Trying to convert - I don't get it

I would like to see that Roman Catholicism is true, it would be so nice to convert with my heart.

But this AM I read two passages, 1 Tim 3:2-5 that says a bishop must be the husband of one wife, and even have children.

Then 1 Tim 4:1-3 that says it would be to depart from the faith to forbid marriage.

I know the difference between doctrine and discipline - by why would you ever, ever have a discipline that went AGAINST scripture?

Well, for starters, eastern rite clergy are married sometimes. Also, we know Paul speaks of remaining unmarried for the sake of the faith.

D-R Bible, Haydock Commentary:

Ver. 3. Forbidding to marry, to abstain from meats, &c. Here says St. Chrysostom[1] are foretold and denoted the heretics called Encratites, the Marcionites, Manicheans, &c. who condemned all marriages as evil, as may be seen in St. Irenæus, Epiphanius, St. Augustine, Theodoret, &c. These heretics held a god who was the author of good things, and another god who was the author or cause of all evils; among the latter they reckoned, marriages, fleshmeats, wine, &c. The doctrine of Catholics is quite different, when they condemn the marriages of priests and of such as have made a vow to God to lead always a single life; or when the Church forbids persons to eat flesh in Lent, or on fasting-days, unless their health require it. We hold that marriage in itself is not only honourable, but a sacrament of divine institution. We believe and profess that the same only true God is the author of all creatures which are good of themselves; that all eatables are to be eaten with thanksgiving, and none of them to be rejected, as coming from the author of evil. When we condemn priests for marrying, it is for breaking their vows and promises made to God of living unmarried, and of leading a more perfect life; we condemn them with the Scripture, which teaches us that vows made are to be kept; with St. Paul, who in the next chap. (ver. 12) teaches us, that they who break such vows incur their damnation. When the Church, which we are commanded to obey, enjoins abstinence from flesh, or puts a restraint as to the times of eating on days of humiliation and fasting, it is by way of self-denial and mortification: so that it is not the meats, but the transgression of the precept, that on such occasions defiles the consciences of the transgressors. “You will object, (says St. Chrysostom) that we hinder persons from marrying; God forbid,” &c. St. Augustine, (lib. 30. contra Faustum. chap. vi.) “You see (says he) the great difference in abstaining from meats for mortification sake, and as if God was not the author of them.” We may observe that God, in the law of Moses, prohibited swine’s flesh and many other eatables; and that even the apostles, in the Council of Jerusalem, forbad the Christians, (at least about Antioch) to eat at that time blood and things strangled; not that they were bad of themselves, as the Manicheans pretended. (Witham) — St. Paul here speaks of the Gnostics and other ancient heretics, who absolutely condemned marriage and the use of all kind of meat, because they pretended that all flesh was from an evil principle: whereas the Church of God so far from condemning marriage, holds it to be a holy sacrament, and forbids it to none but such as by vow have chosen the better part: and prohibits not the use of any meats whatsoever, in proper times and seasons, though she does not judge all kinds of diet proper for days of fasting and penance. (Challoner) — We may see in the earliest ages[centuries] of Christianity, that some of the most infamous and impure heretics that ever went out of the Church, condemned all marriage as unlawful, at the same time allowing the most unheard of abominations: men without religion, without faith, without modesty, without honour. See St. Clement of Alexandria, lib. 3. Strom.

Paul was a Bishop and probably the 2nd most important one of all time. And he was the husband of ZERO wives. Was he led by demons, too?

And we have to understand that the Church doesn’t let just anyone become a priest - they are vetted pretty well before that happens - as celibate life is not for everyone, it is a “gift” 1 Cor 7:7

Comes down to Matthew 16 - did Jesus actually hand Peter and the Church those keys? If he did, then you can trust in it to lead men to all truth. John 16:13

This issue does not bother me in the least as the Church has not said anything negative about clergy marriage - we have entire Anglican rite with married priests that came aboard like a decade ago…some priests in the east are married - also, the Pope has recently sort of opened the door to allowing marriage of priests in certain areas were the vocation is short handed.

Whenever you get a Catholic priest and a protestant minister together you hear a interesting conversation - the minister tells the priest he sort of envies the priest because he doesn’t have to juggle married life with his Church obligations. It’s very tough getting calls at 3am with your wife growing increasingly uncomfortable. I’ll say this, Protestant or Catholic, you better have a very strong and secure woman if you are going to be married because it is a very trying experience for her as well. I liken it to a military spouse - she has to serve just as much as he does.

The Lord be with you.

It’s interesting though - if Jesus handed Peter the keys - it appears he handed them to a married man.

