Author Topic: Rome to US Eastern Catholics: New Priests Should “Embrace Celibacy”  (Read 9239 times)

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Offline JR

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Signaling a possible shift in policy, Catholic News Service today reported the comments of the head of the papal office overseeing US Eastern Catholic Bishops that new vocations to the priesthood in US Eastern Catholic Churches should be “embracing celibacy” because “mandatory celibacy is the general rule for priests” in the US. For the past several years, Eastern Catholic Bishops in the US have had the option of requesting dispensations from the celibacy rule from Rome to allow for the ordination of married men to the priesthood. While it is not yet known if this signifies a change in policy on the issue, this is the first time in decades for a Vatican official to publicly encourage celibacy for Eastern Catholic clergy. It also contrasts with recent allowances of some ordinations of married men to the priesthood in the Latin Rite among clergy converts from Protestant churches.

http://orthocath.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/rome-to-us-eastern-catholics-new-priests-should-embrace-celibacy/
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Offline Papist

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bummer
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Offline ialmisry

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Are we really surprised?
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Offline Papist

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Are we really surprised?
Yes. Quite a few of us thought we were moving in the opposite direction.
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Offline primuspilus

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Well, I guess they cant keep their traditions afterall.

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Offline Adela

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So very sad..... :'( 

Offline primuspilus

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I personally hope the Vatican turns its suggestion into a demand.

PP
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Offline ialmisry

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I personally hope the Vatican turns its suggestion into a demand.

PP
too honest.
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Offline primuspilus

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I personally hope the Vatican turns its suggestion into a demand.

PP
too honest.
Well, it wouldnt be the first time Rome called a mulligan on a promise so.......

PP
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Offline Azul

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"great" more adulterous and pedophile priests coming :|
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Offline podkarpatska

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This development is really troubling to those of us Orthodox who have tried, with limited success, to defend the Eastern Catholic Churches online and try to present the Roman Church in a less hostile manner than others.

Is this a 'redux' of 'Ea Semper' in modern language? Those who forget the past are indeed condemned to repeat its errors. Rome, it seems, has yet to learn that venerable maxim.

I wonder how the many married priests in the BCC and the UGCC who have, in recent years, come here from Europe feel upon reading this news? I often remind my fellow Orthodox that St. Alexis Toth was an educated and well-placed Greek Catholic priest who was well aware of the terms of the unions of Uzghorod and Brest. Formerly the prefect of the Presov Seminary, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that he might have been a Greek Catholic bishop there, or in America at some point had he not migrated as a widower to minister the faithful in North America and run into the hostility and arrogance of Archbishop Ireland. Obviously those in power in Rome never grasped that reality - then or now.

In my mind's eye, this reinforces my understanding of the rallying call of my grandparents' time - "Ani do Rim, ani do Moskvi!" (neither to Rome nor to Moscow!) sigh....

Rome is Rome. This notwithstanding, I will continue to pray that all of us whose background was impacted by unfortunate unions, Eastern Catholic and Orthodox alike, remain true to our eastern heritage and that Rome at some point comes to honor her commitments made to the eastern churches in union with her. This is how Rome rewards the loyalty of those Greek Catholics who endured the perils of the 20th century - both self-inflicted by the actions of Rome and reinforced by the compact between the Orthodox and the Communists following the second world war.

As my dad always said, hold the door open for them - they may yet come home.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2012, 03:31:07 PM by podkarpatska »

Offline xariskai

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I wonder how the many married priests in the BCC and the UGCC who have, in recent years, come here from Europe feel upon reading this news?
Not to mention the Anglicans running to Rome due to recent events. What's down the road for them?
« Last Edit: May 16, 2012, 03:39:15 PM by xariskai »

Offline dzheremi

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Very sad. What is it about Rome that makes it talk out of both sides of its mouth regarding such disciplines? Either you have your "two lungs" or you don't. It is clear that Rome is very sick, though I personally would like to be able to say otherwise (if only for the sake of the many good people I met in my time as an RC). Lord have mercy on those good Eastern Catholic priests who struggle to minister to the faithful outside of their traditional lands and face such astounding ignorance on the part of their coreligionists at the highest levels of their communion.

