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Author Topic: Bishops and Celibacy  (Read 2486 times) Average Rating: 0
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GabrieltheCelt
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« on: February 22, 2011, 11:33:08 PM »

Hey y'all,

 I was recently having a discussion with a rather learned fellow and the topic of bishops and celibacy came up.  Another person asked what the precedent was to having non-married men as bishops and why they must remained celibate.  The answer given was because it's simply a matter of practicality; bishops must do an awful lot of traveling and would be away from their wives a good amount of time and would not make ideal marriages.  That answer made practical sense, but I had always thought there was more to it.  Can any of our priests or learned scholars, seminarians, etc... shed some more light on this issue?  Thanks a million!

 In ICXC,

 Gabriel   
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« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2011, 11:52:13 PM »



At the Late Serbian Orthodox  Metroplitan Christopher's Funeral his Children Attended .......What I would like to see is a return to Married Bishops, also there's room for Celibate Bishops as well....We should have Both...And a return of Female Deacons as well..... police



Hey y'all,

 I was recently having a discussion with a rather learned fellow and the topic of bishops and celibacy came up.  Another person asked what the precedent was to having non-married men as bishops and why they must remained celibate.  The answer given was because it's simply a matter of practicality; bishops must do an awful lot of traveling and would be away from their wives a good amount of time and would not make ideal marriages.  That answer made practical sense, but I had always thought there was more to it.  Can any of our priests or learned scholars, seminarians, etc... shed some more light on this issue?  Thanks a million!

 In ICXC,

 Gabriel   
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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2011, 01:27:34 AM »

This is one of the few things in Odoxy that doesn't make sense to me either. Why are priests allowed but bishops not?
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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2011, 02:11:24 AM »

I understand that with bishops there's also the potential problem of inheritance, the fear that a bishop may pass on church property as an inheritance to his children. Don't allow the bishop to be married, and--we hope Shocked--he won't father any children. A priest, OTOH, can claim no church property as his own to begin with, since he serves merely as a delegate of his bishop.
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« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2011, 02:21:15 AM »

Wasn't that a western Catholic Clergy excuse, because they have Fear of woman.....Eastern Orthodoxy Christianity  Never had that fear of woman,if we did ,we wouldn't have married priests in this day and age....... Grin So i vote Let Our Bishops have wives...Let Married Priests be elevated to Bishops if there found worthy......


I understand that with bishops there's also the potential problem of inheritance, the fear that a bishop may pass on church property as an inheritance to his children. Don't allow the bishop to be married, and--we hope Shocked--he won't father any children. A priest, OTOH, can claim no church property as his own to begin with, since he serves merely as a delegate of his bishop.
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« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2011, 09:58:23 AM »

Celibate bishops are a very, very ancient tradition in the Church. Even before bishops were required to be monastics, many were celibate for the practical reasons listed: he wouldn't make a good husband! He is wedded to his diocese (this is quite obvious from the canons and the service for the consecration of a bishop), and she must always come first in his life. It would be impractical for him to have a wife and family, and unfair to the wife and family to be mostly deprived of their husband and father.

Think of your own parish priest for a moment. How busy is he? How long does he stay at the parish in study, prayer, writing and tending to the local flock? How long does he spend away at various clergy conferences/councils? Is he involved in any ministry outside of the parish? He is a busy man, and he only has one parish! Now, make him a bishop, tending to all of his priests, having MORE councils, conferences and the like to attend, traveling around to visit all of his parishes and monasteries, etc.

I know there are a few people here who live near our heirarchs and see when they're home, when they're gone and may even know occasionally why they're gone. I make regular prilgrimages to Holy Cross Hermitage in Wayne, WV, which is the residence of His Grace George. Either he is travelling to various parishes or meetings (either here or in Russia) or he is busy serving at the monastery. It looks rough on my parish priest, I couldn't imagine Vladyka having a wife and kids!
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« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2011, 10:47:18 AM »

I know there are a few people here who live near our heirarchs and see when they're home, when they're gone and may even know occasionally why they're gone.