It just looks like a discipline that goes against scripture. Agreed - Paul saw benefit in being single - but he bound no one to it.

I feel nothing should go against scripture - doctrine or discipline. Once you cross that line, where does it stop?

Yes. Peter was married.

Mrs. Peter is also noticeably absent from all of Scripture. There is a questionable tradition of her accompanying him to Rome, with a daughter. Since his mother in law waits table after being resuscitated, instead of Mrs. Peter, his wife was probably not alive. That’s my guess.

Markie - There is a very simple answer to this question. Paul is not mandating that a bishop MUST have been married, but that he have only been married once. And if he had children from that marriage, he must have done a good job as a father, or else he would definitely be a bad bishop.

Paul also says that he “would have all as [himself],” so clearly he favors celibacy as the norm.

The history of the discipline is long and complex, but it begins very early.

Nobody who doesn’t have an impediment to marriage (incontinence, being underage, etc.) is prevented from marrying. It’s just that one must choose between marriage and ordination in the Latin Church.

Markie - you are going to be able to find a verse every day that makes you question yourself. Stick to the big picture and more fundamental principles… The rest can be sorted out from within the context of the faith you have entered into.

Jesus talked about being a eunich for God… didn’t he? Would that be the single life? But like someone said, it’s a gift… a calling. Just as married life is a gift, a calling. Neither is easy…

We also don’t know the aftermath of Peter’s ‘married life’ after that moment as scripture doesn’t give us details. What happened to her? What sort of relationship did they actually have after the formation of the Church, if any? Seems Peter was awfully busy with ***other *** things if you read the first 10 chapters of Acts.

Probably, and this is a key point, because the Church was never intended to be scripture ALONE. 2 Thess 2:15 That is a modern protestant idea that leads us to a truncated view of Christianity. It also leads to as many different interpretations as their are heads to interpret it. Check out the 1st ever Church council in Acts 15. You had the Church leaders who were handed the keys and guided by the Spirit making a call on circumcision with out any real scriptural precedent to do so. In fact, some Jewish believers were making the case that Christian leaders were going against scripture. This is how the Church has always operated, by council and with the authority of Jesus Christ, not by everyone going off and doing their own thing based on their own interpretation of things. Indeed, Peter warned against private interpretation ESPECIALLY of Paul’s words which can lead to your own destruction:

2 Peter 3:16King James Version (KJV)

16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

In modern day terms ^^ Paul is a different kind of cat, very complex and you really need Church leaders from the true Apostolic Church which contains the FULL deposit of the faith to get the full gist of just what is being said here.

I would respectfully say go back and prayerfully consider just*** what*** is being emphasized there in 1 Tim 3:2-5. It says husband of ONE wife - meaning no more polygamy as this was a common Jewish practice. That is the emphasis, to go along with the fact that this person, whoever he is, must be morally upright. Picture Paul’s audience, he is writing to Churches that are out of control and in the infancy stage. The letters to the Church in Corinth give us a snapshot of just how ridiculous these people were acting. So Paul is cleaning up a mess and not speaking in the strictest sense here.

And it wasn’t just Paul who thought highly of those celibates who work for the kingdom, Jesus did too:

Matthew 19:12Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

12 For there are different reasons why men do not marry — some because they were born without the desire, some because they have been castrated, and some because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whoever can grasp this, let him do so.”

Celibacy is a positive especially among those working for the Kingdom and the Church has emphasized it, just as Jesus and Paul did.

So with all due respect, I do not see this contradicting scripture. Honestly, I had more problems grasping the call no man Father passage.

The Lord be with you…

Is your quote correct? I question as to whether "must " translates as “got to have a wife” or means “if he has a wife he can only have one and can’t remarry if she dies”. In other words having a wife is not a requirement.

Bingo.

OR, maybe their marriage pretty much dissolved because of the high demand for Peter’s services to the Kingdom? Poll some protestant ministers and see just how difficult their married lives can be…and their mission wasn’t 1/100th of what Peter’s was…

Jesus told his followers to drop everything and follow me, don’t even look back. This idea of sacrifice for the Kingdom is not something foreign to Christianity. Quite the contrary…

One problem is treating Scripture as a systematic theology. Another is to treat sections as presenting a complete and exhaustive set of rules. The Catholic Catechism is more like a systematic theology. And if you compare how it is written to Holy Scripture you’ll notice a big difference. Likewise you could compare canon law to portions of Scripture that set out rules. Again it is very differently written.

I think if you take the Catholic Faith as true it makes the most sense out of Scripture. That doesn’t mean there won’t be verses you come across that troubles you. But these problems are far less then any other proposed understanding of the Christian Faith.

