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Pope Francis Ready to Let Priests Marry?

    July 16, 2014
    Mike Tuttle
    Comments are off for this post.

The question was originally asked when Pope Francis was first installed as Pontiff: Might this be the man to lead the Church away from a celibate priesthood?

Pope Francis certainly has tackled some issues that many Catholics have been eager to see addressed, including corruption in the Vatican Bank. And he has spoken about the touchy issue of priesthood celibacy before.

Again recently, Pope Francis pointed out that there are married priests in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic and Coptic Catholic churches.

“The door is always open,” he said about the issue, “but we are not talking about it now as the order of the day,”

Some are finding hope in the fact that Pope Francis is addressing this as a “problem.”

“The problem certainly exists, but it is not on a large scale,”Pope Francis has said. “It will need time, but the solutions are there and I will find them.”

It’s not just the rank and file faithful who are keen to see this dealt with. Priests are conflicted about it, as well.

“Pope Francis is a breath of fresh air,” says one priest. “This is a fascinating time in church history because of him. He’s out there in the sunshine, tackling big issues, dragging the church into the 21st century, on the cover of Time, speaking to the young. Most older priests I know are open to optional celibacy. Look, we accept converted, married Anglican priests. The Eastern Catholic priests can marry. Why not all priests?”

Proponents of losing the celibacy rule are quick to point out that Saint Peter, considered the First Pope, was married. And many don’t realize that celibacy was optional for priests until the First Lateran Council of 1123.

In his 2012 book, Pope Francis wrote, “For the moment, I’m in favor of maintaining celibacy, with its pros and cons, because there have been 10 centuries of good experiences rather than failures . … But it is a question of discipline, not faith, and it could change.”

The pope also wrote about a how a girl captured his heart when he was studying to be a priest. “I could not pray for over a week,” he said, “because when I tried to do so the girl appeared in my head.”

Image via Wikimedia Commons


  • George Helm

    Not to worry, they will only be allowed to marry each other!

    • el lobo

      What a waste of cyberspace- to enter comments as useless as trash.

    • pb

      silly goose

  • Anonymous

    The Catholic Church has always been a ‘Joke and a Shame’, molestation of children (boys) and a haven to laundry money. But this is what happens when men crown other men gods.

    • el lobo

      Can’t you think of anything more? We heard this accusation of the old old sin from the pass decades. Meantime, your new world of neo-paganism is full of sins much much more wicked.

    • pb

      only because people like you try to bring something good down to your level.

  • puravidacr10

    Very simple solution. If a man wishes the option to marry become a lay priest, If not, join a cloistered order. Problem solved.

  • rose

    yes i think priest should get married as a Catholic and many other Catholic’s i know think the same when men in other religions let there priest have a wife sorry it’s not right they are men some can prey it away they love God why can’t they love a woman to priest are on call all the time but so are doctor’s i myself fell in love with my priest and he loved me to but i didn’t want him to choose so i left his church that he loved i wanted him to stay a priest that he loved being i still can’t get over him we never made love and it would of been love not lust. How can i love another man when he is in my heart forever i hope this pope will change that they are men they are human and have needs like any other man i told him you can’t prey it away for ever i call him sometimes and he is as sad as me.

    • diva

      Agree with you Rose. All men including priests are human being have feelings. By allowing them to choose to marry their loved ones, I think it can help the sex / children abuse. Besides, with a really wonderful wife the power of two is better than power of one. The wives can support them. Hope Pope Francis can lift that old fashion celibacy and hope you’ll get him back. By letting your priest to choose his church and instead you left him, that is a sacrifice from your side, you are not selfish at all and it shows how much you love him by letting you sacrifice. I really salute you. I would do the same as you.
      Hope we can chit chat again.

      • Chat

        Most pedophiles are married men

    • pb

      You need to read the bible and find the answer. I’m sure it is in there somewhere.

  • Mountain Queen

    Biblical priests were never denied marriage. This is just another false doctrine of the Catholic church.

    • david hume

      Biblical priests blessed polygamy, a high point of Judaism. David, a man after God’s heart, had hundreds of wives, a gay lover, and then decided to kill a man to get at Bathsheba. Sexual morality at its best, a true model for all time. Biblical priests required perfect animals, without blemish, to be sacrificed. The priests liked to eat well, with the best entree. One thing Jesus got right was his saying religious leaders were hypocrites, whited sepulchers, or in more modern terms, whitewashed graves, or death warmed over. The louder Francis talks about stopping pedophiles, the more he covers up what he really does. He off hand admitted “2 percent” of priests molest children. Only 2 percent? Just a small number? Next Francis will say only 2 percent commit rape and murder.

