A Question of Loyalty?

@p1kef1sh (45640)
October 15, 2011 11:01pm CST
My friend is a priest in a religion that permits married ministers. Another friend, a Roman Catholic, is now asking us how this can be. If you give yourself to God then how can you also live within a marriage? Who will come first in a family crisis. God or his wife and any subsequent children?
8 people like this
16 responses
@jjzone44 (917)
• United States
16 Oct 11
The Bible teaches us "Judge not, lest ye be judged". I am Catholic, and I understand why our Priests do not marry. But that does not mean that I think that other religions should not allow marriage of priests. God loves all equally, so in answer to the question who comes first, why does a person have to choose? Why can't they love all equally?
@p1kef1sh (45640)
16 Oct 11
A nice reply but I will need to go and contemplate it. Thank you.
3 people like this
@jjzone44 (917)
• United States
16 Oct 11
Thank you! Religion is always something we should think about. I had a minister once tell me that we should always question teachings, not as to their validity, but so we can understand them better. It's never easy, I guess that's why in Church, we always examine "The Mysteries".
3 people like this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
16 Oct 11
I never understood not letting priests marry. I would rather take advice and religious instruction from clergy that knows firsthand the trials of life and marriage and child-rearing than clergy that has no idea what goes on between a married couple and will never raise a child. An unmarried priest can only throw scripture at you while one who is married can empathize and offer counsel from his or her own experience backed by the Bible.
3 people like this
@p1kef1sh (45640)
16 Oct 11
My view too. But I stil don't understand if the calling from God is stonger than that of mortal love.
2 people like this
@Hatley (164654)
• Garden Grove, California
16 Oct 11
pikey I don't know for sure but my own intuition tells me that God and F amily are in his own eyes pretty darned equal.
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60869)
• United States
16 Oct 11
well, all of the apostles were married except Paul, and there is some expectation of God coming first - it isn't supposed to be an easy choice, but the Roman church began to expect priests to belong to orders so they had to give up any wealth to the church. Fact is that the Orthodox Church has always had married priests, in fact, parish priests HAD to be married, so there could be no questions like what plagues the Roman church today...
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@p1kef1sh (45640)
16 Oct 11
True. But I still don't know WHY! LOL.
2 people like this
@ElicBxn (60869)
• United States
16 Oct 11
why? the greed of the Roman church or the "fear" that a married priest might put family before God?
2 people like this
• United States
16 Oct 11
Hasidic Judaism requires rabbis to not only be married, but to have had children. The reasoning is that if you're going to advise husbands and fathers, you'd best have some experience with that. Ask your Roman Catholic Priest friend how he can possibly be competent at his job if he has absolutely no direct experience of the lives of those he seeks to guide.
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@p1kef1sh (45640)
16 Oct 11
My friend the priest is not a Roman Catholic it is another friend, a woman, who is.
2 people like this
@GreenMoo (11842)
16 Oct 11
Personally I think a minister of religion is there to guide his or her congregation in their own worship. I find it hard to imagine how one can do that well when much of the day to day life of the congregation is forbidden territory. Whilst there are many who disagree with me, I don't think that a minister of religion's own personal circumstances are significant when he or she is working, any more than mine would be when doing my job.
2 people like this
@p1kef1sh (45640)
16 Oct 11
But isn't a Minister always working? Does he ever have downtime from loving and serving God?
1 person likes this
@GreenMoo (11842)
17 Oct 11
No, to both questions. A minister loves and serves God every waking hour, as should anyone who calls themselves a Christian. But he or she is only working when serving their community, whether that be actively preaching, studying or doing outreach work.
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45640)
17 Oct 11
OK. If there is a local disaster - say that a coach load of children are involved in a major road crash and the Priest's wife (or husband) is involved in a simultaneous accident somewhere else; who does he respond to first? He can reach both accidents in a similar time.
16 Oct 11
Who knows but not being allowed to marry is a bit strange and probably comes from the days when there was a lot of monks who I understand did not marry. Why the church authorities passed this on the priest I have no idea but I am sure they as some ulterior motive
@p1kef1sh (45640)
17 Oct 11
The intention was that men of God emulate Jesus' example I think. There are some that suggest that he married eventually.
2 people like this
• United States
16 Oct 11
even Popes have been known to have families. Pope JuliusII had a son while he was Pope, his son was Pope John X. several Popes even had mistresses
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@p1kef1sh (45640)
16 Oct 11
True. But is doesn't explain just to whom a priest owes primary allegience.
1 person likes this
@Galena (9123)
16 Oct 11
that's like asking how someone can be both a good parent and a good spouse. it's a different relationship. the relationship with deity and the relationship with your partner don't detract from each other. you can love your parents, love your partner and love your own children. why not your spouse and your deity?
2 people like this
@p1kef1sh (45640)
16 Oct 11
I understand that and support that view. But clearly not everybody does. And it causes them great concern.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
16 Oct 11
Actually, there is nothing in the Bible that says if you want to serve God, you must not marry. On the contrary, there is a text in the Bible wherein Paul listed the requirements to anoint a bishop and one of the requirements is that the bishop-to-be should only have one WIFE. Actually, the teaching that if one is to serve God, they should not marry was from Paul, it was not specifically from the Holy Spirit, as he himself stated in his letter to the Corinthians (I think?). I was also a former Catholic, but after reading the Bible, I decided to leave the Catholic belief. If my loyalty or faith depends on a specific group of Christians, then my faith is not in Christ and I am not saved.
2 people like this
@p1kef1sh (45640)
16 Oct 11
That's all true. But people in the Catholic faith take their instruction from the chucrch don't they. So it is what the church says and not necessarily the word of God.
