What brought this to mind is that there has been a little talk about married clergy among U.K bloggers. Father Hunwicke's thought on the matter:
I think that the admission of married men to the Latin Rite priesthood is, at this particular moment and given the present situation within the Latin Church, to be strongly resisted.
Briefly, two reasons.
(1) Clerical celibacy is ultimately a matter of discipline; it has been derogated from; therefore it can be derogated from. On the other hand, the restriction of the Sacrament of Order to viri is a matter of dogma; the church nullam facultatem habet to ordain women. The two matters are totally different. But there are people who either do not understand this distinction or who conveniently and dishonestly pretend not to understand it. Admitting married viri probati to Holy Orders would, by the ignorant and the deceitful, be described and distorted and publicised as simply a preliminary for the 'next step'.
(2) Ordination of such viri probati would, culturally, strongly emphasise the restriction of Holy Order to males, and thus place it under the very fiercest campaigning pressures. Particularly where a nun or a lay woman had de facto been running a Christian community, the sudden arrival of a newly ordained married (male) priest to take over would in fact hammer home the 'exclusion' of women in a particularly personal and vivid and visible way. There are parts of Ireland where the introduction of a married permanent (male) diaconate has, in just these last few years, been fiercely resisted - and actually prevented - by feminist and heterodox pressures. Think about it!
Be in no doubt: the call for Married Priests is but a surrogate and a tactical preliminary for the real battle: the struggle for the admission of women to Holy Order.
And Father Ray Blake is inclined to agree with him.
This sort of sentiment has been in play ever since I can remember, and it is complete claptrap. Think about your local parish. There is, no doubt a married man, or simply an older man, who shows up everyday for Mass, and generally could perform the functions of a priest. Especially if bishops were allowed to train and ordain men in their own diocese, in accord with the needs of that diocese, then these people- flesh and blood people, would be a testament to Christ and a bulwark against the youth getting into any silly progressive ideas.
If there is a progressive stratagem to getting women 'ordained' it is the stratagem of keeping men out of the priesthood for every last little reason, including that they are married. Indeed, part of the reason these ideas are perpetrated is because we all know and are comfortable with this endless left/right spat, so we don't even notice our own contributions that keep the rollercoaster rolling.
If you take the metaphor of Church as Hospital, then you need doctors. Enough doctors to provide a particular standard of care. You do not refuse to hire doctors because there are nuts. You tell the nuts to repent. If they won't repent, make them leave, because they are getting in the way of you treating other patients.
Now, my general impression of the history is that there were married priests, but that, as the popes found they could over-centralize, they got rid of married priests, mostly because married priests need to be able to provide for their families. You can send more money to Rome if everyone is celibate. It was a fundamentally unfair arrogation of power. The bishop should be able to ordain married men as his diocese needs them, not to mention the rights of the men themselves.
I don't understand how, exactly to help people who appear lost in this determination to lose nobly. There have been more than one blog I've just totally gave up on- like the What's Wrong With the World blog- I don't know what they are up to now, but I am pretty sure they are still just standing on the losing side of every single issue and insisting on not doing anything differently.