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It got front-page attention in The New York Times. The story seemed to have the imprimatur of a professor at Harvard Divinity School in an academic paper which she delivered recently in Rome.
Predictably, other newspapers and television and radio outlets were on their phones looking for comments from theologians and various religious spokesmen and spokeswomen. Catholics and a large number of non-Catholics assume that there is a Catholic answer, and that it begins with some variation on the leading expression, "of course not".
They would be surprised if a Catholic began to answer in any other way. Sort of like a "man bites dog" response. But only a conservative Catholic would expect there to be a Catholic answer to the question, and would quickly excoriate anyone, especially a Catholic theologian, who might say otherwise.
Whether Jesus was married would make no difference to his faith in Jesus or his vow of chastity. I would agree almost totally with Father Martin who wrote in The New York Times whether Jesus had a wife or not would make no difference to his faith in Jesus or to his vow of chastity. But, unfortunately, many Catholics might assume that the vow of chastity and the promise of celibacy are one and the same.
Every human being is bound to practice the virtue of chastity, even if they might differ on its content and scope, whether vowed or not.
On the other hand, the promise of celibacy is not in response to a divine command. There are Catholic priests who are married for example, ex-Anglicans and ex-Episcopalians who have become Roman Catholics and priests of the various Eastern riteswhile thousands of Catholic priests of the Roman or Latin rite are indeed still bound by the man-made promise of celibacy.
If Jesus had a wife, however, the primary basis for obligatory clerical celibacy in the Roman Catholic Church would be out the window. So the question is an important one after all.
It affects thousands of priests in the Roman Catholic Church, including most of its pastors and associates, as well as priests who teach in our colleges, universities, and high schools, the many who are chaplains in the military, in hospitals, and in prisons, the dwindling few who serve as editors of their diocesan newspapers and other publications, and priests in various special ministries.
Karen King, the Harvard scholar, did not imply in her paper that Jesus had been married, but she did suggest that the question of his celibacy and marital status was a matter of debate among early Christians. According to The Times, Dr. King has arranged to have the chemical composition of the ink tested at Harvard in mid-October.
She said in an interview that the center at Harvard could not schedule the testing before she had presented her paper. Where does that leave us? Pretty much where we were at the beginning of the most recent controversy.
However, the issue remains important, even to the Vatican.Essays in Early Eastern Initiation. Alcuin/GROW Liturgical Study 8, Nottingham: Grove Books (with Lawrence Hoffman) The Making of Jewish and Christian Worship. Richard Mcbrien Essays In Theology Sample Essay Examples Roots of AntiSemitism Roots of AntiSemitism After learning about the Holocaust, Ive asked .
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In early , however, the CDF published an updated Profession of Faith with three additional paragraphs, which many commentators have found to. Richard P. McBrien Crowley-O'Brien-Walter Professor of Theology - University of Notre Dame, USA Dominus Iesus: An Ecclesiological Critique (Lecture given at the Centro Pro Unione, Thursday, 11 January ) Introduction.
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