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Author Topic: Why don't Bishops marry?  (Read 1598 times) Average Rating: 0
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thetruth
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« on: January 15, 2005, 07:00:58 PM »

What's the point of a Bishop being celebate, i can understand Disciples who would travel the world and may have no time for a family, not even maybe own a home, but the Bible seems to tell us a
Bishop should be the husband of one wife and rule over his household.

If a Bishop gives up having a family to devote all their lives to the Lord then how do they do this.
I would see it then a Bishop should most certainly not watch t.v. or play video games or whatever else the world uses to occupy their lives, for a Bishop has given up the life of marriage which is of God then surely he should not fill his time with hobbies that have no part in serving God.

I ask because i don't know, what does a Bishop do all day, do they fullfill all their days serving God, or do they have hobbies and take time off to do other things which are not serving God?

I'm not insulting Bishops, i just don't know what they do do, and would appreciate being informed.

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« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2005, 07:44:44 PM »

In the New Testament, there was no difference between presbyters and bishops.  Later on, one of the presbyters in each area was preeminent and eventually only he was given the fulness of ordination, and only he was known as episcopos, while the rest continued to be known as presbyteros.  As such, different disciplines developed since the two offices became distinct. At first bishops were allowed to come from married men, but a problem arose because of inheritence issues and the quality of the candidates. Therefore, in the seventh century, canons were issued which once and for all banned married bishops and suggested that bishops come from monastic ranks.

Quote
I would see it then a Bishop should most certainly not watch t.v. or play video games or whatever else the world uses to occupy their lives, for a Bishop has given up the life of marriage which is of God then surely he should not fill his time with hobbies that have no part in serving God.

The life of celibacy is also from God, as St Paul tells us.  Married or monastic, one must follow the call that God selects for us.  Just because a bishop gives up married life though does not mean he should not be allowed to relax from time to time. Even monks in the desert are recorded as having had free time, although sparingly. The desert fathers knew about the modern concept of "burn out."  They knew that it is human nature that people need some relaxation.

Despite that, most of the bishops that I know personally (I know several) simply don't have the time to relax at all anyway.

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« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2005, 08:34:45 PM »

It depends what you mean by relax, modern day relaxing can be sitting in front of worldy t.v.

Man can relax with his wife, an unmarried man can't.

Part of my question which i know little about of Bishops, was really the modern day relaxing and hobbies, such as t.v. video games, following sports teams, i don't know that Bishops do take part in these things.
If they did and was celebate then my question would be why not get married instead.
You seemed to answer that Bishops you know are too busy.

I don't know a lot about the Orthodox church, i'm trying to learn by asking question that come to me.
I hear some church leaders who are married religiously follow sport teams, maybe some who are celebate today.

The early church had not the worldy entertainment we have today, and what they did have i doubt they took part in.

How did the early church view something like the Olympic games?

I suppose some of my question is also linked to worldly entertainment.

Say if a Bishop, not that i'm saying they do, but say they spent a couple of hours a day in front of some worldy t.v. soup or drama or following some sport, or playing video games to fulfill their life.
A Bishop would have given up marriage, which can take up a lot of your life, to serve God, if they were fulfilling their life with these other things then why, i would think then they may as well marry.
I would see it more Godly and worthwhile to bring up a family than to waste part of their lives on these idle things.

It's all i was thinking really, but i seem to get the impression from you post that Bishops may be very busy with the church and have no time for these things.

 
 





« Last Edit: January 15, 2005, 08:41:24 PM by thetruth » Logged
Justin Kissel
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« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2005, 09:02:44 PM »

To make someone a bishop while he was still married would be very cruel, for either the family or the flock would suffer. Also, according to traditional Orthodox ecclesiology, a bishop is "married" to his diocese, his Church and his flock are his wife and his brother and his mother and his father. The Bishop above all people should be able to say with Jesus, "Who are my relatives? Those who follow the will of God!" A bishop has an amazingly unique place in the Church, and it is not only difficult but also very hazardous. St. John Chrysostom said that most bishops would not be saved; this is a very fearful thing, and being bishop is a very heavy burden that few can bear. Very few men are also perfect married people either. Doing both at the same time (which is what would be required) is almost impossible. Not totally, but so low a potential that it makes no sense to harm thousands of people just to allow the "freedom" of someone being a married bishop. To be honest, what I find unfortunate is that people like His Grace, Met. Philip supports married bishops. I would think he would know better than most that even apart from the theology, it's a bad idea just on a practical level (Met. Philip had a heart attack within 2 years of becoming bishop, due to the workload)
« Last Edit: January 15, 2005, 09:04:32 PM by Paradosis » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2005, 10:22:18 PM »

I can't say that any Bishop I've ever known or met would spend hours in front of a TV or anything. These men are monks after all. Your perception that Bishops are very busy men who are concerned with the Church is correct.

