Author Topic: Illegitimate children Novus Ordo priests  (Read 2205 times)

Offline Geremia

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Illegitimate children Novus Ordo priests
« on: September 03, 2018, 10:19:28 PM »
The 1917 Code's canon 984 says
Quote
Illegitimate ones, whether the illegitimacy is public or occult, unless they were legitimated or professed solemn vows
are "irregular by defect".

Why doesn't the 1983 Code Can. 1041 prevent illegitimate children from entering the clerical state or continuing its exercise?
 
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Offline The Harlequin King

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Re: Illegitimate children Novus Ordo priests
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2018, 11:27:36 PM »
The canon was imposed because of the social stigmas against being born out of wedlock, and especially because of the practice of clergy raising their illegitimate sons to also become clergymen. Both of these problems no longer exist. (And I would much prefer having to deal with "cardinal-nephews" than the vast homosexualist power rings we currently have.)
 
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Offline John Lamb

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Re: Illegitimate children Novus Ordo priests
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2018, 03:34:01 AM »
Certain aspects of traditional European society I am not that fond of. Women aborting or otherwise shuttling off their illegitimate children into orphanages is one of them.
"Let all bitterness and animosity and indignation and defamation be removed from you, together with every evil. And become helpfully kind to one another, inwardly compassionate, forgiving among yourselves, just as God also graciously forgave you in the Anointed." – Paul

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Offline Jayne

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Re: Illegitimate children Novus Ordo priests
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2018, 09:51:57 AM »
Certain aspects of traditional European society I am not that fond of. Women aborting or otherwise shuttling off their illegitimate children into orphanages is one of them.

You seem to be putting abortion and placing a child in an orphanage in the same category.  They are not.  Abortion is intrinsically sinful while placing a child in an orphanage is not necessarily sinful.  If a woman is unable to properly care for her child, it seems like a reasonable thing to do.

Obviously fornication is wrong whether or not it results in pregnancy, but there are better or worse ways to deal with the pregnancy.
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Offline John Lamb

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Re: Illegitimate children Novus Ordo priests
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2018, 11:24:39 AM »
I wasn't looking at it under the category of sin, but in the separation of the mother and child; and in that aspect, it's just as lamentable either way. A society shouldn't encourage women to hide their illegitimate children in orphanages out of shame. That would also be intrinsically sinful.
"Let all bitterness and animosity and indignation and defamation be removed from you, together with every evil. And become helpfully kind to one another, inwardly compassionate, forgiving among yourselves, just as God also graciously forgave you in the Anointed." – Paul

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Offline Jayne

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Re: Illegitimate children Novus Ordo priests
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2018, 11:39:49 AM »
I wasn't looking at it under the category of sin, but in the separation of the mother and child; and in that aspect, it's just as lamentable either way. A society shouldn't encourage women to hide their illegitimate children in orphanages out of shame. That would also be intrinsically sinful.

I don't think it is sinful to have a sense of shame over having an illegitimate child.  The child is a result and symbol of committing a sinful act.  How would a person who understood this not feel shame?

In my experience, women who are mainly interested in hiding their sin have abortions. Women who give up the child tend to be acting in what they believe is in the best interest of the child. Given all the problems associated with being raised by a single mother, it is a reasonable belief.

From what I have seen, women who keep the child tend to have a poor grasp of the sinfulness of fornication and do not feel much shame about getting pregnant.  I do not see how it is intrinsically a more moral choice than giving up the child.  In some situations, keeping the child could be irresponsible and selfish.
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Offline John Lamb

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Re: Illegitimate children Novus Ordo priests
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2018, 12:11:54 PM »
I wasn't looking at it under the category of sin, but in the separation of the mother and child; and in that aspect, it's just as lamentable either way. A society shouldn't encourage women to hide their illegitimate children in orphanages out of shame. That would also be intrinsically sinful.

I don't think it is sinful to have a sense of shame over having an illegitimate child.  The child is a result and symbol of committing a sinful act.  How would a person who understood this not feel shame?

In my experience, women who are mainly interested in hiding their sin have abortions. Women who give up the child tend to be acting in what they believe is in the best interest of the child. Given all the problems associated with being raised by a single mother, it is a reasonable belief.

From what I have seen, women who keep the child tend to have a poor grasp of the sinfulness of fornication and do not feel much shame about getting pregnant.  I do not see how it is intrinsically a more moral choice than giving up the child.  In some situations, keeping the child could be irresponsible and selfish.

There are two sins I'm referring to here: one on the part of the people who would encourage the mother to abandon her child out of shame, and the other on the part of the mother herself who abandons her child. In some cases the pressure on the mother might have been so extreme that she would hardly have been at fault at all.

