Rorate Caeli

Priestly celibacy and its well-connected opponents

"For the moment" celibacy for Latin-rite priests is the law.  But as a new Associated Press story shows, lobbyists for the left are back in positions of influence after an eight year hiatus.

Pope's friend asks him to lift celibacy rule for priests
She's Francis' close friend and she's sure he'll lift celibacy mandate for priests

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — She uses a wheelchair and carries the weight of her 87 years, but Clelia Luro feels powerful enough to make the Roman Catholic Church pay attention to her campaign to end priestly celibacy.

This woman, whose romance with a bishop and eventual marriage became a major scandal in the 1960s, is such a close friend with Pope Francis that he called her every Sunday when he was Argentina’s leading cardinal.

Luro’s convinced that he will eventually lead the global church to end mandatory priestly celibacy, a requirement she says “the world no longer understands.” She believes this could resolve a global shortage of priests, and persuade many Catholics who are no longer practicing to recommit themselves to the church.

“I think that in time priestly celibacy will become optional,” Luro said in an interview with The Associated Press in her home in Buenos Aires, after sending an open letter to the pope stating her case. “I’m sure that Francis will suggest it.”

John Paul II, Benedict XVI and other popes before them forbade any open discussion of changing the celibacy rule, and Francis hasn’t mentioned the topic since becoming pope last month.

“I don’t see how in any way this would form part of his agenda,” said the Rev. Robert Gahl, an Opus Dei moral theologian at the Pontifical Holy Cross University in Rome.

But as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, he referred to the issue of celibacy in ways that have inspired advocates to think that the time for a change has come.

In his book “On Heaven and Earth,” published last year, Bergoglio said: “For the moment I’m in favor of maintaining celibacy, with its pros and cons, because there have been 10 centuries of good experiences rather than failures.” But he also noted that “it’s a question of discipline, not of faith. It could change,” and said the Eastern Rite Catholic church, which makes celibacy optional, has good priests as well.

“In the hypothetical case that the church decides to revise this rule … it would be for a cultural reason, as with the case of the Eastern church, where they ordain married men,” he said in “Pope Francis. Conversations with Jorge Bergoglio,” re-published last month by his authorized biographers, Sergio Rubin and Francesca Ambrogetti.

Luro and her husband, the former bishop of Avellaneda, Jeronimo Podesta, felt ostracized from the church for many years, but she says Bergoglio didn’t hesitate to minister to them when Podesta was hospitalized before his death in 2000. They became such good friends thereafter that Luro said Bergoglio called her every Sunday for 12 years, and often discussed the celibacy issue as they debated all sorts of hot topics in private conversations.

Luro now feels that the cardinals’ election of a Jesuit and Vatican outsider who is committed to expanding the global church and reaffirming its commitment to the poor shows their willingness to undertake profound changes to stem an exodus of the faithful.

The Rev. Thomas Reese, a Jesuit priest and Vatican analyst at Georgetown University, said a first step might be for Francis to simply signal that it’s OK to debate the issue.

Read the rest of the Associated Press story here.


  1. ... by your friends they shall know you ...

    1. Celibacy, for the world, and from the Latins, is the "tricewitness"of the one who is MALE (like the lamb), PRIEST (who offers sacrifice), and, WHOLLY DEDICATED TO GOD (like the Lord). Orthodoxy only partially gives the world that holy witness.

  2. Anchorite, Unless I am mistaken (which I truly hope is the case and, if so, I apologise) not only is your comment grossly insulting towards the Holy Father, but also completely devoid of grace.

  3. Can I hear well the Lucifers' " non serviam" coming out of this feminist mouth?

  4. @Anchorite: If that's the case, I'm curious what you think about Jesus.

  5. A better campaign would be to remind everybody of the true dignity of the priest. If one truly appreciated that, there would hardly be any supposed need to have this discussion because celibacy would seem so small a sacrifice.

  6. It's very tempting to think that a married priesthood would be preferable, to the homosexual network of priests the Church has at the present time.

  7. "Luro...expanding the "global" church"


    Oh, tiny woman
    Of tiny planet
    It's all about just you.

    You cannot think
    Outside the globe
    Or past the sixties view.

    But Holy Mother
    Catholic Church
    Universal on the far side of earth,

    Her stars and moon
    And sun helped grow
    Our boys beyond their birth,

    Where deep dark nights
    And mornings gold
    Protected as we prayed,

    First light's low Mass
    Evening rosaries, while you grayed.

    Time waits not
    For your desires
    Or you, new truths to declare...

    The Universal
    Truths are set --
    Your sisters' celibate sons will bear!

  8. TAq -- When making that argument, I recommend always noting that our Lord's friends who were public sinners repented and changed their behaviors as a result of the Good Shepherd.

    The "go and now sin no more" part of the eighth chapter of the Gospel of Saint John needs to always be a part of that thought.

