PRIESTS SHOULD BE ABLE TO MARRY NOW AS DID THE APOSTLES AND CLERGY BEFORE CONSTANTINE. CELIBACY SHOULD BE A PERSONAL CHOICE, NOT INSTITUTIONAL MANDATE. POVERTY SHOULD NOT BE A CHAIN THAT COMPELS SUBSERVIENCE. OBEDIENCE SHOULD AS WELL BE FOUNDED ON COMMITMENT RATHER THAN SILENT SUBMISSION.
Ok, stop yelling at me!
The following is an edited version of my reply:
Your comments regarding our vowed life present a misunderstanding of the life we are called to and seek to live faithfully as Dominican Friars. You mention that you believe priests should be allowed to marry. What is missing from your comment is an understanding of religious life. This is not new to us in this life and it is a very sad reality for the people we have served for many decades. They tend to not understand our life. If Holy Mother Church allowed priests to be married it would have no effect at all on our life as professed religious. We take vows and are not secular clergy like diocesan priests.
Religious orders from the very beginning of their respective existences have embraced the celibate life in vows. This is different than the secular clergy, which most of the time came out of married life until the rule was made a regular part of church law around 1000 A.D. As you may know, one of the reasons this was done to eliminate the scandal of nepotism. The handing on of Church property from father to son and so on was a sad period in Church history.
I am all for those who want to petition the Church to relax the celibate clergy requirement, I just wish there was a deeper understanding of the whole argument before making broad statements. I cannot count how many times I have been told that priests should be allowed to marry. This is followed by my explaining that it would not affect me if they did. Followed usually by blank stares from the person I am engaging in this conversation.
As to your comments on poverty and obedience, let me just say that it is with complete freedom as a child of God that I entered into this life, was formed for it and give myself completely to the people of God for their salvation. Neither I nor any of the brothers of the Order are ignorant of what these vows mean and how we live them out. What might be helpful is to know that diocesan (secular) clergy do not take vows of any kind but promises of celibacy and obedience to the bishop along with a promise to pursue simplicity of life. They also are not ignorant of the gravity of their promises.
In other words: no one lied to us, compelled us, twisted our arms, promised us trips to Disney World, or any other deceptive tactic to get us to say yes when we took our final vows.
Our Yes meant Yes!