Additional Quotes on Priestly Celibacy

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Additional Quotes on Priestly Celibacy

Postby Kardinal » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:03 pm

Originally Posted by Pilgrim on the Old Forum

JMJ

Conducted by the light of faith, a level-headed analysis of the meaning of terms such as ‘relevance’, ‘modernity’ and ‘validity’ cannot but refer us straight to Jesus Christ, the only paradigm able to verify the basis and truthfulness of what is or is not relevant to the Church of today.

So the problem of the relevance of priestly celibacy cannot evade this ‘basic law’. For reference to other criteria would falsify our reasoning and conclusions. Thus, for example, if we wished to refer to purely sociological data or if we thought to interpret the so-called ‘signs of the times’ as an uncritical survey of socio-cultural conditions present in a given geographical context, then this would not mean anything truly ‘relevant’, according to the spirit of Christ and of the Church. We have to take the element of grace into account. Celibacy cannot and should not be thought of in a merely negative sense or in reference to the purely natural aspect, according to which it is believed that, once the ‘obstacle’ or the ‘no’ to marriage has been removed, a ‘boom’ in priestly ordinations will be the immediate and natural result. The problem of celibacy comprehends both the natural component, bound up with our sexual nature as the Creator has willed it, and the supernatural component pertaining to the order of grace. Today above all, we tend to emphasize the problems bound up with the first of these elements, simply because hedonism has made us lose certain authentic human values: chastity for example, which is obligatory for all of us whatever our vocation.

And yet, the problems encountered in a correct training for chastity are, from this point of view, the same ones as anyone encounters who aims to attain full maturity of personality. The specific aspects of education, both at seminary and in afterlife, to perfect chastity in priestly celibacy are to be understood not on a merely anthropological terrain but rather on that of grace, in the sphere of which celibacy is not ‘the’ problem but one among others, and is ‘contained’ within a symphonic context of priestly training. Human maturation and religious maturation ever go hand in hand and are mutually integrated.

We know that some of those who question the identity and spirituality of the priest in the contemporary world —and celibacy is a very important element of this identity —base their reasoning on evaluations of a sociological kind and hark back to that so-called ‘anthropological turning-point’, where even the figure of the priesthood is to be ‘demythologized’ or ‘de-dogmatized’ and the priest, so as to be relevant and a man of his times, temporized and desacralized. In this ‘humanizing’ design, any reference to the supernatural dimension is seen as ‘alienating’ by anyone who has not heard of pastoral charity, divine intimacy, tendency to holiness or passion for souls, such as prompted Paul to exclaim: «For to me to live is Christ» (Phil 1:21).

The problem of celibacy is closely connected with that of the ontological identity of the sacrament of Order and with the whole question of the relationship between ordained ministries and instituted ministries, the latter having behind them the amply debated relationship between the universal priesthood of the faithful and the hierarchical priesthood. There exists a substantial interdependence between the sacraments, as a result of which the impoverishment of one has its repercussions on all the rest.

So, for instance, if the Eucharist were to be seen primarily or more or less exclusively as a mere sign of community, Baptism would be conceived of as an initiatory rite without any note of supernaturality, and the priestly ministry would be reduced to a simple function within the community itself. In this way, it would be very hard, if not impossible, to grasp the stupendous connection between priesthood and celibacy, and it would be reasonable enough to think of priests as being ad tempus. But would we not gradually come to conceive of an ad tempus Christianity as well?
So, if we are to understand the problem of the relevance of priestly celibacy, we must study it within its true dimension: that of the supernatural. To say that priestly celibacy per se is not a dogmatic datum must not be taken as meaning that it can be relegated to some ‘cultural context’ or other. For we have to bear in mind that neither the doctrine nor the life of the Church can be reduced to formally revealed truths and everything else be regarded as arbitrary. On the contrary, these things are to be regarded as the fruit of the guidance and assistance of the Holy Spirit, and part of the Church’s two-thousand-year-old tradition.

Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe: The relevance of priestly celibacy today
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Re: Additional Quotes on Priestly Celibacy

Postby Kardinal » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:04 pm

Originally Posted by Pilgrim on the Old Forum

JMJ

Furthermore, celibacy relates to the resurrection of the dead; it is a sign of eternity, of incorruptibility, of life. For marriage has as its natural end the procreation of children, it assures the continuance of the human race and the creation of new beings, since human beings are fated to die and need to leave successors. But at the resurrection of the dead, those who have been accounted worthy will no more see death: ‘They cannot die any more because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection» (Lk 20:36).

In the other world, since they are immortal, there is no further need for them to make sure that they have descendants. Besides, in the kingdom of God, there is one sole Father, since all, like the angels, are called sons of God. The celibate state, on account of this relationship with the resurrection of the dead, with eternity and with the angels, is a sign of the world to come, which the priest lives with his whole existence as a follower of Jesus Christ: in the ministry of the gospel, in contemplative prayer at the feet of the Lord, in proclaiming the coming kingdom of God, and in offering the sacrifice of the Eucharist, which sums up his entire priesthood.


Max Thurian: The theological basis for priestly celibacy
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Re: Additional Quotes on Priestly Celibacy

Postby Kardinal » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:05 pm

Originally Posted by Pilgrim on the Old Forum

JMJ
The Holy See was generous and well-disposed to make necessary concessions, as in other cases of reunion of Oriental communities with the Catholic Church. The Metropolitan, solely concerned about the well-being and progress of his Christian community within the Catholic Church, deliberately opted for a celibate clergy for the future. In this, he had the support of the priests and the leading lay people, whose advice he sought. The Holy Father approved this choice, which had to be, and was, made once for all.

The wisdom of the choice of the Metropolitan, and the decision of the Holy See, has been amply justified by the results, as manifested in the life and growth of the Malankara Catholic Church ever since. The Church has grown numerically. From a handful of those who were reunited in 1930 (five in the first instance), in the course of 62years, there are over 300,000 faithful, and over 400 priests.

The fruitfulness of the Malankara Catholic Church, in the field of evangelization, is consoling and is in God’s providence the continuing realization of the hopes and ideals of Archbishop Mar Ivanios for the children of St Thomas. There are today, under the three eparchies of the Syro-Malankara Church, 800 mission centres, all making steady progress. In addition, the number of priests of the Malankara Catholic Church serving outside the boundaries of the three eparchies is also quite considerable. There is every hope that this number will grow in the years to come. Again, the services rendered by the Malankara Catholic Church in the field of education, social welfare and in every field of human promotion are unparalleled in the history of the Malankara Syrian Church. This is evident from the appreciation and recognition of the general public and the State and Central Governments of India.

In India, among the Orientals separated from the Catholic Church, there has been no uniformity in the observance of priestly celibacy. However, bishops have always been celibate. It is certain that celibate priests existed among the Syrians before the schism took place and that such priests were held in great honour by the people. Moreover, remarriage was not allowed. Married priests, among the Orthodox, were to keep sexual abstinence during the period of celebrating the Holy Mysteries. Since in the Catholic Church daily celebration of the Holy Qurbana is customary, it is most appropriate, according to the sense of the faithful, that the Malankara Catholic priests practise perpetual abstinence
.

It seems quite appropriate here to recall the sensitivity of the people of India regarding celibacy in general arid celibacy of priests in particular. In India, renunciation of worldly pleasures is the hallmark of a person of God. A celibate Brahmachari is one who lives and moves in Brahman (God). The great spiritual leader of modern India, Swami Vivekananda, said: «Without chastity, there can be no spiritual strength. The spiritual leaders of men have been very continent and this is what gave them power.» Priestly celibacy is quite in keeping with the spiritual ethos of India. Mahatma Gandhi, whom Pope John Paul II acknowledged as «a symbol of the highest qualities and values of the Indian people, and is admired in every country of the world», said: «Celibacy is a great help, inasmuch as it enables one to lead a life of full surrender to God... Protestantism did many good things, but one of its few evils was that it ridiculed celibacy. It is celibacy that has kept Catholicism green up to the present day.»

