that was quick
By Diogenes ( articles ) | Dec 04, 2006
Cardinal Claudio Hummes of Sao Paolo, widely known as the Marie Osmond of the Brazilian hierarchy, gave a farewell interview on leaving his diocese en route to Rome, where he is to head up -- God help us -- the Congregation for Clergy. In the interview, Hummes was quoted as saying:
"Celibacy is a discipline, not a dogma of the church. ... Certainly, the majority of the apostles were married. In this modern age, the church must observe these things, it has to advance with history."
By his statement that the Church "has to advance with history," it turns out that his Eminence meant the opposite. The story broke yesterday, and the Holy See got a "clarification" issued under Hummes's own signature this morning. Here's an unofficial rendering of the conclusion:
It is however also clear that the norm of celibacy for priests in the Latin Church is very ancient and based on solid tradition and strong reasoning -- both of a theologico-spiritual and practical pastoral nature -- which has been confirmed by the popes as well.
Also, in the recent Synod of Bishops on the Priesthood, the opinion shared more widely among the synod fathers was that a relaxation of the rule of celibacy would not even solve the problem of the shortage of vocations, which has other causes located in modern secularized culture, as shown by the experience of other Christian denominations that have married priests or pastors.
Such a question, therefore, is not currently under scrutiny by the ecclesiastical authorities, as was recently confirmed at the latest meeting of the heads of dicasteries with the Holy Father.
Bottom line: if you've already registered for your patterns, Father, call Bloomingdales this morning and cancel.
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