Voices from Russia

Monday, 14 June 2010

Pope of Rome Defends the Institution of Priestly Celibacy

Filed under: Christian,moral issues,religious,Roman Catholic — 01varvara @ 00.00

Benedict XVI Ratzinger (1927- ), the Pope of Rome

Benedict XVI Ratzinger, the Pope of Rome, spoke in defence of celibacy for Catholic clergy. Speaking to about 10,000 priests in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican, the pontiff acknowledged, “For a world in which there is no God, a vow of celibacy is a phenomenon doomed to extinction”. At the same time, he emphasised, celibacy is “an act of faith and fidelity” to God, the Russian Service of the BBC said on Friday. In his address, the Pope of Rome did not explicitly mention the mushrooming scandal involving accusations of paedophilia amongst the Catholic priesthood in recent months. However, he noted that a proper understanding of the vow of celibacy would prevent “secondary scandals caused by our sins and our failures”, and the pontiff promised to pray for deliverance from such “secondary scandals”. Benedict XVI also added that much criticism of celibacy “looks rather questionable, [at a time] when it is increasingly fashionable to reject family ties”. Earlier, the head of the MP Department for External Church Relations, Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamsk, stated that he believed that, sometime in the future, Catholic priests would be allowed to marry and start a family. He pointed up that, in the ancient Church, priests, and even bishops, were married. In his opinion, a married priesthood “would minimise the problems that exist, and are more acute today than ever, amongst Catholics.

Recently, dozens of Italian women who have had close relations with Catholic priests and monks living in the world wrote an open letter addressed to the Pope of Rome, Benedict XVI, urging him to lift the requirement of mandatory celibacy for priests. In March, this question imposed itself on the agenda of the Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna, who claimed that the abolition of celibacy would help reduce the incidence of sexual abuse by priests. However, then, Benedict XVI spoke in favour of the “principle of holy celibacy”. In turn, the famous Swiss Catholic theologian Hans Küng, in the spring of this year, accused the Catholic church for its “unbending” attitude toward sex, noting that although sex scandals take place in schools and families of other faiths, the Catholic church, with its mandatory imposition of celibacy on the priesthood has the “most prevalence” of sexual abuse involving priests. He quoted from the First Letter of Apostle Paul to the Corinthians, “To avoid fornication, every man must have his own wife and each woman her own husband”. Herr Küng noted that Peter and the other apostles were married, but this did not interfere with their ministry. He also reminded us that thousands of priests protested in the 11th century, when the Catholic church introduced mandatory celibacy [for the clergy].

11 June 2010



Editor’s Note:

As for Hans Küng being a “Catholic theologian”, that’s what the original said… that’s what I translated. After all, it called him a “famous theologian”, not a “correct”, “approved”, or “authoritative” one. Herr Küng is the papist equivalent of Aleksandr Dmitrievich Schmemann… there is much similarity in their thought and praxis… with the difference that ADS had the opportunity to put his notions into practise… the disastrous current situation in the OCA is the result. If the papists were foolish enough to admit Herr Küng’s speculations as the basis for real action in the real world, the outcome would be just as disastrous. I somehow think that they are not going to be so stupid… they didn’t hang around for nearly a millennium after 1054 by indulging in folly. The Vatican knows what it’s doing… this present situation is nothing compared to such crises as the “Reformation”, the Cathars, and the collapse of the Papal States in 1870.

As for Alfeyev lecturing the papists on clerical celibacy, firstly, it’s in extraordinarily poor taste. It’s not our dispute… we don’t have a dog in this fight. All it shall do is to alienate some of his friends in the papal confession, which leads me to the conclusion that he was “forced” to issue his remarks, for Alfeyev, as an accomplished politician, knew that many would see his words as offensive meddling, even his friends. The Boy Wonder gets a Big Green Weenie for his statement… it was a classic illustration of the term “dumb as dirt”. What else would you expect from a semi-Renovationist, though? I’ll say this… if you think that he’s your friend… do think again.


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