Friday, June 01, 2007
While at this point in my faith life I would welcome a married pastor for the reason that I wouldn't always be wondering what man he slept with last night, an article about married Catholic priests at Tradition in Action offers something else that caught my eye...von Balthasar theology:
MARRIED PRIESTS? THEY ARE HERE - Once I discussed the topic of married priests and women priests with Fr. Edouard Hammel, S.J., who had the courtesy to receive me twice in Rome, opening time in his busy schedule as Vice-Rector of the Gregorian University, possibly the most prestigious university of Rome. At the time Fr. Hammel was also a member of the International Theological Commission. He was a moral theologian who had been a perito at Vatican II, and had participated in the writing of Gaudium et spes.
When the day comes that both women and men are priests, I asked him, could an act of love between them as a “reflection of God” ever be made on the altar? I based my question on the writings of some progressivists who define the act of “amoration” – the sexual act – as the best reflection of the Trinitarian life. Fr. Hammel smiled, looked knowingly at me, and noted that Fr. Urs von Balthasar defended similar ideas. Later, he gave me a very interesting article summarizing the erotic aspects of Balthasar’s theology. But Fr. Hammel did not think that this “best reflection of God” should take place on the altar.
The interview continued, and I addressed the question of when the ordination of women would be allowed. Following a good Jesuit style, with his eyes and facial expression Fr. Hammel encouraged me to expect women’s ordination, but he did not say a word that could compromise him. To close this topic, he said in more or less these words: “As a first step we should expect married men to come to the altar.” That was in 1983.