I’ve said it before and it bears repeating often: We are making a difference!
I know… it doesn’t always feel like it, but as the following makes clear, this blog (and that means you as much as anyone) is being used by Our Lord to draw souls closer to Himself by way of Catholic tradition and our efforts to defend the same.
In the present case, below please find a letter that I recently received from Deacon Edward Schaefer, President of Collegium sanctorum angelorum, who I interviewed back in November. Deo gratias!
I am writing this to you as a follow-up to an earlier conversation that you and I had and as a response to the comments by a very small, but astute, number of your faithful readers to the interview that you posted about Collegium sanctorum angelorum. You may share it with your readers, as you wish. I am writing to you because of the high regard in which I hold you and your work.
There are three matters that I would like to address. [Note: Two of which will be the content of a future post.] The first has to do with diaconal continence, as outlined in Canon 277 and that has been a part of the Church’s tradition since the earliest of times.
My decision to enter the diaconate was a long and deliberate one, taking the better part of a decade. I have always had a gnawing concern that the “restored” diaconate (which now to me appears to be more of an innovation than a restoration of anything) was something of a veiled attempt to laicize the clerical state, or vice-versa, depending on your perspective. My recent discoveries – thanks to your readers – of the solidity of the tradition and discipline of clerical continence have only confirmed my concerns about this.
This now creates a not-small dilemma for me. On the one hand I am a married man, not only with conjugal rights that I could forego, but also with conjugal responsibilities that I cannot forego without the willing agreement of my wife. On the other hand, I am also a validly ordained cleric. Even if I were to forfeit my faculties, that would not change the ontological situation. It would make it less public, but truthfully that is not the heart of the matter. This is not really a matter of scandal except, perhaps, for a small handful of blog readers whom I have never met and whom I will likely never meet. I think to them my situation represents a larger scandal that my faculties or lack therefor would hardly dent.
Too, while the matter is significant, it is not a moral one. I have done nothing to put myself in a state of sin. The Church has blessed my situation. Perhaps she should not have done so, but that is for another discussion. It is what it is, not unlike many anomalies in the Church today that all of us trust will be corrected in God’s time, even as we wish that His time would come sooner rather than later.
Rather, I think the matter is one of personal integrity and spirituality. How will I live out the situation in which I discover myself so that I am true to my sacramental obligations, I am true to God’s will, and I am faithful to His bride the Church. Because the decision about how to address this situation involves not only me, but also my wife, it must be entered jointly and with the love with which our sacrament binds us. It will take some time, prayer and sacrifice. It is also a very personal matter. So while I thank your readers for bringing this to my attention because of the spiritual benefits I am sure it will ultimately bring to me and to my wife, I will not give any “updates” on our discernment. This will be end of the matter publicly.
Deacon Edward Schaefer
Note: I hope that you will take a moment to reflect on just how good Our Lord is to use lowly sinners like us, and on a simple blog no less, as vehicles for inviting the untold “spiritual benefits” that Deacon Schaefer confidently anticipates for himself and his wife. Please, if you are able, help us continue this effort so that others may be similarly moved. Thank you!
What about the rule of continence the day before Sunday Mass for any married Deacons like the Eastern Rites do (those in union with Rome)? I’ve even heard in these eastern rites where they used to have those married come to the Church all day and night on Saturday to help them keep this rule.
“What about the rule of continence the day before Sunday Mass for any married Deacons like the Eastern Rites do (those in union with Rome)?”
That includes Holy Days as well.
Were these Vatican II Leaders deliberately anticipating a Priest Shortage?
“I have always had a gnawing concern that the “restored” diaconate (which now to me appears to be more of an innovation than a restoration of anything) was something of a veiled attempt to laicize the clerical state, or vice-versa…” Precisely. Undermining the priesthood via the NOM wasn’t enough; the revolutionaries had to have an insurance policy – or several – with which to accomplish their “democratization” goals. Actually, it is worse than that: this is Marxism applied to the Church. The great leveling out of hierarchies into an anarchic mass of “equality.”
“Lament and grieve because you are still so worldly, so carnal, so passionate and unmortified, so full of roving lust, so careless in guarding the external senses, so often occupied in many vain fancies, so inclined to exterior things and so heedless of what lies within, so prone to laughter and dissipation and so indisposed to sorrow and tears, so inclined to ease and the pleasures of the flesh and so cool to austerity and zeal, so curious to hear what is new and to see the beautiful and so slow to embrace humiliation and dejection, so covetous of abundance, so niggardly in giving and so tenacious in keeping, so inconsiderate in speech, so reluctant in silence, so undisciplined in character, so disordered in action, so greedy at meals, so deaf to the Word of God, so prompt to rest and so slow to labor, so awake to empty conversation, so sleepy in keeping sacred vigils and so eager to end them, so wandering in your attention, so careless in saying the office, so lukewarm in celebrating, so heartless in receiving, so quickly distracted, so seldom fully recollected, so quickly moved to anger, so apt to take offense at others, so prone to judge, so severe in condemning, so happy in prosperity and so weak in adversity, so often making good resolutions and carrying so few of them into action.”
Thomas a Kempis
So…time to take stock, and examine conscience…
I am taking it that Mr. Shaefer could very possiblty be refering to me and my comments on this very topic of deaconical continence for married clergy and the scandal that I have always said that these so called permanent deacons are fostering among the ingnorant and not so ignorant faithful in regards to perfect and perpetual continence for married clergy.
Mr. Edward Schaefer is foolling himself or even worse lying to himself if he says that he believes, without a doubt, that he is validly ordained. I find it hard to beleive that he could feel so confident on this matter with his excuse that because he didn’t know he was required to be continent,with of course, the permission from his wife before he is ordained, he is somehow off the hook and of therefor this is why, according to him, he beleives his ordination is valid. I don’t beleive it is as simple as he wishes to profess. If I were to say that I didn’t know that I couldn’t have two husbands because my priest never told me therefor both husbands are my valid husbands because it wasn’t my fault. Come on!
