Celibacy crept in from the outside

Compulsory celibacy defeated at
Nicaea 325, clergy’s rights
affirmed at Trullo 692
From "Celibacy is the issue," Lederer, 1992
   According to A.W. Richard Sipe's book A Secret World – Sexuality and the Search for Celibacy, 1990, the concept that the offerers of a sacrifice should remain untainted by sexual encounters goes back to ancient civilizations.  He provides such examples as the yellow-capped Lamas of Tibet, the ascetic hermits of Egypt, the virgin priestesses of Thebes, the Astorte [? Astarte] cult of Syria, the primitive worshipers of Dodona, the Vestal Virgins of ancient Rome, and the temple priests of the Aztecs. (page 35).
   David Rice presents a comprehensive historical look at celibacy in his book about resigned priests entitled, Shattered Vows.  Rice credits Catholic theologian Edward Schillebeeckx in The Church with a Human Face with asserting that clerical celibacy
originated in "a partly pagan notion of ritual purity," as Sipe indicates with the afore­mentioned examples.  At the Council of Nicaea in 325, a proposal to require celibacy for all priests was defeated and at the Council of Trullo in 692, marriage rights for priests were reasserted. (Rice page 161).
   Schillebeeckx says that, first in the fourth century came a law that forbade a married priest from having sexual intercourse the night before celebrating the Eucharist.  However, when the Western Church began celebrating a daily mass, abstinence became a permanent factor for married priests.
   "At the origin of the law of abstinence, and later the law of celibacy," said Schillebeeckx, "we find an antiquated anthropology and an­cient view of sexuality." (ibid).  Rice follows with a quotation from St. Jerome which expressed the views of both pagans and Christians at the time that, "All sexual intercourse is impure." (ibid).
Read all of "Celibacy is the issue," Thomas G. Lederer, M.A., 1992, www.arthurstreet.com/celibacy1993.html
"Celibacy Crept in from the Outside," www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/ethics/celibacycrept.htm
   Because the resulting implication of a priest living with his wife like a brother led many priests into "deplorable situations," in 1139 the Second Lateran Council forbade the marriage of priests altogether and declared all existing marriages involving priests null and void. (ibid).
   "One does not approach the altar and con­secrated vessels with soiled hands," had been the pagan view and then became the cornerstone for compulsory Christian [Roman Catholic, really] celibacy. (ibid).  Other not-necessarily concurrent or chronological developments also contributed to the establishment of the celibacy requirement for Catholic priests.  More bishops began to be chosen from the ranks of monks who had already taken monastic vows of chastity.
   Another factor was an economic development as the Church began acquiring its own property.  According to Rice, there was a real danger that legitimate children of
priests could inherit and deprive the Church of its land.  At the time, common law prevented illegitimate children from inheriting property.
   In reality, the 1139 law did not enact celibacy but merely changed marriage into concubinage.  Rice quotes from a document on celibacy prepared by church historian Hubert Jedin for the Second Vatican Council [1962-65]:
   "It would be a mistake to imagine that these permanent concubines, especially in the countryside, would have aroused a lot of scandal," said Jedin.  "We know of many cases where these 'keepers of concubines' possessed the sympathies of their parishioners and were looked upon as good and virtuous pastors." (ibid page 162)
   No finer mind than Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theologia II-IIa, 88, 11) had provided stubborn opposition to those who saw celibacy rulings as part of divine law.