A GOA bishop I know works pretty much 7 days a week. He travels to different parishes every weekend and puts in a full week in his office as well.
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« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2011, 11:28:23 AM »

Celibate bishops are a very, very ancient tradition in the Church. Even before bishops were required to be monastics, many were celibate for the practical reasons listed:
"Ancient" but not in the Early Church for sure.  The New Testament states that being married (husband of one wife) is one of the requirements.
Normally bishops were not elected until they were mature and most of their children were grown up thus providing evidence or not that they were good fathers.
I believe that last married Patriarch of Constantinople was in the 11th century.  Coming from a married background provided a lot of good experience.  That is why so many of the Russian Bishops were widowers and very much loved for their pastoral touch.  Real fathers of their spiritual children.
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« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2011, 07:22:44 PM »

One of the Ecumenical Councils decided that from that council on, all new bishops would be celibate.  I believe it was in the Fifth or Sixth Century.  The bishops that were married stayed married, but all new bishops would not be.  One of the issues was inheritance.
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« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2011, 09:25:03 PM »

Thanks for the answers, friends.  But by all means, continue to give your insight if you want to.
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« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2011, 09:52:09 PM »

One of the Ecumenical Councils decided that from that council on, all new bishops would be celibate.  I believe it was in the Fifth or Sixth Century.  The bishops that were married stayed married, but all new bishops would not be.  One of the issues was inheritance.

It was the Council at Trullo (692 AD), which had two canons on the subject. Neither of the canons forbid the ordination of married men to the episcopacy but did require them to separate themselves from their wives and for both husband and wife to live in celibacy. It is important to note the reason given for this admitted deviation from Apostolic Canons and the Holy Scripture: nothing to do with theology, ecclesiology or dogma but merely order in the Church because many people were "scandalized" that the bishop and his wife lived as ordinary husband and wife--under one roof, raising a family and having sex. Also note that neither canon changes the formal marital status of the bishop; they just separate a man and his wife, which is indeed contrary to Apostolic Canon 5, 1 Timothy 3 and the Lord's own words in Matthew 19:6  "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. "

Canon XII. Moreover this also has come to our knowledge, that in Africa and Libya and in other places the most God-beloved bishops in those parts do not refuse to live with their wives, even after consecration, thereby giving scandal and offence to the people.  Since, therefore, it is our particular care that all things tend to the good of the flock placed in our hands and committed to us,—it has seemed good that henceforth nothing of the kind shall in any way occur.  And we say this, not to abolish and overthrow what things were established of old by Apostolic authority, but as caring for the health of the people and their advance to better things, and lest the ecclesiastical state should suffer any reproach.  For the divine Apostle says:  “Do all to the glory of God, give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Greeks, nor to the Church of God, even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit but the profit of many, that they may be saved.  Be ye imitators of me even as I also am of Christ.”  But if any shall have been observed to do such a thing, let him be deposed.

Notes.

Ancient Epitome of Canon XII: Although it has been decreed that wives are not to be cast forth, nevertheless that we may counsel for the better, we give command that no one ordained a bishop shall any longer live with his wife.

Aristenus: The fifth Apostolic canon allows neither bishop, presbyter, nor deacon to cast forth his wife under pretext of piety; and assigns penalties for any that shall do so, and if he will not amend he is to be deposed.  But this canon on the other hand does not permit a bishop even to live with his wife after his consecration.  But by this change no contempt is meant to be poured out upon what had been established by Apostolic authority, but it was made through care for the people’s health and for leading on to better things, and for fear 371that the sacerdotal estate might suffer some wrong.

Van Espen: In the time of this canon [of the Apostles so called] not only presbyters and deacons, but bishops also, it is clear, were allowed by Eastern custom to have their wives; and Zonaras and Balsamon note that even until the Sixth Council, commonly called in Trullo, bishops were allowed to have their wives. But not only do they command [in this canon] that bishops after their consecration no longer have commerce with their own wives, but further, they prohibit them even to presume to live with them.