A person may be troubled about bishops needing to be married who belongs to a Protestant group that doesn’t have bishops at all.

However, we don’t know if he was still married or widowed by the time he met Jesus. Scripture mentions his mother in law but not his wife.

You know as I grow and expand in my Catholic faith I am finding it very hard to do everything I want to do. I want to volunteer a lot, I want to spend a lot of time in my Church praying and worshiping God, I want to read books about not only my religion but about God, and further my interests, I’d really like to get into apologetics, I’d love to go on a pilgrimage, and most of this is just on a Monday…

But the reason in finding this hard to do is not because of the time, I’m retired. It’s not because of the money, I have a pretty good retirement check coming in. It’s certainly not because of a lack of desire, but it IS because I have a wife and 4 kids to take care of.

All I am saying is it makes sense, it is very logical that if l, a simple parishoner, find it hard to do the things I really want to do because I’m married with children, then how much harder would it be for a priest.

In the end there are a dozen things that could persuade a Protestant to doubt the Catholic faith, and I know, I converted not but about 10 years ago, but this one, it seems a little silly to me…are you sure you aren’t looking for a reason not to convert, instead of looking for reasons to convert???

The Church does not forbid marriage: some volunteer to forego marriage in favor of working only for God. hth!

Hi, Markie!

…you have just two problems with that exegesis… one is huge (God), one is minor (the Apostle of non-Catholics):

Jesus never married.

St. Paul did not only not get married but he called others to emulate him!

…so why would Jesus, a healthy 30 something guy not get married?

…could it be that His Priesthood was more important?

…could it be that Serving God, as the Suffering Servant, would require more of Him and of those around Him than it would be fair to exact upon a wife and children, soon to be widowed and orphaned?

…ok, lets ignore Jesus’ determination to remain celibate… what about St. Paul?

…well St. Paul’s argument is that a Minister would be divided between Serving the Lord and serving his wife/children…

…so why did the Church adopt such a practice?

…could it be that throughout time there were moments where the Faithful lost their ways and that those practices that were more aligned with the world were the practices that were embraced–and even abused?

…I am not familiar with the Eastern Church… but, from what I have gathered, they have rarely traveled outside their familiar geography… it is easy to see how a Priest/Bishop could be married and raise a family since they basically stay homebound… in contrast, in the West the Church has made treks around the known and unknown world… missionaries have been put to death by the thousands and have died from ailments and lack of food and shelter…

…what I find baffling is how the practice of celibacy is made into such a big deal by those who embrace St. Paul’s Teachings (the first celibate Minister of Christ) while ignoring that Jesus Delegated His Authority to the Church and that part of that: “what you bind/loosen on earth is bound/loosen in Heaven” Authority deals with Church Doctrine. Is it correct to claim that celibacy is wrong because the Church does not allow Priests to marry… or is it just another excuse and misunderstanding of Church Doctrine?

How many times has the Church knocked on your door to force you to remain celibate? The Church Doctrines are not enforced by threat or execution… a person accepting the Call to a Vocation that requires embracing poverty and celibacy is always free to remove him/herself from such obligation… and… of the billion plus “Catholics” in the world, how many of them have been forced into a celibate life?

…as St. Paul says:

[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]6 I say this as a concession, not as a command. 7 I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. 8 Now to the unmarried[a] and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.

(1 Corinthians 7:6-8)
…so if your Vocation is to get married, why seek the Priesthood?

…conversely, if your Vocation is to the celibate life, why begrudge it?

…and if it is some else’s Vocation to live the celibate life, why begrudge the Church for instituting that Discipline?

Merry Christmas!
Maran atha!

Angel

[/size][/FONT]

Hi, Markie!

…you have just two problems with that exegesis… one is huge (God), one is minor (the Apostle of non-Catholics):

Jesus never married.

St. Paul did not only not get married but he called others to emulate him!

…so why would Jesus, a healthy 30 something guy not get married?

…could it be that His Priesthood was more important?

…could it be that Serving God, as the Suffering Servant, would require more of Him and of those around Him than it would be fair to exact upon a wife and children, soon to be widowed and orphaned?

…ok, lets ignore Jesus’ determination to remain celibate… what about St. Paul?

…well St. Paul’s argument is that a Minister would be divided between Serving the Lord and serving his wife/children…

…so why did the Church adopt such a practice?

…could it be that throughout time there were moments where the Faithful lost their ways and that those practices that were more aligned with the world were the practices that were embraced–and even abused?