  9. Parepidemos & TAq,
    I think Mr. Wolfe said it better than I could have.
    The once-misguided and converted - aren't we all like that? Have the daily conversations by Bergoglio with that dear friend of his brought about her conversion or enlightenment on things Catholic?
    Have the spineless dialogues with sinners conducted by the likes of Card. Schoenborn brought about amendments to their lives?
    Or more scandal was sown among the believers, more souls were confused, more spiritual decay ensued?
    What is truly devoid of grace is the relaxed "spiritual" guidance offered by such "understanding" priests.

  10. And now they are coming out of the "closet," not afraid to speak their mind:
    Will the authorities contradict?

  11. It cracks me up that these people think having a wife will actually make a priest's life EASIER!! And I'm a wife!!!
    What happens when the priest has to choose between the spiritual needs of those in his parish and the demands of a wife who's "tired of playing second fiddle to your first bride--the Church!"?

  12. I don't believe Christ made friends with sinners. He ate with them and granted them forgiveness when they demonstrated their Faith. Those are two very different things. It is not a work of mercy to make friends with the gravely sinful. One of the most basic concepts that children are taught in their catechism is not to make friends with non-catholics.

  13. St. Catherine would most likely be overcome by the stink emanating from Ms. Luro, who sounds like a weezened spider weaving sticky, nasty threads. (sorry, but Shelob in her lair comes to mind) What a wicked woman. She certainly sounds unrepentent to me, and unless she's a pathological liar on top of everything else, she's trying to spin others into her scheming web of deceit. Ugh. She's probably been dead for years but no one knows it yet. ' Oh, what wicked webs we weave, when we practice to deceive.'

  14. Fortunately Mrs. Lulo failed in her hunting of Cardinal Bergoglio.

  15. Folks, let not our hearts be troubled! He's the Pope (or should I say, "Bishop of Rome"), and everything he does, or may possibly do, is inspired by the Holy Spirit, right?!?! If he abandons the Western tradition of celibacy, well... it HAS TO BE the will of God! Times have changed! Get with the program!

    Hey, same for same-sex "unions"! Encouraging one of the sins that cry to heaven for vengeance? Maybe that was a problem for the last 2000 years.... But not now! No sir-eee! We've had a New Pentecost(tm)! Through the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we now love the sinner AND the sin!

    Sarcasm off. They're crawling out of the woodwork now. The darkness many of us sensed as we watched the scene at St. Peter's Square a little over a month ago wasn't a figment of our paranoid imaginations.

  16. Don't mind Mrs Luro. She was a divorced woman when she began her affair with Podestá, a left wing and troublemaker bishop. All she says is cheap propaganda.

  17. The audacity of this woman. Must be possessed.

    She marries a bishop, a sin of such gravity it makes the eyes loll, and has the hide to come out years later to the press and write a letter to the Roman Pontiff, no less, stating "the case" to lower the standard of Roman discipline in place since St. Sylvester I? And which has it's firm foundation in the holy book of Leviticus. How dare she open her mouth to diminish the sacerdotii dignitas because of her own failure to control herself and that of her deserter spouse.

    The world no longer understands? It never did. The pagan nations where a fornication was an indiscretion, an adultery allowed if private, pederasty a sign of culture - did not understand. This is not progress, this is regression. The "world" never understood the glory of virginity. But it has been long since it has so flagrantly mocked and contradicted it.

    "Love not the world, nor the things which are in the world. If any man love the world, the charity of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world is the concupiscence of the flesh and the concupiscence of the eyes and the pride of life, which is not of the Father but is of the world.

    Et mundus transit et concupiscentia eius qui autem facit voluntatem Dei manet in aeternum.

    And the world passeth away and the concupiscence thereof: but he that doth the will of God abideth forever."

    You want to be a priest and marry? Eastern Rite. Leave our discipline, canon law and priesthood alone. We are actually just at last seeing some increase in numbers entering into the seminaries again. It was in a secular newspaper and repeated in the cathedral during the homily last Sunday. It was not celibacy that was keeping the young away. It was this woman's noxious ethos which had dominated them and which slowly since Benedictus XVI has, happily, been being cleared out.

    - adulescens

  18. This is the true life story of one of my dear priest friends, who spent years in the Communist gulags:

    "In the early 50s, when we were detained, there were also married Catholic priests of the Eastern rite. It was heartbreaking to see their wives and children lamenting, when they were permited to see their detained husbands once a year. Sorrow and tears everywhere. We were grateful and counted ourselves fortunate that we were celibate. We saw the great wisdom that the Holy Church bestowed upon her clergy the precious rule of celibacy, particularly for times like those of violent persecution. We were ready to give up our souls to the Creator at any moment, since we didn't have any other dependents, unlike our Eastern brethren in the priestly office." I've heard numerous stories of support of celibacy from my several priestly friends. Every state of life has got its pros and cons and none of the vocations are easy. My priest friend,back than several years ago lamented how difficult is to be married, particular in these days and he said:" Why on earth would you want to be priest and married at the same time!"

