Milwaukee News Item #1: Married Catholic Priests

This will be new for my fellow Milwaukee area Catholics and post-Catholics:

For the first time in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s history, a married Roman Catholic priest with children will be serving the faithful in southeastern Wisconsin.

Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan asked his priests and deacons this week which of them would be willing to accept the man – a former Lutheran minister – as an associate pastor at their parish.

The priest and his wife, who have juvenile and adult sons, are moving from the Diocese of Venice, Fla. She has accepted a job here.

Although no married priest has served here, about 100 married priests have been ordained in the United States since the late Pope John Paul II created an exception in 1980 that allows married Lutheran and Anglican or Episcopal priests who have converted to Roman Catholicism to become priests, Dolan wrote in a letter to priests and deacons this week.

I am ok with married catholic priests.

This should be looked at as an experiment leading to the establishment of clergy orders that allowed married priest.

If it is okay for ex-Anglican and Lutheran ministers to be married catholic priest, why not allow priest who got it right the first time to be married?

I am okay with female priests too. The allowed ordained small numbers of woman (mostly nuns, I believe) during the cold war period in Eastern Europe. So, there is not a real theological problem with it.

17 Responses

  1. From what I remember of what I read in college, the really sexist bits of Paul, Titus and II Timothy, were 3rd century forgeries, anyway.

    This might not be the summary of the argument I read, but it looks similar enough. Skip ahead to the section on “Information on 2 Timothy” why Titus and both Timothies should be cut from the Bible.

  2. The early church in Rome had females in leadership positions (Deacons – when Deacon was a higher rank).

    If it was good enough among those that had or were only a generation removed from those that had a living memory of Jesus – that is good enough for me.

  3. They were not ORDAINED deacons, friend.

    They were Deaconesses–and for the appropriate reference to that term, see old-line Episcopalian hospital names.

    Their task was to care for the sick and impoverished–no more.

  4. dad29,

    The historical record does not bare that out.

    The role of deacons/deaconesses is different in the early church then now. Also titles where much less rigidly established. Also, ordination in the early church is not what it is now.

    The church leaders did not see a problem with ordaining small numbers of woman to minister secretly in Eastern Europe during the cold war, so this is obviously not a hard and cold rule. I will admit it is hard to come the documentation for this type of historical trivia.

    Times change. It is for the church to allow married priest and female priests.×5259

  5. So you are “unable to document” either the “early Roman” or the “WWII” practices–yet you (supported by openly-dissident organizations’ propaganda) claim truth.


    So when I claim that Bonfires-for-Dissidents are approved these days, although it’s hard to find documentation, it should be no problem for you to volunteer as a guest-of-honor at a Heretic-Roast.

    I’ll provide the firewood and condiments.

  6. You are correct I don’t have the info at my finger tips. Any good history of the initial/early church will confirm the woman’s role.

    As far as the female cold war priests, I read that info long before the internet was popularized. The links I included where not my sources…I had googled around trying to find references to what I had read 20+ years ago. I am not trying to act a reference librarian in this matter.

    That was cool bring up heretic-burning. You’ll have to help me on how that fits in with the golden rule and God’s love.

    It is Catholics expressing views like yours that mucks the impression others have of us, lessens the influence of the church in this country, and keeps the pews empty on Sunday.

  7. You may choose not to attend Mass.

    And you’re whistling past the graveyard when you say that ‘the Church ….has less influence on this county.’

    All you need do is observe the number of youth who ARE with the Church–which you cannot do if you are not at Mass.

  8. Very confusing to say the least. When members of Uniate/Eastern Rite churches (having Greek or Russian liturgies and customs) joined with, or affirmed ties with Rome centuries ago, they were allowed to retain a married clergy, which they have to this day. I’ve visited Eastern Rite parishes, and it’s really nice to see Father and his family involved in church activities. They provide a model of what “family” is in a Christian context, and though not ordained, the priest’s wife is very much a mother to all.

    When married Anglican priests come into the Catholic Church, they may remain married, but may not re-marry if widowed. If unmarried at the time of conversion, they may not marry, and laymen of Anglican-Use Catholic parishes (parishes of coverts to Catholicism from Anglicanism) wanting to become priests also may not marry.

