Pope Benedict: NO! To Married Priests – Shock Horror from “Vatican Experts”…

From the BBC website (emphasis added)…

Retired Pope Benedict XVI has issued a defence of priestly celibacy in the Catholic Church as his successor considers easing a ban on married men serving as priests.

Pope Benedict made the appeal in a book co-authored with Cardinal Robert Sarah.

It comes in response to a proposal to allow married men to be ordained as priests in the Amazon region.

Pope Benedict, who retired in 2013, said he could not remain silent on the issue.

In the book, Pope Benedict says celibacy, a centuries-old tradition within the Church, has “great significance” because it allows priests to focus on their duties.

The 92-year-old says “it doesn’t seem possible to realise both vocations [priesthood and marriage] simultaneously”.

It is rare for Pope Benedict, who was the first pontiff to resign in almost 600 years, to intervene in clerical matters.

The Vatican is yet to comment on the book, which was previewed in part by French newspaper Le Figaro before its full publication on Monday.

Vatican commentators have reacted with surprise to Benedict’s intervention, suggesting it breaks with convention.

“Benedict XVI is really not breaking his silence because he (and his entourage) never felt bound to that promise. But this is a serious breach,” Massimo Faggioli, a historian and theologian at Villanova University, tweeted.

The comments by Pope Benedict were described as “incredible” by Joshua McElwee, a journalist for the National Catholic Reporter… Twitter post by @joshjmac…

As I digest this, I’m realizing how incredible it is. A former pope speaking in public about something his successor is currently in the process of considering.  (118 7:17 PM – Jan 12, 2020) …

For many, celibacy is a key part of being a Catholic priest. A priest is supposed to be married to God and not be distracted by what some consider to be worldly concerns like a wife or a family.

For traditionalists, this is about the direction in which Pope Francis is taking the Church.

Some critics regard the idea of allowing married priests in the Amazon as a pretext to abolishing celibacy as a requirement altogether….
Click here to read entire BBC Report 

Comment: 

It’s downright hilarious to read the shocked comments of the alleged “Vatican experts/commentators” who speak of a “serious breach” and describe as “incredible” the fact that the previous Pope, Benedict XVI, should actually speak out to defend Catholic Tradition, in this case, the traditional teaching on celibacy.  Talk about “diabolical disorientation” – writ large!  Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us! 

Far from keeping silence and “obeying” this horrendous pope, Benedict should have spoken out a long time ago.  In fact, of course, he should not have resigned/abdicated in the first place.  He, as much as Pope Francis, will be called to account for the scandals, indeed the near destruction of the Church in human terms, in these times.  Both before and AFTER his resignation/abdication.  Better late than never, however, he is to be congratulated on this occasion.  Agreed? 

34 responses

  1. I am glad Benedict has made his intervention. Obviously with his stature, Francis’ sycophants cannot easily write him off as a crank or as being “outside the Church” etc, as per their usual responses when defending their sourpuss idol.

    So it should garner some attention for sure. That said, we know that despite all his calling for plain speaking, Francis simply ignores anyone who disagrees with him, or questions him. (There is a two year old in my daughters nursery class, who has the same tactic.)

    However, sad to note that this is precisely the situation everyone wanted to avoid when Benedict retired. That is, “two Popes” publicly disagreeing – OK, maybe Francis has not nailed his colours to the mast yet, but everyone was expecting him to OK married priests.

    With the lucidly (if not energy) Benedict continues to exhibit – writing books, making interventions etc – I am all the more disappointed in him for “chucking it”. He was (is) more than capable of fulfilling the role of Pope.

    I suspect it was all the modern nonsensical aspects – the globe trotting celebrity Pope etc – which made him retire, rather than simply teaching and exercising authority. He could have just stopped the constant travel etc and become a more remote / aloof figure, as per traditional Popes. But he obviously felt this is what is expected of modern Popes – sadly.