  19. Satan's minions are queueing up for their turn to suggest their ideas to a pope they perceive to be on their side.

    Making priestly celibacy optional will further the Protestant spirit among Catholics. Non-practicing Catholics will not "recommit themselves to the church"; they will be coming back (or, in effect, going) to a different religion, hardly identifiable with the Catholic Church of the Fathers and the saints.

    The situation in the Church is likely to get worse before it gets better. My only consolation is the thought that the darker it gets the closer one is to the glorious dawn. And, as always, I cling to the Blessed Virgin's promise that when things look absolutely hopeless her Immaculate Heart will triumph!

  20. Peter,

    So Christ had no friends? Or are you under the impression that the apostles and all the others that He called friends were without sin? Is it possible to simply disagree with the notion of abolishing priestly celibacy without calumniating the Pope?

  21. I myself cannot see that Pope Francis has any other choice except to allow married priests, if his mandate is to end corruption amongst the clergy. It has been the practice for a long time now to encourage men with homosexual tendencies by telling them that those tendencies are sign of their vocation to a celibate state. Many with kind assurances from their confessors and bishops have translated that call to a vocation for the priesthood and have entered it. This has been confirmed by the fact that many have been unable to live our their lives in celibacy. And the majority of these have involved themselves in homosexual relations, often with minors. Clearly the Pope faces a dilemma. Either root out homosexuality, which has affected every order of the clerical hierarchy or let the homosexuals who are now priests & bishops remain. The first horn of the dilemma is difficult to implement, since the majority homosexuals who are presently members of the clergy are presumably living celibate lives. Why subject them to a witch hunt? The second horn gives the appearance that homosexuality is condoned. The way through the horns is to end clerical celebacy. The end of clerical celibacy is not an end to holy virgunity, which is eradicable from the life of the church. But often what we have now is not holy virginity. What we have now with many of the clergy is confirmed bachelorhood. For the latter Christianity has never had a place. Bachelorhood does not exclude sexual acting out,even if it does not involve sexual intercourse with a person of the opposite or the same sex. It is because marriage has been so denigrated spiritually in the Church that we are at the present pass.Marriage is on the decline. Now the Church must bear witness for marriage. I.e., it must bear witness for biblical marriage and biblical virginity.

  22. Priests are not in the same level of grace as bishops do. Bishops has the fullness of the Holy Orders. In the Easter Rite, no bishop is married. A married priest cannot become bishop. I don't see why they (married bishop) propose to remove the priestly celibacy rule besides removing the "temptation" by reclassifying the same act as "non-temptation".

    One cannot simply serve two wives at the same time!

    Why would the Church bend to the whims of the World? Major point they raised? "The world no longer understands." Should we also declare that the Transsubstantiation is superficial just because the "world does not understand"?

    Thanks for this post. Got me thinking aloud.


  23. Great: Marriage is daily mocked by false unions parading as the real thing. Let's knock down another gift, though celibacy isn't a sacrament.

    Bad, really bad, idea. The Celibate clergy is a help for married couples, and all of us, giving witness to the Kingdom. It's difficult, even with grace.

    Marriage has different difficulties, even with grace.

    What some of these folks want is a Cross-less life.


  24. If I thought Bergoglio was considering it to separate the men in collars from the sodomite joy-boys in same, I would considerate it, but we know he has a great affinity for "same-sex unions" (which is why we're getting all this support from so many quarters in the Church heirarchy).

    Bergoglio wants femi-nazi's to run Curia offices.

    Bergoglio wants to bless "same-sex unions" (sic).

    Bergoglio doesn't want to be Pope, he just wants to be "The Bishop of Rome" (which is code for every Bishop can be their own Pope).

    Bergoglio is actually a carefully crafted Cardinal Martini clone, who using humility as a ruse, will attempt to usher in every item on the liberal wish list.

    Bergoglio's preaching is pedestrian and the only venom he seems to have are for the flock, who has been the most abused the past 50 years, those holding to Tradition.


    If you have not done so please look up St. Francis of Assisi's deathbed prophecy of a future "Destroyer" Pope.

    It may have been while Bergoglio had in mind co-opting the standard stereotype of the environmental, social justice hippie that society associates with St. Francis of Assisi, that God had other designs in the person of the MOST FAMOUS FRANCIS of all time.

    I also think it odd that St. Malachy makes no mention of a "Francis" following "The glory of the Olive" (Benedict).

    Pray, pray, pray.

    THE MOST HIGH will not be mocked much longer. You can almost see the blood. You can almost smell the burning...


