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  #61  
Old Feb 20, '09, 6:36 pm
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Default Re: Can a permanent deacon have children after ordination?

Quote:
Originally Posted by otjm View Post
Nothing has declared that deacons can't have children. What has been declared is that those who would be ordained deacons must live in continence; which means that if they should seek to have children they should do that before seeking ordination.....
And who "declared" that? The Pope, John Paul II, who promulgated canon 277 apparently wasn't aware that such was his intention because his own Holy See had a different opinion on the matter (as already cited here), and the same holds for Benedict XVI as nothing has changed since.

I am amazed at two things:

1. A discussion about married deacons has said very little about the actual sacrament of marriage.

2. Once again, I see on these posts an example of someone's magazine article being offered as "proof" that the Holy See doesn't understand canon law.
  #62  
Old Feb 20, '09, 7:22 pm
otjm otjm is offline
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Default Re: Can a permanent deacon have children after ordination?

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Originally Posted by Deacon Ed View Post
As I mentioned earlier in this thread, canon law does not stand alone but, like civil law, is understood based upon either case law (e.g, marriage law) or based upon "authentic interpretation" which can come either from the pope or from his designee.
And that was and is one of my questions. I am not trying to pick a bone with you. The whole thing came at me out of left field. I don't know your background in Canon law (Cameron Lansing, who I believe is a deacon is a Canon lawyer), but I know Dr. Peters is a professor of Canon law and respected as an expert. What strikes me in the discussion is that Dr. Peters and at least one other Canon lawyer, a Jesuit, both agree that Canon 277 requires continence of married deacons; in addition, the history of the creation of Canon 277 points right at this being the intent when the Code was promulgated, as alternatives were rejected which would have provided for the alternative.

It is possible that all we saw in Dr. Peters discussion was a scholarly and narrowly derived opinion confined only to the specific reading of the Canon, but the discussion should have laid that out (one normally sees the parameters of such discussions if they have been so drawn). And it surprises me that a discussion among Canon lawyers, one of whom at least is an acknowledged, would not inquire more widely when it is clear that the Canon is not being followed, apparently, at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deacon Ed View Post
If we are given guidelines by which to understand the law and those guidelines come from the appropriate authority then that is the understanding we are to use.
However, it is normally the case that where there is a question concering a law, the matter within the Church is to approach it by a dubium. The information you quoted does not appear to be a response to a dubium. I for one would not go into shock if I were to find someone in authority in Rome issuing a statement that was contrary to the "party line". I am sure none of us is so naive as to not know that there are politics in the Curia, and sometimes of a Machiavellian nature carried out to a degree that would bring shock and awe to the average layman. I do not doubt the quote was made; I however am a bit dubious that it of necessity is the means that Rome has used to resolve the issue. Then again... it may be that this was done in such a fashion so as to not draw attention to the intent to "change" the clear meaning of Canon 277.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Deacon Ed View Post
Canon law is, of course, subject to tradition. It is also subject to "authentic interpretation."
I am aware of that, and familiar with your example; however, your example is subject to differing interpretations. According to Dr. Peters, et alia, 277 is not. Therefore, I question if the commentary not directly pointed at 277 (response to a dubium, which I am presuming it is not) is an "authentic interpretation" of a statute that on the face of it not only requires no interpretation, but seems to rule it out - particularly when coupled with the prior proposals.
[quote=Deacon Ed;4841680Yet that "obvious practice" comes from somewhere. Surely the bishops of the Church, both in the United States and elsewhere, were conginzant of canon 277. [/QUOTE]I cannot speak to any country; I cannot even say it is universal; given that Archbishop Burke was also recognized as a Canon law scholar and expert, I would be very curious what the practice was in his diocese before he went to Rome; it seems to me he may not have been ordaining any at all, but I am not sure of that.

[quote=Deacon Ed;4841680But the point is Rome does know, and permits, the current understanding as evidenced by the document from the Congregation for Clergy.[/QUOTE]Well, yes and maybe. There hasn't been a pope yet, I would dare say, who has successfully micro managed the Church; a few may have tried in certain instances and/or areas.