Zonaras: When the faith first was born and came forth into the world, the Apostles treated with greater softness and indulgence those who embraced the truth, which as yet was not scattered far and wide, nor did they exact from them perfection in all respects, but made great allowances for their weakness and for the inveterate force of the customs with which they were surrounded, both among the heathen and among the Jews.  But now, when far and wide our religion has been propagated, more strenuous efforts were made to enforce those things which pertain to a higher and holier life, as our angelical worship increased day by day, and to insist on by law a life of continence to those who were elevated to the episcopate, so that not only they should abstain from their wives, but that they should have them no longer as bed-fellows; and not only that they no longer admit them as sharers of their bed, but they do not allow them even to stop under the same roof or in the house.

Source: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xiv.iii.xiii.html

Canon XLVIII.

The wife of him who is advanced to the Episcopal dignity, shall be separated from her husband by their mutual consent, and after his ordination and consecration to the episcopate she shall enter a monastery situated at a distance from the abode of the bishop, and there let her enjoy the bishop’s provision.  And if she is deemed worthy she may be advanced to the dignity of a deaconess.

Notes.

Ancient Epitome of Canon XLVIII: She who is separated from one about to be consecrated bishop, shall enter a monastery after his ordination, situated at a distance from the See city, and she shall be provided for by the bishop.

Source: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xiv.iii.xlix.html



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« Last Edit: February 24, 2011, 01:52:33 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2011, 09:57:13 PM »

^^Damn, son, you THE OCnet Guru!!!

And shame on you priests!  I know some of y'all read this and didn't say anything... shame! LOL  Grin
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« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2011, 10:09:07 PM »

Hey y'all,

 I was recently having a discussion with a rather learned fellow and the topic of bishops and celibacy came up.  Another person asked what the precedent was to having non-married men as bishops and why they must remained celibate.  The answer given was because it's simply a matter of practicality; bishops must do an awful lot of traveling and would be away from their wives a good amount of time and would not make ideal marriages.  That answer made practical sense, but I had always thought there was more to it.  Can any of our priests or learned scholars, seminarians, etc... shed some more light on this issue?  Thanks a million!

 In ICXC,

 Gabriel  


In 531, the Emperor Justinian I required the following:

"It is instituted that no one be ordained bishop except he who possesses among other virtues, goodness and does not live with a wife and is not the father of children, but instead of a wife serves the holy Church, and instead of children, he has as his own all the Christian Orthodox people... " (Corpus Juris Civilis, 1.3.47)

Thus, it was the law of the land. And all in the Orthodox oecumene thought it right and proper. It was therefore often considered scandalous if a married man became a bishop and didn't send his wife to a monastery. Refusing to do so was illegal (and against ecclesiastical norms), and no man with children was supposed to become a bishop, even if he was now a widower. You have to keep in mind that bishops were often very powerful, overseeing considerable financial holdings. Sometimes, the bishop would also serve as the local magistrate, ruling on ecclesiastical and civil matters. So, a lot was at stake. And, as we see from the spiritual literature of the time, asceticism and celibacy were highly valued spiritual traits.

Thus, when the Council in Trullo (aka the Quinisext Ecumenical Council) met almost 170 years later to address matters of church discipline, it issued Canon 12 in response to some backwater bishops in "Africa and Libya" who were still living with their wives and thereby creating a "scandal and offense to the people." Canon 12 deposes any bishop who insists on living with his wife, having in mind the legal and ecclesiastical ideal set by Justinian that no bishop should have children or wife.

The very same council, however, in Canon 13, forbids deacons and priests from sending away their wives, citing all of the various Scriptural and previous canonical material on the subject.

Archimandrite Meletios Sakellaropoulos has this to say on the matter in Έκκλησιαστικον δίκαιον τής 'Ανατολικής 'Ορθοδόξου Εκκλησίας (Athens, 1898):

"The Synod at Trullo . . . did not legislate the celibacy of the bishops, as some understood it, but considered that practice, which already existed, as law and that its purpose was to validate an already existing tradition and to forbid the transgressions which took place in some areas...The celibacy of the bishops was not imposed arbitrarily by this or that synod, but by the demand, so to speak, of the entire body of the church and for that reason it was never disputed."