      • Steve Christie

        Biblical priests did NOT “bless polygamy.” God had always intended marriage to be between ONE man & ONE woman – not many. God simply didn’t strike down people like King David who had multiple wives, because he repented of his sin, & cared for the “wives” he had. But his disobedience to God doesn’t mean God condoned polygamy – He didn’t. And David did NOT have a “gay lover.’ Jonathon – the son of King Saul – was a close FRIEND of his, who he “loved” like a BROTHER, NOT a “gay lover.” Scripture does NOT support that. You are distorting Scripture. However, ALL priests should have the option to marry, just as Peter & the other apostles were also married. The Catholic church is a false religion & does not represent historical, Biblical Christianity. You need to discern between the two.

        • Sherry

          How is Catholicism a false religion?

          • Steve Christie

            The Biblical salvation plan is being justified (made acceptable to God) through faith having made peace through Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1), by grace through faith & NOT of ourselves & NOT of works (Ephesians 2:8-9). The Catholic plan of salvation is “faith+works” which includes water baptism, which is NOT the Biblical salvation plan, but what ALREADY saved Christians do in obedience to Christ AFTER they get saved, not “during.” One of the “proof” texts the RCC uses is they “think” the ‘water’ in John 3:5 refers to the waters of baptism, but then that would mean that EVERYBODY would have to be baptized IN water, including the unbaptized, repentant thief on the
            cross who Jesus promised Paradise (ie: Heaven). So, either Jesus lied to either Nicodemus or the thief, or the Catholic interpretation of ‘water’ doesn’t refer to the waters of baptism, but rather the “outpouring” of the Holy Spirit (see Isaiah 44:3; Jeremiah 2:13) when a person accepts Jesus as their Savior & Lord (see John 4:10-14). According to the apostle Paul, since they are teaching a false gospel, they are a false religion, & therefore anathema (eternally condemned)(see Galatians 1:6-9).

          • Sherry

            Hi Steve. Thanks for your reply. The Catholic plan of salvation is through Christ’s death and resurrection. Only through his death on the cross for our sins, and the grace we receive from his sacrifice, love and mercy can we even begin to think of attaining heaven. The works you married to faith, is an integral part of attaining heaven, but… not on it’s own merit. However, once you receive Christ’s grace, then as Christian’s we are called to love each other and care for each other — to reflect Christ to those around us. That is where the works come in. You cannot get to heaven without works. James 2:14 – 17, says, “What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith, by itself, if it has no works, is dead.” You cannot get to heaven on faith alone. We must have an active faith — one that reaches out to others and helps them in Jesus’s name.

            Christ, in John 3: 5, when speaking to Nicodemus and explaining how a man, already born can be born anew says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” Back up to Matthew 3:13 – 17, where Jesus goes to John the Baptist and is baptized in water and then the Holy Spirit descends upon him in the form of a dove. John 3:22 says, “After this Jesus and his disciples went into the land of Judea; there he remained with them and baptized.” These verses (and others) seem to be pretty clear regarding baptism being necessary to our salvation.

            If baptism is what ALREADY saved Christians do in obedience to Christ AFTER they get saved, not “during.” how do they get saved first? I used the proof text you mentioned because it’s very clear and plain — I don’t know much clearer Jesus could have said that baptism is necessary. Yes — everybody has to be baptized in water AND Spirit — a baptism without both is not a good baptism. As for the thief — how do you know that he wasn’t baptized by John the Baptist? He was in the same area and had opportunity to do so. Additionally, the Church teaches “…that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament. (CCC 1258). The Thief had faith in Christ and that faith is what saved him at that time.

            As for St. Paul in Galatians, he was speaking about the Judaizers, who were working to bring the Galatians under the Jewish laws of circumcision and other laws of the Old Covenant. In doing so, they promoted a false gospel that implicitly denied the sufficiency of Christ’s death for our salvation.

