Bonds of brotherhood in all-male Catholic clergy

  • Article by: David Pence
  • Updated: March 12, 2013 - 8:11 PM

Why the church’s ‘band of brothers’ must hold fast to the ancient faith.

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pumiceMar. 12, 1310:26 PM

From the article: "We Catholics cannot ask Protestants or atheists or feminists to affirm our understanding." Who can affirm David Pence's "understanding"? More to the point, who can understand David Pence's affirmation?

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barbjensMar. 13, 13 6:59 AM

I find all this "Pomp and Circumstance" hardly relatable to what is in the Bible. Where do they get the need for the "costumes" and riches surounding them at the Vatican. There was a time when Priests did marry but they changed that rule. Seems that most of these are "man made" rules, not according to the Bible.

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twspt7Mar. 13, 13 8:38 AM

"The vow of celibacy — by men who are deeply and naturally drawn to women — is a pledge to forgo the sexual communion of marriage in favor of the sacral bonds of worship, building up the Body of Christ. This deep love, which replaces the need for offspring by overcoming death, bears much fruit in this life" It is this basic misunderstanding of human sexuality - the belief that sexual relations exist only for procreation - that lies at the core of the terrible problems the Church has within it's hierarchy concerning sexual misconduct. Few people voluntarily choose to be celibate; however, celibacy is a requirement for those men that wish to join the priesthood. It is possible to suppress man's natural sexual desire, but as we have seen, such suppression will, in many cases, manifest itself in other, far, far darker, ways.

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hermajestyMar. 13, 13 9:48 AM

Christ never demanded celibacy of his followers, and in fact, at least one disciple, Peter, who is held to be the first pope, was definitely married, as evidenced by the incident in which Jesus heals his mother-in-law. Given the culture of the times, it is highly likely that the other disciples were married, too.

The Catholic church had married clergy for the first 1100 years of its history, although there were always figures, influenced by Greek philosophy, who thought that sex was a necessary evil. The reason for the celibacy rule was to prevent priests from passing church property to their sons, although why they couldn't have solved that problem simply by making it clear that the churches were not the personal property of the priests, I don't know.

I have always belonged to Protestant denominations that had married clergy (my father was a Lutheran pastor), and for the past 30 years, they have had women clergy, many of whom are excellent.

A church that has an admitted shortage of clergy really can't afford to turn away willing aspirants, and based on what I have seen, the clergy ranks of the Protestant churches that allow women may not have the "boys' club" atmosphere of the Roman Catholic church, but that's a GOOD thing, given that half or more of the members are female.

Do you think that the Roman Catholic Church would be able to continue its ban on birth control if it had among its clergy women who have given birth?

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jgmanciniMar. 13, 1310:05 AM

Another example of someone who thinks he's the only one who should be allowed to interpret the Bible, and the rest of us should just take his word for it. So what you got out of the Bible and Jesus' teachings is that God is a man and wants men to rule on earth? I think you're seriously mistaken.

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buttlesMar. 13, 1312:38 PM

We were taught in Catechism (a long time ago) that it is not the Cardinals who choose the pope but God acting through the Holy Spirit who inspires the Cardinals to pick the right person. A friend and I have decided that, if this is true, the new pope will be Sister Simone Campbell from "Nuns on the Bus". -- Wouldn't you love to see the looks on the Cardinals' faces if they had to make that announcement?

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ivaro3Mar. 13, 1312:38 PM

I am not Catholic, but that pain that has been caused by the rigidity and lack of vision to see the truth is deep and totally unnecessary. That is not an anti-Catholic statement, because I could say the same about the Protestant church, of which I have been a member. First off, male bonding and love should be supported. But what is so stupid is to believe it's an either or issue. God created women, and common sense and common grace indicates that women have gifts that are not being used by the Catholic church. Not only is that stupid, but it hurts women in particular and also the men who get weird ideas about God and spirituality through this deeply flawed thinking. The pain and scars, spiritual and otherwise, are deep and until the Catholic Church gets it, the cause of Christ, as I see it, is perverted. God knows how many ex-Catholics I know that are deeply hurt by the sexual abuse, anti-women, guilt ridden theology of the church. God knows also I have many Catholic friends who have remained in the Church, and they are as good a people as anybody else, despite the outdated and deeply hurtful theology that is perpetuated as of this day.

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dleitsMar. 13, 13 2:06 PM

As a born and raised CAtholic with 16 years of Catholic education who is now a recovering Catholic, Pence's attempted defense of the Catholic fear of women is immediately identified as a transparent excuse for their continued male domination. The first pope and apostles WERE married, and there is ample evidence of ordained women in the first centuries of the church. Mandatory celibacy was invented by corrupt popes to ensure their clergy could have no legal heirs, and hence retain all accumulated wealth for the church. Pence's contention that men refrain from sexual love in order to better love God is a scandalous perversion of God's plan for us. This is not an either/or or zero-sum paradigm - there is nothing in conflict between a man's love for God and his sexual love for his partner. The two are actually very complimentary. This article reflects much of what is wrong with the Catholic Church today - and how they have ruled by man's rules for man's purposes instead of from God's love.

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pumiceMar. 13, 13 2:40 PM

Re: "[C]ommon sense and common grace indicates that women have gifts that are not being used by the Catholic church." Slight editing suggestion, ivaro3: Women have gifts which are used by the all-male hierarchy, specifically in the schools, hospitals and relief centers which, according to David Pence, always complete the Catholic landscape. After all, someone has to do the work....

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firefight41Mar. 14, 13 1:45 PM

Why the church’s ‘band of brothers’ must hold fast to the ancient faith. **********They may hold fast to their ancient faith, but one would believe they would hold fast to the teachings of Christ instead.

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