02 May 2008

A Modest Proposal for Married Priests from the Womenpriest Site

I have a reader who sends me so many good items to post that when I retire from blogging (or my wife kills me) I am turning over Saint Louis Catholic to him.

This beauty (modeled on Swift's famous "modest proposal") is well worth reading. I don't know the identity of the writer, or would give credit. After posting this, the writer was smothered with love from the ladies on the site, who I think are trying to "dialog" with him.


Holy Father, we believe that now is time to open the priesthood to married men. Many parishes are closing because of the priest shortage and allowing married men to join their celibate brothers in ordained ministry will provide additional millions of Catholics access to the Mass and the sacraments.

Making this extraordinary change now will demonstrate that Church leaders listen to the sensus fidelium (the Vatican-II-Spirit-inspired beliefs of the faithful). It will demonstrate that the Church can respond boldly to one of the major challenges that we, the people of God, face together. It will provide much needed hope to many Catholics who feel a deep sense of betrayal and alienation because of the scandal of clergy sex abuse of children and its coverup by many church officials. If this request is followed we will be able to expand just as fast as the Orthodox and Anglicans are currently expanding.

Sign the petition: Full Name


Because I fully support a married priesthood here is my credit card information so a suitable amount can be deducted each month to ensure the priest can support his family. This money will be used for buying/renting appropriate housing since the rectory will not be suitable. Health care, groceries, Catholic schooling and higher education and enough money to sufficiently supply a hopefully large Catholic family. In addition married Bishops will need a sufficiently large allowance so that they make take their families on Ad Limina visits and other occasions. If a Pope decides to get married please deduct a sufficient amount to make over the Papal apartments and to provide his and her popemobiles for Holy Father Family outings.

Card Number Visa Mastercard Discover American Express Card Type Expiration Date: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Month Year 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2300

I waive the right to see a priest in other than normal working hours. After all he needs to take care of his family first and the spiritual care of his flock must be considered second place. I promise not to be scandalized if the priest's marriage ends in civil divorce and if the marriage is annulled I will contribute financially to help support both his previous family and new one. Please remove the following line from 1st Corinthians " The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided." and from Mathew 19 "and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven."


Anonymous said...

The happiest priests I know are the celibate, orthodox ones who give of themselves totally to God, and their flock. They can't even imagine being married and don't want to be.

Being married would put them more in harms way of sexual sins such as affairs, because women would consider them "regular men". Then of course there are scandals, and divorce and child support, just as Timman states so humorously.

Sorry, priestess ladies, you are appeal has fallen on deaf ears!

Anonymous said...

Finally someone has brought up the financial problem that comes with married priests. And what justice to expect those who support the movement to pay for it!

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

If you want Married priests, be a Byzantine Catholic, or a Maronite Catholic or any of the other 22 Eastern Catholic Churches in union with Rome.

Anonymous said...

1) Do you really think Catholics would not want to support a priest and his family? REally? Do you think that they'd choose being priestless instead?

2) This post is, in a way, an insult to the thousands of married Protestant ministers - AND married Catholic priests (Latin and Eastern Rite) AND Orthodox priests who serve God through both pastoral ministry and marriage.

3) As I stated, there are married Catholic priests. It is the norm in the Eastern Rite.

Why do you choose to insult these fine men who are part of an ancient tradition?

thetimman said...

anon, I am not trying to insult married priests. I have no problem with any one of them. I prefer the celibate tradition of the Western Church. But good priests are good priests. For instance, there is a wonderful married priest who introduced the TLM in his parish in the St. Louis area.

So, no insult intended. Whether the discipline of the celibate priesthood is to be maintained is the point-- a point to which the writer's letter (not mine, btw) raises the various problems.

My only concern with protestant ministers is to pray for their conversion.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous who favors married priests,

Do you really think that allowing married priests will be a good change for our Church? There are NO priest shortages in the traditional Latin seminaries, in fact some must be turned away!

Do you think married nuns would help bring about more vocations there? There are also rising vocations in convents that have full habits, set hours of devotions, and a strict, holy rule.

Anonymous said...

To the "anonymous" blogger above who feels the "modest proposal" is insulting I can only say "take a deep breath".

The point of this humorous little literary exercise, I think, was to point out the most Catholics who cry for a "married priesthood" have not really thought out the implications.

Perhaps the reason it has remained limited to the Eastern Rite and the Maronites (with some interesting exceptions in the Latin rite)is that it is more complicated than celebacy.

Here's a point to consider. I've been a long time member of a prominenet ST. Louis Parish where all the men and women ever do is fight over money. (Like in a lot of parishes.) Would our people support a married priest's family? Of course they would, just as you say. But you know as well as I that they would "Bi-ch, bi-ch, bi-ch, over every expenditure."

Also my friends in the Serbian Orthodox community have told me. The son's and daughters of priests play a "special role" in parish social and political life, as does the reverend's missus.

That special favored role is not always appreciated and it makes for a lot of jealousy.

These are not arguments against a married priesthood. They are just things to consider. Look before you leap!

Fr. Andy said...

Since I am one who constantly gets the "I think they should allow priests to marry" line, I must interject here with the fact that most people saying that have no idea what the arguments really are all about. Here is why: I am a vowed religious, I could never be married anyway, nor would I want to be. Do you not understand this?

Since most of the faithful who want married priest do not understand this simple distinction, I think the issue must be tabled or, as it is now, left to the successors of Peter and the Apostles, they seem to have all of the facts straight.

Andrew, OP

Anonymous said...

I will say this: A priest once told me that if priests were to be able to get married, it would cause a lot more stress on the priests than there already is. If the priest gets a call that his parishioner is on the verge of suicide AND another call that his son has been in an automobile accident, what does he do? How does he deal with that situation? If priests were to get married, I see a lot of unhappy families. They are SO busy that they would hardly have any TIME for their families.

Anonymous said...

I would not want my parish priest to be married. I feel that the responsibility to the family would have to come before the responsibility to the Church. I think that the parish would suffer. I also have seen some very odd dynamics in non-Catholic churches where the minister or priest's family and their community politics destroy the sense of community in the Church.

I know that this isn't always the case, but a terrible dynamic in an Anglican church is one of the reasons I am Catholic and the rest of my family no longer attends any church. So many people from that congregation no longer practice their faith because of not feeling welcome in the church they grew up in. I think this type of thing is one of the reasons that protestants are famous for "Church shopping." Not that I blame anyone for leaving a bad situation. I suppose it's better than those who simply stopped attending any church.

I would also feel very uncomfortable confessing to a man who had a wife. I feel that husband's should share everything with their wives and confession is hard enough without having to worry about that.

I think that the Church needs to be a priest's first concern and it simply can't be if he's also to be a good husband.

Katherine said...

There are good reasons for a celibate priesthood. The fact that they are 'cheap labor' is not one of them. Sure, any employer is better off with single employees -- no need for a family wage ro health insurnace, etc.

It belittles the Church and the priesthood to suggest this.