If the non-Christians do not fail to see the advantage of celibacy for the good of religion and society, for a Christian, however, the motives for celibacy are much more deep and the benefits are much more lofty. Jesus, who lived a virgin life and exhorted his close followers to leave all, including marriage and family attachments, is the ultimate inspiration and the most exalted model of perfect renunciation. «If any man comes to me without hating his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes, and his own life too, he cannot be my disciple» (Lk 14:26)
.


Benedict Varghese Gregorios Thangalathil, Archbishop of Trivandrum (Syro-Malankara): An Oriental Church returns to unity choosing priestly celibacy
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Re: Additional Quotes on Priestly Celibacy

Postby Kardinal » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:05 pm

Originally Posted by Pilgrim on the Old Forum

57. Steadfast Will of the Church.

Convinced of the profound theological and pastoral motives upholding the relationship between celibacy and the priesthood, and enlightened by the testimony which confirms to this day, in spite of painful negative cases, its spiritual and evangelical validity, the Church has reaffirmed in Vatican Council II and repeatedly in teachings of the Pontifical Magisterium the "firm will to maintain the law which requires celibacy freely chosen and perpetual for candidates to priestly Ordination in the Latin rite".(176)

Celibacy, in fact, is a gift which the Church has received and desires to retain, convinced that it is a good for the Church itself and for the world.

58. Theological Spiritual Motives of Celibacy.

Like any evangelical value, consecrated celibacy should be seen as that liberating novelty which the world, especially today, demands as a radical testimony that following Christ is a sign of the eschatological reality. "Not all can understand it, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born so from their mother's womb; and there are eunuchs who were made so by men; and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can understand, let him understand" (Mt 19:10-12).(177)

To live with love and generosity the gift received, it is particularly important that the priest understand from the beginning of his seminary formation the theological and spiritual motives of ecclesiastical discipline on celibacy.(l78) This particular gift of God demands the observance of chastity, the perfect and perpetual continence for the Kingdom of heaven, so sacred ministers can more easily adhere to Christ with an undivided heart and dedicate themselves more freely to the service of God and man.(179) The ecclesiastical discipline manifests, even before the subject expresses his will to be so disposed, the will of the Church and finds its ultimate reason in the intimate bond which celibacy has with holy Ordination, which shapes the priest to Jesus Christ Head and Spouse of the Church.(180)

Celibacy, therefore, is not an external effect placed upon the priestly ministry, nor can it be simply considered as an institution laid down by law, because those who receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders do so with full freedom and conscience,(181) after years of preparation, and profound reflection and diligent prayer. Along with the firm conviction that Christ grants them this gift for the good of the Church and for the service of others, the priest assumes it for his entire life, and it strengthens his will with regard to the promise already made during the rite of deaconal Ordination.(182)

For these reasons, ecclesiastical law, on one hand, confirms the gift of celibacy showing it to be in intimate connection with the sacred ministry in its dual dimension of rapport with Christ and with the Church; and, on the other hand, safeguards the freedom of those who assume it. (183) The priest, then, consecrated to Christ with a new exalted title, (184) must be well aware that he has received a gift with a specific juridical bond which he is morally bound to observe. This bond, freely assumed, has theological and moral characteristics which are prior to the juridical characteristics, and is a sign of that spousal reality present in sacramental Ordination. The priest also acquires that true and real spiritual paternity which has universal dimensions, and is specified, in a particular way, in the rapport with the community to which he has been entrusted.(185)

59. Example of Jesus.

Celibacy, then, is a gift of self "in" and "with" Christ to his Church and expresses the service of the priest to the Church "in" and "with" the Lord.(186)

It would be entirely immature to see celibacy as "a tribute to be paid to the Lord" in order to receive Holy Orders rather than "a gift received through his mercy",(182) as the free and welcomed choice of a particular vocation of love for God and others.

