The Priest Home Alone


#1

Since most Catholics know little about the private lives of their priests, some buy the argument that celibacy makes for greater dedication to the apostolate. An article in the August 21, 2001, issue of the Jesuit magazine, AMERICA, gives the other side of the story, “Home Alone in the Priesthood”.
The author was supervisor of 250 Marine Corps chaplains. While 20% of chaplains were Catholic priests, they accounted for about 50% of discipline cases. Protestant chaplains who were married with children had less temptation. The military knew this and viewed marriage as a plus.

Spiritual care of large numbers of faithful is stressful. Without psychological support, alcohol, drugs and sex can be escapes from loneliness. That is why God said in Genesis, “It is not good for man to be alone.”


#2

I don’t know how accurate the data for this article is, but I have no problems with allowing priests to be married. When you review the original cause for the decision for priests to be celibate, then you understand that the reason no longer exists.

New priests should allow to be married. I don’t think priests who have already taken their vows should be allowed to cast-aside their vows of celibacy, but new priests should be allowed to be married if they choose.

Scout :tiphat:


#3

No. I disagree. Pope John Paul II has spoken about this and made it clear. Celibacy is important for the priest. They become holier for it.

Also, I’ve seen many Protestant ministers who have families. Because of the huge amount of work, the kids suffer. I was raised Protestant and I’ve gotten to know many ministers and their families through my work as an organist.

gksaoh: you need to show links. Most of the time the reasons are not because they can’t be married.

Geesh!! That’s like saying any man who isn’t married should be suspect. That there is no such thing as self-control. That the man is going to go hog-wild and “seek pleasure” because he doesn’t have a wife to “service” him.
Sounds like society has us brainwashed again.


#4

Our priest is an Air Force Chaplain who lives three base houses down from us. He is wonderfully kind and I have been hoping to ask him over for dinner. Maybe this is a better answer, making our priests a greater part of the community. I wish I done it months ago… I can’t imagine having the responsibility of a parish and the trials and tribulations of a personal family. Yes, I know that many priests are married, but I also believe that the choice of celibacy and that commitment is a worthy one. It is certainly not good for man to live alone, so our priests should be treated like members of our parish family. They are the father of our parish family. I know this isn’t always possible, I have met some priests who are not very personable so it is easier to be around personable priests. Have a barbecue with some members of the parish and invite the priest, if he seems to enjoy it, invite him over on other occasions! I have thought about sending priests a card on Father’s day and thank them for making the sacrifices and commitment as a spiritual father of our parish… would this be strange?


#5

Is the author of the article Catholic? Sounds to me like a non-Catholic military chaplain. Furthermore, it may be related to who ends up as chaplains in the mililtary services. Many of the Protestant chaplains are “non-denominational” and volunteer for the military chaplaincy–often after having served in the military. Unfortunately in the past, Catholic military chaplains, who are sponsored by their home diocese, were trouble in their home diocese and their bishops were more than happy to pass them on to the military chaplaincy. :frowning:


#6

[quote=La Chiara]Is the author of the article Catholic? Sounds to me like a non-Catholic military chaplain. Furthermore, it may be related to who ends up as chaplains in the mililtary services. Many of the Protestant chaplains are “non-denominational” and volunteer for the military chaplaincy–often after having served in the military. Unfortunately in the past, Catholic military chaplains, who are sponsored by their home diocese, were trouble in their home diocese and their bishops were more than happy to pass them on to the military chaplaincy. :frowning:
[/quote]

Need to make a counter statement here. Where I work the Jewish chaplain was a Navy Chaplain for 20 years and has nothing but the highest praise for his Catholic counterparts. Not once in all his years of service did he encounter even the slightest whiff of scandal surrounding any of them. They were always his strongest supporters and his closest personal friends – friendships he maintains nearly a decade after his retirement from the military.


#7

[quote=mercygate]Need to make a counter statement here. Where I work the Jewish chaplain was a Navy Chaplain for 20 years and has nothing but the highest praise for his Catholic counterparts. Not once in all his years of service did he encounter even the slightest whiff of scandal surrounding any of them. They were always his strongest supporters and his closest personal friends – friendships he maintains nearly a decade after his retirement from the military.
[/quote]

Oh, please don’t think I am trashing military chaplains. Indeed, I believe that the majority of Catholic priests are good, holy men. And I also recognize that Catholic priests do live a lonely life. They are expected to be there for their parishioners’ greatest despairs but are only tangently involved in parishioners’ greatest joys. While celibacy (and lack of wife and children) add to loneliness, I absolutely don’t agree with the “end celibacy” crowd. In my post, I was only passing on what I have heard from Catholic military members and other Catholic priests about why there seem to be more problems among Catholic priests in the military. I applaud and respect all Catholic priests, and thank God for them.


#8

[quote=gksaoh]Since most Catholics know little about the private lives of their priests, some buy the argument that celibacy makes for greater dedication to the apostolate…Spiritual care of large numbers of faithful is stressful. Without psychological support, alcohol, drugs and sex can be escapes from loneliness. That is why God said in Genesis, “It is not good for man to be alone.”
[/quote]

No it isn’t good for man to be alone, unless of course he is alone with God, in which case he isn’t really alone at all. I heard one priest when asked about loneliness responded, “Who could be ever be lonely with the Blessed Sacrament?”

It is indeed sad when priests turn to alcohol or other substances and sins for their support when they should be turning to the Lord for it. That is why the Church should examine carefully the men who are considering the priesthood to ensure that those men turn to the proper Source of All Goodness for their comfort and support. The men who lead our parishes and guide us spiritually should know how to depend on God alone; not a wife, not a drug, but God.