[quote=Deacon Ed;4841680As far as I know, JPII did not write any commentary on Canon 277 specifically. Yet, when he addressed the deacons in Detroit (Sept. 19, 1987) he speaks of the love between the deacon and his wife and never, ever, mentions canon 277. I'm sure the pope was aware of the canon.[/QUOTE]I am sure of it too. And from the discussion, Peters et alia, it would appear that JP2 put his mark on the Code, and specifically 277. Back we go again to the proposals...

Please do not misunderstand my comment and musings. I find the whole issue absolutely fascinating. We have a Canon that on the face of it would seem to need no interpretation. I would presume that a Canon which on the face of it does not appear to be open to multiple or differeing interpretations, coupled with a history that shows alternatives in proposals prior to adoption that seemingly were clearly rejected, coupled with a pro and con position that could certainnly be interpreted, if not outright acknowledged as a means of altering another (priestly, as opposed to diaconite) discipline would not ordinarily be "interpreted" by a document that so far has not been identified as a response to a dubium. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the commentary by the dicastery just about takes Canon 277 and stands it on its head.

Note to all: I do not intend my comments and questions to be interpreted as being for or against continence by married deacons. that would require the interjection of my opinion, and I have found in all too many circumstances that my opinon and $3.25 will get me a latte at Starbucks, an not a whole lot more. I do, however, find the issue intellectually fascinating not only from a scholarly view, but also as a possible insight into the workings of the Vatican.

Which insight may result in no more than a curtain closing or a door slamming in my face...
  #63  
Old Feb 20, '09, 7:37 pm
otjm otjm is offline
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Default Re: Can a permanent deacon have children after ordination?

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Originally Posted by FrDavid96 View Post
And who "declared" that? The Pope, John Paul II, who promulgated canon 277 apparently wasn't aware that such was his intention because his own Holy See had a different opinion on the matter (as already cited here), and the same holds for Benedict XVI as nothing has changed since.
For what I know of JP2, I seriously doubt that he did not know what he was doing by promulgating Canon 277 and specifically not adopting one of the proposed alternatives, which would have clearly allowed married deacons to continue sexual relations with their wives. What I am curious about is specifically why he chose to not take one of the other proposals or a modification of them. It is simplistic to presume that of necessity, he intended married deacons to be continent; but it certainly is not an impossible conclusion that such was his intent. Life, however, is not always as it appears.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrDavid96 View Post
I am amazed at two things:

1. A discussion about married deacons has said very little about the actual sacrament of marriage.
The discussion, at least at this point, is specific to the Canon. Discussion of the sacrament of marriage viz a viz intercourse, is of necessity limited when the discussion is the meaning and intent of Canon law which on the face of the Canon and in its history points specifically to continence being required. At this point, at least, it is not a discussion of whether or not that Canon is wrong, wrong-headed, a denial of the meaning of the sacrament, sociolgically warped, or otherwise to be ignored by the hoi polli or to be honored in its absence.

[quote=FrDavid96;48424022. Once again, I see on these posts an example of someone's magazine article being offered as "proof" that the Holy See doesn't understand canon law.[/QUOTE]No, the article seems more to be offered as an example not of Rome not knowing what it is doing, but everyone else potentially ignoring what Rome is doing. It is normally presumed that the lawgiver knows what law it enacts; I would presume the same applies to Canon law. And on the face of it, the Canon seems to bear no other interpretation, nor does it seem vague and in need of interpretation, particularly when coupled with its history. And the commentary out of the dicastery seems to stand the Canon on its head.

Theology of the Body does as much as anything and more than most things to make a splendid expalnation of the saframent of marriage. Theology of the Body, however, is not of particular relevance in this discussion in spite of the fact that JP2 promulgated both. As noted previously, giving up the bonum is neither something unknown in the history of the Church nor contradictory to the meaning of marriage; it is also not lacking biblical precedent.
  #64  
Old Feb 20, '09, 7:56 pm
Andreas Hofer Andreas Hofer is offline
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Default Re: Can a permanent deacon have children after ordination?