Lederer, 1992, cont.
Thomas [Aquinas] contended that the celibacy requirement for Catholic priests was merely Church law that could be reversed at any time by papal or conciliar authority. (MacGregor pages 108-109).
   When the Reformation indirectly brought forth the Council of Trent in the mid 1500's [Italy, 1545-63], the Roman Catholic Church reformed itself and remodelled the priesthood to its present form.  Not only did the Council reiterate the Church's prohibition of a married clergy but also instituted reforms to try to insure the implementation of the decrees of the Church on this subject.
   Since the Council of Trent, celibacy has remained Church law, specifically upheld by Pope Paul VI in his 1967 encyclical Sacerdotalis Caelibatus.  Despite opposition from half of the bishops attending the Synod of 1971, requests from bishops in the United States, France, and Latin America in 1988, Pope John Paul II has not budged from his opposition to a married priest­hood. – From "Celibacy is the issue," Thomas G. Lederer, M.A, 1992, www.arthur street.com/ celibacy 1993.html
Christ’s and apostles’ practices
By John C. Massam – The Christian Scriptures
Peter, a married man with a house: "And going into Peter's house Jesus found Peter's mother-in-law in bed and feverish.  He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to serve him." (Matthew 8:14-15; and see Luke 4:38-39)
In 1st Peter it could be interpreted that his son was with him in a missionary city: "Your sister in Babylon, who is with you among the chosen, sends you greetings; so does my son, Mark." (1  Peter 5:13) *
Appoint mature married fathers as clergy: "The overseer therefore must be blameless, a husband of one wife, moderate in habits, sound in mind, orderly, hospitable, qualified to teach, not given to wine, not a smiter, but reasonable, not belligerent, not a lover of money, a man presiding over his own household in a fine manner, having his children in subjection with all seriousness.  (For, if a man does not know how to preside over his own household, how can he take care of God's community?) Not a newly-converted man, for fear that he might get puffed up and fall into the judgement passed upon the Devil.  Moreover, he should also have a fine testimony from people on the outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the Devil." (1 Timothy 3:2-7)
   "… appoint elders in every town, in the way that I told you, that is, each of them must be a man of
irreproachable character, husband of one wife, and his children must be believers and not liable to be charged with disorderly conduct or insubordination.  The presiding elder has to be irreproachable since he is God's representative; never arrogant or hot-tempered, nor a heavy drinker or violent, nor avaricious; but hospitable and a lover of goodness; sensible, upright, devout and self-controlled, and he must have a firm grasp of the unchanging message of the tradition, so that he can be counted on both for giving encouragement in sound doctrine and for refuting those who argue against it." (Titus 1: 5 - 9)
"… to avoid fornication, every man ought to have his own wife and every woman her own husband." (1 Corinthians 7:2)
"The husband should fulfil his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.  The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband.  In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife." (1 Corinthians 7:3-4)
"Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer.  Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control." (1 Corinthians 7:5)
"Now to the unmarried and the widows I say … if they do not contain themselves, let them marry, for it is better to marry than to burn." (1 Cor 7:8-9)  Now, isn't that guidance to clergy etc.  who find the R.C. puritanism no good for their mammal bodies, nor the bodies and minds of the altar boys and girls, and the choir girls and boys?
"What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short.  From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none …" (1 Corinthians 7:29) **
Wives accompanied missioners on their journeys, says Paul: "Don't we have every right to be accompanied by a sister, a wife, like the other apostles, like the Lord's brothers, and like Cephas?" (1 Corinthians 9:5)  Denying this, the RCC adopted the "no-sex" mindset by insisting that Mary was always a virgin, therefore had no other children after her "first-born son," thus denying the four named brothers and the unnamed sisters were Mary's children!  Expulsion from the Holy Family!
It was foretold that false teachers would forbid marriage: "The inspired spirit says definitely that in later appointed times some will fall away from the faith, leaning toward errant spirits and teachings of demons, in hypocrisy of liars, marked with a hot iron in their conscience; forbidding to marry …" (1 Timothy 4:1-3)

Changeless at the start, but see the changes!

