should Catholic priests be allowed to marry?


#1

i was just curious on everyones point of view, if the church is hurting so badly for priests why not allow married men, for that matter WOMEN to be priests? would they not do just as good a job as single males?


#2

There has not been a horse that has been more beaten to death on this board than this particular horse:

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And probably 50 other threads that have been hijacked or otherwise discuss the topic. Perfect topic for a good old-fashioned flame-baiting.


#3

you dont like me very much do you barrister? :wink: im just kidding, well as you know im new to the board so this is something im interested in.


#4

Well, I am not Catholic. However, I have seen figures that indicate people choosing the priesthood is on the decline. I wager that if they were permitted to marry that more would sign up. IMHO.


#5

[quote=Mac6yver]Well, I am not Catholic. However, I have seen figures that indicate people choosing the priesthood is on the decline. I wager that if they were permitted to marry that more would sign up. IMHO.
[/quote]

Priests can not marry, but married men can be ordained to the priesthood in both the Orthodox and in some of the Catholic Churches.

Men being ordained into the Latin Catholic Church can not be married. Men to be ordained into the Byzanitne Catholic Churches can be married.

As for allowing married men into the priesthood increasing the numbers of men who what to be ordained is just wrong.

Look at the protestants and the Orthodox/Byzantine Churches. This argument does not hold up.


#6

[quote=TarAshly]i was just curious on everyones point of view, if the church is hurting so badly for priests why not allow married men, for that matter WOMEN to be priests? would they not do just as good a job as single males?
[/quote]


Ashly, The Pope has restated the answer to your question reciently.
He reiterated that there cannot be women priests. Why? The reason is not a man-made ruling or Doctrine, it is a God-made Law. Go to newadvent.org/cathen/12406a.htm.

Have you done any thinking about what would happen to the Priesthood, the respect the laity would have for the Church and how offending God would result in turmoil.

I know you are thinking about a stort-term “fix”. But I will tell you right up front, if I was in a Catholic Church and a female came in to say Mass…I would leave, loudly! Peter, Paul and Jesus did not advocate for female priests. Holy Mother Church knows best!!


#7

sorry byzcath im confused. can you “dumb” it down a little for me, im new to the faith so i dont understand what you mean by that.


#8

I don’t think that current priests, having taken a vow of celibacy, should be allowed to marry, nor do I think that this vow should be abolished, but exceptions could be made. In my parish, there are a number of devout and thoroughly Catholic men who are married, have raised their families and gained whatever material successes God saw fit to bestow on them, for whom the small pay a priest receives would not be a problem. A number of them have become deacons and have expressed an interest in the priesthood, but are blocked because of this prohibition. In my layman’s opinion, the Church is missing out on a vast pool of talent here.

Moreover, about fifteen or twenty years ago, there was a rift in the Episcopal church and a splinter group was formed. They also claimed apostolic succession. One of their bishops died before an additional one could be appointed and, according to their rules, the succession was broken and the group was disbanded. The individual parishes then voted on joining the Catholic church or returning to the Episcopal one. The one here joined the Catholic church and, after a brief training period, their married priest was accepted as a Catholic priest. So, there already are a few married priests around. Under the right circumstances, why not a few more?


#9

TarAshly,

I think he means that if a man is already married, he can be ordained to the priesthood in the Orthodox and Byzantine Rite Catholic churches, although not the Latin Rite Catholic church (the rite that most of us here follow). However, a man already ordained to the priesthood in those churches may not later marry.

As for whether the numbers of Latin rite priests would rise if married men were allowed- I don’t know about the numbers overall. I do know a couple of men who had to struggle to choose between ordination and marriage- they both chose marriage. Both of them would have made wonderful priests, and I think that had the option been open for them to be married priests, both would have taken it.


#10

[quote=TarAshly]you dont like me very much do you barrister? :wink: im just kidding, well as you know im new to the board so this is something im interested in.
[/quote]

I don’t dislike anyone. It’s just that the topic has been done to death.


#11

[quote=The Barrister]I don’t dislike anyone. It’s just that the topic has been done to death.
[/quote]

Then … don’t participate?


#12

TarAshly,
Jen sums up what I was saying pretty well.

As for priestesses, Exporter answered that well.

As for whether the numbers of Latin rite priests would rise if married men were allowed- I don’t know about the numbers overall. I do know a couple of men who had to struggle to choose between ordination and marriage- they both chose marriage. Both of them would have made wonderful priests, and I think that had the option been open for them to be married priests, both would have taken it.

Jen,
Yes they may have chosen to be married priests, but would their spouses?

This is an aspect that many do not address. To be a priests wife is also a special vocation.

Not every married man who feels he has a calling will be married to someone who also has a calling to be a priest’s wife.


#13

[quote=ByzCath]Jen,
Yes they may have chosen to be married priests, but would their spouses?

This is an aspect that many do not address. To be a priests wife is also a special vocation.