  25. Common Sense, your post was beautiful and may God richly bless your dear friend. This is why we so dearly love our priests. I know to many we sound judgmental and unloving, but I think it is because we care so very much about what is true and beautiful that when wicked liars try to deceive others like this woman about our new pope, it just makes me so angry! What is so sorely lacking in our secular world is a love of truth and common is so sweet and yet so painful as it so often pits us against the world, our families and too often many in the Church.

  26. “the world no longer understands.”

    If she were honest she'd say "the world does not want to understand".

  27. Pierre, I hope you're being facetious. If not, you need to do some very serious soul searching. Read Commonsense's post.

  28. Wait a minute, how is this possible are we not in the spring time of Vatican II? There can not be a shortage of priests.

    This was the goal of the progressives in the Church all the time. Dilute the faith with the new mass and new postures and venacular.

    The only way to increase vocations is to return to what worked. Husbands and wives having children, raising them in the faith and an openess to vocations, reestablishing the TLM as the mass of the Roman Rite, reinstatuting the Alter Society and for boys only.

    Small families, poor catechism, lack of reverence to our Lord in the way we celebrate the mass, in general a lose of the true Catholic faith is what has destroyed the priesthood. When a parish with 3,000 members can not produce one vocation in 6 yrs. You have a problem. The problem is it is no longer Catholic. You will know them by their fruits.

  29. Anonymous3:47 AM

    Who says the Cardinal called her every Sunday? One person: the lady herself. Hmm. So then this is gossip masquerading as news.

  30. I have no comment about parousia, or chastisement matters; nor St. Malachi's prophecies.

    And I'm very conservative doctrinally and liturgically; but believe, to save the Church, we need to widen the allowance for married priests.

  31. And remember most of the first Apostles (precursors to all of our Bishops) were married, as were many of the early Popes; food for thought!

  32. "Luro’s convinced that he will eventually lead the global church to end mandatory priestly celibacy, a requirement she says “the world no longer understands.” She believes this could resolve a global shortage of priests, and persuade many Catholics who are no longer practicing to recommit themselves to the church."

    ## If the world does not understand, then this discipline should be explained - not abolished. Christians are not to be conformed to the world, but transformed by the Holy Spirit.

    STM one problem is lack of love of God. If people really love God, no sacrifice, however great it may seem, is great in fact. The lives of the Saints prove this again and again.

    ISTM there is a choice between saying "This way of life is too difficult", and saying "This difficulty is something to be treated as an opportunity for loving God & my neighbour". If clerical continence is not a difficulty - something else will be. It is not possible for any Christian to escape difficulties. Jesus Himself says "If any man would be My disciple, let him take up his cross and follow Me". Why should priests be exempt from difficulties, when other Catholics are not, and Christ Himself was not ? And what is the good of making the Church more like the world, & less sacrificial ?

  33. Wait, didn't "Pope" Michael already lift the celibacy restriction on the priesthood?

  34. "... though celibacy isn't a sacrament."

    Neither is martyrdom - but like martyrdom, virginity towers over it's contrary state.

    "And they sung as it were a new canticle, before the throne and before the four living creatures and the ancients: and no man could say the canticle, but those hundred forty four thousand who were purchased from the earth. These are they who were not defiled with women: for they are virgins."

  35. I think this report has little merit. Cardinal Bergoglio sought her out and her (former bishop) 'husband' like lost sheep who, rightly, needed the care of a good shepherd. I think she is overstepping the mark in claiming to know the mind of the Pope on this or on anything else.

  36. This is not the answer. The reason for the shortage of priests is that the priesthood has become de-sacralised. You don't need 7 years of priestly training to be a social worker. A true understanding of the priesthood would lead to priestly vocations. But old people won't hear this. They are stuck in the 1970s, and sadly it is my greatest fear that the Pope is too.

  37. I agree with Jorge and Cathy. Even though we read journalistic accounts while seeking the truth, we have been disappointed time and time again. The Associated Press is just another outlet looking to sell stories. I wouldn't give too much credence to this one. Remember, the Evil One wants to divide us. Far-out claims like those in this account cause us to turn against one another.

  38. Regards Malta's two comments - pax frater. I disagree.

    First, the holy apostles who were married treated their wives as sisters after their calling by Christ. This is part of the deposit of Faith. It is found both in the fathers and in the Liturgy. This is why a bishop, even for the Eastern Rite, as direct and full successor of the apostles, to this day either must not have a wife or must do as the apostles did and treat her as a sister after his election to the episcopacy. Such Protestant falsehood is not food for thought but rather poison for the mind.

    Add to this that Christ Himself was a virgin and the holy apostle Paul's explicit teaching, especially in the seventh chapter of his first epistle to the church at Corinth - you err brother.

