busted halo annual campaign
Busted Halo
googling god
The Busted Halo Question Box
Ask our spiritual experts virtually anything!
This is the place where you can ask all of those burning questions that you wouldn't dare ask in person. We will post questions here (using your byline only with permission); we guarantee an answer to everyone.

Have your own question? Then pitch it to us!

Caitlin Kennell Kim
Mary
Fr. Rick Malloy, SJ
General Questions
Fr. Tom Ryan, CSP
Ecumenical, Interfaith
Neela Kale
Culture, Moral Theology
Ann Naffziger, M.A., M.Div.
Bible
Mike Hayes
Swingman/Editor
 
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
Our readers asked:

Why can married men be ordained as priests in the Eastern Catholic Churches?

Rev. Leo A. Walsh, S.T.D. Answers:

From its inception, the apostolic Church spread east and west. In due time the churches in these areas took on the language, traditions and culture in which they found themselves. In the west, the Church grew up in the predominantly Roman Latin culture and became the Roman Catholic Church. In the east, the Church became more and more associated with Greek Byzantium. Each developed its own legitimate and distinctive spirituality, liturgical tradition and internal discipline. For the first thousand years, both allowed married men to be ordained, while monks and religious maintained celibate chastity. Beginning in the 11th century, for a variety of reasons, some spiritual, some practical, the Latin Church embraced the discipline of celibate chastity for all its clergy. The eastern churches, meanwhile, maintain a married diocesan clergy to the present day.

The Eastern Catholic Churches are those churches of eastern heritage who are in full communion with the Holy See. As such, being true to their heritage, they are allowed to maintain the discipline of ordaining married men to the diocesan priesthood, however, a priest cannot marry after ordination. As in the other eastern churches, monks and bishops are always celibate. As my colleague Fr. Ron Roberson, CSP, says, “In the eastern churches, married men can get ordained, but ordained men cannot get married.”

 
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
The Author : Rev. Leo A. Walsh, S.T.D.
The Rev. Leo A. Walsh, S.T.D., formerly the Interreligious Affairs specialist at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, is now pastor of St. Benedict's Parish in Anchorage, Alaska. Photo Credit: Bob Roller, Catholic News Service (CNS).
See more articles by (51).
Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • Justme

    While I understand the decision as it’s been made I still cannot understand how it is OK for one but not the other. We’re told over and over that a married man CANNOT effectively be a priest and husband/father. That is either true or it is not. It is trying to have things both ways in the name of comity (or expediency if you’re more cynical).

powered by the Paulists