06/22/09 08:00- ID#49031
Priest sex Debate
So I found this article interesting I put Up a link On Facebook but it is a pretty good article I think so I figured I should put it up here also. If you follow the link then there are other links you can follow for other stories about this same subject or at least some what realated
Sex and the Priestly: Father Cutie Renews Celibacy Debate
By AMY SULLIVAN Amy Sullivan - Mon Jun 22, 6:50 am ET
It's hard out there for a pope these days. On Thursday, Pope Benedict XVI launched what he is calling "The Year of Priests," exhorting Roman Catholics to spend the coming year honoring the sacrifice of their local pastors and directing priests to encourage each other so that they might, among other things, "be able to live fully the gift of celibacy and build thriving Christian communities."
Overshadowing the Pope's declaration, however, was the news that earlier in the week Father Alberto Cutie - the Miami-based priest and television personality who left the Catholic church last month amid soap opera-worthy scandal - had married his girlfriend of two years. Also making waves was the publication of former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland's memoir detailing his life as a closeted gay man within the church and the loneliness that drove him to pursue a sexual relationship with another man. Weakland, who stepped down seven years ago when he turned 75, the age when priests typically submit letters of resignation that the Church may or may not accept, is the highest-ranking Catholic leader to publicly reveal his homosexuality.
Although both he and Cutie have insisted they do not want to be held up as poster boys for changing the Church's celibacy requirement, their stories have added new fuel to a long-simmering debate. The Catholic Church in the U.S. has a serious priest crisis - the number of men entering the priesthood has dropped by 60% over the past four decades and the current average age of active priests is 60. Many dioceses have been forced to close parishes or import foreign priests to deal with shortages. But advocates of celibacy reform say there is a better solution: ditch the 900-year-old church law prohibiting priests from marrying or being sexually active.
For the first thousand years of the Christian church, priests, bishops, and even popes could - and often did - marry. At least 39 popes were married men, and two were the sons of previous popes. The ideal of celibacy existed, but as a teaching from the Apostle Paul, not a church doctrine. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul argued simply that single men had fewer distractions from their godly work: "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."
Over the centuries, the Church tried to split the difference, prohibiting marriage after ordination and encouraging married priests to abstain from sex with their wives after they had joined the priesthood. (The Eastern Orthodox CHurch continues to allow married men to be ordained as priests.) But it wasn't until the Second Lateran Council in 1139 that a firm church law allowing ordination only of unmarried men was adopted. Journalist and former priest James Carroll contends in Practicing Catholic that the reasons for this celibacy requirement were not purely theological. "Celibacy had been imposed on priests mainly for the most worldly of reasons: to correct abuses tied to family inheritance of Church property," he writes. "Celibacy solved that material problem, but because of the extreme sacrifice it required, it could never be spoken of in material terms. So it was that sexual abstinence came to be justified spiritually, as a mode of drawing close to God."
Prospective priests understandably needed more convincing to embark on a life of chastity. Which is why, according to conventional wisdom among Catholic scholars, alongside the celibacy requirement grew a theological argument that God would bestow the "gift" of celibacy upon those whom He called to religious vocations. A document from the Council of Trent assured skeptical priests that "God refuses not that gift to those who ask for it rightly, neither does He suffer us to be tempted above that which we are able."
Donald Cozzens, professor at John Carroll University and author of Freeing Celibacy, has written that some priests do indeed feel freed from sexual longing and a desire for personal intimacy upon entering the Church. But "there remain other priests who believe deep down they are called to the priesthood but not to celibacy," he writes. "And for these men, the burden of mandated celibacy threatens their spiritual and emotional well-being." Weakland felt this challenge acutely, particularly once he rose to the rarified but also isolated position of archbishop. "I soon realized that a relationship with Jesus Christ, as intense as it might be on the spiritual level, could not fill the emptiness rising from the lack of the physical presence and reality of another human person," he writes in A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church.
