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Jesuit defends priestly celibacy (a lengthy but worthy read)
Renew America ^ | November 18, 2006 | Donald J. Keefe, S.J.

Posted on 11/19/2006 6:26:03 AM PST by NYer

I. Preliminary Clarifications and Distinctions

The Apostolic Exhortation, "Pastores Dabo Vobis," reaffirmed the traditional foundation of priestly celibacy [1] in the nuptial union of Christ with the Church: as the priest is ordained to offer sacrifice in persona Christi, [2] so he acts in the Person of the second Adam vis-à-vis the second Eve, the Church. [3] This vindication of the tradition which discovers the foundation of celibacy in the priestly offering of the Eucharistic sacrifice [4] must itself be the basis for any further clarification of the nature of such celibacy.

At the same time, the Apostolic Exhortation raises questions whose difficulty is enhanced by the very clarity of its statement of the tradition concerning the priesthood. Here, we will examine further some of the many implications of the Eucharistic foundation of clerical celibacy and continence; [5] particularly, we will be concerned with those which arise out of the traditional interrelation of the radical liturgical authority of the priest to offer the One Sacrifice in persona Christi, with an obligation to continence which would appear to be liturgically inherent in that offering: i.e., demanded by the symbolism of the Mass. For if we would ask why in fact priests, and generally, all those who serve the altar in proximity to the mystery of the One Sacrifice, should eschew marriage, it can only be the liturgical tradition itself that holds the answers we seek, for here everything in the Church has its source and its principle of explanation.

It is a commonplace objection, one made, ironically enough, by Protestant scholars, that priestly celibacy involves some derogation from the high dignity of marriage. But of course it is the Catholic liturgical tradition which, against the Reform, has insisted in season and out upon the sacramentality of marriage, upon its irrevocability, and upon its symbolic efficacy in the undergirding of all civilized life. One may not seriously contend that the apostolic tradition which honors celibacy and continence, whether of virgins, of widows and widowers, or of the clergy, is in tension or conflict with that equally ancient and yet more foundational — because Eucharistic — tradition which celebrates the One Flesh of the second Adam and the second Eve, the New Covenant instituted by the One Sacrifice of Christ. [6]

Yet it is at this point that the two traditions intersect to form the concrete paradox whose explanation is sought: it is precisely of those who offer the One Sacrifice that continence is required, and it is required, as the Pope has reminded us, precisely because of that high priestly responsibility. [7]

The task of discovering the inner intelligibility of the strict association of celibacy and continence with priestly orders is made yet the more difficult by the fact, which Pope John Paul II was careful to point out in this Exhortation, of the exceptions to the obligation of celibacy for major clerics (bishops, priests, deacons) which are now in place, whether by indult or by law. Clearly, given the fact of such exceptions, and the yet further fact of an apostolic tradition of clerical celibacy and continence for the higher clergy — firmly established by the recent and exhaustive research of Fr. Christian Cochini and Fr. Roman Cholij as solidly as historical facts are capable of being established, [8] it is clear on the one hand, that in clerical celibacy and continence we have to do with something more than a mere disciplinary velleity urging such celibacy for merely practical reasons; [9] on the other hand, we are dealing with something less absolute than an unconditioned obligation pertaining to the recipient of orders simply as such. [10]

Celibacy cannot be said to be essential to the priesthood in the strict sense of being indispensable — for it has been and is being dispensed, and "Pastores Dabo Vobis," following Paul VI's "Sacerdotalis Caelibatus," [11] contemplates that it will continue to be dispensed in special circumstances — yet the continual conciliar and Papal emphasis upon the nonnegotiability of priestly celibacy would seem to assign it an importance and significance far more vital to the Church than comports with its being merely a dimension of the clerical and ecclesial bene esse. The nearly bimillennial preoccupation of the Fathers, the Councils and the Popes is too insistent and too persistent for such a relativization of that commitment.

