[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Father Alberto: "A Blessing"

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Father Alberto: "A Blessing"

As the Father Alberto scandal continues to boil and South Floridians debate the merits of celibacy vs letting priests marry...a lot of noise, mostly good but with one minor incident this morning in front of the Father's church on South Beach, is being made by Catholics.

In the post below this one I alluded to the diverse range of opinions on the matter. Most of the opinions are reasonable and well-thought out with the best interest of Father Alberto in mind. There are also a few which can be considered to be borderline insane, but that's to be expected.

Here's one left at the Miami Herald comment page for the linked article above that puts the current situation in its proper perspective:
As a Catholic Priest and Physician, I can attest I have seen more cases of this situation. The Archbishop is not dismissing him but allowing him some space. He asked for the time for reflection and it was granted. Now, it is up to Father to decide what he wants as God's will for him. No Bishop I know of would not be more than happy to reinstate a priest who, as in the case of Father Cutie, is a marvelous example of ministry. However, this is in the hands of Father himself. If anything the Church and its Shepards are to be an example of forgiveness. This is not an argument over celibacy but one of a person ascribing to this condition voluntarily. No matter how anachronistic or whatever the extenuating circumstances, the Church's policy will not be changed. In a perfect world maybe, but not this one. He took the oath and now needs to decide if he wants to re-commit or move into a relationship. Whatever his decision, the Church or a future wife family would be truly blessed.


Blogger Fantomas said...

Father Alberto will come out of this VICTORIOUS

8:44 PM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger La Ventanita said...

You know Robert, I've been thinking a lot about this; here's my dilemma.

Celibacy was instituted centuries ago because of civil issues; mainly infidelities and inheritance issues. But within the Roman Catholic Church, the priests in the Eastern Rite are indeed allowed to marry and obviously have a family. How do they deal with the infidelities and inheritance issues? Something must be already in place.

I find that the Western Rite has a lot to learn from the Eastern Rite in this matter.

Just as well, married pastors from other religions who wish to become priests are accepted with their wives and family. How does the church deal with it then?

My comment here is that basically the centuries old legal reason for maintaining celibacy in the priesthood is pretty much moot and dated.

A good move for the church would be to maintain celibacy as an optional vow, or in specific communities, much like monjitas de clausura.

I know nothing will come of this in time for Father Albert should he decide to pursue a life with a wife; but it really should put the topic in the forefront.

1:20 PM, May 09, 2009  
Blogger Robert said...

I think the Eastern Rite's approach is sensible, but keep in mind that even there, those that are single when ordained as priests must remain celibate. Only those that are already married when ordained can remain so. I'm going to touch on this in a future post, but there's something to be said for having at least a little experience in family life before becoming a priest rather than a priest getting married at some
point after being ordained.

I'm afraid that a lot of the debate surrounding priestly celibacy in the Catholic Church is centered around the supposition that the Catholic Church, because of its "archaic" laws about celibacy and not allowing women to become priests, is rapidly losing members and ordained ministers, and therefore falling apart at the seams. By and large this is just not the case. Other denominations which allow ministers to marry are also having some issues in recruiting and keeping ministers. There's something else to this. All this is coming soon to a post near you.

3:31 PM, May 09, 2009  
Blogger La Ventanita said...

Eastern Rites work like ordaining Deacons, celibate if single and cannot re-marry if widowed.

I don't think we are rapidly losing members or ordained ministers; I do think however we are limiting our pool of potential priests by excluding married men in priesthood or married women as nuns.

I'm completely against women becoming priests for many reasons.

5:55 PM, May 09, 2009  

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