Why the Church no longer teaches the superiority of celibacy over marriage


From Jesus (in the Gospels) to Pope Pius 12 in 1954, through St Paul, St John (Ap), all the fathers and teachers of the Church and the Council of Trent, the Church has always taught that celibacy is superior to marriage, makes us more fortunate in this life, that marriage gives Heaven more glory than marriage, and the Council of Trent has made it a dogma. . What makes that except the weaknesses of the intelligence which does not know or does not understand this superiority, or the weaknesses of the will which make it impossible to conquer concupiscence other than by marriage, celibacy must be preferred to marriage.
Today, at least since John Paul II, the Church refuses to recall this truth, which means that:

  • Many confuse celibacy sacred and vocations of priest or religious! Pius 12 has happily reminded him in his encyclical “sacra virgnita” that sacred celibacy has nothing to do with the vocations of priests or religious, it is just a sacrifice of his chastity to God that lay people can do. .
  • Many do not know that celibacy should be preferred to marriage.

So how can the Church suddenly no longer teach one of her truths of Faith (for the superiority of celibacy over marriage is a dogma of Faith)?

What if you don't feel called to the priesthood or marriage?

I’m confused, since the Church still says that celibacy is a wonderful thing, where do you get your information from? Because it is not the Catholic Church.


I think the church still teaches this today.


OP, I would like to see evidence of the claim that you make. I don’t see it.


Yes, but the Church no longer formally teaches the superiority of sacred celibacy over marriage


prove it then. cite your sources


Where? Please provide evidence not just your assertion.

Logically, it’s sort of impossible to ‘give up’ this view.

A priest sacrifices his own fecundity for the Church.
The Church is the mystical body of Christ.
It therefore is higher than any single soul.
Therefore the intention or object of the sacrifice is higher.


The church may not have formally changed this teaching, but it definitely does not teach it. In my entire life, I have never heard a priest or bishop state this teaching. It might be written down somewhere, but if it’s not actually taught is it still a teaching?


point out to me the passages of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the passages of AL which recall this truth.
Show me a pastoral document on marriage and chastity that reminds of this truth.
Thank you



Teaching from Aquinas.

You’re the one who said it’s changed…so start substantiating what was, and what is now.

No evidence for either has been provided. On you.


I did not say that the Church has changed. his teaching. I said that the CHURCH has not been teaching it since 1954

So, point out to me the passages of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the passages of AL which recall this truth.
Show me a pastoral document on marriage and chastity that reminds of this truth.
Thank you


Show me one teaching, only one since 1954 that recalls this truth. The last is that of Pope Pius 12 in 1954.
Since then, the Church has been following a logic of overvaluing marriage to the detriment of celibacy.
Whether in the pastoral teachings, the homelies, no one recalls this truth, if you even have a homily of a priest on marriage and chastity that says this truth, give me a link on it.


The Church doesn’t republish and re-write its teaching every year.

What was written stands…remains.

You’re claiming it’s not taught…what you mean is it’s not learned.


From Jesus until Pius 12, all teaching about marriage recalled this truth. Today we do not remember it at all!
we must remember the dogmas! not remembering them is misleading, especially when they are not obvious truths. Precisely the superiority of celibacy over marriage is not an obvious truth, and those who are neither priest nor married are wrongly thinking that they are marginalized because they do not know this truth, they do not know they are on a path of sanctification better because we no longer teach it


In this case, do not teach the trinity any more, do not teach the commandments etc etc, because we have already taught this, it does not need anymore to teach it regularly


The word “superiority” in today’s world…where everyone’s self-esteem is so fragile…creates problems.

Setting aside the emotion of “superiority” and focusing instead on the “logical” aspect of superiority, perhaps we can consider Mary’s own gift of self gift which was ‘superior’ to a “normal mother” because she gave her whole self while remaining celibate.

The object of her sacrifice or self gift was God, not a human, her husband.

So one can “get to” this teaching just using logic.


The references to not being married or married that I remember most distinctly are from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, chapter 7.


This is the first time I’m hearing this. I’ve always been told marriage and celibacy are both equal vocations…I must have been misinformed.



Pope John Paul II , Vita Consecrata, no. 32: “As a way of showing forth the Church’s holiness, it is to be recognized that the consecrated life, which mirrors Christ’s own way of life, has an objective superiority. Precisely for this reason, it is an especially rich manifestation of Gospel values and a more complete expression of the Church’s purpose, which is the sanctification of humanity. The consecrated life proclaims and in a certain way anticipates the future age, when the fullness of the Kingdom of Heaven, already present in its first fruits and in mystery,[62] will be achieved and when the children of the resurrection will take neither wife nor husband, but will be like the angels of God (cf. Mt. 22:30)”


This has been a common argument on CAF in the past. I try to avoid it. Live the vocation in which God calls a person to, live it well, and love as much as you can, wherever you may find yourself.

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