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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: Evolution of a Sacrament

If the celibate priesthood represents the providential development of this sacrament, would not the general allowance for married priests represent a denial of this grace-filled trajectory? We are creatures who live in time and it is only in the fullness of time that the mysteries of God and of his Church are unraveled. The deposit of faith is fixed but not stagnant. The priesthood must be understood within the context of its purpose and history. I personally fail to see how a reversal can be permitted. It would seem to be a movement against the stream of history and the retrogression of holy orders to an earlier stage of development or appreciation. Our thoughts these days are so much about what the Church and the priesthood used to be. It may be that some critics are so desperate for the damage to be repaired that they would risk further harm by making more radical shifts. Pope Benedict XVI ardently sought to restore balance and to give an interpretation of Vatican II through the eyes of tradition and not modernity. As to what approach we are now taking, only time and prayer will show. However, whatever we do, the needs of the Church and the value of the priesthood should be given full measure over self-seeking desires and personal or particularized relationships. Marriage might make a priest very happy but it would probably cost the Church. I am not convinced by arguments that it would enrich this vocation in any significant manner to offset what would be lost.