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Author Topic: does Orthodoxy have celebate parish priests?  (Read 3521 times) Average Rating: 0
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Benjamin the Red
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« Reply #45 on: February 23, 2011, 11:58:33 AM »

The history of celibacy tied with holy orders is an interesting one. It is my understanding that the Twelve lived celibate lives after receiving the Holy Spirit and leading the Church, even those who were married (among them being St. Peter). None had children.

Just to set the record straight here, I hope you are not saying that only celebate men were respected and that married clergy were not respected as much.
There is no evidence at all to supose that the apostles lead celebate lives after Pentecost or that they did not have children.
This is certainly not Orthodox tradition & I don't know where you are getting it from.

Of course not. Celibacy has always been treasured in the Church and respected, but that is not saying others are not respected equally, including married clergy. Virginity and celibacy by both sexes were a treasure to many in the ancient world, and surely to Christianity. Many

I get it from the fact that I've never seen an Orthodox source speak of children of the Apostles and that I have heard several priests affirm that there is no tradition stating that the Twelve ever had children.

Virginity and celibacy by both sexes were a treasure to many in the ancient world, and surely to Christianity. Many saints are highly honored for their celibacy, even when it is completely unneeded (how many husband/wife pairs of saints do we praise for living a white marriage?). I don't see why people are hostile to the idea that the Holy Apostles themselves wouldn't also ever practice this, like it's illogical. It would be very practical, actually. They travelled a lot and were under constant threat of death. They weren't ideal family-men, especially after Pentecost.

Again, our faith doesn't hang on this at all, but neither does it hang on the ascetics of any saints...that doesn't mean we ignore it. If they had children, then fine, they had children...doesn't affect the faith at all. I'm simply stating that I have heard this affirmed multiple times, and have never seen evidence to the contrary.
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« Reply #46 on: February 23, 2011, 12:31:27 PM »

The history of celibacy tied with holy orders is an interesting one. It is my understanding that the Twelve lived celibate lives after receiving the Holy Spirit and leading the Church, even those who were married (among them being St. Peter). None had children.

Just to set the record straight here, I hope you are not saying that only celebate men were respected and that married clergy were not respected as much.
There is no evidence at all to supose that the apostles lead celebate lives after Pentecost or that they did not have children.
This is certainly not Orthodox tradition & I don't know where you are getting it from.

Of course not. Celibacy has always been treasured in the Church and respected, but that is not saying others are not respected equally, including married clergy. Virginity and celibacy by both sexes were a treasure to many in the ancient world, and surely to Christianity. Many

I get it from the fact that I've never seen an Orthodox source speak of children of the Apostles and that I have heard several priests affirm that there is no tradition stating that the Twelve ever had children.
You have been misinformed. Or lied to.

Quote
Virginity and celibacy by both sexes were a treasure to many in the ancient world, and surely to Christianity. Many saints are highly honored for their celibacy, even when it is completely unneeded (how many husband/wife pairs of saints do we praise for living a white marriage?).

The so called "white marriage" is an abomination promoted by monks who should have minded their own business in the monastery.


Quote
I don't see why people are hostile to the idea that the Holy Apostles themselves wouldn't also ever practice this, like it's illogical. It would be very practical, actually. They travelled a lot and were under constant threat of death. They weren't ideal family-men, especially after Pentecost.
Uh, because Scripture and Tradition tell us otherwise.

Quote
Again, our faith doesn't hang on this at all, but neither does it hang on the ascetics of any saints...that doesn't mean we ignore it. If they had children, then fine, they had children...doesn't affect the faith at all. I'm simply stating that I have heard this affirmed multiple times, and have never seen evidence to the contrary.
When I get a moment, I'll post.
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« Reply #47 on: February 23, 2011, 12:36:14 PM »

May the blessing of the Lord be with you!

Would you say that the same is true of hieromonks and hierodeacons, albiet to a lesser degree? They are called to live monastically, but are also bound to be priests and deacons, acting and serving as such, whether they are currently at a monastery or not?

Well, the case with hieromonks is that upon ordination (which is done by a bishop) they are directed by the bishop to remain with the monastery - thus, being obedient to the Abbot is part of their obedience to the Bishop.  They are able to remain fully in the monastic life in such a capacity; however, their first obedience will be to the bishop, who has the prerogative to move him if need be, something that he cannot choose to do, and which the Abbot can only half-accomplish (the Abbot can't move him to another place, but can remove him from the monastery).

