Should priests be allowed to marry?


#1

The synod of bishops is going to be talking about the priest shortage. I don’t know if considering allowing married clergy is even part of the discussion, but if it were to be, how do you fee about it?

I have mixed feelings.

I completely understand and agree with the reasons for a celibate priesthood, among them being the priest not having any other familial responsibilities. What if, for example, he was needed to give someone last rites but his wife was in labor or he had a very sick child who needed him. What would be his priority?

On the other hand, it certainly would boost numbers and there are many places having to share priests or completely do without.

Discuss…

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:


#2

That’s tough. What about divorce? If the wife leaves the husband, he has comitted no sin. Yet Paul was clear that a divorced man can’t be a Priest. The reasons for celibacy are excelent. But if it was done by the original apostles, than you have to think that it can be done well. I don’t know.


#3

No, I don’t think so. Besides the fact that I totally agree with church teaching on this, a priest has to be dedicated to his vocation. I believe if he had a wife and kids, his family would have to come first and service to God second.
JMHO


#4

No, Never.

PF


#5

While I could say yes if the world was perfect and we had 40 hour days, it isn’t and we don’t.

Therefore…

With what I’ve been witness to with just how much a Priest does on a daily basis, it would not allow for him to be the husband and father that he should be to a family.

Priests show a true devotion to Christ that begins with vows (especially cellibacy for this conversation). Such devotion, such giving up of all else, is one of the reasons why I’ve been so drawn to the RC Church and why I too consider a religious vocation to be possible in my life.


#6

I feel very strongly that priests should not be allowed to marry, for a couple of reasons.

I’ve heard the argument that priests would be better able to serve their parishoners if they were married because they could relate to and counsel married couples. My answer is, if a counsellor had to experience everything that his/her clients went through in order to help them properly, they would be thoroughly messed up. Would a counsellor have to go through an abusive relationship or be depressed and suicidal before they could offer comfort to someone who has? Obviously not. Could a married counsellor help someone who was single? Of course.

The other reason is that the call to priesthood is a vocation. So is the call to marriage or single life, at least that’s what I hear every Vocation Sunday. Some people are called to be priests or religious, others are called to marriage, and others are called to be celebate singles. I believe that you cannot divide yourself and devote your efforts to 2 entirely different ways of life. A married priest would be divided in his loyalties to his parish and his family. One or the other will suffer, and that simply isn’t right.


#7

I think the way out of the priest shortage (which only really exists in the industrialized world) would be for the dioceses to promote more vocations to the permanent diaconate. A permanent deacon can conduct communion services, read the Gospel, preach, visit the sick, witness marriage vows, baptize, and so take some of the liturgical burdens off the pastor, especially if there is only one priest at a parish or one priest who is covering several parishes.


#8

As the title suggests, do you mean marry after they are ordained? Or do you really mean marry first, then later on get ordained?

I’m not keen on a priest getting married after he is ordained, but concerning ordaining a man who is already married, that is another ball of wax. Sheer opinion, of course. No particular reason.


#9

Please forgive me, but I believe you may have worded your poll question incorrectly. Rather than “Should priests be allowed to marry?” I believe you may have meant to ask “Should married men be allowed to become priests?”

There is a significant difference.

While the Synod may, indeed, address the issue of faltering vocations to the priesthood by allowing more married men to pursue ordination, I suspect that the thought of allowing those men who are already ordained priests to subsequently marry will not even garner a moment’s consideration.

In the spirit of this poll, keep in mind that married Catholic priests already exist. The concept of a married priesthood, while predominantly foreign to the Latin Catholic Church, it is a commonplace, accepted practice in many of the Eastern Catholic Churches, especially those outside of the United States. These are Catholic priests, in full communion with the See of Peter, to whom any Catholic individual may freely go for sacramental reception and spiritual pastoral care, i.e., *married Catholic priests. *


#10

[quote=Della]I think the way out of the priest shortage (which only really exists in the industrialized world) would be for the dioceses to promote more vocations to the permanent diaconate. A permanent deacon can conduct communion services, read the Gospel, preach, visit the sick, witness marriage vows, baptize, and so take some of the liturgical burdens off the pastor, especially if there is only one priest at a parish or one priest who is covering several parishes.
[/quote]

I couldn’t agree more. My parish has two permanent Deacons and they are very capable holy men who relieve our Priest of many responsibilities that they are capable of performing (including those you list above) and allow the Pastor to concentrate on only those things that only a Priest can do. Additionally, the Church can better promote some of the lay religious orders that exist for married or widowed women to enhance certain ministries the Church as reserved for women. There are so many threads that ultimately are related to poor catechesis borne from unintentional ignorance. As many of these religious orders are ministries dedicated to serving the poor, sick and schools, I think we can decrease so much inadvertent, unintential non-orthodox abuses so many of these forum’s address.


