My life as a married Catholic priest

Rev. R. Scott Hurd Rev. R. Scott Hurd Rev. R. Scott Hurd In the Catholic Church today, there are over … Continued

Rev. R. Scott Hurd

Rev. R. Scott Hurd

Rev. R. Scott Hurd

In the Catholic Church today, there are over 15,000 married clergy in the United States alone. According to an official source, they “show how the obligations of family life, work and ministry can be harmonized in the service of the church’s mission.”

These words refer to married permanent deacons, who play an increasingly important role in the contemporary church. For the past six years, I have been privileged to serve as the director of such deacons for the Archdiocese of Washington.

In my new role as Vicar General of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter, established on January 1 by Pope Benedict XVI, I’ll continue to serve with married clergy. This time, however, they will be married priests. I happen to be one of them. By the end of 2012, there may be as many as 140 married priests in the U.S.

Hearkening to the example of Jesus, and recalling St. Paul’s words that those who are unmarried can devote more time and energy to ministry, celibacy is the normal discipline for priests in the Roman Catholic Church. In contrast, married clergy have to balance two vocations: Marriage and ordained ministry. Having both is a joy, but juggling both can be a challenge.

That’s not to say that celibacy is easy. But from the Catholic perspective, celibacy has a symbolic value, a practical purpose, and is understood as a special calling- a gift- from God.

In recent decades, popes have waived the discipline of celibacy for a select few who are ordained priests after having been clergy in other Christian communities. Like me, the vast majority were Episcopalians or Anglicans. Unlike other priests, we don’t promise celibacy at our ordinations. With our wives in the congregation, that might prove to be a bit difficult!

From conversations I’ve had, most of my fellow married Catholic priests have a tremendous respect for our celibate brothers, and we’re grateful for the welcoming atmosphere and support they extend to us and our families. We admire the sacrifices they make, and appreciate they can give more of themselves to priestly service than we can.

When we answered God’s call to Catholic ministry, we didn’t set out to break the mold. None of us, to my knowledge, want to be “poster boys” for a new paradigm of priesthood. Instead, we wished to be obedient, and wanted an opportunity to serve. We’re deeply grateful for the opportunity we’ve been given.

In our day, debates about celibacy swirl in Catholic circles. This ancient and biblical discipline has both its defenders and critics. Speaking for myself, I feel uncomfortable when circumstances like mine are used to further an argument or make a point. I’m simply honored to serve the Lord I love while being blessed with a family I love. I can’t imagine life without either–and I’m glad I don’t have to.

After eighteen years in professional ministry, I admire all those who are answering God’s call today in my Archdiocese of Washington. They include the forty-three who will join the ranks of married clergy as permanent deacons this year. And they include the seventy three now testing their vocations to be celibate priests. Our situations and roles may differ, but our ultimate goal is the same: to glorify God and to build up his kingdom- regardless of our state in life.

Reverend R. Scott Hurd is a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington. He has recently been named as Vicar General for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter. Fr. Hurd’s first book, “Forgiveness: A Catholic Approach,” was published in September 2011. He and his wife, Stephanie, live in Virginia with their three children.

  • ccnl1

    The Crises in the contemporary Catholic Church:

    The inappropriate conduct of many priests, the emotional stress on the victims and the resultant billion dollars in lawsuits.

    The lack of talent in the priesthood.

    The lack of Vatican response to the historic Jesus movement.

    The Church’s continuing cling to original sin and the resulting subsets of crazy ideas like limbo.

    The denial of priesthood to women.

    The restriction of priesthood to single men (unless you are former Episcopalian priests which vitiates the celibacy requirement for any priest IMHO)

    The continued chain of Vatican “leadership” by old European white men.

    Uncontrolled “birth” control.

    Uncontrolled suffering of the aged that need not be.

