Catholic Priests being married?

At one time Roman Catholic Priests were allowed to marry or get married then become a priest up until around 1000A.D. correct? I know they cannot today but what about Irish Catholic Priests? Do they or did they have the same disipline as Roman Catholic Priests?

Irish Catholics are Roman Catholics. They are Roman Catholics of Irish descent. Just like an American Catholic is a Roman Catholic in America.

Thanks
Andrew.

You are speaking of “Irish Catholics” as if they are separate from the Roman Catholic rite—they aren’t, unless they are Irish persons that are clergy within one of the Eastern Catholic Churches. “Irish Catholics” is an ethnic or cultural distinction, not a religious one—you need to explain yourself more clearly.

And there are married clergy within the Catholic Church. Some of the Eastern Churches have a married clergy. It is a discipline (not a doctrine) of the Roman or Latin Rite to have a celibate (unmarried) clergy, based on the Scriptural recommendations of it (from Jesus and Paul) and as an eschatological sign. However, there are exceptions made in the Roman Church.

[quote=ak29]Irish Catholics are Roman Catholics. They are Roman Catholics of Irish descent. Just like an American Catholic is a Roman Catholic in America.

Thanks
Andrew.
[/quote]

Not necessarily—there are “American Catholics” who belong to the Eastern Catholic Churches here in America.

You are correct.

When I wrote that I was under the assumption that all the people I mentioned are of Latin Rite, just to simplify it for the OP.

once a priest, you are never allowed to marry, even in the eastern rites

[quote=dal11]once a priest, you are never allowed to marry, even in the eastern rites
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Good point. I was addressing the latter part of the poster’s sentence, “get married then become a priest”, but was forgetting the other. Thanks for making that distinction.

[quote=The Catholic]At one time Roman Catholic Priests were allowed to marry or get married then become a priest up until around 1000A.D. correct? I know they cannot today but what about Irish Catholic Priests? Do they or did they have the same disipline as Roman Catholic Priests?
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Uh, the practice of celibacy for priests is very old in the West, much older than 1000AD. I’m not sure when it officially became set in stone always and everywhere, but it was very much prevalent for hundreds of years before that, if I have it right.

I’m reading a book on Irish history right now. It would seem that some Irish priests were still married even as late as the early 1500s if they lived “beyond the Pale” (i.e. outside of English control).

Are you reading "The Princes of Ireland’? The rule of celibacy goes back quite a ways, but it took quite some time before it was accepted and obeyed by all of the Roman Church.

As a matter of fact, I am. Although I didn’t know that it lasted as long as it did. I’ve read all of Rutherford’s other books and he seems to be pretty good in his historical research.

[quote=The Catholic]At one time Roman Catholic Priests were allowed to marry or get married then become a priest up until around 1000A.D. correct? I know they cannot today but what about Irish Catholic Priests? Do they or did they have the same disipline as Roman Catholic Priests?
[/quote]

In the Western Church today a Married man could be Ordained, a man Ordained a priest cannot Marry. The celibacy requirement started to be put into place in the late 300’s. It was decreed by several local councils was universally accepted over the next centuries and made universal Church law around 1000. In practice however it was extablished well before that.

In the earlier centuries of the Church, married clergy seem to have been the norm in many areas. In the late 4th century, Pope Damasus taught that spiritual fatherhood was more important than biological fatherhood and forbade priests in Rome from marrying. At the Fourth Council of Toledo (A.D. 633), bishops and priest were required to take a vow of celibacy. By A.D. 1139, the Second Lateran Council under Pope Leo IX definitively settled the question of clerical celibacy, requiring that all priests be unmarried. Of course, this was after the schism between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, and Pope Leo IX’s requirement didn’t hold much weight among the Orthodox.

– Mark L. Chance.

practice in Ireland was indeed different than that in the rest of Church on some discipline issues, including tonsure for monks, practice of confession, structure of monasteries, role of men and women religious in civil government, and celibacy for priests who were not monastices was not universal in Ireland. The practice in the Irish church came into conformity with the rest of the Roman Church after the council of Whitby in the 7th century. Where the Anglo-Saxon party won out over the Irish in imposing Roman pracitices. The liturgy was also brought more in line with the rest of the Western church.

