Does anyone remember this weird contention about celibacy?


#1

About 10-15 years ago I remember hearing (or reading) a strange contention that “celibacy” didn’t mean what most people thought it meant. I want to say it was some priest like Andrew Greeley…anyway he said actually it just means that you don’t marry, that’s all. Even though I wasn’t Catholic yet I was still shocked but for a while I believed it because I didn’t know any better. I think it may have been in the 1980s. Of course, I jumped to the conclusion that a priest was therefore free to have affairs…but that didn’t seem right either. Nothing was mentioned about chastity.

Does anyone remember this argument? Is it technically correct? It did seem like he may have had an agenda at the time.


#2

Of course it is not correct.

Celibacy does technically mean that one does not marry. But in the Catholic Church ALL of us are called to chastity in our condition of life, which means that if you are not married, you are not having sex. Yes, I believe I have heard this absurd rationale for the acceptability of “celibates” to have affairs. I have also heard that it is OK for male celibates to have sexual relations with other men because celibacy means you don’t marry, not that you don’t have sex.

Go figure!


#3

[quote=caroljm36]About 10-15 years ago I remember hearing (or reading) a strange contention that “celibacy” didn’t mean what most people thought it meant. I want to say it was some priest like Andrew Greeley…anyway he said actually it just means that you don’t marry, that’s all. Even though I wasn’t Catholic yet I was still shocked but for a while I believed it because I didn’t know any better. I think it may have been in the 1980s. Of course, I jumped to the conclusion that a priest was therefore free to have affairs…but that didn’t seem right either. Nothing was mentioned about chastity.

Does anyone remember this argument? Is it technically correct? It did seem like he may have had an agenda at the time.
[/quote]

Hi caroljm36! :wave:

You heard right. Celibacy means not getting married. Chastity necessarily accompanies celibacy since no one is to have sex outside of marriage.

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:


#4

[quote=caroljm36]About 10-15 years ago I remember hearing (or reading) a strange contention that “celibacy” didn’t mean what most people thought it meant. I want to say it was some priest like Andrew Greeley…anyway he said actually it just means that you don’t marry, that’s all. Even though I wasn’t Catholic yet I was still shocked but for a while I believed it because I didn’t know any better. I think it may have been in the 1980s. Of course, I jumped to the conclusion that a priest was therefore free to have affairs…but that didn’t seem right either. Nothing was mentioned about chastity.

Does anyone remember this argument? Is it technically correct? It did seem like he may have had an agenda at the time.
[/quote]

I’m sure it was a dissenting priest like Greeley. Agenda confirmed. Minimize sin and evil. Emphasize anything but.


#5

It is correct in one sense, a Celibate person may not get married. Matrimony requires the marital act to be accomplished before the Sacrament is fully realized. That is not possible for a Celibate person.

But it is incorrect in that it is all that Celibate means. Celibate means to take a public vow to refrain from all sexual relations.


#6

Celibate does mean unmarried.

Cellibates are, of course, like all of us, called to be chaste.

And chastity within marriage is not the same as chastity outside of marriage.

Outside of marriage, chastity means no sex.

Within marriage, chastity means marital relations only with one’s husband or wife, and being open to new life.


#7

[quote=Brendan]It is correct in one sense, a Celibate person may not get married. Matrimony requires the marital act to be accomplished before the Sacrament is fully realized. That is not possible for a Celibate person.

But it is incorrect in that it is all that Celibate means. Celibate means to take a public vow to refrain from all sexual relations.
[/quote]

Read it again.


#8

[quote=caroljm36]About 10-15 years ago I remember hearing (or reading) a strange contention that “celibacy” didn’t mean what most people thought it meant. I want to say it was some priest like Andrew Greeley…anyway he said actually it just means that you don’t marry, that’s all. Even though I wasn’t Catholic yet I was still shocked but for a while I believed it because I didn’t know any better. I think it may have been in the 1980s. Of course, I jumped to the conclusion that a priest was therefore free to have affairs…but that didn’t seem right either. Nothing was mentioned about chastity.

Does anyone remember this argument? Is it technically correct? It did seem like he may have had an agenda at the time.
[/quote]

As I recall this came from some of the theologians who opposed Humanae Vitae. I think they also attempted to justify homosexual relationships by celibates. This may have been a basic factor leading to the sexual abuse scandals we are currently dealing with.


#9

Then what do you call a married couple that does not engage in sex?

I knew of a college professer and his wife who were married, but called themselves a celibate couple and did not engage in marital sex with each other. I’m not sure if they were Catholic or not, but they did teach at a Catholic college.


#10

[quote=Catholic90]Then what do you call a married couple that does not engage in sex?

I knew of a college professer and his wife who were married, but called themselves a celibate couple and did not engage in marital sex with each other. I’m not sure if they were Catholic or not, but they did teach at a Catholic college.
[/quote]

I would call them a married couple who took a vow of continence.
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#11

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