Would you agree that marriage and family is a huge time commitment, spiritual effort, and responsibility? I do not see how any comparison between raising a family and spending your free hours with a hobby is possible.

The guide is that a Bishop must have been married once at the most, and must not be married at the time he is a Bishop. There are bishops who were married at one time and are now widowers. After their marriage, they were consecrated as hieromonks (since nearly all who were married were married priests; a hiermonk is a priest-monk) and are completely eligible to be consecrated as a bishop.

Marriage as a concept is not the problem. There's nothing wrong with marriage; hence the possibility for a bishop to have been married at one time. But the Church decided long ago that being a married man with marital responsibilities and being a bishop who is responsible for the souls of his flock was simply too much to ask of one man. It's worked well since then!

I hope that helps! Welcome, and please keep asking questions! It's the best way to get answers:)
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« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2005, 07:17:19 PM »

Not everyone is called to marriage; that is why someone who is called to monasticism should be a monk.  But whether single or married, everyone is permitted some form of relaxation.  Even in the most strict of monasteries monks visit each other for tea, sometimes play soccer or other games (on feast days for instance, when work is technically prohibited), etc.

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« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2005, 07:18:00 PM »

The Coptic bishop David of New Jersey plays soccer and basketball with the youth at every youth meeting. It has a tremendously positive impact.

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« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2005, 10:41:08 PM »

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The Coptic bishop David of New Jersey plays soccer and basketball with the youth at every youth meeting. It has a tremendously positive impact.

That's awesome!  Cheesy
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« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2005, 12:58:15 AM »

Hehe, and I always liked Bishop JOB's little ones' nose-tickling with the tassel of his chotki. Bishops and monks and nuns aren't DULL by any means! The ones I know are the most incredibly joyful people.
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« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2005, 03:32:07 AM »

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Hehe, and I always liked Bishop JOB's little ones' nose-tickling with the tassel of his chotki.

I can totally see him doing this.  Cheesy I have seen how children are very drawn to His Eminence and he seems more than happy to spend time with them.

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Bishops and monks and nuns aren't DULL by any means! The ones I know are the most incredibly joyful people.

When I first met Archbishop Job I was quite nervous because I wasn't sure what to expect from an Orthodox Bishop, but he is totally approachable and that quickly put me at ease and I truly enjoyed talking with him.

In Christ,
Aaron
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« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2005, 11:13:51 AM »

The early church had not the worldy entertainment we have today, and what they did have i doubt they took part in.

The early Church also did  not have any of the technology that we have today.  A bishop in early days might spend hours with quill and inkpot, composing and writing letters and documents that he could prepare in an hour today with the aid of a PC.  Travel meant days, even weeks, on horseback, mule, in small sail-driven craft, not a few hours in a jet or an hour in a car and either travel or that tedious correspondence was requisite in the absence of telephones, fax machines, e-mail.

I have known several bishops, Catholic and Orthodox, who are sports fans, avid readers, enjoy concerts, are opera aficionados, theatre and movie-goers, and who watch television.  Even with the advantages of technology, the amount of time available to them for such avocations is extremely limited and many times is only possible when it can be combined with some pastoral role.  An example - Boston's Richard Cardinal Cushing, of blessed memory, was a huge Red Sox baseball fan, but usually only got to attend a couple games a year, which he ordinarily did in the company of large groups of children from homes, orphanages, and facilities for those with special-needs.  Many Eastern and Oriental Orthodox and Catholic hierarchs read the web, particularly boards such as this one, ByzForum, the Cafe, and CathEast (formerly CINEast), because doing so offers them insights into what the faithful are thinking and talking about; I have no doubt that Latin Catholic bishops similarly read selected Latin boards, although those tend to be so scatter-shot that they offer less cogent info than appears on the smaller EO/EC/OO/OC boards.

I think that you'd find a bishop who never finds the time to relax to be a person who has difficulty dealing with the secular world from which his faithful come, both from lack of understanding of them and from the pressures of being isolated from reality.

Many years,

Neil
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« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2005, 05:24:19 PM »

The Bishop is sopposed to be completely undoubtedly devoted to the church or "married" to the church.
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