The true test to see if Edward was ever called to the diaconate would be that he should have no trouble, along with his wife, in renouncing their conjugal rights as man and wife. I can see clearly that Mr. Edward Shaefer does not wish to renounce his conjugal rights with his wife for if he did it would have been done by now. I say he was therefor never called to the permanent diaconate for if he was our Lord would have given he and and his wife the grace and gift of continency.
I say, therefore, that I believe that he, along with all the other 18,000 permanent deacons in the U.S, are all invalidly ordained. Let us see who, of all these so called permanent deacons, will wish to continue the deaconate once they know that they must be continent. Let’s be honest. That 18,000 will probably drop to 18 at best.
This, by the way, is not his personal decision as to wether drop out of the diaconate or not. He is scandalizing the doctrines on perfect and perpetual continence for married clergy that are rooted in Catholic theology. And, NO, continence for married clergy is NOT just a discipline and it is not just a private matter. Just like divorce and remarriage is not just aprivate matter. It is a requirement for the clergy to be continent. The clergy are to CONFIGURE Christ the priest and CONFIGURE Christ the servant (the deacon). The Church of course can decide wether it wishes to reopen the priesthood and the diaconate to married men but it can NEVER EVER decide to change the obligation to continence for the married clergy.
Please, will evryone do themselves a favor and read “Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy” by Father Christian Cochini. This excellent study and book proves without a doubt from its numerous historical documentations that clergy were ALWAYS required and ALWAYS understood the obligation of perfect and perpetual continence in order to receive Holy Orders since apostolic times.
I have no respect for this man who professes that it his decision and his alone with his wife to remain an active deacon or not, after all he now knows regarding the obligation of perfect and perpetual continence for married clergy since apostolic times. It most certainly is not. Man up, as Louie would say, and quit the scandal you are causing the ignorant and not so ignorant layfaithful Mr. Edward Schaefer.
Good grief. Where is your compassion? Judge, jury and executioner, are you?
Compassion you say? I have plenty of it. Com means ‘with’ and yes I do indeed ‘am with’ a lot of passion! Deo Gratias
Is the permanent diaconate a stepping stone to married priests?
Full Disclosure: I am a married priest in the Anglican Ordinariate. I’ve been reading Louie’s posts for the better part of the last couple years, though this is the first time that I’ve actually read the comments below the post. I then went back and read the comments below his interview with the deacon. This is the only reason why I am commenting now. Up front, I do not believe at all that the permanent diaconate is a stepping stone to married priests. Whether in the ancient Church or in the East today, there have always been married clergy. Yes, they were required to observe perpetual continence, something that has both theological and historical roots (ritual purity for the offering of the sacrifice). I am currently living in continence, though I must admit that this was not something that was even part of our formation program. I have consulted with 2 vicars-general, one being a professor of canon law, regarding the requirement for continence in spite of the dispensation from celibacy. I’ve been told to essentially not worry about it, but it continues to be a personal conviction for me. I hope and pray that I am doing what God intends through His Church. My wife knows how I feel about this, though she would not necessarily agree with me. There are also times when I do fail regarding continence by engaging in the conjugal act with my wife. I go to confession when I fail to fulfill the requirements of continence.
Anastasia – I beg of you to stop referring to the deacon as “so called deacon.” You are not the authority for who does and does not possess the indelible mark of Holy Orders, so please stop declaring it. We declare the Truth, but it is not ours to tear down a man who is faithfully doing the work of God. If you desire him to make the move toward perpetual continence, then I suggest you reach out to him personally in this regard, rather than using scathing language about him online. Honestly, it’s a rather cowardly act. Were we face-to-face, I would say this to you personally.
A year and a half ago, I had a talk with my local Orthodox brother, both of us being converts – him from Methodism and me from Anglicanism. He commented that many adult converts seem to be on the more “Traditional” side of things, as we are drawn by God to the faith through learning of and appreciating what God has given to His children through all 2000 years of Christianity, rather than being born into a faith and only knowing the current situation. That being stated, I know very good and faith Catholics – cradle and convert. I also know Catholics who are not Catholic, in terms of the faith – both cradle and convert. My personal mission is the salvation of souls for all, nothing more or less.
That’s enough. If you want to know about me, google Father Kenneth Bolin. it’ll give you plenty to work with. You can reach me at chaplain.bolin at gmail.
Frankly I do not know where to begin. I am posting this because of the urgency and crisis in our Church that is felt and witnessed day in and day out in our Catholic Church at an accelerating speed. I do have to keep this short for I have many other obligations in my daily life but here goes.