Not every married man who feels he has a calling will be married to someone who also has a calling to be a priest’s wife.
[/quote]

True. But I think Geezerbob made a good point about men who are married, have raised their families, and pursued ordination to the diaconate. If many of those men would wish to be ordained to the priesthood, their finances are not an issue (as they most likely already have homes and retirement funds), and their wives obviously have no objection to their spouse’s ordination, I don’t understand what the problem would be with allowing them to be ordained as priests.


#14

I totally SEE the reason for Priests remaining unmarried.

Having a dad a Pastor, and feeling the neglect, and others I know whose Dad’s are also pastors, and all the chaos it has caused in their lives, I have come to believe, THERE IS A PURPOSE FOR PRIESTS REMAINING CELIBATE.
You cannot be married to a wife and family AND married to a church.

SO…there is a reason for this discipline, although many still disagree.


#15

Actually a married man who is ordained in another faith can be ordained into the Latin Rite. He must be ordained already though. We had a married priest at my last parish. He converted from the Episcopal faith, and although he was hired to work in the diocese office, he still had duties to celebrate mass in our parish.


#16

[quote=sparkle]I totally SEE the reason for Priests remaining unmarried.

Having a dad a Pastor, and feeling the neglect, and others I know whose Dad’s are also pastors, and all the chaos it has caused in their lives, I have come to believe, THERE IS A PURPOSE FOR PRIESTS REMAINING CELIBATE.
You cannot be married to a wife and family AND married to a church.

SO…there is a reason for this discipline, although many still disagree.
[/quote]

I do see the reason for not ordaining young married men to the priesthood (or even the diaconate). Providing for and raising children is enough of a job.

Like I said above though, once the children are grown and the finances are set, why not allow men to be ordained as priests? We have two deacons in our parish (one ordained just a few weeks ago)- both married with adult children and retired from their careers. Both would make terrific priests (if they so desired), especially since they no longer have the demands of young children or a career to deal with, and since their wives are already supportive of their call to ordained ministry.


#17

It’s interesting that a deacon can become a fully ordained priest if their spouse passes away. The problem is that I believe the church has age restrictions, so many of these deacons wouldn’t qualify based on that. Kinda sad if you ask me. I’m sure there are many deacons who would feel called to become a fully ordained priest, especially since many of them have several years os service still left. It may not fix our priest shortage problem, but would help.


#18

[quote=SeekerJen]I do see the reason for not ordaining young married men to the priesthood (or even the diaconate). Providing for and raising children is enough of a job.Like I said above though, once the children are grown and the finances are set, why not allow men to be ordained as priests? We have two deacons in our parish (one ordained just a few weeks ago)- both married with adult children and retired from their careers. Both would make terrific priests (if they so desired), especially since they no longer have the demands of young children or a career to deal with, and since their wives are already supportive of their call to ordained ministry.
[/quote]

YES seeker Jen–but ya know? Once a parent–always a parent–you will find this out one day. It’s not so simple as “yep --kids are out” --life has changed" --they’re out of the nest----but --they’re NEVER out of the nest. You’re ALWAYS a Mom–ALWAYS a Dad–that is your role–your vocation—just like I truly believe–being as Priest is their main role–their main vocation.!!!

Many Blessings to You Friend Today~~


#19

[quote=SeekerJen]True. But I think Geezerbob made a good point about men who are married, have raised their families, and pursued ordination to the diaconate. If many of those men would wish to be ordained to the priesthood, their finances are not an issue (as they most likely already have homes and retirement funds), and their wives obviously have no objection to their spouse’s ordination, I don’t understand what the problem would be with allowing them to be ordained as priests.
[/quote]

I understand what you are saying there but this is also something I notice in the Latin Church specifically.

The diaconate is seen by some as a junior priest. He is not.

A vocation to the premanent diaconate does not equal a vocation to the priesthood.

I, as a Byzantine Catholic, am not against ordaing married men to the priesthood.

But having said that I must say that I am for tradition.

I think we should ordain married men for the priesthood in the Byzantine Catholic Churches and diocean priests should remain celibate in the Latin Catholic Church.

I have yet to hear a satisfactory argument for ordaining married men to the priesthood in the Latin Catholic Church. Saying that it will fix the vocations crisis is not enough as I do not that it will.

I see three factors that have caused the vocation crisis.

  1. Lack of catechesis.

  2. Smaller families so parents do not encourage thier children into religious life.

  3. The general unacceptance of such a life.

I have heard many say that only a homosexual would want to be a priest. Many people make disparaging comments about those in religious life in general or in specific.

These are the things we need to work on first.


#20

[quote=ByzCath]2) Smaller families so parents do not encourage there children into religious life.
[/quote]

I know a young woman whose parents are attempting to dissuade their daughter in her vocation to Religious life because they deliberately contracepted to limit the size of their family, and now they will be deprived of the grandchildren they desire. Do duh math.


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