The great canonist Panagiotes Boumes wrote an excellent article in the Greek Orthodox Theological Review, in which he demonstrates how Canon 12 of Trullo is a quintessential example of the pastoral use of oikonomia, and, as such, "It is possible, even without convening an ecumenical synod, for us to return from a position of economy to that of apostolic exactness [i.e. having married bishops, per Scripture and Apostolic Canon 5]. If it is possible for a local synod to deviate from exactness in accordance with economy, how much more is it possible for it to abandon economy and return to exactness?"

However, as he says, good sense probably precludes this, since schism may ensue -- an observation that points, I think, to the underlying reality that married bishops still would be a cause for "scandal and offense to the people."
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« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2011, 10:27:12 PM »

Hey y'all,

 I was recently having a discussion with a rather learned fellow and the topic of bishops and celibacy came up.  Another person asked what the precedent was to having non-married men as bishops and why they must remained celibate.  The answer given was because it's simply a matter of practicality; bishops must do an awful lot of traveling and would be away from their wives a good amount of time and would not make ideal marriages.  That answer made practical sense, but I had always thought there was more to it.  Can any of our priests or learned scholars, seminarians, etc... shed some more light on this issue?  Thanks a million!

 In ICXC,

 Gabriel  


In 531, the Emperor Justinian I required the following:

"It is instituted that no one be ordained bishop except he who possesses among other virtues, goodness and does not live with a wife and is not the father of children, but instead of a wife serves the holy Church, and instead of children, he has as his own all the Christian Orthodox people... " (Corpus Juris Civilis, 1.3.47)

Thus, it was the law of the land. And all in the Orthodox oecumene thought it right and proper. It was therefore often considered scandalous if a married man became a bishop and didn't send his wife to a monastery. Refusing to do so was illegal (and against ecclesiastical norms). You have to keep in mind that bishops were often very powerful, overseeing considerable financial holdings. Often, the bishop would also serve as the local magistrate, ruling on ecclesiastical and civil matters. So, a lot was at stake. Also, as we see from the spiritual literature of the time, asceticism and celibacy were highly valued spiritual traits.

Thus, when the Council in Trullo (aka the Quinisext Ecumenical Council) met to address matters of church discipline, it issued Canon 12 in response to some backwater bishops in "Africa and Libya" who were still living with their wives and thereby creating a "scandal and offense to the people." Canon 12 deposes any bishop living with his wife, presumably having in mind the ideal set by Justinian that no bishop should have children or wife.

The very same council, however, in Canon 13, forbids deacons and priests from sending away their wives, citing all of the various Scriptural and previous canonical material on the subject.

Archimandrite Meletios Sakellaropoulos has this to say on the matter in Έκκλησιαστικον δίκαιον τής 'Ανατολικής 'Ορθοδόξου Εκκλησίας (Athens, 1898):

"The Synod at Trullo . . . did not legislate the celibacy of the bishops, as some understood it, but considered that practice, which already existed, as law and that its purpose was to validate an already existing tradition and to forbid the transgressions which took place in some areas...The celibacy of the bishops was not imposed arbitrarily by this or that synod, but by the demand, so to speak, of the entire body of the church and for that reason it was never disputed."

The great canonist Panagiotes Bournes wrote an excellent article in the Greek Orthodox Theological Review, in which he demonstrates how Canon 12 of Trullo is a quintessential example of the pastoral use of oikonomia, and, as such, "It is possible, even without convening an ecumenical synod, for us to return from a position of economy to that of apostolic exactness [i.e. having married bishops, per Scripture and Apostolic Canon 5]. If it is possible for a local synod to deviate from exactness in accordance with economy, how much more is it possible for it to abandon economy and return to exactness?"

However, as he says, good sense probably precludes this, since schism may ensue -- an observation that points, I think, to the underlying reality that married bishops still would be a cause for "scandal and offense to the people."

Thank you for the information; as usual, you are a great source on these matters. I should like to make two points. First, it strikes me as odd that an Emperor could so readily overturn the Holy Scriptures and Apostolic Canon Five and that the Church Herself thinks nothing of it as if the words of the Lord himself, of the Holy Apostle Paul and of the Apostolic fathers pale in comparison--to what? Popular piety? No, even centuries later the Fathers at Trullo made it clear that they did not mean to disregard the Scriptures or the Apostolic canons. If the argument is made, as it is often made in conjunction with developments like this (that is, without any solid foundation) that the Holy Spirit guided the Church in this direction, where are decisions of the Ecumenical Councils before Trullo? Where are the actual words, "it seemed good to us and the Holy Spirit.." in either of the Trullan canons. THey are not there because the Fathers did not dare utter them.