In a nutshell, not only has Mr. Bolin been poorly instructed on the requirements of continence for the married clergy, as he himself has admited, but he has, by the looks of it ( I am pretty sure he is not alone in this by the way) NOT been instructed whatsoever in the requirements for perfect and perpetual continence by his superiors. Nor it appears has he been instructed in continence and it’s roots in theological foundations which is, by the way, simply not just some ‘Eastern Orthodox /Judaical’ ritual purity ‘thing’ before Mass as the Jewish influence and the Shismatic Eastern Rites would wish to lead you to beleive. This is another area where he is seriously in need of study. Continence is rooted in and connected to WHO Christ is, and continence is conected in KNOWING Him and what Heaven will be like. As Catholic teaching has always taught, we are required to KNOW God, to love God and to serve God. The priest and the Deacon are to CONFIGURE Christ. This is far more than a mere representation. To be a married clergy and to not instruct the ignorant faithful who are not aware of the obligation of the married clergy to continence is to scandalize not only Christ Himself and WHO He is but causes scandal to the priesthood and who and what it is. It scandalizes the faithful even if it is UNKNOWN to them that they are being scandalized as to Who Christ is, WHAT the priesthood is i.e. a man who not only represents Christ but CONFIGURES Christ and WHAT marriage is. In case we are all still suffering from ‘spiritual amnesia’ Inwould like to recap. MARRIAGE is the EXCLUSIVE UNION between one man and one woman for life for the procreation and education of children for God’s glory. Only for a higher noble calling (i.e. the religious life) can a man and woman renounce their marital rights JOINTLY ( i.e if one spouse says NO. It is NO for them both. If BOTH say yes willingly it is YES? A priest cannot have two brides (i. e. The bride the Church and an eartly bride his wife) this is likened to adultery ( I believe Saint Jerome said this) “Woe to them that cause scandal”. A married couple who does not renounce their conjugal rights in this day and age of ignorant Catholics who have no idea of this obligation because it is something that was well known and understood in the far past but is no longer known when married men were actually chosen for the priesthood after they and their wife have vowed their joint and FREE willingness to renounce their marital rights.
The pathetic consequences to most married clergy is a very poor formation indeed and I will say it again in order to reassure you that it is not entirely all their fault, that the MAJORITY of the seminarians and priests are seriously malformed in KEY areas such as the priesthood and marriage. Mr. Bolin is certainly not showing any justice whatsoever to his wife who appears, from what he said, that she does not agree and has NOT given HER permission to renounce HER marital rights to conjugal intercourse which she p, by the way, has first ‘say’ as to whether she agrees to renounce her rights to the conjugal life because the marriage vows came before his perceived calling to the priesthood. This is law. Canon law even stipulates that the wife has to give her permission for her husbands ordination.
I hope you this Anglican Ordinate is not misleading himself in downplaying the wife’s requirement as only that she agrees to your ordination because everyone wants to be sure she is willing to ‘share’ you with the Church and its many future demands it will ask of you and her. This permission required by the wife entails far more than that. It entails her willingly and knowingly renouncing her marital rights with him for the greater glory of God and saving souls without living in adultery and scandalizing the faithful. God is just and so is the Catholic Church. It might come as a surprise to most that our Church actually holds up marriage and its rights so high as to even give a wife a say in this. If a married man were truly called to the priesthood this is the true test. Was your wife also given the graces to perfect and perpetual continence for the greater glory of God? If she was not then, ‘Man up’ as Louie would say and be honest and step down or man up and step up and carry your beautiful cross if you are so called to the priesthood with perfect and perpetual JOINT agreed on continence for the greater glory of God and His sacraments for saving souls.
As I said at thenbeginning of this post, I am posting this for all those readers of this website because of the urgency and crisis in our most Holy Catholic Church. If this heretical infiltration on key issues was not so widespread and urgent I would probaly not feel the need to post this. However this most certainly is not the case. Yes, perfect and perpetual continence does matter and it IS a public concern just as those invalid unions that wish to partake in the Eucharist with no renouncing of their sexual unions cause scandal to all of us members of the Catholic Church whether that be the wife, the husband, the children or the faithful at large. Marriage and the priesthood are indeed a public matter whether we like it or not.
I meant to say in my above last post about the Church and a wife that “It might come as a surprise to some that the Chusch does actually acknowledge and defend a wife and her ‘rights’ and ‘say’ when it comes to a marriage vow which came first and before a perceived upcoming request for the reception of Holy Orders.”
How does Bergoglio feel about celibacy for priests?
They didn’t deliberately anticipate the shortage, they deliberately created the shortage.
do any of your studies refer to St. Joseph and his dilemma….what it means to live daily with Christ — body, soul, blood and divinity?
There are twenty, thirty more innovations the ‘antiquarisnist’ Rabbis and Protestants and general christophobes can enlist to cull the work of the Holy Ghost, wrought in the perennial magisterium. Meanwhile, the demon of surprises is enlisted by his master to do so, and most acquiesce.
The true christphobes don’t carry machetes because they live for satanic glory – lies something an imam peddled to them. The true christopobes carry protestant bibles and tanaks.
I don’t even know where to begin. I gave my direct contact, which has not been utilized. I am now sorry for even posting on here.
Thank you for at least reading and considering what I had to share. I do not, by the way, show any disrespect toward my wife nor deny her conjugal rights. I do, as noted, struggle with the reality of my dual vocations of marriage and priesthood. I will also say that most of the married priests (I cannot speak for permanent deacons) recognize and support the rule of celibate clergy, in spite of having received a dispensation from it. Regardless of what might cynically think of “having one’s cake and eating it too,” we recognize more than many others the intense struggle and balancing act that takes place, and would caution others against moving in a different direction or changing the rule.
I will decidedly not post here again. I may continue to read articles, but observations alone do not account for an apparently devout Catholic referring to a priest as “Mr.” repeatedly. I do not expect anything from anyone else. I just pray we may all work together in support of the historical Truth and witness of the Church against modernist heresies.
During my studies for the defense of what my Catholic Faith has always led me to conclude and beleive about celibacy continence for married clergy I have only come across very little commentaries on Saint Joseph and celibacy. I don’t quite understand what you mean by “Saint Joseph’s dilema” and “what it means to live daily with Christ- body soul, blood and divinity.”
Here again I will point out that all of these married men who have requested ordination without renouncing their marital rights don’t get the fact that this scandalizes not only the faithful, Holy Orders, and the sacrament of marriage but it also spits on and scandalizes the doctrines and theological foundations that have always justified it and been inforced since apostolic times.