#9

[quote=Scout]I don’t know how accurate the data for this article is, but I have no problems with allowing priests to be married. When you review the original cause for the decision for priests to be celibate, then you understand that the reason no longer exists.

New priests should allow to be married. I don’t think priests who have already taken their vows should be allowed to cast-aside their vows of celibacy, but new priests should be allowed to be married if they choose.

Scout :tiphat:
[/quote]

I so agree with you. I think all priests should be allowed to marry if they choose to.


#10

[quote=La Chiara]Is the author of the article Catholic? Sounds to me like a non-Catholic military chaplain. Furthermore, it may be related to who ends up as chaplains in the mililtary services. Many of the Protestant chaplains are “non-denominational” and volunteer for the military chaplaincy–often after having served in the military. Unfortunately in the past, Catholic military chaplains, who are sponsored by their home diocese, were trouble in their home diocese and their bishops were more than happy to pass them on to the military chaplaincy. :frowning:
[/quote]

This is no longer the case. In fact, the Archdiocese and local diocese have made a big to-do, media and everything, about priests who are going to Iraq or Afganistan. A priest friend of ours went over to Iraq at the first sign of trouble with 1STMARDIV. He is a wonderful priest, a good officer, and I am sure he, as we used to say in the Navy, “walked on water” in his fitreps.

As for the* America* article: Generally, America is liberally biased, and many of its articles have no real basis on evidence. I believe America is against the Iraqi War for all the wrong reasons, so it should be no surprise that they want to paint Catholic chaplains in a bad light.


#11

[quote=Peace-bwu]Our priest is an Air Force Chaplain who lives three base houses down from us. He is wonderfully kind and I have been hoping to ask him over for dinner. Maybe this is a better answer, making our priests a greater part of the community. I wish I done it months ago… I can’t imagine having the responsibility of a parish and the trials and tribulations of a personal family. Yes, I know that many priests are married, but I also believe that the choice of celibacy and that commitment is a worthy one. It is certainly not good for man to live alone, so our priests should be treated like members of our parish family. They are the father of our parish family. I know this isn’t always possible, I have met some priests who are not very personable so it is easier to be around personable priests. Have a barbecue with some members of the parish and invite the priest, if he seems to enjoy it, invite him over on other occasions! I have thought about sending priests a card on Father’s day and thank them for making the sacrifices and commitment as a spiritual father of our parish… would this be strange?
[/quote]

Nope, I do it.


#12

[quote=Tazgurl21]I so agree with you. I think all priests should be allowed to marry if they choose to.
[/quote]

Well, no Latin Rite priest out there nowadays could–they’ve all taken vows of celibacy. They’re not going to break their vows to God.

Anyway, priests have never been allowed to marry.

On the other hand, married men have been allowed to become priests throughout history.


#13

[quote=Tazgurl21]I so agree with you. I think all priests should be allowed to marry if they choose to.
[/quote]

Well, as the recent papal elections affirmed, the Catholic Church is not a democracy and Church policy and doctrine are not up for vote. Indeed, one of my favorite quotes from then Cardinal Ratzinger is “The truth is not determined by majority vote.” Amen, Amen. So it doesn’t matter how many of us Catholics think that priests should marry. Our votes don’t count. Nor do our votes count on issues like birth control, abortion, cloning, fetal stem cell research… And that’s just fine by me. I’m a Catholic who tries to be faithful to our leaders and our faith.


#14

This is such an important point, Susan. Most of us who have converted (or re-verted) to the faith from Protestantism can recall this situation. We’ve heard the expression “pastors’ kids,” and we know it quite often means “children who were raised by holy people but somehow turned from their faith.”

In nearly all of the Protestant churches I attended (except the one in which the pastor was too old to have young children) the families of the minister were under great strain because of having to share the dad and husband with dozen, hundred, or thousand “sheep.”

And on the other side of that coin, the pastor could never focus entirely on his ministry, because he had marriage and parenting filling the other half of his plate.

Mother Church had it right all along. Celibacy is the way to go.


#15

[quote=Tazgurl21]I so agree with you. I think all priests should be allowed to marry if they choose to.
[/quote]

I agree, too…when they choose to leave the priesthood.


#16

Ok then maybe the new priests should be allowed to marry. But I already know of some priests that are married and haven’t left the priesthood. they weren’t married before they got ordained. I also heard that priests can marry if they get permission from the Bishop. But I don’t know how true that is though.


#17

[quote=Tazgurl21]Ok then maybe the new priests should be allowed to marry. But I already know of some priests that are married and haven’t left the priesthood. they weren’t married before they got ordained. I also heard that priests can marry if they get permission from the Bishop. But I don’t know how true that is though.
[/quote]

Taz, hows about doing some homework and coming back to let us know where these assertions come from.


#18

[quote=Tazgurl21]I so agree with you. I think all priests should be allowed to marry if they choose to.
[/quote]

[quote=Tonks40]I agree, too…when they choose to leave the priesthood.
[/quote]

And hopefully they will ask to be laicized first!


#19

[quote=Tazgurl21] But I already know of some priests that are married and haven’t left the priesthood. they weren’t married before they got ordained. I also heard that priests can marry if they get permission from the Bishop. .
[/quote]

The Bishop cannot excuse a priest from his promise of celibacy. That can only be done by virture of Laicization–the official act of Rome which returns an ordained priest to the lay state. However, the man is still a priest–since ordination effects an ontological change–he is free to marry, but he can no longer minister as a priest.

We have an unlaicized married priest in our parish–causing scandal because of the irregular state he is in. He is a lector and his wife is a catechist–Oh my! :frowning:


#20

What does the Bishop say about this?

Has anyone reported this to the Vatican?


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