Why Priests not married?


#1

My wife is a convert to the faith and said priests and bishops used to be married (some) why not allowed now? I had no answer. When and why was this changed? By who? Thanks.


#2

Because this is the Sacred Tradition of the True church of Christ. First the bishops and the priests were married, but after their ordination they should renounce to have sexual intercourses with their wifes.
Look at Lc 18,28-30 - they(the Apostles) left everything and followed Jesus, and He saied thet those who left their wifes (no divorce, is the chastity) will receive more in the heaven;

*1 Cor *9,5; so the wife of Peter was like a sister for him.

Saint Gregory the Great saied: “The priest after his ordination will love his priestess(wife) as a sister”.


#3

“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. He must manage his own household well, keeping his children under control with perfect dignity; for if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how can he take care of the church of God?”
First Letter of St. Paul to Timothy 3:1-5

sounds like paul had no problem with married priests.

“Do we not have the right to take along a Christian wife, as do the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Kephas?”
1 Corinthians 9:5


h’mmmm… the apostles 'right?'


“For this reason I left you in Crete so that you might set right what remains to be done and appoint presbyters in every town, as I directed you, on condition that a man be blameless, married only once, with believing children who are not accused of licentiousness or rebellious.”
First Letter of St. Paul to Titus 1:5-6


i’m not sure this non-married priest tradition is all it’s cracked up to be… seems a little arbitrary. This is the only catholic teaching i disagree with.


#4

how long IS that ‘sacred tradition’??any thought as to the legitamacy of this list?

MARRIED POPES
St. Peter, Apostle D.C. - 64 A.D. First married pope.
St. Felix III 483 - 492 Two children.
St. Hormidas 514 - 523 Married before ordination.
St. Silverus 536 - 537 Wife’s name: Antonia.
Hadrian II 867 - 872 One daughter.
Clement IV 1265 - 1268 Two daughters.
Felix V 1439 - 1449 One son.

POPES WHO WERE SONS OF POPES AND OTHER CLERGY
YEAR OF PAPACY/HIS FATHER
St. Damasus I 366 - 384 St. Lorenzo, priest
St. Innocent I401 - 417 Pope Anastasius I
Boniface 418 - 422 A priest
St. Felix 483 - 492 A priest
Anastasius II 496 - 498 A priest
St. Agapitus I 535 - 536 Gordianus, priest
St. Silverius 536 - 537 Pope St. Hormidas
Deusdedit 615 - 618 Stephen, sub-deacon
Theodore I 642 - 649 A bishop
Marinus I 882 - 884 A priest
Boniface VI 896 Bishop Hadrian
John XI 931 - 935 Pope Sergius III
John XV 989 - 996 Leo, priest

POPES WHO FATHERED CHILDREN AFTER THE CELIBACY LAW OF 1139 YEAR OF PAPACY NOTES
Innocent III 1484 - 1492 Several children.
Alexander VI 1492 - 1503 2 grandchildren were Cardinals.
Julius 1503 - 1513 Three daughters.
Paul III 1534 - 1549 One daughter, three sons.
Pius IV 1559 - 1565 Three sons.
Gregory XIII 1572 - 1585 One son.

Sources:

Kelly, J. N. D. The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. Oxford Press. 1986.H.C. Lea.

History of Sacerdotal Celibacy in the Christian Church. 1957.

E. Schillebeeckx. The Church with a Human Face. Crossroad, 1985.


#5

Someone claimed that this was “Tradition”–big “T”. That is incorrect—celibacy for priests is a small “t” tradition. It is a practice—a discipline, if you will—that CAN be changed, though I don’t think it will and hope it won’t.

Here’s a Catholic Answers article on celibacy: catholic.com/library/Celibacy_and_the_Priesthood.asp


#6

Thank you, thechrismyster!

Wow, This is better information than I have ever seen compiled before on this issue. I would like anyone who may have better DATA on this to step forward, after all, if the facts are wrong, we have a right to know! Are there any mistakes on this list?

Based upon the assumption that these facts are correct, I would think the problem we are seeing in the Western Catholic church is one of nostalgia, and nothing more.

