Why Can’t Catholic Priests Get Married?


To answer this question I am posting a discussion I had in the comments section of Priesthood of all Believers.

Peter’s style in the comments section was casual/IM…thus, without punctuation or capitalizations. This is normal in those venues and does NOT mean he doesn’t know how to punctuate or capitalize. I didn’t make all of the corrections needed to make his comments and questions formally correct b/c it would have been a lot of work. I thought he had very good and honest questions, representative of the questions many people have so I decided to put them in a post. So, here is our discussion:

Peter: i think you are dead right about presbyters (being the word translated “priest” in English). that is why some are placed into positions of leadership (like james the just or peter and paul, etc). however, these leadership positions are extensively talked about by paul in timothy and other places. in timothy, paul says that presbyters are to be husbands of but one wife and their kids are to be respectful because if they cant control their family they cant control the church.

so now tell me, how can a claim be made that presbyters are supposed to be celibate? there is no mandate that presbyters are celibate. in fact, the exact opposite. paul says that they should marry if they cant control their passions.

BFHU:

You are absolutely correct. There is no Biblical mandate that Priests are to be celibate. In fact, we know since Peter had a mother-in-law that he must have been married, at some point. The normal discipline of priestly celibacy could be changed to allow priests to marry. Celibacy is a discipline in the Latin Rite Catholic Church it is not an unchangeable doctrine or dogma. Eating fish on Fridays, similarly, was a discipline in the Church but it was changed and priestly celibacy might be changed, could be changed, theoretically. But it probably will not be changed any time soon. So disciplines can change but dogma does not change.

There are many good reasons to keep celibacy but the best is because the celibate Priest most closely models Jesus Christ, who was celibate. He also, stands in Persona Christi in most of the sacraments and since in Heaven there will be no marriage, the priest also models life in the age to come. In the Eastern Orthodox churches and even some non Latin rite Catholic Churches married men are ordained to the priesthood. But the married ones cannot become Bishops. And people in these churches prefer the unmarried priests to the married ones for the obvious reason that an unmarried priest can be married to the Church as he is called to be, and a more available father. But they must marry before ordination; they cannot afterwards marry. And in the Latin Rite Catholic Church Deacons can be married but if their wife dies they may not remarry. These are the disciplines of ordination.

Peter: so why should we discount the ministry of a man simply because he has chosen marriage?

BFHU: The ministry of a man who marries is not discounted by the Church. It is his vocation just like priesthood is a vocation. The married man is purified through his marriage and models the loving union of the Trinity-Man/Woman/child. The fruitfulness of their love brings new life. And he fulfills his priesthood of believers by being:

a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

And the priest, also, is purified through the difficulties of his vocation. The fruitfulness of of the Priest’s love of the bride of Christ brings new life, born for eternity in Heaven.

Peter: dont we learn many otherwise impossible lessons through oneness with our wives? isnt that why JB, JC, and paul all spoke of the relationship between man and wife as an allegory for Christ and the church?

BFHU: Absolutely accurate there! Thank you for your polite and excellent questions.

Peter: thanks for the response. i agree with you about your points, minus one problematic thing i have always disagreed with the church on. why if the word presbyter is the only word for “priest” do we think that now a priest SHOULD NOT be married.

BFHU: It is not a matter of “should not” but it is a matter of discipline for those who wish to shepherd the church of God, to give up marriage and family in order to devote all attention to the Bride of Christ. The Church does not forbid marriage to any one. All who feel called to the vocation of marriage are free to marry. Part of the discernment for the priesthood is, Am I willing? Am I able to give up marriage? Most are not called to the priesthood. It is a gift.

I Cor 7:1 It is good for a man not to marry…An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs —how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided.”

Peter: i understand there are some whom God calls to live celebate lives, but most of us burn with passion if we arent married.

And as St. Paul said, ” it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”

BFHU:Very true and then they should marry but as Jesus said….

Matthew 19:12For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

Peter:

besides that we are supposed to follow Tradition as it is passed down to us. the very earliest traditions (not only in the New Testament, but also in church history) there were many priests and bishops who were married.

BFHU: Please read I Cor 7 and realize that the Catholic Church takes Paul’s advice much more literally than most Protestants. The New Testament is the earliest Tradition. And we follow it. The Catholic Church still has married priests and celibate priests. The unmarried more closely follow the example of Christ in this matter.

