Monday, July 23, 2007

Qartaba once again has a scoop

The quaint little village of Qartaba had yet another first-ever this weekend: the married priest Naoum was ordained as a Monseigneur. This made him the first ever married priest to reach this high level. Obviously, it was a big event and the whole town was present in church to witness it.

Or rather, around the church since there were many more people attending the service than there were seats available. No worry, the organization has put plenty of chairs outside the church and no one had to miss a word thanks to loudspeakers

The service was held by the archbishop of Jbeil and was followed by a small video presentation that captured the highlights of Monseigneur Naoum’s life. All his life, he has been the town’s priest so many people know him very well. Yet, there were some details new to most of us. The most remarkable factoid was that he was already speed-dating before it even existed.

Due to his family moving to South America, the young student Naoum had to get married so his future wife could take care of the household. No problem: he was introduced to ten potential wives in as many days and got married on the 11th day! And, like a fairy-tale, they lived happily ever since. It only goes to show that love at first sight does exist and speed dating can work.

He is the third Monseigneur from Qartaba and the first ever priest who is married. Unique to the Catholic Church, the Maronite church allows married men to become priest. Typically, they are town priests and do not rise much in the church as the higher positions are reserved for the ‘career priests’ who are not married. It is therefore even more of a reason for all of Qartaba to be proud of the success of one of her sons.

5 comments:

Ms Levantine said...

Hi Riemer,

I think you should double check the story. In the 30's Patriarch Arida elevated his bother-in-law Ignace Kairouz of Bsharre to Monseigneur.

Monseigneur Kairouz was the father of Habib Kairouz, Bcharre's MP from the 60's to the early 90's.

I think Bcharreh was some 70 year ahead of Kartaba on this one.

MM.

Anonymous said...

"Unique to the Catholic Church, the Maronite church allows married men to become priest."

Are you sure?

The Catholic Church consists of both the Roman Catholics (Western Rite) and the Greek/Byzantine Catholics (Eastern Rite). Greek/Byzantine Catholic (Eastern Rite) priests have always been allowed to marry and still are today. This is true all over most of the world, with notable exceptions such as in the United States where the Greek/Byzantine Catholics arrived late on the scene (in about the 1880's with the Eastern Europeans) and made an agreement with the already established Roman Catholics wherein the Greek/Byzantine priests in America would be celibate in exchange for Roman Catholic assistance in establishing Greek/Byzantine Catholic churches in the United States.

Some would argue that the Maronites are the most western of the eastern Catholic churches. Nevertheless, the Maronites still have much in common with the Eastern Rite Catholic churches, including a married priesthood.

Sorry for the long way of saying, the Maronites having a married priesthood is not unique in the Catholic Church.

Riemer Brouwer said...

@Ms Levantine,
Thanks for the info, I must have fallen prey to the PR spin doctors of Qartaba:-)

@Anonymous
Interesting, i didn't know this. Thanks for the clarification

Anonymous said...

i would like to know how ms levantint knows the story. definetly she is right but i m suprised that she knows the story

Anthony said...

I might be a bit late to reply to this article, but it just popped out on a search that I was performing regarding Becharre.

anyway, Monseigneur Kairouz is my great grand father and ms levantine is definitely right.

I am also curious to know who you are Ms Levantine :)

cheers