My second point is my wholehearted agreement with Panagiotes Bournes, with a slight exception: the point about married bishops still being a cause of offense and scandal to folks may be right but not in an absolute sense. The present situation is also a scandal to some people and they have solid theological and ecclesiological grounds to be offended, to say nothing of scandals that been caused by celibates. I do not wish to weigh who has caused, or may cause, more scandal. The truth is that I believe any bishop, married or not, can sin and cause scandal simply because they are part of the laos and as such are all liable to sin. The long and short of it is that we are shortchanging the Holy Spirit by artificially excluding a great number of folks who may be called to episcopal service by Him.

« Last Edit: February 23, 2011, 10:28:58 PM by Second Chance » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2011, 11:24:15 PM »

One of the Ecumenical Councils decided that from that council on, all new bishops would be celibate.  I believe it was in the Fifth or Sixth Century.  The bishops that were married stayed married, but all new bishops would not be.  One of the issues was inheritance.

It was the Council at Trullo (692 AD), which had two canons on the subject. Neither of the canons forbid the ordination of married men to the episcopacy but did require them to separate themselves from their wives and for both husband and wife to live in celibacy. It is important to note the reason given for this admitted deviation from Apostolic Canons and the Holy Scripture: nothing to do with theology, ecclesiology or dogma but merely order in the Church because many people were "scandalized" that the bishop and his wife lived as ordinary husband and wife--under one roof, raising a family and having sex. Also note that neither canon changes the formal marital status of the bishop; they just separate a man and his wife, which is indeed contrary to Apostolic Canon 5, 1 Timothy 3 and the Lord's own words in Matthew 19:6  "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. "

Canon XII. Moreover this also has come to our knowledge, that in Africa and Libya and in other places the most God-beloved bishops in those parts do not refuse to live with their wives, even after consecration, thereby giving scandal and offence to the people.  Since, therefore, it is our particular care that all things tend to the good of the flock placed in our hands and committed to us,—it has seemed good that henceforth nothing of the kind shall in any way occur.  And we say this, not to abolish and overthrow what things were established of old by Apostolic authority, but as caring for the health of the people and their advance to better things, and lest the ecclesiastical state should suffer any reproach.  For the divine Apostle says:  “Do all to the glory of God, give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Greeks, nor to the Church of God, even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit but the profit of many, that they may be saved.  Be ye imitators of me even as I also am of Christ.”  But if any shall have been observed to do such a thing, let him be deposed.

Notes.

Ancient Epitome of Canon XII: Although it has been decreed that wives are not to be cast forth, nevertheless that we may counsel for the better, we give command that no one ordained a bishop shall any longer live with his wife.

Aristenus: The fifth Apostolic canon allows neither bishop, presbyter, nor deacon to cast forth his wife under pretext of piety; and assigns penalties for any that shall do so, and if he will not amend he is to be deposed.  But this canon on the other hand does not permit a bishop even to live with his wife after his consecration.  But by this change no contempt is meant to be poured out upon what had been established by Apostolic authority, but it was made through care for the people’s health and for leading on to better things, and for fear 371that the sacerdotal estate might suffer some wrong.

Van Espen: In the time of this canon [of the Apostles so called] not only presbyters and deacons, but bishops also, it is clear, were allowed by Eastern custom to have their wives; and Zonaras and Balsamon note that even until the Sixth Council, commonly called in Trullo, bishops were allowed to have their wives. But not only do they command [in this canon] that bishops after their consecration no longer have commerce with their own wives, but further, they prohibit them even to presume to live with them.

