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December 18, 2005



Here here.


I think that it is only a matter of time. When it happens and after a few years the coming generations will not beleive that it was ever any different.


As a recovering Catholic I agree. There is not much I would change about the Church - but I could definitely live with that.


This isn't on the agenda at all. There is only a shortage of Priests in the west and the reasons for that have nothing to do with celibacy. The traditional movement has no vocations crisis.

I attend a Tridentine Mass run by the SSPX and there are plenty of vocations.

Celibacy doesn't seem to have been a pre-requisit to priesthood in the Catholic church for a long time. (or does the rape and abuse of children not count)

David Vance


I don't mean to condemnatory I just am pointing out that I see no Biblical reason for Priests being celibate and think the Bishop has a good point!

paulk connor

The closest thing th Bible instruction comes to a heirarchy such as the preisthood is the appointment of eldars, in which it is stipulated the man chosen should be married.
Ex-Preist Richard Bennett, now a gospel witness, has done some fascinating leactures on the Preisthood and its failings....
he's also done some good stuff on a certain chap calling himself the vice-Christ


I think Priests should be allowed to marry.......... each other!



I see no Biblical reason for Priests being celibate

Here are a few.

Matt. 19:11-12 - Jesus says celibacy is a gift from God and whoever can bear it should bear it. Jesus praises and recommends celibacy for full-time ministers in the Church. Because celibacy is a gift from God, those who criticize the Church's practice of celibacy are criticizing God and this wonderful gift He bestows on His chosen ones.

Matt. 19:29 - Jesus says that whoever gives up children for the sake of His name will receive a hundred times more and will inherit eternal life. Jesus praises celibacy when it is done for the sake of His kingdom.

Matt. 22:30 - Jesus explains that in heaven there are no marriages. To bring about Jesus' kingdom on earth, priests live the heavenly consecration to God by not taking a wife in marriage. This way, priests are able to focus exclusively on the spiritual family, and not have any additional pressures of the biological family (which is for the vocation of marriage). This also makes it easier for priests to be transferred to different parishes where they are most needed without having to worry about the impact of their transfer on wife and children.

1 Cor 7:1 – Paul teaches that it is well for a man not to touch a woman. This is the choice that the Catholic priests of the Roman rite freely make.

1 Cor. 7:7 - Paul also acknowledges that celibacy is a gift from God and wishes that all were celibate like he is.

1 Cor. 7:27 – Paul teaches men that they should not seek marriage. In Paul’s opinion, marriage introduces worldly temptations that can interfere with one’s relationship with God, specifically regarding those who will become full-time ministers in the Church.

1 Cor. 7:32-33, 38 - Paul recommends celibacy for full-time ministers in the Church so that they are able to focus entirely upon God and building up His kingdom. He “who refrains from marriage will do better.”

1 Tim. 3:2 - Paul instructs that bishops must be married only once. Many Protestants use this verse to prove that the Church's celibacy law is in error. But they are mistaken because this verse refers to bishops that were widowers. Paul is instructing that these widowers could not remarry. The verse also refers to those bishops who were currently married. They also could not remarry (in the Catholic Church's Eastern rite, priests are allowed to marry; celibacy is only a disciplinary rule for the clergy of the Roman rite). Therefore, this text has nothing to do with imposing a marriage requirement on becoming a bishop.

1 Tim. 4:3 - in this verse, Paul refers to deceitful doctrines that forbid marriage. Many non-Catholics also use this verse to impugn the Church's practice of celibacy. This is entirely misguided because the Catholic Church (unlike many Protestant churches) exalts marriage to a sacrament. In fact, marriage is elevated to a sacrament, but consecrated virginity is not. The Church declares marriage sacred, covenantal and lifegiving. Paul is referring to doctrines that forbid marriage and other goods when done outside the teaching of Christ and for a lessor good. Celibacy is an act of giving up one good (marriage and children) for a greater good (complete spiritual union with God).

1 Tim. 5:9-12 - Paul recommends that older widows take a pledge of celibacy. This was the beginning of women religious orders.

2 Tim. 2:3-4 - Paul instructs his bishop Timothy that no soldier on service gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim his to satisfy the One who enlisted him. Paul is using an analogy to describe the role of the celibate priesthood in the Church.

Rev. 14:4 - unlike our sinful world of the flesh, in heaven, those consecrated to virginity are honored.

Isaiah 56:3-7 - the eunuchs who keep God's covenant will have a special place in the kingdom of heaven.

Jer. 16:1-4 - Jeremiah is told by God not to take a wife or have children.


Paul didn't like people having fun did he ?