[quote=mlchance]In the earlier centuries of the Church, married clergy seem to have been the norm in many areas. In the late 4th century, Pope Damasus taught that spiritual fatherhood was more important than biological fatherhood and forbade priests in Rome from marrying. At the Fourth Council of Toledo (A.D. 633), bishops and priest were required to take a vow of celibacy. By A.D. 1139, the Second Lateran Council under Pope Leo IX definitively settled the question of clerical celibacy, requiring that all priests be unmarried. Of course, this was after the schism between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, and Pope Leo IX’s requirement didn’t hold much weight among the Orthodox.

– Mark L. Chance.

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Even if it came before the schism, it shouldn’t have held all that much weight with the Orthodox. Neither the Pope nor the latin rite has any authority in enforcing discipline in another rite. Just as the Patriarch of Constantinople has no right to enforce discipline on the latin rite. This is correct, is it not?

[quote=Atreyu]Even if it came before the schism, it shouldn’t have held all that much weight with the Orthodox. Neither the Pope nor the latin rite has any authority in enforcing discipline in another rite. Just as the Patriarch of Constantinople has no right to enforce discipline on the latin rite. This is correct, is it not?
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I would think that you’re right about that. Celibacy is a discipline, not a doctrine, and as such I don’t see the pope having authority in matters of discipline within another rite. I could be wrong…

[quote=Atreyu]Even if it came before the schism, it shouldn’t have held all that much weight with the Orthodox. Neither the Pope nor the latin rite has any authority in enforcing discipline in another rite. Just as the Patriarch of Constantinople has no right to enforce discipline on the latin rite. This is correct, is it not?
[/quote]

Admittedly, but the Eastern Orthodox churches aren’t really another rite of the Catholic Church. The Greek, Russian, Coptic, et cetera Orthodox Churches are in schism with Rome. Of course I by no means fault the Eastern Orthodox for allowing married clergy, and, should Rome decide to change this discipline for the West, I would humbly accept that change.

:smiley:

– Mark L. Chance.

[quote=The Catholic]At one time Roman Catholic Priests were allowed to marry or get married then become a priest up until around 1000A.D. correct?
[/quote]

Priests have not been allowed to marry since very early times. In fact I don’t know of an example of a priest marrying in the early Church. I could be wrong, but I don’t think there’s any evidence that it was ever allowed.

Married men did become priests until the 11th century in the West, and until the present in the Eastern Church. However, in the early centuries, at least in the West, there was already some attempt to get them to refrain from sexual intercourse after marriage. In principle, they were supposed to live as “brother and sister.” This was not well enforced, however. So in the 11th century the Western Church took a stricter approach, forcing priests to separate from their wives altogether. Still, many local parish priests continued to live in what amounted to common-law marriages until the Reformation. These relationships had no legal status but were widely accepted as a concession to human weakness. The Protestant Reformers criticized this rather inconsistent position (denying priests legal marriage but tolerating concubinage in practice), and in response the post-Reformation Roman Catholic Church enforced celibacy more strictly.

Edwin

[quote=mlchance]Admittedly, but the Eastern Orthodox churches aren’t really another rite of the Catholic Church. The Greek, Russian, Coptic, et cetera Orthodox Churches are in schism with Rome. Of course I by no means fault the Eastern Orthodox for allowing married clergy, and, should Rome decide to change this discipline for the West, I would humbly accept that change.

:smiley:

– Mark L. Chance.
[/quote]

The Eastern Orthodox were other rites of the Catholic Church to begin with, hence my qualifier “even… before the schism…”

My point was that the Western rite has no authority in deciding or enforcing discipline in the Eastern rites. In my opinion (which is really a topic for another thread), it was the Eastern Orthodox Churches insistence on demanding the Western rite change/revert a discipline (a la the filioque) that led to the schism in the 11th century.

To get back on topic, I hope this demonstrates the scope of which clerical celibacy is to be enforced (ie Western rite of the Catholic Church only).

[quote=Sherlock]I would think that you’re right about that. Celibacy is a discipline, not a doctrine, and as such I don’t see the pope having authority in matters of discipline within another rite. I could be wrong…
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The pope has authority over all Catholic Churches and approves the canon law (discipline) of both the East and West. The Orthodox are NOT Catholic and do not submit to the authority of the pope.

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