Perhaps it is considered a technicality, but are not all bishops to be tonsured as monastics? I have been under the impression that if a priest is not a monastic and is to be consecrated as a bishop, he must first receive monastic tonsure. Am I mistaken, Father?

The prevailing practice is to ordain bishops from the ranks of the Archimandrites, and to be an Archimandrite (an office which sprung out of monasticism) one must be a monk, so yes, they should be; however, there is no reason that a non-monastic celibate or widower cannot be ordained as a bishop - the Church chooses not to.
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« Reply #48 on: February 23, 2011, 01:54:31 PM »

Let me throw something out there for your consideration. It is my understanding that the canons of the Church, up to the Seventh Ecumenical Council, never forbade married bishops. The only restrictions I've found after the Apostolic canons that forbade separating a man and his wife, were couple of canons at the Council at Trullo that said (a) married bishops must physically separate from their wives and both shall live celibate lives, and (b) if a married man were to become a bishop, he and his wife are to likewise be separated and live celibate lives. It can certainly be argued that the second canon does indeed makes it impossible for a bishop to live a married life at and after his ordination. However, it can also be argued that a married man can become a bishop if he and his wife agree to live separately and not have sexual relations as husband and wife; that is, the bishop is a married man in name only and not in actual practice. It is my opinion that the reasons for this development, which is contrary to the Holy Scriptures and the Apostolic Canons, were rooted not in theology or ecclesiology but in practical concerns of state and church of that time. These canons are therefore temporary (as stated in the first instance) and peculiar to the past. What we now have is largely inertia and, as a good thing, the reluctance to change an age old practice and those practical considerations that are always brought up when the subject comes up, such as how can you be married when you are always working and traveling?.
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« Reply #49 on: February 23, 2011, 02:07:57 PM »

Perhaps it is considered a technicality, but are not all bishops to be tonsured as monastics? I have been under the impression that if a priest is not a monastic and is to be consecrated as a bishop, he must first receive monastic tonsure. Am I mistaken, Father?

Everywhere but the Church of Antioch.
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« Reply #50 on: February 23, 2011, 02:16:27 PM »


Q Huh

With The speed People travel at, In this day And Age ,seperation Wouldn't be that Long Anyway ....Cannons I Read
On this Forum, are suppose to be Guide Post, Why Are they being interpreted so strict when it comes to a Bishop being celibate...

What Is Required to Change, and allow the Holy Orthodox Church to return to the Ancient practice of Married Bishops..Does it mean a Ecumenical Council has to be called For, so the change can happen.......
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« Reply #51 on: February 23, 2011, 03:33:08 PM »

May the blessing of the Lord be with you!

Would you say that the same is true of hieromonks and hierodeacons, albiet to a lesser degree? They are called to live monastically, but are also bound to be priests and deacons, acting and serving as such, whether they are currently at a monastery or not?

Well, the case with hieromonks is that upon ordination (which is done by a bishop) they are directed by the bishop to remain with the monastery - thus, being obedient to the Abbot is part of their obedience to the Bishop.  They are able to remain fully in the monastic life in such a capacity; however, their first obedience will be to the bishop, who has the prerogative to move him if need be, something that he cannot choose to do, and which the Abbot can only half-accomplish (the Abbot can't move him to another place, but can remove him from the monastery).

Perhaps it is considered a technicality, but are not all bishops to be tonsured as monastics? I have been under the impression that if a priest is not a monastic and is to be consecrated as a bishop, he must first receive monastic tonsure. Am I mistaken, Father?

The prevailing practice is to ordain bishops from the ranks of the Archimandrites, and to be an Archimandrite (an office which sprung out of monasticism) one must be a monk, so yes, they should be; however, there is no reason that a non-monastic celibate or widower cannot be ordained as a bishop - the Church chooses not to.
Chooses not to? She does all the time.  The great St. Innocent of Moscow, Enlightener of Alaska, was widowed, tonsured as a monk, and consecrated as bishop in a matter of just over two weeks.
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« Reply #52 on: February 23, 2011, 03:38:11 PM »

Chooses not to? She does all the time.  The great St. Innocent of Moscow, Enlightener of Alaska, was widowed, tonsured as a monk, and consecrated as bishop in a matter of just over two weeks.

