Thread: Ask a Catholic
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Old November 7th, 2017, 05:09 PM   #11
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Join Date: December 29, 2014
Gender: Male

Originally Posted by Falcons_11 View Post
I read recently that Pope Francis wants to allow priests in Latin America to be married. Isn't this a reversal of Catholic Churches' centuries old doctrine of celibacy? What are the reasons why the Catholic Church prohibits their clergy to be married and have a family?
There are several distinctions which must be made here.

In the first place, the doctrine of the Church on celibacy is that it is a higher state than marriage. The prohibition on priests being married is a law of the Church, which she has the power to amend.

The second distinction concerns the situation of a married man being ordained, versus the situation of a priest getting married. While the Church has in the past allowed the ordination of married men, the evidence indicates that the prohibition on priests getting married is of apostolic origin. Even today, married deacons are not permitted to remarry if their wife dies. If married men were admitted to the priesthood, the same would apply to them.

The reason why the Church does not ordain married men to the priesthood is because priests need to be totally committed to serving their flock. having a family would diminish that. Allowing priests to get married after ordination would be even worse, because then the possibility of romantic involvement would exist between a priest and his female parishioners.

"If any one saith, that the marriage state is to be placed above the state of virginity, or of celibacy, and that it is not better and more blessed to remain in virginity, or in celibacy, than to be united in matrimony; let him be anathema." - Council of Trent, Session XXIV, Canon X

"Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it. - Mt 19:12

"Now to the unmarried and to widows, I say: it is a good thing for them to remain as they are, as I do" - 1 Cor 7:8

Last edited by Elysium; November 7th, 2017 at 10:14 PM. Reason: Merging
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