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Today's Poll: Should priests be allowed to marry?

Irene Will
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And WOMEN should be allowed to be priests.

Bernard Hoerbelt
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Poor question: Do you think Priests should marry. Episcopal priests ARE allowed to marry. The question should say Do you think Roman Catholic priests should be allowed to marry?

Bernard Hoerbelt
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Why didn't Christ choose women as apostles?

RICHARD L. HALE
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Marriage according to the church, or marriage according to some states? Just saying......

Dave Olsen
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OK, Mr. Hoerbelt, I'll bite, Why?

Peter O'Brien
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If you're not a member of a church with priests, then your opinion doesn't matter on this subject.

Kelly Hansen
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Why does everyone think they need to criticize/tear apart/pontificate about what a private organization believes or practices? And why is the Catholic Church always the most relished target?

Will the self-proclaimed experts also tell:

Jews to eat bacon?
Muslims to allow their women to walk down the street alone?
Baptists to stop full immersion baptisms?
Presbyterians to ditch their beliefs on predestination?
Anglicans to 'kick' the Queen to the curb?
Buddhists to have their fat monk go on the Bloomberg diet?

If you belong to a religious organization and you do not believe in their practices, you are living a lie. Leave. If you are bent on complaining about another religious institution's practices, perhaps you are not living your faith's creed to its fullest. If you have no faith whatsoever, what do you care anyway?

Kyle Couchman
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DICTIONARY
catholic
Definition
cath·o·lic[ káthlik ]ADJECTIVE
1. all-inclusive: including or concerned with all people
2. useful to all: useful or interesting to a wide range of people
3. all-embracing: interested in or sympathetic to a wide range of things
[ 14th century. Via Latin < Greek katholikos "universal" < katholou "in general" < kata "in regard to" + holos "whole" ]

Its very interesting that half of your references are to Christian sects. The catholic church has done it's own damage to itself, it has used its position and power to bully people and govts since roman times. Do you know why they began to forbid married priests? Noblemen used to have their youngest children enter the priesthood, it was an efficent way to gain some power for the future of the family and get the youngest "educated" as well as being a status thing. However the church saw it as a way to amass wealth, as these noblemen's aires died and had no spouse or family to leave the family wealth it defaulted to the church.

The same with catholic confession, every reference to it in the Bible refers to you confessing to God. The priests in the church found that if people confessed to them as intercessors then they gained knowledge of the deepest darkest sins that people committed their deepest secrets that they thought would endanger their immortal soul. This allowed the church to politically manipulate people after all they knew the deep dark secrets.

Then theres the inquisition, and the cursades that ended up being nothing more than grabs for power. Some people believe in God, not religion religion is man defining the undefineable and so far every time I hear any Christian religion begin to preach about hate or punishing then they have put themselves in God's place and that is wrong. There is a silent majority in all versions of Christianity that recognize this truth and would work together with other sects of Christianity, but that wont be possible while the leaders of every church still do what they do and preach exlcusivity instead of inclusivity.

As for the need to "criticize/tear apart/pontificate about" other religions, well its human nature and you arent gonna quell it by scolding people. And as far as the Roman Catholic church being a relished target, even a general skimming of its history and policies will show that it has earned every pixel of the bullseye on it's back.

As the old saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions....

Kelly Hansen
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Kyle, thanks for your response.

Dictionary Definition: You are to be commended for your gift of copy and paste. Was there a dispute about what the word catholic means? I think that every Christian denomination teaches that it means a universal Church. Most main-line protestant churches have the word 'catholic' in their creed. The Bible clearly speaks of one Church, one body.

Celibate Priesthood:I know why the disciplinary rule within the Roman rite to have single priests began. I also know that in the Eastern Rites, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Christian Churches priests may be married. As a disciplinary rule it can be changed. It is neither dogma nor doctrine. What I don't understand is why, if someone isn't interested in the Roman Catholic Priesthood, would they care either way? The permanent Diaconate has become a thriving vocation in our area and throughout the country. Married men seeking to have a vocation within the Church have very large roles within the faith community. Since their first priority must always to be certain that the needs of their families are met, they share duties such as home visits, nursing home visits, prison ministry, and wherever the Bishop and Deacon see a need. A priest, and more specifically a Pastor of a particular church, must be available to the entire congregation seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Mass is celebrated at least once every day at the local parish, then there are nursing home Masses, school Masses to celebrate, sick visits to hospitals wherever parishioners may find themselves being treated, weddings, baptisms, funerals. If there is an accident or sudden medical urgency, a priest will receive a call any time of day or night and rush to the bedside in an ER, quite often a great distance away (in our area - ECMC, Strong, Women and Children's, etc.). He must then be sure to make it back in order to celebrate Mass and meet his other obligations. A pastor does not get time off. This would not work very well if he had a wife and children. And much to the chagrin of many 'arm-chair quarterbacks' like you Kyle, the Catholic Church is not a democracy. If the discipline of celibate priesthood were to change, it wouldn't be because of any outside pressure. Young men considering the priesthood and also considering marriage could certainly become an Eastern Rite priest, which many do. But why does it concern you specifically?