The history of the obligation of priestly celibacy and continence has been reviewed by Fr. Cochini in a work of more than four hundred pages of closely-written text, and by Fr. Cholij in a book of comparable length and density; [12] we can only resume some elements of their work here, and that only in order to pose the problem before us in its historical concreteness. It must suffice that their research is in full agreement with "Pastores Dabo Vobis," in finding the traditional justification for clerical continence in the liturgical "purity" which according to the Church Fathers is the precondition for the freedom and simplicity of prayer required of the priest if he is properly to fulfill the intercessory role inherent in the priestly offering of the One Sacrifice.

There converge upon this liturgical purity a number of themes: perhaps the most insistent is taken from First Corinthians where, in a discussion of the mutual rights of husband and wife, Paul counsels his readers:

There can be little doubt of Paul's conviction of the close relationship between prayer as such and a purity that is understood as abstention from conjugal intercourse. The entire seventh chapter of I Corinthians is redolent of this theme. Paul, with the patristic tradition relying upon him, sees this abstention to be the necessary condition for the freedom and simplicity which alone can attain the intimacy with God at once befitting and demanded of the priest by reason of his continual intercession, in persona Christi, for his flock. The patristic meditation upon I Corinthians 7 consequently linked success in prayer, particularly in the intercessory prayer of the priest, to "purity;" the Latin is pudicitia, which translates also as chastity: in the case at hand, it is a chastity which would be violated by the use of marriage. [13] Cochini has pointed out that this liturgical "purity," in its application to those who serve at the altar, is the only Old Testament liturgical "cleanliness" of which the apostolic tradition has retained an analogue; all the other demands made by the Old Law concerning the means for attaining liturgical purity — bathing, for example — were simply dropped. One hears much nowadays in deprecation of priestly celibacy as largely rooted in the obsolete law requiring ritual cleanliness in the Levitical priest when offering sacrifice; [14] such analyses leave unaccountable the dismissal of such uncleanliness as the Old Testament held to be caused, e.g., by any physical contact with a cadaver. [15]

Further, Cochini has shown that this Old Testament requirement of temporary continence for Levites was subsumed, in the patristic tradition, to a hermeneutic derived from the figura-veritas relation of the Old Testament to the New. [16] De Lubac has shown this relation to be normative for the patristic hermeneutic. [17] The relation is historical: it is given concretely in the Eucharistic transcendence of the many sacrifices of the Old Law. This is to say that the patristic hermeneutic is inescapably a Eucharistic hermeneutic, whose ground is the liturgical consciousness of the free Eucharistic integration of the Old Covenant, the New Covenant, and the Kingdom of God into the history of our salvation in Christ. Consequently the patristic interpretation of such scriptural passages as I Cor 7:5-7 cannot but refer back to and in fact be simultaneous with the traditio which is the Church's central act of worship, the offering in the person of Christ of the Eucharistic sacrifice, whose original celebration was apostolic. [18]

Thus the ritual cleanliness, the continence, required for the exercise of the Levitical priesthood was understood by the Fathers to be simply a foreshadowing of the full reality of the liturgical purity as it is fulfilled in Christ, the High Priest of the New and more perfect Covenant, and which is immediately implicit in those who are ordained to offer his One Sacrifice, because from the beginning they have been authorized to offer it, and have done so, only in his person, and by his authority. [19] As the service of sacrificial intercession by the Levitical priesthood at the altar of the sacrifices of the Old Law was temporary, so also was the continence required of the Levite; as the Catholic priest offers continually the One Sacrifice of the one High Priest in persona Christi, so also is a continual continence required of his Eucharistic sacrificial intercession. This is not a mere speculative conclusion nor mere conformity to law: it is an integrating element of the self-awareness of the priest in the full realization of his orders, in the identification with the Christ that is explicit and effective in the words of consecration: "This is my Body," "This is my Blood."

