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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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Priestly Celibacy: Obligatory or Optional?

We are repeatedly reminded that the Eastern rites have both married and celibate priests. But the fact that most Catholic laity in the United States seem unaware of this is evidence that this witness is largely off the radar. Instead, it is the preference for marriage among the many visible Protestant clergy that catches our notice. It is here that most will make the comparison. Some denominations will not even commission or ordain men unless they are already married. Such is viewed as a divine command and a source for both maturity and stability. It is for this reason that it makes national headlines when married Episcopalian and Lutheran ministers are received and ordained in the Catholic Church. A new model of ministry is being introduced into Catholicism and one that is both condoned by modernity and challenging to our accepted vision of the priesthood. Some find this prospect exciting. Others find in it an ominous and frightening omen. Speaking for myself, I usually err on the side of human freedom; but about this issue, I may not seem consistent. There are certain basic values and rights about which human freedom is limited. What is the will of God in all this? What is best for the Church? I would keep matters as they are with a priestly celibacy that is both mandatory and absolute.