Should married Catholic priests have sex with their wives?


#1

Are married Catholic priests (in the Eastern Rite, and in cases where a married Protestant minister is ordained a Catholic priest) allowed to have sex with their wives while still performing priestly functions daily including saying Mass?

Ordinarily, Latin Rite priests who practice lifelong celibacy are committed to staying continent - that is, not engaging in sexual activity at all, in or out of marriage. This is explained by saying that priests in the ancient Israel could not have sex with their wives during the time of year that they served in the temple. Since Catholic priests say Mass daily, they have to remain continent even if they are married.

Is continence expected of married Catholic priests if they celebrate the Eucharist every day? If not, does that mean that the explanation referring to the Temple in Ancient Israel is not valid with reference to Catholic priests? If this example from Ancient Israel is used to explain why clerical celibacy (and continence) is the norm in the Latin Rite, why should it not also apply to those priests who are married in any rite?


#2

Of course they should.


#3

Preferably not at the same time, no. :p;)

But there is nothing sinful about a husband and wife being intimate. Ritual cleanliness and uncleanliness no longer apply.


#4

Why are you worried about there Sex Life, no doubt there Bishop will instruct them , they could go the Jewish way of things.

I. When the wife has her … they don’t have sex for the week.
2. On certain Holy Days they abstain also.

That is if they go by Jewish tradition

They could also go by the Consecrated Husband within Marriage.

Then its up to the Wife to ask, not up to Husband ,to ask, and if the Wife asks, he is to oblige.

After all they are married, and its only Church Law, this can be changed at anytime, remember St. Peter was married., does anyone enquire about his sex life.

Please don’t go there, its very secular, and at the end of day its know one’s business. , not yours or mine. The Orthodox priests get married, have sex, have children, the Congregation don’t be asking them all these questions and they celebrate Mass every day.
Keep your mind on the Lord.


#5

Renowned canonist Dr. Ed Peters would beg to differ with you (Latin Church only).


#6

:eek: :rotfl:


#7

Yes.

I am not sure who explained this to you in this way, but it is not accurate to say the Church bases its discipline of priestly celibacy on Levite laws or practices. It has nothing to do with temple service.

No.

Correct. Not a valid analogy.

It is not used to explain celibacy as the norm in the Latin Rite. I am not sure where you got this idea.


#8

Who says he is renowned? Nobody seems to have heard of him. The idea that married deacons and former Anglican clergy are to refrain from sexual activity is simply ludicrous.
I cannot find anyone who has heard of it. For one thing, amarried man is obliged to satisfy his wife. To refuse to do so would infringe Canon law and the teaching of the Church, Perhaps we all need pay less attention to musty lawyers, and more to to Pope Francis…


#9

Of course! If they are Married, they should engage in the Marital embrace. To suggest otherwise would be to suggest that the Marital embrace is somehow ‘dirty’ or ‘sinful’, wouldn’t it?

Ordinarily, Latin Rite priests who practice lifelong celibacy are committed to staying continent - that is, not engaging in sexual activity at all, in or out of marriage. This is explained by saying that priests in the ancient Israel could not have sex with their wives during the time of year that they served in the temple. Since Catholic priests say Mass daily, they have to remain continent even if they are married.

No, this is not correct. Priests who are “celibate” practice celibacy BECAUSE they are not Married. They don’t practice continence in the way a Married couple would remina continent on certain days. They are permenently “continent” by virtue of the fact that they never Married in the first place. It has nothing to do with ancient Israel.

Is continence expected of married Catholic priests if they celebrate the Eucharist every day?

No. Why would it be?

If not, does that mean that the explanation referring to the Temple in Ancient Israel is not valid with reference to Catholic priests? If this example from Ancient Israel is used to explain why clerical celibacy (and continence) is the norm in the Latin Rite, why should it not also apply to those priests who are married in any rite?

Why do you think it has anything to do with ancient Israel? Where are you getting this information?


#10

ROFLOL!!! :rotfl:


#11

Canon law is a complex beast. We do not know, for instance, if private dispensations were issued by lawful authorities in some or all cases.


#12

The “renowned canonist” forgot the next sentence in that Canon which says,

"Can. 277 §1. Clerics are obliged to observe perfect and perpetual continence for the sake of the kingdom of heaven and therefore are bound to celibacy which is a special gift of God by which sacred ministers can adhere more easily to Christ with an undivided heart and are able to dedicate themselves more freely to the service of God and humanity.

§2. Clerics are to behave with due prudence towards persons whose company can endanger their obligation to observe continence or give rise to scandal among the faithful.

§3. The diocesan bishop is competent to establish more specific norms concerning this matter and to pass judgment in particular cases concerning the observance of this obligation."

I don’t suppose this Canonist is thinking his view on Canon Law usurps the Bishops’ rights and authority to pass such judgment regarding the observance of this Canon?


#13

Dr. Peter’s is pretty renowned as a canonist but I think he is off-base here, especially as it applies to married former Anglican clergy. Each of them has an individual dispensation from the requirement of celibacy. It is silly to think that celibacy is dispensed by continence is not.


#14

I think he’s off-base regarding deacons also. I recall reading that Dr. Peters bases much of his argument on the allegation / fact / story that John Paul II, in reviewing the new Code, had the opportunity to explicitly exempt permanent deacons from the requirements of Canon 277, but chose not to do so, leaving §3 as the operative - and somewhat more vague - language.


#15

It is rather irrelevant to the question, but Orthodox priests do not generally celebrate daily Divine Liturgy, unless they are monks.


#16

Ok, for the history of the idea that even Married priests should not have sex with their wives in the West, which I agree was never the universal rule, see:

newadvent.org/cathen/03481a.htm

This doesn’t offer any proof that married clergy should be continent. It just says that it was discussed at points in the past.

Here is a discussion about it from an Eastern Orthodox perspective. We all know that Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic priests with wives have children even long after their ordination. Here is where the reference to the priesthood in Ancient Israel is made:

orthodoxanswers.org/celibacy


#17

Are you SERIOUS??? This isn’t a joke? Sex within a marriage is holy - it does not defile. Banish than Jansenism - it’s spiritual poison.


#18

This is a bit of a tangent touching on another thread: We don’t know if Mary ever committed to remaining a Virgin forever or if things just happened that way. We believe that she and Joseph never consummated their marriage. What if, after the birth of Jesus, they had? Would that have been wrong? That is not the same but it touches upon what some of the early Christians were arguing about regarding married priests and their relations with their wives in the links I posted above.


#19

I think the answer is fairly clear now.
If by “should” you mean Church rules then the answer is clearly no, they should not have sex, unless they were previously married and received a dispensation. This dispensation in fact seems to be assumed in all cases.
If by “should” you mean is it sinful if we leave canon law out of the picture … no it isn’t for prev married clergy.


#20

Yeah. Man and wife should have sex. Why live as brother and sister when Our Lord told us to be fruitful and multiply.


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