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Originally Posted by FrDavid96 View Post
Do we not say that procreation is one of the ends of marriage, by virtue of the Divine Law? Or has that changed, and I'm not up-to-date on my magazine articles which declare that married deacons can't have children?
The legislation of the Latin Church for the entire period in which it employed married clergy (that is, prior to the recent reinstatement of a married diaconate) was that married married men entering major orders must become continent. In fact, for much of that time it was far stricter than it is now, actually requiring that those men separate from their wives - often entrusting the wife to a convent - so as to avoid the constant temptation to fudge one's vow of continence. Given that well-established fact, it is simply irresponsible of you, Father, to keep insisting on a surface understanding of the ends of marriage despite the Church's frequent pronouncements on its use. You can make your case for deacons' use of marriage rights without willfully ignoring canonical history.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrDavid96 View Post
I am amazed at two things:

1. A discussion about married deacons has said very little about the actual sacrament of marriage.

2. Once again, I see on these posts an example of someone's magazine article being offered as "proof" that the Holy See doesn't understand canon law.
1. If 'something to say' about marriage means reasoning from the ends of marriage to the possibility of requring continence of married clerics, then the Church has already settled the dispute. The local councils of the ancient West considered it the apostolic tradition to require continence of married clerics, and subsequent legislation bore that out consistently. The question of possibility is simply closed. Now, if you intend to open a discussion of the advisability of requring continence of married clerics, I think a discussion of the nature, ends, goods, etc. of marriage would be quite helpful, but that discussion of advisability would not help us resolve whether the Church has, in fact, done that which we hold to be well or ill advised.

2. As I said in my first post on the subject, this dispute is, I believe, an elephant in the living room. The requirement of continence is something which, I have stated in subsequent posts, seems to be undermined by the de facto situation, which is why I said not that everyone must immediately conform to the canonical argument but that I think it is an argument of which we ought all at least to be aware, no matter what side of the fence we come down on. If I have seemed a staunch proponent of continence, then, it is because 1) I've seen enough aberrant implementation in my short life to know that practice is a horrible indicator of what the law actually says (allowing me to follow the reasoning of a canonical argument over the existence of a contrary situation on the ground) and 2) I don't think the case can be simply dismissed out of hand, so I feel the need to defend it when that occurs. Your own dismissal, for instance, was on the grounds given unjustified.

We can't choose to ignore the question simply because "that's not what we're doing" or "that seems to pit marriage against ordination," which seem to be the gist of most of the dismissals. Deacon Ed has sought to provide evidence against a requirement of continence, for which I thank him. His evidence, moreover, if read in isolation from the canon, would naturally lead one to assume the full enjoyment of marital relations for married clerics. If we are supposed to read seemingly conflicting rules in a manner that harmonizes them, however, I find this harmonization to remain possible if pre-eminence is given to the canon (e.g., as otjm suggested, any new life from the marriage could have occurred prior to ordination). Thus I don't think it resolves the matter.
  #65  
Old Feb 20, '09, 8:20 pm
otjm otjm is offline
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Default Re: Can a permanent deacon have children after ordination?

And me, I feel like I am sitting on the fence, ready to watch a good cat fight. The sad part is that all too often, what goes on in terms of resolving issues such as this is done out of view except to a very few.

As an aside that may have some bearing, I had presumed that the converts, married, who have been ordained to the priesthood continued marital relations (I was totally ignorant of the reading of Canon 277). I wonder if any such issue has been publicly discussed.

On the other had, since it (celibacy and continence) is an issue of discipline, it is possible that the matter has been handled on a case by case basis, and just as celibacy for priesthood is a discipline and can be waived as it has, so could the individuals be waived from the requirements of continence.

Waiver of the requirement in individual circumstances however should have no bearing on a complete removal of what appears to be a plain and unambiguous requirement under completely different circumstances.

And then, again, the issue of the absoluteness of celibacy for "RC's from birth" who seek to be ordained a priest is not a sudden, recent discussion; the allusions to allowing married deacons to continue sexual relations as a means of easing into a relaxation of the discipline of celibacy for priesthood as a reason that the alternative proposal were rejected leaves one to wonder. At least, it leaves one to wonder if one thinks that God may not be the only one - what is the phrase - to make straight with crooked lines? I would not be the least bit dismayed to find that the on-going discussion of mandatory celibacy among the laity has also been going on among the clergy, up to higher levels than the local vicariate; nor would I go into shock if some day we saw a relaxation of the discipline among the priesthood. Not that I am holding my breath.