…I am not familiar with the Eastern Church… but, from what I have gathered, they have rarely traveled outside their familiar geography… it is easy to see how a Priest/Bishop could be married and raise a family since they basically stay homebound… in contrast, in the West the Church has made treks around the known and unknown world… missionaries have been put to death by the thousands and have died from ailments and lack of food and shelter…

…what I find baffling is how the practice of celibacy is made into such a big deal by those who embrace St. Paul’s Teachings (the first celibate Minister of Christ) while ignoring that Jesus Delegated His Authority to the Church and that part of that: “what you bind/loosen on earth is bound/loosen in Heaven” Authority deals with Church Doctrine. Is it correct to claim that celibacy is wrong because the Church does not allow Priests to marry… or is it just another excuse and misunderstanding of Church Doctrine?

How many times has the Church knocked on your door to force you to remain celibate? The Church Doctrines are not enforced by threat or execution… a person accepting the Call to a Vocation that requires embracing poverty and celibacy is always free to remove him/herself from such obligation… and… of the billion plus “Catholics” in the world, how many of them have been forced into a celibate life?

…as St. Paul says:

[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]6 I say this as a concession, not as a command. 7 I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. 8 Now to the unmarried[a] and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.

(1 Corinthians 7:6-8)
…so if your Vocation is to get married, why seek the Priesthood?

…conversely, if your Vocation is to the celibate life, why begrudge it?

…and if it is some else’s Vocation to live the celibate life, why begrudge the Church for instituting that Discipline?

Merry Christmas!
Maran atha!

Angel

[/size][/FONT]

Not every verse in Sacred Scripture automatically becomes a Catholic doctrine. That is why the wisdom of the Holy Spirit guides the major Ecumenical Catholic Church Councils. A good source of information is in the CCC Index of Citations, page 720 and following. The Arabic number(s) cited to the right refers to the CCC text paragraph.

The Index of Citations begins on CCC page 689. It gives the complete instructions for using this Index.

CCC Footnotes are great for learning. Also, the cross-references in the margins should be checked.

Take you time. Enjoy the richness of Catholic teaching. Enjoy Sacred Scripture. My favorite verse is “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” John 14: 18. I keep imagining the wonder of receiving Jesus Himself in the Holy Eucharist during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

The better question Markie is why anyone who names himself a Christian would try to take those 2 passages (from St. Paul no less) out of context to dissent from something that Jesus Christ Himself plainly taught in the Gospels and St.Paul plainly teaches elsewhere in his letters? Christ Himself established this discipline, and St. Paul corroborates and supports it, so how can n-Cs justify not encouraging it?
Priestly celibacy is unBiblical. NOT!

Hi, Markie!

…again, show me where Jesus Commands that no one should be celibate or where the Apostles command that Priests and Bishops must be married… the only mention of marriage is “of one wife.”

…Scriptures speaks of not having multiple marriages; it does not speak of not living a celibate life!

Further, since St. Paul calls others to emulate him in remaining celibate, how can you excuse his practice and his “abuse of authority” since he is doing exactly what you say…

…even further, how many of those who followed St. Paul are proven to have gotten married?

…do you have a special historical record/Bible that speak on how many of the early Church Ministers remained celibate or got married?

Please do not confuse the actions of people such as that moon guy that kept thousands of people from getting married till he determined that they should be married (mass wedding) or those to which you wrongly are alluding who actually demand that none be married–such was the Albigensian heresy:

(8) Instead of the Sacrament of carnal Matrimony between man and woman, they invent a spiritual Matrimony between the soul and God, viz. when the heretics
themselves, the perfect or consoled (perfecti seu consolati), receive anyone into their sect and order.
(9) They deny the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ from Mary ever virgin, asserting that He had not a true human body, etc., but that all things were done figuratively (in similitudinem).(10) They deny that the Blessed Virgin Mary was the true mother of our Lord Jesus Christ ; they deny also that she was a woman of flesh (camalem). But they say their sect and order is the Virgin Mary, and that true penance (poenitentia) is a chaste virgin who bears sons of God when they are received into their sect and order.(11) They deny the future resurrection of human bodies, imagining, instead, certain spiritual bodies.(12) They say that a man ought to eat or touch neither meat nor cheese nor eggs, nor anything which is born of the flesh by way of generation or intercourse.(13) They say and believe that in brutes and even in birds there are those spirits which go forth from the bodies of men when they have not been received into their sect and order by imposition of hands, according to their rite, and that they pass from one body into another ; wherefore they themselves do not eat or kill any animal or anything that flies.
(14) They say that a man ought never to touch a woman. (en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Albigensian_Heresy

)

[FONT=“Palatino Linotype”][size=]Merry Christmas!
Maran atha!

Angel

[/size][/FONT]

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.