11 June, 2012

Celibacy Among Priests

Celibacy remains today as it always has been in and since the first century a choice among priests. Both Jesus and St. Paul recommended celibate priests among those who could endure such a state with an abundance of God's grace.

There are 23 Rites in the Catholic Church with more being considered such as the Anglican Rite, Polish Rite and Oriental Rite. Of these only the Latin Rite chooses from those candidates for the priesthood who have made a vow of celibacy after having gone through years of discernment to recognize the call to this honored state. Celibacy is not compulsory but is chosen out of discernment voluntarily.

In all cases and circumstances the Church encourages marriage. The Church even encourages it if one cannot live by their vow. However the Church does consider one who breaks his vow to God to be unsuitable for pastoral ministry and such a person is rightfully lacitized not for desiring marriage but for breaking his vow to God which the Church considers to be binding on the soul of the priest.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

1579 All the ordained ministers of the Latin Church, with the exception of permanent deacons, are normally chosen from among men of faith who live a celibate life and who intend to remain celibate "for the sake of the kingdom of heaven." 70 Called to consecrate themselves with undivided heart to the Lord and to "the affairs of the Lord," 71 they give themselves entirely to God and to men. Celibacy is a sign of this new life to the service of which the Church's minister is consecrated; accepted with a joyous heart celibacy radiantly proclaims the Reign of God. 72

God bless!

In Christ
Fr. Joseph

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