You've supported my point - that the Church chooses not to ordain non-monastics, even though she is free to - rather than contradicted it.
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« Reply #53 on: February 23, 2011, 04:04:02 PM »


Q Huh

With The speed People travel at, In this day And Age ,seperation Wouldn't be that Long Anyway ....

It's not the flight or travel time per se, though if you think about the OCA Diocese of the South, it's from NC to N. Mexico, I believe. It's that a Bishop is constantly traveling, for days or weeks at the time. Check out a Bishop or Metropolitan's itinerary sometime. If they're in good health, they spend a lot of time on the road.
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« Reply #54 on: February 23, 2011, 04:04:38 PM »

Chooses not to? She does all the time.  The great St. Innocent of Moscow, Enlightener of Alaska, was widowed, tonsured as a monk, and consecrated as bishop in a matter of just over two weeks.

You've supported my point - that the Church chooses not to ordain non-monastics, even though she is free to - rather than contradicted it.
It seemed that you made a rather blanket statement, Father.  If you meant to just to indicate a general rule, that the Church rather prefers to consecrate archimandrites rather than choosing not to ordain widowers, then I misunderstood you.
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« Reply #55 on: February 23, 2011, 04:07:54 PM »

After reading my post twice again, I just don't think I was clear enough to begin with.  Forgive me.
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« Reply #56 on: February 23, 2011, 04:17:18 PM »

After reading my post twice again, I just don't think I was clear enough to begin with.  Forgive me.
Nothing to be forgiven, Father. Just being sure (perhaps arguing with the Vatican's teaching on this matter has renedered me hyper-sensitive on this).

btw, I'm not sold on the idea of unwidowed married bishops.
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« Reply #57 on: February 23, 2011, 05:02:30 PM »

btw, I'm not sold on the idea of unwidowed married bishops.

After working at our Metropolis, and seeing up-close the schedule and work regimen of a bishop, I'm 100% against even discussion of a married episcopacy unless everyone starts tithing 10% and we can afford to have smaller diocese.
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« Reply #58 on: February 23, 2011, 05:43:07 PM »

The prevailing practice is to ordain bishops from the ranks of the Archimandrites, and to be an Archimandrite (an office which sprung out of monasticism) one must be a monk, so yes, they should be; however, there is no reason that a non-monastic celibate or widower cannot be ordained as a bishop - the Church chooses not to.
Chooses not to? She does all the time.  The great St. Innocent of Moscow, Enlightener of Alaska, was widowed, tonsured as a monk, and consecrated as bishop in a matter of just over two weeks.

After reading my post twice again, I just don't think I was clear enough to begin with.  Forgive me.
Nothing to be forgiven, Father. Just being sure (perhaps arguing with the Vatican's teaching on this matter has renedered me hyper-sensitive on this).

btw, I'm not sold on the idea of unwidowed married bishops.

Thank you both, because I think you've cleared up a point of confusion I had concerning Fr. George's post.

I took him, at the end, to mean that non-monastics could be consecrated to the Holy Episcopacy without monastic tonsure at all. It seems to me now that he was referring to non-monastics being tonsured immediately (or shortly prior to) being consecrated.

My line of thinking was something like: "Non-monastics can be made bishops without monastic tonsure? But, two of the most recognized vestments of the bishop aren't even vestment, but are part of the monastic habit (klobuk and mantle). How could a non-monastic be made a bishop and wear a monastic habit? Or would the non-monastic bishop just not wear these? That would be weird."

But I believe I'm all cleared up now. Grin Thank you both!
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« Reply #59 on: February 24, 2011, 11:55:21 AM »

Quote
"Non-monastics can be made bishops without monastic tonsure? But, two of the most recognized vestments of the bishop aren't even vestment, but are part of the monastic habit (klobuk and mantle). How could a non-monastic be made a bishop and wear a monastic habit? Or would the non-monastic bishop just not wear these? That would be weird."
Well, it has happened before that Orthodox bishops didn't wear the "potcap" and "camilafca" . You can look at my profile picture for one.
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« Reply #60 on: February 24, 2011, 12:34:33 PM »

Thank you both, because I think you've cleared up a point of confusion I had concerning Fr. George's post.

I took him, at the end, to mean that non-monastics could be consecrated to the Holy Episcopacy without monastic tonsure at all. It seems to me now that he was referring to non-monastics being tonsured immediately (or shortly prior to) being consecrated.