Offline primuspilus

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I just cant help but imagine the following:

"Keep your liturgy? Sure!" "You want your own law? no problem!" "Your traditions? sure thing!" "Your own bishops? ok fine!" "It'll be just like usual except for communion with Rome."

*meanwhile snickers and chuckles are heard from behind the curtain*

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Offline podkarpatska

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There is indeed nothing new under the sun.

As St. Alexis Toth observed, "I made up my mind to do something which I carried in my heart for a long time, for which my soul longed: that is, to become Orthodox. But how was it to be done. I had to be very cautious. The unfortunate Union, the source of our decline and all our ills, had been part of our people too long. We had already borne that yoke on our shoulders for 250 years. I fervently prayed God to grant me the power to make all this clear to my unenlightened parishioners." http://www.acrod.org/readingroom/saints/stalexistoth

Yet forty years after St. Alexis 'meeting' with Archbishop Ireland, little had changed: "By 1936 there was turmoil in the Greek Catholic Church after repeated pleas for recall of the decrees of celibacy and latinization which had been imposed on parishes.  After no response, parishes met in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at a Church Council.  On February 6, 1936, those parishes selected the Reverend Orestes P. Chornock as administrator for the establishment of a new diocese." http://acrod.org/diocese/formerbishops/metropolitanorestes


Offline Deacon Lance

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While acknowledging DMD's valid criticism and how bad such statements look to the Orthodox I wouldn't put too much stock into this statement. Italian Cardinals keep pretending the ban is enforce and admonsihing us about it, canonists keep reminding them it was not renewed so it lost the force of law, and Greek Catholic bishops quitely keep ordaining married men, and the past two non-Italian Popes say and do nothing to stop it.
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Offline ialmisry

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I wonder how the many married priests in the BCC and the UGCC who have, in recent years, come here from Europe feel upon reading this news?
Not to mention the Anglicans running to Rome due to recent events. What's down the road for them?
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
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Offline Shanghaiski

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"great" more adulterous and pedophile priests coming :|

You know that this does not compute.

Besides, should the Roman Catholic Church decide to do so, if it does not already, there are means for psychological screening that could be employed to sort out unsuitable candidates for the priesthood.
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Enforced clerical celibacy is one of the only peculiarly Roman things older than papal supremacy. It even predates the use of azymes.
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Offline podkarpatska

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While acknowledging DMD's valid criticism and how bad such statements look to the Orthodox I wouldn't put too much stock into this statement. Italian Cardinals keep pretending the ban is enforce and admonsihing us about it, canonists keep reminding them it was not renewed so it lost the force of law, and Greek Catholic bishops quitely keep ordaining married men, and the past two non-Italian Popes say and do nothing to stop it.

But, as was asked elsewhere this afternoon, why do the Popes keep appointing Latin-rite Italian cardinals to manage the Congregation for the Oriental Churches?

It is this talking out of both sides of the mouth that is so troubling to us, particularly those of us who try to be open-minded.

Truth be told, any attempt to enforce celibacy in say, Slovakia or better yet, Ukraine, would never be attempted. The rationale used here in the USA could just as well be used in say Slovakia, which is overwhelmingly a Latin-rite Catholic country, regarding celibacy. I suspect that outside of the far eastern counties of that country, the average Roman Catholic is probably as woefully ignorant about the Greek Catholic church as are their counterparts in the USA. It is even more pronounced in the Czech republic, where my cousin is a married Greek Catholic priest with a young family, where the presence of the Eastern Rite really came about following the war with forced relocations and after 1990 as a result of job opportunities. What is the difference? I would argue that it is the willing ignorance of the conservative Latin rite hierarchy in the United States which insists on perpetuating this situation, but that is just my opinion.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2012, 05:03:06 PM by podkarpatska »

Offline Deacon Lance

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DMD,

I see your "Why do the Popes keep appointing Latin-rite Italian cardinals to manage the Congregation for the Oriental Churches?" and raise you a "Why not abolish the Oriental Congregation altogether?" It is simply not needed.

