Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Pope to Hold Summit on Married Priests

The Associated Press
Monday, November 13, 2006; 11:23 PM

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI has called a meeting Thursday with top Vatican officials to discuss lifting the celibacy requirement for priests seeking to marry or who have already married.

Benedict called the summit to examine the implications of the "disobedience" of Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, the Zambian prelate excommunicated in September for installing four married American men as bishops, the Vatican said Monday.

The Vatican stressed the meeting would not open a general discussion of the celibacy requirement but would only examine requests for dispensation made by priests wishing to marry and requests for readmission made by clergy who had married in recent years.

Milingo first angered the Holy See in 2001, when he married a South Korean acupuncturist chosen for him by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church. He renounced that union _ at a group wedding in New York _ on an appeal from Pope John Paul II a few months later.

Milingo disappeared from his residence outside Rome in June, resurfacing a month later in Washington, D.C., to announce he was back with his wife and was championing the cause of married priests through his new advocacy group "Married Priests Now."

Milingo said the Catholic Church should embrace more than 150,000 married priests worldwide in part to ease the ongoing clergy shortage and to elevate the sanctity of marriage.

The Vatican said in September that Milingo and the four men he ordained as bishops were "automatically excommunicated" under church law. The Vatican added that it did not recognize the ordination of the four - the Rev. George Augustus Stallings Jr. of Washington; Peter Paul Brennan of New York; Patrick Trujillo of Newark, N.J.; and Joseph Gouthro of Las Vegas - and would not recognize any ordinations by those men in the future.

Under Vatican teaching, the authority to name bishops rests with the pope. The church also requires celibacy of its priests ordained under the Latin rite.

The Synod of Bishops in October 2005 rejected suggestions that the mandatory celibacy requirement for priests be dropped. But Milingo's excommunication has brought the issue back into the spotlight.


Ted said...

So, the Catholic Church came face to face with Moon and they blinked?

That is very, very sad news. Sadder than watching former priests join forces with Moon in the first place and then rationalize their involvement with him.

Here's a link to some news about Moon's world gigging units, WANGO and the Universal Peace Federation, dragging more unwitting souls into his web. I saw where a Cardinal met with the Universal Peace Federation in South America. How sad.

I was hoping the Catholic Church would stand up to the man who claims to be the messiah, God incarnate, teaches that Jesus failed in His mission, the man whose "church" has been found guilty of swindling vast sums fo money from the Japanese.

Pray I am not but it sure looks like I was wrong.

Fr. Jack Neary said...

The restoration of a married priesthood would be only one small step in the rehabilitation of a dysfunctional church. The theological iniatives of the likes of Hans Kung and Charlie Curran need to be recaptured, and the whole medieval hierarchical monarchial structure needs to be revisited. The power hungry monstrosity we have ended up with in this 21st century is the very antithesis of the gospel message. Jack

Rebel Girl said...

Although we should not get our hopes up too much, this summit is worth watching. It has nothing to do with "blinking" in the face of Revd. Moon. It doesn't even have very much to do with Archbishop Milingo whom the Vatican could easily dismiss as a "nut".

It is very interesting that the summit comes right after a change in who is heading up the Congregation of the Clergy -- a change from a relatively conservative Colombian cardinal to a more progressive Brazilian one.

I also believe it is a reflection of the fact that Pope Benedict XVI likes things to be theologically tidy and he recognizes that the Church's acceptance of married men from other faiths (Anglican/Episcopalian and Lutheran) into the Roman Catholic priesthood while denying that same ministry to married men who have never left the faith is anything but theologically tidy.

We have also recently seen the Vatican engage in a subtle repositioning of itself on the question of priestly celibacy -- paving the way for a possible policy change.

I was going to write this papacy off but I may have to revise my thinking.

Fr. Rich Hasselbach said...

Rebel Girl -
Thanks for your comment - you sound like you're quite attuned to things like this, and very astute! . I'd like to know more about what you think. If you like, contact me by email and hopefully we can continue a conversation. Thanks again.
Fr. Rich Hasselbach (frrich@mac.com)

ted said...

It doesn't even have very much to do with Archbishop Milingo whom the Vatican could easily dismiss as a "nut".

That's why a couple months ago this was going nowhere and after Moon gets his new shill back on the streets, sets him up with a website, houses his efforts in Stallings' "church" - (Stallings btw calls Moon a "God") and now you have this.

You really think this didn't have "much" to do with it? I bet you don't even understand what Moon wants. That is why Moon is currently getting away with molding the planet while people suffer from a biblical sized blindness.

The two situations don't have much to with each other.

Keep telling yourself that.

And this has nothing to with Moon either?

Ric said...

Restoration of a married priesthood in the Roman Catholic church would be a great thing for the Roman Catholic church as a whole! It was a shame that the reason the Roman Catholic church forbid it's priests to marry was all for political reasons and not theological reasons.