Priesthood and Marriage

I read somewhere that a candidate for the priesthood should be somebody for whom the discipline of celibacy should be an experienced sacrifice. The theory goes like this: If a man feels no significant sacrifice, then perhaps he is not called to the priesthood. A good priest is a man who would also make a good husband and father. Therefore only men who feel called to marriage would make a good priest.

This goes against, in my view, what Our Lord said, as regards eunuchs and the Kingdom of Heaven. I could be wrong.

If someone can clarify this for me I would appreciate it.

Can you provide a source? Something really requires the context of the statement to make an accurate assessment.

I agree with fermat a source is necessary for a better understanding.

At the same time Priests are called to be spiritual fathers so there is some logic in what you say about them feeling called to actual fatherhood as well

I don’t know that this is necessarily true, and have never read it. have you a source with some context? does this mean by analogy that unless marriage would represent a real sacrifice I have no vocation to marriage? don’t think I want to go there in case DH decides to join this forum

I’m sorry, I’ve no source, it’s just something I read somewhere.

The basic point was that for a candidate for the priesthood, the sacrifice of celibacy should be felt.

I think the sacrifice of celibacy would be quite keenly felt after presiding over marriages and baptisms for a while. Celibacy isn’t just about no-sex.

But what if the person is not bothered, and cares not for family or wife?

I don’t think it is necessary for a priest to be ‘bothered’ by not having sex for him to be effective.

then I would doubt they have the maturity and understanding for an honest call to the priesthood. It is easy to care and nurture your family, much harder to do for an extended family like a parish. A person who is already emotionally detached would not make a good parish priest.

A contemplative monk would be a more suitable vocation for someone who had no interest or desire for family relationships.

Technically celibacy has nothing to do with sex at all. That is chastity.

Celibacy is nothing more than the state of not marrying.

Every single (as in not married) person in the world is celibate. This changes when they get married.

Those who make a promise of celibacy at ordination, or those religious who take the Vow of Chasity enter into a state of perpetual celibacy.


I think this hits at the root of things. I think it would be nearly impossible for a priest to “not care about family”.

Every priest comes out of a family - he likely has siblings, for sure he has parents. It is his family that started his formation as a Christian. It was his parents who brought him to baptism and his parents also sacrifice somewhat when enters the priesthood.

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