I have no doubt that internal pressure within the Latin Church to get rid of mandatory celibacy is the driving reason behind the current situation for Eastern Catholic Churches. However, the Greek Catholics are the only ones pushing the issue. The Oriental Catholic Churches seem all to happy to have only celibates in the US. Indeed, the Syro-Malabars and Syro-Malankars have adopted mandatory celibacy, and the Copts, Ethiopians and Syriacs seem to favor it. The Armenians, Chaldeans, and Maronites while not moving toward celibacy seem to be okay with the status quo in the US.
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Offline dzheremi

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You must know different Maronites and Chaldeans than I do, Deacon Lance... ;D

Offline Deacon Lance

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You must know different Maronites and Chaldeans than I do, Deacon Lance... ;D

I was refering to their seminaries and bishops accepting and ordaining married men.  Hopefuly, those you know will encourage their hierarchs to do so.
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Offline podkarpatska

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DMD,

I see your "Why do the Popes keep appointing Latin-rite Italian cardinals to manage the Congregation for the Oriental Churches?" and raise you a "Why not abolish the Oriental Congregation altogether?" It is simply not needed.

I have no doubt that internal pressure within the Latin Church to get rid of mandatory celibacy is the driving reason behind the current situation for Eastern Catholic Churches. However, the Greek Catholics are the only ones pushing the issue. The Oriental Catholic Churches seem all to happy to have only celibates in the US. Indeed, the Syro-Malabars and Syro-Malankars have adopted mandatory celibacy, and the Copts, Ethiopians and Syriacs seem to favor it. The Armenians, Chaldeans, and Maronites while not moving toward celibacy seem to be okay with the status quo in the US.


It has been observed that the Congregation has been analogized to the American government's Bureau of Indian Affairs.....and I think it is a fair observation on my part that the efforts of both the Congregation and the Bureau on behalf of their respective 'constituencies' have been equally 'well-received' by their 'beneficiaries' over the years!

Offline dzheremi

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Ah, my apologies for misunderstanding you, Deacon. Yes, I would think they do, given what some of them have said about clerical celibacy.

Offline ialmisry

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DMD,

I see your "Why do the Popes keep appointing Latin-rite Italian cardinals to manage the Congregation for the Oriental Churches?" and raise you a "Why not abolish the Oriental Congregation altogether?" It is simply not needed.

I have no doubt that internal pressure within the Latin Church to get rid of mandatory celibacy is the driving reason behind the current situation for Eastern Catholic Churches. However, the Greek Catholics are the only ones pushing the issue. The Oriental Catholic Churches seem all to happy to have only celibates in the US. Indeed, the Syro-Malabars and Syro-Malankars have adopted mandatory celibacy, and the Copts, Ethiopians and Syriacs seem to favor it. The Armenians, Chaldeans, and Maronites while not moving toward celibacy seem to be okay with the status quo in the US.

I seem to recall a few years back that the Maronites wanted to revive their married clergy.  Only one of their bishops voted for celibacy.   The Vatican, however, required absolute unanimity.  I also recall the Coptic Pope, er, Patriarch under the Vatican touring the US and advocating for married clergy just in the past year.

And even if it were just the "Greek Catholics." So what? they don't count?
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Offline Deacon Lance

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I seem to recall a few years back that the Maronites wanted to revive their married clergy.  Only one of their bishops voted for celibacy.   The Vatican, however, required absolute unanimity.  I also recall the Coptic Pope, er, Patriarch under the Vatican touring the US and advocating for married clergy just in the past year.

And even if it were just the "Greek Catholics." So what? they don't count?