Again, as the need for continuity in the Levitical priesthood made procreation by the priestly class a duty, so with the historical transcendence of the sacrifices of the Old Law by the One Sacrifice of the New Covenant offered by the Christ who is forever the High Priest, that temporary Old Testament priesthood is transcended by the unique priesthood of Christ which, as eternal, requires no begetting, as provision for its continuity, by those who offer his sacrifice in his name.

A further complication is offered by Paul's prescription for episcopal orders, that they be conferred upon a man of but one wife. [20] Cochini and Cholij have shown that the early Church took for granted the ordination of married men as bishops, priests and deacons, and also took for granted that they would be continent after ordination; nor could they remarry. [21]


However apostolic be that tradition in its antiquity, the patristic rationale for such celibacy and continual continence relied for the most part upon the fulfillment in Christ of the liturgical purity demanded of the Levitical priesthood, with certain other arguments drawn, as by Cyril of Jerusalem, from such sources as Christ's virgin birth, and the virginity of Christ and the Virgin Mary. [22] Yet these arguments remain undeveloped; uttered more or less as commonplaces which needed no particular substantiation, they do not seem to speak to the full reason for priestly celibacy and permanent continence, which, following the ancient tradition, "Pastores Dabo Vobis" affirms to be rooted in the priestly sacramental character by which the bishop or priest can and does offer, on a continuous basis, the Sacrifice of the Mass in persona Christi. More specifically, the priest is celibate simply because he offers the One Sacrifice in the person of the second Adam, whose unique sacrifice on the cross instituted his irrevocable covenantal union with the second Eve in the One Flesh of the New Covenant. [23]

We have seen that the relation between the Levitical and the Christian priesthood is simply that of the Old Testament to the New, upon which the Fathers were eloquent: this relation is concretely realized in the Eucharistic representation of the New Covenant as instituted by the One Sacrifice which fulfills and annuls the many sacrifices of the Old Law. Quite evidently, it is to the Eucharist itself that we must look if we are to flesh out the patristic justification for celibate service at the altar and, in sum, for considering the use of sacramental marriage by a man in orders as in some sense assimilable to sexual impurity. [24]

It would seem to follow, given the adequacy of the analysis which links priestly celibacy and continence to the priestly offering of the Eucharistic sacrifice, that such celibacy and continence would not be obligatory for the deacon, who does not possess the priestly character whereby he can offer the One Sacrifice in persona Christi. Yet the apostolic tradition, to whose existence Cochini's and Cholij's research gives an ample testimony, does in fact require continence of deacons, whether married or unmarried, quite as insistently as it does of bishops and priests, whether married or unmarried; the patristic and conciliar texts Cochini and Cholij cite so lavishly justify this apostolic obligation — "an indissoluble law" — by reason of the "proximity to the altar" of the deacon as well as of the priest and the bishop. [25]

Evidently, it is the deacon's specifically Eucharistic office that is there in view, for in the early Church the diaconate has its high rank by reason of the deacon's assistance at the offering of the One Sacrifice. From this stance, the liturgical continence demanded of the Levitical priesthood as it is fulfilled in the High Priest, the Christ, and in those whom he has authorized to offer his One Sacrifice in his name, must be seen to apply equally the diaconate. [26]

It is interesting that an authoritative scholarly affirmation of the apostolicity of the tradition obliging married deacons to continence had just been published in a Roman journal when the revival of the permanent diaconate was initiated at Vatican II; [27] a further article on the same subject was published by the same author (Alfons Stickler) in another Roman journal two years before the final institution of the permanent diaconate was formally promulgated by Pope Paul VI. [28] Nonetheless, neither then nor later did the Council, the Pope, or the 1983 Code of Canon Law, in recognizing the permanent diaconate, make explicit mention of a requirement of continence in married permanent deacons, i.e, those who were married prior to their ordination. At the same time, neither did the Council, the Pope, or the Canon Law dispense such deacons from subsequent continence; there is in fact reason to believe that the 1983 Code of Canon Law in fact presupposes such continence. [29]

