Priesthood and marriage


I have been a catholic since I was born. I love the catholic faith and all its doctrines, but there is one ting I don’t understand. Marriage is a big sacrament and very secular, but why are the priests not allowed to marry?


I think you mean the other way around, why can’t married men become priests. If a man leaves the priesthood to go get married, he spits in the face of Our Lord and His sacrament.

Anglicans can convert as clergy to be married Catholic priests, and married men in the Eastern rites overseas can be married clergy. However, Pope Paul VI called celibacy a sign of Christ’s love for the Church, and as such, made it a thing to keep for the Roman Church.

Despite what he said, papal encyclicals are not infallible. Priestly celibacy is if anything, a discipline. It’s something instituted but can be changed, whereas doctrine can’t.


I read something on this not too long ago.

It suggested that priests in the Latin Church adopted the discipline of priestly celibacy because (1) St. Paul recommends it and (2) because of logistics - it was/is believed that unmarried priests could/can devote more time to God, the Parish and the people than a married one. A married man’s first responsibilities are to God and then his family. A priest’s first responsibilities are to God, and then to work of the Church. Therefore, the Church is a priest’s family.

Priests often go to hospitals in the middle of the night to visit the dying; etc. Priests need to be able to drop everything in order to take care of their flock, if they were married, then it would be harder when the priest is needed by the family.

Personally, I work many long hours and often feel like I’m not home enough for my family. I feel like I’m not the best role model regarding how to be a good husband or great father. However, thanks be to God, my job pays enough for my wife to stay home with my offspring; and I do not have the pressure of needing to a be a model for other regarding being the perfect husband and father.

Married priests on the other hand often (not always, but often) are in situations where the wife needs to work and take care of the home. Not to mention the pressure of having to have a “model family.” Wives of priests are saints, they are a rare breed in today’s society. Who knows if there are enough saint-like women out there for every priest? Some protestant preachers run into this issue and wind up divorced and/or with troubled children.

In closing, while married priests can do a good job and most (if not all) do; in the grand scheme of things its most likely better to retain the discipline. Especially when Parishes in the Roman Rite are so much larger than Anglican Use or Eastern Rite Catholic Parishes.

The only place I could see a possible change would be regarding married Deacons. Perhaps, one day it would be possible for a married man who has been a Deacon for several years (and perhaps both wife & Deacon are of a certain age) who could become a priest while his wife is still alive (assuming that the wife agrees).

God Bless.


I personally, while I understand the reasoning and don’t disagree that the authority is there to make that decision, think this a missed opportunity for the role of women in the Church. I would be happy to be married to a priest. I might also be slightly influenced by the EC in my life, but I think this is a valuable role.


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