          • Steve Christie

            Sherry, I agree that CHRISTIANS are called to love & care for each other to reflect Christ to those around us. But we don’t become Christians UNTIL we are saved. So, the “works” that James is talking about are the works that RESULT in salvation, not means “working together WITH faith.” In order to understand James Ch.2, you can’t stop at v.17. That’s because the key verse in James Ch.2 is v.18: “But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will
            show you my faith BY my works.” The key word in v.18 is “BY.” What demonstrates to others that a person’s saving faith is genuine & not “dead” is their works, but James isn’t saying that works – even along with faith – SAVES an individual. Rather, it’s evidence that an ALREADY saved person demonstrates that genuine faith BY their works. Otherwise, their phony “faith” is “dead.” If you don’t take James 2:18 into context with the rest of those passages in James Ch.2, you’re not going to get what James is actually saying. Also, the Catholic church’s salvation plan is actually NOT through Christ’s death & resurrection, but rather through baptism, because the Catholic church “thinks” the ‘water’ in John 3:5 refers to the waters of baptism, which would be a ‘work’ because unless the individual (or in the case of babies, the baby’s parents)
            PARTICIPATE (“work”) in baptism, they won’t go to Heaven. “Grace through faith salvation” (Romans 5:1; Ephesians 2:8-9) does NOT involve “work” for salvation, such as water baptism. So, “if” the ‘water’ in John 3:5 refers to
            water baptism, then ‘how’ can a person (like the unbaptized, repentant thief on the cross who Jesus promised him HEAVEN) “enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5), since they he wasn’t baptized IN water?

          • Sherry

            Steve — In your first reply to me, you said regarding baptism, “…water baptism but what ALREADY saved Christians do in obedience to Christ AFTER they get saved,… and in your second reply you said, “But we don’t become Christians UNTIL we are saved.” How is a person saved?

          • Steve Christie

            Sherry: “How is a person saved?” – Ephesians 2:8-9: “For by grace you have been SAVED through FAITH; and that NOT of yourselves, it is the gift of God; NOT as a result of WORKS, so that no one may boast.” That’s because we are “justified” (or “made acceptable” to God by faith – Romans 5:1: “Therefore, having been justified (“made acceptable to God”) by FAITH, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Once a person gets saved, THEN they get baptized out of obedience to Christ. Where people get confused about baptism, unlike people today, in the NT when people got saved they IMMEDIATELY got baptized, such as the Ethiopian eunuch, Paul & Silas’ jailor, etc. So, Scripturally, baptism is the RESULT of salvation, not the MEANS of it.

          • Sherry

            Dear Steve:

            Would you be interested in continuing this conversation outside of Disqus? If so, my email address is: SRHCatholic@yahoo.com. I look forward to hearing from you,

            Sincerely,

            Sherry

          • Steve

            With all due respect Sherry, unless you are open to the
            possibility that, Scripturally, the Catholic church is teaching a false
            salvation plan of water baptismal works-faith salvation, & you want to know
            the actual true Biblical salvation plan that Jesus actually taught of grace
            through faith salvation, I’d be more than happy to continue our
            conversation. However, if you have
            already made your mind up that Catholicism is the “One True Church” & that nothing – including Scripture
            – will convince you that Catholicism is teaching a false salvation plan, then I
            can assume that your intention is to try to sway me back to Catholicism &
            you just want to debate. However, that
            will not happen, since I trust the infallible, inerrant, Inspired Word of God, which
            contradicts the fallible teachings of men in the Catholic church.

            In Christ,

            Steve.

          • Sherry

            Steve — I appreciate your candor and yes, you’re right — I am convinced that the Catholic Church teaches the truth and that it can be traced not just scripturally, but back to the Early Church Fathers.  I have enjoyed our discussion and have certainly learned a lot as I have delved deeper into the Church’s teaching regarding Salvation and Baptism.  Thank you for that.  Your questions showed me that I didn’t fully understand what the Church taught and why — I now have a greater understanding.
            Should you ever decide that you want to explore Catholicism, contact me at any time.  I’ll be more than happy to discuss things with you.
            Take care and God’s blessings upon you and your family.

            Sincerely,

            Sherry

      • DrTenochtitlan

        About 4% of the general population is made up of sex offenders, so in actuality, the number of sex offenders among priests is actually slightly *lower* than one would typically find in society. Interestingly, the institution that reported the highest rate of sex crimes and pedophilia was the public school system, at a rate well above that of the Catholic Church. Of course, all institutions are going to suffer from a certain percentage of criminals, no matter how careful you are. The problem that is out of line with the rest of the population is the *failure to report*.