   Jesus said: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall never pass away." (Bible, Matthew 24:35)
   "He must have a firm grasp of the unchanging message of the tradition, so that he can be counted on both for giving encouragement in sound doctrine and for refuting those who argue against it." (Titus 1: 9)
   "Therefore, brothers, stand fast, and hold the traditions which you have been taught, whether by word, or by our letter." (2 Thessalonians 2:15)
   "But if anyone is not obedient to our word through this letter, keep this one marked not to associate with him, in order that he might become ashamed." (2 Thess. 3:14).
   "Even if we or an angel out of heaven were to preach to you as gospel besides the gospel that we preached to you, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1:8)
   John wrote: "Anyone who does not stay with the teaching of Christ, but goes beyond it, does not have God. … If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, never receive him into your homes or say a greeting to him.  For anyone that greets him is a sharer in his wicked works." (2 John 9-11)
   "Fight hard for the faith which has been once for all delivered to the holy ones." (Jude, verse 3)
Clement pro-family, and Toledo Council in 400 made rules for clergy’s wives
   Clement of Alexandria wrote: "… the Church fully receives the husband of one wife whether he be priest or deacon or layman, supposing always that he uses his marriage blamelessly, and such a one shall be saved in the begetting of children." (Stromateiae, III, xiii). – Thurston, 1908.
   The Council of Toledo (A.D. 400) had decreed that "if the wives of any clergy sinned" the husbands should "keep them bound in their house, compelling them to salutary fasting" and "macerating them with stripes and hunger." – Nicholas Carter, The Late Great Book, the Bible, 1985, Truth Missions, Manhattan Beach (California), ISBN 0-910607-01-X, p 79.
Scripture best for some points: Mediaeval ‘Doctor of the Church’
Thomas Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles, 1259-64
   [2] Now, to make the first kind of divine truth known, we must proceed through demonstrative arguments, by which our adversary may become convinced.  However, since such arguments are not available for the second kind of divine truth, our intention should not be to convince our adversary by arguments: it should be to answer his arguments against the truth; for, as we have shown, the natural reason cannot be contrary to the truth of faith.  The sole way to overcome an adversary of divine truth is from the authority of Scripture – an authority divinely confirmed by miracles.  For that which is above the human reason we believe only because God has revealed it. – St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), Summa Contra Gentiles: "On the Truth of the Catholic Faith", Book One, chapter 9, part of paragraph 2.  Translated by Prof. Anton C. Pegis, Image Books, New York, 1958, p 77 (and see p 32).
Other theologians’ views come and go
Lederer, 1992
   When one looks at the formation of the Catholic theological canon, as so logically laid out in the book, Catholic Thinkers in the Clear, by William A. Herr, it is very interesting to note that no one principle or system of principles has really withstood the test of two-thousand years of time other than many of the precepts set down for us by Jesus Christ in the Gospels.  Most of the works of "other" theologians fleetingly and ficklingly fell in and out of Rome's grace.  However, when those views were the vogue, there was no question in the Vatican's collective mind that all good Catholics would embrace that particular philosophy or face excommunication, if not worse punishment.
   A good example of this is the works of Aristotle.  A fourth century B.C. Greek philosopher, his worldview made a rather unexpected comeback in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
   In 1210, the teachings of Aristotle were banned by the Catholic hierarchy. In 1230, Aristotle's works were revised to the satisfaction of the magisterium.  By 1255, Aristotle's worldviews were required in the Catholic university syllabus.  However, in 1270, the Bishop of Paris condemned as heretical 18 propositions being taught by Aristotelian professors, and a student of that school of thought, Thomas Aquinas, was condemned seven years later.  [Was this after his death, reported as 1274 ?  :-) ]
"Celibacy Crept in from the Outside," www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/ethics/celibacycrept.htm

   In 1624, French law stated that anything taught that contradicted Aristotle would be punished by death.  The interesting aspect of this pattern of dogma is the complete lack of flexibility or dialogue involved in Catholic theology as it is/was viewed by the magisterium.  There was no ability to step back and look and say:  we've just overturned last year's dogma; is it possible that there may be more than one solution to our question?  The answer was invariably "no," that the Catholic hierarchy knew best, that Catholic followers were indeed like sheep, innocent children incapable of doing anything other than following their dogmatic lead. – Extract from "Celibacy is the issue," Thomas G. Lederer, M.A, 1992, <www.­arthurstreet.com/­celibacy 1993.html>.
Years and years of study to correct 350-y-o error
   It was at once satirical as well as sad to hear the Pope's recent pronouncement that the Church had erred in the 17th century by condemning the astronomer Galileo after he maintained that the Earth was not the centre of the universe.  Pope John Paul II acted after the completion of the Vatican's thirteen-year study on the Galileo case.
   … there is the temptation to ask how it could possibly have taken the Church thirteen years [even longer – see Msgr. Pio Paschini, book, Vita et opere di Galileo Galilei, 1964, Vatican Press, Rome; 9 May 1983 Pope John Paul II reversed the 1633 Catholic condemnation of Galileo.] to confirm the fact that the Earth does indeed revolve around the Sun.  One might also ask what motivated the Church to make such a production of an announcement that must have embarrassed the majority of Catholics in the world for the acknowledgement that the Church had to wait 350 years before letting go of its fallacious view of the universe.
   As stated previously in this paper, the Church has continuously shown the pattern that today's heresy is tomorrow's dogma.  The magisterium must now accept one of Jesus' primary tenets, that of humility; it must stop its all-too convincing imitation of the Pharisees; … – Extract from "Celibacy is the issue," Thomas G. Lederer, M.A, 1992, www.arthur street.com/ celibacy 1993.html
History of Clerical Celibacy: Free choice at the start
Thurston, The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1908
First Period
   … we must necessarily begin with St. Paul's direction (I Tim., iii, 2, 12, and Titus, i, 6) that a bishop or a deacon should be "the husband of one wife".  These passages seem fatal to any contention that celibacy was made obligatory upon the clergy from the beginning, but on the other hand, the Apostle's desire that other men might be as himself (I Cor., vii, 7-8, already quoted) precludes the inference that he wished all ministers of the Gospel to be married. … This freedom of choice seems to have lasted … down to about the time of Constantine and the Council of Nicaea.
   … the statement of Clement of Alexandria at an earlier date [before 4th century] is open to no ambiguity.  After commenting on the texts of St. Paul noted above, and expressing his veneration for a life of chastity, Clement adds: "All the same, the Church fully receives the husband of one wife whether he be priest or deacon or layman, supposing always that he uses his marriage blamelessly, and such a one shall be saved in the begetting of children" (Stromateiae, III, xiii).
   Not less explicit is the testimony given by the church historian, Socrates.  He declares that in the Eastern Churches neither priests nor even bishops were bound to separate from their wives, though he recognized that a different custom obtained in Thessaly and in Greece (H.E., Bk. I, cap. xi) – Extract from: Herbert Thurston, in The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol 3, part of History of Clerical Celibacy in "Celibacy of the Clergy." [ www.newadvent. org/cathen/ 03481a.htm ] Transcribed by Christine J. Murray.

