Why Can’t Catholic Priests Get Married



To answer this question I am posting a discussion I had in the comments section of Priesthood of all believers.

Peter’s style in the comments section was casual/IM…thus, without puctuation or capitalizations. This is normal in those venues and does NOT mean he doesn’t know how to punctuate or capitalize. I didn’t make all of the corrections needed to make his comments and questions formally correct b/c it would have been a lot of work. I thought he had very good and honest questions, representative of the questions many people have so I decided to put them in a post. So, here is our discussion:

Peter: i think you are dead right about presbyters (being the word translated “priest” in English). that is why some are placed into positions of leadership (like james the just or peter and paul, etc). however, these leadership positions are extensively talked about by paul in timothy and other places. in timothy, paul says that presbyters are to be husbands of but one wife and their kids are to be respectful because if they cant control their family they cant control the church.

so now tell me, how can a claim be made that presbyters are supposed to be celibate? there is no mandate that presbyters are celibate. in fact, the exact opposite. paul says that they should marry if they cant control their passions.

BFHU:

You are absolutely correct. There is no Biblical mandate that Priests are to be celibate. In fact, we know since Peter had a mother-in-law that he must have been married, at some point. The normal discipline of priestly celibacy could be changed to allow priests to marry. Celibacy is a discipline in the Latin Rite Catholic Church it is not an unchangeable doctrine or dogma. Eating fish on Fridays, similarly, was a discipline in the Church but it was changed and priestly celibacy might be changed, could be changed, theoretically. But it probably will not be changed any time soon. So disciplines can change but dogma does not change.

There are many good reasons to keep celibacy but the best is because the celibate Priest most closely models Jesus Christ, who was celibate. He also, stands in Persona Christi in most of the sacraments and since in Heaven there will be no marriage, the priest also models life in the age to come. In the Eastern Orthodox churches and even some non Latin rite Catholic Churches married men are ordained to the priesthood. But the married ones cannot become Bishops. And people in these churches prefer the unmarried priests to the married ones for the obvious reason that an unmarried priest can be married to the Church as he is called to be, and a more available father. But they must marry before ordination; they cannot afterwards marry. And in the Latin Rite Catholic Church Deacons can be married but if their wife dies they may not remarry. These are the disciplines of ordination.

Peter: so why should we discount the ministry of a man simply because he has chosen marriage?

BFHU: The ministry of a man who marries is not discounted by the Church. It is his vocation just like priesthood is a vocation. The married man is purified through his marriage and models the loving union of the Trinity-Man/Woman/child. The fruitfulness of their love brings new life. And he fulfills his priesthood of believers by being:

a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

And the priest, also, is purified through the difficulties of his vocation. The fruitfulness of of the Priest’s love of the bride of Christ brings new life, born for eternity in Heaven.

Peter: dont we learn many otherwise impossible lessons through oneness with our wives? isnt that why JB, JC, and paul all spoke of the relationship between man and wife as an allegory for Christ and the church?

BFHU: Absolutely accurate there! Thank you for your polite and excellent questions.

Peter: thanks for the response. i agree with you about your points, minus one problematic thing i have always disagreed with the church on. why if the word presbyter is the only word for “priest” do we think that now a priest SHOULD NOT be married.

BFHU: It is not a matter of “should not” but it is a matter of discipline for those who wish to shepherd the church of God, to give up marriage and family in order to devote all attention to the Bride of Christ. The Church does not forbid marriage to any one. All who feel called to the vocation of marriage are free to marry. Part of the discernment for the priesthood is, Am I willing? Am I able to give up marriage? Most are not called to the priesthood. It is a gift.

I Cor 7:1 It is good for a man not to marry…An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs —how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided.”

Peter: i understand there are some whom God calls to live celebate lives, but most of us burn with passion if we arent married.

And as St. Paul said, ” it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”

BFHU:Very true and then they should marry but as Jesus said….

Matthew 19:12For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

Peter:

besides that we are supposed to follow Tradition as it is passed down to us. the very earliest traditions (not only in the New Testament, but also in church history) there were many priests and bishops who were married.

BFHU: Please read I Cor 7 and realize that the Catholic Church takes Paul’s advice much more literally than most Protestants. The New Testament is the earliest Tradition. And we follow it. The Catholic Church still has married priests and celibate priests. The unmarried more closely follow the example of Christ in this matter.