Over my dead body will I ever call a man Father who has publically and privately declared no renunciation of his marital rights and has attempted to receive Holy Orders from this highjacked and ‘held hostage Church’ of our present day.
Wow. Thank you, Anastasia, for taking your time to reveal truth. It all makes so much natural sense. Thank you again, Anastasia. This is not a time to pussy foot around. We are a just a mess. Just think of the tortures that the martyrs of the past went through. Is facing truth harder than what they endured?We are called by God in His own time to rise to the challenges He offers in this short time here on earth. Time to empty ourselves out for Him.
We are in a whirlwind. Hold tight to Our Lady.
Our Lady of Good Success.. .pray for us.
Her feast day is Feb. 2.
This whole time for all of us who were raised post V2 is all about getting knocked off the horse and reseeing everything. For me, God has been doing this incrementally. If i could see it all at once i would probably have died of a stroke. God is GOOD! I am shaken once again and realligniging more closely with truth.
Being Catholic is NOT for the faint of Heart.
Painful…but not impossible. Take courage..this is what you are called to!
if I’m being cryptic it’s only to disguise my ignorance and trepidation on this awesome subject.
The dilemma I refer to is simply from the gospels: “Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately.  But while he thought on these things…” The dilemma I mean is the deliberations by St. Joseph of putting the Blessed Lady away privately instead of taking her upon himself as his wife.
For certainly, upon making that ultimate decision he must have realized that he would be living a life henceforth of purity, continence and chastity. (I’m not suggesting, however, that he had not been living so beforehand.)
A blog post that interviews canonist Dr. Edward Peters on the subject:
A takeaway: A priest who is married and has conjugal relations with his wife commits the sin of sacrilege since he is of the higher orders.
Yet one more veil that needed to be taken off…one more infection and lie by the Novus Ordo Church. I pray Our Lord give the permanent deacons and married priests the grace to be obedient and sacrificial in becoming true ‘alter Christus’ by mirroring Our Lord’s chastity/continence.
Those of us who post here regularly, though we may disagree with our fellow posters (STRONGLY sometimes), should never be “sorry” for posting here in opposition to other posters. We engage each other in our disagreements but we welcome further discourse (I do)….this is what makes a blog work. Im a sede and have been shot down numerous times here …but I remain on this blog because good Catholics are here and this is a site that I need to remain a part of.
And please dont confuse discourse among true Catholics with “dialogue” between Catholics and non-Catholics.
Greetings from the Modern Medievalist. Someone forwarded me this post recently. I apologize for not having discovered your site before. Anyway, I have to remark that some of the previous comments toward the Reverend Mr. Schaefer, as well as Father Bolin, are repulsive and do a discredit to traditional Catholics everywhere. Regardless of what anyone thinks about clerical continence, unless you subscribe to the idea that post-conciliar rites of ordination are invalid, these men are in Holy Orders. A private contempt for them does not invalidate the sacrament, nor give a Catholic license to disparage a cleric for that reason alone.
Going beyond the question of married clergy, though, it should be said that some of the fathers of the Council of Trent had proposed restoring the diaconate as a permanent state. One of the Council’s fathers, Reginald Cardinal Pole, was a “permanent” deacon throughout the Council and was only made Archbishop of Canterbury later in his life. Some of the Latin Church’s greatest saints, such as Saint Lawrence and Saint Francis of Assisi, were “permanent” deacons. Let’s not forget that our first martyr, Saint Stephen, was a deacon. Trent even condemns those who consider the diaconate “useless” to be heretics. See Session 23, Chapter 17:
“That the functions of holy orders, from the deacon to the janitor,-which functions have been laudably received in the Church from the times of the apostles, and which have been for some time interrupted in very many places,-may be again brought into use in accordance with the sacred canons; and that they may not be traduced by heretics as useless; the holy Synod, burning with the desire of restoring the pristine usage, ordains that, for the future, such functions shall not be exercised but by those who are actually in the said orders; and It exhorts in the Lord all and each of the prelates of the churches, and commands them, that it be their care to restore the said functions, as far as it can be conveniently done, in the cathedral, collegiate, and parochial churches of their dioceses, where the number of the people and the revenues of the church can support it.”
The deacon, in ministering to the priest or bishop at the altar, proclaiming the Gospel, and bringing Christ to the poor and infirm, does the work of the angels. This is why, in medieval art, so many angels are depicted wearing dalmatics. While I won’t speak here on the question of clerical continence, I will say that it is absolutely right and just for men to answer the call to the diaconate as a permanent state. So, God bless Deacon Schaefer and all men who are rightly called to the diaconate by God and faithfully carry out their ministry to Him.
Welcome, Modern Medievalist.
Please read carefully all of Anastasia’s comments on the two posts in the original post here:
And the more recent post here:
The issue IS perpetual and permanent continence.
Reverend Mr. Schaefer did not find Anastasia’s comments “repulsive,” but in his humility thought her comments worthy of further investigation. And that is the point of the article.
Thanks for pointing me toward the comments on the original article. I read the article, but not the remarks. I have read Anastasia’s comments on this particular thread carefully. I’ll repost some of them below to be especially clear:
“Mr. Edward Schaefer is foolling himself or even worse lying to himself if he says that he believes, without a doubt, that he is validly ordained.”
“I say he was therefor never called to the permanent diaconate for if he was our Lord would have given he and and his wife the grace and gift of continency.”
“I say, therefore, that I believe that he, along with all the other 18,000 permanent deacons in the U.S, are all invalidly ordained.”
It’s not becoming for a Catholic layman (or woman) to issue these half-cocked, pseudo-magisterial proclamations against a man in Holy Orders, especially on a public forum. Especially considering this particular deacon has probably done a hundredfold more for the cause of Christ and the traditional expressions of the Catholic faith than the rest of us combined.