  • dragonrose10

    Thank you for your article. Yes I do think that we are at the right point in time for change. In ancient time celibacy was not an overall rule but encouraged. I do not remember when it became officially established. However, with all of the other changes that the Catholic Church has had recently: the change to translation, the change related to Limbo, etc. A change to just how celibacy is viewed and handled could be changed. I personnally think that that change along with our other many lead to the reverse of a number of breakoffs that have happend over the years. Nice Article.

  • tony55398

    You may not want to be the poster boy, but you are. Your proving that you can be both married and Priest, unfortuneatly the Church sees fit to deny it to those who remain in the Catholic Church while allowing it for those who are in the Episcopal or Anglican communities and want to become Catholic Priests. It’s almost that the Catholic Church in its hypocrisy is willing to undercut the Episcopal and Anglican Churchs and allow their Priests to join the Catholic Church as married Priests. Anything goes, as long as the Pope is recognized as the head, unless, that is, you are already Roman Catholic. Therefore, I would suggest that if you are married or want to marry and become a Priest, than you must joint the Anglican communities, if you remain so be it, if you want to return to the Roman fold as Priest, so be it. As for Deacons, they do a tremendous job, they should be allowed to become Priests as well, if they so choose, it would go a long ways to ease the Priest shortage, and after all you don’t need six or more years to learn to serve, the Apostles certainly didn’t, nor did Paul, the Apostle to the gentiles.

  • tony55398

    I should have said, you may not be a poster boy, but you are surely a poster Priest.

  • ccnl1

    The “vomit-inducing” pedophilia and COVERUPS will simply hasten the decline of all religions as they finally go extinct from their own absurdity.. It is time to replace all religions with a few rules like “Do No Harm” and convert all houses of “worthless worship” to recreation facilities and parks.

    With respect to limbo, read carefully what B16 actually said. He cannot get rid of limbo because such a move vitiates original sin, baptism and the Immaculate Conception of Mary, all big money makers for the RCC.

    With respect to birth control:

    The failures of the widely used birth “control” methods i.e. the Pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions ( one million/yr) and STDs (19 million/yr) in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or condoms properly and/or use other safer birth control methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and STDs.

    With respect to easing the pain for our dying elder folk: the morphine drip used in most hospitals and nursing homes many being Catholic.

    B16′s books by necessity are nothing more than a rehash of the conclusions of Father Brown and Luke Johnson and possibly NT Wright. He does not go “head-to-head” with the likes of:

    H.S. Reimarus
    R. Bultmann
    E. Kasemann
    Earl Doherty
    Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy
    Alvar Ellegård
    G. A. Wells
    Gregory Riley
    Robert Eisenman
    John Dominic Crossan
    Robert Funk
    Burton Mack
    Stephen J. Patterson
    Marcus Borg
    Stevan Davies
    Geza Vermes
    Richard Horsley
    Hyam Maccoby
    Gerd Theissen
    Bart Ehrman
    Paula Fredriksen
    Gerd Lüdemann
    John P. Meier
    E. P. Sanders
    Robert H. Stein
    Karen Armstrong
    Albert Schweitzer (The Quest for the Historical Jesus)
    Mahlon Smith
    Elaine Pagels

  • ccnl1

    The “weasel words” about limbo:

    “Pope Benedict XVI authorized publication of this document, indicating that it is considered consonant with the Church’s teaching, though it is not an official expression of that teaching.[28] Media reports that by the document “the Pope closed Limbo”[29] are thus without foundation. In fact, the document explicitly states that “the theory of limbo, understood as a state which includes the souls of infants who die subject to original sin and without baptism, and who, therefore, neither merit the beatific vision, nor yet are subjected to any punishment, because they are not guilty of any personal sin. This theory, elaborated by theologians beginning in the Middle Ages, never entered into the dogmatic definitions of the Magisterium, even if that same Magisterium did at times mention the theory in its ordinary teaching up until the Second Vatican Council. It remains therefore a possible theological hypothesis” (second preliminary paragraph); and in paragraph 41 it repeats that the theory of Limbo “remains a possible theological opinion”. The document thus allows the hypothesis of a limbo of infants to be held as one of the existing theories about the fate of children who die without being baptised, a question on which there is “no explicit answer” from Scripture or tradition.[28] These theories are not official teaching of the Catholic Church, but are only opinions that the Church does not condemn, permitting them to be held by its members.”