    So I doubt this move will achieve anything, though we can hope. One crumb of comfort is that I bet Francis is furious about it, so that is something at least 😀

    Does anyone else feel that the (semi-decent) Catholic media is increasingly shunning Francis and his antics? I am surprised at how little coverage the aftermath of the Amazon synod, with all the claimed expectation, has received

    • Gabriel Syme,

      I agree with everything you say – apart from your final paragraph.

      I think the reason the Catholic media hasn’t reported much on the Amazon Synod is because they want to keep quiet until Francis has achieved his diabolical goals and then they will sell them as an achievement in modernising the Church. Too much publicity of the details too soon, just might waken up the sound-asleep Catholics (on the other hand, maybe not!)

    • Gabriel Syme,

      You might be interested in Fr. Gruner (RIP) and John Vennari’s (RIP) discussion of the reasons behind Benedict’s resignation in their “Your Questions Answered” videos. They are # 122, 123 and 124 in the archive.

      (I’ve tried to post single videos from this series before, but failed. What always posts is #1 in the series, no matter which one I try)

      • RCA Victor,

        Have you tried going to YouTube and searching for it there – that might work. I think it’s if someone posts an individual video on YouTube, separate from the rest, it just might work.

          • Wow!! These two have absolutely no idea what on earth they are talking about. Have they never heard of the Avignon papacy or, indeed, the Western Schism??

            Also, Celestine V was promptly placed into prison by his successor after resigning the papacy, where he remained until his death. He did not, alas, return to hermitage, like these two [commentators] are suggesting.

  2. So, Benedict has said something, at last. My best guess is that he will be ignored and the whole thing will die down. It’s only when Francis is seriously challenged with the threat of a Council to decide his fate, that he will be bothered in the slightest, but with the pro-Francis bishops and cardinals ruling the roost, that is unlikely to happen. At his age, I’m thinking it will have to be a case of waiting until nature takes its course.

  3. Gabriel,

    I absolutely agree with you when you say that Benedict XVI should have ceased his globetrotting (started by John Paul II of Qu’ran kissing fame) and returned to being a more aloof, distant and dare I say holy or mystical figure. I appreciate that he is physically frail, and I wondered at one time if he had dementia, but it has become evident that he is still sharp upstairs, and could still exercise the papal office.

    However, allow me to explain why I oppose married priests, aside from the kenosis, self sacrificing Christlike vocation. I knew an Anglican vicar’s wife, and she said how before retiring to bed, he used to switch the phone off, lest she or the kids be woken up at some ungodly hour by a parishioner. A celibate priest has no such concerns. What if that Anglican vicar’s congregant’s mother was dying? I know the CofE is false, but he must have been happy for some poor soul to die without prayer or succour of some kind.

    • Catholic Convert 1,

      A radio Thought for the Day featured a vicar’s wife some years ago and she openly said (giving an example) that is one of their children took ill on a Sunday morning, husband/vicar would be at the hospital with the child, not taking the church service.

      That’s the reality which is never mentioned by these liberal types.

  4. I agree with Nicky – Francis will just ignore this, just as he did with the accusations of Abp. Vigano, but then deployed his boot-licking proxies (such as the Tweeters above) to engage in a smear campaign against Vigano – not to mention his own barrage of indirect references to Vigano’s accusations as the work of Satan. Luckily for Francis, there are two smear targets in this affair, and one of them is Cdl. Sarah, so I predict the smear campaign will be directed against the Cardinal. Much safer.

    In her LifeSiteNews article about this book, Diane Montagna quotes Section 111 of the Amazon Pregnant Idol-Worship Synod, on celibacy:

    “We appreciate celibacy as a gift of God (SC1967 1) to the extent that this gift enables the missionary disciple, ordained to the priesthood, to dedicate himself fully to the service of the Holy People of God.”

    How about that for a Modernist-reeking load of double-talk? We “appreciate” (nope, not affirm, confirm, etc.); “to the extent that” (oh gee, celibacy may not be all that effective after all!).

