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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Why Priests Don't Marry

Clerical celibacy of a Catholic priest is considered by Iglesia Ni Cristo, “Rules of Satan.” As sexual issues are getting more media attraction, even a simple human failure, is much exaggerated and propagated by anti-church elements to prove it as ‘impractical.’ Admitting the fact that this lifestyle may seem to be impractical in a sexually liberated modern world, the church never made an amendment in it, as it is a biblical way of following Jesus. Priests are called to follow not only what Jesus said, but how he lived. Jesus himself was celibate. He even asked his disciples to accept it  for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.

Mt. 19:12 – “…some are incapable of marriage because they were born so…some because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.”

Jesus calls this heroic virtue as "from God"(Mt. 19:11-12).

Mt. 10:37 – “Whoever loves his father, mother…son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me.”

This is explained by St. Paul as “An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord, but a married man is anxious about the things of this world, how to please his wife and he is divided” (1 Cor. 7:32-34).

So, Paul led a life of celibacy and advised: “I say this by way of concession not as a command. Indeed I wish everyone to be as I am, but each has a particular gift from God, one of one kind and one of another” (1 Cor. 7:6-7). If celibacy is the ‘rule of Satan’ why Jesus, Mary, and the apostles followed it? Are they advising us to follow Satan?

In the Catholic Church law of celibacy is a disciplinary law, not an infallible dogma. So some pastors who are converted from Episcopalian Churches and some protestant groups are allowed to lead a marital life in America. Greek Byzantine Church, Syro-Malankara Church in India, which are all under the Catholic Church, have married priests.