  • ccnl1

    The “weasel words” about limbo:

    “Pope Benedict XVI authorized publication of this document, indicating that it is considered consonant with the Church’s teaching, though it is not an official expression of that teaching.[28] Media reports that by the document “the Pope closed Limbo”[29] are thus without foundation. In fact, the document explicitly states that “the theory of limbo, understood as a state which includes the souls of infants who die subject to original sin and without baptism, and who, therefore, neither merit the beatific vision, nor yet are subjected to any punishment, because they are not guilty of any personal sin. This theory, elaborated by theologians beginning in the Middle Ages, never entered into the dogmatic definitions of the Magisterium, even if that same Magisterium did at times mention the theory in its ordinary teaching up until the Second Vatican Council. It remains therefore a possible theological hypothesis” (second preliminary paragraph); and in paragraph 41 it repeats that the theory of Limbo “remains a possible theological opinion”. The document thus allows the hypothesis of a limbo of infants to be held as one of the existing theories about the fate of children who die without being baptised, a question on which there is “no explicit answer” from Scripture or tradition.[28] These theories are not official teaching of the Catholic Church, but are only opinions that the Church does not condemn, permitting them to be held by its members.”

  • ccnl1

    The “weasel words” about limbo:

    “Pope Benedict XVI authorized publication of this document, indicating that it is considered consonant with the Church’s teaching, though it is not an official expression of that teaching.[28] Media reports that by the document “the Pope closed Limbo”[29] are thus without foundation. In fact, the document explicitly states that “the theory of limbo, understood as a state which includes the souls of infants who die subject to original sin and without baptism, and who, therefore, neither merit the beatific vision, nor yet are subjected to any punishment, because they are not guilty of any personal sin. This theory, elaborated by theologians beginning in the Middle Ages, never entered into the dogmatic definitions of the Magisterium, even if that same Magisterium did at times mention the theory in its ordinary teaching up until the Second Vatican Council. It remains therefore a possible theological hypothesis” (second preliminary paragraph); and in paragraph 41 it repeats that the theory of Limbo “remains a possible theological opinion”. The document thus allows the hypothesis of a limbo of infants to be held as one of the existing theories about the fate of children who die without being baptised, a question on which there is “no explicit answer” from Scripture or tradition.[28] These theories are not official teaching of the Catholic Church, but are only opinions that the Church does not condemn, permitting them to be held by its members.”

  • ccnl1

    The WP servers were having trouble connecting when the above was posted i.e. the reason for the three last postings.

  • Trippey

    What a very disappointing commentary. The Father completely fails to mention that there are currently thousands (well, maybe hundreds) of married Catholics priests in America who have always been Catholic and are not converts from the Episcopalian or Anglican Church. My own Church is a Melkite Catholic Church and one of our priests is married. There many Eastern Catholic Churches in America, such as the Melkite, Ruthenian, Romanian, Ukrainian, etc, that allow married men to become priests. And, this is completely recognized by the Vatican. The Eastern Catholic Church is 100 percent Catholic. We are not step children or half-Catholic or even “mostly” Catholic just because some of our traditions, prayers, days of obligation, etc, vary from the Roman Catholic Church. I invite Father Hurd to someday attend Liturgy at my Catholic Church in Virginia and experience the rich tradition and beauty of one of the oldest Catholic faiths in the world.

