Celibacy

 


  1. BulletCelibacy is a disciplinary rule and not an unchangeable dogma


Objection #1- The Catholic church should allow their priests to be married.


This is an old call whose supposition rests on the fact that the past and present scandals that have rocked the Roman Catholic Church will all quietly go away if priests are allowed to be married.  This actually is a false belief because even married priests in other Protestant churches have scandals and are not necessarily much more happier than Catholic priests. Nor should it be a numbers game between the fractions of Christianity as that serves no purpose but the evil one. It is also false because scripture tells us that the church is made up of sinners not perfect people.


The call to be celibate while it is not dogma is enforced by the church as it views priests as being married to their bride their church. It is commitment made to the church voluntarily and frees one of the distractions of married life. Furthermore, because it is a disciplinary rule where priests are asked to take a vow of celibacy, exceptions are made to that rule such as those priests from Anglican and Lutheran orders that come into the church who are married. The Catholic church hence has married priests although their numbers are dwarfed by the celibate priests.


As for the Orthodox church, Catholic answers says in its section on marriage, "Even in the Eastern churches, though, there have always been some restrictions on marriage and ordination. Although married men may become priests, unmarried priests may not marry, and married priests, if widowed, may not remarry. Moreover, there is an ancient Eastern discipline of choosing bishops from the ranks of the celibate monks, so their bishops are all unmarried. "


Objection #2 - There is no Biblical support for celibacy


This is false information. Many sources exist in the bible such as 1 Cor. 7:7-9 by the apostle Paul who was himself unmarried. The text reads:


7:7. For I would that all men were even as myself. But every one hath his proper gift from God: one after this manner, and another after that.

7:8. But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they so continue, even as I.

7:9. But if they do not contain themselves, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to be burnt.


Here Paul is telling us that we each have gifts and callings and he would that all men were like him in verse 7. In verse 8 he continues to tell us that if unmarried to continue being that way.  In Matt. 19:10-12 and Luke 18:29 we read


19:10. His disciples say unto him: If the case of a man with his wife be so, it is not expedient to marry.

19:11. Who said to them: All men take not this word, but they to whom it is given.

19:12. For there are eunuchs, who were born so from their mothers womb: and there are eunuchs, who were made so by men: and there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can take, let him take it.


and


18:29. Who said to them: Amen, I say to you, there is no man that hath left home or parents or brethren or wife or children, for the kingdom of God's sake,

18:30. Who shall not receive much more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.


In verse 11 of Matthew’s gospel Jesus is telling us that it is not for all men but celibacy comes through the Grace of God that enables some men to heed his word and practice it. For some it is fasting as well as praying. Likewise in Luke’s gospel our Lord is saying that riches are to be expected in this world and the next for those who do practice celibacy.


Objection #3 Gen. 2:24 states Wherefore a man shall leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be two in one flesh. Here is proof positive that marriage is for all.


This scripture passage is God’s plan for all of mankind. That is man and woman are meant for each other to be one in God’s eyesight. However, it is a general call and clearly there will be exceptions to the rule as 1 Cor. 7:7-9, Matt. 19:10-12 and Luke 18:29 testify too.


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