Help on Celibacy/Discipline


#1

Allright, this is my fourth or fith try. Yesterday I accidently double posted this thread and this morning I found that both were deleted.
Then today, I keep trying to post this and keep getting booted out. So here goes…

In short, I have a friend that has asked by what authority does the Catholic Church require its priests to be celibate when Paul, nor any of the other apostles, require this of the clergy. In fact, my friend pointed out that Paul allowed priests/bishops to be married.

He is less hung up on authority than he is how the Church, as he puts it, “cherry picks” what traditions it keeps as essential to the faith and what it discards as non-essential.

I have no idea how to answer him and am curious as to what you guys think.

Thanks in advance.


#2

It is not dogma, and therefore could change, although I don’t think it will in the Latin rite. Also, the priest would know this before going into semenary- it isn’t forced upon just anyone.

Other rite priests CAN and DO get married.

In the Latin rite, you can show we find support for celebacy based on Matt. 19:11-12; 19:29 1 Cor. 7:7, 1 Cor. 7:27 1 Cor. 7:32-33, 38. I paticularly like Paul.

Though, as you say, his problem is with Authority, and what it can/cannot do (or he thinks it can/cannot do).


#3

You could search these forums for other threads on this. Your friend is the one who is cherry picking. Jesus was celibate. Paul was celibate. See Matthew 19:12 and I Cor 7. Paul is strongly counseling celibacy. Your friend may say that he expected Christ to come in glory any day, so celibacy made more sense. Catholics today say that celibacy is a witness to the eschaton, so it still makes sense.

In the early history of the Church married priests were common. So were celibate priests. There is an early tradition that when a married man was ordained to priesthood, he and his wife ceased to indulge in their conjugal privileges. There is warrant for this in I Cor. 7 where Paul advises: “Let those who have wives live as though they had none.” Over time, by the fourth Century, celibacy was common, if not normative. The spiritual advantages of celibacy (as well as the practical advantages) prompted the Church to make it a condition of priesthood in the West. The Catholic Church has thousands of married priests in the Eastern Churches.

Point out to your friend that his understanding that celibacy is “essential” is incorrect. The home page of Catholic Answers has a good short tract on this. Go for it!


#4

[quote=alyssa]It is not dogma, and therefore could change, although I don’t think it will in the Latin rite. Also, the priest would know this before going into semenary- it isn’t forced upon just anyone.

Other rite priests CAN and DO get married.

In the Latin rite, you can show we find support for celebacy based on Matt. 19:11-12; 19:29 1 Cor. 7:7, 1 Cor. 7:27 1 Cor. 7:32-33, 38. I paticularly like Paul.

Though, as you say, his problem is with Authority, and what it can/cannot do (or he thinks it can/cannot do).
[/quote]

Alyssa,

Thank you for your help. My Reformed friend agrees that scripture supports celibacy, but as optional, ie. not a requirement. His problem is with the Catholic Church requiring it (celibacy) of the clergy when Paul did not make it mandatory. He sees this as changing Apostolic Tradition or “cherry picking” what traditions to follow as esential and which ones not to.


#5

I see it as a matter of falibility in the church. A priest who is married needs to support a family. You can not do this on the measly salary the catholic church pays. In addition people are married, the Cardinals son gets made a Bishop, the wife gets missions in the church and all that good stuff. It just causes more problems. Either way you have problems.


#6

[quote=bigdawg]Allright, this is my fourth or fith try. Yesterday I accidently double posted this thread and this morning I found that both were deleted.
Then today, I keep trying to post this and keep getting booted out. So here goes…

In short, I have a friend that has asked by what authority does the Catholic Church require its priests to be celibate when Paul, nor any of the other apostles, require this of the clergy. In fact, my friend pointed out that Paul allowed priests/bishops to be married.

He is less hung up on authority than he is how the Church, as he puts it, “cherry picks” what traditions it keeps as essential to the faith and what it discards as non-essential.

I have no idea how to answer him and am curious as to what you guys think.

Thanks in advance.
[/quote]

bigdawg
The other posters have already quoted Scripture which supports celibacy,so i’ll restrict myself to mentioning the difficulties faced by clergy who are married.In my country,it is known for Protestant Ministers to take on a larger parish,in order to get the larger stipend to provide for their family.Another point is whether you would fancy going for counselling from a cleric who can’t keep his own teenagers in order.Even the sons and daughters of the Manse who do not become delinquents don’t always stay within their Church,possibly because they did not see much of their father.
My own Archdiocese of Glasgow has a system whereby the better-off parishes have to make contributions to help the poorer parishes.I think i’m correct in saying that a priest in a poor parish can’t just say,
"oh,Father X in that wealthy district is retiring,i’ll apply for his job"
In these days of falling attendance,that problem gets worse.So,
how does a married priest provide for a family if he is assigned to a poor parish?I never married and therefore know how difficult
celibacy can be.However,if i were to have some difficulties with my job,which i have had,i would not take too kindly to a priest
telling me we have to share in Christ’s Sufferings and then,shortly afterwards,he leaves the priesthood because he
cannot cope with celibacy.You can cope with celibacy,with the help of prayer,switching off unsuitable TV programmes and avoiding booze if it tends to loosen your discipline.I don’t say this as someone who happens to find this easy.My father had only a very elementary education,i only learned these things as i matured over the years.I have suffered the embarrassment of having my mother find a page from a girlie magazine when she was checking the pockets of my clothes before putting them in the washing machine.I was 13years old at the time and had got
it from another boy.


closed #7

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