  • pbaylis1

    I realise it’s not this good priest’s fault and it’s so awesome to have so many priests returning to Rome, but I feel so strongly about the importance of celibacy and not having family ties. I completely fail to see how a non-aborting, non-contracepting (hopefully) family man can devote the kind of time and energy necessary to be a spiritual leader in the community. As a layperson who obeys the church on abortion and contraception, I’m telling you it is extremely difficult to work AND be a family man to a family of four (soon to be five children)..

    I also feel for Catholic priests who must stand by and watch these men enjoying the best of both worlds. I often wondered how great it would be to be a priest and have everything provided for you, never having to worry about finances, etc as well as having the dignity of being a man of God.

    These men coming into the Catholic Church have a great deal of responsibility and must make their sacrifice somewhere, somehow.

  • usapdx

    Here is the way it should be as it was in the RCC before 1100s man made clergy marriage rule which now shows how upside down the RCC is on clergy marriage rule. Pope Peter was married and Christ had a girlfriend that went on the walks with Pete and the other eleven guys with Christ. Why would a heathy young male want a life as a celibate?

  • persiflage

    You’re right – every other branch of the Catholic Church (including the Coptic) allow for priestly matrimony – the solitary exception being the Roman Catholic tradtion.

    All other branches do recognize the Vatican as the final authority on matters of faith, but priestly celibacy is one of a number exceptions that carried over when the schism between Rome and other orthodox traditions i.e. the Eastern/Russian/Greek rites was resolved.

  • IntellectOne

    Christ did not have a girl-friend, He had many friends men, women, children. He chose twelve close friends, all male, to continue His teaching. He kept moving to preach what His Father in Heaven sent Him to do. Jesus Christ explained what the expectations of the Father are and was faithful to death. Jesus was and is sinless and could never have Split His Love by marring or having anything other than a friendship with a woman. By-the-way Jesus told Peter to Follow Him, so he left his wife and mother-in-law, but they were well taken care of. The Blessed Mother was mentioned, and a few of the other mothers and Mary Magellan,a convert, and two sisters Mary and Martha and about other men’s wives in the history, but no wives of the Apostles,. Why not, because the Apostles were not married. Christ was, is and always will be celibate. Jesus Christ is the High Priest and the only Priest, that is why the Roman Catholic Church has always required celibacy of it’s priests, because the Priest is the representative of Jesus Christ..

  • IntellectOne

    The Eastern Catholic Church always allowed married priests, but once the wife died, the priest was not allowed to get married again. Also, a married priest could never become a Bishop in the Eastern Catholic Church.

  • IntellectOne

    Reverend R Scott Hurd said, “Like me, the vast majority were Episcopalians or Anglicans. Unlike other priests, we don’t promise celibacy at our ordinations. With our wives in the congregation, that might prove to be a bit difficult!” You are all converts to Catholicism because you now realize that you found the fullness of faith.
    What does the “Chair of Saint Peter” say to the Vicar General about the future of any changes in the marriage situation? Are the Rules of the Eastern Catholic Church applied to this New Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter?

  • IntellectOne

    But the married priests, in the Eastern Catholic Church can never be a Bishop. All of the Eastern Catholic Bishops are not married.

  • IntellectOne

    The Apostles all died as martyrs, except for, John the Evangelist. It would be quite a stretch to compare today’s married deacons to the Apostles. I can assure you, it would not ease the shortage of Holy Priests.

  • IntellectOne

    “Best of both worlds”? You must be kidding. A priest that is gifted with the gift of celibacy and picks-up his cross is very happy in his Soul. Jesus Christ sacrificed, why does everyone think that they should not sacrifice anything for God?
    What if a married Deacon or a Eastern Catholic Priest has to fight with his wife? What if she is an embarrassment to him, or if she is using birth-control pills, or worse yet insist on an abortion, and even a divorce? Too many snake pits to fall into.

  • IntellectOne

    The Title of this article is misleading.because it dose not have enough detail and can be completely misconstrued.

