A Historical Day for Eastern Catholics

Glory to Jesus Christ!

It seems that the long-standing prohibition on the ordination of married men to the Eastern Catholic priesthood in the diaspora is finally, officially, coming to an end. The prohibition came about because of two separate papal letters, Ea Semper and Cum data Fuerit. These two documents caused much turmoil in the Byzantine Catholic Church in America and lead to many Byzantine Catholics returning to the Orthodox Communion of Churches.

Since Vatican II, the Eastern Catholic Churches have been working to restore, in the diaspora, the tradition of married clerics. Married Eastern Catholics priests have been slowly growing in the United States but officially the ban was still in place. With the upcoming publication of Acta Apostolicæ Sedis, vol. CVI, no. 6, June 6, 2014, a terrible wrong will be officially off the books and the Apostolic Tradition of the Eastern Catholic Churches to have both a married and celibate priesthood will be restored worldwide.

The lifting of the ban will also help with ecumenical relations with the Orthodox Church, as the forced celibacy of Byzantine Catholic priests was seen as a negative example of what communion with Rome would mean.

The report in Italian can be found here. An English report here. A good friend, Neil, published an English translation on the Byzantine Forum.

The Archeparchy of Pittsburgh has posted a letter from Metropolitan William to the clergy, monastics, and lay faithful of our Metropolitan Church on the recent news coming out of Rome. The text of his letter can read here: Letter from Metropolitan Archbishop William.

Also, the Archeparchy has produced an English translation of the announcement from Rome, which can be read here: Vatican DecreeWhat wonderful news for the Byzantine Catholic Church. May the Lord bless our Church with many priests, both married and celibate.

Through the prayers of our holy father, Theodore, Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on us and save us. Amen.

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