Cozzens and others have argued that the Church should consider making celibacy a voluntary discipline for priests. Because it is a rule and not an unchangeable dogma, the celibacy requirement could be altered or rescinded by the Vatican if it chose to do so. Earlier this year, advocates of celibacy reform got a surprising boost from then-outgoing Cardinal Edward Egan of New York, who told a Catholic radio host that the celibacy question was "a perfectly legitimate discussion." He suggested that celibacy might not be a reasonable expectation in every locale. "I am not so sure it wouldn't be a good idea to decide on the basis of geography and culture, not to make an across-the-board determination."
Egan was speaking with the candor of a man about to retire. His replacement, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, rebuffed a group of 163 priests in the Milwaukee Archdiocese back in 2003, when they asked to at least launch a discussion about celibacy in the context of priest shortages. Even Pope John Paul II, who quietly started allowing married Protestant ministers to convert and become Catholic priests, was firmly opposed to reconsidering the celibacy requirement. Weakland reports that he regularly found himself in hot water during John Paul's papacy because he socialized with and employed former priests who had resigned and married.
As for Benedict, it seems unlikely he will be more inclined to revisit the Church's celibacy policy. In 2006, he publicly reaffirmed the spiritual purpose of the requirement and made it clear that dissenters on the issue would not be tolerated, excommunicating an African bishop who had ordained several married men as priests. For now, at least, celibacy is not open for discussion. And that is why Father Cutie, Catholic priest, is now Alberto Cutie, Episcopal priest-in-training.
View this article on Time.com
I guess My take on it is this. I get that Priests Duty is to the church and the teachings of god and all that stuff, but should that really be all they do, why can't they have a family as well? I know there was a time when you couldn't even have kids, Yes you couldn't adopt and when some did it was a huge problem (not sure how true the Father Clemons movie was, but it was very good). On the other hand though I do get that Some One who isn't Married isn't supposed to have sex out side of Marriage so from that perspective saying you can't have any sex at all kinda makes sense, but I don't really agree with that. I thought that currently you can have kids and be Married and then apply for the Preisthood (however that is done) but afterwords is a different story. In any event it is something to think about.
04/18/06 07:42- ID#28353
Sulu Backs Gays
I found this article on usatodays web site. I find it interesting. All I will say about it is that i think it is good that Takei sticks up for what he belives I think it is funny that they use his charcter name in the article tittle I assume since it is better known. I think gay rights are important. But the question I have is if these are religous based schools, why would they change there religous based policies aganst homosexuality. I don't think they can change the people beliefs. They may however be able to convience them that even though they don't belive it is right that they shouldn't condem gays or hold it aganst them. Hopefully as this stroy progresses it will be in the news some more.
Star Trek's Mr. Sulu backs gay activists
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Mr. Sulu beamed down to lend support to student gay activists who tried to visit a private Christian university.
George Takei, who played the helmsman in three Star Trek TV seasons and six movies, made a surprise appearance Monday after a busload of Soulforce Equality Riders tried to talk about faith and gay rights with students at North Central University in downtown Minneapolis.
The 33 activists are traveling by bus to 19 U.S. colleges with religion-based policies opposed to homosexuality. They were locked out of school buildings when they arrived at North Central, which is owned and operated by the Assemblies of God.
After sitting in front of the doors for most of the afternoon, the Soulforce riders and supporters rallied at a park across the street when Takei, who came out as a homosexual last year, stopped by.
The 68-year-old actor said the activists' "equality trek" shares themes with those of the starship Enterprise.
"They have shown courage and character in showing that most people of faith are not extreme reactionaries who oppose equal rights," he said.
Tour organizer Jacob Reitan, 24, said the colleges they are visiting "equate homosexuality with sickness and sin. It's time to have a conversation instead of defaming our humanity."
Nate Ruch, executive director of university relations at North Central, said last week that the riders declined an offer to have a third party mediate a discussion.
Takei was in town to speak at a gay pride event at the University of Minnesota.