        • Steve Christie

          Actually, according to Catholic attorney & church historian, Fr. Thomas Doyle, the number of sex offenders in the Catholic church & those who are involved in the cover up, are closer to 5-10%, so it’s actually higher – not lower – than the public school system. We shouldn’t be shocked with the 4% in a secular school system, but for a religious institution who claims to be the “One True Church” representing Jesus Christ on earth, even less than 1% is too high, let alone 5-10%! Also, watch the documentary “Deliver Us From Evil” by Amy Berg, which mentions that 80% of abuse victims do not report their abuse, so you’re talking as many as a half a MILLION cases of abuse just in the U.S.

    • el lobo

      Do your research first. priestly celibacy is a discipline, not a doctrine of the Catholic Church. That is why the discussion has always been opened.

      • Steve Christie

        That’s not the point. The point is that if a Catholic is an ordained priest, he is FORBIDDEN to get married. Likewise, if a Catholic is married & he wants to become priest, likewise, he is FORBIDDEN. That violates Scripture: “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage [such as forbidding Catholic priests from marrying] and advocate abstaining from foods [such as forbidding eating meat of Fridays during Lent – according to EWTN, a pagan practice borrowed from the religion of Babylon] which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.” (1 Timothy 4:3).

        • el lobo

          “doctrine of demons” you quoted the bible………..i say again, it’s not DOCTRINE. can’t you read?

          • Steve Christie

            The Catholic church can STATE that FORBIDDING priests to marry & FORBIDDING people from eating meat on Fridays during Lent are not “doctrines,” but if they aren’t “doctrines,” then ‘why’ can’t Catholic priests get married then? Why do they they “forbid marriage” of Catholic priests if it’s not a “doctrine?” Why do they “advocate abstaining from foods” (meat on Fridays during Lent) if that’s not “doctrine?” Just because the Catholic church STATES that those are not “doctrines,” doesn’t mean that they aren’t. Otherwise, they wouldn’t FORBID these things, but ALLOW the INDIVIDUAL Catholic priests to make the decision themselves whether to marry or not, like Peter (married) & Paul (single) did, as well as ALLOW the INDIVIDUAL Catholic whether or not to eat meat on Fridays during Lent. Hate to break this to you, but just because the Catholic church doesn’t use the word “doctrine” to describe these FORBIDDING practices, that doesn’t mean they aren’t “doctrines” – because, Biblically, those things ARE doctrines of the Catholic church, which are anti-scriptural.

    • el lobo

      not a doctrine but a discipline.

      • Mountain Queen

        Doesn’t matter what you call it, it doesn’t mirror God’s Word.

        • el lobo

          because u say so? how much explanation do you need?

    • Sherry

      Celibacy or married Priests is not a doctrine of the Catholic Church — it is a practice or tradition. There is a huge difference between doctrine and practices — doctrines cannot be changed, while practices can.

    • Sherry

      Celibacy is not a doctrine of the Catholic Church — it is a practice. There is a huge difference between doctrine and practice — doctrine cannot be changed, while practices can.

  • Harold Eselsbrecher

    If a Priest is supposed to be totally devoted to God, how can he be married? You cannot serve two masters (or a master and mistress in this case). With this idiot Argentinian, anything is possible. However, he is seeing the decline of a system that shows no resemblance to what Christ established.

    • Abbie1530

      Are you saying that married ministers cannot serve God? The Catholic Church already accepts married Anglican priests who converted to the Catholic faith. Other faiths have a married clergy. If the celibacy rule evolved to prevent losing wealth and land through inheritance, that was a specious reason to enact it. The reasoning that it is not possible to serve two masters was how the Church in that time justified keeping its wealth. It does not apply today. The Pope is smart enough to see that it is a man-made rule that has nothing to do with Dogma.

      • Raymond Moser

        Secret societies of sexual perverts rule the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church.

      • diva

        Amen Abbie Agree with you 100% This is all MAN MADE rule, not GOD’s rule. Hope all Catholic people see this as you and I do.

        • el lobo

          You and him? wow! The enlightened duo from Berseckley, CA I presume?

    • .Morrell

      That scripture means you can’t serve God and the devil.

    • diva

      God said ” Be fertile and multiply”. Young priests should be allowed to do this too!