Peter: so what do you do with the fact that peter (and others seemed to be married)? peter, according to the catholic church, is the first pope. what a precedent to set for popes who have the “discipline” of celebacy. we are to go by tradition, the church just seems to pick and choose which traditions it likes.

BFHU: Have you done any research to understand how and why the Church has made the decisions she has? I have experienced over and over thinking, “OK, now there can’t be a good explanation for this! But, once I looked into it, the explanation was beautiful and absolutely sublime. For instance, when a Jewish Levitcal Priest was chosen to go into the Holy of Holies,as Zecharia father of John the Baptist was, they had to remain celibate for a month. Celibacy was a discipline for entering into the presence of God just one time on one day. But our priests are in the Presence of Christ in the Eucharist every day. Therefore, perpetual celibacy is a fitting fulfillment of the OT law. For more information, you might be interested in this article about the History of Celibacy. Additionally, Tradition with a capital “T” refers to the unwritten teaching of the apostles. And the Catholic Church is as bound to follow that teaching as sacred scripture. Tradition with a lower case “t” would apply to the traditions of men, family traditions, ethnic traditions etc. Celibacy is a Church discipline, as it was passed down from the disciples and is what you WILL find today in the Catholic Church to this day.

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48 Responses

  1. If a man wants to be celibate as the Aspostle Paul was. It is up the the individual. However, there is a solutiossn for men that cannodst contain dasthemself.

  2. I totally agree with priestly celibacy. It is difficult enough to have one wife, impossible to happily contend with two – a woman and The Bride of Christ, the Church.
    A priest is “another Christ” alter Christus, and should remain as He did, celibate.
    One Vocation per man!

  3. That’s because of Pope is gay and wants all priests to be GAY like him. He wants to have more power to allow the priests to be gay!

  4. That is beyond the ridiculous. How do you explain then, that one of the first things Pope Benedict did was issue an encyclical explicitly banning homosexuals from the priesthood?

  5. I’ve been discerning the Pristhood, and for me, I don’t really care if I can never be a natural father, because as priests, we are fathers to so many, even to those who are older than us. I think that celibacy is a sacrifice that all priests should be willing to make to serve Jesus in one of the most important things a man can be called to do.

  6. Is there any indication in the bible that says it’s better for a Christ to not get married?
    Is marriage an obstacle that prevents us from worshiping or serving god as it should be? If you say yes, why peter who is considered a high figure in Christianity was married!!!? And no one can say that his marriage prevents him from being a good servant of god. Another question, if the real Christ is the one who serves and devotes all his life to worship god, and all Christians are supposed to be that person, and since marriage in a way or another is an obstacle, so what would happen if all people wants to be real Christians (servants of god who devote their whole lives to god) I think that life will stop and we all will die, and hence will be no one to serve god? Don’t you think that a real servant is the one who can meet his god’s recommendations and orders and his own wishes and desires in the same(surely within the frame of goodness) Is a good servant always means harming yourself and prevent yourself from life’s joy ?
    Isn’t it good to marry and have children, so that you can teach them good things that god likes? IF God’s servant doesn’t not marry, who will marry then, bad people? At this case there are only bad people!!! I will be thankful if you give me reasonable answers to these questions, and sorry for my bad style in writing!!

  7. Ragheb,

    Q. Is there any indication in the Bible that says it’s better for Christ not to get married?

    A. No. But it would not be fitting for God the Son to marry a human creature.

    Q.Is marriage an obstacle that prevents us from worshiping or serving God as it should be?

    A. No

    Q. Why was Peter who is considered a high figure in Christianity married!!!?

    A. Jesus called Peter and Peter had been married. But his wife seems to have died since we never hear of her.

    Q. And no one can say that Peter’s marriage prevents him from being a good servant of God.

    A. True

    Q. If the real Christ(ian) is the one who serves and devotes all his life to worship God, and all Christians are supposed to do this, and since marriage in a way or another is an obstacle, so what would happen if all people wants to be real Christians (servants of God who devote their whole lives to God) I think that life will stop and we all will die, and hence will be no one to serve God?

    A. The Catholic Church does not teach that the unmarried are the only ones who can fully serve God. Marriage is NOT an obstacle to serving God.