Then, of course, we would hear from certain quarters the same condemnation as coming from "sin" as had the issue of altar girls and Communion in the hand. I often wonder if those two issues have been "accomplished" in the manner often portrayed. But then, I have a suspicious mind...

On the other hand, it could be that the issue is nowhere as complex as that; it may simply be a hangover from ignoring liturgical and other laws as we have seen over the last 40 years or so.

I do, however, find the Canon on one hand with its history, and the commentary as pointed out by Deacon Ed coupled by praxis to be strange bedfellows at best. What extremely limited experience I have is that Canons are not turned upside down on their head by what appears to be a passing commentary rather than an explicit change.
  #66  
Old Feb 20, '09, 8:41 pm
Deacon Ed Deacon Ed is offline
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Default Re: Can a permanent deacon have children after ordination?

With regard to the comment that what I have posted from the Congregation for Clergy being a "passing comment" the document I cited, the Directory for Life and Ministry of the Permanent Deacons contains this statement with regard to its authority:
Quote:
The Sovereign Pontiff, Pope John Paul II, has approved this present Directory and ordered its publication.
Rome, at the Office of the Congregations, 22 February 1998, Feast of the Chair of Peter.
Darío Card. Castrillón Hoyos
Prefect
+ Csaba Ternyák
Titular Archbishop of Eminenziana
Secretary
Since the document was published at the order of Pope John Paul II we can take it as an official understanding of how to consider Canon 277 with regard to permanent deacons.

If someone can find documentation that supersedes this or that somehow indicates this document is not correct, I would be interested. Otherwise I see no valid point of argumentation that can refute the posture that say canon 277 does not apply to a married deacon while his wife lives. If she should predecease him then, yes, it applies.

With regard to my training in canon law I, like all clerics, have taken courses in canon law. I am not, nor do I pretend to be, a canon lawyer. Having said that, I am also an intensely curious person who studies way beyond what is required for things that interest me. Canon law and the ways of the Church interest me greatly. Since the only place in the United States to get a degree in canon law is on the East coast and I live on the West coast I do not have a degree, but I think I'm fairly conversant with both canon law and the way Rome understands the law.

Deacon Ed
  #67  
Old Feb 21, '09, 10:04 am
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Default Re: Can a permanent deacon have children after ordination?

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Originally Posted by Andreas Hofer View Post
The legislation of the Latin Church for the entire period in which it employed married clergy (that is, prior to the recent reinstatement of a married diaconate) was that married married men entering major orders must become continent. .
Really, St. Patrick would have disagreed with you. He was the son of a deacon and the grandson of a priest.

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I am Patrick, a sinner, most unlearned, the least of all the faithful, and utterly despised by many. My father was Calpornius, a deacon, son of Potitus, a priest, of the village Bannavem Taburnić; he had a country seat nearby, and there I was taken captive.
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  #68  
Old Feb 21, '09, 1:29 pm
Andreas Hofer Andreas Hofer is offline
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Default Re: Can a permanent deacon have children after ordination?

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Really, St. Patrick would have disagreed with you. He was the son of a deacon and the grandson of a priest.
Two things: 1) Perhaps the Celtic church was still more independent from the Roman church at that time in terms of its discipline. Though Rome and Africa had long been in fairly close harmony by that point, the Gallicans of Patrick's day would still have been different from Roman practice, perhaps the Celts as well. What I find more likely, however, is

2) St. Malachy found the Irish church of his day in complete disarray; it is not unimaginable to think that the neighboring church from which Patrick hailed could have been in similar disrepair in his day. There is a reason, after all, that the constant requirement of continence had to be so often reiterated - there was rampant disobedience.
  #69  
Old Feb 23, '09, 5:55 pm
Edward Peters Edward Peters is offline
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Default Re: Can a permanent deacon have children after ordination?

