Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Here it is as follows from canonist Peters' website. It's unclear what the need for a hereneutic might be. It's pretty simple, isn't it? The teaching of clerical celibacy which is often attacked by Protestants as being unscriptural is not only scriptural, but has a Patristic and Apostolic origin. More surprising is that it should come from the somewhat controversial Cardinal Levada:
1. In general, many of the Church Fathers in the Patristic period engaged in speculative theories about the possible marriage of one or other Apostle. But the Fathers are unanimous in saying that those Apostles who might have been married gave up their marital lives and practiced perfect continence. Cochini calls this “common opinion” of the Fathers an authoritative hermeneutic of the scriptural texts in which reference is made to the detachment practiced by Christ’s disciples, especially Matthew 19: 27 and Luke 18: 28-30.
2. Peter … says to Jesus, “Look, we have left our homes and followed you.” And here is Jesus’ reply: “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not get back very much more in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.” Cochini comments that the common opinion of the Fathers that the “giving up everything” meant that the Apostles left their wives (if they indeed had been married). This common opinion was the official preaching of the early centuries in major Christian centers, beginning with Clement in Alexandria and Tertullian in Africa. Cochini calls it “the expression of the collective memory of the apostolic Churches with regard to the example left by the apostles for future generations – an argument from Tradition that cannot be overlooked.”
3. Perhaps the most suitable conclusion to this section would be that of Father Cochini, whose meticulous studies allowed him to “conclude that the obligation demanded from married deacons, priests, and bishops to observe perfect continence with their wives is not, in the Church, the fruit of a belated development, but on the contrary, in the full meaning of the term, an unwritten tradition of apostolic origin that, so far as we know, found its first canonical expression in the 4th century.”