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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

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9 Posts on Milingo & a Married or Celibate Priesthood

  1. BREAKWAY BISHOPS SEEK SUCCESSION THRU MILINGO!
  2. DEBATE ABOUT MILINGO & MARRIED PRIESTS NOW!
  3. Repudiation of MARRIED PRIESTS NOW!
  4. The Church’s Right to Regulate Her Sacraments
  5. Celibacy, Married Priests & Vocations
  6. More about Married Priests, Celibacy & the Vocation Crisis
  7. ARCHBISHOP MILINGO EXCOMMUNICATED!
  8. ARCHBISHOP MILINGO – SCHISM OVER MARRIED PRIESTS
  9. Finishing Up the Archbishop Milingo/Married Priests Debate

These are links to posts from about nine years ago on married priests, celibacy, vocations and the problem of dissent.

RESPONDING TO DR. MILAN KUCERA

KUCERA: Good Grief, such fanaticism from Roman Catholics, if I ever saw such. Open your eyes! There are several dozen thousand married Eastern Catholic priests in the world and in full unity with the Vatican working just fine.

FATHER JOE: Until recently Eastern rite priests in this hemisphere were supposed to be celibate. But this often broken rule was recently made defunct. I suspect as with Orthodoxy, celibacy will virtually disappear (except for monastics). How this will affect Western discipline, I cannot say. But I am not optimistic. The modern diaspora has brought about a mingling of Catholics from the various rites. Something like two million Latin rite Catholics in the U.S. are related by family ties to Eastern rite believers. It is increasingly asked, if they can have good married priests, then why must ours remain celibate? I would argue that celibacy reflects a closer kinship with the model of Christ and St. Paul. Even the Orthodox churches insist upon celibate bishops, acknowledging the higher value of this charism; Roman Catholicism wants to preserve this for all its priests. Celibacy is a discipline, that is true, but it is a discipline with crucial doctrinal implications.

KUCERA: More than that. Until 11th century Roman Catholic priests were often married. There are even six Popes that were married, successors of St. Peter!

FATHER JOE: It is true that the 11th century saw a significant prohibition against married clergy. However, the Church attempted to make the celibacy rule absolute even in the early days of the faith. The problem was the same as now, priests refused to obey. Further, while faith and morals was protected, the popes were not impeccable when it came to their personal lifestyles. The Spanish Council of Elvira (295-302 AD) mandates celibacy in canon 23 upon the three degrees of holy orders. Prior to this, perfect continence was frequently practiced by married priests.

KUCERA: Hardly anything wrong with that, or you speak hypocrisy. The last married Pope (Clement IV) died in mid-13th century!

FATHER JOE: I live out my priesthood with a celibate love. I am in full juridical union with the Church. You cannot claim the same. Indeed, as a lay person you have cast your fortunes with an illicit UK bishop excommunicated by Christ’s Church. Pope Clement IV only took holy orders after his wife died. He was not a married Pope but one praised for his asceticism.

KUCERA: The founder-bishop of Church in Armenia was a married bishop and a venerated saint, Roman Catholic and Orthodox. He was a married bishop, as the New Testament says it should be.

FATHER JOE: Are you making reference to St. Gregory the Illuminator? If do then note that while he was married, he later separated from her to enter monastic life. This seems to reaffirm the value of celibacy.

KUCERA: How precisely is the Roman Catholic Church keeping the order and very specific instruction of St. Paul in 1 Timothy 3:2, huh? It is not. It actually decides time and again to go against the very express wish of St. Paul.

FATHER JOE: The early Church ordained married men by necessity given its quick expansion and the shortage of single candidates. Certain authorities suggest that these married men practiced perfect continence after ordination. This created a tension that was later eased by restricting candidates to single men who could freely embrace lives of celibate loving. It is a case where the Church discipline was modified. Like women keeping silent or covering their heads, the Church could even modify the stipulations recorded in Scripture.

KUCERA: If a man is a married Catholic and hears the call, who are the shepherds in Vatican to say this man shall not be ordained? Is it their priesthood or what? Are they the source of the sacrament?

FATHER JOE: A vocation must be affirmed by the Church. Who are the shepherds? They are the men appointed by Christ to govern the Church. They have every right to make this determination. Christ cooperates with his Church in dispensing his sacraments. Yes, the sacraments and that includes the priesthood, belong to the Church. St. Francis understood this and his communities only ordained as many priests as they needed. Otherwise, the men remained religious brothers. Priesthood is a gift, not an entitlement. No one can demand it. You reject this view because your own ecclesial community has been deemed illicit, having no juridical standing in the Catholic Church.

