Illustration photo: Pope Francis with the family of a married priestAuthor: www.marcotosatti.com
On Tuesday, April 20, there was an online discussion show "Celibacy" organized by "Dominican 8", which was moderated by Benedikt Mohelník. His guests were Václav Malý, Tomáš Petráček and Eva Klípová.
Even during the II. At the Vatican Council, any public discussion on celibacy was banned at the instigation of Pope Paul VI. despite the many wishes of the council fathers. The Roman Catholic clergy know that this issue is still not publicly discussed, because this law is clearly given and is presented as the identity of the Catholic priesthood. Therefore, it is to be appreciated that the Dominican Center dared to enter this delicate area. The event was watched by over 600 participants. Although the speakers themselves were priests who committed themselves to celibacy for life, it can be appreciated that the organizer of the event also invited the wife of a Catholic spiritual Eastern rite who was secretly consecrated in 1985 by Jan Konzal. All contributions can be assessed as very balanced and objective with a sincere intention to seek solutions to the issues raised.
The evening was opened by quoting valuable biblical texts that reflect the traditions of the first Christian communities, in which an ordained servant of all levels was to be the husband of one woman (I Tim 3: 1-12; I Titus 1: 5-9;). In this context, we can recall another fragment not mentioned in the show, which shows that the tendency to ban marriage, not only to ordained ministers of communities, occurred in early Christianity: "The Spirit declares quite clearly: spirits and devilish doctrines, lying hypocrites who have a burnt mark on their conscience because they forbid marriage and certain foods that God created in order for believers and truth-knowing people to enjoy them with gratitude. For all that God hath created is good ... ”(I Tim. 1-4). The marriage order seemed to be influenced by Gnostic delusions that claimed that the marriage was bad in itself. This must be reminded of the expectation of the early second coming of Jesus Christ, and so it happened that Christians stopped working and getting married. Manichaeism in its critique of the whole body strongly influenced Christianity, and even though it was rejected as a delusion, it practically survives in the Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Monophysite churches - such as the Coptic, Armenian, Syrian-Jacobite, Ethiopian churches, etc. Origen himself took the words of the Gospel 19.12) so serious that he literally had himself castrated (ευνουχισανεαυτος) for the kingdom of God.
During the evening, the present Dominican-moderator and the bishop expressed the opinion that thanks to celibacy, the priest identifies himself with Jesus Christ (sacerdos alter Christus). However, it can be argued that every baptized is called to be persecuted and identified. The apostle Peter was married and it didn't matter that Jesus built his church on him, on this rock. Marriage has not been forbidden to priests for at least a thousand years. Moreover, celibacy is not among the seven sacraments. Thus the prohibition of marriage denies the clergy one of the sacraments, which cannot be taken lightly. The candidate will not become the "Son of God" through the priestly ordination, and is usually to serve for more than three years. This is theologically complete nonsense. Priesthood and celibacy are two different things. II clearly commented on this. The Vatican Council, in its "Decree on the Service and Life of Priests" of 1965, in which it spoke of sexual abstinence: that they, along with all the bishops, choose to live in celibacy, are also very deserving married priests. However, when this sacred assembly recommends ecclesiastical celibacy, it has no intention of changing the different discipline that is lawfully applied in the Eastern Churches. In love, he encourages all who have received the priesthood as married to persevere in the holy calling and to devote their lives fully and generously to the flock entrusted to them. ”
invitation to a discussion in Dominikánská 8Author: dominikanska8.cz
Complementing the interesting discussion on online celibacy, organized by "Dominican 8", there are several other personal observations.
From II. A number of critical books and studies on celibacy have been published at the Vatican Council (Edward Schillebeeckx, Hans Küng, Eugen Drewermann, etc.). Thousands of clergy, while promising a promise of marriage, have married. Some with the consent of the church (so-called secularization), others were satisfied with a civil marriage, or a confrere married them secretly, which according to the CIC is invalid for the Roman Catholic Church. Others have moved to Christian churches where marriage for the clergy is not forbidden.