Peter: so what do you do with the fact that peter (and others seemed to be married)? peter, according to the catholic church, is the first pope. what a precedent to set for popes who have the “discipline” of celebacy. we are to go by tradition, the church just seems to pick and choose which traditions it likes.

BFHU: Have you done any research to understand how and why the Church has made the decisions she has? I have experienced over and over thinking, “OK, now there can’t be a good explanation for this! But, once I looked into it, the explanation was beautiful and absolutely sublime. For instance, when a Jewish Levitcal Priest was chosen to go into the Holy of Holies,as Zecharia father of John the Baptist was, they had to remain celibate for a month. Celibacy was a discipline for entering into the presence of God just one time on one day. But our priests are in the Presence of Christ in the Eucharist every day. Therefore, perpetual celibacy is a fitting fulfillment of the OT law. For more information, you might be interested in this article about the History of Celibacy. Additionally, Tradition with a capital “T” refers to the unwritten teaching of the apostles. And the Catholic Church is as bound to follow that teaching as sacred scripture. Tradition with a lower case “t” would apply to the traditions of men, family traditions, ethnic traditions etc. Celibacy is a Church discipline, as it was passed down from the disciples and is what you WILL find today in the Catholic Church to this day.

48 Responses to Why Can’t Catholic Priests Get Married?

  1. NYer says:

    Very beautiful and thorough explanation. My pastor’s great gradfather was a married priest whereas my pastor is celibate. For many Protestants, the issue of priestly celibacy is such a challenge. To you excellent post, I would add two comments.

    1. While it is true that Peter, the first pope, was married, he was already married before being called by Christ.

    2. Quoting from NCR’s December 2006 edition ….

    During the 2005 Vatican Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist, Cardinal Nasrallah Sfeir, the Maronite patriarch of Antioch in Lebanon, said that half of his diocese’s priests are married. “It must be recognized that if admitting married men resolves one problem, it creates others just as serious,” he told the synod members.

    The priest’s duty to care for his wife and children, ensure their education and oversee their entry into society are among the problems Cardinal Sfeir mentioned.

    “Another difficulty facing a married priest arises if he does not enjoy a good relationship with his parishioners,” he said. “His bishop cannot transfer him because of the difficulty of transferring his whole family.”

    Celibacy, in fact, is “the most precious jewel in the treasury of the Catholic Church,” the cardinal declared, contrasting the practice against an impure culture. “How can celibacy be conserved in an atmosphere laden with eroticism? Newspapers, Internet, billboards, shows, everything appears shameless and constantly offends the virtue of chastity.

    “If Jesus Christ wanted priests to be married,” he continued, “he would have gotten married himself.”

    That last statement really sums it up.

    • joey says:

      when you say “If Jesus Christ wanted priests to be married,” he continued, “he would have gotten married himself.”” you have to think of 2 things.

      one being, at that time by jewish law men had to be married by 20. and mary washed his feet which would have been an outrage if they wernt married.

      and then on top of that im just adding he would have had to had brothers and sisters. because anyone that was shown to excell if there beliefs like jesus did he would have been sent to study so one day he could start hos teachings. but again by jewish law if the husband where to die the eldest would have to take the responsablities of the husband so that would be the only way that he wouldnt have been sent away..

      • Heyder says:

        Genesis 2:18 – 24
        18) Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”

      • bfhu says:

        Matthew 19:12

        For there are eunuchs, that were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are eunuchs, that were made eunuchs by men: and there are eunuchs, that made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

  2. TheePhoenix says:

    My reply to this given on my blog:

    http://theephoenix.blogspot.com/2008/07/celibacy-of-best-christians.html

    To summarize my view, i feel it’s sad that the best christian lineages are being destroyed, by a mandate not made by God.

    If anything, the only one with this power is God, and he never mandated the celibacy the pope is restricted to.

  3. With which power?

    The keys of the kingdom are given unto Peter and this tradition gives the community twice the priest by giving it all of the man.

    I have had married priests. Their time is divided, either the family or the parish suffers.

    • Heyder says:

      Genesis 2:18 – 24
      Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”

      • bfhu says:

        Matthew 19:12

        For there are eunuchs, that were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are eunuchs, that were made eunuchs by men: and there are eunuchs, that made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

  4. 5 Arguments Against Priestly Celibacy and How to Refute Them

    CRISIS E-LETTER

    Crisis magazine has put together a list of arguments for priestly celibacy and responses to commonly heard criticisms. We hope it helps you better prepare for the future and the role all of us must play in restoring the moral authority of our Church.