    We have two possible vocations. Celibacy or marriage.If everyone chose celibacy in the same generation it would not end life at all. It would end reproduction and eventually all humans would be dead. This is not a problem but IF it happened it would be the end of this era and the final judgement would be at hand. But many will always be serving God in Eternity. So it is not the end of people serving God.

    Q. Don’t you think that a real servant is the one who can meet his God’s recommendations and orders?

    A. Yes.

    Q.Does being a good servant always mean harming yourself and preventing yourself from life’s joy?

    A. Not at all. It is wrong to harm outselves.

    Q. Isn’t it good to marry and have children, so that you can teach them good things that God likes?

    A. Yes.

    Q. IF God’s servants don’t marry, who will marry then, bad people?

    A. If all of God’s servants did not marry then only the ungodly would marry. But marriage is a beautiful vocation dignified by Jesus at the wedding at Cana.

    I have tried to answer all of your questions but they all seem to be based on erroneous assumptions about what the Catholic Church teaches. If you have more questions check in the Catechism–>Here to see if the Church even teaches what you might have been told or think about the Catholic Church. Sorry it took so long to reply but I was out of town.

  8. I heard it was because a priest had a really religious cross important to the catholic religion and when he died he left it to his wife instead of the church. The church asked for it and by law she did not have to give it up. Since then the church said priests could not get married.

  9. That sounds like an urban legend. It is not true and does not correspond to any reality within the Catholic Church.

  10. Bfhu, your arguments are strong, and they led me to understand this situation in greater depth, thank you. While there is something admirable about priests dedicating their lives to the Church, and turning their back on marriage and fatherhood and all that it promises . What we learn from loving another peron, our partner, our children, cannot be taught or explained, and it makes us better people. It makes us selfless and gives us empathy for others. And I cannot honestly say, that a person, priest or not, would be better without this experience. I think the discipline of celibacy, will come in for much scruitiny, if only because of the increasing number of married priests within the Catholic Church (Anglican converts, members of the Eastern Catholic Church etc). Even the most selfless priest will see this and start to question how fair this situation actually is.

  11. Thanks for your comments. And of course, the Church could possibly change this discipline. Unlikely, but still possible. In todays parishes a married priest would be very hard pressed not to slight either his family or the parish.

    This is even true with all Protestant pastors. The wife and family sacrifice a great deal more than either the husband or wife really realized before making the commitment. How do you as a wife/husband deal with a husband/wife who can’t do_______ b/c he/she has to do God’s work? Very difficult balancing act.

  12. As a former Catholic and current Orthodox Christian, I can see arguments for both sides.

    It really comes down to tradition and not some dogma. Catholic priests remain unmarried because they become married to the Church. Without a family or a wife to worry about they can focus soley on their church.

    Orthodoxy allows married priests, but the have to be married before being ordained, and if they are widowed, they can not remarry. Orthodoxy allows married priests because as a priest, it is his duty to help council the lay people, and it’s much easier to council a married person about relationship issues if the priest himself is married!

    And in fact, in Eastern Rite Catholicism, there ARE married Catholic priests!

    Becoming a priest is a very important decision, it’s not just something you are on Sunday morning, and I think that is one of the considerations made when it was decided that Roman Rite Catholic priests should remain unmarried. Just remember, it’s a matter of Tradition, not Dogma!

  13. “Orthodoxy allows married priests because as a priest, it is his duty to help council the lay people, and it’s much easier to council a married person about relationship issues if the priest himself is married!”

    This seems a rather simple reduction of why married priests are allowed in the East. In fact issues of refraining from marital relations played no small role in how the division occured. In the West, where the practice of going to the altar daily became the norm even outside of the monasteries, celibacy became more important. In the East we saw the decline of daily parochial liturgies…

    Worth noting – as far as the asessment of presbyteral counseling goes – commonly the married village priests in the Eastern Churches were comparable to the Latin “priest simplex”, being granted no faculties to hear confessions, and perhaps not permitted to preach. For confession the married as often as not dutifully went off to monasteries to deal with monks.

  14. You’re right, it was a simple reason, as I’m not fully familiar with the specific theological/historical reasons. It was one reason my priest gave me though when I asked. 😉

    You’re also right that many confessions were heard by Heiromonks.

    I hadn’t heard about village priests not being hear confessions in times past, though I’d be interesting in learning about it. Do you have a source I could read?

