Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Sterile Tower


(fm the BC thread "The Man in the Mirror")

It is interesting how a thread wanders after a while.

Regarding Priestly Celibacy, if this non-christian may opine, I believe it came rather late into canon law. It is not a Doctrine. Bishops or their Eastern equivalents were always celibate. About the 6th to 7th centuries, give or take, the Western Church was drowning in the Arian sea and had no strong secular protector like the Eastern Church did. Left to shift for themselves they needed to create a body of Priests who could function as shock troops with no other loyalties. This saved the Latin Church in Spain Italy and Gaul as the barbarians were slowly won over. The practice became formalized in the West later, about the time of the schism with the East. There have always been priests in communion with Rome who are married. The Maronite Catholics of Lebanon are part of the Roman Catholic family with an Eastern influenced liturgy and a married priesthood. Recently the Pope issued a call to the Church of England offering to speed the entrance of their clergy into holy orders under the Church of Rome and keeping their access to marriage. This may draw up to a third of the English clergy into Rome's orbit. It strikes me as an elegant way for the Church to elide the problem of celibacy. Unfortunately relying on the Church of England to provide an exit from the problem of a homosexual episcopate seems to require an excess of faith. The BC had a thread on this.

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