    5 Arguments Against Priestly Celibacy
    Allowing priests to marry would end pedophilia.

    It is completely untrue that celibate priests are more likely to be pedophiles than any other group of men, married or not. Pedophilia affects only 0.3 percent of the population of Catholic clergy, and sexual abusers in general account for less than 2 percent of Catholic priests. These figures are comparable to rates among married men, as non-Catholic scholar Philip Jenkins points out in his book Pedophiles and Priests. Other Protestant denominations have admitted to having similar problems among their own married clergy, so clearly the problem is not with celibacy.

    A married clergy would create a larger pool of healthy priestly candidates, solving the current priest shortage.

    There are actually plenty of vocations today in faithful dioceses: Denver, Northern Virginia, and Lincoln, Nebraska, have great numbers of men entering the priesthood. If other dioceses, such as Milwaukee, want to answer the question of why they have so few vocations, the answer is simple: Challenge young men to a religious life that is demanding, countercultural, sacrificial, and loyal to the Holy Father and Catholic teaching. This is the surest way to guarantee a greater number of vocations.

    Married priests relate better to issues concerning marriage and the family.

    To put it bluntly, one doesn’t need to be an adulterer to counsel other adulterers. Priests understand the sacrificial nature and sanctity of marriage in a way that few others do. Who better to counsel a person in the ways of keeping the marital vow of fidelity than one who keeps the vow of celibacy?

    It’s unnatural for men to be celibate.

    This idea reduces men to animals, creatures who can’t live without their sexual urges being gratified. But humans are not animals. Humans make choices about the gratification of their appetites. We can control and channel our desires in a way that sets us apart from the rest of the animal world. And again, most sexual abusers are not celibate. It’s sexual license that breeds sexual abuse, not celibacy!

    Celibacy in the Latin rite is unfair. Since the Eastern rite allows married priests and the Latin rite allows married priests who have converted from Episcopalianism and Lutheranism, why can’t all priests be married?

    The discipline of celibacy among priests is one of the distinctive marks of the Roman Catholic tradition. Anyone who chooses to become a priest accepts the discipline. The Eastern rite, Lutheranism, and Episcopalianism, on the other hand, have a long tradition of married priests and the infrastructure and experience to handle it. However, Eastern rite priests and married priests who have converted from Lutheranism or Episcopalianism are NOT allowed to marry after their ordination or remarry after the death of their wife. In addition, the Eastern Church only chooses bishops from among their celibate, unmarried priests, clearly demonstrating that they see an inherent value in the nature of celibacy.

    5 Arguments for Priestly Celibacy

    Celibacy reaffirms marriage.

    In a society that is completely saturated with sex, celibate priests are living proof that sexual urges can be controlled and channeled in a positive way. Far from denigrating the sexual act, celibacy acknowledges the goodness of sex within marriage by offering it up as a sacrifice to God. The sanctity of marriage is dishonored if it is treated merely as an outlet for sexual impulses. Rather, we as Christians are called to understand marriage as the inviolable commitment of a husband and wife to love and honor one another. A priest offers up a similar commitment of love to the Church, a bond that cannot be broken and that is treated with the same gravity and respect as in marriage.

    Celibacy is scriptural.

    Fundamentalists will tell you that celibacy has no basis in the Bible whatsoever, saying that Christians are called to “Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). This mandate speaks to humanity in general, however, and overlooks numerous passages in the Bible that support the celibate life. In 1 Corinthians, for example, Paul actually seems to prefer the celibate life: “Are you free from a wife? Do not seek marriage. . . . Those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. . . . The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided” (7:27-34). This is not to say that all men should be celibate, however; Paul explains that celibacy is a calling for some and not for others by saying, “Each has his own special gift from God, one of one kind and one of another” (7:7).

    Jesus Himself speaks of celibacy in Matthew 19:11-12: “Not all can accept this word, but only those to whom it is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of God. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.” Again, the emphasis is on the special nature of celibacy, one for which not all men are suited, but one that nevertheless gives glory to “the kingdom of God.”

    Perhaps the best evidence for the scriptural support of celibacy is that Jesus Himself practiced it!

