

This is an insight, as far as I can see, that is particular to the East ebcause of the West's emphasis on celibacy as the ideal.
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  #28  
Old 3rd April 2007, 07:08 PM
Nathan
 
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A qualifier to my last post and a response to Justin Angel on celebacy and the priesthood.

The East, like the West, does exalt celebacy above marriage: the monastic path to salvation is much easier than the married.

Also, celibate priests in the East are more highly ranked than the married.

However, married priests as parish priests are generally the norm in the East. With some exceptions where monastaries are hard to come by, celibates are encouraged to join the monastary, from which bishops are then ideally elected. Free-floating celibates, as with secular priests in the West, are definately not considered the ideal since it exposes them to temptation unnecessarily and makes them like fishes out of water by placing them in a community that has a different state of life than themselves.

Parish priests, what in the West one would call "secular priests," are almost always married: not because they do not represent Christ or fail to do so perfectly, somehow, but for pastoral reasons. The priest's family becomes at once something of the model family for the parish, and a point of connection for parishoners, and his "matushka," or "presbytera," his wife, is considered the mother of the parish and partakes in some way in her husband's ministry. The priest in the East, as head of both his own family as well as the local household of faith, images to his parish the true life of the ecclesia domestica.

IN the East, it is the monastics that represent or image the celibacy of Christ and his Mother to the faithful through their life apart from the world (i.e. their angelic, celibate state), while the priest represents Christ to his people within the world where the faithful primarily are.

Of course, this would not work in the Latin West, where, for 1,000 years or more, celibacy has been the norm for the priesthood. A priest in the West, unlike in the East, is not supported financially (at least, not to any real degree) by the people he serves so that he can give himself to them more fully, not in a ministry among them, but from outside their way of life. In this way he represents something more like a monastic vocation, and perhaps in that sense does represent Christ, as a representitive of the angelic life, in a way that an Eastern priest does not at the end of the day.
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  #29  
Old 4th April 2007, 02:21 AM
Mario
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan View Post
Parish priests, what in the West one would call "secular priests," are almost always married: not because they do not represent Christ or fail to do so perfectly, somehow, but for pastoral reasons. The priest's family becomes at once something of the model family for the parish, and a point of connection for parishoners, and his "matushka," or "presbytera," his wife, is considered the mother of the parish and partakes in some way in her husband's ministry. The priest in the East, as head of both his own family as well as the local household of faith, images to his parish the true life of the ecclesia domestica.

Nathan,

I appreciate your understanding as stated. It makes sense that secular priests in the West are susceptible to temptation because they are like fish out of the water. I have a question for you that is somewhat related.

It has been suggested to me that the Russian Orthodox Church under the Soviets was more easily manipulated than the Latin Church would have been because of the pressure brought to bear on married Orthodox clergy. Such priests had families as well as parishioners to be concerned about. Is that a reasonable premise: Celibate priests are more suited to seasons of persecution?
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  #30  
Old 4th April 2007, 12:46 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Nathan,

the idea that you are expressing, that most parish priests should be married is contrary to Catholic teaching; it is a point of disagreement between Catholic and Orthodox. Christ was celibate in a society where marriage was the norm even for Jewish priests. The Church has the authority to permit some priests to marry, but She does not have the authority to permit all priests to marry. Most priests must be celibate because Christ was celibate. The role of representing Christ takes precedence over any role of modeling good family life.


Ron
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