The example is Christ, who in going against what could be considered the dominant culture of his time, freely chose to live celibacy. In following him the disciples left "everything" to fulfil the mission entrusted to them (Lk 18:28-30). For this reason the Church, from apostolic times, has wished to conserve the gift of perpetual continence of the clergy and choose the candidates for Holy Orders from among the celibate faithful (cf 2 Thes 2:15; 1 Cor 7:5; 9:5; 1 Tim 3:2-12; 5:9; Tit 1:6-8).(188)

To lovingly safeguard the gift received amidst today's climate of irritating sexual permissiveness, they will find in their communion with Christ and with the Church, in their devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and in considering the example of holy priests of all times, the strength necessary to overcome difficulties they may find along their way and act according to that maturity which gives them credence before the world. (194)

Congregation for the Clergy: Directory on the Ministry and the Life of Priests
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Re: Additional Quotes on Priestly Celibacy

Postby Kardinal » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:05 pm

Originally Posted by Pilgrim on the Old Forum

JMJ
Celibacy is not only our ability to give but more our ability to accept God’s gift, God’s choice. Prayerfully reflect how he, the Creator of the universe, has time for you, his little creatures.

Priestly celibacy creates an emptiness to receive that other wonderful gift that only Jesus can offer and give — the gift of divine love. First of all, Jesus offers his precious gift of himself for a life-long, faithful and personal friendship with him, in tenderness and love. Nothing will make him give up his faithfulness. He remains faithful.

There is no comparison with the vocation of the priest. It is like a replacing of Jesus at the altar, at the confessional, and in all the other sacraments where he uses his own ‘I’, like Jesus. How completely the priest must be one with Jesus for Jesus to use him in his place, in his name, to utter his words, do his actions, take away the sins, and make ordinary bread and wine into the Living Bread of his own body and Blood. Only in the silence of his heart can he hear God’s word and from the fullness of his heart can he utter these words: «I absolve you» and «This is my body».

I think many, many priests are being called, even without their realizing it, to give themselves totally to the Lord. Yes, the world is in great need of priests, of holy priests, of priestly celibacy, for the world is in need of Christ. To doubt the value of one’s priesthood and one’s priestly celibacy in today’s world is to doubt the very value of Christ and his mission — for they are one.


Mother Teresa of Calcutta: Priestly celibacy: Sign of the charity of Christ
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Re: Additional Quotes on Priestly Celibacy

Postby Kardinal » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:05 pm

Originally Posted by Pilgrim on the Old Forum

JMJ
As the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, put it, the true meaning of priestly celibacy is «profoundly connected with ordination whereby a man takes on the likeness of Jesus Christ», the true and only Saviour of humanity. By thus being connected with the person of Jesus Christ, priestly celibacy ceases to be a power for salvation independent of the only Saviour of mankind. It is no longer a merely negative act of self-denial; rather it is an act of self-giving to and in union with Christ.

In the same way, as that act of taking on the likeness of Jesus Christ, priestly celibacy for the African ceases to lead to self-destruction, to a meaningless existence devoid of real life. Rather, it leads to the person of Jesus Christ who is’ ‘the Way, the Truth and the Life» (cf Jn 14:6).
Priestly celibacy will continue to pose problems with regard to any efforts of inculturation. However, many of these problems are due either to a lack of appreciation for the profound religious meaning of celibacy or due to a misunderstanding of the true meaning of inculturation. When human cultural values take the upper hand, theology and faith become distorted. Instead of human culture being converted to the Christian faith, it attempts to convert the faith itself. In this question of priestly celibacy, it is imperative for everyone concerned to be aware of the profound religious meaning of the institution.

