Catch me on TV this afternoon

Catch me on TV this afternoon

I know it’s short notice, but I will be on MSNBC’s “Coast-to-Coast with Ron Reagan and Monica Crowley” at noon today. I will be speaking to them by phone about Catholic blogs and about the Pope’s illness.

  • I remember as a seminarian, at a summer parish assignment (a wealthy parish), a mother told me that she would never let her son become a priest unless he could be married.  And I said, without thinking, “if your son could be a married priest, you wouldn’t allow your son to be a priest because he would never get paid enough.”  If married men were allowed to be priests the numbers wouldn’t go up all that much.  It is not about celebacy but selfishness.  It is all about the parents, never about their children or God.

  • Furthermore, who the heck does this father-mother team think I am.  I came from a family (my family values are better than theirs), I pay bills every month, and I know thousands of priests who were ordained and the hundreds of thousands, if not million of lay people are proud that the Bishop “did right” for ordaining them.  Another example of people looking at Holy Mother Church as an institution.

  • The term “ex cathedra” would appear to apply to an extraordinary (to use the Church’s definition) exercise, such as the dogmas of the Immaculate Conception or the Assumption. While the current pope did make a formal pronouncement on the matter of the ordination of women, he did not appear to speak “ex cathedra” in the strict sense. He didn’t have to, since the teaching was already a matter of the ordinary magisterium, thus already free of error. No further level of pronouncement would have been necessary.

    Theoretically, at least. In practice, some people just don’t listen.

    On a related matter, it seems to me that discussions about a married priesthood should be relegated to the practical (and there’s plenty with that aspect alone). It is ideal, not essential, that a priest be celibate. One difficulty with the current discussion, is that while the Eastern churches in the USA are being allowed to recover their tradition of a married priesthood on a case-by-case basis, they have to keep quiet about it.

    Besides, I keep meeting too many priests whom I could swear would be better off if they DID have wives. (No, not you, Father Ethan.)

  • The pope’s charism of infallibility is not limited to defining doctrines like Immaculate Conception or the Assumption, but in any matter pertaining to faith or morals. And he did speak ex cathedra. His pronouncement was as formal and solemn as any I’ve ever seen.

    In Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, he said: “Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.”

    That’s a very strong statement. Notice he says that it pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself. That shows that it is an extraordinary exercise. He also refers to his Petrine office.

    When some doubted the authority of this teaching, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith clarified: “In response to this precise act of the Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, explicitly addressed to the entire Catholic Church, all members of the faithful are required to give their assent to the teaching stated therein. To this end, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, with the approval of the Holy Father, has given an official Reply on the nature. of this assent: it is a matter of full definitive assent, that is to say, irrevocable, to a doctrine taught infallibly by the Church.”

    This article provides the argument for why it is an ex cathedra definition.

  • I hasten to add that I don’t think celibacy for the Latin rite is only important on practical grounds. I think there are solid theological and spiritual reasons why it is preferable and I contend that married priests in other rites are an accommodation rather than a positive affirmation of a preferable or relatively neutral condition.

  • “And he did speak ex cathedra…” He doesn’t have to for it to be a “very strong statement.” I should make it clear at this point, that both of us agree that it is the constant teaching of the Church, thus free from all error, that a woman cannot receive Holy Orders. Our difference of opinion is limited to the level of pronouncement. Even the statement from the CDF could apply to an act of the ordinary magisterium.

    Looks like I’ll be digging out the Catechism this weekend, for a wee bit o’ light readin.’

    Regarding a married priesthood in the East, even among the Orthodox, a celibate priesthood is “preferable.” That being said, I should think that to honor what even Vatican II recognizes as a venerable tradition, can hardly be reduced to an “accomodation,” as if Rome is saying, to hell with their tradition, we’re tolerating this to keep everybody happy.

    If you ever read the history of the Eastern Rites in the USA, and the difficulties they encountered from a predominantly Irish episcopate, you might come away with a different view of who was more “accomodating.”

  • Awesome, Dom.  Too bad I gave up TV for Lent…

    Oh, yeah… Catch me on TV this Sunday morning with Fr. Brian Bachand for the Televised Mass on Ch. 7 at 7:30am.  My friend David Thibodeau and I will be providing the music.  The Mass will be offered for the Boston Catholic Men’s Conference.

  • “With all due respect, I have explained why the teaching in Ordinatio Sacerdotatlis is, indeed, an ex-cathedra teaching…”

    You call this “all due respect”? You come off as someone who has not been given his due in this forum. I didn’t even know you were HERE, let alone trying to explain anything. The only difference of opinion here, for my own part, was whether the pronouncement in question, was a matter of the ordinary magisterium, or the extraordinary. The latter is invoked rarely, only when clarification requires it. There is plenty of history behind the Church’s teaching on the ordination of women, to lead some to reasonably conclude (without the benefit of copious links on the Internet) that the latter would not be necessary.

    I would have done the same, if only to get the intelligensia to stop whining over something settled long ago.

    Now that we’ve all agreed I’m not enough of a heretic to be burned at the stake (we have, right?), I’ve now got plenty of handouts to read this weekend. So y’all get off my d@#n case, and me WORK for a d@#n living!!!


  • Kelly:

    My apologies. I tend to write allusively and assume everyone is following my train of thought. It can make my writing a bit opaque or inexplicable at times.

    I was understanding Dom—and he and I agree that allowing married priests is not a good idea—to be saying something to the effect of:

    “there are reasons it is not a good idea that apply outside the US but don’t apply here so much or at all. And Americans tend not to see this.”

    I questioned that … all the commonly cited reasons I gave against a married priesthood (my second paragraph) seem to me to apply about equally well everywere in the world. Hence my asking him: “Why would ‘married priests .

    Just my ignorant $02.