I was aware of the Maronites and I think it was kind of a copout.  "We tried."  I was unaware of the Coptic Patriarch.  And yes we count but it would be better, in my opinion, if we were all on the same page.
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Offline Papist

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While acknowledging DMD's valid criticism and how bad such statements look to the Orthodox I wouldn't put too much stock into this statement. Italian Cardinals keep pretending the ban is enforce and admonsihing us about it, canonists keep reminding them it was not renewed so it lost the force of law, and Greek Catholic bishops quitely keep ordaining married men, and the past two non-Italian Popes say and do nothing to stop it.
Good to know. I hope Eastern Catholics continue to be Eastern in spite of ignorant Latin heirarches. Italian Cardinals have NO BUSINESS telling your Churches what to do.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2012, 07:26:26 PM by Papist »
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Offline dzheremi

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I was aware of the Maronites and I think it was kind of a copout.  "We tried."  I was unaware of the Coptic Patriarch.  And yes we count but it would be better, in my opinion, if we were all on the same page.

A copout on whose part? The Maronites'? How can it be a copout when it is Rome that required absolute unanimity?

Offline Deacon Lance

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I was aware of the Maronites and I think it was kind of a copout.  "We tried."  I was unaware of the Coptic Patriarch.  And yes we count but it would be better, in my opinion, if we were all on the same page.

A copout on whose part? The Maronites'? How can it be a copout when it is Rome that required absolute unanimity?

Both, because if the Maronites just said they were going to do it anyway Rome wouldn't have done anything.
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Offline dzheremi

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How do you know that?

Offline Deacon Lance

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Because that is what is going on now with those Eastern Catholic Churches in the US who do ordain married men or bring married priests in from the old country.
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Offline xariskai

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Tactics which smell of bait and switch make any institution appear duplicitous and immoral; all the more a religious institution.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2012, 01:28:15 AM by xariskai »

Offline Peter J

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"great" more adulterous and pedophile priests coming :|

^^ Trolling.
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Offline Peter J

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I wonder how the many married priests in the BCC and the UGCC who have, in recent years, come here from Europe feel upon reading this news?
Not to mention the Anglicans running to Rome due to recent events. What's down the road for them?

Oh there's not much mystery there: it's clear that the allowance of married priests for the Ordinariates is restricted to ex-Anglican ministers. Children born into the Ordinariates have virtually 0 possibility of growing up to be married Catholics priests.
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Offline podkarpatska

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Because that is what is going on now with those Eastern Catholic Churches in the US who do ordain married men or bring married priests in from the old country.

But what is to stop the Congregation from ordering the return of priests ordained by eparchs in Europe to their original jurisdiction?

I personally know a number of such priests doing good work here in the states. They are either married to Americans or Canadians or the priests are American or Canadian with a Slovak or Ukrainain wife. Frankly, they will be left holding the bag like their predecessors were after challenging Rome in the 1930's. Nothing like confusing the faithful as married clergy are finally working their way into the BCC over the past five years or so and then getting a statement like this reinforcing the notion of second class Catholic status. What is really different from Archbishop Ireland's or Bishop Takach's time?

This is causing quite the stir within the EC community, particularly in the UGCC in the USA and Canada.

Offline podkarpatska

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Because that is what is going on now with those Eastern Catholic Churches in the US who do ordain married men or bring married priests in from the old country.

And after Ea Semper the European bishops continued send married clergy to the states and Cum Data Fuerit ingnited the flames twenty years later. What would stop Rome now from reiterating its same old story and behavior?

Offline BoredMeeting

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Are we really surprised?

Yes. Quite a few of us thought we were moving in the opposite direction.


Based upon the information that I've gotten during discussions with some Roman Catholics, I'd thought this had been done previously.

Put me in the "Not Surprised" bin, if you would be so kind.

Offline Peter J

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Because that is what is going on now with those Eastern Catholic Churches in the US who do ordain married men or bring married priests in from the old country.

But what is to stop the Congregation from ordering the return of priests ordained by eparchs in Europe to their original jurisdiction?

I personally know a number of such priests doing good work here in the states. They are either married to Americans or Canadians or the priests are American or Canadian with a Slovak or Ukrainain wife. Frankly, they will be left holding the bag like their predecessors were after challenging Rome in the 1930's. Nothing like confusing the faithful as married clergy are finally working their way into the BCC over the past five years or so and then getting a statement like this reinforcing the notion of second class Catholic status.

