Zenit: Clerical Celibacy to Remain Normative and Extended to the Entire Church

H/T Ad Orientem

From an interview with Father Laurent Touze, published in the highly respected Catholic news agency Zenit (emphasis added).

ZENIT: With this measure, do you think that one day, celibacy might become voluntary also for priests of the Latin rite?

Father Touze: No, because the Church is understanding more and more the relation between priesthood, episcopate and celibacy. It is something that could be likened to the revelation of a dogma, though it isn’t so at this time; one tends increasingly to understand that a practice must be promoted among all priests and also among Eastern Catholic priests which is truly similar to the one lived in the first centuries.

Read the rest here.

A TV news interview with Fr. Laurent Touze, from this conference, discussing celibacy:

For a little of the history of the tension between East and West re: married priests see:

Can East & West Co-Exist With Married Priests?


6 Responses to Zenit: Clerical Celibacy to Remain Normative and Extended to the Entire Church

  1. Robert Cox says:

    Fr. Touze’s opinion that celibacy ought to be imposed on our Eastern Catholic Churches is just yet another vexatious manifestation of the tiresome fantasy that the way things are done in the Latin rite is somehow normative for the entire Catholic Communion of Churches.

  2. The following was sent to Zenit.org

    This interview is unfortunate It demonstrates in significant places a poor and deficient theology and ecclesiology.

    Besides written from the standpoint of a pejorative preference toward the practices of the Latin Church, it is an affront to both the historical development of the priesthood and episcopacy and the continuous tradition of all the Eastern Churches.

    Finally, the priest interviewed speaks to a misinformed and even insulting interpretation of the survival of the Eastern European catacomb church, both Latin and Byzantine, amidst the complex persecution of the Soviet, totalitarian regime.

    When will “Zenit” publish an article on the priesthood written by and from the theological-canonical experience of a married priest of the Eastern Catholic Church? In what would be a more correct Catholic ethos, your agency should not be afraid to let the voice of the entire Catholic Church be heard by your readers.

  3. Archbishop Anthony says:

    We Orthodox are watching and listening…I, for one, do not like what I hear. More revisionist history by Roman Catholic theologians. The norm was married men by and large. Only the monks were not…they were the exception to the rule. Eventually bishops were chosen only from the monks and widowed priests.

    Given the infiltration of homosexuality in the Church today one would think that Rome would re-consider mandatory celibacy.

    And how does she then accept the norm of the Orthodox? Does she have no respect at all for married priests? Even of her own Eastern Catholic Churches?

  4. Anil Wang says:

    Archbishop Anthony, the problem with homosexuality has little to do with celibacy. If a monk, east or west is unfaithful to his vows, it doesn’t matter if be breaks it with a man or a woman or a pig. He has broken his vows, and if his breaks his vows to God, how can one expect him to keep his vows to his spouse?

    Unfortunately, the issue of married priests, women’s ordinations, homosexual ordinations are tied together in the minds of many liberal catholics. To accept one, means to accept them all. A break with tradition is a break with tradition, and if you’re going to “modernize, do it right”. That’s why so many of the Novo Ordo masses went much farther than was intended by Vatican II. A concession by the Pope now, would follow a similar path and turn the RCC into the Church of England.

    As long as the RCC does not state this is a doctrine, I don’t see a big problem. Remember, just as Orthodox but not Catholic priests may be married, both Catholic and Orthodox bishops must be celibate even though Oriental bishops don’t have to be. From my understanding, the Orthodox and Oriental churches have all but gotten over their doctrinal differences, so the issue of married bishops isn’t of fundamental importance.

  5. […] Touze and Roman Miopia I noted Fr. Touze’s unfortunate remarks a few weeks ago. I plan on addressing this in more detail in the near future but wanted to share […]

  6. Married priests is NOT a break with tradition, however. Women priests and non-celibate homosexual priests – these break with Church Tradition and Scripture, and do not align with the pattern of priestly purity attested from the earliest priesthood among Abraham’s ancestors.

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