Zonaras: When the faith first was born and came forth into the world, the Apostles treated with greater softness and indulgence those who embraced the truth, which as yet was not scattered far and wide, nor did they exact from them perfection in all respects, but made great allowances for their weakness and for the inveterate force of the customs with which they were surrounded, both among the heathen and among the Jews.  But now, when far and wide our religion has been propagated, more strenuous efforts were made to enforce those things which pertain to a higher and holier life, as our angelical worship increased day by day, and to insist on by law a life of continence to those who were elevated to the episcopate, so that not only they should abstain from their wives, but that they should have them no longer as bed-fellows; and not only that they no longer admit them as sharers of their bed, but they do not allow them even to stop under the same roof or in the house.

Canon XLVIII.

The wife of him who is advanced to the Episcopal dignity, shall be separated from her husband by their mutual consent, and after his ordination and consecration to the episcopate she shall enter a monastery situated at a distance from the abode of the bishop, and there let her enjoy the bishop’s provision.  And if she is deemed worthy she may be advanced to the dignity of a deaconess.

Notes.

Ancient Epitome of Canon XLVIII: She who is separated from one about to be consecrated bishop, shall enter a monastery after his ordination, situated at a distance from the See city, and she shall be provided for by the bishop.

Did you copy this from a Web site? If so, we need to have a link to the site. Just PM it to me, and I'll make sure it gets appended to your post. Thank you.
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« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2011, 10:01:53 AM »

If the argument is made, as it is often made in conjunction with developments like this (that is, without any solid foundation) that the Holy Spirit guided the Church in this direction, where are decisions of the Ecumenical Councils before Trullo?

No such argument is necessary, and no such canon is necessary in this case. Local synods always have the authority to exercise economy. It's a fundamental principle of the Orthodox canonical tradition. That's all the more true of an Ecumenical Synod.

Where are the actual words, "it seemed good to us and the Holy Spirit.." in either of the Trullan canons. THey are not there because the Fathers did not dare utter them.

 Huh Individual canons do not contain this kind of verbiage, although, compared to many other canons, I would say Canon 12 of Trullo comes far closer than is necessary. The Trullan Fathers have nothing to be ashamed about. They are fully within their episcopal and synodal authority. They do not deny Scripture or Apostolic 5. In fact, they embrace them and enforce them with strictness (against Rome's desires) for all clergy except for Bishops. Why? So that the "people may attain salvation and prosper in greater things." That's the entire point of canons in the first place and also the reason to use economy. 

My second point is my wholehearted agreement with Panagiotes Bournes, with a slight exception: the point about married bishops still being a cause of offense and scandal to folks may be right but not in an absolute sense.

No, it's not absolute. It's simply an observation based in experience. For example, Patriarch Meletios Metaxakis made a motion at the Pan-Orthodox Synod in 1923 to allow married men to become bishops. Archbishop Alexander (the Russian Orthodox bishop of North America) responded that this would probably cause a schism without a full, world-wide consensus, which was impossible to obtain at the time since the Russian Orthodox Church was in the catacombs. Thus, Archbishop Alexander asked for the motion to be tabled.
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« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2011, 03:32:16 PM »

[quote author=
No, it's not absolute. It's simply an observation based in experience. For example, Patriarch Meletios Metaxakis made a motion at the Pan-Orthodox Synod in 1923 to allow married men to become bishops. Archbishop Alexander (the Russian Orthodox bishop of North America) responded that this would probably cause a schism without a full, world-wide consensus, which was impossible to obtain at the time since the Russian Orthodox Church was in the catacombs. Thus, Archbishop Alexander asked for the motion to be tabled.
[/quote]

Wasn't there a book written recently about the Pan-Orthodox Synod of 1923?
I wonder if the proceedings of that synod are on the web? 
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« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2011, 04:46:05 PM »

No, it's not absolute. It's simply an observation based in experience. For example, Patriarch Meletios Metaxakis made a motion at the Pan-Orthodox Synod in 1923 to allow married men to become bishops. Archbishop Alexander (the Russian Orthodox bishop of North America) responded that this would probably cause a schism without a full, world-wide consensus, which was impossible to obtain at the time since the Russian Orthodox Church was in the catacombs. Thus, Archbishop Alexander asked for the motion to be tabled.
I wonder why such a return to the norm would be cause of schism, if a local church adopts it. Why would the other churches fall out of communion? Would not this be as senseless as the schisms caused by the Nikonian reforms and the calendar reform? To me at least there are two likely reasons: (a) Some folks are wedded to the idea that the Tradition as they have received it, never mind earlier practice, is the full, complete and most recent revelation from the Lord (rather like the claim of Muslims). (b) Some folks do not understand, know or care to know the issue but are reflexively opposed to any change.
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« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2011, 04:51:18 PM »

