The Clerical Celibacy

Jude Missa

When men become priests, they will have many sacrifices to be made. Leaving their family, they will be assigned to different places eventhough they don’t like it and lastly, they will be unable to marry. The Catholic Church restrict men to marry, this is called the Clerical Celibacy.

What is the Clerical Celibacy? 

Clerical Celibacy is a discipline within the church where only unmarried men can be ordained as priest. 

Are priests in previous centuries unmarried? 

In the previous centuries, including the time of the apostles and the church fathers, some priests are married, this also includes the Pope like the first pope, St. Peter the Apostle and Pope St. Hormisdas. 

When did the Clerical Celibacy started? 

It started on 1139 under the Second Lateran Council where it abolishes the married priesthood in the Catholic Church. 

Why the priest remains unmarried? 

So, they can only focus on their duty to God. If a married priest has a duty to do, but his wife will ask him something will result on distracted or unable to do his duty. The Priest is often assigned to different places, if he has family, they will go with him, but this will become an argument in the family if his wife and children don’t want to leave. When Jesus Christ called the apostles, they left their families and followed our Lord. A priest must only focus on our Lord and his duty. This is in line with following the advice of St. Paul the Apostle. 

Some Catholics believed that the reason of the shortage of Priest in the world is Celibacy, is this correct? 

No. Celibacy is not the reason why the Church has Priest Shortage. In the previous centuries, many men enter priesthood without being married. So, Celibacy is not the problem. 

Can widowed men become a Priest? 

Yes, a widowed man can enter the priesthood, but he must take responsibility for his children first. If he as a child who is still attending school and needs to take care of, he must work and wait until his children are full grown and can able to support themselves. This is when he can enter the priesthood.

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