Priesthood, monks, nuns: false asceticism?

First Timothy Chapter 4 verses 1-5:
*The spirit distinctly says that in later times some will turn away from the faith and will heed deceitful spirits and things taught by demons through plausible liars- men with seared consciences who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by believers who know the truth. Everything God created is good: nothing is to be rejected when it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by God’s word and by prayer.

*I feel I am missing the point of this passage. I doubt it does, but does this apply to priests, monks and nuns?

Dear Isaac,

The New Jerusalem Bible explains: “The rejection of marriage was to be one of the hallmarks of Gnosticism: dietary regulations were more specifically Jewish.” It was to the Gnostics that this passage is referring. For more on Gnosticism, log on to:
Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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