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Old 1st February 2011, 04:26 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Default Joseph Ratzinger on priestly celibacy (in 1970)

The mass media have been sensationalizing and to some extent distorting a memorandum, signed by nine theologians, including Joseph Ratzinger, written in 1970, and sent to the German Bishops.

My post on the topic is here:
http://ronconte.wordpress.com/2011/0...1970-document/

Basically, the document asks the German Bishops to discuss the possibility that some married men might be admitted to ordination as priests.

Since that time, the admission of married men as ordained deacons has become widespread. Also since that time, the Holy See has permitted Anglican ministers who convert to Catholicism to be ordained as Catholic priests, even if the Anglican convert is married. So to some extent there has been a limited reconsideration of the place of celibacy among ordained persons.

But the document in no way calls for an end to the celibate priesthood.
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Old 3rd February 2011, 02:26 AM
js1975 js1975 is offline
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Ron,

I am a little unclear as to the direction of your article and the memorandum published by the German Theologians, and hoping for either agreement or correction in my conclusion:

Starting with your statement on your blog:
Quote:
They assert that the current (in 1970, under the older version of Canon Law) law on celibacy is changeable.

On one hand, from scripture we have Matthew 19:12 and St Paul in I Corinthians urging and pointing out that celibacy is recommended.

On the other hand, some apostles were married and St. Paul in Titus and 1 Timothy referring to Bishops and Deacons as, "the husband of only one wife".

From this commentary and reading as much as I can about the history, the 3rd canon in the council of Nicaea required priestly celibacy:
Quote:
"This great synod absolutely forbids a bishop, presbyter, deacon or any of the clergy to keep a woman who has been brought in to live with him, with the exception of course of his mother or sister or aunt, or of any person who is above suspicion. "

This is a temporal decision, which means it can be changed (because it is a canon, and not a decree)

With all of this being said, priestly celibacy is not an infallible teaching, but taught by the church's temporal authority, and has been in place since 325AD. This is why there is even a discussion around priestly celibacy at all, because it is not an infallible teaching.

Is this correct? If so, did I misstate anything?

Thanks,
-jay
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Old 3rd February 2011, 03:06 AM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by js1975 View Post
On one hand, from scripture we have Matthew 19:12 and St Paul in I Corinthians urging and pointing out that celibacy is recommended.

On the other hand, some apostles were married and St. Paul in Titus and 1 Timothy referring to Bishops and Deacons as, "the husband of only one wife".

Celibacy is the norm for priests and is required for Bishops. However, some married men have always been permitted to be ordained as priests. The Memorandum asks the bishops to consider whether in the Latin Rite, some married men might be ordained also, but without doing away with celibacy as the higher state of life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by js1975 View Post
From this commentary and reading as much as I can about the history, the 3rd canon in the council of Nicaea required priestly celibacy:

That passage is not about celibacy (remaining unmarried for the sake of the priesthood or the religious life), but about avoiding grave sexual sin and grave scandal.

Many of the decrees of Nicea were of the temporal authority, not the teaching authority.

Quote:
Originally Posted by js1975 View Post
This is a temporal decision, which means it can be changed (because it is a canon, and not a decree)

The infallible teachings are called canons or decrees, the decision of the temporal authority can also be called canons or decrees. The terminology is not set in stone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by js1975 View Post
With all of this being said, priestly celibacy is not an infallible teaching, but taught by the church's temporal authority, and has been in place since 325AD. This is why there is even a discussion around priestly celibacy at all, because it is not an infallible teaching.

priestly celibacy is a discipline, but it is associated with doctrines:

that there is no marriage in heaven or after the general resurrection -- all the resurrected just are celibate

that virginity and celibacy are better than marriage -- so why have a priesthood that is mostly comprised of married men

Jesus was unmarried and the priests represent Christ, so they should be as much like Him as possible.
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