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 Post subject: History of Celibacy and the Priesthood
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:55 am 
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A friend of mine was reading something to me from the Augsburg Confession about marriage and how hundreds of years before Luther's time priests were "violently compelled to lead a single life." I am not sure that this is historically accurate.


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 Post subject: Re: History of Celibacy and the Priesthood
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:57 pm 
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'Violently compelled'? As in, force at gunpoint to be celibate?

That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard...how is it possible to force someone NOT to have sex? How exactly does one coerce someone into NOT doing something? That doesn't even make sense.

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 Post subject: Re: History of Celibacy and the Priesthood
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 1:22 pm 
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ExsurgeDomine wrote:
A friend of mine was reading something to me from the Augsburg Confession about marriage and how hundreds of years before Luther's time priests were "violently compelled to lead a single life." I am not sure that this is historically accurate.


There is a quote from a book called Married Saints by Anglican author Seldon Peabody Delaney that reads...

"The choice of the single state must be free from constraint. There are three classes of celibates in the world: Those who are naturally inclined to continence; those who are violently compelled to live a single life; and those who voluntarily adopt celibacy “for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven” – that is to be more free to serve the Church."

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=IcN ... ts&f=false


It seems to imply that the violent impulse arises inside the person himself. I've never heard of anyone being violently compelled to live the single life (unless they've actually experienced marriage already)... but perhaps that is a valid phenomenon.


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 Post subject: Re: History of Celibacy and the Priesthood
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:40 pm 
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The quote goes on to mention that angry priests almost killed the Archbishop of Mayence when a degree regarding the Pope's degree was to be issued. I don't know where this history comes from. Here is the part of the article that was given to me.

"It is also evident that in the ancient Church priests were married men. For Paul says, 1 Tim. 3:2, that a bishop should be chosen who is the husband of one wife. And in Germany, four hundred years ago for the first time, the priests were violently compelled to lead a single life, who indeed offered such resistance that the Archbishop of Mayence, when about to publish the Pope's decree concerning this matter, was almost killed in the tumult raised by the enraged priests. And so harsh was the dealing in the matter that not only were marriages forbidden for the future, but also existing marriages were torn asunder, contrary to all laws, divine and human, contrary even to the Canons themselves, made not only by the Popes, but by most celebrated Synods. [Moreover, many God-fearing and intelligent people in high station are known frequently to have expressed misgivings that such enforced celibacy and depriving men of marriage (which God Himself has instituted and left free to men) has never produced any good results, but has brought on many great and evil vices and much iniquity.]"


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 Post subject: Re: History of Celibacy and the Priesthood
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:49 pm 
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ExsurgeDomine wrote:
The quote goes on to mention that angry priests almost killed the Archbishop of Mayence when a degree regarding the Pope's degree was to be issued.

That may very well be true, but if so it was because the Church was lax in enforcing the discipline of celibacy, which is Apostolic in origin and was made mandatory by the Council of Nicaea.

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 Post subject: Re: History of Celibacy and the Priesthood
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:55 pm 
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I thought that priestly celibacy was only a disciplinary rule and not a set dogmatic principle.


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 Post subject: Re: History of Celibacy and the Priesthood
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:56 pm 
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ExsurgeDomine wrote:
The quote goes on to mention that angry priests almost killed the Archbishop of Mayence when a degree regarding the Pope's degree was to be issued. I don't know where this history comes from. Here is the part of the article that was given to me.

"It is also evident that in the ancient Church priests were married men. For Paul says, 1 Tim. 3:2, that a bishop should be chosen who is the husband of one wife. And in Germany, four hundred years ago for the first time, the priests were violently compelled to lead a single life, who indeed offered such resistance that the Archbishop of Mayence, when about to publish the Pope's decree concerning this matter, was almost killed in the tumult raised by the enraged priests. And so harsh was the dealing in the matter that not only were marriages forbidden for the future, but also existing marriages were torn asunder, contrary to all laws, divine and human, contrary even to the Canons themselves, made not only by the Popes, but by most celebrated Synods. [Moreover, many God-fearing and intelligent people in high station are known frequently to have expressed misgivings that such enforced celibacy and depriving men of marriage (which God Himself has instituted and left free to men) has never produced any good results, but has brought on many great and evil vices and much iniquity.]"



The real history of celibacy in the Church is that it has existed from day one (if anyone seriously disputes this then they haven't read the New Testament) and a celibate priesthood has always been help up as the ideal.....however, it was not always strictly enforced, but over the centuries, it came to be more and more tightly enforced until it finally got to the point where almost all priests were celibate......at no point was priestly celibacy 'new' or a 'radical change'....