As "Pastores Dabo Vobis" is careful to spell out, [30] celibacy is not imposed upon those married converts who subsequent to their reception into the Church have been by special papal indult ordained to the Catholic priesthood: the 1990 Synod of Bishops even stresses this latter exception, but makes no mention of dispensing the married convert from continence after ordination. [31] Celibacy and continence are of course required of all deacons who are unmarried when ordained, whether to the permanent diaconate, or to the diaconate as en route to priestly orders. Finally, as is the case for priests, bishops, and married deacons, unmarried deacons are by their orders inhibited in any case from entering a subsequent marriage or remarriage. But our concern is not directly with the continence of the diaconate, except insofar as a relaxation of that obligation must have repercussions upon the continence of the priesthood. [32] Without further remark upon diaconal celibacy, we turn to that of the priesthood.

Given the clarity of the apostolic tradition as Cochini has convincingly established it, and given the foundation of that tradition upon the priest's ordination to offer, in the person of the one High Priest, the Eucharistic sacrifice in the central event of the Church's worship, there remain exceptions to priestly celibacy which both the tradition and the papal exhortation admit and even require: exceptions which are difficult to understand. We shall not understand them by relativizing the apostolic tradition of priestly celibacy and continence, nor by departing from the comprehensive and compelling doctrine of "Pastores Dabo Vobis." Cholij cites Newman's statement of the theological principle which must guide such inquiries as this: it is worth reading again:


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Worship
KEYWORDS: celibacy; priesthood

1 posted on 11/19/2006 6:26:06 AM PST by NYer
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To: Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...

The Notes section of this article is well referenced and also worth reading.

2 posted on 11/19/2006 6:27:22 AM PST by NYer (Apart from the cross, there is no other ladder by which we may get to Heaven. St. Rose of Lima)
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To: NYer

BTTT for later.

3 posted on 11/19/2006 8:15:38 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: NYer
Priestly celibacy violates Scripture:

Genesis 1:27 says we are to be fruitful and multiply and fill the Earth.

1 Timothy 3 and Titus 2 say that the pastor/overseer/bishop is to be the husband of one wife, and is to rule his own household well that he may oversee the flock

There is no Scriptural justification for celibacy...Tradition cannot contradict Scripture.

4 posted on 11/19/2006 12:37:08 PM PST by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: NYer
My only regret about this article is that the author is a Jesuit. I just can't trust a Jesuit any more and believe firmly the Society should be crushed and suppressed.
5 posted on 11/19/2006 12:38:29 PM PST by Maeve ( Scientology is satanic.)
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To: NYer

Jesuits are and should be celibate. After all they take the vow as a good in and of itself. But what may be good for them as religious does not apply of necessity to the secular priest for whom celibacy is a prerequisite for ordination - not by necessity a good or evil. Let the religious speak for themselves - but don't try to impose the vows of their religious life on all priests.

6 posted on 11/19/2006 12:50:47 PM PST by VidMihi
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To: LiteKeeper
Genesis 1:27 says we are to be fruitful and multiply and fill the Earth.

And what of those who are infertile?

There is no Scriptural justification for celibacy...Tradition cannot contradict Scripture.

Ah, but you neglect the words of Our Lord in the Gospel. "For there are eunuchs, who were born so from their mother's womb: and there are eunuchs, who were made so by men: and there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can take, let him take it" (Matthew 19:12).

7 posted on 11/19/2006 12:51:00 PM PST by Pyro7480 ("Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world." - Pope Blessed Pius IX)
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To: Pyro7480

What do you do with 1 Timothy 3 and Titus?

8 posted on 11/19/2006 1:26:52 PM PST by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: LiteKeeper

Tradition develops Scripture. There are many things that were done in 1st or 2nd century Christianity that are not done today, and many disputes (such as the reconciliation of apostates or even sinners, for example) that were settled and do not concern us anymore.