  • pbaylis1

    Of course they should sacrifice something. That’s the entire point of my post. If you’re getting all your bills paid and still get to enjoy a normal family man’s life with a subservient wife who takes care of the kids, the home and provides conjugal satisfaction, could someone please tell me where the sacrifice is? I actually want to know.

  • pbaylis1

    And absolutely, if you’re having trouble at home with your wife or kids, that is going to seriously distract you from devoting yourself to God’s word and the leading of your flock. Imagine a priest coming to mass with his personal issues on his mind, who got out of bed and was nagged by his wife and pestered by his children, did a rush job on his sermon and there he is trying to lead and guide you in your spiritual life. I’m not saying that’s how it is, cos it probably isn’t generally, but the potential is certainly there. That potential should be completely absent and removed.

  • NotSalvadorDali

    So marriage is a sin?

  • csintala79

    So, the priest of the Eastern Rite and the Anglicans affiliating with the Church that are married are not representatives of Jesus? Or is it that they are not effective representatives, or what? In the Orthodox Church priests’ wives, Mathuskas, are seen as valuable partners of their husbands in serving the congregations. To allow affiliation of married clergy from other communities, the Roman Church has decreed that celibacy is a “custom,” not a doctrinaire rule. This means that the insistence on continuing to require the secular or parish priest to be celibate is just a stubborn refusal to shed an outdated tradition not required for salvation. Sorry, but to an outside observer it just seems to be misogyny.

  • csintala79

    Really, priests are so strapped that they have no time for a family? Well, they seem to be able to find time to play golf. That is what prevented my mother’s parish priest, whom she had known for over 15 years, and whom she considered her other son (actually her favorite son). At her viewing, the priest couldn’t attend to conduct a service because he had a golf date. Instead, he sent a lay reader whom my mother didn’t even know. Funny, he always had the time to weasel another few hundred bucks out of her. Unfortunately for mom, he wayward secular humanist son had to be the one to see her off.

  • usapdx

    @IntellectOne, you are wrong. The RCC man made rule on clergy on not being married was in 1123 to date.

  • ThomasBaum

    IntellectOne wrote:

    “Why not, because the Apostles were not married.”

    I would say that this is something that you made up since except for Peter there is no mention one way or the other about the other Apostles.

    And then, “that is why the Roman Catholic Church has always required celibacy of it’s priests”

    This is simply not true.

  • annegf

    You may not want to be a poster child for the optional celibacy movement, Fr. Hurd, but the reality is that you, all the married members of the new ordinariate, and all the other married “pastoral provision” priests prove each day as you ably serve in our Roman Catholic Church that the reasons Rome keeps trotting out for maintaining this requirement on its priests are bogus. The sad part is that because the Church insists on maintaining this antiquated rule, existing RC priests are overextended while thousands of married former RC priests are barred from continuing to minister to the faithful. Yes, you have a cushy job as vicar general of the new ordinariate but if you had integrity, you would risk that job and call for the end to mandatory celibacy so that no man has to choose between serving God and having a wife and family.

  • tony55398

    Your assurance is not warranted and just what is a Holy Priest and therefore is it impossible for a married person to be both Holy and Priest? Your intellect fails you.

  • tony55398

    The Roman Catholic Chuch seems to believe that the sex act poses problems for a Holy life.

  • usapdx

    RC priests where allow to marry more years than they where not allowed to marry. The man made rule of a priest not to marry was for the reason that a priest would not will church property to his first son.

  • persiflage

    ‘All of the Eastern Catholic Bishops are not married.’

    A small price to pay for the personal fulfillment achieved in a happy marriage – besides, who wants to be a bishop if you’re simply going to be a mouthpiece for the Vatican? This is certainly true in the USA, so perhaps the role applies in other branches of the Catholic church as well.

    Better married priests than pedophiles – something Rome should give strong consideration to.