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 Post subject: Re: History of Celibacy and the Priesthood
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:01 pm 
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ExsurgeDomine wrote:
I thought that priestly celibacy was only a disciplinary rule and not a set dogmatic principle.



I would actually dispute that a certain extent....it is NOT purely disciplinary, it is not something arbitrary that can be modified or cast aside whenever we feel like, such like say the number of electors in the College of Cardinals or the retirement age for bishops....but is intimately related to many basic beliefs and dogmas, for example, the belief that virginity is superior to marriage is a pretty important belief, and priestly celibacy is a way of living that belief

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 Post subject: Re: History of Celibacy and the Priesthood
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:35 am 
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I'm by no means an expert on the subject, but it has always seemed clear to me that priestly celibacy must be regarded as disciplinary and not dogmatic. It may be a discipline with a lot of tradition and theology behind it, so changing it would be a much bigger deal, but in no way can it be construed as dogmatic. If it could, the church would not be in union with Eastern Catholics who have a married priesthood, nor would married Anglicans, etc. be admissable into the Catholic priesthood.

I think a trickier quiestion might be whether celibate bishops is a dogma. All the ancient traditions have celibate bishops as far as i know (I'm not counting Anglicans), but if one wants to think of Apostles as bishops (a questionable move in itself, IMO, though there is some warrant for the view) then this would get dicey, as some were married (Peter we know for sure).
I would be curious to hear this question hashed out.

melkman


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 Post subject: Re: History of Celibacy and the Priesthood
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:14 pm 
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http://www.catholic.com/tracts/celibacy ... priesthood


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 Post subject: Re: History of Celibacy and the Priesthood
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:40 pm 
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melkman wrote:
I'm by no means an expert on the subject, but it has always seemed clear to me that priestly celibacy must be regarded as disciplinary and not dogmatic. It may be a discipline with a lot of tradition and theology behind it, so changing it would be a much bigger deal, but in no way can it be construed as dogmatic. If it could, the church would not be in union with Eastern Catholics who have a married priesthood, nor would married Anglicans, etc. be admissable into the Catholic priesthood.

I think a trickier quiestion might be whether celibate bishops is a dogma. All the ancient traditions have celibate bishops as far as i know (I'm not counting Anglicans), but if one wants to think of Apostles as bishops (a questionable move in itself, IMO, though there is some warrant for the view) then this would get dicey, as some were married (Peter we know for sure).
I would be curious to hear this question hashed out.

melkman


I think what you say here is very important, although I think you actually argue against your own main point. There are two ways to regard celibacy. It can either mean unmarried, or married but living as celibate. When seen in this wider context I think it is much closer to doctrine than merely discipline. Sure, it is only disciplinary that we only ordain unmarried men, but the fact that men who are ordained should be celibate (married or not) in some regard (at least when speaking of the office of Bishop) this seems to be more than merely disciplinary, for married bishops were expected to live celibate lives. So, pointing to a previous age that ordained married men does NOT mean that celibacy was not expected.

IOW - we have settled into a system by which we have constructed a discipline that highlights a doctrine. But, you are correct to say we shouldn't confuse the two. I think the doctrine is that celibacy certainly has a role to play in the priesthood, and this is best understood when we look at the earliest times of the Church when the "parish priest" as a separate function from the Bishop probably didn't exist. In these times, you only had the Bishop who was expected to live a life of celibacy. As the Church grew, and the extension of the bishop into parish priests came on the scene we went through periods where celibacy may not have been required as strictly for this position, but for the Bishop it still was expected.

I am no expert either, and this all comes from people I have studied. But, I think the problems come from our lack of understanding of the history of the priesthood, and the levels of ordination, etc. It may not be the case that unmarried celibacy is a doctrine of the Church (and is therefore only a discipline) but I do think that general celibacy (for those married or unmarried) has been part of Holy Orders (at least for Bishops) since the beginning and is much more doctrinal in nature than merely disciplinary.

Hope that makes sense.

FJ

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 Post subject: Re: History of Celibacy and the Priesthood
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:53 am 
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FJ, I believe you are conflating celibacy (the state of being unmarried) with continence.