Celibacy is a discipline of the Church. No one says it is impossible for a priest to be married, in the sense that it invalidates his actions; many Byzantine rite Catholic priests are married, for example. But I think a full theological development of the priesthood actually does lead to the understanding that it is better and more fruitful spiritually for them not to be married. An Orthodox priest once told me that he thought it would be better not to have a married clergy. He said that having them married did not stop homosexuals from getting in (they simply did a "cover" marriage with one of the desperate girls who took music or other classes at the Orthodox seminary, seeking a husband), it was enormous pressure on the wife and children that often ended disastrously - which I saw on two occasions - and it did indeed distract the priest from his duty to the Church and the faithful of his parish.

That said, since Vatican II, the entire concept of the ordained priesthood in the Church has been so obscured and become so confused that it is easy to understand why many people simply think of the priest as the equivalent of a Protestant minister and can't understand why he, like a deacon, shouldn't be married.

9 posted on 11/19/2006 1:33:56 PM PST by livius
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To: Maeve

Well, there are still some good Jesuits, and there have been some brilliant ones and many martyrs who died for the Faith. But the devil like a roaring lion goes about seeking whom he may devour, and I think he has devoured a lot of Jesuits, whose main sin is pride. Now they are proud that they are so far ahead of the rest of their benighted Church that they no longer believe in anything. Satan laughs and rubs his hands.

I suspect that there will probably have to be a reform of the Jesuit order if it is to continue. They have a big conference coming up in 2008 (IIRC), so we shall see what happens.

10 posted on 11/19/2006 1:38:19 PM PST by livius
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To: LiteKeeper; ninenot; NYer; sittnick; Tax-chick; bornacatholic; sitetest
Weren't Timothy and Titus written by St. Paul??? Does Scripture tell us that Paul was married? Did he just not get around to it? Priests model themselves on Christ (without obviously His divine nature). Was Christ married or did the Gospels neglect to reveal that detail?

No Catholic says that celibacy is doctrinal. On the other hand, being married as a Catholic priest is not doctrinal either. You can as easily read that business about a bishop being the husband of one wife as being that he should be the husband of no more than one wife (which is usually productive of a more orderly household). The Eastern Orthodox IIRC do not allow their bishops to marry at all. We Catholics (in the Roman Rite alone as opposed to the many other rites in union with the Vatican which do allow marriage for priests) do not allow priests to marry at all. The Eastern Orthodox allow married priests but do not allow them to marry after ordination to the priesthood.

One of Luther's "reform" notions was to deny the special sacramental nature of the priesthood, allegedly on the basis of Luther's eccentric take on Scripture. While priests are often pastors of parishes, some are subordinates to those who are and some have other tasks. The sacramental nature of the priesthood, regardless of the specific duties of the specific priest, is to the priesthood what being an infantryman is to being in the army. You might be a JAG officer (an army lawyer) or a military doctor but, if you are in the army, you WILL be a qualified infantryman.

For the most part, "reformed" pastors have no sacramental authority. They reject the Gospel of John 6 respecting the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, lack apostolic succession (and therefore Holy Orders), have not the power to bind and loose in regard to sins (having no role as sacramental ministers of penance), are not ministers of the sacrament of marriage (even in Catholicism priests are only witnesses that the couple acted as ministers of the sacrament), do not recognize Extreme Unction. That leaves Baptism and Confirmation. All Christians recognize Baptism but all may perform it as well. Confirmation is often not a separate arrangement in "reformed" churches although Luther's own Lutheran successors seem to have retained it. I don't claim to know if any "reformed" churches regard confirmation as a sacrament and, if so, which ones, but I suspect that the very definition of sacrament differs between Catholicism and the "reform." Then again, "reformed" pastors don't claim to be priests. If clergy lack apostolic succession, they lack the sacramental authority to confirm (at least as we Catholics understand it).

Your citations and imaginings of the meaning of Scripture are not likely to convert well-catechized Catholics from the Church that Jesus Christ personally founded upon Peter and which Jesus Christ personally guaranteed to the end. We aren't very likely to change your mind either. We don't preach at you. Don't preach at us.