Finally, perpetual continence for clerics is not a doctrine of the faith. It seems some here are willing to excommunicate all of the Eastern Catholic rites and the Ordinariates on a whim. With friends like that, who needs enemies?
MMC you have found a great link above for those who are not sure what there obligations are as clerics. this is a very important topic i hope Fr Bolin and the permanant deacon who wrote to louie and all others in the same position read it.
Clearly another graduate of the Sally Struthers Home Correspondence Course in Theology and VCR Repair.
Sadly you are casting pearls before swine, Father Bolin.
Why does the Catholic faith seem to consider sexual relations, which bring forth life and are in one sense an image of the life-giving unity of the Father and Son which brings forth the Spirit, to be defiling and almost dirty?
Reading this site, one would be led to believe that no priest can be married and have conjugal rights with his wife, yet if a priest is a “alter Christus” and Christ gives us, as His Bride, His very Body in the Eucharist, how can a priest be married and not bring forth life with his wife?
More to the point, how is a celibate priest any better than a married priest? And how does a celibate priest represent the life-giving union of the Trinity? Why is it that there cannot be both? I read somewhere that if a man discerns that he is called to the state of marriage, that Sacrament is his way to heaven, along with his wife. Does this not apply to a man called to the priesthood or diaconate? And if a man is called to the celibate life, as many are (but not all) then he disobeys God to marry.
Why did the Eastern Church not see this issue the same way the Latin Church does. For twelve hundred years, the Latin Church had married priests. Now it is no longer a discipline, but has become to many here, apparently a dogmatic statement of the faith from which none can deviate without serious injury/threat to the welfare of their souls.
I get the sense that rather than an allowance for discernment of the married state for clergy, some in the Latin Rite have decided that the body, with the pleasures that go with it, is inherently dirty, and therefore to be shunned by those who must handle the Holy Gifts. Yet, if we hold the Sacraments in high regard, then how do we take that which is a part of the Sacrament of Marriage and say that suddenly it is no longer complimentary to the other Sacraments, but rather defiles them? Seems odd to me.
I ask these questions because I am ignorant and desire to understand.
I will try my best to help get you back on course as best as I can as the simple Catholic that I am. I do not profess to be a theologian and I pray that if I am wrong in what I am saying that I will be made to be convinced of it.
The conjugal act as God created it and intended it to be in the very beginning in garden of Eden was never supposed to be defiling or dirty. Therefore just as Adam and Eve were originally created without sin so was the conjugal act. Since the fall original sin has brought with it concupiscence and the very difficult struggle to maintain the sexual act without any stain of sin or impurity whatsoever. This is why in God’s mercy and justice He has given us the sacraments i.e. to be able to reestablish ourselves with God’s through His mercy, and our repentance and our true contrition for our sin when we miss the mark of purity and sinlessness.
This Trinity analogy of God and the Son and Holy Ghost reflecting the husband wife and child family unit appears to me to as an imprudent attempt at theologizing marriage in this analogy in order to elevate the conjugal act to a higher status than it was ever meant to be. I am not so sure that this Trinity comparison you guote is all that prudent or doctrinally sound. I have read this comparrison before from Solange Hertz’s writings which in fact I find interesting but her support of this Trinity analogy is where our paths separate. She has taken this Trinity analgogy from Fr. Matthias Sceeben’s treatment of it in his work “The Mysteries of Christianity”. This Trinity analogy appears to stretch itself beyond marriages sufficient status that is beutifully obtained from the solid and sound and commonly known analogy that can be found in Scripture and promoted by the Church fathers that marriage is a reflection of Christ and his Bride the Church. With Christ being the head as the husband is of the family and the wife being the Church increasing its members through childbirth. I will admit that I have not studied a lot on this Trinity analogy and if anyone has anything to add I would like to hear it.
I beleive you are mistaken if you beleive the theological foundations for clerical continence are only rooted in purity at the altar as the Judaic religion taught and the Schismatics Greek Orthodox teach for their priest but contradictorally teach continence and celibacy for their bishops. Please take the time to read what I have posted. It is because the priest configures Christ Himself who has only one Bride the Church and He is exclusive to its Bride and members along with the priest being exclusive also to the Church and it’s parishioners just as a man and wife are exclusive to one another. It is because of the exclusivity of each sacrament to its distinctive that makes these two sacraments not to be blended.
I am assuming you get the sin of adultery. I hope it is not a stretch for you to understand the necessity of exclusivety for the priest and his Bride the Church. Please do some more reading especially “Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy” by Father Christian Cochini.
I wish I could continue this post by underlining the connection between the confusion and weakness in understanding celibacy continence for the clergy with the NFP movement’s success at erroneously redefining marriages primary purpose to be the sanctification of the couple vs the true primary purpose of procreation and education of children for God’s glory but I have to go soon for now.
This modern redefining of the purpose of marriage and it’smeaning is what has caused enormous havoc in understanding the meaning and reason for continence for the priesthood and Holy Orders. This havoc can be witnessed by your ignorant undersatnding, as you yourself admit, to priestly continence. I hope I have helped you in some way. Keep up your search to come back from this terrible modernist disorientation that we are all experiencing. God Bless.
Male and female He created them. Why? Why was it “not good” that Adam be alone? Because to be the image of God, man required two things (there may be more) A.) to be a being of love, as God is love, and B.) to be a family unit consisting of the Father, who loves the Son, and from that union proceeds the Blessed Holy Spirit. If you cannot see the parallels here, I’m sorry. To me they are quite clear.