  • ccnl1

    1 Cor 7: 32-34 as per JD Crossan in his book In Search of Paul, p.111: St. Paul was not interested in marriage because he assummed the second coming was imminent. Fortunately for us, he was wrong.

    Matt 19: 12 ” For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.”

    Not the way to go in my opinion and not a good reference for promoting celibacy.

  • VMAQ2DETY4

    “we don’t promise celibacy at our ordinations.”

    You do, however, prior to ordination, promise that if your spouse precedes you in death you will then adopt the discipline of celibacy for the remainder of your life. No promise, no ordination. That’s a detail you shouldn’t have neglected disclosing. You also are limited in what ministries your Bishop may assign you to.

  • VMAQ2DETY4

    You have a very poor grasp of the actual history of the discipline of celibacy; as opposed to the urban legends you willing parrot, as well as Scripture.

    By the way, what was the name of St. Peter’s wife?

    “But I would have you to be without solicitude. He that is without a wife, is solicitous for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please God. But he that is with a wife, is solicitous for the things of the world, how he may please his wife: and he is divided. And the unmarried woman and the virgin thinketh on the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she that is married thinketh on the things of the world, how she may please her husband. And this I speak for your profit: not to cast a snare upon you; but for that which is decent, and which may give you power to attend upon the Lord, without impediment.” 1 Corinthians 7:32-35

  • VMAQ2DETY4

    “Better married priests than pedophiles – ”

    The fact is that most pedophiles are married men. Your argument is specious, at best, and provides no explanation for the behavior of thousands of protestant ministers who are molesters of young children. Also it fails to consider the epidemic of sexual assault perpetrated by public education employees. Neither group is bound by the discipline of celibacy.

  • VMAQ2DETY4

    Paraphrasing Crossan; the “progressive” dissenter who denies, among other things, the resurrection of Christ, weakens your argument and dismisses the Apostolic origins of the discipline. In addition, even if your claim about St. Paul’s thought process is correct, and that’s a big if, his writings were inspired by the Holy Spirit who knows otherwise.

    Here are the Scripture citations, in their entirety, that you failed to post which show the evidence of the discipline:

    “Who said to them: All men take not this word, but they to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs, who were born so from their mother’s womb: and there are eunuchs, who were made so by men: and there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can take, let him take it.” Matthew 19:11-12

    “Then Peter answering, said to him: Behold we have left all things, and have followed Thee: what therefore shall we have? And Jesus said to them: Amen, I say to you, that you, who have followed Me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit on the seat of His majesty, you also shall sit on twelve seats judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for My name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting. And many that are first, shall be last: and the last shall be first.” Matthew 19:27-30

    “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 house, or parents, or brethren, 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 everlasting.” Luke 18:28-30

    “But I would have you to be without solicitude. He that is without a wife, is solicitous for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please God. But he that is with a wife, is solicitous for the things of the world, how he

  • VMAQ2DETY4

    The Catholic Church teaches, as does Scripture, that sex outside of marriage poses serious problems for a Holy life.

    The Catholic Church also teaches, as does Scripture, that the preferred state in life in serving Almighty God is to do so without impediment. Hurd, if he were being honest, would tell you that he cannot fully devote himself to serving both God and his family.

    In addition, 21 of the 22 Churches sui juris which comprise the Catholic Church, ordain, as a norm, married men. Those men who seek both marriage and ordination have 21 other Churches to choose from.

