Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Cardinal of Vienna Presents, Not Necesarrily Supports

“In the Vatican, Card. Schönborn also presented the so-called "Initiative of the lay faithful" (Laieninitiative), a petition by relevant Austrian Catholics launched earlier this year, which asks for the abolition of compulsory celibacy, the return to activity of married priests, the opening of the diaconate to women, and the ordination of [married] 'viri probati'.” -ASCA

People are heralding that Card. Schönborn is supporting married priesthood and women in the deaconate, but this is very unclear. The Vatican news has only revealed that at the urging of the Austrian people Card. Schönborn has presented the ‘Initiative of the lay faithful.’ This really opens the question: should there be a married priesthood as in the Byzantine Rite? Is the vocation of the priesthood able to be carried out properly by a man with a family? One must look at the position of a pastor as the Father of His parish or in a monastery in the monastic life; their lives are dedicated to God fully. The byzantine rite allows priests to be married, and they are dedicated to God. I do not have an answer to this question, are byzantine priests who are married less devoted than those who are solely devoted to God. I look to the wisdom of the Vatican and the insight of priests who have more insight into these questions; furthermore it is interesting that this petition was brought by the lay people and not a collective effort of the clergy. Does this reveal who would like a married priesthood? Women’s ordination is another question, ordinations have been exclusively male, and would this change hurt the natural order and nature of the clergy? I am sure these are all questions that are going to addressed by the Vatican.

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