BTW – as an Eastern Catholic, I am not in a “terrible modernist orientation.” The married priesthood in the East goes back to the time of the Apostles. So do various heresies such as Janisenism which consider marriage and the nuptial act to be sinful and unholy. The celibate priesthood has a less than distinguished patrimonial history, coming to be because of the problems with the widows of priests insisting upon property rights from the Church. The solution was to not have married priests. This appears to be the “dirty little secret” which the Traditionalists in the Church would rather not discuss:
QUOTE: Celibacy, however, was not always a requirement for ordination. In biblical Judaism, being married and producing offspring was an expectation. St. Peter, for example, had a mother-in-law (Luke 4:38), and St. Paul’s instructions regarding ministers included bishops and deacons being married only once (1 Timothy 3:2, 12).
Throughout the first centuries of Christianity, clergy continued to get married, though marriage was not required. It was not until the turn of the first millennium that the church started to canonically regulate clerical marriage, mainly in response to clerical abuses and corruption. Of particular concern was the transmission at the death of a clergyman of church property to his wife and children. The Council of Pavia (1018), for example, issued regulations on how to deal with children of clergy, declaring them serfs of the church, unable to be ordained and barring them from inheriting their father’s benefices (income connected to a church office or parish).
In 1075 Pope Gregory VII issued a decree effectively barring married priests from ministry, a discipline formalized by the First Lateran Council in 1123. Since then celibacy has been required of Roman Catholic priests, though the Catholic churches of the East have continued to allow priests to marry before their ordination.
So instead of acting in love towards the children and widows of the Church, the Church instead treats them with contempt.
I find that appalling….
I don’t get the impression anylonger that you truly were sincere in your statement that says “I am ignorant and I truly wish to understand.” It seems you actually have answered all your questions in this most recent post and don’t appear to be interested in what I had to say. I hope I am wrong. Please do yourself a favor and begin by reading Father Christian Cochini’s book ” Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy”.
My comment about being ignorant had to do with your arguments against the married clergy. My mind is made up that this is not something that is a dogma. I was looking for any new sort of explanation which I perhaps had not heard before.
Neither do I do profess to be a theologian, but having been misled by the modernist lie of NFP and JPII’s “theology of the body (TOB),” I have learned MUCH about the sacrament of marriage in the last 5 years after discovering true Catholicism. I had studied JPII’s TOB thinking that it perhaps was the antidote to the modern ails of the sexual revolution (abortion, contraception, etc.). Your words, IrishEddie, sound similar to those of JPII in his TOB, which is just another modernist lie we have been fed.
You humbly said, “I ask these questions because I am ignorant and desire to understand.” If you want to learn more about the modernism that has infiltrated our understanding of the sacrament of marriage and the impact that TOB has had in assisting this planned “disorientation,” please read Randy Engel’s “John Paul II and the ‘Theology of the Body’ — A Study in Modernism.”
Randy Engel dissects the modernist words of JPII and exposes the “phenomenology” which inspired all of this work.
Another help in understanding would be to go back and read Anastasia’s words on the first post here:
And the second post which is above.
May God reward you on your journey in discovering the Truth.
We are all searching along with you.
Anastasia, the words you write on this blog seem to always deal with the sacrament of marriage. Whenever you have written here over the past year and a half, your words about the true meaning of marriage, as the holy sacrament God intended it to be,
always ring true. I have learned much from your insights here.
Thank you too for the words of encouragement. I pray what I do and say will be pleasing to God.
Marriage and the Priesthood are different callings. There is nothing wrong with sexuality in marriage, and most people are called to marriage, but the Priesthood is an altogether different, most awesome calling. Jesus said “…and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive this.” (Mt 19;12) and “Every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold…” (Mt 19; 29). I found this article from rorate caeli, especially the link to the sermon on priestly celibacy very helpful in getting a glimpse into the awesome, supernatural gift of the celibate priesthood: http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2016/01/priestly-celibacy-more-than-mere.html#more
Though it will be difficult for many to take in (especially in our times where sexuality is seen more and more as “essential”, even “a right”), angelic purity is worth striving for as it will bring one closest to God for whom one forsakes all others.
Sorry, but the Latin West (as is all too frequently the case) is the innovator here as it relates to the celibacy mandate and apostolic practice. But you have taken this innovation of imposing celibacy upon candidates for the Major Orders as normative.
What is more, despite the assertions of Cochini, Stickler (yes, I’ve read them both) and their ilk, the magisterium of the Catholic Church has affirmed time and again the rights and venerable traditions of the Eastern Churches and our married clergy.
The problem is that your mind is not fully converted to the Catholic faith. You are, rather, an example of a Latin Sectarian, a schismatic in heart and mind, and not a Catholic. You believe that Latin practices and norms should apply universally to the Eastern jurisdictions, despite what the Catholic Church affirms and has affirmed for 2,000 years. You would, I assume, reduce the Eastern Churches to mere “rites” as opposed to true, sui iuris ecclesiastical jurisdictions with our own distinct traditions of theology, liturgy, spirituality and law. In fact, there are over 22 distinct Churches that make up the communion of the Catholic Church, with the Latin Church being only one of them, albeit the largest. The majority of these Churches have maintained the apostolic practice of having both married and celibate parochial clergy, while the Latin Church chose to modify that discipline (as it did with the paedocommunion, completely upending the proper order of Christian Initiation by delaying Confirmation until after First Communion, and other practices) and exclude married men from consideration for Holy Orders.
The Christian East, despite its practice of having married clergy, certainly treats celibacy as a praiseworthy calling, but does not descend into the classic and exclusively Western problem of conflating the celibate call with the call to Major Orders. One is an ascetical discipline and the other is a call to public ministry.
One final point: I assume you affirm the inspiration and inerrancy of the New Testament canon? If so, do you not find it curious that one of the only inspired, divinely revealed passages of that canon related to discernment of candidates worthy for ordained ministry stipulates that they should be called from a population of (gasp) married laymen?