    Why are Eastern Rite Catholics allowed to have married clergy, but Anglican Roman Catholics not? If eastern Rite priests can be good priests “despite” having wives, and if married Anglican convert priests can also be good priests, then why have “future celibacy” lurking around the corner?

  9. “Why are Eastern Rite Catholics allowed to have married clergy, but Anglican Roman Catholics not?”

    Oops! I should have said, “Why are Eastern Rite Catholics allowed to have a tradition of married clergy, but Anglican Roman Catholics allowed to have married clergy only in a provisional, temporary sort of way?”

  10. “it’s really nice to see Father and his family involved in church activities. They provide a model of what “family” is in a Christian context, and though not ordained, the priest’s wife is very much a mother to all.”
    “Why are Eastern Rite Catholics allowed to have a tradition of married clergy, but Anglican Roman Catholics allowed to have married clergy only in a provisional, temporary sort of way?”

    You got it covered. It doesn’t make sense. Its a contradiction. Its a contradiction and it doesn’t make the church stronger.

  11. Here are some historical facts on women in ministry-

  12. Thanks for the info Laura.

  13. Perhaps as a compromise/experiment…Women should be allowed to become Permanent Deacons?

    I guess this is not an original idea of mine:

    The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith wrote in 1977 that the possibility of ordaining women as deacons was “a question that must be taken up fully by direct study of the texts, without preconceived ideas.”[38] The opinion that women received sacramental ordination (in certain times and places) is given by Roger Gryson,[39]. In response, Aimé Georges Martimort contends they did not.[40] Both Gryson and Martimort argue from the same historical evidence. For example, the ecumenical First Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325) stated that deaconesses: “do not receive any imposition of hands, so that they are in all respects to be numbered among the laity.”[41] However, 126 years later, the ecumenical Council of Chalcedon (A.D. 451) decreed: “A woman shall not receive the laying on of hands as a deaconess under forty years of age, and then only after searching examination.”[42] Gryson argues that the use of the verb cheirotonein and of the substantive cheirothesia clearly indicate that women deacons were ordained by the laying on of hands.”[43] Martimort argues that the “laying on of hands” refers only to a special blessing.

    Until rather recently, the theologians and canonists who addressed the question almost unanimously considered the exclusion of women from ordination, including to the diaconate, as having a divine origin and therefore remaining absolute. Only in recent decades have any theologians or canonists entertained the theory that the prohibition of women from the ordained diaconate was a matter of merely ecclesiastical, rather than divine law.[44] This renewed theological assessment was spurred on by the Second Vatican Council’s revival of the permanent diaconate, which lifted the question from a purely theoretical matter to one with immensely practical consequences.[45] Based on the theory that some deaconesses received the sacrament of Holy Orders, and based on the fact that some writers in the Middle Ages exhibited a certain hesitancy concerning the ordination of women stemming from knowledge that there had been deaconesses in antiquity,[46] there have been modern-day proposals to ordain female permanent deacons, who would perform the same functions as male deacons and be like them in every respect.[45]

    In 2003, Father Ronald G. Roberson gave a presentation on the diaconate in the Latin Church to annual meeting of the U.S. Oriental Orthodox-Roman Catholic Consultation. He summarized the state of deaconess issue as follows: “The possibility of ordaining women to the diaconate is still an unsettled question in the Catholic Church. Latin rituals for ordaining deaconesses exist from as late as the 10th century, but the precise sacramental nature of these ordinations has not yet been determined authoritatively. There are recent indications that the Holy See intends to continue the exclusion of women from this office.”[47]

  14. I still think this is a good idea. Anyways…taking a blogging break. Working on family computer and reading up on religion.

  15. The church is definitely not signaling any moves to ordaining women in a large scale:

    The new rules issued by the Vatican puts attempts at ordaining women among the “most serious crimes” alongside paedophilia and will be handled by investigators from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), considered the successor to the Inquisition.

    Women attempting to be priests, and those who try to ordain them, already faced automatic excommunication but the new decree goes further and enshrines the action as “a crime against sacraments”.

    Of course, another way to look at this is to suggest the church is still not taking child-rape by priest seriously…not if it thinks ordaining woman and child-rape are morally equivalent.

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