In October, Archbishop Jerome Listecki ordained Russell Arnett, a married former Episcopal priest, to the deaconate.
(One would think that Fr Capriolo, ex-Seminary gatekeeper, would know how to spell "diaconate.")
Next spring, Arnett will be ordained a priest of the Roman Catholic Church. I am confident he will be as effective in his ministry as a Catholic priest as he was as an Episcopal priest.Good to know you approve, Father. I'm sure that will make the Archbishop very happy.
Celibacy for clergy began in monasticism, as men and women took vows of poverty, celibacy and obedience in order to give themselves completely in a life of service to Christ and his Church, while forming religious orders (communities), like our beloved Capuchin brothers and priests, and Agnesian sisters. Celibacy was mandated for secular (diocesan) priests in the Middle Ages.
Not exactly. I will cite from http://www.christendom-awake.org/pages/mcgovern/celhist1.html (Section contents copyright Fr. Thomas McGovern 1998-2000) In this work, Fr. McGovern relies on the extensive research of Cdl. Stickler.
“To understand the history of celibacy from today's perspective it is necessary to realise that in the West, during the first millennium of the Church, a large number of bishops and priests were married men, something which today is quite exceptional. However, a precondition for married men to receive orders as deacons, priests, or bishops was that after ordination they were required to live perpetual continence or the lex continentiae. They had, with the prior agreement of their spouses, to be prepared to forego conjugal life in the future.
Fr. Capriolo sashays about in his essay, explaining some of the theology of marriage, and winds up asking 'whether men can relate to being the "bride of Christ"', a question which is irrelevant, if not bizarre. But if nothing else, it demonstrates that literalism in the service of antinomianism can produce fatal logical errors.
And it holds the "championship bizarre statement" title only until the next paragraph:
If the body of Christ is both male and female, I wonder … if there were both male and female priests as head of the Church, then that spousal image of Christ and his Church would make better sense for both men and women.
Why, sure! That way, the gender confusion over with Father worries so much could be equal-opportunity confusion. Doh.
To study the Church is to realize that the one constant in her history has been change — from a married clergy to a celibate clergy, [see above] from Inquisition to ecumenism, [Fr. does not know the history of the Inquistion] from the way confession (Reconciliation) has been administered and the Mass celebrated, to the way the Church’s disciplines on fasting and abstinence and its moral stance on things such as usury and slavery have changed through time.
For that matter, we no longer practice Catholicism in catacombs, AND the Church allows water-closets!
The perceptive Catholic realizes that none of the above yappaflappa involves dogma--as would, for example, attempting Ordination of women, or reducing the Trinity to "Allah".
The link I provided above also completely debunks Fr Capriolo's contention that the Church 'changed its practice' by adopting monastic norms. In fact, Fr. Capriolo ignores "ius" to focus on "lex." "Ius" is the oral tradition-law; "lex" is the much narrower written law.
"Ius" was the typical mode of transmission of Church law in the early centuries for a number of reasons, not the least of which was those pesky persecutions. "Lex" showed up after Constantine.
Back to continence:
“The Council of Elvira (Spain) is of particular significance for the legislative history of celibacy. Held at the beginning of the fourth century (circa 305 AD), the purpose of its eighty-one canons was to renew the life of the Church in the western part of the Roman empire, to reaffirm ancient disciplines and to sanction new norms. Canon 33 contained the first known written law about celibacy, applicable to bishops, priests, and deacons, (that is 'for all clerics dedicated to the service of the altar'), which proclaimed that they ought to keep complete continence in relation to their wives, and that anyone who had broken this rule should be excluded from the clerical state.  Canon 27 of the same Council prohibited women living with ecclesiastics, except for a sister or a daughter who was a consecrated virgin. --McGovern
Doesn't mention "monasticism", does it?
That Canon was written as a re-inforcement of existing "ius", according to Cdl. Stickler's research--which also was confirmed by Pius XI in his letter on the priesthood.
"The legislation of Pope Siricius (385 and 386 AD) and the canons of the Council of Carthage (390) claim apostolic origin for the lex continentiae." (quoting Stickler) It is worth noting that these are not the claims of mere individuals but are the view of those who carried hierarchical responsibility in the Church.
There's plenty more at the link, if you're interested in reality. Maybe Fr. Capriolo will read it too.
And maybe not.
HT: Badger Catholic/Catholic Culture
It is a comforting thought that he formed some mushy minds... I suppose a spiritual director might direct a soul.. you know... the other way. A question worth asking prior to any directing!
