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Melkite Catholic Church to Ordain Married Men to the Priesthood in the US Comments

The Bishop of the Melkite Eparchy of Newton, Massachusetts announced that the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in the United States would be ordaining married men to the priesthood. These comments raise significant questions of what the consequence of such a move might mean for this Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with Rome. Continue Reading

11 - 20 of 24 Comments

  1. tkh
    3 years ago

    To Mr Edward Burke - I hear you. However, I see salvific value in the example of a married priest in a world where the notion of a family is being methodically and systematically dismantled by the Government and also by individuals who are attempting to redefine marriage and even sexual morality. These things were not questioned in centuries past; they are questioned now - who will lead us?

  2. tkh
    3 years ago

    JAK, that's right. I meant those accepted into the Church / in communion with (obedient to) the Church.

  3. Joe
    3 years ago

    The reason married Eastern priests were suppressed in the United States was because of the efforts of Latin Irish bishops in the 19th century who petitioned Rome to limit the practice citing that married priests would confuse the faithful. In retrospect their reasoning may have been tainted with Jansenistic tendencies (Catholic puritanism similar to Calvinism) which was popular in Irish and French Catholic circles until recently. This especially hit Greek Catholics very hard in both Greece and the U.S. After successful evangelistic efforts to bring Greek Orthodox into full communion in the 19th century we lost them once again due to this disciplinary suppression and now there are only 3,000 Greek Catholics vs. millions of Greek Orthodox. People are educated enough today to know the difference between discipline and dogma and hopefully understand that the Church does not support either extremes of "ban celibacy completely" or "celibacy only". Celibacy has its place in religious vocations along with the married who are called as well, just to serve in different ways. The Melkite Church has the right to determine this since each Eastern Catholic Church has its own hierarchy yet all are obedient to the Pope of Rome. It is perhaps this issue of how hierarchy actually works in the Church and how it has always worked that is also at the root of any misunderstandings that might occur in issues like this. For instance, the Maronites (which I am) have never broken with the Mother Church yet champion the married priesthood as well. This is not a new issue for Easterners and Westerners. The real controversy perhaps lies in questions about full communion with Protestants (not to generalize about any Christian people) who might consider married or women clergy, even for bishops, to be a major issue that affects them considering full membership in the Church. But as far as the Melkite Church is concerned let's pray that this opens an opportunity for those married men who are called authentically by God and have not been able to respond in the past due to rigidity in temporal church law.

  4. Sister Jacqueline Corcoran
    3 years ago

    It's a good thing that man should marry and in the Catholic Faith, in the Priesthood, there are men that are married and don't have much of a problem, long as they don't go outside the vows of marriage because, that would cause a Priest to get defrocked, basically Sin. I'm a big support of Priest getting married, it stops homosexuality and it shows support of marriage in the catholic faith. I'm married to a Priest and I support him, as a Priest.

  5. Brendan Woodburn
    3 years ago

    First, priestly celibacy in the Latin church is a discipline and not a doctrine. That means that it can be changed. This can best be seen by the number of converts from Lutheranism and the Anglican communion, who through the pastoral provision. Secondly, the documents of Vatican II in regard to our Eastern Brethren in communion with Rome and their own revised code of canon law called for a restoration of their traditions and theology regarding the 7 divine mysteries, etc. As such, this includes married clergy. In fact, it is ridiculous that the Romanian Bishop of Canton has had to ordain married men in Romania and then classify them as "visiting priests", which is common practice in the other churches in communion as well. It is just intellectually dishonest.

    I have had great experiences with both celibate and married priests. Both of them are devoted to serving Christ and His Church. Yes, some do have secular careers, but many serve as chaplains, teachers, campus ministers. I simply think it is time for Rome as well as the Latin bishops of the US to not be threatened by a married clergy.

    In fact, some of the Church Fathers speak about having two calls in one-that of priest and that of husband, which were never in conflict.

  6. JAK
    3 years ago

    To tkh - "...priests who are or who can marry." A point of clarification. In some traditions, married men can become priest. However, a sinle man can not become a priest and them get married.

  7. Edward Burke
    3 years ago

    The Pope, given the power by Our Blessed Lord, to open and no one shall close, and to close and no one shall open, has made celibate priests the model for all. He may have granted an exception to help unite Anglicans with the church, but that is an exception based on that fact. This does NOT open the new age ideas of the politically correct to use in Our Church. No Married priests should be ordained, nor should women, and the Holy Father is the Final Arbitor of this, not the Huffington Post. If those men are married let them follow that calling to family within the church. If they wish to be priests they need to have remained unmarried. Not all are called, but those who are shall have God's grace to, " Make All Things Possible " This is not something in need of debate, this issue was settled long ago. There are 30,000 other so-called Christian Denominations, but there is only One church founded and built by Jesus and we have no business in trying to make 30,001 !

  8. tkh
    3 years ago

    Let's hope and pray for reunification of West and East as well as Catholic and Protestant.

  9. David Carlon
    3 years ago

    May God's will be done. There is ample scripture and theology to support this move.

  10. tkh
    3 years ago

    While I support the Tradition of the Roman Catholic Church, I believe that if a married man is welcomed by the Pope into the Catholic Church as a full priest (as is done in the Anglican Ordinariate), then this action states that it is acceptable for a married man to be a priest in the Catholic Church. I do not see how the Church can allow married priests in one case (supporting the efficacy of such a situation and the good trade off of doing so) but not in another - either it is acceptable or it is not - the Pope has allowed it. Also, if in the Anglican Ordinariates, former Anglicans follow their married priests into the Catholic Church, that same tradition, while bound to be obedient to the Pope and the Magisterium, still brings with it a sub-tradition of following priests who are or who can marry. Do they reject the married priesthood in order to come into the Catholic Church? I don't think they truly do - since that would reject the Pope's admission of the same said married priests as being validly ordained. And so this is a challenging situation. Personally, I support whatever the Pope defines. I think he has accepted married priests for the sake of the good of the Church; I accept what the Pope accepts. If I can't accept what the Pope accepts, then I am "outside the Church."


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