Monday, June 01, 2009

Catalogue / Index: Non-Catholic Belief-Systems ("-Isms")


Greenwarrior said...

Hello Dave, I'm an ex-Baptist thinking about becoming a Catholic, but before I do, I have about mandatory clerical celibacy. I do not deny that celibacy is a gift to the Church, which both Jesus and Apostle St. Paul say, and that it leads an unhindered spiritual life. But, 1 Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-7 make the requirements of clergy being married and having children. Even if it's just limiting polygamy, which I'm not sure, should celibacy still be made mandatory for ordaining clergy?

Dave Armstrong said...

It's a disciplinary decision. Every institution has the right to set its rules. The Catholic Church decided that it wanted its clergy to be of the sort that Paul describes in 1 Corinthians: to draw from the pool of those men called to undistracted devotion to the Lord.

It's not a dogma: just a rule. But in eastern Catholicism, married clergy are allowed.

I always use the example of the military and sports. If you are 4 feet tall, you won't be able to play in the NBA. If you can't walk, chances are you won't be in combat, etc.

So the Church says, "we want our priests to be celibate so they can give their whole attention to the flock, and not divide it between the flock and their wives and children.

Talk to some "PKs" in the Protestant world, to see how well it works out having a pastor for a father. This is great practical and spiritual wisdom. It comes right from Paul, after all, and his model and that of Jesus and most of the disciples.

Adomnan said...

In addition to what Dave wrote, I would also like to comment on the following:

Greenwarrior: "1 Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-7 make the requirements of clergy being married and having children."

St. Paul could hardly be requiring the clergy to be married, when he himself was celibate and commended that way of life.

Greenwarrior: "Even if it's just limiting polygamy, which I'm not sure, should celibacy still be made mandatory for ordaining clergy?"

I doubt that Paul's reference to a bishop or presbyter being "the husband of one wife" has anything to do with polygamy. Polygamy was not current in Paul's milieu. There's no evidence of it in the New Testament, for instance. What Paul probably means is that a bishop or presbyter should be the husband of "at most" one wife in his lifetime; that is, that he should not remarry if his wife dies. Given that there was no restriction on laymen remarrying, this is actually a step towards a rule of clerical celibacy in that Paul stipulated that widowed clergymen must remain celibate.

No second clerical marriage was the rule in the churches under Paul's direct supervision; it's not a rule for the universal church for all time. The Latin rite was free to adopt a stricter discipline, and it did.

Requirements for ordination are something for the hierarchy to determine, not we laymen. They set the rules for their own order.

Banshee said...

The ideal Roman woman was a "woman of one man" (univira in Latin), a woman who married only once, and who stayed a widow if her husband predeceased her.

The idea of a "man of one woman" was almost silly to a pagan Roman, although in general they approved of husbands and wives being devoted to each other. But a widower who was old enough to have additional children for the clan should have them, and a man who slept with his slaves (male or female) wasn't seen as cheating on his wife, but acting normally, although it was a little undignified.

Among Jews, staying a widower was regarded as a bit excessive in devotion but not wrong.

But since Jesus' explanation of marriage, early Christians generally felt that remarriage was not exactly laudable, even if not forbidden. Some urged that remarriage not be allowed at all, for anyone. This view didn't win out, though.

Adomnan said...

As it happens, a Greek expression for "univira" is used in 1 Tim 5:9: A widow will be enrolled if she is not less than 60 years old and is "a woman of one man" (henos andros gune) or "univira," to use the Latin word.

This is an exact female equivalent of the "man of one woman" of 1 Tim 3:2 (mias gunaikos andra) and Titus 1:6 (mias gunaikos aner). Surely the equivalency is intentional.

It is marrying more than once that disqualifies, either for the ministry or enrollment among the church's community of widows.

There is, of course, no question of Paul requiring clergy to be married. Paul himself was single and thought celibacy helped his ministry. I know you agree with this, Banshee. I'm reiterating the point in response to Greenwarrior's observation about 1 Tim 3 and Titus 1.

Adomnan said...

Here's a passage that shows that Paul was okay with the remarriage of widows:

1 Cor 7:39-40: "A wife is tied as long as her husband is alive. But if the husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she likes, only it must be in the Lord. She would be happier if she stayed as she is, to my way of thinking -- and I believe that I too have the Spirit of God."

Brian Allbright said...

I am a Protestant pastor and most of the PK's I have talked with, including my own daughters, have said that it is a blessing having a father who is a pastor.

Israel ISRAYAH said...

I beg to differ with this priestly celibacy thing. My opinion is that men weren't made to be alone therefore our FATHER would not Create a celibacy law requiring that a man reyect his natural mate for a purer relationship with our CREATOR. In fact if Eve was a helper mate then, She is now! Meaning that Priestly duties should be to only to a husband and wife as a team to work with both sides in the single and as a couple. A man is only a man and for the balance to be placed, there has to be a helper mate as prescribed. In Spirit you would know this but we follow flesh and what the eyes can see. Therefore, we have formed misconceptions based on the interpretations of man. I believe the Priesthood is held for a couple who waited until they were married to have sex and therefore produced in AGAPE and PURE and wholesome. A man is not to sit on a throne alone. He becomes impartial and unbalanced and easier to fall prey to sin. I believe the Word man has written is deterred a bit and in order to receive the accurate picture, we have to be in SPIRIT. AND the SPIRIT has been what's missing since we have accepted a curse under the letter j...My WORD is ALIVE not written. The truth is in the SPIRIT...