    Celibacy is historical.

    Most people assume that the celibate priesthood is a convention introduced by the Church fairly late in history. On the contrary, there is evidence that even the earliest Church fathers, such as St. Augustine, St. Cyril, and St. Jerome, fully supported the celibate priesthood. The Spanish Council of Elvira (between 295 and 302) and the First Council of Aries (314), a kind of general council of the West, both enacted legislation forbidding all bishops, priests, and deacons to have conjugal relations with their wives on penalty of exclusion from the clergy. Even the wording of these documents suggests that the councils were not introducing a new rule but rather maintaining a previously established tradition. In 385, Pope Siricius issued the first papal decree on the subject, saying that “clerical continence” was a tradition reaching as far back as apostolic times. While later councils and popes would pass similar edicts, the definitive promulgation of the celibate, unmarried priesthood came at the Second Lateran Council in 1139 under Pope Gregory VII. Far from being a law forced upon the medieval priesthood, it was the acceptance of celibacy by priests centuries earlier that eventually led to its universal promulgation in the twelfth century.

    Celibacy emphasizes the unique role of the priest.

    The priest is a representative of Christ, an alter Christus. In this respect, the priest understands his identity by following the example of Jesus, a man who lived His life in perfect chastity and dedication to God. As Archbishop Crescenzio Sepe of Grado explains, “[A priest’s] being and his acting must be like Christ’s: undivided” (The Relevance of Priestly Celibacy Today, 1993). As such, the sacramental priesthood is holy, something set apart from the rest of the world. Just as Christ sacrificed His life for His bride, the Church, so too must a priest offer up his life for the good of Christ’s people.

    Celibacy allows the priest’s first priority to be the Church.

    The image used to describe the role of the priest is one of marriage to the Church. Just as marriage is the total gift of self to another, the priesthood requires the total gift of self to the Church. A priest’s first duty is to his flock, while a husband’s first duty is to his wife. Obviously, these two roles will often conflict, as St. Paul noted and as many married priests will tell you. A celibate priest is able to give his undivided attention to his parishioners without the added responsibility of caring for his own family. They are able to pick up and go whenever necessary, whether this involves moving to a new parish or responding to a late-night crisis. Celibate priests are better able to respond to these frequent changes and demands on their time and attention.

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

    This article originally appeared in the CRISIS Magazine e-Letter. It is printed with permission.

    Copyright © 2002 Crisis Magazine

  5. ultraguy says:

    TheePhoenix wrote: “it’s sad that the best Christian lineages are being destroyed by a mandate not made by God”

    Minor point: BFHU explained quite clearly (I thought) how this is not a mandate or a dogma but a discipline and a calling. There is a world of difference!

    Major point: If one regards spiritual ‘lineage’ as purely, or significantly, a construct of blood (DNA), you would be correct… but even so, only in the world’s terms. I.e., Charles Darwin would smile but St. Augustine would calmly tell you go read ‘City of God’ and come back when you’re ready to argue the point in heavenly terms.

    In other words, how can it be that openness to God is a biologically inheritable trait?

    In countless stories in the Bible (not to mention just looking around at the dynamics of families over generations today) it is not only true, but routine for the child of Godly parents to rebel… and for the child of un-Godly parents to become quite faithful.

    To claim that Christian ‘lineage’ is reducible to bloodlines is also (and, I would venture, most importantly) to ignore a specific, pivotal teaching of Jesus himself, in John 3:1-10 (his dialog with Nichodemus). Verses 5-6 are especially germane here:

    “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

    If this were not so, how would one explain the wide influence that a pastor often has (whether celibate or not) among a flock not produced of his loins? At the risk of particularizing with an example, one thinks of PJPII’s awesomely vast spiritual influence on the world of the late 20th century… and how he died childless in the DNA sense.

    Is his ‘lineage’ any less large for having been celibate? Quite the contrary: it is far far wider than some who have been rather adept at spawning children… but inept at bringing them to faith. One can only imagine (and shudder) at what the world would look like if he’d had to devote even a few hours a week of his prodigious energy, mind and spirit to the inevitable domestic cares of a spouse.

  6. Theephoenix says:

    Believe it or not children do grow up, and they do become independant.

    If you look at the age of the current pope(81), you would know that he wouldn’t need to be taking care of kids.