This thread was just called to my attention. My interest in the topic notwithstanding, I simply can't join every blog conversation I find interesting. So, just a couple of observations: (1) People who have not read my article are not qualified to discuss it; this should be elementary, but apparently it needs repeating here. (2) Skimming the posts, I think virtually every question and/or objection raised has been expressly discussed in my article, so again, read it before criticizing or agreeing with it; (3) Post 61 above referred to my work as "a magazine article". What a dismissive way to refer to a lengthy study, published in a peer-reviewed, academic journal of international repute, "magazine article" my foot. (4) Until one can track down the original study, folks might want to visit the brief webpage I have dedicated to this matter: http://www.canonlaw.info/a_deacons.htm. Cordially, edp.
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Old Feb 24, '09, 5:13 am
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Default Re: Can a permanent deacon have children after ordination?

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(3) Post 61 above referred to my work as "a magazine article". What a dismissive way to refer to a lengthy study, published in a peer-reviewed, academic journal of international repute, "magazine article" my foot. (4) Until one can track down the original study, folks might want to visit the brief webpage I have dedicated to this matter: http://www.canonlaw.info/a_deacons.htm. Cordially, edp.

Thank you Dr. Peters. Your words, as aways, are a breath of fresh air.

(a Sacred Heart student)
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Old Feb 24, '09, 5:21 am
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Default Re: Can a permanent deacon have children after ordination?

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Originally Posted by Andreas Hofer View Post
Two things: 1) Perhaps the Celtic church was still more independent from the Roman church at that time in terms of its discipline. Though Rome and Africa had long been in fairly close harmony by that point, the Gallicans of Patrick's day would still have been different from Roman practice, perhaps the Celts as well. What I find more likely, however, is

2) St. Malachy found the Irish church of his day in complete disarray; it is not unimaginable to think that the neighboring church from which Patrick hailed could have been in similar disrepair in his day. There is a reason, after all, that the constant requirement of continence had to be so often reiterated - there was rampant disobedience.
Patrick was born in Britannia to Roman parents. What St. Malachy found in Ireland had no bearing what-so-ever on Patrick's Roman lineage.
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Old Mar 28, '09, 1:23 am
GodsGadfly GodsGadfly is offline
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Default Re: Can a permanent deacon have children after ordination?

Maybe this been raised already, but what about this?

At some point in the process, Rome established 3 conditions under which a widowed deacon could apply to the CDW for a dispensation to remarry. It was believed that all 3 of those had to be together: that his ministry was "proven useful" (i.e., he was valued as a deacon); that he had young children to care for; and that he had elderly parents or in-laws to care for.
From my previous reading on this topic, the reasoning was that it would cause scandal and an occasion of sin for a deacon with young children to hire a 24/7 nanny. It also led to men with young children being generally rejected for the diaconate.
In 1997, there was a ruling that any one of the three conditions could permit remarriage.
In 2005, the rules were updated again. The elderly parents thing was dropped and replaced with a requirement for a letter from the bishop.

So, under current norms from the CDW, linked above, a deacon can remarry if he has all three of the following conditions: pastoral usefulness, support from his bishop *and* young children.

Now, this leads to couple implications. First, it has *always* been the case that ordination is an impediment to marriage: Western Church, Eastern Church, first Millennium, etc. This is the first official instance in the Church where there is even a set of conditions for an ordained cleric to *remarry* after ordination.

What does that bring to bear on this discussion?

The principle reason for these rules is to avoid scandal and avoid putting the deacon in an occasion of sin. If the Church is expecting a deacon to be continent with his wife, wouldn't She expect him to be continent with a hired nanny, as well?

So why allow remarriage under those circumstances?

(as for the adoption questions, many priests have adopted children, and Bl. Pius IX himsel frather notoriously adopted a child)
  #73  
Old Aug 6, '10, 1:13 pm
Alan Light Alan Light is offline
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Default Re: Can a permanent deacon have children after ordination?

the above posts fail to answer the question
Where does it say that canon 277 (that requires all clerics to observe perfect and perpetual continence) does not apply to permanent deacons?.
We all accept that it does to single men and widows?
Can 288 allows a deacon to be excused some clerical obligations but 277 is not among them.
can 277 (3) allows the Bishop to pass judgment in particular cases and this is what allows for ‘particular’ married priests.
(and Deacons) but does not become the rule?
while to the lay person continence for a married man seems inexplicable the witness of St Joseph supports the different view
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