My line of thinking was something like: "Non-monastics can be made bishops without monastic tonsure? But, two of the most recognized vestments of the bishop aren't even vestment, but are part of the monastic habit (klobuk and mantle). How could a non-monastic be made a bishop and wear a monastic habit? Or would the non-monastic bishop just not wear these? That would be weird."

But I believe I'm all cleared up now. Grin Thank you both!

Just to clarify: Today, there are indeed Orthodox bishops throughout the world who have never been tonsured as monastics. Requiring tonsure is a pious custom, but not part of the canonical tradition.

As far as I can tell, tonsure became almost universal after the Iconoclastic controversy, since the monks would literally whip up the Blues and start a riot otherwise. But, even then, it was a de facto requirement, not de jure. The custom naturally spread to all the Slavs, since they entered the Church after its dominance.

That said, it's a custom with a long pedigree. St. Athanasius the Great seems to have been the first to insist on it, since he preferred to choose anti-Arian monks from the desert to take over vacant sees.

In his case (and many others for several centuries), the monastic tonsure itself was not the issue. He wanted actual monks, who had lived in monasteries and were known for asceticism. Tonsure itself was irrelevant, especially since there was a belief that ordination, just like martyrdom and monastic tonsure, was a "second baptism" that washed away (most) sins.
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« Reply #61 on: February 24, 2011, 12:59:43 PM »

Thank you both, because I think you've cleared up a point of confusion I had concerning Fr. George's post.

I took him, at the end, to mean that non-monastics could be consecrated to the Holy Episcopacy without monastic tonsure at all. It seems to me now that he was referring to non-monastics being tonsured immediately (or shortly prior to) being consecrated.

My line of thinking was something like: "Non-monastics can be made bishops without monastic tonsure? But, two of the most recognized vestments of the bishop aren't even vestment, but are part of the monastic habit (klobuk and mantle). How could a non-monastic be made a bishop and wear a monastic habit? Or would the non-monastic bishop just not wear these? That would be weird."

But I believe I'm all cleared up now. Grin Thank you both!

My point was what pensate's point is (emphasis mine):

Just to clarify: Today, there are indeed Orthodox bishops throughout the world who have never been tonsured as monastics. Requiring tonsure is a pious custom, but not part of the canonical tradition.

As far as I can tell, tonsure became almost universal after the Iconoclastic controversy, since the monks would literally whip up the Blues and start a riot otherwise. But, even then, it was a de facto requirement, not de jure. The custom naturally spread to all the Slavs, since they entered the Church after its dominance.

That said, it's a custom with a long pedigree. St. Athanasius the Great seems to have been the first to insist on it, since he preferred to choose anti-Arian monks from the desert to take over vacant sees.

In his case (and many others for several centuries), the monastic tonsure itself was not the issue. He wanted actual monks, who had lived in monasteries and were known for asceticism. Tonsure itself was irrelevant, especially since there was a belief that ordination, just like martyrdom and monastic tonsure, was a "second baptism" that washed away (most) sins.

In one sentence: The Church doesn't have to tonsure men before they are ordained as bishops, but she chooses to.
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« Reply #62 on: February 24, 2011, 01:59:19 PM »

Interesting. And so there exists in the world Orthodox bishops who wear the klobuk and mantle of the monastic without ever having received tonsure?

Actually, I guess that's no more bizzare than the Patriarch of Moscow or the Catholicos of Georgia wearing a koukoulion without being tonsured into the Great Schema.

Still seems weird to me, though!
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« Reply #63 on: February 24, 2011, 03:00:22 PM »

Interesting. And so there exists in the world Orthodox bishops who wear the klobuk and mantle of the monastic without ever having received tonsure?

And the same bishop could form a monastery in his own diocese, tonsure monks, etc. As the wedding marries a man to his wife, and tonsure a man to his monastery, the ordination/consecration of a bishop marries him to his diocese.

Actually, there are a number of parallels between a bishop and a monk; each must obtain permission to travel, is wedded to his bride (diocese & monastery) for life, is to fully self-sacrifice for his calling, can have spiritual children, etc.
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« Reply #64 on: February 24, 2011, 03:30:14 PM »

Actually, there are a number of parallels between a bishop and a monk; each must obtain permission to travel, is wedded to his bride (diocese & monastery) for life,

Not necessarily for life since even in the Russian Empire there were retirement ages for bishops and when a bishop retired he went to a monastery.
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