Polycarp Pengo, Archbishop of Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania): Priestly celibacy and problems of inculturation
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Re: Additional Quotes on Priestly Celibacy

Postby Kardinal » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:06 pm

Originally Posted by Pilgrim on the Old Forum

JMJ
since it is commonly thought that sexual activity is to be identified only with pleasure, the requirement of celibacy is seen as deprivation of that pleasure. From the point of view of the physiology of the human body, the renunciation of sexual activity does not mean the mortification of any one particular demand, since the body does not possess mechanisms constraining it to act in this way. The male genital organs, the constant activity of the gonads as endocrine glands notwithstanding, do not react without being stimulated. Chastity thus does not exert any negative effect on the organism; indeed one might say there is a saving of energy, permitting the subject to concentrate his attention on other activities.

Now, to reach such a state of harmonious equilibrium, and beyond a decisive attitude of will, one needs to live an ordered life, maintaining a certain physical and psychic ‘hygiene’ and inner discipline. It is also necessary to understand how one’s body works, to know its reactions and the mechanisms that trigger these off. By knowing the way one’s body reacts, one can avoid the stimuli that provoke unwanted reactions, since our body is obedient to our will, if we learn how to control it. The somatic reactions are always conditioned by an external impulse and hence, as it is possible to make it more sensitive to external stimuli, so it is also possible to control it in such a way that it does not respond to such stimuli. The boy, as he matures, learns to understand the mechanism of his own reactions and how to control them.

When we analyze the lives of those priests who have not managed to keep the obligation of celibacy, one cause stands out as common to almost all of them: moral degradation. Usually this sets in with a crisis of faith and a rejection of the rules laid down by the Church, that is to say, in the ultimate analysis with a lack of humility. Usually, the law of celibacy is broken by men who are too sure of themselves, who do not seek the support of divine love. Holiness, although it requires the individual’s collaboration, is primarily the gift of divine grace, a gift that needs to be humbly asked for in prayer. When the passion for prayer grows cool, the priest more easily becomes a prey to the pressures of his environment.

Celibacy, as an attempt to overcome oneself and one’s own frailty, is a going ‘against the current’, is a challenge hurled at the world, but it is never a going against human nature. For, by the very fact of being human beings, we are able to control our own reactions, since we are not to be identified solely with our bodies: we are souls embodied, created by God and created in his likeness. The demand of celibacy does not exceed human capacities: Christ himself shows us the way when he bids us to seek perfection.

The conscious quest for holiness is not against the individual, but against our individual paltriness and leads us to transcend ourselves. A full realization of priesthood and celibacy develops the human personality to its full potential and hence makes it easier to achieve the objective to which we all are summoned —holiness.

Wanda Poltawska, Professor of Pastoral Medicine, Pontifical Academy of Cracow: Priestly celibacy in the light of medicine and psychology
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Re: Additional Quotes on Priestly Celibacy

Postby Kardinal » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:06 pm

Originally Posted by Pilgrim on the Old Forum

JMJ
The presumed misogyny of the Church is the ultimate form taken by prejudices bearing on the celibacy of the clergy and which we have done our best to unmask in their assumptions. Per se, this is not an ‘argument’ worthy of serious consideration except within vulgarizations, as frequent as superficial, of things inherent not only in the priesthood but also in the spiritual life as such. Considering the history of European culture, we are aware of the influence that the first Enlightenment, manufacturer of vulgar libels against Catholicism — forerunners of the media and a degenerate, scandal-mongering press, mean and underhand instruments destructive of the Christian spirit —has had in propagating the most underhand and uncouth forms of anti-clericalism. Were we to consider the course of our recent ‘magnificent and progressive destiny’, we should know better than to leave the highroad and hence to regress historically. We could also put up a better defence each time the same stale opinions are trotted out, not seldom rekindled by some zealous spirit prone — even if sub specie democratiae and making poor use of the democratic criterion — to the ultimate prejudices of ‘the age.