    • Steve Christie

      Peter certainly was able to be devoted to both God & his wife. So were the other apostles who were ALSO married. And regarding “serving two masters” – that verse has to do with serving God & serving MONEY – not marriage. Scripturally, it’s perfectly acceptable – and even encouraged for clergy to marry & be the “husband of one wife.”

      • Chat

        Eunuchs ( those that chose to be) devoted themselves completely to God. Celibacy is in the bible.

        • Steve Christie

          And their lifestyle to live as a eunuch for “the sake of the kingdom of God” did so VOLUNTARILY (Matthew 19:12). They weren’t “forced” to be eunuch, otherwise, Peter & the other apostles would have ALL been eunuchs, but they weren’t.

    • Nick Pappas

      What a senseless statement.

    • tin-tin-tan

      This is too hard and uncharitable. The point is to discuss the issue and not to offend anyone talk less of a church leader.

  • mydnytmover

    Another sign

  • ye

    Medieval standards are dangerous for mankind, dangerous for afterlife (human values), dangerous for love of any kind to sentence upon the soul man.

  • Dieudonne Bessang

    satan has completed its work!

    satan’s work is completed by its agents! the devil has infiltrated
    and corrupted
    all churches, religious groups, organizations, families, governments and
    kingdoms worldwide.

    Revelation
    17 (CEV) the Prostitute and the Beast…To follow up!

    Please, read the rest of this document, you will not be sorry you
    did it!

    You will find it in the list of the documents of the forums’ page.
    Visit this
    site: http://www.worldevangelizationone.webs.com

  • Dieudonne Bessang

    satan a accompli son travail !

    Le travail de satan a été accompli par ses
    agents! le diable a infiltré et a corrompu toutes les
    églises, les groupes religieux, les familles, les organisations, les
    gouvernements et les royaumes dans le monde entier.

    Apocalypse 17 : la grande prostituée
    et la bête… A Suivre!

    S’il vous
    plaît, lisez le reste de ce document, vous ne serez pas déçu que vous l’ayez
    fait!

    Vous le trouverez dans la liste des documents de
    la page des forums. Visitez ce site : http://www.worldevangelizationone.webs.com

    • Chat

      Ete vous SDA?

  • Foxwolf

    Y not then they can leave the little boys alone !!!

    • Chat

      Most pedophiles are married men! Gays in the Churches choose teenagers.

  • john

    Who do the mass for me if his wife or his children are sick??????????

    • tin-tin-tan

      great question awaiting answer. The church or your wife. God or flesh.

  • lesterboutillier

    Historically Christianity, like Judaism before it, has always been pro-family, pro-women, and humanistic, especially as opposed to the paganism of the ancient Greeks and Romans and the “barbarians.” And yes the early Christian priests and bishops were allowed to marry. This doesn’t mean that the Church was or should be in favor of gay marriage or abortion. The ancient Romans were cruel, inhuman, and misogynistic, and they practiced fratricide, patricide, and infanticide. And Nero invented “gay marriage.”

  • Mauro F. Molina-Menéndez

    Yes, let those men get married. Any house, they where just looking for an easy way to make a money, not to serve God and the church. They were frustrated to find a profession which will allow them to survive without paying taxes.
    Find young people with the real vocation to become priest and to be models on honesty and virtues in our decaying society.

    • Chat

      Doesn’t make sense

  • TrendyT

    Most likely to each other. This has always been the problem of the satanic led Catholic Church. It changes its rules to fit the days beliefs. JESUS would never do that. – But Satan does it constantly.

    • Sherry

      Trendy T– are you a Protestant?

      • TrendyT

        I am a Christian, a Marine, a father and grandfather.

  • david hume

    Francis will legitimize pedophilia, with retroactive marriage between priests and underage altar boys & girls. Then he’ll claim God blessed the marriages retroactively, God being Eternal and able to do some time travel, Francis will rehabilitate serial child molesters.

  • Raymond Moser

    The myth of “Celibacy” is a front for pedophiles and sexual misfits to conceal their “sickness.” It draws them like a magnet.

  • Silent Archer

    It’s not that Eastern Catholic priests can marry, it’s that married Eastern Catholic (and for that matter Eastern Orthodox) men can be ordained. Once ordained they can no longer marry.

    • Steve Christie

      Then Western Roman Catholic married men should be ordained as well. After all, Peter & the other apostles were married & were ordained by Christ.