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/i-cannot-keep-silent-benedict-xvi-and-cdl-sarah-defend-priestly-celibacy-in-new-book

    • RCA Victor,

      Yes, I think Francis will ignore this intervention from Pope Benedict – no question about it. He may go after Cardinal Sarah, as you suggest, but I’m more inclined to think he’ll just ignore the whole thing and get on with his reform (tr “deform”) of the Church…

      To apply Prince Harry’s comment about his wife to Papa Francis: What Francis wants, Francis gets.

  5. Benedict’s intervention is too little and too late. If he seriously wants to stop this, there is only one thing which he needs to do. He needs to write that letter starting with the words: “For the following reasons my resignation of papacy was coerced and, therefore, invalid…”

    • Deacon Augustine,

      Even if he was coerced, it was still a valid resignation. Even if you are coerced, you still have free will. If ‘they’ threatened to murder him or his brother or both, then the Pope Emeritus as a (albeit Modernist) Catholic still knows what martyrdom is. If the enemies of the church followed up on their threat and murdered them both, then they would have gone straight to Heaven.

      • And even if BXVI did write such a letter, and it was investigated by the relevant canonical authorities, i.e the Sacred College of Cardinals, what would it achieve? Francis has packed the College with his supporters, so they would just say the letter was the ramblings of a bitter and deluded old dotard.

    • Deacon Augustine,

      The problem with that is, he’s already on public record saying that he wasn’t coerced.

      Of course, conspiracy theorists will argue that he was coerced into saying that; my own feeling at the time was that it wasn’t overt coercion – more the tried and tested “constructive dismissal” method, beloved of the bullying bosses – or in this case, Vatican personnel, who wanted him gone.

      • Given the quality of those who have been raised to the Cardinalate I greatly fear just what quality of Pope the next one will be after PF.

    • Bishop Lenga is Correct.. BF. is either a Completely Oblivious FOOL of a Pope.. Or a Stooge of the Peronists and the Homo-heretic German Etc, Bishops to be sure. Yikes.

  6. Amazingly, Francis’ toadies are claiming that Cardinal Sarah is a liar and that Benedict is being manipulated by being associated with this book.

    These are truly despicable characters and it seems that there is no limit to how low they will stoop. They would bang their heads on the belly of a snake.

    The assertion appeared along with claims it came from a “Vatican source” “close to Benedict XVI”.

    Seemingly several US Catholic news outlets (including the Jesuit toilet paper, “America”) were poised to run this as a factual story, but have now backed off. Ignatius Press has made a statement saying they take Cardinal Sarah’s word on the matter.

    Fortunately Cardinal Sarah has defended his good name:

    The likes of Austen Ivereigh are now claiming that “Benedict didn’t co-author a book, he only contributed to it”.

    Its really is pathetic.

    They seem to be trying to split hairs to obscure the fact that Benedict is against relaxation of celibacy and the fact they had called Cardinal Sarah a liar.

  7. Here is that oaf Iveriegh, trying to portray this as some kind of victory. Note the cover doesn’t even name Benedict as a “co author”, it just has his name.

  8. Disgusting as these attacks are, we shouldn’t be surprised at the debased lowness of character which they reveal. These are the same kinds of attacks – both in nature and frequency – to which President Trump has been subjected ever since he was elected. And these are the kinds of people with which the cocksure Francis has surrounded himself.

    In short, the globalist Luciferians have their worms in place everywhere, including everywhere in the Church, to smear those who oppose their agenda. And at or near the top of their agenda is the dissolution of the Church.

    (And kudos to Gabriel Syme for calling a spade a spade…)

      • Josephine,

        Sorry, but I,for one, am not surprised. If Pope Benedict had the character to stand up to his enemies, he wouldn’t have resigned in the first place.

      • Josephine,

        I think Laura has already taken the words out of my mouth! Or, to quote the words that came out of Benedict’s mouth right after his election:

        “Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves.”

        It seems the wolves have had their way with him, without them breaking a sweat.