For women have never, in such grave mode and measure as today, been the slaves of the less noble powers, that of money and that of the emotions, in the management of which, however, they often demand to share, and indeed do share, whether they know it or not, in the dual role of exploiters and exploited.

It does not seem unfair to say that the other side of this coin of shoddy mintage is paradoxically concealed in the demand for a female priesthood (with husband and children, of course), as though the priesthood as such can be interpreted by the same standard as a civil function, the exercise of which is available ‘by right’. It is no accident that the pressure is greatest where the theory of the civil function of the priesthood is widespread. And this precisely is the state of affairs in a large part of Christendom, and one that is a great worry to the Pastors of the Church.

Maria Adelaide Raschini, University of Genoa (Italy): Priestly celibacy: Misogyny of the Catholic Church?
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Re: Additional Quotes on Priestly Celibacy

Postby Kardinal » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:06 pm

Originally Posted by Pilgrim on the Old Forum

JMJ
"This morning, November 16, in the Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father presided over one of the periodic meetings with heads of dicasteries of the Roman Curia to engage in a joint reflection. Participants in the meeting received detailed information on petitions for dispensation from the obligation of celibacy presented in recent years and on the possibility of readmission, to the exercise of the ministry, of priests who at present meet the conditions established by the Church. The value was reaffirmed of the option for priestly celibacy, according to the Catholic tradition, and the need was confirmed for a solid human and Christian formation for seminarians as well as for already ordained priests."

Communique of the Press Office of the Holy See, Nov. 16, 2006
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Re: Additional Quotes on Priestly Celibacy

Postby Kardinal » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:06 pm

Originally Posted by Pilgrim on the Old Forum

JMJ
It is superfluous to reiterate, in this context, the profound theological motives which have lead the Latin Church to unite the conferring of Ministerial Priesthood to the Charism of celibacy. Rather, the question imposes itself: is this choice and this praxis pastorally valid, even in extreme cases such as those mentioned above? It seems reasonable to answer positively. Being intimately tied to the Eucharist, ordained priesthood participates in its nature of a gift and cannot be the object of a right. If it is a gift, ordained priesthood asks to be constantly requested for. It has become very difficult to ascertain the ideal number of priests in the Church, from the moment in which this is not a business" which should be equipped with a determined quota of team managers.

In practical terms, the urgency, which cannot be postponed, of the salus animarum urges us to reiterate with strength, especially in this See the responsibility each particular Church has with regard to the Universal Church, and for that reason also to the other particular Churches. Therefore, the proposals made in this Synodal Assembly to identify the criteria for an adequate distribution of clergy in the world, will be very useful. In this area the path to be walked seems as yet very long. Perhaps it is a good idea to remember that all during history, Providence has sustained the prophetic and educational value of celibacy, asking also for a special availability for the ministry of priesthood to the realities of consecrated life, maintaining the respect for their charism and history.

Relatio ante Disceptationem by the general relator of the Synod of Bishops, Cardinal Angelo Scola, patriarch of Venice, Italy. Oct 7th 2005)
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Re: Additional Quotes on Priestly Celibacy

Postby Kardinal » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:07 pm

Originally Posted by Pilgrim on the Old Forum

JMJ
"The Church has always had great esteem for the celibacy of priests," the cardinal wrote. "Christ lived a virginal life, taught chastity to his disciples, and proposed virginity to those who are willing and able to follow a similar call."

"In priestly life, perpetual celibacy for the Kingdom of Heaven expresses and stimulates pastoral charity," he added. "It is a special fount of spiritual fruitfulness in the world. […] It is a testimony that stands out before the world as an efficacious way to follow Christ."

The cardinal said that in today's world, "immersed in an exaggerated preoccupation with sex and the violation of its sacredness […] a presbyter who lives his vow of chastity with joy, fidelity and a positive spirit is a testimony that cannot be ignored."