    Married priests shall not "save" the Church. The Church saves and is not in need of saving. And historically the exact opposite is true. The Church conquered by martyrs and virgins. It was men, from the holy apostles on, unencumbered by any secular or familial responsibilities and so capable of giving full, life-time service to God who brought the Gospel to the ends of the earth. The Church spreads not by carnal reproduction, but by the conversion of men regenerated in the womb of the baptismal font.

    We do not need un-scriptural, non-canonical, ahistorical laxity here. We need such apostolic men - who give full life-time service to Christ leaving and taking nothing for themselves. It is because monks, priests and nuns are not married that they could do as much as they did historically. Nuns, for example, could look after scores of children without parents precisely because they did not have families themselves.

    Let no one attack full devotion of one's life literally and entirely to God ever at all to begin with and least of all to inculpate it as the cause for what is wrong in these dark days of ours. It is the lack of such men and women, of such commitment that is the true cause of what we see today.

    It saddens and angers me to see such little respect being accorded virginity, even by readers of Rorate Caeli. Nothing could be further from Tradition.

    - adulescens

  39. Yes bishops don't marry in the East or West. Only celebates such as monks can be consecrated bishop in the East. So the woman is an adultress. I really am astonished by Latin Rite members who think marriage is a solution. No priest is allowed to marry after Ordination in the Esat. His wife has to give her permission. If she dis or separate after Ordination he can"t remarry.
    Were the Pope to allow this he would face a real rebellion! No religious order or religious congregation priests could marry. Only diocesan priests BEFORE Ordination. It would cause real upheaval.

  40. This is my first posting. First of all, I am praying for New Catholic's mother. Second, my heart is truly breaking. Nevertheless, the woman had no right to make these pronouncements, however it does seem that after 12 years of Sunday conversations with the Cardinal, she has not been swayed. I hope she was not given permission to make these statements just to "start" the dialogue.

    And yes I agree with other posters - these ambiguous statements are very disheartening.

  41. Adulscens,

    I agree with you entirely; as you proclaim St. Paul's on the matter of virginity and the priesthood.

    But in my experience I have had a priest come on to me at almost 40 years old. And almost every single priest in my diocese is homosexual.

    I think priests (not bishops); should should be allowed to marry until the Church rights herself.

    They were allowed to marry for 1,200 years!

    I believe in a celibate priesthood, but not in this climate!

  42. This must be what happens when a slow news week follows a very busy one.

    Is there a shred of evidence that the Holy Father has any intention of relaxing the discipline of celibacy in the Western church? All we appear to have are the remarks of a woman who claims to be a close friend (which she may very well be), and who claims that she can talk him into it.

    But she hasn't even made the attempt. Yet.

    He could say no, don't you think?

    Or don't you?

  43. I would be interested CONSIDERED replies to this question:

    The modern Church has forced us to accept many revolutionary things in all aspects of our Catholic life.

    Let's assume this Pope gets rid of clerical celibacy. He can do it, it's not a part of the Deposit of Faith as such (or is it? That's a supplementary question).

    So the Church would have to accept it.

    My question: at what point does one say, "Enough is enough. From now on I am having nothing whatever to do with the mainstream post-Vatican II Church. That's it. I am not a schismatic, I do not intend any schism, but I cannot and will not stomach any more of this".

    Would like to know what readers' answers to that question are.

  44. No priests were not allowed to marry in the West. In some places it happened but it was seen as a abuse. St Aelred of Rivaulx's father was a married priest. He in the end was widowed and entered the Augustinian's in Hexham.

  45. Getting rid of celebacy isn't gonna increase vocations. Even the orthodox have some problems with vocations. The problem is that society has become almost entirely secular. Just look at marriage. How has society treated marriage? Everyone lives together nowadays.

  46. Getting rid of celebacy isn't gonna increase vocations. Even the orthodox have some problems with vocations. The problem is that society has become almost entirely secular. Just look at marriage. How has society treated marriage? Everyone lives together nowadays.

  47. Ok . . . If the pope allows priests to marry or allows women deacons; I will be full time SSPX not just when the 1 hour drive is convenient. I believe that this could cause a hugh divide within the church.

  48. The discipline will not change under Pope Francis.

  49. It has crossed my mind that Pope Francis is hoping to make his mark on history by re-uniting the Eastern Orthodox and the Western Catholic Church. Perhaps this is why he seems so determined to underplay his title as Pope, preferring to emphasise that he is Bishop of Rome. First among equals.

    Should this be his hope and intention, then bringing the rules of celibacy into line with those of the Eastern Orthodox would be an important and necessary step along the way. Allowing married men to be ordained ( but not allowing already ordained men to marry) could be expensive for the Church, thereby achieving another of Pope Francis' goals - a poorer Church !

