Conference on Married Priests in Rome — November 13th

Since I have often blogged on issues relating to the Eastern tradition of a married priesthood and how that has sometimes been a cause of tension between Orthodoxy and Catholicism, I thought readers here would be interested in this very interesting conference to be held in Rome next week, involving Eastern Catholic scholars and an Orthodox priest:


November 1, 2012


Married Priests: Optional celibacy in the

Eastern Catholic Churches, past and present


ROME — The tradition and vocation of the married priesthood in the Eastern Catholic Church will be discussed at an international seminar in Rome this month.

Five Eastern Catholic scholars from Australia, Canada, Italy and the United States will speak on different themes related to the married priesthood, including its history in the Eastern Church, how the spousal mystery is understood, and the divisions in the Eastern Church on the issue of mandatory celibacy.

This half-day event will be held Nov. 13, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Domus Australia, Via Cernaia, 14. It is co-sponsored by the Australian Catholic University and The Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies at Saint Paul University, Canada.

Presentations will be in English and Italian. Admission is free. See the attached poster for the list of speakers and the titles of their lectures.

The universal Catholic Church consists of the Western Church, more commonly referred to as the Roman Catholic or Latin rite, and 22 Eastern Catholic Churches. All are gathered under the leadership of the pope in Rome. While the Western Church insists on the celibate priesthood, the different and ancient traditions of the Eastern Church, including the married priesthood, are accepted and honoured.

For more detailed information or interviews, contact:

For further reading:

Can East & West Co-Exist with Married Priests?


5 Responses to Conference on Married Priests in Rome — November 13th

  1. davidmeyer75 says:

    I have a question. If celibacy were the last issue on the table in reunion talks between Catholic and Orthodox, and all other issues of primacy and filioque etc. had been resolved (I know, bear with me…), and Rome insisted on it, would it prevent reunion? Would Orthodox hold out on that one issue?

    • david says:

      The issue is important because of history. The Orthodox have always looked askance at the Unions of Brest and Uzhorod following the failure of Florence. By Rome’s failure to honor the entirety of the commitments made in Brest and Uzhorod – celibacy being just one of them (the methodologies of local Church administration and the election of Eastern bishops being another big issue to the Orthodox). If it is inconvenient to Rome to permit the exercise of a married clergy among the Eastern Catholics what about other issues? That is the Orthodox point of view and that is why this issue is important to future efforts towards reunion.

  2. Nelson says:

    Reblogged this on Ramblings of a Byzantine Catholic and commented:
    Thank you, Dave for posting about this important conference. The practice of ordaining both married and celibate men to the priesthood is Apostolic Traditions. One is not inferior to the other!

  3. david says:

    Please note for the record that Protopresbyter James Dutko is an Orthodox priest from the United States and the son of an Orthodox priest whose family followed Bishop Orestes Chornock into Orthodoxy in 1938 from the Ruthenian Greek Catholic tradition following the imposition of Ea Semper and Cum Data Fuerit. .

    • orthocath says:

      Thank you for the correction about Fr. James Dutko. Do you know if his lecture (or any of the other ones) will be either published or recorded so that we who cannot make it to Rome can benefit from them?

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