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 Post subject: Re: History of Celibacy and the Priesthood
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:41 am 
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melkman wrote:
I'm by no means an expert on the subject, but it has always seemed clear to me that priestly celibacy must be regarded as disciplinary and not dogmatic. It may be a discipline with a lot of tradition and theology behind it, so changing it would be a much bigger deal, but in no way can it be construed as dogmatic. If it could, the church would not be in union with Eastern Catholics who have a married priesthood, nor would married Anglicans, etc. be admissable into the Catholic priesthood.

I think a trickier quiestion might be whether celibate bishops is a dogma. All the ancient traditions have celibate bishops as far as i know (I'm not counting Anglicans), but if one wants to think of Apostles as bishops (a questionable move in itself, IMO, though there is some warrant for the view) then this would get dicey, as some were married (Peter we know for sure).
I would be curious to hear this question hashed out.

melkman


What is mean is that the doctrine is such that the discipline cannot be modified in a significant way without basically repudiating the doctrine.

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 Post subject: Re: History of Celibacy and the Priesthood
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:56 am 
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One thing already forgotten by then 16th century was that back in the Gregorian reform it was not a top down thing. The papacy was jumping on the bandwagon of the pataria.

Indeed, as the people became more truly Christian they reacted against abuses and corruption among the clergy. We see this even in the early lay preaching movements, and even in the closest thing to heretical groups in the 10th and 11th century (namely some lay preachers who took things too far). Money and sex were the topics, namely simony and clerical concuibinage.

Now the people would have have risen up against this unless they had some reason to think it was wrong. Namely, it was understood that clergy was not supposed to be living that way. Note that these were not recognized as wives, but concubines. And this by the lay people. The clergy and bishops in many places tried to suppress the lay movement. The laity would drag a priest out into the streets and make him swear over relics to two points, 1) he did not buy his office and 2) to put away his concubines.

Now if celibacy had been an innovation, it is hard to see masses of laity going around trying to restore ancient discpline and enforce it. They understood it as ancient.

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 Post subject: Re: History of Celibacy and the Priesthood
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:19 am 
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Malleus Haereticorum wrote:
One thing already forgotten by then 16th century was that back in the Gregorian reform it was not a top down thing. The papacy was jumping on the bandwagon of the pataria.

Indeed, as the people became more truly Christian they reacted against abuses and corruption among the clergy. We see this even in the early lay preaching movements, and even in the closest thing to heretical groups in the 10th and 11th century (namely some lay preachers who took things too far). Money and sex were the topics, namely simony and clerical concuibinage.

Now the people would have have risen up against this unless they had some reason to think it was wrong. Namely, it was understood that clergy was not supposed to be living that way. Note that these were not recognized as wives, but concubines. And this by the lay people. The clergy and bishops in many places tried to suppress the lay movement. The laity would drag a priest out into the streets and make him swear over relics to two points, 1) he did not buy his office and 2) to put away his concubines.

Now if celibacy had been an innovation, it is hard to see masses of laity going around trying to restore ancient discpline and enforce it. They understood it as ancient.


Do you have a source or sources for this?


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 Post subject: Re: History of Celibacy and the Priesthood
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:36 am 
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ExsurgeDomine wrote:
Malleus Haereticorum wrote:
One thing already forgotten by then 16th century was that back in the Gregorian reform it was not a top down thing. The papacy was jumping on the bandwagon of the pataria.

Indeed, as the people became more truly Christian they reacted against abuses and corruption among the clergy. We see this even in the early lay preaching movements, and even in the closest thing to heretical groups in the 10th and 11th century (namely some lay preachers who took things too far). Money and sex were the topics, namely simony and clerical concuibinage.

Now the people would have have risen up against this unless they had some reason to think it was wrong. Namely, it was understood that clergy was not supposed to be living that way. Note that these were not recognized as wives, but concubines. And this by the lay people. The clergy and bishops in many places tried to suppress the lay movement. The laity would drag a priest out into the streets and make him swear over relics to two points, 1) he did not buy his office and 2) to put away his concubines.

Now if celibacy had been an innovation, it is hard to see masses of laity going around trying to restore ancient discpline and enforce it. They understood it as ancient.


Do you have a source or sources for this?

Do you read Italian, French or German?

La Pataria: Lotte religiose e sociali nella Milano dell'XI secolo, by Paulo Golinelli

Primary sources exist, like "The Passion of Arialdo" which touches upon Arialdo and Landolfo (two leaders of the Pataria). I am unaware of a work in English the directly treats of them.

The only thing in English I can find is this http://www.amazon.com/Pataria-Ronald-Co ... 813&sr=8-3

A collection of "High Quality Wikipedia articles!"

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