Auricular Confession: You're greatly misinformed about confession. The method of confession has evolved, but it existed right from the beginning. In the Gospel of John, read chapter 21-23 in your Bible. In verse 20, you will find: [Jesus] said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” In 2 Corinthians, Paul said: "All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation"If there is an "invention" here, it is not the sacrament of penance, but the notion that the sacramental forgiveness of sins is not to be found in the Bible or in early Christian history.

Inquisition and Crusades: These two topics have certainly added fuel to the fire for people who hate the Church. Do you know your urban legend from historical fact? Let's begin with "The Inquisition" first. The Inquisition, even though there wasn't just one but that is what uninformed people refer to, was intended not to convert people, but to find people who were outwardly claiming to be Christian but secretly practiced another religion, such as people who had become Christian outwardly, but who were still secretly practicing anti-Messianic Judaism, Islam, or Albigensianism, this last being a religion claiming that there are two gods, one good and one evil. The inquisition was an attempt to protect the purity of the Christian community. Protestants had a counter-inquisition that killed Catholics. Thousands of Catholics were killed in England alone after the Reformation struck there. The same thing was true in Ireland and other areas where the Reformation came. John Calvin, for instance, was known for burning people at the stake.

In addition, Protestants were the big witch-burners. Witch burning never caught on in Catholic countries. When the Spanish Inquisition examined the cases of reported witches, it almost invariably concluded that the charges were false and the accused were not guilty. But tens of thousands of supposed witches were burned at the stake, hanged, or drowned in Protestant countries, including the American colonies. The business of seeking out heretics often found its way into politics, unfortunately and politicians (Spanish Inquisition) did things in the name of Church under their own volition. It first had papal approval, but the Spanish monarchs took over the 'project.' The Spanish Inquisition was actually a mid-fifteenth century adoption of inquisition courts for a very specific political purpose. It was a government-controlled inquisition aimed primarily at faithful Catholics of Jewish ancestry. The image of a Spanish Inquisition burnings hundreds of thousands of Protestant heretics has no basis in fact— there were few if any Protestants in Spain. We could go on and on about the topic, and of course with some people, you included, the Catholic Church was always more brutal statistically than any other group to have ever lived on earth.

Ah, the Crusades. Those poor, misunderstood Muslims! Muslims had more respect for Christians during the times of the Crusades than do revisionists today. They regarded Christian soldiers as worthy adversaries who fought with piety. The Muslims were, plain and simple, taking over Christian lands, churches, ancient holy sites and making them their own. Martin Luther claimed that it was only right that the Muslims were taking over where the evil Catholics were, but that was only until they also rode in and began to take over Austrian land where Luther was.

Which Church is right? I think I know the answer for me. There are no forced conversions that I know of, except in the Muslim world that is. People continually get angry with a pastor and what he or she said, go to another church. Like the pastor and message, but get ticked off about something and go to yet another church. Store-front churches come and go quite regularly. I prefer to consider faith this way: Jesus started the Christian Church and chose imperfect people to lead it. Guided by the Holy Spirit, men will always make mistakes, but the fundamental truth of the Church will never be wrong.

My advice to seekers is to focus on their own prayer life, read Scripture, look around at people they see every day. Who seems to have their life together? Look at others who seem to be able to recover from life's battles, and ask them what their secret is. If people do nothing but focus on the speck in another person's eye, how on earth will they ever find the log within their own? Seriously, if you have your spiritual house in order, you're not worried about what the other guys are doing; you're living your life with joy!

Peace to you.
Irene Will
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Actually, the Catholic Church DOES have married priests. They have to be married, however, BEFORE they become Catholic priests. There's one in Buffalo - http://www.patheos.com/blogs/deaconsbench/2013/01/buffalos-married-pries... - - and one in Rochester - http://www.13wham.com/news/local/story/Rochester-Diocese-Ordains-First-M... - - The one in Buffalo says he and his wife are going to give up sex. So I'm thinking that soon we're going to have the first DIVORCED priest soon.

Kelly Hansen
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Irene,

Yes, the Latin Rite Catholic Church has married priests in addition to married priests found within the Eastern Rite Catholic Church. And yes, they are men who were previously serving as a minister in another Christian church and decided to pursue the Catholic priesthood when they converted to the faith. The priest you refer to is NOT a Latin Rite priest. He is a member of the Anglican Ordinariate within the Catholic Church. And no, he was not required to abstain from sex with his wife as the vow of celibacy is not required in such circumstances. By the way, there is a marked difference between chastity, continence, and celibacy and many people confuse them. It was his personal choice between he and his wife - the Church did not require the couple to make any such change to their marital relationship. I'm not sure there is anything to do with Catholicism you would fail to criticize, yet I feel called to play the role as apologist just the same.

From his own words:

"We don't have to take that particular vow," explained Cornelius, noting an exception from the Pope for former Episcopal priests who are already married.
However, he and his wife have decided [continence] will become a part of their married life nonetheless.
"We have decided to do that voluntarily," Cornelius said. "I have always had friends that are Roman Catholic priests and I appreciate what they've given up to serve God and the priesthood. You're probably the first people outside of the Catholic Church that I've told this to, but I have such appreciation and affection for these guys, that it's just part of my own spirituality to do this...out of respect for them really."


Other links to the story: http://www.buffalonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130122/CITYANDRE... http://wnycatholic.org/home/tabid/934/ctl/detail/mid/2304/itemid/1899/ne... *edited to amend final four sentences, and add links/quote.
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