Belief Beat

Belief Beat

Fun Friday: Married Priest Says Celibates Do It Better

Growing up Orthodox Christian, I always scratched my head at the Catholic Church’s unique insistence on celibate parish priests. A priest’s wife can be such an asset to the community, and it certainly makes sermons and pastoral counseling feel more relevant when drawn from the priest’s personal experiences with marital and family issues. (Priests with young kids also tend to perform smoother christenings, given the slippery challenges of the Orthodox Christian  full-body dunk baptism.) Mandatory celibacy seems even more questionable to me now, when I’m reporting on the Vatican’s exceptions to the rules for married Anglican priests who convert and the Catholic Church’s eastern branch, the clergy abuse scandal and the shortage of American priests.


Full disclosure! However, that’s not the main reason why I’m chuckling at this silly story from the BBC:

Married priest: ‘Single clergy better placed to serve God’

Gee… you think? But hell, why draw the line at clergy? Wouldn’t it be great if surgeons had no outside lives to take them away from their jobs? How about police officers? Senators? Why not journalists — surely I would be “better placed” in my craft if I didn’t have a teething toddler on my lap while I’m typing up this blog post…

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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posted August 20, 2011 at 5:38 am

I would guess this guy’s wife would be better off if he hadn’t gotten married. And I hate to think what he’s doing to his kids. But he sounds great at sucking up.

To listen to him, companies should pay premiums to single employees.

And some (way too many) single priests have “given” more of themselves than most of us would want to the children entrusted to them.

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Chris Roberts

posted September 1, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Why did God want celibate Priests? This doesn’t mean he is against priest who marry either, it just means what Christ prefers for this particular job.

Matt 19:12-celibacy praised by Jesus, who was celibate.
1Cor 7:8 St. Paul was celibate
1Cor 7:32-35 celibacy recommended for full-time Ministers
Here it is in full so you can read it.
32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.”

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