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume III
Copyright © 1908 by Robert Appleton Company
Online Edition Copyright © 1999 by Kevin Knight
Nihil Obstat, November 1, 1908. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor
Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York

"Celibacy Crept in from the Outside," www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/ethics/celibacycrept.htm
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Hebrew Scriptures’ pro-marriage texts

   In the Old Testament (the Hebrew Scriptures), which provided the main personal cultural background in the life of Jesus and his first followers, we find in the first book that Yehovah God created man and woman and told them to increase and multiply and fill the earth (Genesis 1:28).
   In the variant and contradictory creation story, Yehovah God created the man first, and after some time said "It is not good for the man to be alone" (Gen 2:18), then He created a helper, a wife for the man.
   "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." (Gen 2:24)
   There is the charming story of the care that father Abraham took to have his son Isaac married off to a suitable woman, who turned out to be Rebekah (Genesis chapter 24).
   As more Hebrew scriptures were written over the centuries, the idea of man-woman marriage just kept on being reinforced, including prohibitions of adultery (approximately 30 by my count, starting with Exodus 10:14 and Deuteronomy 5:18).  Homosexuality was also condemned.
   Congratulations ought to go to the Jews, whose doctrines as far as I know have for centuries loyally supported marriage, and opposed going down sterile cul-de-sacs.
     Look at Cruden's Concordance (p 87, 1969 edition) under the words "children's children," where they are treated as a blessing or reward ten times, not to mention a similar sentiment in the verses pinpointed under other nearby headings.
   And Christians also ought to recognise some of the Old Testament texts, because some are read out during divine service as being quoted and supported by Jesus.
   Well might we ask why some Christians are following the wrong doctrine of "forbidding to marry" (1 Timothy 4:1-3).  As an Australian magistrate said in 2010, it is a cruel doctrine.
* 1  Peter 5:13, Footnote about Peter and his son in Babylon: This letter, according to some, seems to have been written from Babylon (on the Euphrates River, south of present-day Baghdad, Iraq), which had a strong Judaic community well before the Exile.  A self-ruling Jewish community and rabbinic colleges (under a kind of ruler, the Ethnarch) existed there until shortly after 1084 A.D.  The footnotes in R.C. bibles saying that "Babylon" in this verse meant Rome are wrong.  They were inserted originally to bolster the case that Rome ruled.  Such footnotes and commentaries appeared also in other Christian bibles, most western Europeans being unaware that Judaism's scholars had been in Babylonia for centuries and remained there until the final fall after 1000 A.D.  The Christian scholars mistakenly thought that the words "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen," in Revelation (Apocalypse) 18:2 had already occured when it was written.
** 1 Corinthians 7:29, Footnote about verse asking those who had wives to live as if they had none.  This verse is but one example of the anti-marriage verses in this self-contradictory section of the Epistle.  You see, some early writers and compilers of the New Testament believed the several statements that Jesus would come back in their lifetime riding on the clouds of the sky, to judge the living and the dead.  As the years rolled by, the idea of giving up sex (and some gave up working), and just praying and singing hymns, caused a strain on their psychological health, and a drain on the Christians' finances.  So sensible Christian leaders began adding sensible verses to the various books being compiled, such as verses 2 to 5 which includes the statement that the bodies of each of a married pair partly belonged to the other member of the pair.  Such a statement runs directly counter to the killjoy extremists who infested early and later Christianity; similar "puritans" are found in Judaism, Islam, and in other religions.

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