No, it's not absolute. It's simply an observation based in experience. For example, Patriarch Meletios Metaxakis made a motion at the Pan-Orthodox Synod in 1923 to allow married men to become bishops. Archbishop Alexander (the Russian Orthodox bishop of North America) responded that this would probably cause a schism without a full, world-wide consensus, which was impossible to obtain at the time since the Russian Orthodox Church was in the catacombs. Thus, Archbishop Alexander asked for the motion to be tabled.
I wonder why such a return to the norm would be cause of schism, if a local church adopts it. Why would the other churches fall out of communion? Would not this be as senseless as the schisms caused by the Nikonian reforms and the calendar reform? To me at least there are two likely reasons: (a) Some folks are wedded to the idea that the Tradition as they have received it, never mind earlier practice, is the full, complete and most recent revelation from the Lord (rather like the claim of Muslims). (b) Some folks do not understand, know or care to know the issue but are reflexively opposed to any change.

Since this is an issue that was decided by Ecumenical Synod, there will likely be reluctance to accept any regional change that hasn't first been approved by some large Pan-Orthodox Synod; anything less will be seen as a local church usurping the decision made by the universal Church that was represented in Trullo.
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« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2011, 05:03:14 PM »

Celibate bishops are a very, very ancient tradition in the Church. Even before bishops were required to be monastics, many were celibate for the practical reasons listed:
"Ancient" but not in the Early Church for sure.  The New Testament states that being married (husband of one wife) is one of the requirements.
Might want to look into the interpretations of that verse.

"A Bishop then,' [the Apostle] says, 'must be blameless the husband of one wife.' This he does not lay down as a rule, as if he must not be without one, but as prohibiting his having more than one." St John Chrysostom, Homily X, Homilies on Timothy
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« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2011, 05:35:35 PM »

Celibate bishops are a very, very ancient tradition in the Church. Even before bishops were required to be monastics, many were celibate for the practical reasons listed:
"Ancient" but not in the Early Church for sure.  The New Testament states that being married (husband of one wife) is one of the requirements.
Might want to look into the interpretations of that verse.

"A Bishop then,' [the Apostle] says, 'must be blameless the husband of one wife.' This he does not lay down as a rule, as if he must not be without one, but as prohibiting his having more than one." St John Chrysostom, Homily X, Homilies on Timothy

Agreed; AFAIK the Church has seen that as a "not a divorcee or in a second marriage" rather than a "must be married" sort of rule.
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« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2011, 07:00:04 PM »

What if a man was married but his wife died? Would he then be allowed to be a Bishop (obviously assuming he was a priest either before or after his wife's death)?

If he had kids who were no longer dependent on him, would he be allowed to be a Bishop?

Let me state that I actually get the point in having a celibate Bishop. Even if we remove the "church property" issue, the fact is he's gone a lot. This means either his wife (and subsequently his children) would have to travel with him or he'd have to leave them; neither situation is ideal. By being single, he can devote far more of his time to the Church.
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« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2011, 08:41:10 PM »

I sure wouldn't want a bishop for a father.
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« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2011, 10:05:36 PM »

What if a man was married but his wife died? Would he then be allowed to be a Bishop (obviously assuming he was a priest either before or after his wife's death)?

If he had kids who were no longer dependent on him, would he be allowed to be a Bishop?

Let me state that I actually get the point in having a celibate Bishop. Even if we remove the "church property" issue, the fact is he's gone a lot. This means either his wife (and subsequently his children) would have to travel with him or he'd have to leave them; neither situation is ideal. By being single, he can devote far more of his time to the Church.

I think that this is such an abstract topic that I wasn't going to weigh in, but I agree that the fact that any Bishop is 'on the road' visiting parishes, attending conferences etc..etc.. really would make having a married bishop with a family a practical impossibility. Frankly, it is difficult enough to be a priest's child as any of the PKs on the board can attest.