1 person likes this
• Canada
16 Oct 11
There is a verse that says man is the head of woman (I don't agree, I think women and men are equal!), that Christ is the head of Man (humanity!) and that God is the head of Christ. Even if a priest doesn't have a spouse or children, they still have parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, etc. There are plenty of religions (Presbyterians, for example! And what about Anglicans?) where the clergy (not always called priests) get married, and this has not been a crisis yet.
2 people like this
@p1kef1sh (45640)
16 Oct 11
But are mere mortals different from the love of God? Do you put God on a higher plane?
1 person likes this
@catdla1 (6005)
• United States
17 Oct 11
My argument to the priest is whether he believes that married folks are making a statement that they are NOT for God. Who does he think (has to ba a 'he' since women cannot be priests) buys his butter and bread? Without the families, the RC church would have purpose, would it?
1 person likes this
@catdla1 (6005)
• United States
17 Oct 11
Oops! Meant no purpose.
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@p1kef1sh (45640)
17 Oct 11
I think that a priest can operate on a different level. Like the Pope is said to be infallible but retains his sense of mortality. He is mortal too. A (different) priest friend told me today that 60% of priests in the RC church in the US are sexually active (not all of them molesting little boys!).
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@catdla1 (6005)
• United States
17 Oct 11
I doubt if it's just in the US. And, in my opinion, there's no such thing in infallibility in a faith that dismisses half of it's membership based on gender.
1 person likes this
• Australia
18 Oct 11
The Wiccan tradition I studied at depth convinced me that the role of the priest/ess is to act as an intermediary between humanity and divinity, not a substitute for God, so the question of divided loyalty doesn't arise. The priestly role is a job, which may also be a vocation, and although marriage for a priest may have some of the disadvantages that other professions, like policing, suffer in terms of its demands on the marriage, it doesn't necessarily have to clash. Perhaps the vocational types may prefer to remain celibate (which, technically, means unmarried, not chaste) as some Anglican ministers do, but Catholicism does not allow the option. I have to admit that I consider enforced priestly celibacy with its (incorrectly) attached chastity rule to be the worst possible element of Catholicism, and it has a few beauts (like its rules on contraception and therapeutic abortion, and husbandly despotism). If there is no real vocation, then the denial of natural, God-given urges becomes unhealthy, dangerous, neurosis-producing, and almost doomed to failure from the start. Lash
1 person likes this
• Australia
18 Oct 11
I forgot, so many readers here with no sense of irony. "God-given" - how I wish someone would invent a tongue-in-cheek smiley. Lash
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@p1kef1sh (45640)
18 Oct 11
I think that your first paragraph nicely answers the question. I might add that priests are mortal too and have mortal urges. To deny them is not healthy and is counter to edicts that encourages man to go forth and multiply.
• Australia
19 Oct 11
The Anglican Church seems so much more tolerant. I was dating a seriously connected witch at one point, and she and her female co-author took me to a dinner party at a friend's place. The friend was a gay Anglican priest who had a shrine to the Goddess in his manse, and the other guests that night were the two highest ranking Masons in Australia with their Rosicrucian wives. The meal was served by his lover, who was married to a Spiritualist Church minister who couldn't be there that night because she was having a seance - no,no, I joke, she was doing a wedding. The conversation was eclectic. A lot of it dealt with the ordination of women, with everyone there fully in agreement with the concept, although Fr. N did make the point that it would almost make the Anglicans Gnostics. He had no problem with that lol. Lash
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164654)
• Garden Grove, California
16 Oct 11
hi pikey I think God will believe he is well put first with a mans wife so there is no choice. God is a lot more brilliant and wise than we so He know that our mates are next to God and we if we are good decent people will take care of wife or husband and children even as we talk to God and ask his help nay beg his help in some emergencies,I am not a Catholic just a lowly ordinary Protestant trying to be a good christian but not the kind that just gives lip service. I think G od and family are almost synonymous when it comes to any emergency and I have had more than my share in my own life as I watched my husband breathe his last breaths. God was in my prayers all the time I stood there and the weeks before. I think theres no question really as they come at the same time.Interesting provocative discussion Pikey. lol
@p1kef1sh (45640)
16 Oct 11
It has caused me to do some thinking Hatley. I'm not sure what the answer is yet though.
1 person likes this
@stephcjh (32328)
• United States
16 Oct 11
I honestly have no idea. Alot of it is hard to understand.
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@p1kef1sh (45640)
16 Oct 11
It is certainly a tricky one Steph. Personally I don't have a problem but many Roman Catholics do.
2 people like this
@1hopefulman (28324)
• Canada
22 Oct 11
God comes first no matter the family situation. He comes before mother, father, brother, sister, friend or marriage mate. Jesus showed that. Matthew 10:37 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA) 37He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me. The real problem is that the whole priesthood arrangement is not part of the Christian arrangement. There were no priests in early Christianity. 1 Timothy 4:1-4 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA) 1Now the Spirit manifestly saith, that in the last times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to spirits of error, and doctrines of devils, 2Speaking lies in hypocrisy, and having their conscience seared, 3Forbidding to marry, to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving by the faithful, and by them that have known the truth. 4For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be rejected that is received with thanksgiving:
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@jerzgirl (8013)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
23 Oct 11
This can be because it is what was dictated even by Jesus' disciples. Although Paul preferred to remain unmarried and would have liked others to be as well, he and the other disciples plainly stated that priests and ministers were to have only one spouse, meaning they could be married. They didn't have to be, but they could be. It also predicted that one of the signs of the last days before Christ's return, there would be forbidding to marry, and the Catholics clearly do that. Jesus told those with family obligations that He was to come first, regardless. That doesn't mean those who place importance on their families don't love God, but it does mean that if you are ready to drop everything and everybody to follow Him to heaven (presuming your family doesn't choose the same), then your heart's in the right place.