I grew up knowing only unmarried priests, became comfortable with it, and thought it was “normal”. Apparently I was wrong.

So my discomfort with the growing number of Latin Rite Roman Catholic priests can be set aside as a problem in my thinking, not a problem for the church.

If the church should adopt optional celibacy as the rule, it is clear we aren’t all destined for disaster. We would just be returning to business as usual for the church of all time.

Thanks again!


#7

Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. (Hebrews 13:4)

A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach. (1 Timothy 3:2)

Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. (1 Timothy 3:12)

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. (Genesis 2:18)

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. (1 Timothy 4:1,2,3)

But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her. (Mark 1:30)

Some say that the Catholic church requires celibacy for economic reasons. Well I don’t know about it but I was always amazed by this doctrine since the first “Pope” of the Catholic church was married and the Scripture not only approves marriage but also recommends it. But after all, the Scriptures tell us that someone has to forbid marriage at the latter times.


#8

I grew up knowing only unmarried priests, became comfortable with it, and thought it was “normal”. Apparently I was wrong.

No, you were right. It is normal. His list is a mere handful of popes that we have had in the last two thousand years, and celibacy has been a law for the Latin Rite Catholics for over 800 years. As well as extended periods of time prior to that, and always the norm for monastics.


#9

**

Marriage is honourable in all

, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. (Hebrews 13:4)

A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach. (1 Timothy 3:2)

Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. (1 Timothy 3:12)

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. (Genesis 2:18)

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. (1 Timothy 4:1,2,3)

But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her. (Mark 1:30)

Some say that the Catholic church requires celibacy for economic reasons. Well I don’t know about it but I was always amazed by this doctrine since the first “Pope” of the Catholic church was married and the Scripture not only approves marriage but also recommends it. But after all, the Scriptures tell us that someone has to forbid marriage at the latter times.

catholic.com/library/Celibacy_and_the_Priesthood.asp

All of your babbling is covered in the article referenced by someone above, for your sake I copied it. I suggest you read it and THEN contribute.**


#10

I don’t normally point out typographical errors but I do feel the need to point out that you spelled Pope wrong. It is spelled P O P E without the quotation marks. :smiley:

God bless,

James


#11

[quote=homer]Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. (Hebrews 13:4)

A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach. (1 Timothy 3:2)

Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. (1 Timothy 3:12)

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. (Genesis 2:18)

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. (1 Timothy 4:1,2,3)

But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her. (Mark 1:30)

Some say that the Catholic church requires celibacy for economic reasons. Well I don’t know about it but I was always amazed by this doctrine since the first “Pope” of the Catholic church was married and the Scripture not only approves marriage but also recommends it. But after all, the Scriptures tell us that someone has to forbid marriage at the latter times.
[/quote]

Clerical celibusy isn’t a doctrine, homer. Learn what a doctrine is and then learn what the doctrines are please.


#12

[quote=Mjohn1453]No, you were right. It is normal. His list is a mere handful of popes that we have had in the last two thousand years, and celibacy has been a law for the Latin Rite Catholics for over 800 years. As well as extended periods of time prior to that, and always the norm for monastics.
[/quote]

Thank you for the comforting words!

Well, let’s see,

The Catholic Church has stood tall and strong for 1900+ years, almost 2000. The church has had a rule of mandatory celibacy for 800 years in the West only…

That means that the church has had optional celibacy in the east for all time and in the west for 1200+ years. It is beginning to sound like the 800 year period is abnormal, not vice versa.

And of course, monastics don’t even count in this topic. They are a non-issue because cenobites and hermits are naturally unmarried. It isn’t even worth mentioning.

Now, if the church wants to make a law that only cenobites and hermits are worthy of serving a parish, it has the right to do so. But the church has never said that, I wonder why it has chosen to make monastics out of parish priests, men who are exposed to the world every day and have little in the way of refuge or community to strengthen them.

We need to pray for our priests. They are a tough, but suffering bunch.


#13

One of the priests in my parish is married, and has 2 boys.