    What he would be doing was instilling a deep devotion to God, from birth, that no one has ever felt.

    No one has ever grown up in the arms of a pope, as their child, this is because of a fictional mandate made by men.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    If you really believe that your parents religion and devotion don’t matter, in the terms of raising kids, then give your children to an orthodox jewish family in Israel.

    Lets see how great of a christian he becomes, or even better give your child to an Orthodox Muslim family and see how good of a christian he becomes.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Your points seem flawed, because they rely on the fact that the devotion of a parent doesn’t matter to a child.

    When in reality it does, and if you were tested on that reality, you would see the effects.

    This fictional mandate made by men has refused Pope’s, bishops, and Cardinals the right to instill a deep devotion in their children.

    And in the end the Christian religion will be populated by average to poor christians who have average or little faith.

    The best christians could not populate the earth because of their celibacy.

    All because of a fictional Mandate made by men.

    Celibacy is not mandated on the best of christians, if it was we’d see it say so in the Bible.

    God does not support you, logic does not support you, neither do a growing number of a christians who will in short time do away with priestly celibacy.

  7. The Popes, bishops and Cardinals (BTW, cardinals ARE bishops, with relatively little exception) haven’t been denied children. We call the Pope “The Holy Father” for a reason.

    We do see celibacy mandated in the Scriptures under the old covenant. Levitical priests were to remain continent during their time at the altar. The Catholic priests time at the altar is the entirety of his life.

    In short time what we will actually see is the continued juggernaut growth of priestly vocations as we have seen in the last 20 years among orders and diocese that commit to sound formation and teaching. Stop back often, we love to post ordination photos of all the new priests being ordained daily.

  8. Nite_Hump says:

    All of you are so wrong…You see origionally Catholic priests did marry, however Priests then were chosen from wealthy families and once the priest did his wife inherited. Well the greedy catholic church thought, well we will have no more of this and hence precluded priests from getting married ergo the church inherits.

    • bfhu says:

      Can you please cite your source for this accusation? Was this the apostle Paul, Peter or John or which apostle?

    • Arnold says:

      In 1139, Pope Innocent II headed the Second Lateran Council which enforced the rule that priests can no longer marry.

      • thefrenchchick says:

        Arnold, the questioner was asking for your source supporting your statement that “Originally Catholic priests did marry”. Please give your source for this statement. Thanks.

  9. joey says:

    why could prisets marry up to the 16th centuery but then around that time the church stoped it?
    im not trying to be disrespectful but that was the same time sexually trasmited Diseases where becoming known does that have anything to do with it?

  10. Nan says:

    My understanding is that it has always been preferred for priests to be celibate but that it was in the 11th or 12th century that it was codified.

  11. Nan says:

    To show commitment to God.

  12. bfhu says:

    The better to image Jesus who was celibate. The better to image life in Heaven, celibate, no marriage at all. To adhere to the words of Jesus,
    “Some are eunuchs for the Kingdom of God” So we are just taking Jesus literally.

    • Pesty says:

      There is absolutely no evidence that Jesus was celibate. A Jewish man such as Jesus, living when he did, most likely had a wife.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Indeed it is good to some extent for priest to be celibate. But my question is what will happen to a priest if he gets married after ordination?

  14. thefrenchchick says:

    My, albeit limited, understanding of this issue is that the priest would have to leave the priesthood before he could marry. Marrying after ordination is simply not allowed. Celibacy is a requirement of the office of the priest.

    Perhaps someone more familiar with canon law can give you a more thorough answer.

  15. r kelly says:

    this was preached in our church that cothlic prest were married at one time.a lot of them were to welthy famileys around the 18 centuery they were ordered to get rid of there wives and they abanded ther children and ordered to turn all there propety and money over to the chrch that is how the roman cotholic church got wealthy

    • bfhu says:

      The Church where you heard that was propagating pure lies. Celibacy has been practiced by Catholic priests since the beginning. St. Paul 1 Cor. 7:7 At the beginning of Christianity priest were often ordained after they had married. But as time went on celibacy became a way to weed out those who’s commitment was of a lower level and a way of more closely imitating Christ, who was never married.

      Please see this Celibacy in the Early Church

      • dmp says:

        That is all bull. The Church did not want to share the wealth with families. nor support a wife and children.

      • bfhu says:

        dmp,

        Thanks for your opinion. How would you prove your unsupported assertion? I think you have been misled by some pretty virulent anti-Catholic calumny.