  9. Hello,

    I have a couple of questions that I was hoping perhaps someone on the blog could answer for me:

    Firstly, why does the Catholic church demand celibacy of it’s religious? When did this come into effect? We know that some of the Apostles had wives, as stated in 1 Corinthians 9:5 and that Peter was definately married – as is specified in the Gospel of Matthew, 8:14.

    From the fact that some of the disciples were married, can we not reasonably conclude that it is right for priests to marry and that the Catholic doctrine of the celibacy of the clergy is contrary to apostolic example? Peter is claimed by Catholics to be the head of the church, and the Pope, according to your view, is the successor of this apostle. Yet, you maintain that it is wrong for priests to marry. If that is true, why did not Christ at once reject Peter from being an apostle for having a wife?

    My second question is regarding homosexuality in the priesthood. Do you feel that the dissolution of the celibacy discipline would help alleviate the homosexual problem in the priesthood?

    Please reply by return. Many thanks in advance.

    Marc

    • Hi Marc,

      I will do my best to answer, some others may provide better answers than me!

      1) The Church has celibate priests chiefly because becoming a priest is about devoting ones life to God and His service. Becoming a priest is a selfless act of turning one’s back on the world. it is not like a job, which only takes up part of the day, it is literally “full time”.

      Note that this is not a doctrine, but only a discipline. The Church can change it, although I personally think that would be a bad idea.

      A married man with children has his wife and children as his priority, not the service of others. And so you can see the vocations of priesthood and marriage would clash to some extent, in that both demand full time attention – but both obviously cannot get it in the case of a married priest.

      A priest can be called upon at any time – for example – to attend someone dying in hospital in the middle of the night. He must be free to exercise his ministry always, as opposed to being restricted by earthly considerations such as the availability of babysitters etc.

      A lady I know from Glasgow, who is in the Church of Scotland, suffered a bereavement. However, she could not quickly access spiritual support from her minister, because the minister and his wife were away socialising with friends in Edinburgh. That is but one example of how the two things can clash.

      I believe it was the 11th century when this practice came in. It is true it was different in the early Church, but that doesn’t mean that model is automatically correct for all places and all times. You mention St Peter – at one point, when he was frightened, St Peter denied knowing Christ 3 times. That doesn’t mean we should deny Christ. There is no requirement to copy the Apostles lifestyles in exactly in every way. Bearing in mind they were developing the Church,and had likely made lifestyle choices prior to this.

      If all priests had wives and children, then this would represent a huge additional financial burden for the Church – i.e. for donors – to take on. And a burden which would provide no fruit in terms of priestly ministry.

      Going back to my Church of Scotland example, the minister in question lives with his family in a Bearsden Mansion, (Bearsden is a very affluent area on the edge of Glasgow). This is provided by his religious denomination, as are the family’s car and holidays etc.

      Speaking as someone who makes donations personally, I prefer to see the money go to the upkeep of Church buildings.expanding ministry, helping the needy etc. Rather than paying for luxurious accommodation, sending an entire family on summer holiday etc. That is not why I make donations and I would not donate for such purposes. If someone wants those things, then they can get a job and pay for it themselves.

      I hope these points give a flavour of why the Church has celibate priests.

      Of course, note that the Catholic Church already has *some* married priests. For example, ex-Anglican priests who converted to Catholicism. However, this is tolerated to accommodate these men converting, and not because it is a desirable model to follow.

      2) No I do not believe relaxing celibacy would help with the problem of homosexuals in the clergy. I think it could exacerbate it.

      Inevitably, as with the protestants, if clergy could marry then homosexual clergy would insist that they were allowed public relationships as well. They would claim “discrimination” otherwise. Naturally, this would make aspects of Christian morality even more of a dead letter than they are just now.

      And to look at the Orthodox model – they have married priests, but only celibate priests can become bishops. This could lead to a situation where homosexual clergy hold all the levers of power in the Church – if they do not already.

      The Church has been very successful with celibate priests and can be so again. The people who want married clergy and other novelties tend to have agendas other than the good of the Church. They tend to want the Church to become like the world, rather than for the world to follow the Church.