Does re-hashing the issues of the Thirty Years' War seem to you to be productive of unity in the conservative movement?

How about: you and other "reformed" Christians believe in good faith what you believe and we Catholics believe in good faith what we believe? We recognize as did Jesus Christ that His flock would not be one. We work together on those matters that are common ground and agree to disagree on the rest. If we would all pay more attention to the 95% on which we agree, it would be easier to set aside for the moment the 5% on which we disagree.

Our secular humanist, atheist, agnostic, etc., common enemies have made a great deal of what they call "progress" while we divided Christians insist on public squabbling which delights our common enemies no end. Some day, we may earn the right to squabble in public again but I don't expect to live that long or that my grandchildren yet unborn will live that long either.

11 posted on 11/19/2006 3:41:28 PM PST by BlackElk (Dean of Discipline of the Tomas de Torquemada Gentlemen's Club)
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To: livius
If the Maryland Province of the Jesuits (if just that one alone) were suppressed together with the "boys" in San Francisco, then the order might have some hope in the USA.

I am reminded of a young archbishop who refers to the Jesuits as being "on the cutting edge of rage."

12 posted on 11/19/2006 3:59:52 PM PST by Maeve
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To: LiteKeeper
Priestly celibacy violates Scripture:

Incorrect. As St. Jerome wrote and you affirm on a regular basis, "Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ."

Genesis 1:27 says we are to be fruitful and multiply and fill the Earth.

"And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them." Genesis 1:27 That's what Genesis 1:27 actually says. The verse you mistakenly thought would reinforce your ignorant argument is Genesis 1:28, which is not absolute in any sense and Christ Himself contradicts you in Matthew 19:12.

1 Timothy 3 and Titus 2 say that the pastor/overseer/bishop is to be the husband of one wife, and is to rule his own household well that he may oversee the flock

"It behoveth therefore a bishop to be blameless, the husband of one wife, sober, prudent, of good behaviour, chaste, given to hospitality, a teacher." 1 Timothy 3:2 The actual meaning is that the prospective Bishop selected by St. Timothy could only have been married once, not that the prospective Bishop must have been married as the author of the Epistle, St. Paul, was himself a celibate.

You're confused, again, which isn't surprising. Titus 2 never mentions a "pastor/overseer/bishop".

There is no Scriptural justification for celibacy...

Incorrect again. Thanks for playing "I'm ignorant of Scripture". You are the grand prize winner, yet again.

"For there are eunuchs, who were born so from their mother's womb: and there are eunuchs, who were made so by men: and there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can take, let him take it." Matthew 19:12

"Then Peter answering, said to him: Behold we have left all things, and have followed thee: what therefore shall we have? And Jesus said to them: Amen, I say to you, that you, who have followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit on the seat of his majesty, you also shall sit on twelve seats judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting. And many that are first, shall be last: and the last shall be first." Matthew 19:27-30

"Then Peter said: Behold, we have left all things, and have followed thee. Who said to them: Amen, I say to you, there is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, Who shall not receive much more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting." Luke 18:28-30

"But I say to the unmarried, and to the widows: It is good for them if they so continue, even as I." 1 Corinthians 7:8

"But I would have you to be without solicitude. He that is without a wife, is solicitous for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please God. But he that is with a wife, is solicitous for the things of the world, how he may please his wife: and he is divided." 1 Corinthians 7:32-33

"For this Melchisedech was king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him: To whom also Abraham divided the tithes of all: who first indeed by interpretation, is king of justice: and then also king of Salem, that is, king of peace: Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but likened unto the Son of God, continueth a priest for ever. Now consider how great this man is, to whom also Abraham the patriarch gave tithes out of the principal things. And indeed they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is to say, of their brethren: though they themselves also came out of the loins of Abraham."

