Late Vocations for married people: Celibacy?


#1

The Church generally believes that the Apostles, if they were married, lived in perfect celibacy after their calling by Our Lord. Peter states that they left all to follow him.

Does this constitute a dissolution of the marriage, or abandonment? Were the Apostles still married? I thought that marriage was permanent, and the spouses cannot withhold their bodies from each other except for periods of fasting and prayer?

If so, does the Church allow this to happen today, in such a way as a married man or women, if they live in perfect celibacy, can they be considered for receiving orders or taking religious vows?


#2

No.

Were the Apostles still married?

Yes.

I thought that marriage was permanent, and the spouses cannot withhold their bodies from each other except for periods of fasting and prayer?

It is permanent. As the Church’s discipline on continence for ordained ministers developed, the notion of permanent continence became more entrenched to the point where celibacy (and therefore, permanent continence) was formally declared as required for ordained ministers.

If so, does the Church allow this to happen today, in such a way as a married man or women, if they live in perfect celibacy, can they be considered for receiving orders or taking religious vows?

For receiving orders? No. Married men who become permanent deacons are not held to continence. Marriage is considered an impediment to ordination to the priesthood.

Religious vows, I’m not as certain about, so I’ll let someone else handle that answer… :wink:


#3

I would question the assertion that this is what “the Church generally believes”. Perhaps it’s a pious legend in some quarters, but I don’t think it rises to the level of being part of the deposit of faith.

There is such a thing – commonly referred to as a “Josephite marriage” – where a couple mutually agrees to abstain from marital relations. But you won’t find mention of it anywhere on the Vatican website or in any Church document (at least, noe that I have ever seen). If a couple felt called to go that route, they would definitely want to talk it over with their priest and a spiritual director (and possibly their bishop).

The Latin rite does make exception for ordaining married men if they were previously clergy of certain Protestant communities (such as Anglicans/Episcopalians), but I have never heard of them making exceptions for those living in a Josephite marriage. I suppose it’s not impossible that it could happen, but I find it highly unlikely.


#4

[quote="Gorgias, post:2, topic:283021"]

For receiving orders? No. Married men who become permanent deacons are not held to continence. Marriage is considered an impediment to ordination to the priesthood.

Religious vows, I'm not as certain about, so I'll let someone else handle that answer... ;)

[/quote]

Well, strictly speaking, you can still be ordained a priest if you're married.


#5

Could anyone cite where the Church, in fact, “generally believes” that the Apostles lived in “perfect celibacy” after their call? (As opposed, say, to just a pius belief, however well-intentioned.) Must we really believe that “leaving all” meant the abandonment of spouses and the breaking-up of homes? Jesus really wanted 12 families of children to grow up fatherless? Yes, I know, Scripture doesn’t mention any Apostles’ children. Are we really to believe that among 12 normal Jewish men, there weren’t any children? I have always felt that this question involved a reading-back into history elements really derived from later periods in an effort to establish a historical foundation for subsequent practices.

The apostles identified as Jews. Celibacy within marriage would have been alien to their way of thinking, and in fact sexual relations within marriage is regarded as a mitzvah, a good of marriage. The Gospels are books of faith and truth, not biographies. There would have been no point in detailing the intimate lives of the Apostles, and in fact, were celibacy that strongly tied to being a follower of Christ, Christianity wouldn’t have been off to a particularly strong start.


#6

Become Eastern Catholic and become priest, deacon or whatever you want.


#7

[quote="superamazingman, post:4, topic:283021"]
Well, strictly speaking, you can still be ordained a priest if you're married.

[/quote]

Only in certain, very restricted circumstances -- not as a general rule!


#8

[quote="Wisely, post:6, topic:283021"]
Become Eastern Catholic and become priest, deacon or whatever you want.

[/quote]

Actually, no. First off, it's my understanding that the Eastern rites allow married priests, but bishops are celibate. Second, I believe that the canons make provision for the notion of someone who jumps ship from the Latin Rite for the express purpose of becoming an Eastern rite priest, disallowing this particular attempt at an end-around...


#9

I like to think that the apostles were older, their children were already taking care of themselves. I thought that when Peter left his fishing boat, there was an adult son to continue using it, and glad to have it. It is hard to imagine that a Jewish man, having let’s say 3 small children to care for, would be available to follow Jesus around, so I assumed it wasn’t likely. Also John, who was younger, likely wasn’t married with children yet, and maybe some of the other apostles as well.


#10

True. This was John Martingnoni’s assertion on “Open Line” a few days back, and it precipitated a conversation. I did some research and it appears that it is a pious belief that the Apostles lived in “perfect celibacy” after their calling by our Lord.

I cannot fathom that our Lord meant literally leaving little babies when he said this:

“Then Peter answering, said to him: Behold we have left all things, and have followed thee: what therefore shall we have? And Jesus said to them: Amen, I say to you, that you, who have followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit on the seat of his majesty, you also shall sit on twelve seats judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting.”

Perhaps he was referring to those whose children are already grown up, or he was using hyperbole.


#11

Yes, unless there was strong evidence to the contrary, I would not assume that the Apostles were leaving their small children to fend for themselves.


#12

In a few words he cant, right?
Sucls to be Latin-rite…


#13

In a few words he cant, right?
Sucks to be Latin-rite…


#14

[quote="Wisely, post:13, topic:283021"]
In a few words he cant, right?
Sucks to be Latin-rite..

[/quote]

LOL...

I think I would nuance it a bit differently: sucks to think that you have a vocational calling from God but presume that you should be able to dictate the way it is lived out... ;)


closed #15

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