  16. R Kelly says:

    also i found a site on computer why peter is not the first pope. and it goes on to list 10 reasons why peter could not be the first pope.I Am catholic but i am surprised to find out the roman catholic church has a very shady past.And i don’t for a second go along with all the man made laws they come up with in the church. i switched to pncc polish national church. i think they go by the bible more . i know they do i went to catholic school we had to go to church every morning cause our bus got there before school opened and church was going on . in all those years i never heard mention of the bible.and tell this day they don’t say much about the bible. why is this

    • bfhu says:

      Peter was the first leader of the Church founded by Jesus Christ. It was called the Catholic Church by 107 AD as shown by a letter written by St. Ignatius shortly before his martyrdom.

      People can say anything on sites of the internet. That does not make them true. The Catholic Church is a hospital for sinners. So, there always have been and always will be Catholics who sin, are shady, or scandalous. The Church herself and the Faith of the Apostles is pure.

      If you don’t think the Bible was ever mentioned in the Catholic Church then you did not receive a very good instruction in your faith by parents or teachers or else as a young child it just did not register. The Catholic Mass has more scripture than any Protestant service. And the scripture is read at every mass every day in every Catholic Church around the world. In three years one will hear almost all of scripture just by going to mass on Sunday.

  17. JWilson says:

    R Kelly – I am saddened to find out that you don’t think the Raman Catholic Church is based in scripture. After all, we have both old testament and new testament reading each Sunday. Liturgy of the hours is all scriptually based. Additionally, as the wife of an ordained Deacon in the Roman Catolic Church, I can well understand why priests are called to celibacy. A priest cannot have a foot in both the secular world as well as the church. It would be two forces pulling in different directions. Men who convert to catholism after having been a Pastor in another christian denomination are not asked to put aside their spouse if they decide they are called to the priesthood.

    • GOD'S CHILD says:

      AND YET WITH ALL THAT SCRIPTURE THERE IS STILL GREED AND EVIL IN THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH. IT IS SAD TO SEE THAT GOD’S POINT IS BEING OVERLOOKED. IT HAS BECOME SOMETHING OUT OF THIS WORLD, AS A GOD FEARING CHILD I CANNOT FOR THE LIFE OF ME SEE GOD HAPPY WITH HOW THINGS ARE BEING DONE IN HIS HOUSE BY HIS CHILDREN. THE YEALY COST TO SUPPORT THE POPE CAN FEED 3 STARVING COUNTRIES, THAT IS A SHAME AND I KNOW IT MAKES MY LOVING AND FORGIVING GOD CRY. I WAS RAISED IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND LISTENED TO A PEDOPHILE PRIEST PREACH THE WORD OF GOD. AND YES NOT ALL PRIEST PEDOPHILE BUT THERE THERE ARE MORE THAN MOST THINK BECAUSE REALITY IS WE WERE MADE TO PROCREATE AND CELIBACY IS NOT SOMETHING MOST CAN DO AND BE SANE WHICH IS WHY IT WAS MEANT TO BE A CHOICE NOT A REQUIREMENT TO BE A PRIEST. VATICAN CITY LOVES THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL WHICH IS MONEY AND THAT IS NOT GOD’S WAY. PRAY, HAVE A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, HAVE HIM IN YOUR HEART ALWAYS AND DON’T LEAVE IT UP TO THE CHURCH.

      ALL THESE COMPLICATED RULES AND DENOMINATIONS. THAT IS NOT WHAT GOD IS ABOUT. WHEN JESUS WAS GOING FROM PLACE TO PLACE TALKING ABOUT HIS FATHER AND AFTER HIS COME BACK THERE WERE NO DENOMINATIONS AND IT WAS THE SAME GOD THEN AS WE HAVE NOW. GOD WANTS US TO JUST SIMPLY SPEAK HIS WORD AND HE WILL DO THE REST. C’MON PEOPLE, WE WANT TO ENTER HIS KINGDOM NOT BE STUCK BETWEEN A ROCK AND A CRAZY PLACE WHERE IS IS NOT.

      THAT IS VERY INACCURATE, THAT ILLNESS IS AN EQUAL OPPRTUNIST!