  50. Just because something works in the East doesn't mean it will work in the West. There is a whole theology and understanding in the East where non-celibate clergy makes complete sense. This situation would not work in the West. Although relaxing the discipline on celibacy may very well open up more candidates for the priesthood to those that may have not considered before (not going to lie, I would be slightly more open to returning to seminary if this happened), ultimately if said discipline were to be changed, it would have to be implemented in the same manner as the East. Marriage must occur before ordination. One could argue that we have the reverse problem when the discipline of celibacy for western rite priests was more strictly enforced. Perhaps though, the solution lies not in changing a discipline, but finding more holy candidates for the Holy Priesthood.

  51. Unam Sanctam's question has been on my mind, too.
    Do we simply fall in with whatever Rome decides, as long as it isn't sinful, or do we reject whatever makes it harder for us to give God His due (say, for example, the bishops of this country deciding that we should all make a deep bow of the body before receiving Holy Communion--standing, of course--rather than genuflecting or getting down on our knees)?
    I wish I could give a helpful answer. I'm still struggling with it.

  52. 16. The sacred celibacy of clerics has also been the victim of conspiracy. Indeed, some churchmen have wretchedly forgotten their own rank and let themselves be converted by the charms and snares of pleasure. This is the aim too of the prevalent but wrong method of teaching, especially in the philosophical disciplines, a method which deceives and corrupts incautious youth in a wretched manner and gives it as drink the poison of the serpent in the goblet of Babylon. To this goal also tends the unspeakable doctrine of Communism, as it is called, a doctrine most opposed to the very natural law. For if this doctrine were accepted, the complete destruction of everyone's laws, government, property, and even of human society itself would follow.

    17. To this end also tend the most dark designs of men in the clothing of sheep, while inwardly ravening wolves. They humbly recommend themselves by means of a feigned and deceitful appearance of a purer piety, a stricter virtue and discipline; after taking their captives gently, they mildly bind them, and then kill them in secret. They make men fly in terror from all practice of religion, and they cut down and dismember the sheep of the Lord. To this end, finally -- to omit other dangers which are too well known to you -- tends the widespread disgusting infection from books and pamphlets which teach the lessons of sinning. These works, well-written and filled with deceit and cunning, are scattered at immense cost through every region for the destruction of the Christian people. They spread pestilential doctrines everywhere and deprave the minds especially of the imprudent, occasioning great losses for religion.



    NOVEMBER 9, 1846

  53. Dan Hunter: How can you be so sure Francis won't change the discipline? He seems to be of a very pragmatic orientation, and if he thinks it would help solve certain problems, e.g., lack of vocations, gay priests/seminarians (assuming he thinks they're an issue; I don't know), my sense is that he would move swiftly. I could be wrong.

    Unam Sanctam, I already reached that point nearly 20 years ago, after being subjected to all sorts of Novus Ordo hijinx at a parish in Houston, including a mass administration of the Sacrament of "Anointing of the Sick" after the homily at a Sunday Mass. "Come on up, everyone! We're all sick in some way, whether in body, mind, or spirit!" Especially given the modern architecture of the Church, I felt like I was at a Televangelist Faith Healing Service. That was the last NO Mass I attended, other than my dear father's funeral in 2001. I suppose everyone has their own personal breaking point.

    As to all the other comments about a married clergy not being a solution to the vocations crisis: I tend to agree. We already know the solutions to that problem: Traditional families, in traditional parishes; the restoration of the priest's role as "Alter Christus," and one who offers Sacrifice; and seminaries that proactively protect and foster a manly, chaste, heterosexual environment. None of this is rocket science. Experience and numbers prove it.

  54. I wouldn't be against the idea in principle, but a. It won't bring about an increase in vocations, and b. It will be used as the thin end of the wedge by those agitating for an openly gay priest/ priestess revolution. I was brought up as an Anglican. I've seen how this goes.

  55. Pierre, i thought hard about the issue and wondered if celibacy was the reason for today's high percentage of homosexual priests. If celibacy leads to a gay priesthood, then it will do so likewise to the bishops, which will in turn produce more likely a gay pope. So if celebacy is to be lifted as a logical means of pushing back the increase of gay priests, the same should be applied to bishops and popes as well. Although it has been said married priests existed in the early centuries, bishops and popes were predominantly, if not always, celibate in catholic and orthodox traditions. How do we reconcile this? Can anyone thow offer some sense? I am just trying to learn.

  56. Well, if celibacy is an ideal, but not a mandate, for priesthood, at least you wouldn't have so many rainbow-colored flag wavers!

    You might actually see more priests with beards, and more men with beards attending mass; and then you might see more Extraordinary masses being said!

  57. Misericordia ; You display earthly wisdom about 'political achievements' of unity and stuff like that.

    However, this whole thing is run by the Holy Ghost.

    There is only one person who the Holy Ghost protects from messing up his boat. That is the one who is Peter.