“Silliness” Dad…? I wonder.
It seems Fr. Capriolo is trying to fly under the radar. He ‘wonders’ a lot…about celibacy and women priests and appears to conflate the two. This feeds the perception of many Catholics that they are both merely matters of discipline or “rules than can be changed”. He is confusing dogma (impossibility of women priests) with discipline (the celibacy rule).
I doubt that he is that obtuse, but I could be wrong. So is he really ‘wondering’ or is he stating that he doesn’t agree with either the dogma or the discipline? So he’s using the impending ordination of a married Episcopal priest as a ‘teaching moment’.
Unfortunately, it is false teaching. And that is more than silliness. But I expect you’re being charitable, Dad. I would be less so - and my response to Fr. Capriolo would be: “If you can’t stand the heat, Father, do us all a favor and get out of the kitchen.”
Well, GOR, one cannot be judgmental!!
But the fact that Bertie Weakland made him 'spiritual director' at the Seminary in '92 ought to say a great deal, indeed, about the man.
And this just adds to the Weakland legacy.
I can say one good thing for Fr. Capriolo. When he preaches on abortion, he's no-holds-barred.
It was all about male hierarchal control back in the "good ol' days". Spin it all you want through "history".
Women ought to be priests, period.
Women ought to be priests, period.
And they're free to be, in the Episcopal Church or any other denomination that actually believes all that blather about "male hierarchal control." I - as a woman - do NOT want Catholic women "priests." Period.
How dare you assume to tell my religion what it can and cannot practice.
WHERE IS THE SCRIPTURAL BASIS FOR ORDAINING WOMEN? I mean, you know, the actual basis as opposed to the feel good, unintellectual fluff pro-women "priest" folk spout?
Because I can point to Scripture and say exactly why women shouldn't be priests.
"...that actually believes all that blather about "male hierarchal control."
It is apparent you have no clue about the political history of the Roman Catholic Church. Its founding was by men. Who do you think wrote its "rules"???
Ordaining men but not women creates two classes of baptism, contradicting St. Paul's statement that all are equal in Christ.
Its founding was by men. Who do you think wrote its "rules"???
Um, I think Christ wrote its rules. Christ, a man, also left the ministry in the responsibility of other men. I have no problems with this.
No, there is one baptism for all. The "all are equal in Christ" refers to equality in salvation not equality in the priesthood.
It's a funny thing you mention St. Paul, however, given what else St. Paul said about women: to wit, that we are to "keep silent" in Church. Ordaining women would contradict that, too, no?
I know what "women's ordination" is really all about: an ill-conceived notion that the priesthood is about power when it's actually about service to others.
And I'm also not thick enough to believe women have no power in the Church. I teach religious education, serve as a reader, headed (solo) a video campaign for the parish's portion of the diocese capital campaign.
I also look at women like Mother Teresa, Mother Angelica, Mother Bartholomew Frederick (founded Cardinal Stritch College, my husband's cousin), Teresa of Avila (a Doctor of the Church) and any number of women from the Catholic blogosphere that I know -- myself included -- and I come to the reasonable conclusion that women are not oppressed by Catholicism. And that we agree with the sacramental nature of the priesthood.
I repeat my earlier assertion: women are free to be ordained priests. The Episcopalians could use the members.
Women priests will never happen in the Catholic Church, no matter how hard lefties pretend they will. So keep dreamin'...
Sometimes a great deal of confusion is engendered relative to the status and effects of documents that emanate from Rome. There is a tendency to invest anything that comes from the Vatican with a kind of “creeping infallibility” inculcated with the magic phrases, “Rome says” or “the Pope says.” Actually, there exists a variety of ways in which the Pope and the Roman Curia issue official statements.
Thus, if a statement comes from the Holy Father himself, it can be anything from a formal solemn dogmatic definition to an address at the weekly papal audience. It may be a solemn Apostolic Constitution, a change of legislation introduced on the Pope’s own initiative (motu proprio) or merely a homily or allocution.
Moreover, the different Congregations of the Roman Curia utilize various forms of communication and promulgation, such as decrees, instructions and responses. Among these options is the form of the “declaration”—the particular type of document used by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to express its mind “On the Question of the Admission of Women to the Ministerial Preisthood.”
A declaration may be defined as “an interpretation of existing law or facts, or a reply to a contested point of law.” In the case of the Declaration on the ordination of women, there is no question of a new law. Rather it is intended to be an authentic (i.e., official) explanation and interpretation of the current legislation of the Church and the current situation in the Church.