      BE EVER SO BLESSED BY HIS GRACE…

  18. Morse says:

    Of Interest;

    A book entitled ‘The Naked Parish Priest’ the book was is the result of of doctrinal research of a R.C academic and Anglican chaplain; whereby over 3518 Roman priests where questioned / surveyed (British) both Secular and regular priest. 63 returned undeliverable – response of 1482 – thus 41.1% answered. (NB: for academic research is is/was high)

    Points of discussion:
    91% felt married Roman priests should be allowed to marry (note Anglican priest being admitted to Roman orders)
    51% celibacy should remain.
    81% said salvation can also be found outside the Roman church.

    Thought this would be of interest – wonder how this would differ in the U.S – doctrinal research anyone?

    Best regards,
    M.

  19. Lesego says:

    I think the catholic church priest should be given an option if they want to marry or not. As an african women family is very important and this will help all priest to apply marriage counselling practical as they will be practising it. So this law must be relooked as there are some priest who are married already in the church

    • bfhu says:

      Priestly celibacy is a discipline of the Church. Priests DO have the option of marriage before they are ordained. The Church does not force them to become a priest and forgo marriage.

      True there are married priests in the Catholic Church. These are former Protestants who were ministers in their denomination and converted to Catholicism. But this takes a special permission of the Pope. And, there are Eastern Catholic Church that both married and celibate priests. This discipline could change but I doubt if it will. The disadvantages far outweigh the advantages you think there might be with marriage counseling. Divorces, child support, divided attention between parish and family. Ask any Protestant minister who Married. Not easy. In just practicalities the disadvantages outweigh the advantage of marriage counseling. Do you not pray and trust the Holy Spirit to help your priest counsel marriages?

      Peace Be With You, Pam Forrester bfhu.wordpress.com

  20. margaret says:

    I think the Catholic Priest should be able to marry. It will stop the molestation of these young boys within the Catholic Church. After all Priest are only human. I don’t see any reason why they cannot marry, before ordination or after.

  21. bfhu says:

    Margaret,
    It is an urban legend that marriage prevent child molestation. Most children who are molested are molested by married men and occasionally married women. If no child were ever sexually abused by a married person you might have a point. But since most molesters are married would you say that marriage should be banned?

  22. Sylvester Sunday says:

    May God bless Catholic Church. I am happy to know this.

  23. peacebwy says:

    I attend Mass every week, we learn from our Parish Priest about the life of Christ and hear about ways to live a Catholic life. We are encouraged to show love to all in our daily life. When we fail, we should examine our conscience and try again.
    Sin, occurs in all walks of life, the Priesthood included, this is a sad fact. Crimes should always be dealt with in Law.

    I Love my Catholic faith and wish to learn about other faiths. There is good all around us.
    May God bless everyone who uses this site.

  24. This page definitely has all the information I wanted about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  25. howard says:

    The church does NOT have a right to forbid marriage or ‘meats,etc.’ Inspired Paul told Timothy “Now the Spirit speaks expressly that in the latte times some shall depart from the faith giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons… FORBIDDING to marry and commanding to ABSTAIN from meats… which God created to be received by those who believe and KNOW the TRUTH…”lTim.3:1-5

    • bfhu says:

      Agreed Howard. But the Church does not forbid marriage. Any man is welcome to marry a woman if there is no impediment. We also have married priests but in the Latin rite we only ordain men who:

      Matthew 19:12… and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.”

  26. howard says:

    What % of Catholic priests and other officer holders in the church that committed sex offenses against boys were/are gay?

  27. For more than two decades, the Catholic church has grappled with a series of clergy sexual abuse scandals and lawsuits. Why can’t Catholic priests get married ?… There is no Biblical mandate that Priests are to be celibateIn fact, we know apostolate peter was married, he was already married before being called by Jesus Christ. Holy Bible says… “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him”. (Genesis 2:18 – 24).”It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” (1st Corinthians 7:1-2). So nuns and priests should be allowed to get married insted of making issues.. http://sureshjoseph2009.blogspot.com/#!/2012/04/wolves-in-sheeps-clothing.html

    • bfhu says:

      All Catholics have a choice to get married or to go into the priesthood and be celibate. All of those verses applay to those who have a vocation to marriage. But those verses do not mean that everyone MUST get married. Men who choose to become priests and live a life of celibacy for the Kingdom of God sacrifice the goods of married life and children. As Jesus said:

      Matthew 19:12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.”

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