    I doubt Pope Francis has much say about what ultimately happens to the Church.

  58. Unam Sanctam and Sarah L: If we believe it is Christ's Church then how could we leave? To whom could we go? And if we consider that something might happen for us to leave at some point in the future, doesn't it suggest that either we don't accept that it is Christ's Church now or that our continued participation in it is conditional?

  59. Good question Unam Sanctam.

    Well ,if the Pope abolished priestly celibacy, I would say that it would be yet again another assault on the Catholic priesthood. I understand that the Catholic priest is an “alter Christus” (the most sublime of all vocations in the entire world)and since we cannot have the Sacraments without this “alter Christus”(and Christ, Our Lord – The Supreme Model - never married,)the whole nature of the Catholic Priesthood and the Church would be changed. This would be another disastrous blow to our Catholic identity.

    The words from that old lady are just that – words of an unrepentant (terrifying thing at her age – a Hail Mary for her now!), ignorant old lady. I think the Holy Father Francis would not venture such a thing.

    Lately I have been reading about the possibility of non-validity in Novus Ordo Masses where priests alter the words of consecration – and I have in my mind the many times I have witnessed this tinkering with the sacred words so I am already panic-stricken and in crisis about the mainstream Church. It’s been coming for quite some time and I’ve almost had enough especially after all the events in the Church of these past months.

    This is my thinking at present.

    For the most part our Church leaders are not leading, mainstream Catholics generally speaking, do not seem to be perturbed about all the things that upset Traditional Catholics: irreverence at Mass and in church, Holy Communion in the hand, altar girls, the disappearance of the exterior signs of Papal Authority and the Pope himself who seems to be set on doing his own thing (sorry – I pray for him – but his behavior and his lack of respect for his predecessor’s work and so many other things profoundly disturb me). And there are other things I could list – but most of you can fill in the blanks. So, today, I have decided that I am not a brick by brick Catholic anymore. It’s not working– the heretical conditioning, and malformed thinking is too widespread and deep in the mainstream Church. I see it where I live and I read about it from all of you. It’s objective reality.

    Now, I am waiting for the Holy Father’s words as Supreme Pontiff on all the serious moral issues that at present are engulfing the world in such a miasma of evil and filth and I hope he does not tarry in making his voice as Vicar of Christ heard to the ends of the earth. Then I will see.

    I thank Our Lord for the traditional Mass community that He gave me 4 years ago even if I have to travel an hour and 10 minutes to get there. (Our priest is truly an “altar Christus”). Otherwise I wouldn’t know whereto go bang my my head...

    I am not an FSSPXer but I have become a great admirer of Archbishop Lefebvre who I believe wrote somewhere that Rome had lost the faith. I remember being a bit shaken and frightened reading that, but now I tend to think he was/is right. It is terrible thing indeed, to even contemplate this never mind write it down.

    HOWEVER, I am not giving up. No sireeeee! I love the Catholic Church, I love the Catholic Priesthood, I love our Holy Sacraments, I love Our Blessed Mother and all our Saintly Friends and Holy Angels in Heaven. I love the Pope – I love being Catholic – it is God’s greatest gift to me! I could never give up the Church it is the treasure of my life and gains me access to Heaven – even from the catacombs. So much is beyond me – all I will do is try to remain faithful. Then Our Lord will help me if I have to make any dramatic decisions.

    Prayers for Holy Priests!

  60. I am an Anglican priest (or, as many of you would call me, "an Anglican") and married with four children, and I truly understand the wisdom of the celibate priesthood as the norm. My parish is much smaller than the local Roman Catholic parish, whose monsignor is the sole clergyman. If I were the sole clergyman there, I would never see my family because of the work to be done in the parish. It's not about the sex, it's about family life and the responsibilities thereof.

  61. Barbara said:

    "I am not an FSSPXer but I have become a great admirer of Archbishop Lefebvre...
    HOWEVER, I am not giving up. No sireeeee! I love the Catholic Church, I love the Catholic Priesthood, I love our Holy Sacraments, I love Our Blessed Mother and all our Saintly Friends and Holy Angels in Heaven. I love the Pope – I love being Catholic – it is God’s greatest gift to me! I could never give up the Church it is the treasure of my life and gains me access to Heaven..."

    I love the Catholic Church too and that's why we and our 10 children went where the Priests were preserving the Whole Faith for us AND our children.


    No hysterics
    For the clerics
    Lives for you

    And lead the way
    At Mass each day
    Like bull-dogs
    Proud the few

    Of course there’s
    Other soldiers
    With orders
    Valid too

    But at the gate
    To separate
    St. Pie
    Stands first in view

    And yes today
    Nice people say,
    “The battle’s lost
    Just try.”

