H/T Ad Orientem
RUDNO, Ukraine — Let the rest of Europe be convulsed by debates over whether the celibacy of Roman Catholic priests is causing sex abuse scandals like the one now unfolding in Germany. Here in western Ukraine, many Catholic priests are married, fruitful and multiplying — with the Vatican’s blessing.
The many feet scampering around the Volovetskiy home are testament to that.
The family’s six children range from Pavlina, 21, to Taras, 9. In the middle is Roman, 16, who wants to be a Catholic priest when he grows up. Just like his father.
Dad is the Rev. Yuriy Volovetskiy, who leads a small parish here and whose wife, Vera, teaches religious school. The Volovetskiys serve in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, which believes that celibate priests are not necessarily better priests.
Ukrainian Greek Catholics represent a branch of Catholicism that is distinct from the far more prevalent Roman Catholic one. The Ukrainian church is loyal to the pope in Rome, and its leader is a cardinal and major archbishop.
But it conducts services that resemble those in Eastern Orthodox Christianity. In religious terms, it follows the Eastern Rite, not the Latin one that is customary in Roman Catholicism.
Historically, the Vatican appears to have tolerated the traditions and attitude toward celibacy of the so-called Eastern Rite Catholics in order to retain a foothold in regions where Orthodox Christianity has dominated. But this exception suggests that the Vatican view on celibacy is not as rigid or monolithic as it might otherwise appear.
Read the rest here (includes many pictures of the priest’s family and parish).