. . . towards ordaining married men to the priesthood, as commenter Margeret McCarthy points out in the preceding post.
A change, allowing married men to become priests or to allow priests the right to marry might allow the deaconate ordinands a swift assent to the priesthood, quickly lessening the problem of the shortage of priests.
In other words, we have in place a training program, upgradeable to priest-training. I recall telling the wife of our parish’s newly ordained deacon — one of us, he was — that I marveled at her new role, as wife of an ordained man. It was at a parish picnic.
She seemed to appreciate it. It was as if she hadn’t thought of it that way, so seamlessly had the married diaconate come upon us.
This was years ago, early in the Chicago experience of it. As a laicized priest by then married and with kids, speaking from another era — before the revolution — I saw it as a thing to marvel at.
More to come about this general issue, I hope with references to what others say about it who have given it more thought than I.
Added thought about married priest: Marriage would indeed complicate a priest’s life, which could be a good thing.
I speak of percentages here. What per cent of RC priests are same-sex-attracted (SSA) compared to priests and other ministers of religion who have the marriage option?
Would RC ordination of married men or legitimization of a priest’s taking a wife — just one, until death they were parted — reduce said percentage?
Would such a change in RC customs reduce the influence of SSA priests and bishops in the councils and consultations of clergy members, as in undercutting support for SSA-friendly moral teaching and practice?
Loaded question that last, brimming with certain assumptions.
Such changes, of course are in no way guaranteed, assuming they are in order, the church being an imperfect institution, the Body of Christ on earth after all, not (yet) in heaven.
May I pursue these questions in later posts? I may just do that.
Add this to Sex & RC Church, as below — exchange with astute reader that goes this way, reacting to my perhaps overstated dissing of current permanent deacons as priest candidates.
At least most are not gay and most of them have families and jobs so that they have their feet firmly attached to the ground in that respect. Granted, they would be less trained in theology, but they are already providing the Sacrament of the Sick, Baptisms, Marriages, and preaching as well as visiting the sick.
The damage that they might do as priests, they are already in a position to do and now they are totally under the thumb of the local pastor who may be twisted. As fellow priests and future pastors, they might do no worse than the damage being done now — especially by pastors for whom the collection burns a hole in their pockets — always building or renovating, wringing his hands about the recession and lack of funds because he is a spend-thrift.
Yes, but they’d be 2nd-class priests, less equipped to push back. Nor wld they be immune to demon greed, married or not.
Ordaining married men is the way to go, I think. Missouri Synod expects candidates to be married, I think. Eastern Rite RCs have that requirement also, I am pretty sure — and are ruled out as bishops, by the way.
But the married have to be on even footing with unmarried; theology study tells where the skeletons are buried.