    Also, I’m not sure I understand the relationship between “going to the altar” daily and celibacy. Do you mean lay people daily receiving the Mystical Supper? Maybe you could clarify for me?

  15. It is a reference to daily Mass/Divine Liturgy. Married priests in the East are expected to refrain from the marriage bed on the eve of their celebration of the Eucharist.

    This is in keeping with the Levitical priesthood of Israel wherein priests who served at the altar were apart from their wives. Being a man with Zachariah in his own heart, you can of course recall how this is even discussed in the New Testament in the Gospel of Saint Luke.

    In the East this meant that daily Mass/Dinvine Liturgy was out for parish priests… In the west, the continence eventually was cemented into permanent celibacy. The same function was achieved just in different manners.

  16. Ah, okay yes. It’s part of the fasting before receiving the Eucharist, just as Orthodox lay people fast from all food from midnight the night before, until after they’ve received it. Thanks for clearning that up!

  17. Thank you Jesus that you came to set us free from religious prisons and binding traditions keeping us from the presence of God! When Christ was crusified, the veil inside the Holy of Holys in the temple was torn, signifying that now all who accept Christ are free to enter into the presence of God and we don’t have to be like old testament pharasees and scribes, and we don’t have to hang around man made eucharists and crusafixes to experience the presence of God Almighty. It is so simple to come to Jesus, yet the catholic church has complicated it so much, where Jesus said the most important commandment is ”To love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind, and your neighbour as youself”

    Catholics don’t seem free to me at all. HALLELUJAH That I have Jesus.

    I really love catholics, but it is heartbreaking to see that they are in a system instead of in Christ, I know, because I have also been there before, I was also blind, poor and naked and caught up in idolatry and Mary worship and statue worship and praying to the dead ect ect. May Christ remove the veil on peoples hearts and minds keeping them from the truth.

  18. Hi Free,
    I am not Catholic, but from your description, I don’t think you understand Catholics very much at all.

    That description doesn’t fit anyone I know.
    Hallelujah that they also have Jesus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Blessings to you.
    🙂

  19. Free: and we don’t have to hang around man made eucharists …

    BFHU: Ahem….the Eucharist is not man made. It is a miracle of God.

    Free: Catholics don’t seem free to me at all.

    BFHU: Exactly, we are slaves of Christ just as St. Paul says.

    Free: I was also blind, poor and naked and caught up in idolatry and Mary worship and statue worship and praying to the dead ect ect.

    BFHU: If you were ever Catholic who told you to worship Mary and statues, that is heresy! We worship God alone. Art in our churches are reminders of the heroic virtues of the Saints and aid our requests for their prayers to God. The Saints are not dead they are more alive than ever in Heaven!

  20. And the argument about the veil does not apply here either since neither Catholics nor Orthodox believe that you HAVE to go through a priest ro experience God.

  21. I think Preist should mary becasue Mary was Married.
    And Love
    God is Love
    Love
    Marrige is the Hiest exppression of this because all four forms of Love can be exppressed in marrige a Man and Women. Things bounded on earth are bouned in heaven there for this is Holy Union.

    Phila
    Storga
    agape
    ertos

    Husbands Love your Wife as Chirst Love the Church

  22. I am a catholic and I believe that a celibate priesthood best images Christ the High Priest. I believe it is the most practical way for a priest to live. I don’t think I could add any reasons that havn’t already been addressed. However, I would like to her an explanation of why it is better for priets to be married than to not be married other than it helps their ability to sympathize with minister to married people in the parish. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

  23. Doesn’t this have more to do with property and inheritance?

    A man who hath no fruit of his loins hath no interest in obtaining material possessions which might be in passed to that fruit and that which he hath will be passed to the mother church.

    the earth is the lords , taylor cadwell

    it’s a novel not really on point but illustrates my point

  24. No it doesn’t have more to do with property. The priest is to image Christ—Christ was celibate—celibate priesthood images Christ and is free to serve him rather than his wife and family as St. Paul pointed out

  25. … And people in these churches prefer the unmarried priests to the married ones …

    You, sir, are wrong on this point. I grew up in a Byzantine Catholic Church wereone of the last Married Priests in the United States, Fr. John Bovankovich, served out his retirement as Asscociate Pastor. . He was the most saintly man I ever knew. His wife was beloved by the enitre church family. His familair duites never once interferred with his duties as a Priest. He was well respected and admired by the entire community.

