Anomalies From the Rooftop

Theology from Anomalies. One story a day from the world of Christianity that is just a little off-beat. Sometimes, in shouting the good news from the rooftop, Christians do some strange things.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Archbishop Milingo Publicly Supports Married Priests

It seems that rouge female Bishops ordaining female priests hasn't been the only recent public rejection of clerical strictures for the Roman Catholic Church. In a July 12th interview with the Catholic News Service, Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo of Lusaka publicly supported the marriage of priests and voiced his desire to reconcile married priests with the Roman Church. The Vatican has since censured him, though it's not clear what other action will ultimately be taken. Those in his homeland have pronounced themselves "aggrieved and embarrassed."

The Telegraph has a brief but very informative and interesting history on Archbishop Milingo, who first got himself into serious trouble by focusing on exorcisms and witchcraft in Africa, and then really grabbed the Vatican's attention when he married a younger Korean woman in a Moonie ceremony in New York. He has since spent most of his time outside Rome, essentially being hidden from the public's eye by the Vatican. This has apparently not prevented him from playing with his band, "The Monsignor Milingo Experience." He has cut two pop albums.

Archbishop Milingo's position, of course, is easily theologically defensible. This even the Roman Church acknowledges, as it accepts married priests in some of the Eastern Rite churches within its fold and acknowledges the priesthood carried out in the Orthodox Church. I think the real shame in this story is that the person who is getting the news attention for supporting married priests is such an eccentric. Relaxing the demands for celibacy, which are historically a medieval development anyway, could help to renew the priesthood and the Roman Church as a whole, particularly in the West. But the idea will struggle to gain traction as long as the media coverage is focused on a 76 year-old eccentric with a Moonie wife and a penchant for exorcisms.


Post a Comment

<< Home