Saturday, November 12, 2011

Married Priests From The Eastern Churches

So the Melkites in the US are going to start ordaining married guys, so says this OrthoCath blog.

At his recent enthronement as the Melkite Greek Catholic Bishop in the USA, Bishop Nicholas Samra stated that the Melkite Catholic Church (an Eastern Catholic Church in union with the Pope of Rome) will begin ordaining married men to the priesthood in the USA.

Bishop Nicholas Samra, Bishop of the Melkite Eparchy of Newton, Massachusetts made the comment in a dinner speech following his enthronement on August 23, 2011. The Bishop’s speech, newly published in the Melkite journal Sophia, contains the first published public statements by the Melkite Greek Catholic Church of their intention to ordain married men to the priesthood for the American Melkite Church.

I honestly didn't realize that the ban or any other such restriction was still in place. Aren't we way past all this by now? Most Latin Catholics don't even realize they're Latin Catholics, much less that there are other Catholics out there. What is everybody worried about? Confusion among the laity? Maybe this kind of confusion will do them some good by making them get out and learn exactly what this "Catholic" thing they belong to actually is.

There is a concern here, though. Sometimes, it seems like you get a few Easterners who want to do things just to show Rome up. I certainly hope this isn't the case here. That being said, I'm assuming this is all on the up and up.


Jennifer said...

Am I right in thinking that there are already a number of Eastern Rites that already allow married Priests?

At least we are looking more at a break with tradition rather than a break from unchangeable dogma.

Hopefully the reasoning of the Melkite's is noble and hopefully it will work for them.

Throwback said...

I'm pretty sure that's correct. I think there was just a local ban put in place here in the USA by some bishops with paranoia about all things Eastern.

I don't even consider this a break from tradition. More of a return, in fact. The East has a tradition of married priests, even though they take their bishops from the ranks of the celibate. Forcing them into a celibate priesthood seems like the kind of Latinizations that popes since (at least) Leo XIII have been telling us to shun.

Karl said...

It's not a break with tradition, but the restoration of the constant tradition of married clergy in the Church. St. Gregory the Theologian's father, for example, was a married bishop.

The Roman Church imposed celibacy on Eastern Catholics in North America at the beginning of last century. It caused much pain in our Church, and led to schisms and splits among family. My pastor's grandfather, a married priest, was beaten up by parishioners for refusing to go to the Orthodox Church.

It's a big deal, and a stumbling block. The suppression of married priests proves to the Orthodox that union with Rome means subjugation. It should be abrogated or allowed to lapse, in my opinion.

Besides, the Roman Catholics have been taking in married Episcopalian priests for a while now. There are married Roman Catholic priests now.