However, we all know of widowers who have become Bishops. Just in the past few years the OCA has consecrated Bishop Michael (Dahulich) and this coming Bright Week, Bishop-elect Matthias who both are widowers. I have known both for decades and knew their Panis. Both Panis died a premature and tragic death - one in an auto accident a month after their marriage and the other of a devastating disease after her children reached the age of majority. Both priests suffered greatly and both, whom I am glad to say are my friends , came in their own way to deal with tragedy and move on. Over the years, I saw the growth of an inner spiritual strength in each as they dealt with their loss. The late Metropolitan Orestes (Chornock) and the late Bishop Peter (Shymansky) of ACROD were also widowed priests who became bishops.

I am sure that most of you from different jurisdictions can think of similar cases with Bishops.

I just don't see this as a problem.
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« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2011, 11:15:36 PM »

What if a man was married but his wife died? Would he then be allowed to be a Bishop (obviously assuming he was a priest either before or after his wife's death)?

If he had kids who were no longer dependent on him, would he be allowed to be a Bishop?

Let me state that I actually get the point in having a celibate Bishop. Even if we remove the "church property" issue, the fact is he's gone a lot. This means either his wife (and subsequently his children) would have to travel with him or he'd have to leave them; neither situation is ideal. By being single, he can devote far more of his time to the Church.

I think that this is such an abstract topic that I wasn't going to weigh in, but I agree that the fact that any Bishop is 'on the road' visiting parishes, attending conferences etc..etc.. really would make having a married bishop with a family a practical impossibility. Frankly, it is difficult enough to be a priest's child as any of the PKs on the board can attest.

However, we all know of widowers who have become Bishops. Just in the past few years the OCA has consecrated Bishop Michael (Dahulich) and this coming Bright Week, Bishop-elect Matthias who both are widowers. I have known both for decades and knew their Panis. Both Panis died a premature and tragic death - one in an auto accident a month after their marriage and the other of a devastating disease after her children reached the age of majority. Both priests suffered greatly and both, whom I am glad to say are my friends , came in their own way to deal with tragedy and move on. Over the years, I saw the growth of an inner spiritual strength in each as they dealt with their loss. The late Metropolitan Orestes (Chornock) and the late Bishop Peter (Shymansky) of ACROD were also widowed priests who became bishops.

I am sure that most of you from different jurisdictions can think of similar cases with Bishops.

I just don't see this as a problem.
St. Innocent the Enlightener of Alaska and the founder of the Metropolitinate of North America, was a widowed bishop.
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« Reply #25 on: February 26, 2011, 01:07:29 PM »

St. Luke of Crimea was a Bishop with children.
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« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2011, 03:40:48 PM »

So then it seems the issue of married bishops is a matter more of practicality...which makes perfect sense to me.

This makes me love Orthodoxy even more...
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« Reply #27 on: March 04, 2011, 07:08:18 AM »

What is the punishment for a bishop who unintentionally loses celebacy?
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« Reply #28 on: March 04, 2011, 09:15:30 AM »

I pray for the day we have a return to a married as well as a celibate episcopate. I also pray for the day that we have local bishops, not ones that span several states and only are seen once every 5 years. I think dioceses have to become much smaller.
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« Reply #29 on: March 04, 2011, 03:24:59 PM »

I pray for the day we have a return to a married as well as a celibate episcopate. I also pray for the day that we have local bishops, not ones that span several states and only are seen once every 5 years. I think dioceses have to become much smaller.

Yes.
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« Reply #30 on: March 04, 2011, 07:09:21 PM »

What is the punishment for a bishop who unintentionally loses celebacy?

Ummm, how can someone "unintentionally lose celibacy?  Huh Huh
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« Reply #31 on: March 04, 2011, 07:41:28 PM »

What is the punishment for a bishop who unintentionally loses celebacy?

Ummm, how can someone "unintentionally lose celibacy?  Huh Huh

It's an SEO troll. There were three links to some promo site for Las Vegas in the signature before the admins deleted them.
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