Friday, March 23, 2007

Married Bishops... Now

Last week, at the same time he sent Archbishop Ternyak home to Hungary, the Pope accepted the resignation of the country's military ordinary, Bishop Tamás Szabó.

As is usually the case, the reasons behind the departure of Szabó, 50, were not announced at the time of last week's announcement... but they've since come to light:
Hungary's Catholic military bishop has resigned because he wants to marry a woman he met in the church's renewal movement, media reported Friday....

Szabo told national news agency MTI: "I do not want to talk about my private life, I don't think that is a public matter."
In related news, Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo -- who does think his private life is a public matter (and a very public one, at that) -- has embarked on a monthlong trip to Brazil in advance of Pope Benedict's May trip there to plug his "Married Priests Now!" movement.

After the release of B16's Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation last week, it didn't take long for the excommunicated Zambian prelate to chime in his reaction to the pontiff's reaffirmation of mandatory celibacy for Latin-rite priests; in Sacramentum Caritatis Benedict "reaffirm[ed] the beauty and the importance of a priestly life lived in celibacy as a sign expressing total and exclusive devotion to Christ, to the Church and to the Kingdom of God," and "therefore confirm[ed] that it remains obligatory in the Latin tradition."

From his vacation home in Korea -- the homeland of his wife, Maria Sung, and of his new patron, the Unification church founder Rev Sun Myung Moon -- the controversial cleric said that the Pope "is still in denial about the harm enforced celibacy has done and is doing to the priesthood." True to form, Milingo went provocative, asking "if the Holy Father [is] promoting homosexuality to preserve celibacy for priests" by employing a "nuptial metaphor," which the archbishop ended up misinterpreting to make his point.

Whatever the case, it doesn't seem that Szabó will be joining the group one cleric's nicknamed "Married Milingo Now!"