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
03/02/06 07:55- ID#28317
Catholic town, Catholic law
New Florida community would ban abortion, pornography, birth control
By BRIAN SKOLOFF
A sketch shows the proposed chapel at Ave Maria University, the new town's focal point.
NAPLES, Fla. - If Domino's Pizza founder Thomas S. Monaghan has his way, a new town being built in Florida will be governed according to strict Catholic principles, with no place to get an abortion, pornography or birth control.
The pizza magnate is bankrolling the project with at least $250 million and calls it "God's will."
Civil libertarians call the plan unconstitutional and threaten to sue.
The town of Ave Maria is being built around Ave Maria University, the first Catholic university established in the United States in about 40 years. Both are set to open next year about 25 miles east of Naples in southwestern Florida.
The town and the university, developed in partnership with the Barron Collier Co., an agricultural and real estate business, will be located on 5,000 acres with a European-inspired town center, a massive church and what planners call the largest crucifix in the nation, at nearly 65 feet tall. Monaghan envisions 11,000 homes and 20,000 residents.
During a speech last year at a Catholic men's gathering in Boston, Monaghan said that in his community, stores will not sell pornographic magazines, pharmacies will not carry condoms or birth control pills, and cable television will have no X-rated channels.
Home buyers in Ave Maria will own their property outright. But Monaghan and Barron Collier will control all commercial real estate in the town, meaning they could insert provisions in leases to restrict the sale of certain items.
"I believe all of history is just one big battle between good and evil. I don't want to be on the sidelines," Monaghan, who sold Domino's Pizza in 1998 to devote himself to doing good works, said in a recent Newsweek interview.
Robert Falls, a spokesman for the project, said Tuesday that attorneys still were reviewing the legal issues and that Monaghan had no comment in the meantime.
"If they attempt to do what he apparently wants to do, the people of Naples and Collier County, Florida, are in for a whole series of legal and constitutional problems and a lot of litigation indefinitely into the future," warned Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida.
Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist said courts would have to decide the legalities of the plan. "The community has the right to provide a wholesome environment," he said. "If someone disagrees, they have the right to go to court and present facts before a judge."
At the site's groundbreaking early last month, Gov. Jeb Bush lauded the development as a new kind of town where faith and freedom will merge to create a community of like-minded citizens. Bush, a convert to Catholicism, did not speak specifically to the proposed restrictions.
"While the governor does not personally believe in abortion or pornography, the town, and any restrictions they may place on businesses choosing to locate there, must comply with the laws and constitution of the state and federal governments," Russell Schweiss, a spokesman for the governor, said Tuesday.
Frances Kissling, president of the liberal Washington-based Catholics for a Free Choice, likened Monaghan's concept to Islamic fundamentalism.
"This is un-American," Kiss-
ling said. "I don't think in a democratic society you can have a legally organized township that will seek to have any kind of public service whatsoever and try to restrict the constitutional rights of citizens."
I don't think there is anything wrong with this idea. That is as long as there are a few things they follow. The town must be built on vacant land other people can't allready live there. This way everyone who lives there does so by choice and is chosing what freedoms they have or don't have. They have to maintain the seperation of church and state and it allways has to be maintained. That means that they get no State or Federal money. This is a privately foundend town. This goes for all businesses. This would mean that they would have to pool there money. If they where to try to get state funds then that would could be uncositiunal. I think that as long as the guy has enough money to build his owen self sustaining town then go for it. If it works it will be amazing. The one flaw I see in it is outsiders. There are supplies they will need to be trucked in and for a towne to survive people have to have a place to work and make an income and sellthings or atleast barter and at some point outside influnace may work itself in. I wonder how it would work with the college since I'm sure it gets funding. I have to admit I think it is a great idea. I think the guy is power hungery and wants to push his morality off on others and control them. But as long as everyone in the town knows what they are getting into then I have no problem. I hope it works out and they don't do anything that might violate the constitution.
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