Married priests formed communities around the world and founded various organizations. The Czechoslovak Socialist Republic was founded in 1984 by the "Unity of Roman Catholic Clergy and Their Wives". 250 married priests were registered within the republic. This community - illegal for both the state and the church - has affiliated with sister organizations abroad. After several illegal gatherings, the StB learned of the activities, which wanted to abuse the movement to break up the church. Therefore, the leading committee decided to end all activities for the good of the church. However, after a change in political course in 1989, the organization was officially recognized and resumed. The purpose of this community was spiritual, psychological and material assistance to former clergy and their families.
Judaism emphasized the biological fertility of the Old Testament priest, who was never allowed to become one who was incapable of marriage and was infertile (see Leviticus 21: 14-20). To this day, it is not only a basic human right for Jews to marry and multiply, but it is even a religious obligation. For Christians, marriage is revered, although virginity and panic lasted from some time until World War II. of the Vatican Council. Later, the wording appeared in the documents that it depended on who the person was called to. Yet even Orthodox Christians are revered for those who live ascetically in piety and in the sexual abstinence that is obligatory for monks and bishops. Very often, a married Eastern clergy is considered a believer in group 2. If a priest has a morning service, he must not have sex during the night. If his wife dies, he must not marry. The ban on remarriage in the case of widowhood also applies to Roman Catholic permanent deacons, even if they still have small children. In today's workaholic and competitive times, the need for time for people and not to primarily earn for children, or to feed his wife. It is known that some non-Catholic clergy must take up a secular vocation in order to come out economically at all. Moreover, there is not a negligible number of non-Catholic clergy who have divorced.
Any decision of the pope on the question of celibacy raises many ecumenical problems. There is no marriage for the Orthodox and ancient Eastern Churches after the sacrament. Forms different from this tradition could cause great problems in relations and rapprochement between churches.
After the Panamazon Synod in 2018, it seemed that certified permanent deacons could receive priestly ordination. In the end, even this did not pass. Perhaps Pope Francis II. or will the successor be more conservative?
The issue of the marriage ban of priests and bishops is closely linked to Catholic sexual ethics. Until the doctrine of this doctrine is revived on the basis of modern knowledge of medicine and sexology, it is difficult to change the law of celibacy.
It is very positive that since 2008 he has been working as a hospital chaplain and rector of the church of St. Jan Kofroň, a married priest and now a grandfather, who was originally consecrated to the secret church by Fridolín Zahradník. church, which also operates in Roman Catholic parishes. As a member of III. of the Premonstratensian Order celebrates and confesses in Želiv Abbey. Nobody cares that he is married and the father of two daughters. It is commendable that in 2020 Tomáš Holub called to the pastorate of his diocese Igor Bibek, a married Greek Catholic clergyman who can serve a Roman Catholic service as a spiritualist.
Nevertheless, the Vatican seems to prefer the stability of tradition and prefers to send hundreds of catechists, lay missionaries and lay lay parish administrators without risking the division of the church due to celibacy. In addition, there are countries where priestly seminaries and monasteries are crowded with new candidates (eg, India, Philippines, Africa) who then move to Western Europe and the United States to help local churches.
However, the pandemic itself has shown that the role of the priest is not so irreplaceable. Even a layman can baptize in urgent cases, and perfect remorse before death is sufficient. It is enough to receive Holy Communion and the Sacrament of Reconciliation once a year to make the believer in accordance with Catholic teaching. The couple marries the marriage themselves. And to keep Sunday possible is possible by online worship and family worship. It is possible to pray individually or in a community of the baptized even without a priest. In the end, Christianity survived in Japan for 250 years without priests and bishops.
Thus, the ban on marriage for priests and bishops does not seem to jeopardize the Roman Catholic Church in its essence. Nevertheless, it would be interesting for "Dominican 8" to invite to the discussion some priests who married or received this sacrament in the Eastern Rite. Even then, a new blow of the Holy Spirit could be seen in the diversity of his gifts and the new colors of the future priesthood.