Qualifications of Bishops
“3 The saying is sure: If any one aspires to the office of bishop,[a] he desires a noble task. 2 Now a bishop must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, dignified, hospitable, an apt teacher, 3 no drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, and no lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way; 5 for if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how can he care for God’s church? 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may be puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil; 7 moreover he must be well thought of by outsiders, or he may fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”
Qualifications of Deacons
“8 Deacons likewise must be serious, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for gain; 9 they must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 And let them also be tested first; then if they prove themselves blameless let them serve as deacons. 11 The women likewise must be serious, no slanderers, but temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons be the husband of one wife, and let them manage their children and their households well; 13 for those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
I would argue here that the reason why St. Paul, and the Holy Spirit – the primary Author of Sacred Scripture, assert together that candidates for parochial ministry should be married is the correlation between earthy and spiritual fatherhood, the virtues of leading in the household of one’s earthly family as being vitally important for leading in the Household of God, the Church.
St. Paul as I am sure you know was not shy about extolling the virtues of celibacy. Of all the apostles, he is the only one who wrote praiseworthy things about the calling to celibacy. This, of course, makes his words to his disciple, St. Timothy, about selecting married men for ordained ministry all the more poignant. If ever there was an apostle who one might think would argue for the later-Latin discipline of excluding married men from ordained ministry it would be St. Paul.
But no – it seemed good to St. Paul and to the Holy Spirit to exhort the Catholic Church (who received this divinely inspired letter into its canon) to choose candidates for Holy Orders from its pool of worthy, qualified married men, even using their family life as a measure for how they will serve in the Divine Family of the Church.
So, Anastasia, I too would exhort you to leave behind your Latin Sectarian faith, and embrace the orthodox Faith of the Catholic Church (both East and West), which has for 2,000 years ordained married men as deacons, priests and even (gasp) bishops, who have continued in their conjugal relationships with their spouses, sanctifying both the altar and the marriage bed as clergy and faithful husbands and fathers.
For someone who claims to have read ” The Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy” with all of its historical documentation from Church councils since apostolic time that clearly demonstrates the teaching and practice and obligation for married clerical continence, and to see that you can still have the audacity to say that the orthodox “Catholic faith has had for over 2000 years married clergy who have always continued their conjugal life even after ordination”and to therefor insinuate that this was with the approval of the Church and it’s theology is an outright lie.
“And on the part of Rome, for the first time in history, there was a formal disavowal of the Eastern discipline, Pope Sergius (687-701), though he was of Serian descent, declaring that he would rather die than approve of certain canons that were “against the order of the Church” Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy- page398
Your scripture quotes about choosing Bishops from married men who have only been married once and who have been upright men is being interpreted by you as all the protestants wish to interprete it i.e “See I told you so. The Bible says married men can be priest and they are the better choice.” What you fail to aknowledge is that the Catholic Church interprets this passage in Scripture that it is through virtuous men who have shown the character to respect the teachings regarding the laws and doctrines of monogamous marriage i.e one wife only and not the Muslim practiceof poligamy, as good candidtaes for Holy Orders. Because these married ‘one wife only’ men have demonstrated an integrity to chastity in marriage through their monogamy (and when poligamy existed) with well raised children they therefor should be able to, if they are so called and chosen to the priesthood to maintain the obligation of celibacy-continence which will be required of them. Many men, by the way, back then were not only married but were expected to be married. The pool of celibate men was practically non existant, another thing, I beleive, you conveniently omit in order to fit your fantasy of the acceptance of non obligation of continent married clergy.
It is known that a climate of open hostility towards Rome from the Eastern faction of the Catholic Church began to rear its ugly head as far back as the six hundreds. The Eatern faction appears to have suffer greatly from their errors the way I see it. For example the deadly attacks from the Muslims and compromises with and oppression from the Communists. Even though I am not an historian it appears to me that the East has, throughout much of it’s history, succumbed the most to doctrinal errors. i.e (the Pope is not the Head of the Church, no obligation to clerical continence, divorce and remarriage are not a mortal sin and marriage is indisoluble.)
I realise that the Eastern Rite Catholic Church is not to be confused with the Eastern Orthodox Rite Church but I also know that the so called non shismatic Eastern Rite Catholic Church is to adhere to all the Catholic Doctrines in order to not be considered heretics and perfect and perpetual continence for married clergy is one such obligation that they are to embrace and this obligation is rooted in Scripture and Catholic theology.
The 1983 Code of canon law 1086 says that “The impediments of orders previously regulated by code 1072 of the 1917 Code of Canon law – has its roots in eclesastical celibacy and is based on Holy Scripture (cf. Mat 19:12; Lk 18:28-30; 1 Cor 7:32-34 ect. and has a tradition of dating back to the fourth century at least and has been confirmed repeatedly by the official magisterium of the Church….. Canon277 expressly proscribes celibacy. The following Scripture quotes are the ones quoted from above and that the Church uses to support continence for married clergy.
(Mat 19:12)”For there are eunnuchs who were born so from their mother’s womb: and there are eunnuchs who were made so by men: and there are eunnuchs who have made themseves eunnuchs FOR THE SAKE OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. He that can take, let him take it.”
(Lk 18:28-30) “Then Peter said: Behold we have left all things and have followed thee. Who said to them: Amen, I say to you, there is no man that hath LEFT home or parents or WIFE or CHILDREN, for the kingdom of God’s sake. Who shall not receive much more in this present time, and in the world to come life ever lasting”
(1Cor 7:32-34) “But he that is with a wife is solicitous for the things of the world: HOW HE MAY PLEASE HIS WIFE. HE IS DIVIDED” And the UNMARRIED woman and the virgin thinketh on the things of the Lord: that she may beholy both in body and in spirit. But she that is married thinketh on the things of the world: how she may please her husband.”