It must be understood in this light. In no sense should it be seen as the final word which forbids and closes off all further discussion. Had this been the aim and intent of the Holy See, there were far more solemn forms of pronouncement available than that of a declaration coming from a Congregation of the Roman Curia.
The statement is not 'representative of CURRENT thinking.'
It is representative of PERMANENT thinking.
"The Church HAS NO AUTHORITY" to change this teaching. That statement is clear to everyone except those who have ears, but will not hear.
And how did that "permanent" thinking come into being? It just magically appeared?
No, throughout the history of the RCC, theologians of yesterday and today have made cogent arguments and rebuttals, using Scripture and church history as the vehicles, to reasonably debate the meaning of those decrees, declarations, etc.
Simply shouting "wrong" does NOT automatically render the Bonner's explanation as impotent.
I call it 'tradition,' you call it 'church history.'
Either way, "having no authority to ordain women" is clear.
You should clean out your ears for Christmas.
Tradition is derived from history. Anyone with a basic education understands that concept. The RCC has the authority to ordain women. That is crystal clear.
Yes, tradition IS understood in light of history.
Since, in history and tradition, there have NEVER been priest-ettes in the Church (East or West), and since the Successor of Peter and Christ's delegate on Earth has determined that the Church does NOT have the authority to ordain women....
Most of us get that.
But perhaps you have facts which demonstrate otherwise.
If not, perhaps you could just STFU.
There are a number of facts out there, Dad29. But keep digging your heels in and bury your head in the sand.
Nice touch with the swearing, too!
OK. Why don't you adduce a couple of those "facts" here?
You blow a lot of smoke. Let's see if you have a fire, too.
Ok. I am not an expert in this field, but here is some research on the matter.
1) In 1873, Pius IX authored a preface to a book Marie et le Sacerdoce (Mary And The Priesthood), which seemingly offered support to the premise presented in the work that women had legitimate claims to becoming ordained as a priest through her official roles.
Pope IX--“To inculcate an attitude of sacrifice in the clergy, nothing can be a greater help than the patronage of the Mother of God. There is no more striking example, none more relevant and effective than the deeds of her who reflected divine holiness in herself, as in a mirror without stain, better than it is reflected in any other creature. From Christ’s virginal conception to his cruel death, Mary united herself so closely to the sacrifice of her divine Son that she has been called the 'Virgin Priest' by the Fathers of the Church."
2) Women receied full ordination in the early history of the Church. The practice can be traced to St. Paul. The Council of Trullo and the Second Ecumenical Council of Nicea also each spoke of "cheriotonia" (ordination) for women deacons, using precisely the same term for PRIESTS and MALE DEACONS and outlining their specific functions. There was NO DIFFERENCE in how males or females conducted those duties because those duties were exactly similar.
Opposition to female deacons in Latin speaking regions centered on Roman law which prohibited women from being granted a position of authority and the fear of "ritual uncleanliness", i.e. menstration.
3) Prejudice has barred females from becoming priests. Historically, they were considered physically, intellectually, and emotionally inferior. These biases have contaminated its doctrine and practices. Lest we forget, popes had taught that God allowed slavery. This practice is today considered taboo by the RCC.
4) Galatians 3:28 states that "All who are baptised in Christ, have put on Christ." Baptism enables men and women Christians access to each sacrament, including the priesthood.
Nicholas Lash wrote--
Neither the Pope nor Cardinal Ratzinger can make a teaching to be ‘founded on the written Word of God’ simply by ascertaining that it is so founded. Nor can they by assertion, make it a matter that has been “constantly preserved and applied in the tradition of the Church.
Francis Sullivan wrote--
The attempt to use the doctrine of infallibility, a doctrine intended to indicate the grounds and character of Catholic confidence in official teaching, as a blunt instrument to prevent the ripening of a question in the Catholic mind, is a scandalous abuse of power, the most serious consequence of which will be further to undermine the further authority which the Pope seeks to sustain.“The question whether a doctrine has been infallibly taught is not a matter of doctrine, but a matter of fact, which has to be ‘manifestly established’ (Canon 749 §3). What must be ‘manifestly established’ when the claim is made that a doctrine has been taught infallibly by the ordinary universal magisterium, is that not only the Pope, but the whole body of Catholic bishops as well, are proposing the same doctrine as one which the faithful are obliged to hold in a definitive way. I do not see how it could be said that a papal declaration, of itself, without further evidence, would suffice to establish this fact.
