Definition: The renunciation of marriage, for the more perfect observance of chastity, by all those who receive the Sacrament of Orders (the priesthood) of the Catholic Church. Celibacy is mandatory – candidates for ordination are solemnly warned by the bishop regarding the gravity of their vow to bind themselves to a lifetime of being single.
The Catholic Church recognizes the celibate state as more pure than the married state. It is seen as fitting that the virgin Church, with its virgin Mother (Mary) should be served by a virgin priesthood.
Discussion: There is no Scripture that requires that pastors be unmarried. Peter and the apostles were married (1 Cor. 9:5). The requirements for being a bishop or pastor state that a man should be the husband of one wife, which clearly provides for married ministers (1 Tim. 3:2). The Bible also warns that mandatory celibacy is a doctrine of demons, required by hypocritical liars (1 Tim. 4:1-3). The fruit of mandatory celibacy in the Catholic Church has been evident: men who are not gifted for singleness falling into sexual sin and perversion. A study authorized by the Catholic Church found that 10% of the priests ordained in 1970 have been accused of pedophilia. The Catholic Church has placed an unbiblical and unmanageable burden in binding the consciences of these priests.
Articles & Viewpoints:
- Article by Richard Bennett – Better to Marry than to Burn