#14

When someone becomes a preist they are supposed to devote there lives to Chirst. You can not fully devote your life to Christ if you are married because you have to worry about family and serving God. So you are divided.


#15

The Catholic Church has stood tall and strong for 1900+ years, almost 2000. The church has had a rule of mandatory celibacy for 800 years in the West only…

The Church has required celibacy in the West prior to the 1100’s. That date was only the last time that it was affirmed.

That means that the church has had optional celibacy in the east for all time and in the west for 1200+ years. It is beginning to sound like the 800 year period is abnormal, not vice versa.

The Church in the east and the Churches in the west have always had practical differences. That doesn’t make them right and us wrong, only different.

Now, if the church wants to make a law that only cenobites and hermits are worthy of serving a parish, it has the right to do so. But the church has never said that, I wonder why it has chosen to make monastics out of parish priests, men who are exposed to the world every day and have little in the way of refuge or community to strengthen them.

Because the Church in her wisdom decided that celibacy would be wise for the Latin Rite Church.

We need to pray for our priests. They are a tough, but suffering bunch.

I have encountered many priests, who made a tough choice between the priesthood and married life who are very happy, and their service to the people of God has born wonderful fruit. Read the articles written by informed people, who don’t have an ax to grind with the Church, and you too can see the gift that celibacy is.

Marraige is such a beautiful thing. The sacrifice that they give, by giving up such a beautiful thing as marraige, should give you pause. This life isn’t the only thing that we have too look forward to. Forsaking the pleasures of married life in service to God is awesome and should be respected not pitied. Rejoiced and not shunned.


#16

Tertullian comments in wonder on how many priests choose celibacy. De exhortatione castitatis, cap. xiii

 Eusibius says that it is befitting for deacons, priests, and bishops to observe abstinance from women. *Demonst. Evangel*., I, C. ix
 
 St. Cyril of Jerusalem says that anyone serving at the altar should hold himself aloof from women. Cat. xii, 25

St. Jerome comments about how it is customary to have relationship between husband and wife become that of sister and brother when ordained.

St. Epiphanius writes about the accepted rule that priests, deacons, and bishops are to be celibate, either giving up the wife or being a widower. Haer., xlviii, 9

St. Ephraem, of the eastern Church no less, says that it was a rule passed on from the Apostles. After this in the east diverges from the West.

 295 -302 the Spanish Council of Elvira imposed celibacy on priests, deacons,  and bishops.
 
 Pope Siricius forbade those priests that were still married from having intercourse with their wives in 386.
 
 From then on the there is a hodgpodge of what is allowed and isn't allowed varying by diocese.

This hodgepodge was finally cleared in 1123 at the First Lateran Council when celibacy became the rule for the entire Western Church.

This is all courtesy of the Catholic Encyclopedia.


#17

Those quotes about marrying are not eloquent, they were married, but lived in chastity. The Sacred Tradition says so, and the Holy Scriptures tell the same thing.

And don’t give quotes in Old Testament because we refer to christian priesthood. A mand who wants to serve God, will serve God, not his wife, children and money.

The Apostles saied that they left erverything for Jesus, and Jesus saied that all people who follow him to leave evreything and dedicate him


#18

I can see the wisdom of the church in this matter. As a married deacon, when my wife, children, or grandchildren are sick or have a problem, I tend to get very occupied with this. If I were a priest and someone in my parish really needed me for their problem, but I was busy tending to family matters, there would really be a conflict.

Deacon Tony SFO


#19

It is a small “t” tradition, a discipline. Still, years ago when the pastor of our family’s church was sent a questionaire from the archdiocese asking his opinion about married priests, he told us he wrote (tongue in cheek!!): “Only if they can use birth control.” Then he said, “Seriously, it would be very difficult to grow up being the priest’s kid. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.”

Having said that, probably we ought to be asking the families of Eastern Orthodox priests, if the West ever decides to re-open the issue (which the current Holy Father most emphatically will not).


#20

I think its weird…most religions allow their leaders to get married. Id rather have a priest who was a family guy…I think they could better relate to their congregation. And maybe some priests wouldnt hafta resort to molestation to fulfill sexual desires.


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