" But he, whose pedigree is not numbered among them, received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. And without all contradiction, that which is less, is blessed by the better. And here indeed, men that die, receive thithes: but there he hath witness, that he liveth. And (as it may be said) even Levi who received tithes, paid tithes in Abraham: For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedech met him."

"If then perfection was by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchisedech, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being translated, it is necessary that a translation also be made of the law. For he, of whom these things are spoken, is of another tribe, of which no one attended on the altar. For it is evident that our Lord sprung out of Juda: in which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priests. 15 And it is yet far more evident: if according to the similitude of Melchisedech there ariseth another priest,"

"Who is made not according to the law of a carnal commandment, but according to the power of an indissoluble life: For he testifieth: Thou art a priest for ever, according to the order of Melchisedech. There is indeed a setting aside of the former commandment, because of the weakness and unprofitableness thereof: (For the law brought nothing to perfection,) but a bringing in of a better hope, by which we draw nigh to God. And inasmuch as it is not without an oath, (for the others indeed were made priests without an oath;"

"But this with an oath, by him that said unto him: The Lord hath sworn, and he will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever.) By so much is Jesus made a surety of a better testament. And the others indeed were made many priests, because by reason of death they were not suffered to continue: But this, for that he continueth for ever, hath an everlasting priesthood, Whereby he is able also to save for ever them that come to God by him; always living to make intercession for us."

"For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily (as the other priests) to offer sacrifices first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, in offering himself. For the law maketh men priests, who have infirmity: but the word of the oath, which was since the law, the Son who is perfected for evermore." Hebrews 7

13 posted on 11/19/2006 6:50:19 PM PST by A.A. Cunningham
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To: A.A. Cunningham

I appreciate what you have written. I am so ignorant of book and page and paragraph, but I believe that St. Paul also wrote that it was good to be chaste.

If Catholic priests were married, I am afraid that they would join the failures of Protestant Ministers in their marriages.

When a Minister is a pastor, his wife is expected to belong to the parishoners also. That is a hard life for any woman and the reason for so many divorces.

I wounldn't wish that on our priests.

14 posted on 11/19/2006 10:25:32 PM PST by mckenzie7 (The truth will set us free!)
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To: LiteKeeper
Your post was unbelievably easy to correct and refute.

I mean no disservice as I know your heart was in the right place. But, you might want to make a note that when there is scripture that refutes your position, then your position is just an opinion. If you seek the truth, then don't hold that opinion. It is incorrect. And above all, do not go public with your false personal opinion. It only puts a bright spot light on your false prejudice.
15 posted on 11/20/2006 5:03:33 AM PST by klossg (GK - God is good!)
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To: klossg
Excuse me, teacher, who appointed you as the monitor of this thread?

I still believe, even if not argued well, that the Roman Catholic position is incorrect. And many, far wiser than me, have adequately refuted it. However, I would appreciate it if in the future, you keep your admonitions to yourself.

You sound a bit "holier than thou" in your posting!

16 posted on 11/20/2006 8:11:25 AM PST by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: klossg; LiteKeeper

Discuss the issues all you want but do NOT make it personal.

17 posted on 11/20/2006 8:14:10 AM PST by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator

I agree!

18 posted on 11/20/2006 8:33:58 AM PST by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: LiteKeeper
As a Roman Catholic, I would prefer that you keep your admonitions against my Faith to yourself but you probably won't. If you did, I assure you that I do not go out of my way to look for excuses to attack the "reform."

If you attack the Roman Catholic Church, what makes you suppose that we Catholics will accept your opinions in silence? Your opinions are not particularly original and they are not (to Catholics) particularly persuasive against the testimony of history.

19 posted on 11/20/2006 11:33:14 AM PST by BlackElk (Dean of Discipline of the Tomas de Torquemada Gentlemen's Club)
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To: LiteKeeper
And many, far wiser than me,

You give yourself too much credit.

20 posted on 11/22/2006 8:11:08 PM PST by A.A. Cunningham
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