Celibacy was brought in, around the 11/12th Century, purely as a money saving matter; as the Church thought it was paying too much to subsidise the priests' families

Young Fogey

Henry, are you aware of the seriously warped, Protocols of the Elders of Zion believing, bull spouted by the SSPX leadership (and there for all to see on their website)?







I have often though that Paul and I would not have got on! ;o)

Madradin Ruad

Long Time no see Young Fogey. I hope you are well!

Young Fogey

Yup MR, hangin in there, about to return to beautiful Belfast for Christmas!

David Vance

Young Fogey,

Hi - great to hear from you!


Young Fogey

Have you given up on your own site? I went in to do a bit of Alliance baiting and you weren't there! ;)

Madradin Ruad

YF - I'm toasting your return with a cloud of Latakia ;)


Young Fogey

Henry, are you aware of the seriously warped, Protocols of the Elders of Zion believing, bull spouted by the SSPX leadership (and there for all to see on their website)?

I can find no reference to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in either of those links or anything like it. What I can tell you is that I have had my views on the Middle East influenced by people who attend the SSPX Mass and I am far more in sympathy with and in support of Israel and its rights than I was previously.

If anybody involved has anti-semetic views then I repudiate them and condem them. The Pope speaks for the Church and the present Pope and the previous Pope have made very clear the Catholic attitude to the Jews.


Many denominations of the Catholic Church already allow priests to marry, for example the Anglican Communion.

James Hellyer

The Anglican Communion is not a denomination of the Catholic Church.

It is true though that Anglican priests who convert to Catholicism while married are almost routinely accepted by Rome for re-ordination as Catholic priests.

They are not alone. Priests in Eastern Rite Catholic churches may also marry prior to ordination. Roughly half of the Catholic priests of the Maronite church of Lebanon elect to marry.

Eastern Rite Catholics like the Maronites and Melkites are following rules that would be familiar to any Greek Orthodox Christian. Priests may marry prior to ordination, but not after. If their spouse should die, they may not remarry. Furthermore, bishops are chosen from the ranks of celibate clergy.

However, the vast majority of Roman Catholics follow the Western or Latin Rite. These Western Rite Catholics have not been served by married clergy - except for Anglican converts - for a very long time.

It was not always so. Priests in Anglo-Saxon England were allowed to marry, though the practice was stopped after the Norman invasion of 1066. The Norman ban on clerical marriage was reinforced in 1139, when the Second Lateran Council declared priestly marriage invalid throughout the entire Catholic Church.

Of course, there were people, then as now, who broke the rule of celibacy - some of them quite spectacularly. But the rule itself was clear. No celibacy, no priestly ordination.

Working against the possibility of change is the fact that the practice of celibacy is deeply rooted in the ascetic impulses of Christianity. Catholics are not alone in thinking that self-denial is an important step in the human quest for a closer relationship with God. Self-denial may, in fact, be particularly important in a Western culture that denies itself nothing.

But celibacy also has a more pragmatic root. Priests who are single can be moved from one end of the country to another immediately. Priests who are married cannot. This is particularly true if the married priests have working wives and children in school.


The Anglican Communion is not a denomination of the Catholic Church.

It most certainly is!

Every week we express our membership of it and pray for it.

James Hellyer

"It most certainly is!"

No it isn't. You're conflating "catholic" with "Catholic". The phrase "the catholic church" in the Athanasian Creed by definition means the universal Christian Church but also holds the sense of the "church in its fullness". It does not mean that the Anglican Communion is a denomination of the Roman Catholic Church (the closest it comes is affinity with the Catholic churches that schismed in 1870 over the issue of papal infalibility).

The Anglican Church is ultimately a Reformed Church and not a Catholic one.


I have never claimed that the Anglican Communion is a denomination of the Roman Catholic Church!

I am referring not to the Roman Catholic Church, but to the Catholic Church (yes, with capital letters), which you admit means the universal Christian Church.

The Anglican Church is ultimately a Reformed Church and not a Catholic one.

Actually, it is consciously both.

James Hellyer

"I have never claimed that the Anglican Communion is a denomination of the Roman Catholic Church!"

You did when in a discussion about the possibility of the Roman Catholic Church allowing, you asserted that the Anglican Church was a denomination of the Catholic Church!

The clear implication of that is that it's subset of the Church under discussion (One true Church, and all that) that allows marriage.

"but to the Catholic Church (yes, with capital letters), which you admit means the universal Christian Church"

No, "catholic church" as in the Athanasian Creed means that. "Catholic Church" means the RCs.

"Actually, it is consciously both."

It's a Reformed Protestant Church that claims to follow the apostolic succession.

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