:(

Or third class, in the case of the Ordinariates.  :(  :(
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Offline primuspilus

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This does make me think of a question:

The Eastern Catholics, to my limited understanding, agreed to be in communion with Rome if Rome, for lack of a better term, "butted out" of their tradition. My question is, how much meddling would be too much meddling?

PP
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Offline Peter J

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DMD,

I see your "Why do the Popes keep appointing Latin-rite Italian cardinals to manage the Congregation for the Oriental Churches?" and raise you a "Why not abolish the Oriental Congregation altogether?" It is simply not needed.

I have no doubt that internal pressure within the Latin Church to get rid of mandatory celibacy is the driving reason behind the current situation for Eastern Catholic Churches. However, the Greek Catholics are the only ones pushing the issue. The Oriental Catholic Churches seem all to happy to have only celibates in the US. Indeed, the Syro-Malabars and Syro-Malankars have adopted mandatory celibacy, and the Copts, Ethiopians and Syriacs seem to favor it. The Armenians, Chaldeans, and Maronites while not moving toward celibacy seem to be okay with the status quo in the US.

I seem to recall a few years back that the Maronites wanted to revive their married clergy.  Only one of their bishops voted for celibacy.   The Vatican, however, required absolute unanimity.

That's definitely odd.

Here's something else I found that's curious:

Quote
Celibacy is not strictly required for Maronite deacons and priests outside of North America with parishes
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maronite_Church

Now, the wording is strange for a number of reasons (Why does it say "not strictly required" rather than "not required"? Also, are there no married Maronite deacons in North America?) but most importantly, does this imply that celibacy is not (strictly) required for Maronite priests in e.g. South America? (A lot of Maronites live in South America.)
« Last Edit: May 17, 2012, 11:36:01 AM by Peter J »
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Offline podkarpatska

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This does make me think of a question:

The Eastern Catholics, to my limited understanding, agreed to be in communion with Rome if Rome, for lack of a better term, "butted out" of their tradition. My question is, how much meddling would be too much meddling?

PP

Well, at the turn of the 20th century there was too much 'butting in' in the US and the faction led by St. Alexis returned to Orthodoxy becoming the founders of what is now the OCA. In Europe at the same time there were return to Orthodoxy movements which were resisted by the Hungarians and the Poles leading to the martrydom of St. Maxim Sandovich and in the 1930's more 'butting in' led to another faction leaving for Orthodoxy which became the ACROD in the USA.

Offline podkarpatska

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What is interesting to me is the notion that America is somehow unique regarding the impact of a very small number of married Eastern Catholic clergy served a tiny slice of Eastern Catholics in a land with a vast majority of Catholics are Latin-rite and used to celibacy. Why would the same restrictions not be applied say to the Greek Catholic Church in Slovakia - a country where they are a distinct minority among all Catholics and, outside of the eastern provinces of Slovakia, Greek Catholics are probably little more known among the local Latin Catholics than here. Or in the Czech republic, where Easter Catholics rarely lived prior to the end of the war or the fall of the Iron Curtain. I have a married Greek Catholic relative who is a priest  with a young family in the western Czech republic. Why is this not a 'scandal' to the local Latin-rite folks? 

Seems to me that the American Latin Bishops may be afraid of their own congregations and how they can explain this to them in our hyper-charged media culture in the USA?

Offline Jason.Wike

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Rome never learns.... I bet none of them anymore even know ACROD used to be their folks and left because of this crap.

Offline podkarpatska

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Rome never learns.... I bet none of them anymore even know ACROD used to be their folks and left because of this crap.

We are all small in number, from the descendants of the faithful led by St. Alexis or Bishop Orestes,to people leaving the Eastern churches today. I suspect that outside of the UGCC in Ukraine itself, the Eastern churches aren't really on Rome's radar. That's too bad, because the treatment of the easterners is followed intently by the Orthodox and certainly appears to be a weather vane, if you will, of what Rome really is thinking.