Is manditory celibacy theologically supported?


#1

What theological grounds allows the Church to mandate celibacy for applicants to the Priesthood?


#2

[quote=Edgar Davie]What theological grounds allows the Church to mandate celibacy for applicants to the Priesthood?
[/quote]

…i don’t have scripture in front of me but “Paul” said for him it was a blessing…:thumbsup:


#3

[quote=Edgar Davie]What theological grounds allows the Church to mandate celibacy for applicants to the Priesthood?
[/quote]

It is a matter of discipline as this is not universal law in the Church.

What ever theological gounds allows the Church to lay out its disciplines, such as female altar servers and EMHC would also work for this.

As female altar servers and EMHCs are not universal law within the Church.


#4

Look no further than the Catholic Answers tract “Celibacy and the Priesthood”

catholic.com/library/Celibacy_and_the_Priesthood.asp


#5

The Lord himself counsels celibacy (not demands, but counsels – for the sake of the kingdom of heaven). And Paul affirms its superiority to marriage. In the New Testament, and in the early Church, there were both married and celibate priests. The first ecumenical legislation on clerical continence was made at the Council of Nicea in 326.

Mt. 19:11-12

“Not all men can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it.”

ICor 7:

1 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote. It is well for a man not to touch a woman.

7 I wish that all were as I myself am. (celibate)

26: I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord;

33-35 . . . 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. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.

In support of the early practice that married presbyters should live in continence:
I Cor 7:29:

let those who have wives live as though they had none

The Church views celibacy as a gift for the few, a sign of the Resurrection:

For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. (Mt. 22:30. Also Mk 12:25, Lk 20:35)

Celibacy is a complete self-giving to God; it is a charism, a vocation, and a gift. It is a good. Thus, in the West, it has been retained as a positive aspect of priesthood and of consecrated life. Clerical celibacy is a discipline of the Church, not a doctrine. The Church is entrusted with mandating appropriate disciplines for the good of her people. Since it is counseled by Christ himself, it would seem to be a denial of his wisdom to reject it.


#6

Ah, but we can not forget the following.

1 Timothy 3
2:
Now a bishop must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, dignified, hospitable, an apt teacher,
3: no drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, and no lover of money.

and

1 Timothy 3
8:
Deacons likewise must be serious, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for gain;
9: they must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.

and lastly

Titus 1
5: This is why I left you in Crete, that you might amend what was defective, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you,
6: if any man is blameless, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of being profligate or insubordinate.
7: For a bishop, as God’s steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain,
8: but hospitable, a lover of goodness, master of himself, upright, holy, and self-controlled;
9: he must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it.

Let us not forget that St Peter was married. Yes I know some say that he was a widower but that is not known to be a fact.

Celibacy has never been mandated for every individual Church that is part of the whole Catholic Church.


#7

[quote=Edgar Davie]What theological grounds allows the Church to mandate celibacy for applicants to the Priesthood?
[/quote]

Celibacy is what the priest offers freely as a gift, not what the Church takes. Through the giving up of physical children, the priest receives countless spiritual children. This act of selfless giving and opening up to receive is the very essense of the Gospel, as well as living a life that is Eucharistic.

Peace and God bless! :slight_smile:

Eric


#8

[quote=mercygate]In support of the early practice that marrie presbyters should live in continence:
I Cor 7:29:

let those who have wives live as though they had none

[/quote]

:tsktsk:
Now, now mercygate.
:tsktsk:

You not only take 1 Cor 7:29 out of context, you do not even provide the whole verse.

1 Cor 7:29 is not directed towards married priests.

Here is the whole thing in context.

1 Corinthians 7
24: So, brethren, in whatever state each was called, there let him remain with God.
25: Now concerning the unmarried, I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy.
26: I think that in view of the present distress it is well for a person to remain as he is.
27: Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek marriage.
28: But if you marry, you do not sin, and if a girl marries she does not sin. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that.
29: I mean, brethren, the appointed time has grown very short; from now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none,
30: and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods,
31: and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the form of this world is passing away.


#9

Did not Jesus Himself lead us by example in this?:hmmm:

I rest my case.


#10

I want to thank ByzCath for bringing the Eastern Teaching into this conversation. It’s the prerogative of Rome to mandate celibacy for their Priests. They have their good reasons and celibacy in a holy path. That beig said, there is no grounds for Church wide mandatory celibacy in the Priesthood in Holy Tradition and marriage (including sexual relations) is a respectable and holy path for Priests as well.


#11

[quote=Malachi4U]Did not Jesus Himself lead us by example in this?:hmmm:

I rest my case.
[/quote]

Yes he did, by picking Peter who was a married man.

Case rested.


#12

[quote=Edgar Davie]What theological grounds allows the Church to mandate celibacy for applicants to the Priesthood?
[/quote]

This whole discussion has been done before here:
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=43272
Please feel free to borrow from it. :slight_smile:
Pax tecum,


#13

[quote=enanneman]Through the giving up of physical children, the priest receives countless spiritual children.
[/quote]

One of my best friend’s is a priest, so is his father and his brother. His sister is a nun. His mother is the daughter of a priest…

We used to have a priest in my parish who was a 5th generation priest…

nuff said…


#14

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