Is living the single life of celibacy not a true vocation?

Hey everyone. I read somewhere online where a priest said that living a single life of celibacy is not a true vocation. Is that true? If so, is it allowed to live a single life of celibacy without being a religious or ordained person? I mean, obviously I cannot be ordained because I am a woman but I am considering living a single celibate life for the rest of my life.

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It depends who you ask. :wink:

I’ve heard arguments on both sides (from Catholic professors and clergy). There’s no definitive answer as far as I can tell. This is one of those areas in theology where good Catholics are free to disagree.

So there is no moral imperative for you to enter religious life if you do not plan on marrying.

Oh okay thanks Joe! Personally I would love to become a Carmelite nun but I cannot do so because of my disabilities.

There is an article about this here:

Celibacy and the Priesthood

and a small part of it reads (emphases mine):

(…) All of this is false. Although most people are at some point in their lives called to the married state, the vocation of celibacy is explicitly advocated—as well as practiced—by both Jesus and Paul.

So far from “commanding” marriage in 1 Corinthians 7, in that very chapter Paul actually endorses celibacy for those capable of it: “To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion” (7:8-9). (…)

Note that last underlined sentence… (!)

the article continues with:

Paul even goes on to make a case for preferring celibacy to marriage: “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. And the **unmarried woman or girl **is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please her husband” (7:27-34).

**Paul’s conclusion: He who marries “does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better” (7:38). **

(the article is well worth the time to read in full (IMHO))

So, from the Apostile’s own words, there may very well be a calling/vocation to the laity.

I would certainly like to read what a Priest would have to say about this

What about people with SSA?
They are told to live single, celibate lives.

If “living a single life of celibacy is not a true vocation”-- that would mean that all gay males would be encouraged–expected, even–to join the priesthood (et al)
And all females with SSA would be expected to be nuns.

Is this the case?

Are those with homosexual orientation expected by some clergy and and professors to join religious orders, since the Catholic church doesn’t permit them to have the vocation of getting married and having children?


oh… further down in that same article (Celibacy and the Priesthood)

Paul was not the first apostle to conclude that celibacy is, in some sense, “better” than marriage. After Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 19 on divorce and remarriage, the disciples exclaimed, “If such is the case between a man and his wife, it is better not to marry” (Matt 19:10). This remark prompted Jesus’ teaching on the value of celibacy “for the sake of the kingdom”:
**“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” (Matt. 19:11–12). **

Now if the word of Christ doesn’t establish a vocation for some, then I don’t know what will! :shrug:

(oh and that should help answer the SSA and Same-Sex issues as given in the post #5)

There are three Primary Vocations:

  • consecrated life
  • holy matrimony
  • generous single life

Right, and people who don’t feel called to marry or to the religious life. I have 2 uncles who are in their late 40s are are still single. I would call it a vocation, because even Jesus said that those who can remain celibate, should.

The Bible tells us to flee from fornication–I Cor. 6:18-20. I believe you are obedient to God by remaining celibate and honoring God’s word is a true vocation to me! :slight_smile:

This is not true. Homosexual orientation does not preclude the possibility of sacramental marriage.

If you really wish to be a sister there are a few orders that would consider you. You would have to look into it and check it out by phone or correspondence. There are the Passionist where you live, or area, a place in Owensboro and a place in Penn. and probably others. Hmmm…I think you would have to give up your cat 'though!

One priest explained to me that a vocation was a “call”. It means that you have to change what you are doing and do something else. Since we are born single and are commanded to be chaste, remaining single is not a vocation.

Religious life or marriage are both changes and are therefore called vocations. Single life is not a vocation, but not everyone is called to a vocation. Many people are called to marriage and then return from that vocation to being single.

Well, I don’t want to give up my cat. I also seriously doubt that any religious order will take me in because of my disabilities. I have literally had nuns from convents tell me that no convent will accept me because of my disabilities.

This is true. However, if the person’s orientation were *exclusively *homosexual – that is, if a person marries another person he or she is not attracted to – that could definitely present problems. I would not recommend it, except in very exceptional circumstances.

(As some of you know, I am a married man who is attracted to other men, but also very much attracted to my wife. So I feel like I have a sense of the territory, here.)

Perhaps you missed my posts?
post 4

Especially post 6

“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” (Matt. 19:11–12).


Religious life or marriage are both changes (…) Single life is not a vocation

because it is not a challenge? :confused:
Chist and the Apostles seemed to find it to be a challenge! (go back and read my posts and the article to which they link… right here on !)
I have a friend that has been celebate for 30 years, I dare say, he has found it to be a challenge.

I guess you are right—technically, anyway. Although a gay person cannot marry another gay person within the Catholic church, a gay man can still go ahead and marry a woman even though he does not feel attracted to her…and vice-versa.

But…I assume they first tell their spouse-to-be that they have SSA?
(or it would be seen as “lying” to them if they do not disclose this, and could make the marriage invalid?)

And there is also the problem that many homosexual people cannot–simply cannot–have sex with someone of the opposite sex. And they may not find this out until after they get married.
So if that is the case, then I assume they cannot have a sacramental marriage then, right? Because the marriage must be consummated?

(or does it? Mary and Joseph did not…)


This isn’t just ment to address just Prodigal_Son but the entire concept that this will lead to:
Do Not Hijack this thread with Samesex?Homosexual equal right talk - IMNHO it’s trite and off topic :frowning:

The Question is: Re: Is living the single life of celibacy not a true vocation?

not homosexual this and tit-for-tat-growling about it!

These convents are not equipped properly? For wheelchairs and such? (just guessing here, I don’t know what your disabilities are…I assume you mean physical).

If this is your calling and vocation, aren’t they are preventing you from following it?
That doesn’t seem right.
Surely something can be done.


I wonder if you could make a vow of consecrated virginity, even apart from an established order.

My wife and I love these folks, by the way: Maybe you could inquire with them?

Also, check out

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