KUCERA: Saints Peter and Paul provably and invincibly laid their hands upon married men, ordaining them not only into priesthood but also into episcopacy. Come on! A married man being ordained by the Old Catholic, Polish National Catholic or by an Orthodox bishop is just as much a “catholic” priest and within the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church as any other one. He serves valid and licit sacraments to his flock; and under the circumstances of Dominus Iesus (Vatican, August 2000) also valid and licit sacraments to Roman and Eastern Catholics.

FATHER JOE: Dominus Iesus still claims a truth you apparently reject: [17] “Therefore, there exists a single Church of Christ, which subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him.” You claim a lot from your academic pedigree but then you write things that make me wonder about your overall competency. We do not deny that the early Church ordained married men. But the preference remained a celibate priesthood, particularly in those churches closely aligned with the Holy See. The acceptance of married clergy from Eastern rites was a conciliatory move for the sake of Church unity, not a full affirmation or approval of relaxing the discipline. Old Catholic churches are in union with the Anglicans who have a counterfeit priesthood. Like you, they reject papal authority, and not just about infallibility. Like the Anglicans it has moved toward affirming homosexuality and ordaining women. Women cannot be validly ordained and so any sacred orders they had are now compromised and/or dubious. Catholics are now forbidden from approaching their ministers for sacraments, even in the most dire of situations. The Polish National churches are no longer in ecclesial communion with the Old Catholic churches (largely because of their modern liberality). Concessions for Catholics to receive the Eucharist in certain Orthodox churches would not include those faith communities with women priests.

KUCERA: Really, people, open your eyes and stop trying to usurp the sacraments, they are not yours. Every Christian desiring a sacrament and meeting terms for it should be served such sacrament. That is the universal principle of Ask, and You Shall Receive.

FATHER JOE: Nonsense! The sacraments are expressions of the Church’s identity as the great Sacrament or divine mystery. We encounter Christ through the sacraments in the Church. It is vital that those sacraments be valid. The communities you applaud have illicit and in some cases, invalid sacraments. We cannot have everything we want. The task of the believer is to bend his will to that of Christ and to want what God wants. This demands that we walk in the ways of truth. It is this truth that you wrongly compromise.

KUCERA: One day you will stand before your Father in Heaven and you will see your life run its course on his palm. You will painfully and regretfully note all the moments you refused to serve a sacrament that was not up to you to decide to refuse. Truly, have the cardinals in Vatican forgotten they are mere humble servants of Jesus and are cardinals only from His mercy alone, that they deny the call placed in hearts of many young married men by our Father in Heaven? As He has done for two thousand years?

FATHER JOE: Actually, the sacraments are through the instrumentality of the Church. The Lord instituted the priesthood which includes the order of bishop as its exemplar. However, the role of cardinal or elector is a man-made position for the good governance of the Church. The Church always had “episcopoi” or bishops; she did not always have cardinals. There is a universal call to salvation, not to priesthood. There is sufficient freedom in the choice either to get ordained a priest or to get married. God will give couples the grace to be helpmates. God will give the grace to priests to embrace a celibate love. The Church is working with God, not against him. The dissent is yours. You insist that married men must be allowed to be priests or else! You are willing to sever yourself from his true Church so that you can have your way. That is what I perceive as regrettable.

KUCERA: The Church is holy, the men who lead her quite often obviously far from it. I wish there is a huge and steady wave of transfer from Roman Catholic Church to Eastern Catholic Churches and as many ordinations into priesthood of married men in Eastern Rite as possible. I have this in my constant prayers. –Dr. Milan Kucera, ex-novice and married Roman Catholic layman in good standing.

FATHER JOE:

What you leave us with is a curse against the Church instituted by Christ. Concessions toward the Orthodox churches could not be granted to the others you espouse. And yet, even they have separated themselves from the See of Peter. You personally walked away from the religious life and got married. That is your business. But speaking out against Catholic unity is sinful. You will have to account to God for this.

Despite your online attestation, the Catholic Church does not recognize the peculiar David Bell as one of her bishops and his “church” is in schism. This means that his ordinations are also not recognized. Thus, his Roman Catholic Society of Pope Leo XIII and the Igreja Católica Apostólica Brasileira are schismatic communities that have no status whatsoever in the Catholic Church.

Nuncio D’Aniello wrote the following to Cardinal Damasceno on October 8, 2012:

“The Pope Leo XIII community is schismatic and as such cannot receive official recognition from the Catholic Church. Furthermore, bishops ordained in that community cannot carry out a ministry in the Catholic Church as it does not recognize these ordinations. All organizations or associations linked to that society should be treated as one would treat any non-Catholic institution. Having committed the crime of creating a schism, those “ordained” by him will in turn be committing the same crime, incurring a latae sententiae excommunication.”

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