Through priestly celibacy, the prelate continued, "the presbyter consecrates himself more directly to Christ in the exercise of spiritual paternity." He is more available "as a minister of Christ, spouse of the Church," and he can "truly present himself as a living sign of the future world, which is already present through faith and charity."


Cardinal Arinze Presents "Letter to Young Priest" - Book Defends Value of Celibacy (Zenit article, Dec. 12, 2008)
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Re: Additional Quotes on Priestly Celibacy

Postby Kardinal » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:07 pm

Originally Posted by Pilgrim on the Old Forum

JMJ
This legislation, pertaining to those who are destined for the priesthood, this holy synod again approves and confirms, fully trusting this gift of the Spirit so fitting for the priesthood of the New Testament, freely given by the Father, provided that those who participate in the priesthood of Christ through the sacrament of Orders-and also the whole Church-humbly and fervently pray for it. This sacred synod also exhorts all priests who, in following the example of Christ, freely receive sacred celibacy as a grace of God, that they magnanimously and wholeheartedly adhere to it, and that persevering faithfully in it, they may acknowledge this outstanding gift of the Father which is so openly praised and extolled by the Lord.(42) Let them keep before their eyes the great mysteries signified by it and fulfilled in it. Insofar as perfect continence is thought by many men to be impossible in our times, to that extent priests should all the more humbly and steadfastly pray with the Church for that grace of fidelity, which is never denied those who seek it, and use all the supernatural and natural aids available. They should especially seek, lest they omit them, the ascetical norms which have been proved by the experience of the Church and which are scarcely less necessary in the contemporary world. This holy synod asks not only priests but all the faithful that they might receive this precious gift of priestly celibacy in their hearts and ask of God that he will always bestow this gift upon his Church.


Second Vatican Council, Decree on Ministry and the life priests - Presbyterorum Ordinis, 16 (Dec. 7, 1965)
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Re: Additional Quotes on Priestly Celibacy

Postby Kardinal » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:07 pm

Originally Posted by Pilgrim on the Old Forum

JMJ

Male and female are thus revealed as belonging ontologically to creation and destined therefore to outlast the present time, evidently in a transfigured form. In this way, they characterize the “love that never ends” (1Cor 13:8), although the temporal and earthly expression of sexuality is transient and ordered to a phase of life marked by procreation and death. Celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom seeks to be the prophecy of this form of future existence of male and female. For those who live it, it is an anticipation of the reality of a life which, while remaining that of a man and a woman, will no longer be subject to the present limitations of the marriage relationship (cf. Mt22:30). For those in married life, celibacy becomes the reminder and prophecy of the completion which their own relationship will find in the face-to-face encounter with God.


Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the collaboration of men and women in the Church and in the world, May 31, 2004
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Re: Additional Quotes on Priestly Celibacy

Postby Kardinal » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:08 pm

Originally Posted by Pilgrim on the Old Forum

JMJ
ZENIT: Is celibacy a dogma of faith or a discipline?

Father Touze: Neither one nor the other. It isn't a dogma of faith because we see married priests in the Church today such as, for example, some [priests] of the Eastern Catholic Church. Not all but some admit married priests. Or as has been reminded recently in the Holy Father's motu propio "Anglicanorum coetibus," published last Nov. 4: Among the ex-Anglicans who want to return to communion with the Catholic Church, there will be married priests admitted.

ZENIT: With this measure, do you think that one day, celibacy might become voluntary also for priests of the Latin rite?

Father Touze: No, because the Church is understanding more and more the relation between priesthood, episcopate and celibacy. It is something that could be likened to the revelation of a dogma, though it isn't so at this time; one tends increasingly to understand that a practice must be promoted among all priests and also among Eastern Catholic priests which is truly similar to the one lived in the first centuries.

ZENIT: But in the first centuries there were many married priests, including the Apostles?

Father Touze: Studies have convincingly shown that this must be questioned: Celibacy of all clerics wasn't lived, but from the moment of inclusion in the priestly order these men had to live continence with the permission of their wives, because this was a commitment of the couple.