I always thought that Saint Joseph wished to initially put our Blessed Mother away because of the scandal she had cause him for he found it extremely hard to beleive our Lady conceived our Lord through the power of the Holy Spirit. Wasn’t it afterward that in dream or from an angel’s visit that Saint Joseph realised that this miraculous conception had actually happened and this dilemma of lacking faith in the miraculous conception was now no longer a dilema for him. I never thought that Saint Joseph, who was a very pure and chaste man from the get go, would ever see perfect and perpetual continence as a dilema for him. As I see it the initial lack of faith in this miraculous conception was the dilema not Saint Joseph’s faith in his ability to be perfectly and perpetually continent.
You know, if it weren’t for the fact that the Holy Orthodox Church has a great number of very holy men and women in it, saints on earth who worked miracles in their lives, I might give this screed of yours some attention. As such, however, it is just another in a long line of obnoxious postings by people who are desperate to feel that their interpretation of Sacred Scripture is correct and anyone outside of that interpretation is simply a devil from hell.
As for the “doctrinal errors” of the East being the causative reason for the Mohammedan invasion which the Byzantine Empire suffered through, how would you place that alongside all that the Latin Church has had to endure in persecutions and martyrdom. I guess it’s real convenient to look at someone else’s suffering and consider yourself above it because you are 100% right in everything you believe. I just wonder if you even see how insufferably insensitive and mean-spirited your remarks really are.
These are not my personal “protestant like” interpretations of Scripture. It is the Catholic Church’s interpretation of these Scripture passages that I chose to quote from the Code of Canon Law that the Church says she herself uses to justify and support the theological foundations of perfect and perpetual continence for married clergy and the religious. Please go back and read what I wrote so as not to falsely accuse me of it being my personal interpretation that tries to justify continence vs the true documented interpretation of Scripture from the Catholic Church and Church fathers.
As for the punishments that the Shismatic Eastern Orthodox have suffered in regards to the Muslims and communists this punishment in my opinion (Now, this is where it is my opinion just to make it clear to you) can be seen by some as an oppression and suffering that they find themselves in through their abandonment from the Catholic Church and key Catholic doctrines regarding the Papacy, sacrament of marriage, the priesthood and perfect and perpetual continence for the married clergy. As for the Saints that suffer persecution this is not rooted in the same way as the suffering due to sin is rooted. A Saint’s sufferings and persecutions are honorable sufferings rooted from what they did and said to defend and uphold the teaching’s of Christ while the other type of suffering is for punishments due to sin. Whether we are Schismatic Eastern Orthodox or counterfeit Catholics we all will suffer the consequences of our sin in one way or another through God’s justice and mercy. As we can see today the Muslim ideology and Communist ideology has now shown it’s ugly face to the Americas who has continually and increasingly abandoned Christ over the last 300 years and it has sown its terible threat and errors from Communism and the Muslim ideology in this day and age as we live in an accelerating apostacy whithin are own highjacked Church. And yes we too are suffering from it due to our sins I beleive. Has the Church come out and pronounced that we are suffering from the Muslim threat of violence and Communism and the new immoral laws that enact sodomy as equivalent to marriage due to the onslaught of divorce and contraception because of our sins against God? No, but we are sure free to surmise this and the Catholic Church would not condem me for saying so. That is the Catholic Church would defend me in what I beleive on punishments due to sin. Of course the conterfeit highjacked modern church of false niceness that engulfs us today would not.
Do schismatics have miracle workers such as St. John of Kronstat? Do they have incorruptible saints? Do they have monks who can read your heart?
Like it or not, the Orthodox Church is the other lung of the Catholic faith, and your insistence that they suffer because they have sinned against the Latin Rite is what I find obnoxious. I find it every bit as obnoxious as the Anabaptists who condemn every Catholic to hell, or the Calvinists who insist that if you are not a Calvinist, you are certainly hell-bound.
Quite frankly, after a long while of people telling me that I am going to hell because of my lack of accepting their interpretations of the Sacred Scriptures, I have come to not care. I fear sin and God more than I fear anyone’s personal interpretation or theology.
For your information, the Pharisees where quite good at keeping the rules, but they had a substantial lack of charity. I find it interesting that in all four of the places where the Last Judgment is mentioned and Christ is conferring eternal life upon people, He does so not because they kept every jot and tittle of the law or doctrine perfectly, but because they did works of charity (i.e. good works).
In order for there to be any sort of reunion of the East and West, the Latin Rite is going to have to make some admissions of problematic theology. To do so will, of course, give Traditionalist screaming fits, but that is what must happen. The lack of truly ecumenical councils after the Iconoclast Council of the 9th century means that anything which was determined after that century does not have the imprimatur of the entire Church, East and West, and therefore is not binding upon the East.
You can observe all the disciplines and ideas you wish regarding your own Rite, and that is your privilege. Just don’t try to say they are binding on the East. And BTW – in case you don’t know it, the more Traditionalist Orthodox consider the Latin Church in schism. Kind of sad and yet funny to observe, in a tragic kind of way. I don’t think that our Lord is real pleased with this separation, nor the bitter fruit which has come from both sides regarding each other.
Doesnt the orthodox deny the primacy of the papacy and allow divorce?
The Orthodox Church denies the primacy of the papacy. They are going to have to change on that one. They also, as I understand it, allow for divorce and remarriage. Again, this is something that brings them into direct conflict with the words of our Lord.
You have to know sin in order to fear it. Not to fear the Church’s teachings on the sacrament of marriage, the Papacy, Holy Orders, deposit of faith and so on is not to fear sin at all. I will pray for you tonight as a fellow “Irish in blood relative”.