      • Silent Archer

        Not all the other apostles were married. In fact, celibacy is hardly unbiblical or even “unnatural.” Paul doesn’t “command” marriage in 1 Corinthians 7, in fact in that very chapter Paul actually endorses celibacy for those capable of it: “To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion” (7:8-9).

        It is only because of this “temptation to immorality” (7:2) that Paul gives the teaching about each man and woman having a spouse and giving each other their “conjugal rights” (7:3); he specifically clarifies, “I say this by way of concession, not of command. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own special gift from God, one of one kind and one of another” (7:6-7).

        Paul even goes on to make a case for preferring celibacy to marriage: “Are you free from a wife? Do not seek marriage. . . those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. . . . The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman or girl is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please her husband” (7:27-34). Paul’s conclusion: He who marries “does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better” (7:38).

        Paul was not the first apostle to conclude that celibacy is, in some sense, “better” than marriage. After Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 19 on divorce and remarriage, the disciples exclaimed, “If such is the case between a man and his wife, it is better not to marry” (Matt 19:10). This remark prompted Jesus’ teaching on the value of celibacy “for the sake of the kingdom”: “Not all can accept this word, but only those to whom it is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of God. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it” (Matt. 19:11–12).

        • Steve Christie

          Those passages by Paul to the Corinthians is completely irrelevant to the point I was addressing, plus they are taken out of context. First, Paul doesn’t “prefer” celibacy to marriage. His point was that he was demonstrating to VIRGINS the benefits of not being married, because of the wave of persecution – “good because of the present distress” (1 Corinth 7:26) He wasn’t advocating EVERYONE remaining single, which is why he says “if you do marry, you have not sinned” (v.28). What Paul is getting across is that there are pros & cons to being single as well as being married. But he never FORBIDS anyone from getting married, let alone the clergy. That is why he writes to both Timothy & Titus, that the elder-bishop is to be “a HUSBAND of one WIFE,” which means a “one-woman man.” And in order to be a “one-woman man,” the elder-bishop HUSBAND would need to be MARRIED to that “one” WIFE. But even with Paul explaining the benefits of being single, nowhere does he, nor anyone else in Scripture, FORBID clergy from marrying. Rather, the INDIVIDUAL makes the choice THEMSELVES – not by some “hierarchical” self-appointed church authority. So, the Catholic church is being unbiblical by FORBIDDING clergy the option of either marrying or remaining single:

          “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,
          by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who FORBID MARRIAGE and advocate ABSTAINING FROM FOODS abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.” (1 Timothy 4:1-3)

          The Catholic church does BOTH.

          • Silent Archer

            Man, I’ve got to give you credit for one thing. You’re tough! You wouldn’t allow either Jesus or St. Paul to be a bishop in your church! But I want you to know that the Catholic Church welcomes Jesus not just as a bishop but as the bishop, as I Peter 2:25 says, “For you had gone astray like sheep, but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.” The word translated guardian here is actually not just a bishop; rather, the bishop (Greek, ton episkopon) of your souls. Jesus is the bishop of the Catholic Church. And he was and is celibate.

            Even the Evangelical scripture scholar Dr. Ralph Earle, in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, says that St. Paul in 1 Timothy 3 is not requiring bishops to be married. In stating his reasons, he first offers the most ancient position—which we know as Catholics to be apostolic in origin and found in written form in the late second century—that would say this text is placing a limitation on the number of marriages a bishop could have in his lifetime. He could only have been married once. This is the position of the Catholic Church today. If a man has been married more than once, even if licitly, he cannot be admitted to the episcopacy.

            In that same Bible commentary, this time commenting on Titus 1:6, which makes to both elders and bishops the same prohibition against multiple marriages, another Evangelical scholar, Dr. D. Edmond Hiebert, adds, “If Paul had meant that the elder must be married, the reading would have been ‘a’ not ‘one’ wife.” I would go further and say it would most likely simply say, “The bishop must be married.” The term one indicates that he is limiting the number, not mandating marriage.

            Read your Bible (you know, the one you have for no other reason than that the Catholic Church is the one that canonized it in the 4th century — even Martin Luther says so) again. Note that, in the case of St. Paul’s first letter to Timothy, he would go on to declare that a widow who was “enrolled,” or consecrated, as a celibate and married again to have sinned gravely. There is nothing wrong with a widow remarrying. That is licit and clearly so elsewhere in Scripture, specifically in St. Paul’s own writings (see Romans 7:2-3; I Cor. 7:27-28, 39-40). But it is wrong for the one who has been consecrated for service in the Church. It is interesting that St. Paul uses the same language of limiting the widow to having been the wife “of one husband.” Obviously this was not meant to say “one husband at a time”: “Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband. . . . But refuse to enroll younger widows; for when they grow wanton against Christ they desire to marry, and so they incur condemnation for having violated their first pledge (I Tim. 5:9-12).”