#11

No, I don’t believe that priest should be allowed to marry. I am going to be a priest, and I am perfectly fine with not being able to marry. There’s nothing wrong with it.


#12

[quote=Pug]As the title suggests, do you mean marry after they are ordained? Or do you really mean marry first, then later on get ordained?

I’m not keen on a priest getting married after he is ordained, but concerning ordaining a man who is already married, that is another ball of wax. Sheer opinion, of course. No particular reason.
[/quote]

Well, either way you end up with a priest who is married. I don’t much see the difference.

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:


#13

[quote=a pilgrim]Please forgive me, but I believe you may have worded your poll question incorrectly. Rather than “Should priests be allowed to marry?” I believe you may have meant to ask “Should married men be allowed to become priests?”

There is a significant difference.

While the Synod may, indeed, address the issue of faltering vocations to the priesthood by allowing more married men to pursue ordination, I suspect that the thought of allowing those men who are already ordained priests to subsequently marry will not even garner a moment’s consideration.

In the spirit of this poll, keep in mind that married Catholic priests already exist. The concept of a married priesthood, while predominantly foreign to the Latin Catholic Church, it is a commonplace, accepted practice in many of the Eastern Catholic Churches, especially those outside of the United States. These are Catholic priests, in full communion with the See of Peter, to whom any Catholic individual may freely go for sacramental reception and spiritual pastoral care, i.e., *married Catholic priests. *
[/quote]

Yes, perhaps I should have specified Latin rite priests, although I wasn’t really talking about converts. Since that is already allowed it’s not really an issue here. Nor was I drawing a distintion between a married man becoming a priest or a priest getting married. I’m just speaking of married priests in general, regardless of which came first.

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:


#14

I agree with priestly celibacy because of these two New Testament scriptures:

Matthew 19:10-12
"10 His disciples say unto him: If the case of a man with his wife be so, it is not expedient to marry.11 Who said to them: All men take not this word, but they to whom it is given. 12 For there are eunuchs, who were born so from their mother’s womb: and there are eunuchs, who were made so by men: and there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can take, let him take it. "

1st Corinthians 7:6-9
"6 But I speak this by indulgence, not by commandment. 7 For I would that all men were even as myself: but every one hath his proper gift from God; one after this manner, and another after that. 8 But I say to the unmarried, and to the widows: It is good for them if they so continue, even as I. 9 But if they do not contain themselves, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to be burnt."

The Lord’s own words seem to sum it all up best, and I think that most priests know it. The real answer is to pray for and encourage vocations…something that a lot of Catholics have long since ceased doing…just like diligently praying for our clergy and religious. :frowning:


#15

[quote=Catholic4aReasn]Well, either way you end up with a priest who is married. I don’t much see the difference.

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:
[/quote]

one major difference, that I’ve observed coming from the Protestant end of the spectrum, is that the minute a young, unmarried minister arrives in the parish, there is general chaos among the unmarried women in trying to attract him as a spouse – not to mention among the mothers of marriageable young women. . . not pretty to behold, and extraordinarily difficult for the poor, single minister. . .

St. Paul tells us wisely that a man’s state of life, whether married or single, needs to be stable and in order long before he should even be considered for that kind of leadership position in the Church.


#16

Ministers and Priests live COMPLETELY different lives.

They are not comparable.

When I have a hard time scheduling an impromptu confession with a Priest, it tells me they are too busy already. I don’t begrudge them that at all, God bless our Priests, but I don’t see a lot of free time for a wife, children, etc.

Using evidence of times long gone is silly and off base. Priests also used to be esteemed as near royalty by the citizenry. Now, not so much.


#17

[quote=Catholic4aReasn]. . . Nor was I drawing a distintion between a married man becoming a priest or a priest getting married. I’m just speaking of married priests in general, regardless of which came first.
[/quote]

Well, the thing is, Nancy, it has never been that men, once ordained as priests (be they Catholic of any rite, or Orthodox) were/are free to marry. The same holds true today, btw, for men ordained to the permanent diaconate; if they become widowers they are not free to re-marry.


#18

I voted no
It wouldn’t solve the priest shortage issue.
You would need many more married priests
to service the same amount of people currently being served.
You would not only have to support the increased number of priests but also their families. I sure the pay would be so low many married priests would be forced to leave as thier families grew.
The celibate priesthood is special because of what they have to give up to do their job. I really believe this special nature of a preist is the cause of resensentment by many.


#19

It’s not my opinion that counts if they should marry or not, it’s the Popes so therefore I don’t have a vote, and I won’t go against the magestrium, so therefore it’s a non-starter with me.


#20

And for what Priests is this a major issue? The only ones who even say thias is an issue are the ones who also teach that we can vote our conscience on abortion, that women should also eb Priests, or any other misguided theories.

Deacons can be married, and it isn’t as though the deaconate is busting wide open at the seams!

Most Priests I have spoken too don’t rate this as a major issue.


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