      The direction the Church took following the Second Vatican Council has been a total failure. However, many will not admit this due to pride. And so we are now at the stage of seeing prelate make new errors, in an attempt to address earlier errors – rather than simply admitting the Church got it wrong.

      Married priests would be an example of such a new error. The shortage of priests today is not because priests cannot get married, but because a poorly catechised laity (and indeed clergy) no longer neither understands, respects nor values the role of priest. And because the priesthood today is often seen as a refuge of perverts and buffoons.

      I hope this is of some help / use!

    • Marc,

      I’m having internet problems again so this is a very quick and basic reply to your question. I have not had time to study Gabriel Syme’s reply but here are a couple of key points.

      From the very beginning, priests were celibate. The Church did not “impose” celibacy. Our Lord called his first apostles whom, we are told, left everything to follow Him. It is true that some of them may have been married – St Peter we know had a mother-in-law but there is a school of thought that thinks the Peter may have been widowed – your reference to Matthew 8 supports this theory, since the evangelist merely mentions Peter’s house and his mother-in-law. The wife is not mentioned. Whatever, Pope John Paul II wrote an excellent essay on this subject, detailing all the reasons why Our Lord’s call to total commitment meant living celibate lives – for one thing, wives could not be expected to go along with the kind of nomadic lifestyle embraced by Christ and His first apostles. So, that total commitment was a feature of the first priests, and from the beginning it was clear that to be a priest, a man had to be totally committed to Christ and His Church. Priests are celibate because Christ was celibate; the priest is “another Christ” in the world, he is not meant to be a kind of social worker-with-a-collar. Examples have already been given on this thread of the way married men, ordained or not, must be first and foremost a husband and a father – the priesthood (and thus Christ and His Church) must take second place to the man’s wife and family. That’s why, if I were Pope (!) any priest who is unfaithful to his promise of celibacy and finds himself facing earthly fatherhood, would be removed from the active ministry and sent off to earn his living to provide for his child and the child’s mother.

      As for the idea that ending celibacy for priests would “alleviate the homosexual problem in the priesthood”; no: enforcing the Church’s rule on refusing entrance to seminaries for men who are inclined to homosexuality, would end the problem of homosexual priests and all the attendant problems which that has brought to the Church. It seems to be assumed that if a person is not sexually active then they are a danger to children and/or likely to engage in homosexual activity, but this notion, that sexual activity of any kind is absolutely a “must-have” in order to live as a happy and fulfilled person is sheer nonsense and demonstrably so. Indeed, some years ago, a married friend of mine, on her way to the divorce court, figuratively speaking, once told me that the only people she knew who are happy, were her single friends, among whom Yours Truly was proud to be counted.

      As for the prevailing belief that because, at the moment, celibacy is a discipline, ergo it might change; I believe the opposite. I believe that when this crisis is over and we see The Third Vatican Council in full flow, that the Council Fathers may well conclude that, given the role of the priest as an alter Christus (another Christ) and seeing the devastation caused by the emphasis on celibacy being “merely” a changeable discipline, that this will come to be recognised as integral to the priesthood and – in a legitimate development of doctrine – that will, in some way, be formally proclaimed. Thus would end the false hope of modernists (which they raised among seminarians at the time of Vatican II – stories abound of seminarians being told to prepare for that) that some day this discipline would end and future priests would be free to marry. That has NEVER been the case in the Church. Even in these supposed exceptions of married Anglican clergy being ordained as Catholic priests and allowed to work in parishes, the rule is that if and when their wife dies, the widowed priest cannot remarry. Again, though, that exception should not have been made, as, again, it raised false hopes that celibacy would eventually end in the Church. It won’t.

      Hope this answers your questions – and I’m sure Gabriel Syme and perhaps others by now – have made important points. Internet problems mean that I’m not able to view the blog in my normal way (I’m using a back-door sneaky method to respond to this 😀 ) I look forward to read everything properly in the next day or two. Let me know if you still have questions on this topic, though, and we will follow the maxim, “if at first you don’t succeed, try at least once again!”

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