            It is more than fitting that those consecrated as bishops, elders, and deacons would make a similar commitment — and it *is* a choice *they* make. Maybe now you will re-think who it is that really takes St. Paul at his word; that is, his word taken in its proper context.

          • Steve Christie

            I never said that Scripture “forbids” single men as bishops, only that Scripture doesn’t support forbidding married men from being bishops, or clergy from marrying, like the Catholic church does. So, your comments are based on a misunderstanding of what I said.

            As far as the Catholic church “canonizing” the Bible. Please! First, the OT was recognized as Scripture in Jesus’ day, which is why Jesus Himself even referred to the “3-fold division” of the Old Testament that Protestants recognize (“the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms”) as “Scripture” (Luke 24:44-45). Paul then recognized Luke’s Gospel as
            “Inspired” (1 Timothy 5:18, cf. Luke 10:7), which Paul calls ALL “Scripture” as “Inspired” (2 Timothy 3:16), which Peter acknowledges ALLof Paul’s epistles as “Scripture” (2 Peter 3:15-16). So, by mid-FIRST
            Century, the Church had recognized ALL of the OT & most of the NT asInspired (“God-breathed”) Scripture. The purpose of the various councils was to establish godly criteria to recognized legitimate Scripture from the false ‘gospels,’ such as the gnostics which did not
            have that godly criteria (inerrancy, lack of contradictions, written by a recognized prophet of God, disciple of Christ, or close contemporary like Mark or Luke, fulfilled prophecies, etc). So, the Catholic church didn’t “canonize” our Bible. They merely recognized the godly criteria that had been evident by the Church since the first century.

            But as far as bishops & elder, Scripturally, they are the SAME “office” that can either be held by single OR a married man – not separate “hierarchical” offices that forbid married men from holding, like in the Catholic church.

          • Silent Archer

            Your interpretation leads to obvious absurdities. For one, if “the husband of one wife” really meant that a bishop had to be married, then by the same logic “keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way” would mean that he had to have children. Childless husbands (or even fathers of only one child, since Paul uses the plural) would not qualify.

            In fact, following this style of interpretation to its final absurdity, since Paul speaks of bishops meeting these requirements (not of their having met them, or of candidates for bishop meeting them), it would even follow that an ordained bishop whose wife or children died would become unqualified for ministry!

            The theory that Church leaders must be married also contradicts the obvious fact that Paul himself, an eminent Church leader, was single and happy to be so. Unless Paul was a hypocrite, he could hardly have imposed a requirement on bishops which he did not himself meet. Consider, too, the implications regarding Paul’s positive attitude toward celibacy in 1 Corinthians 7: the married have worldly anxieties and divided interests, yet only they are qualified to be bishops; whereas the unmarried have single-minded devotion to the Lord, yet are barred from ministry!

            In fact, the Catholic Church forbids no one to marry. No one is required to take a vow of celibacy; those who do, do so voluntarily. They “renounce marriage” (Matt. 19:12); no one forbids it to them. Any Catholic who doesn’t wish to take such a vow doesn’t have to, and is almost always free to marry with the Church’s blessing. The Church simply elects candidates for the priesthood (or, in the Eastern rites, for the episcopacy) from among those who voluntarily renounce marriage.

            But is there scriptural precedent for this practice of restricting membership in a group to those who take a voluntary vow of celibacy? Yes. Paul, writing once again to Timothy, mentions an order of widows pledged not to remarry (1 Tim 5:9-16); in particular advising: “But refuse to enroll younger widows; for when they grow wanton against Christ they desire to marry, and so they incur condemnation for having violated their first pledge” (5:11–12).

            This “first pledge” broken by remarriage cannot refer to previous wedding vows, for Paul does not condemn widows for remarrying (cf. Rom. 7:2-3). It can only refer to a vow not to remarry taken by widows enrolled in this group. In effect, they were an early form of women religious—New Testament nuns. The New Testament Church did contain orders with mandatory celibacy, just as the Catholic Church does today.