Yes, in some cases, it might be best for the mother to give up her child; but to enforce this with shame, rather than permitting it only when necessary, is a corruption of morals/standards. The child is not merely a symbol of shame or sin, and should not be punished for her mother's sin of fornication.

The fact is that in these societies a woman brave enough to keep her illegitimate child would be forced to bare the shame of it for the rest of her life, whereas the woman who would fornicate with dozens of men but who had the "prudence" to use some kind of contraception or even abortion would later be able to get married and take part in "polite" society without issue. This is a corruption of morals/standards. It has nothing to do with the gospel and everything to do with worldly standards of respectability and familial pride. Children should not be separated from their mothers without grave reason, and the loss of honour is not sufficiently grave. Could we justify it to a child who grow up in an orphanage by saying, "sorry, but you're a symbol of sin and fornication, and your presence would have damaged the family's honour"?

Quote
From what I have seen, women who keep the child tend to have a poor grasp of the sinfulness of fornication and do not feel much shame about getting pregnant.

There's no shame in getting pregnant. If one woman commits fornication once and gets pregnant, and another commits it ten times but does not get pregnant – which has the greater shame? How does getting pregnant add to the sin of fornication? If anything, it would partially take away the shame, because at least something good has come out of the evil, nature has been allowed to take its course, and the parents can repair for their sin by raising the child.
"Let all bitterness and animosity and indignation and defamation be removed from you, together with every evil. And become helpfully kind to one another, inwardly compassionate, forgiving among yourselves, just as God also graciously forgave you in the Anointed." – Paul

The Question of Catholicism.

An ominous dream.
 
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Offline Geremia

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Re: Illegitimate children Novus Ordo priests
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2018, 12:29:08 PM »
The canon was imposed because of the social stigmas against being born out of wedlock,
Then why does it say even occult illegitimacy is an irregularity?
and especially because of the practice of clergy raising their illegitimate sons to also become clergymen.
Yes, the filii presbyterorum problem is mentioned in Dom Augustine's commentary on can. 984.

Offline John Lamb

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Re: Illegitimate children Novus Ordo priests
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2018, 12:37:01 PM »
The problem with enforcing the idea that pregnancy (out of wedlock) is shameful, is that it does implicitly encourage the use of contraception or even abortion (to prevent or cover up the shame). Pregnancy out of wedlock is not shameful at all; fornication is what is shameful. "Pregnancy" in and of itself is a good and innocent thing. If a woman who commits the crime of fornication intends to become pregnant by it so that she may have a child, then she's already paid off some of the debt of her sin. Conversely, a woman who uses contraception – because she wants to commit fornication without risking pregnancy – commits a double sin. And this is what I mean about a corruption of morals/standards in societies that would put greater shame on the pregnancy than on the fornication itself: if the woman comes home pregnant, the right attitude ("at least something good came of this evil") is not adopted, but what is said instead is, "why didn't you at least have the good sense to use contraception?"
"Let all bitterness and animosity and indignation and defamation be removed from you, together with every evil. And become helpfully kind to one another, inwardly compassionate, forgiving among yourselves, just as God also graciously forgave you in the Anointed." – Paul

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Offline Jayne

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Re: Illegitimate children Novus Ordo priests
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2018, 12:39:42 PM »
The fact is that in these societies a woman brave enough to keep her illegitimate child would be forced to bare the shame of it for the rest of her life, whereas the woman who would fornicate with dozens of men but who had the "prudence" to use some kind of contraception or even abortion would later be able to get married and take part in "polite" society without issue. This is a corruption of morals/standards. It has nothing to do with the gospel and everything to do with worldly standards of respectability and familial pride. Children should not be separated from their mothers without grave reason, and the loss of honour is not sufficiently grave. Could we justify it to a child who grow up in an orphanage by saying, "sorry, but you're a symbol of sin and fornication, and your presence would have damaged the family's honour"?

It is not clear to me what societies you are talking about.  Societies with ready access to abortion and effective contraception are a relatively recent development.  Within this time there has been very little shame attached to illegitimacy.

I spent years as a Birthright counsellor, dealing with women with crisis pregnancies.  I also have daughter who became pregnant outside of marriage.   Little in my personal experience corresponds to your claims.  Are you referring to some historical situation?

Also, growing up in orphanages is unusual is Western countries.  The demand for children to adopt is greater than the number of children available.  Currently, Western women normally give their children up for adoption, not to be raised in an orphanage.  In the past, it was common for illegitimate children to be raised in orphanages but it was not especially virtuous to have avoided abortion and contraception since these were more difficult to obtain then.

Quote
From what I have seen, women who keep the child tend to have a poor grasp of the sinfulness of fornication and do not feel much shame about getting pregnant.