    I was baptized in the Russian Orthodox Church, and the church were I was baptized was well served by it’s founding Priest and his wife, and later, by their son and his wife. Orthodox parishoners do not favor unmarried priests over married priests at all.

  26. To whomever may be concerned:

    “A bishop then must be…the husband of one wife…having his children in submission with all reverence…” (1 Tim 3: 2-4) How then can a bishop be a husband without a wife or celibate and have children? Hmmm? Be very careful how you answer lest you be found to be wresting with the Scriptures unto your own destruction (2 Peter 3: 14-16). Celibacy was never the normal practice among the bishops and evangelists of the church. It is normal in the Roman Catholic Church, but then the Roman Catholic Church is not the church of the Bible. The fact is that a man who desired to be a bishop had to already be a family man in order to be considered for the office. For deacons, this is likewise the case. This was not the case for an evangelist. Furthermore, a woman could never hold such an office, for the passage immediately preceding this one teaches that Paul would not suffer a woman to teach or have authority over the man, and a woman can never be the husband of one wife.

    Jesus Christ has a bride, she is the church. No man can pretend to be the husband of the church, but he is to have his own bride, so there is no legitimacy to the claim that refusing men to marry if they desire the office of a bishop is making them more like Christ. Christ sought and won His bride; we are at liberty to do likewise (What man has authority to take this right away?), and bishops must be husbands.

    Regarding the claim that celibacy is a fitting fulfillment of the Old Testament Law is a fitting example of your misunderstanding of the Scriptures and the erroneous nature of the Roman Cathlic Church. Jesus Christ fulfilled the Old Testament Law. He nailed it to His cross and took it out of the way. We who are dead in Christ are dead to the Old Testament Law. We do not follow that Law anymore. In fact, Paul warned the churches of Galatia that they had fallen from grace and that they would be debtors to do the entire Old Testament Law, and that Christ would profit them nothing because they chose to go back to the Old Testament Law on a few points. Today, we are under the New Testament Law, the Law of the Spirit. (Read Paul’s epistle to the Galatians.)

    Much more could be said.

  27. I am a young woman. There is a young man that I know whom I am very much attracted to. He wants to become a priest. He says that God has called him to this duty. I believe that is true, but I also believe that I am in love with him. Does that mean that I can’t marry him if he becomes a priest? I’ve been through many very extremely tough and painful spots in my life, and I do not think God would keep me from marrying him. Could you explain to me?

    • Dear “God’s Child”,

      If you believe that the Scriptures are God’s Word, then you will be happy to hear what He says through His apostle Paul in 1 Timothy chapter 3 verses 1 through 7. He says,
      “1This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

      2A bishop then MUST BE blameless, THE HUSBAND OF ONE WIFE, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

      3Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

      4One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

      5(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

      6Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

      7Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

      8LIKEWISE MUST THE DEACONS BE grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

      9Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

      10And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

      11Even so MUST THEIR WIVES BE GRAVE, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

      12LET THE DEACONS BE THE HUSBANDS OF ONE WIFE, ruling their children and their own houses well.

      13For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
      (1 Timothy 3: 1-13; KJV).”

      So, the Scriptures in fact make it necessary for a man to possess these qualifications before he may be a bishop, as a bishop must possess and continue to possess them. The Roman church will argue that this is not the case, but the same qualifier applies to this qualification as applies to all of the rest in the list. One cannot avoid concluding this.

      Additionally, since God through the apostle says that the church is to let the deacons be the husband of one wife, how can any man forbid him to marry? This would be a direct contradiction to God.

      You should also read 1 Timothy 4: 1-6. Paul warns,

      “1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times SOME SHALL DEPART FROM THE FAITH, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

      2SPEAKING LIES in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

      3FORBIDDING 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.

      4For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:

      5For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

      6If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained (1 Timothy 4: 1-6; KJV).”

      You see, Paul prophesied that false teachers would emerge and forbid men to marry. God never intended that anyone should be forbidden to marry, especially bishops. They must be husbands of one wife. Are not bishops and priests men? Is it not the case then that to forbid bishops and priests to marry is to fulfill the prophesy of Paul regarding those who depart from the faith, give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons, and forbid to marry? Are they not in fact forbidding that man to marry whom God said must be the husband of one wife?

