Question on today's epistle (1 Tim 3:1-13)


Okay; This excerpt from the reading is from the USCCB site.

Beloved, this saying is trustworthy:
whoever aspires to the office of bishop desires a noble task.
Therefore, a bishop must be irreproachable,
married only once, temperate, self-controlled,
decent, hospitable, able to teach,
not a drunkard, not aggressive, but gentle,
not contentious, not a lover of money.

I assume this refers to something in the early days of the Church? I can certainly see how someone can take this passage as evidence for married priests. I’m confused.


In the Early Church it was permissible even for the Bishop to have a wife. St. Peter for instant was married and he was appointed by the Lord Jesus to be a Bishop and Apostle. Priests and Deacons had this right to have a wife as well in the Early Church. As time progressed the Church of Rome had adopted celibacy for all their clergy. The Eastern Orthodox had examined the priesthood as well and wanted celibacy for her Bishops while maintaining the priests and deacons only to have this choice of being married. Today the Catholic Church does allow her Deacons to be married but they must choose to be a perpetual Deacon. The only exception to married clergy (priests) within the Catholic rite is when married clergy from other Churches want to be Catholic and still desire the priesthood. Here Rome makes exception for them to continue their Apostolic ministry. It seems within the Catholic, Orthodox and Eastern Churches the Bishops today must maintain a celibate rule.


That’s part of the reason why we opted for the Readings for the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, instead. Few people are familiar with the ways of the early Church.


This reading was according to the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.


Not in the Lectionary I read from last night. Hebrews was the first reading.


Mandatory celibacy for those in Holy Orders of the Priesthood and Bishopric is a discipline, it was imposed in the Latin Rite in the 10th century. It is not required of priests in other rites of the Catholic Church.

Voluntary celibacy was recommended by both Jesus and Paul, for very practical reasons.

There are many arguments in support of priestly celibacy. Nevertheless, it is a discipline, not a dogma, and Rome could lift the requirement if the Holy Father or an Ecumenical Council was led to do so.

closed #7

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