Pope strongly defends Priestly celibacy and consecrated virginity

This is an article from Vatican Radio on the talk:


A more complete text of the section I’m referring to is here:


**Pope strongly defends Priestly Celibacy and Consecrated Virginity **
"Family is the vocation that God wrote in the nature of man and woman, but there is another vocation, complementary to that of matrimony: the calling to celibacy and to virginity for the Kingdomof Heaven. It is the vocation that Jesus himself lived. How to recognize it? How to follow it?

I answer you with two essential elements on how to recognize this vocation to the priesthood or to consecrated life: praying and walking in the Church. These two things go together, they are intertwined. At the source of every vocation to the consecrated life there always is a strong experience of God, an experience that is not forgotten, that is remembered all through life! It is the one that Francis had. And we cannot estimate or program it. God always surprises us! It is God who calls; but it is important to establish a daily relationship with Him, to listen to him in silence before the Tabernacle and in the intimacy of our own selves, to talk to him, to stay close to the Sacraments. Having this familiar relationship with the Lord is as it were to have open the window of our life, so that He may make his voice heard, what he wants from us.

I want to say one thing to you strongly, especially today: virginity for the Kingdom of God is not a “no”, it is a “yes”! True, it includes renunciation to a marital bond and to one’s own family, but at its foundation there is the “yes”, as a response to the total “yes” of Christ for us, and this “yes” makes [us] fertile."

Meeting with the young people of Umbria (Italian)
October 4, 2013

Really liked this :thumbsup:

(To the moderators, I know this is from a blog, but it’s the only place I could find the full text of this section of his talk)

Why wouldn’t the pope defend celebacy… and all that good stuff…

Bruce Ferguson

I strongly support allowing the priest or nun to decide for themselves whether they want to lead a celibate life with no pressure from the Church. It is unnatural for a person not to marry and have marital relations.

No one is forced to become a nun or a priest. For example, I never considered becoming a priest because I know that I’m not called to it. Most of us are called to marriage while few are actually called to be a nun or a priest. If someone is thinking about becoming a nun or a priest and they have any doubts about it they probably aren’t called. Those who are called to the consecrated life can be very happy living their whole life in prayer and celibacy. But this takes faith which is something that is foreign to the pop culture secular mindset.

My logistical view is this:

While I do not have exact numbers, I believe Roman parishes are much larger than Eastern Catholic & Anglican Use parishes (plus larger than most Orthodox and Protestant groups too). Priests have families, they cannot give all their time to the Parish. They need to take care of their families. However, I do think that perhaps it would be OK for a married Deacon who is older with grown children to become a priest. I do not personally feel that they should wait until they become a widower. Grown children would suffice for me. But I don’t feel that priests (at least Roman priests) should be allowed to marry (outside of some approved exceptions).

I agree, it is such a childish argument to say, I can’t be catholic bc they don’t allow their priest to marry. That is their decision, that’s a vow that they have taken.

And really tjones, priest and nuns could get married probably for the first 800 years of the church’s history…the decision for required celebacy is a church law that can be changed… but this pope (francis) does not feel led by the Holy spirit in that way…

Yes, sex is good…and we all like it, it is very natural, we are all in agreement with that :slight_smile:

Bruce Ferguson

They can decide for themselves. They can choose to be a priest or nun or they can just be single or they can get married. All valid options.

It is not unnatural for a person not to marry and have marital relations. Masturbation, contraception, and homosexual relations are unnatural, all for the exact same reason. Abstinence is not unnatural. A human being is not in an unnatural state up until the point they get married, nor are they in an unnatural state if they become widowed.

The progressives always hope that what they think is a “liberal” Pope will see things there way and change Church doctrine. :rolleyes:

It’s fun for the mainstream First World media to poke at that issue too to advance the same agenda.

I think that’s an excuse to cover up a real reason(s) based more on personal selfishness that is financial or sexual in nature. :o

There’s also plenty of Catholics (some posts on here reveal this as well) who want to look and feel good and if they throw around “helping the poor”; in their world they’ve got their trip to heaven booked while still reaping the “coolness” of the current earthly culture.

Not true, this is worldly thinking. Please go back and read Paul’s writings about celibacy.

Although it may be unnatural for some to not marry, it is unnatural for others to marry. Celibacy is a compliment to marriage, and visa versa.

Priestly celibacy is not a doctrine though, but a discipline that can be changed. This has nothing to do with liberal or conservative. Our faith is not dependent on whether the Church has married priests.

Absolutely not true! It is only unnatural to a society that is obsessed with sex and which opposes the spiritual dimension of man.

The thing I like about priestly celibacy is how it imitates Christ, since Christ was celibate.


The Church currently has many married priests. Both in the Eastern Sui Juris Chuches, and among former Protestant ministers who converted to the Latin Church.

One clarification though. A married man may be ordained a priest, but a priest can never marry (unless dispensed from his promises by the Pope). Holy Orders is a bar to matrimony.

God Bless

I would be interested as to what your list of ‘approved exceptions’ would be.
While one could support the principal of mandatory celibacy, in practice it is now impossible to defend in the Roman Rite, for the simple fact that there are too many exceptions to the rule. The Anglican Ordinariate only formally introduced a structure for something that has been going on in an ad hoc basis for donkeys years.
I don’t think an approved exception should be that you happen to be a Protestant.
These exceptions, for Protestants, only make a laughing stock of the celibacy requirement for Catholics.

The only one exception I know of is for married permanent deacons, who loses his wife and has small children. If he finds himself in a situation that there is person who would take that role, he can petition Rome for dispensation. This is not granted lightly as holy orders is an impediment to marriage.

Even writing this it seems weird; like there is a woman just awaiting for a wife to die so she can marry a deacon.

This is not something that happens often and it should not.

In that case, the deacon will typically be laicized. I doubt he would be allowed to remarry, and continue as a Deacon.

God Bless

Yes he would be typically removed from ministry, but not laicized in the full sense of the word, “defrocked”. He would be out of ministry for some time to allow the marriage to foster, then could return. I know of one in a nearby diocese where he was asked to leave active ministry for five years and now is back as a full time deacon; quite a good one I might add.

He had small children at the time and has a new child with his new wife. Those who say that a married man cannot fully dedicate his life to ministry are being proven wrong daily by deacons such as the one I mention here.

We have to keep in mind there are no written rules for these situations, these are extraordinary circumstances; thus the need for dispensation from Rome.

I didn’t mean to imply that I had a list of suggested expections, because I do not. I was only leaving the door open for any expections which may or may not come into play and for the Eastern Rites.

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