The first principle of the Ordinariate is then about Christian unity. St. Basil the Great, the Church’s greatest ecumenist, literally expended his life on the work of building bridges between orthodox brethren who shared a common faith, but who had become separated from one another in a Church badly fragmented by heresy and controversy. He taught that the work of Christian unity requires deliberate and ceaseless effort...St. Basil often talked with yearning about the archaia agape, the ancient love of the apostolic community, so rarely seen in the Church of his day. This love, he taught, is a visible sign that the Holy Spirit is indeed present and active, and it is absolutely essential for the health of the Church.

- Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, Homily on the Occasion of his Formal Institution as Ordinary

Friday, December 11, 2009

Myth #1: Future Ordinariate Priests Must Be Celibate

Christian Campbell explores what he has termed "myths", i.e., misunderstandings, about the provisions in Anglicanorum Coetibus. The first myth is about clerical celibacy.
Myth #1: Future Ordinariate Priests Must Be Celibate
Dec 11th
Posted by Christian Campbell in General

As promised, this is the first in a series of articles intended to counter the most egregious misrepresentations of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus.

Since the Reformation, the Anglican Church has both accepted married candidates for Holy Orders and permitted clerics to marry. It is important to distinguish between the two disciplines. Both the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches in communion with the Holy See permit married men to be promoted to the priestly dignity (though bishops East and West must be celibate). Since the time of the Early Church, however, no Catholic body has allowed clerics to marry once in orders. The Anglican discipline was, on this wise, innovative and a significant departure from tradition. Nonetheless, this custom of a married priesthood is now integral to the Anglican identity and its abandonment would certainly have serious ramifications in our ecclesial life...

The Roman Catholic Church — that is the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church — requires that all candidates for Holy Orders be celibate and clerics are not allowed to marry. It has been contended that Anglicanorum Coetibus, while generously making provision for the reception of married ministers from the Anglican tradition, requires all future seminarians and candidates for Holy Orders to be celibate. This assertion is not true...

Read Christian's full exposition at The Anglo-Catholic.

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