Friday, May 17, 2002

Now for the rest of the story...

Emily Stimpson, the author of Fool's Folly, one of my favorite blogs has devoted a fair amount of attention to the subject of celibacy over the past few weeks. Unfortunately, some of what she has bought into this discussion is a new and completely ahistorical view of celibacy, that no one has ever held or taught until very, very recently.

Celibacy has become a "issue" sort of like female altar servers were a few years ago--when the Vatican finally said female servers were okay, a lot of well meaning people felt betrayed. But for those who know Church History there was no shock and subsequently no crisis of faith. Celibacy, like it or not is akin to "no meat on Fridays" and other such church disciplines.

It is not at all on the level of real doctrines like Jesus' Divinity, the virgin birth and the resurrection.

Now, what makes Ms. Stimpson's fixation with defending celibacy truly strange, is her flaunting what a great priest, she is blessed to have over there in Steubenville. To quote her from her blog today under the heading "Dispatches From A Healthy Part of the Body":

Father Ryland rocked again last night. He delivered a fifteen-minute homily on the power of papal infallibility and the beauty of true Christian unity in the Roman Catholic Church. How many priests do you know who stand in the pulpit, holding the Documents of Vatican II in their hand, and, almost jumping up and down with excitement, exclaim, “Oh I just wish we had hours together so we could keep reading this”?

Lord I’m a lucky girl.

This isn't the first time she's mention Father Ryland. He is a great priest. He wrote the original version of a pamphlet that we publish called "Top Ten Reasons to Come Back to the Catholic Church."

But guess what....

He's married, that's right. He is not celibate.

Now I'm not saying that is what makes him such a "great" priest. I just wonder how Emily can hold him up as the model and wish we all had someone like him and at the same time argue that celibacy is the greatest thing since "sliced bread."

Fr. Ryland is an Anglican convert who was allowed, like many others, to be join the Catholic Church be ordained again (since the Vatican doesn't recognize Anglican orders) and remain married.

Fr. Ryland probably thinks celibacy is great too, in fact that is probably where Emily receives her drive to defend it, but he's married and if he really believes in it, he'd dismiss his wife or live as brother and sister.

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