ZENIT: Why, then, are exceptions made?

Father Touze: Historically because there has been a manipulation of texts and I believe a bad translation that the Eastern Church, which has separated from Rome and has recognized that what they had declared contrary to tradition, could be accepted. In this connection there truly are some exceptions. The Church discovered that she had the possibility of admitting exceptions but that these should be understood as such. Respectably, as the Second Vatican Council stressed, there are very holy married priests in the Eastern Catholic Churches who have contributed much to the history of the Church and to the faith in times of persecution, but they are truly exceptions and must be understood as such.

ZENIT: However, these exceptions are not made with bishops. Does episcopal celibacy have a special meaning?

Father Touze: Undoubtedly. It is very different, both theologically as well as historically. What's more, with the constitution "Lumen Gentium," Vatican II defined that the episcopate is the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders. It is necessary to discover the specificity of the episcopate and, hence, episcopal celibacy. And it can be demonstrated with the fact that for the celibacy or continence of a bishop an exception has never been made.


Fr. Laurent Touze, theologian, interview with Zenit http://www.zenit.org/article-28589?l=english
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Re: Additional Quotes on Priestly Celibacy

Postby Kardinal » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:08 pm

Originally Posted by Pilgrim on the Old Forum

JMJ

Tracing the Glorious Origins of Priestly Celibacy, by Luiz Sérgio Solimeo
Self-appointed reformers always arise in times of crises offering “brilliant” solutions that attempt to demolish the Church’s most venerable traditions.
Priestly celibacy, a glorious trait of the Latin Church, has been a constant target of these so-called reformers.

Curiously enough, abolishing priestly celibacy comes hand-in-hand with destroying the indissolubility of marriage. This is easy to understand since it is based on the idea that chastity is impossible to observe. Thus, not only celibate continence is cast aside but also conjugal chastity and fidelity in marriage. Historically this happened with Eastern Orthodox schismatics, Protestants, Anglicans and others. The total or partial abolition of priestly celibacy either came together with or was preceded by permission to divorce.

Pseudo Arguments Against Celibacy
The present sex scandals, so trumped up by the media, have served as a pretext to intensify the campaign against priestly celibacy. Sectors of the media, as well as organizations of married priests and liberal Catholics, are insisting on this matter.

In addition to pseudo-scientific arguments used to prove the impossibility of observing chastity, we often find the claim that celibacy is a purely disciplinary policy introduced only later in Church legislation. It can therefore be abolished. Others say that it should at least be made optional.

Actually there are many studies, some very recent, totally debunking this supposedly historic-canonical argument. Let us cite three among the most important studies: Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy, by Fr. Christian Cochini, S.J.(Ignatius, San Francisco, 1990); The Case for Clerical Celibacy, by Alfons Maria Cardinal Stickler (Ignatius, San Francisco, 1995); Celibacy in the Early Church, by Fr. Stefan Heid, (Ignatius, San Francisco, 2000).

The article continues with the following paragraphs:
- Early Church Tradition
- The Apostolic Tradition
- Early Church Councils Reaffirm Practice
- The Case of Paphnutius

An Identity Crisis
Finally, Cardinal Stickler argues that the reason for priestly celibacy is not a functional one. Unlike the Old Testament, where the priesthood was merely a temporary function received by way of inheritance, the priesthood in the New Testament is a vocation, a calling that transforms the person and confiscates him entirely. He is a sanctifier, a mediator.

Above all, the priesthood in the New Testament is a participation in the Priesthood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the High Priest. And, therefore, the priest has a mysterious and special bond with Christ, in whose name and by whose power he offers the bloodless sacrifice (in persona Christi). The most profound reason for priestly celibacy comes from this supernatural bond with the Savior.

The Cardinal points out that the main reason celibacy is in question today is because the clergy faces an identity crisis. Only by restoring the true identity of the priest, can the profound reasons for celibacy be understood and practiced.
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