Monday, October 8, 2012

Maronite Cardinal Warns Against Abolishing Priestly Celibacy

Philippe Cardinal Barbarin

Of all things the Greek-Catholic Bishops, whose clergy is married,  have warned against abolishing celibacy.

( On the 27th of Septemer Philippe Cardinal Barbarin of Lyon at the French magazine 'Paris Match' commented on the slow burning media issue of "celibacy".

"Don't squander this treasure"

The Cardinal recalled that Pope Benedict XVI had addressed this already in the first Bishops' Synod.

It was then that the former Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Cardinal Sfeir (92) spoke especially caustically about the abolishing of celibacy.

"Even with us, the Maronites, priests may marry"  -- explained the Cardinal:  "During the war in Lebanon, all of the married priests left with their wives and children."

No one blamed them for that: "Actually, the only ones remaining behind, were those who were married to their communities."

He continued: "Don't squander this gift".

"What do you want me to tell you?"

'Paris Match'  grasped in the air that supposedly twenty percent of the clergy live with a woman.

"A High statistic" -- cried Cardinal Barbarin:  "That is, as we would say, that thirty percent of husbands   betray their wives."

"What do you want me to tell you?" -- was the Cardinal's pugnacious reaction.

It would be natural to desire that people who are married are faithful:  "Even the Republic wants that."

Cardinal Barbarin recalled then that even civil servants officiating civil marriages in the mayor's office use the words "respect" and "faithfulness".


Geremia said...

Even though they may be married, they're supposed to remain 100% continent.

Tancred said...

Fascinating, but how do they have children?

Anonymous said...

It is difficult enough for a married layman with a regular job to give his all to job and family let alone a priest. If that layman is a career man the family takes a back seat nearly every time. If that layman has a profession in law or medicine it is even worse. One or the other must suffer because a lawyer or physician should be giving every bit of their time and attention to their clients. IF they are worthy of the profession that is.

I cannot imagine how someone ordained could possibly serve the Lord properly if he has a wife or wife and children, grandchildren, etc. It is difficult enough for our priests to serve during times when family duties like family weddings or other get-togethers or when parents, grandparents or siblings are seriously ill. Would confessions have to be scheduled around junior's homework or sissy's softball game????

"No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one, and love the other: or he will sustain the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." Though wives and children are not had out of avarice, they are still worldly and a priest's world is of Heaven not of the earth. Just my opinion.

Does anybody know how it came about to allow the Eastern Rite churches to have married priests? Was it always that way or was it a concession for returning to The Fold since they all but one were in schism at one point?

Éamonn said...

@Alan Aversa: Maronites are not Roman in terms of their canon law or liturgy. Married priests in the Christian East are not required to be continent - that obligation only exists in the Latin West. Whether it applies to married deacons or married ex-Anglican clergy or whomever is still being ironed out in the West though.

Ric Ballard said...

I guess the first pope peter had to schedule his upside down crucifixion with his wife. How dare you refer to them to married clergy as worldly. I have known celibate priests who couldn’t hold a candle to Paris Hilton. When will Catholics understand that Priesthood of itself is the treasure not celibacy. Celibacy has nothing to do with the sacramental gift. Celibacy is a response to the kingdom of God. It is also a discipline of the Church for certain levels of the hierarchy. Ordination is not of this world and it equips a man with all the powers of heaven to perform his service to the Church and it does not matter if they are married. Married men who are ordain are just as much of a treasure as those who are not. Does this come with difficulties if they have families-of course but it has nothing to do with the sacramental gift.

Youssef Cherem said...

They can have children. They're not supposed to remain continent.

Tancred said...

Priestly celibacy has everything to do with it. Even in the schismatic East, the monks and bishops practice it. Priestly celibacy is the authentic apostolic tradition, not the married clergy.

Jesus told Peter and the rest to leave their families behind and follow Him, by the way. The Maronite Cardinal's remarks underscore that.

Tancred said...

They are prior to saying Divine Liturgy.