      Please consider these things carefully. Thank you and may God bless your continued study.

      Joe

    • I am sorry but once a man is ordained to the Priesthood of the Catholic Church, in all rites (Latin & Eastern) –he may not subsequently, marry. There are some rites in the Catholic Church where a married man can be ordained to the priesthood after marriage but he would have to be a member of this rite already.

      The celibacy of the priesthood is a beautiful discipline of our Church. Our priests imitate Jesus who was not married. They also imitate the Heavenly state in which none are married or given in marriage.

      1. Matthew 22:30
      “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.

      2. Mark 12:25
      “For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.

      3. Luke 20:35
      but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage;

      In this way they are able to be undivided in their interests whereas a married man has a divided focus–Wife and family on the one hand and the congregation on the other.

      I Cor. 7 32 But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; 33but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, 34and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. 35This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.

      By forgoing marriage and family, he proves his serious devotion to Christ and a willingness to sacrifice his own pleasure to further the kingdom. His “wife” is his church and the people are his children. Through baptism he begets children for the kingdom of God.

      This is a discipline of the Church. It is very old and very beautiful. However, it could be changed by the hierarchy. But I seriously doubt that it will be changed because the advantages of priestly celibacy, far outweigh the disadvantages.

      • To whom it may concern:

        This notion may sound good from a human and earthly perspective; however, it contradicts what God intended and in fact said. Nuff said.

        Sincerely concerned,

        Joe

  28. Lol, Peter is reputed to be the first Pope, Peter was MARRIED, you know. Jesus was called to Peter’s mother in law to heal her.

    The reason the Catholic Church decided that priests should be celebate is that when a priest was married and died, his monies and his estate went to his wife and family. The church wanted the money to come to them.

    Sixth Century
    567-2nd Council of Tours: any cleric found in bed with his wife would be excommunicated for a year and reduced to the lay state.
    580-Pope Pelagius II: his policy was not to bother married priests as long as they did not hand over church property to wives or children.
    590-604-Pope Gregory “the Great” said that all sexual desire is sinful in itself (meaning that sexual desire is intrinsically evil?).

    Eleventh Century
    1045- Benedict IX dispensed himself from celibacy and resigned in order to marry.
    1074-Pope Gregory VII said anyone to be ordained must first pledge celibacy: ‘priests [must] first escape from the clutches of their wives.’
    1095-Pope Urban II had priests’ wives sold into slavery, children were abandoned.

    Popes who were married
    St. Peter, Apostle
    St. Felix III 483-492 (2 children)
    St. Hormidas 514-523 (1 son)
    St. Silverus (Antonia) 536-537
    Hadrian II 867-872 (1 daughter)
    Clement IV 1265-1268 (2 daughters)
    Felix V 1439-1449 (1 son)

    Popes who were the sons of other popes, other clergy
    Name of Pope Papacy Son of
    St. Damascus I 366-348 St. Lorenzo, priest
    St. Innocent I 401-417 Anastasius I
    Boniface 418-422 son of a priest
    St. Felix 483-492 son of a priest
    Anastasius II 496-498 son of a priest
    St. Agapitus I 535-536 Gordiaous, priest
    St. Silverus 536-537 St. Homidas, pope
    Deusdedit 882-884 son of a priest
    Boniface VI 896-896 Hadrian, bishop
    John XI 931-935 Pope Sergius III
    John XV 989-996 Leo, priest

    Popes who had illegitimate children after 1139
    Innocent VIII 1484-1492 several children
    Alexander VI 1492-1503 several children
    Julius 1503-1513 3 daughters
    Paul III 1534-1549 3 sons, 1 daughter
    Pius IV 1559-1565 3 sons
    Gregory XIII 1572-1585 1 son

    http://www.futurechurch.org/fpm/history.htm

    • I am not sure why you are convinced that the fact that Peter was married would come as a surprise to me or to any Catholic. After all, the mention of Peter’s mother-in-law is right in the Bible.

      Matthew 8:14 When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever.

      The reason, that you assert, for the Church choosing for her priests to be celibate is an anti-catholic tradition. It is not true at all. My second paragraph and the last one in the post clearly explain the discipline of Priestly Celibacy. Poverty is highly valued in our church and many priests have taken vows of poverty so there would be very little property for the Catholic Church to gain anyway in the absence of a wife and children.