There's no shame in getting pregnant. If one woman commits fornication once and gets pregnant, and another commits it ten times but does not get pregnant – which has the greater shame? How does getting pregnant add to the sin of fornication? If anything, it would partially take away the shame, because at least something good has come out of the evil, nature has been allowed to take its course, and the parents can repair for their sin by raising the child.

I referred, not to shame in getting pregnant in itself, but to shame for the associated fornication.  Sex outside of marriage is widely accepted in our society, so such shame is rare.
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Offline Jayne

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Re: Illegitimate children Novus Ordo priests
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2018, 12:47:42 PM »
The problem with enforcing the idea that pregnancy (out of wedlock) is shameful, is that it does implicitly encourage the use of contraception or even abortion (to prevent or cover up the shame). Pregnancy out of wedlock is not shameful at all; fornication is what is shameful. "Pregnancy" in and of itself is a good and innocent thing. If a woman who commits the crime of fornication intends to become pregnant by it so that she may have a child, then she's already paid off some of the debt of her sin. Conversely, a woman who uses contraception – because she wants to commit fornication without risking pregnancy – commits a double sin. And this is what I mean about a corruption of morals/standards in societies that would put greater shame on the pregnancy than on the fornication itself: if the woman comes home pregnant, the right attitude ("at least something good came of this evil") is not adopted, but what is said instead is, "why didn't you at least have the good sense to use contraception?"

By our society's standards, it is wrong not to use contraception, even if married.  Children are a burden on the resources of the world.  Possibly one might excuse having a child or two for those who are especially rich and successful, but having children is not seen as a good.  People are more likely to be harshly judged for having too many children than for having a child outside of marriage.  I completely agree that such attitudes are morally corrupt.
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Offline John Lamb

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Re: Illegitimate children Novus Ordo priests
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2018, 12:51:16 PM »
Yes, I'm speaking about older societies. I think it's a good development in modern society that children born out of wedlock are not stigmatised as they once were, even if that's only an accidental development of the lack of shame which fornication carries in contemporary society. This is (even if accidentally) a "pro-life" development, because it makes it easier for mothers who want to keep the children to do so.

Even if the shame attached to illegitimacy was to safeguard against fornication, clearly this was carried to excess whenever women felt it more shameful to become pregnant after fornication than not to become pregnant; such customs are in place to protect the integrity of the family, but the fact is that in many older societies the pride & honour of the family was placed beyond the limits of charity and the teaching of the gospel, e.g. when mothers were separated from their children solely to protect the family's honour.
"Let all bitterness and animosity and indignation and defamation be removed from you, together with every evil. And become helpfully kind to one another, inwardly compassionate, forgiving among yourselves, just as God also graciously forgave you in the Anointed." – Paul

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Offline John Lamb

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Re: Illegitimate children Novus Ordo priests
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2018, 01:02:40 PM »
By our society's standards, it is wrong not to use contraception, even if married.  Children are a burden on the resources of the world.  Possibly one might excuse having a child or two for those who are especially rich and successful, but having children is not seen as a good.  People are more likely to be harshly judged for having too many children than for having a child outside of marriage.  I completely agree that such attitudes are morally corrupt.

Yes, modern society has found an even more sinister and all-encompassing way to stigmatise pregnancy. Before you had to get rid of your child if it hurt your family's social standing; now you have to get rid of it if it would harm the environment or whatever. Both put worldly considerations above the natural law and the care of souls, and both are willing to tolerate or even encourage fornication as long as the "evil" of pregnancy is prevented.
"Let all bitterness and animosity and indignation and defamation be removed from you, together with every evil. And become helpfully kind to one another, inwardly compassionate, forgiving among yourselves, just as God also graciously forgave you in the Anointed." – Paul

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An ominous dream.
 
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Offline The Harlequin King

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Re: Illegitimate children Novus Ordo priests
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2018, 01:14:32 PM »
Then why does it say even occult illegitimacy is an irregularity?

To be thorough.

My advice for anyone who still has scruples about receiving ministry from an "illegitimate" priest is: you can always ask him about his parents and see how that goes.
 
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Offline The Harlequin King

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Re: Illegitimate children Novus Ordo priests
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2018, 01:36:58 PM »
As an aside, I've heard that the SSPX seminaries try to observe this old rule. I don't know if they grant waivers and under what conditions. Under the conditions of modern society, this could get really convoluted. For example, my parents were legally married when I was born, but it was my dad's third marriage, so from a sacramental point of view, it gets iffy. (My parents are both baptized Christians, but not Catholic.)

I suspect that if I had applied to an SSPX seminary, they'd let it slide.