    But I and mine
    Informed aligned…
    St. Pie is

  62. In response to Miserecordia's comment re. uniting the Roman and Easern Churchs. It is not so much the idea of "customs" as it is the major problem of the (forgive my spelling)filioque clause in the Nicene Creed. The Roman Church says the Holy Spirit emanates from both the Father and the Son, the Orthodox states the Holy Spirit comes from the Father only. So much so that when they worship together, the Roman Church drops that clause in the creed; or so I was told by a reliable Carmelite teacher/professor.

  63. Yes, let's 'restructure' the priesthood,let's rationalize and intelectualize as to why it should be done, let's everyone with both left twisted hands, living-making incapable parasite, every 'philosopher',scum, every ecoli stench sniffing pervert, non-believer, ferral monks and nuns, devorcees,guilible industry members, etc, etc...become the priests and priestesees of gOD! BTW, we aren't sexists. Let's fill to capacity every presbetery and than, we the faithfull, let's up size our already unbearable mortgages to feed, maintain and make those happy married 'clergy' of gOD even more happy, googoo cutely into each other eyes and cooing:" Finally, O' lORd!" Grrrrrrrrrrr...

  64. Cathy, no, I'm not thinking of leaving the Catholic Church!!! :) I'm talking about going to Mass only to a SSPX or other priest who offers the Traditional Roman rite. I would rather die than leave the Catholic Church. That was never an option. I'm talking about how long I'm going to put up with the Novus Ordo Masses and some of the goofiness that happens with them if my family can attend a Traditional Latin Mass instead.

  65. @Mjh,


    Not an expert, not at all, but have looked into the issue, i.e., the dividing issues between East and West. The filoque is indeed an issue, but really when the historical underpinnings are comprehended in toto , it is not that huge. Really it is more a matter of the primacy of the occupier of the Chair of Peter - whose primacy the East does and always has acknowledged, at least as a "first among equals" - but then then the nuanced understanding of that implication upon the actual practical workings of the church, especially in her disciplines but also doctrine, are really the more central to the present divide. Add to that the recent movements in the West that have clouded the liturgical landscape, i.e., Vatican II and the more insidious liturgical abuse under the guise of an unwritten but quite well accepted "spirit of VII." This has rekindled the skepticism of those in the East who would say that the church in the West is heretical, or at the very least, not possessing anymore a serious liturgy. (If the pope were to make ANY headway along these lines, this re-establishment of a more serious approach to liturgy, is really the prerequisite, at least as many read this) So, it is more than the filoque, which is much more easily resolved through serious dialog.

  66. I would rather have Optional celibacy for a few well-off dioceses out there.

  67. The only way a married priesthood would work would be if we go full Protestant. The Baptist preacher and his wife live very well. But because the congregation is paying for her and her children anyone in the congregation can complain about her dress, childrearing and how she runs her-- the congregations property, household. She can also be replaced. The pastor can get divorced and marry again. I don't know how the orthodox handle this but it doesn't matter. In America we are surrounded by Protestants and most people have never seen a Byzantine Catholic or orthodox. I think many women would find that the reality is not as fun as their silly fantasies

  68. so if priests are eventually allowed to marry, what about religious? Can monks and nuns then marry?

    what then, is the religious life?

  69. I have a soft-spot for the reverence and gestures of the Eastern Liturgies, but the problem with the Orthodox is that they are stuck in a time-warp 1000 years old.

    It's a ruse to say only the filoque clause (And that does demean the Son of God, by the way) is the only problem. Dogma and Doctrine about the Blessed Virgin Mary are HUGE problems and I don't have much patience for justifying any of the Marian Doctrines of the last 10 centuries to folks who should know better.

    They also detest Our Lady of Fatima and what she says about "..Russia and her errors." That's a big problem for any devout Catholic.

    The Orthodox object fiercely to the Scholasticism of St. Thomas Aquinas, preferring the vagueness of all-encompassing "mystery" (A bit of St. Bonaventure there, admittedly, but also subject to a lot of new-agey hocus-pocus theology as well).

    Then there are the Orthodox "saints" of the last 1000 years. Uhmm, only PETER can make that determination, so..

    Orthodox objections include every single council of the last 1000 years.

    The biggest objection is the belief that the ethnicity of a soul has some bearing on what Church he belongs! I have Orthodox friends who insist I'm ROMAN Catholic because I'm Sicilian!

    They don't believe me when I tell them I'm attached to Peter and not an ethnic church.

    If by some miracle the Mohammedans in Saudi Arabia were converted to Catholicism, and some tragedy led to the Holy Father making residence in Mecca, I would be a Meccan Catholic. If the Hindu in India received the same grace, and the See of Peter decided similarly, I could be a New Dehli Catholic, etc..

    So if Bergoglio has in mind some ecu-maniacal Disney-film, where thousand-year differences are smoothed over with some barbecue and some pentecostal pop-bands, he better think again.



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