      In the rest of your comment you point out the fact that our priests and bishops have sinned. This may come as a surprise to you but we KNOW very well that our priests and bishops sin. That is why they, also, must go to confession. Why there may even be a few in Hell.

      I have no way of verifying if the information you have given is correct or not since you do not cite any sources. For all I know it is all just made up or distorted. But even if it is all true it does not trouble us. One does not have to qualify for sainthood in order to be ordained to the priesthood or bishopric. Did you know that one of our greatest saints had a child out of wedlock also! Yep! That would be St. Augustine. In the Catholic Church we have repentance, confession, and forgiveness. And yet, you seem to think that your data about Catholic sin is supposed to undermine our Faith. Why is that?

      By the way, FutureChurch is heretical.

  29. The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.
    1 Timothy 4:1-3
    my comment

  30. Dear Rozhel,
    Thanks for a quote from the Bible. It is always refreshing to read the word of God. And this warning is ringing so very true today, is it not. You make no comment but If you have commented with this particular verse on this post about priests marrying I hope you do not mean to imply that the Catholic Church forbids anyone from marrying.

    No one has a right to be a priest. A man chooses to forgo marriage in order to serve God as a priest. It is a choice. Every man is free to marry if that is where he believes his vocation lies.
    And the Catholic Church never forbids marriage to anyone. The men freely choose to take a vow of celibacy as a priest. Many have broken this vow and left the priesthood and the church has not forbidden them at all. This is a Protestant tradition of men that the Catholic Church forbids marriage. But it is a false attempt to prove that the Catholic Church does not know or follow the Bible. This is a lie, a sin, and uncharitable. But since it is a Protestant tradition I know you have been taught to believe it and you simply trusted your teachers.

    Not only that the Catholic Church has thousands of married priests in Eastern Rite Churches as well as Anglican and Lutheran pastors who converted to the Catholic Church. Recently many Anglican Bishops in England became Catholic and brought many parishioners with them, for whom they are now their Catholic Priests and still married.

  31. Fact: Priest, Bishops cannot marry do to the fact of inheritance “land” and “wealth” that was or is owned goes to the church rather than any Children or spouse. It is purely material. This is in the Catholic History, but BUFU as seem to miss that fact.

    This is why Lurther argued for Priest and Bishops to marry since it had and still has nothing to do with hollieness or salvation!

    • No, Robert. That is not a fact it is a Protestant tradition of men about the Catholic Church.

      Mt. 9:12…and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.”

      and

      I Cor 7:8 Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.
      … But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this. 29 What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they do not; ….

      32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.

      No man is forced to remain celibate. It is his free choice as he is led by Our Lord.

      Aside from scriptural support for a celibate priesthood, our Priests act as stand-ins for Jesus, in persona Christi Not all Catholic priests are celibate, some are married. But the discipline of celibacy is in imitation of the celibacy of Jesus and as an example of self-mastery for the faithful, and a preview of Heaven when “they neither marry or are given in marriage.”

      • I would go one further. It is a malice and a deliberate lie being perpetuated by Protestants. At one time, there might be an excuse when information was not very readily available for one to check on the veracity of outlandish claims such as this one. Today, it’s a very different situation with the internet, books and fine scholarship. There’s simply no longer any valid excuse for being ignorance.

  32. Can you please explain this verses..I Timothy 3:1-5

    1Ti 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

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

    1Ti 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

    1Ti 3:4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

    1Ti 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

    • Dear John David,

      This was written BEFORE the Church decided to adopt the Discipline of Celibacy for the Priesthood. So, these are sensible guidelines for choosing Priests and Bishops. It is not a command for them TO BE married but that they should have had no more than one wife (unless a wife died) etc. and be able to have an orderly family life.

      The orderly family life is just common sense. The one wife requirement is in keeping with Jesus’ prohibition of divorce and remarriage.

    • To add to Pam’s reply, we should not pay an undue emphasis upon married state instead of the personal character worthiness of a candidate for service which is in the whole context of 1 Tim 3.

      1) Further, “husband of one wife” is not to be construed only to mean one must be married (Doing so will be trying to “prove too much”). In fact, using church traditions as a reliable guide, we find the Eastern Churches preserving the original intention by disallowing widowed bishops to remarry as a discipline.