  • annegf

    Yes, well Peter had a mother-in-law, as we also know from sacred scripture…and you can’t have a mother-in-law unless you have a wife. So we all know that St. Peter, who was our first Pope, was married. You want to take the passages from Luke 18 and Matthew 19 as a literal Biblical defense for celibacy then it would also imply that it’s perfectly OK to break the holy bonds of matrimony and abandon your wife in order to pursue a celibate priesthood…and we know for a fact that the Church doesn’t teach that (though, of course, Peter would have been married in the Jewish religion so maybe that marriage wasn’t considered sacramental…). Bottom line: By using Scripture to defend the celibacy requirement, you are heading down a really slippery slope. And, of course, you’re conveniently leaving out Timothy and the absolutely clear teachings on what is required of a bishop, a presbyter, and a deacon, that the individual be “the husband of one wife”, which shows that, regardless of Paul’s opinions about marriage, the common practice in the early Christian church was that its leaders were married. And, for many centuries, it was the usual practice in the Catholic Church too and we should go back to that, not just for converted Anglican Episcopalians like Fr. Hurd but for our Catholic men as well.

  • VMAQ2DETY4

    “So we all know that St. Peter, who was our first Pope, was married.”

    We know that St. Peter was married at one time. His wife is never mentioned in Scripture, only his mother-in-law. His wife may very well have been deceased. Your comments indicate that you aren’t familiar with the writings of St. Clement of Alexandria in The Stromata, Book VII Chapter XI, with regard to St.Peter:

    ‘They say, accordingly, that the blessed Peter, on seeing his wife led to death, rejoiced on account of her call and conveyance home, and called very encouragingly and comfortingly, addressing her by name, “Remember thou the Lord.” Such was the marriage of the blessed and their perfect disposition towards those dearest to them.

    Thus also the apostle says, “that he who marries should be as though he married not,” and deem his marriage free of inordinate affection, and inseparable from love to the Lord; to which the true husband exhorted his wife to cling on her departure out of this life to the Lord.’

    “By using Scripture to defend the celibacy requirement, you are heading down a really slippery slope.”

    Quite the contrary. By using Scripture to defend celibacy I’m refuting the claim of those who are ignorant of Scripture that clerical celibacy is “un-Biblical”.

    “then it would also imply that it’s perfectly OK to break the holy bonds of matrimony and abandon your wife in order to pursue a celibate priesthood…”

    That implication can only be reached if one were to believe that Christ advocated abandonment, which He, of course, didn’t. I suggest you familiarize yourself with celibacy in the Old Testament; the continence of rabbis, as well as Canons XXVII and XXXIII of the Council of Elvira.

    ‘And, of course, you’re conveniently leaving out Timothy and the absolutely clear teachings on what is required of a bishop, a presbyter, and a deacon, that the individual be “the husband of one wife”, which shows that, regardless of Paul’s opinions about marriage, the common practice in the early Christian church

  • ccnl1

    Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con:

    From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”

    Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

    To wit;

    From a major Catholic university’s theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

    “Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
    Jesus and Mary’s bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

    Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

    Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus’ crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary’s corpse) into heaven did not take place.

    The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

    Only Luke’s Gospel records it. The Assumption ties Jesus’ mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus’ followers The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary’s special role as “Christ bearer” (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus’ Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary’s assumption also shows God’s positive regard, not only for Christ’s male body, but also for female bodies.” ”

    “In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world

  • ccnl1

    Continued from above:

    p.4

    “Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God’s hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus’ failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing.”

    p.168. by Ted Peters:

    Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. ”

    So where are the bones”? As per Professor Crossan’s analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

  • ccnl1

    Continued from above:

    p.4

    “Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God’s hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus’ failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing.”

    p.168. by Ted Peters:

    Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. ”

    So where are the bones”? As per Professor Crossan’s analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

  • ccnl1

    The restriction of RCC priesthood to single men is vitiated by allowing married Episcopailan to become RCC priests. Just another absurdity of the RCC.

    Other absurdities:

    The inappropriate conduct of many “called by god” priests,

    The lack of talent in the priesthood.

    The lack of Vatican direct response to the historic Jesus movement.

    The Church’s continuing cling to original sin and the resulting subsets of crazy ideas like limbo.

    The denial of priesthood to women.

    The continued chain of Vatican “leadership” by old European white men.

    Uncontrolled “birth control.

    Uncontrolled suffering of the terminal ill that need not be.

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