22 February 2014
I'm embarrassed by what I read...
UPDATE: It appears that Mr. Zimmerer's blog post has been pulled by "Word On Fire."
When I first read the blog post by Jared Zimmerer on Fr. Barron's "Word On Fire" website ("Why I Don't Want Priests To Marry"), I was a bit confused as to why it would be on what is otherwise a superb site.
After re-reading it, now I'm simply embarrassed. Aside from the obvious ignorance displayed in the title (the Church has never allowed priests to marry; rather, she ordains married men to the priesthood), Mr. Zimmerer seems completely oblivious to the long and unbroken tradition of married clergy in the Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church, to say nothing of the more recent development of ordaining married former Anglicans in the Western Rite.
Is he saying that God has not called these married men to the priesthood? That certainly presents a problem, because the Church, in her wisdom, has confirmed God's call to each of these men.
Is he saying that the Church is mistaken in all these cases? I wouldn't want to go down that road.
Is Mr. Zimmerer saying that God cannot give grace sufficient for a man to fulfill his vocation to marriage and to priestly ministry? That would paint the picture of a weak and miserly God, and such a picture certainly doesn't describe the One Whom we worship.
Does God call celibate men to the priesthood? Obviously, yes! And He gives them the grace they need to live the celibate life. Does God call married men to the priesthood? Again, obviously yes! And they, too, receive the grace necessary to live out those vocations.
I think Mr. Zimmerer needs to stop second-guessing the Church. He's entitled to his opinion, certainly. But his opinion doesn't trump the decision of Christ's Holy Catholic Church.