Monday, March 22, 2010

The NY Times discovers Greek Rite Catholics... (because their clergy are not celibate)

RUDNO, Ukraine — Let the rest of Europe be convulsed by debates over whether the celibacy of Roman Catholic priests is causing sex abuse scandals like the one now unfolding in Germany. Here in western Ukraine, many Catholic priests are married, fruitful and multiplying — with the Vatican’s blessing.

The many feet scampering around the Volovetskiy home are testament to that.

The family’s six children range from Pavlina, 21, to Taras, 9. In the middle is Roman, 16, who wants to be a Catholic priest when he grows up. Just like his father.

Dad is the Rev. Yuriy Volovetskiy, who leads a small parish here and whose wife, Vera, teaches religious school. The Volovetskiys serve in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, which believes that celibate priests are not necessarily better priests.

Ukrainian Greek Catholics represent a branch of Catholicism that is distinct from the far more prevalent Roman Catholic one. The Ukrainian church is loyal to the pope in Rome, and its leader is a cardinal and major archbishop.

But it conducts services that resemble those in Eastern Orthodox Christianity. In religious terms, it follows the Eastern Rite, not the Latin one that is customary in Roman Catholicism.
Historically, the Vatican appears to have tolerated the traditions and attitude toward celibacy of the so-called Eastern Rite Catholics in order to retain a foothold in regions where Orthodox Christianity has dominated. But this exception suggests that the Vatican view on celibacy is not as rigid or monolithic as it might otherwise appear.
Read the rest here.


Anonymous said...

Roman Catholicism broke a one thousand year tradition when it required celibacy as a condition for ordination in the eleventh century. History shows that it is the Orthodox churches who hold to the older traditions, the Filioque being a good doctrinal example. Let's face it, Rome has changed through the centuries while Orthodoxy has remained the same.

jason said...

Actually celibacy for Roman priests goes back further than the tenth century and requiring bishops to be unmarried is also a innovation that was imposed many years after 33 AD. So are you saying Orthodoxy did not change to make bishops remain celibate? Also the filioque for the west is not a innovation, in fact that has been in Latin Creeds since the 3rd century, maybe both sides have not changed that much, we just have been different from the beginning

Anonymous said...

Yes,Jason, but unmarried bishops and the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed without the Filioque were sanctioned by the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the Undivided Church, while unmarried priests and the Creed with the Filioque addition were and are unilateral innovations of the Roman church.

jason said...

I agree with you on the Filioque, it should go. But I do not understand the hostility to celibacy, the Church of the West has decided it is the right thing for her. She has not imposed it on the East and will not (aside for some sad episodes which should not have happened or be repeated). The West does not question the East creating National Patriarchs, which is a post Ecumenical Council development. What is wrong with just having 5 patriarchs (really should just be 4).

jason said...

In fact the West accepted National Patriarchs on your side of the world as a natural development