      2) We also look at the historical context. The infant NT church was in transitional organization. The first heretics were the Judaizers (See Acts 15:1) who wanted Gentile Christians to follow the Mosaic law and practices which included polygamy. Hellenist converts also came from a background of common polygamy of the surrounding non-Jewish and Roman culture of the day. “Husband of one wife” was simply a fresh Christian teaching about monogamy as liken to the faithfulness of Christ and his bride, the Church.

      3) We need to read the whole bible as a unity. Why would Paul put such a qualification of married state for service when he also said, “he who marries does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better’ (1 Cor 7:38)? Also, consider how Paul himself was unmarried and without child and Timothy (whom the letter was addressed to) was the same. Did Paul and Timothy just disqualified themselves by 1 Tim 3? That’s why it’s very dangerous to read the bible by proof-texting method.

      We need to read the bible in harmony with the rest of scripture in order to arrive at the right interpretation by the aid of church traditions.

  33. Latin Rite?
    How come the Romans Got to Decided all this?
    Doesn’t God use the “weak” to make the strong look foolish?
    Why would God give all power in Heaven to the most Powerful Empire in History? Most Old Testament story’s show the weak weary prophet going to the most powerful nation of the day and confronting them. O sounds like Jesus “Calling himself a King” in front of a Roman Governor.

    Ya I agree Luther was weak , look at his life , wrote very bad things about Jews when he got older.

    Lets see if Luther never chagalnge the ROMAN catholic church AKA Holy Roman Empire. Maybe Hitler would have been succsussful?
    Lets see Bonhoffner would have never been a clergy in any church and Carl Barth either .(Pened the Barmens confession) Ah that crazy frenchmen would have never moved to Genva and done his wako thing. That Tyndale translating the Bible in English. Those dang Anglicans (Church of England dang liberals went started there own contury) and all those movements within Prodestism Baptist, ana-Baptist, and then Those Presbys fromed a Democratic church goverment. (Base on Crazy Calvin). That Country and its Heratic allies mmm England ?stood up to the Nazi-Milatary machine. What side did the the Romans take and the Muslims? The Pope at that time being netrual could have been on fire ! and Challeneged Italy Like Bonhoffier who was a “Wittness” tranlated from greek means Martyr.

    No Catholic Preist siigned the Decloration of Independance, only One Clergy those Persbys. (John Witherspoon ,Persbyterian Pastor was the Only Clergy who signed the Decleration of Indepenance) No Baptist, No Methodist, No Lutherns, No Catholoics. Most of are founding fathers were raised in a Espicalplin house holds( AKA the Church of England)

    Lets see most of Latin America to this day is mostly Catholic , Most Latin countrys arnt even concedered devoloped Nations.

    The modern Corperation has taken a chapter or two from the Catholic Tradition , The Corpration is now The Holy Roman Empire , spreading its brand of captiolism around the world and if you mess with any Oil thats in any part of the world then you Mess with Texas. Those catholics have the true answer.

    Tradition is also History Just Look at the record!

  34. Robo,
    You seem confused. The Roman Empire was not the same thing as the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church just had its headquarters in the city of Rome. The title “Roman” Catholic Church is what the British coined in order to denigrate the Catholic Church. And I see they are still having some measure of success in confusing people, even today.

  35. The new testament says nothing about Jesus of Nazareth being celibate. If anything he was a home wrecker who got a bunch of fishermen to leave their jobs, wives and children and follow him.

    An unmarried man over 20 in a traditional country like Judea would have been a very strange thing.

  36. Well Aggravator, the NT is not the only info we have on the subject of Jesus’ marital status. The NT does not say Jesus was married either. We know he was not. Jesus was God in the flesh. He did not marry and certainly did not commit fornication. The disciples were all young men at the time Jesus called them to follow HIM. Peter we know had a mother-in-law so he was married at one time but there is not mention of his wife. It is believed that she died by this time. No one left wives and children to follow Jesus. They did leave their jobs and this was a great sacrifice for them and their families.

    Jesus was not your average man in Judea. He was God Incarnate. So, was definitely not the norm.

  37. God Incarnate? A greko-roman term not a hebrew term. Not found in scriptrue, Cesar was Concidered God Incarnate also.
    If Jesus was God in the flesh then he was not the Hebrew Messiah.

  38. Uhhhhmmmm…..OK Robo, so why are you posting here? Do you hope to evangelize us to your opinion? Not going to happen.

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