4) Women received (spelling mistake corrected)
I thought that's what you'd present.
Mary united herself so closely to the sacrifice of her divine Son that she has been called the 'Virgin Priest' by the Fathers of the Church."
You must admit that it is a stretch (to be kind) to interpret those words as some sort of hint that women may be ordained. In normal discourse, a 'priest' is an intermediary between God and man--precisely the most common appellation given to Mary.
Mary, of course, was a unique woman, without Original Sin or any of its effects, (including death.) So on that alone, one can question the premise you advance.
Beyond that, to 'build a case' for women's ordination on Mary's SINGULAR contribution is...ahhh...shaky. The obvious: if SHE were not ordained, then who?
Women receied full ordination in the early history of the Church. The practice can be traced to St. Paul. The Council of Trullo and the Second Ecumenical Council of Nicea also each spoke of "cheriotonia" (ordination) for women deacons, using precisely the same term for PRIESTS and MALE DEACONS and outlining their specific functions.
Pure mythology--or at best, a decidedly "re-interpreted" history.
First off, there IS no 'gender' to the Greek word "diakonia"--it is neither male nor female. So, when the Church's charitable work was done by deacons, (and no more than that, mind you: 'deacons' are NOT priests), women were given the responsibility for ministering to female Church members. No surprise there, eh?
What must be ‘manifestly established’ when the claim is made that a doctrine has been taught infallibly by the ordinary universal magisterium, is that not only the Pope, but the whole body of Catholic bishops as well, are proposing the same doctrine as one which the faithful are obliged to hold in a definitive way.
Uh, really? Then since the whole Church, East and West, has NEVER ordained women.....you get the logical flaw here? The man proposes that 'the whole Church must hold'--and then proposes that the entire HISTORY of the Church is irrelevant to his argument.
And he plays a rhetorical trick--demanding the impossible. Many members of the Church have questioned doctrine and dogma (Tertullian, e.g.) over the years. Would Tertullian's doubts cancel the validity of the dogma?
In sum: there is no "historical fact" which proves the case; there is no "hint" of the possibility of Ordination in Pius IX's litany-formula regarding Mary; and the logic used by Sullivan is....ahhh....wanting.
Mary's SINGULAR contribution was the son of God. That alone provides a case for female priests. Pius IX's forward to the book I had mentioned provided tacit approval to the devotion to Mary as "Virgin Priest" and creedence that women, based on their past history (not revisionist, but carefully examined by "conservative" and "liberal" scholars) as deacons with EQUAL YET SEPARATE ecclesiastical duties as male deacons AND priests, have legitimate claim to those offices in the RCC.
I wonder why in the 1920's and 1930's Pope Benedict XV ordered that images of Mary being portrayed as a priest to cease and desist, and Pope Pius XI forbade devotion to Mary Virgin Priest entirely? Certainly it not be to shut down a small but vocal minority--men and women--who were using that same argument that females ought to enter the priesthood based on her contributions?
There is no "rhetorical trick" being conducted by the source. The dogma was created by men, who call into question those who dare to challenge it. Men had made the "rules"--of course there going to ensure that those "rules" are followed. Considering the times, that line of thinking (i.e. females are inferior) is not surprising. But Galatians 3:28 further clarifies--"There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
Female restrictions in Christian ministry are inconsistent with true biblical equality, and the "equal-yet-different" doctrine, in terms that priesthood is reserved ONLY for men, is a contradiction.
Mary's SINGULAR contribution was the son of God. That alone provides a case for female priests
Why sure! Since Mary is unique, that justifies ordaining NON-unique females. Just like Mary was ordained, eh?
I wonder why in the 1920's and 1930's Pope Benedict XV ordered that images of Mary being portrayed as a priest to cease and desist, and Pope Pius XI forbade devotion to Mary Virgin Priest entirely?
Had nothing to do with theology and everything to do with power. Simple! (For the simple-minded, that is.)
After all, writing a foreword to a book amounts to instituting an infallible teaching. Happens all the time, you know. /sarcasm
There is no "rhetorical trick" being conducted by the source. The dogma was created by men
Umnnnhhhh...last time I checked, 'dogma' was 'created' by God--it is truth, ir-reformable, VOICED by the Church, and formulated by the Vicar of Christ and/or Bishops in union with him.
And as I expected, your final rant is focused on "equality" which is decidedly earth-bound. Eschatology doesn't burden your mind, nor that of your 'mentors.'
By the way, why wasn't Mary ordained? And is there a difference between priests and deacons?
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