            As for 2 Tim 3:16, the “all scripture” Paul is referring to is the Old Testament (not least because 2 Tim was written before most of the books in the New Testament). Look at the previous verse, which states: “and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” What “sacred writings” would Timothy have known “from childhood” but the Old Testament? And, considering Timothy was not a Hebrew (as evidenced by the fact that Paul had him circumcised so that the Jews would accept his ministry {Acts 16:1,3}), then the Scripture that Timothy used would have been the Septuagint!

    • James Peter Wright

      Not so. Peter was married, as were most of the other apostles. They were then “ordained” as the first bishops. The rule of not ordaining men after they are married is a church law, and a very bad one at that. No Biblical basis for it.

      • Silent Archer

        No biblical basis? You will likely be surprised to learn that there is actually scriptural precedent for the practice of restricting membership in a group to those who take a voluntary vow of celibacy. Paul, writing to Timothy, mentions an order of widows pledged not to remarry (1 Tim 5:9-16); in particular advising: “But refuse to enroll younger widows; for when they grow wanton against Christ they desire to marry, and so they incur condemnation for having violated their first pledge” (5:11–12).

        And don’t forget the words of Jesus Himself who said, “Not all can accept this word, but only those to whom it is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of God. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it” (Matt. 19:11–12)

        Note that this sort of celibacy “for the sake of the kingdom” is a gift, a call that is not granted to all, or even most people, but is granted to some. Other people are called to marriage. It is true that too often individuals in both vocations fall short of the requirements of their state, but this does not diminish either vocation, nor does it mean that the individuals in question were “not really called” to that vocation.

        The truth is, it is precisely those who are uniquely “concerned about the affairs of the Lord” (1 Cor. 7:32), those to whom it has been given to “renounce marriage for the sake of the kingdom” (Matt. 19:12), who are ideally suited to follow in the footsteps of those who have “left everything” to follow Christ (Matt. 19:27).

  • Viator16

    It is natural for men and women to marry. It is the order of things. To force people to remain celibate who do not have the gift of celibacy only leads to sexual immorality.

    • Sherry

      The men and women who choose the religious life embrace celibacy voluntarily — they are not forced to do so.

  • borninamsterdam

    It is time that the Roman church recognizes the fact that priests need to be married and have a family. That experience can help them counsel many parishoners. They can also express their needs to “multiply” (have sex) with a partner to whom they are married. It is unnatural for a man in a clerical profession not to be married, and leads to activities never condoned by God.

    • dbarto667

      JESUS CHRIST MADE MARRIAGE A SACRAMENT ALONG WITH HOLY ORDERS-.PERHAPS, HE KNOWS MORE ABOUT LOVE FOR HUMANITY THAN YOU DO.

      • James Peter Wright

        Your response to borninamsterdam makes no sense. Please clarify. And keep in mind that celibacy is NOT a sacrament.

  • dbarto667

    GOD’S GREAT GIFT TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS CELIBACY.

    • http://radarman1946.tumblr.com/ Melvin

      The Catholic Church’s gifts to the world are delusion, insanity, murder, torture, deception, child abuse, incredibly transparent lies, misogyny, ignorance, fear, and chronic stupidity. You know, just like all other forms of Christinsanity, Judaism, Islam (ESPECIALLY ISLAM, the NEW CHAMP) and all other religions.

      • James Peter Wright

        Keeping in mind that the fundamental concept of “church” is people, are those the traits of SOME people in the church, or every single Catholic? Be careful how you answer, because it may reveal your ignorance. Many Catholics over the centuries have done some fantastic things. Unfortunately, the ones that make the headlines today are the ones who have done harm.

  • http://radarman1946.tumblr.com/ Melvin

    Articles like always bring the fundamentalist loonies out from under their rocks and leave me pondering some significant mysteries. WHAT is the source of the SICK OBSESSION with the sex lives of perfect strangers on the part of religious leaders and the so-called “faithful?” Have you people NOTHING more useful to think about other than how other consenting adults are using their naughty bits? You sickos have NO IDEA how pathetic you are as you carry on about “what God wants” when it comes to the human body, sex, and procreation. Get a LIFE and then GET A HOBBY! The personal lives and intimate choices of other people are NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS, SO GET OVER IT! Despite your claims, you cannot possibly know “what God wants,” and your bible quotes don’t help your case, since I can also quote the bible and show “God” and his spokesmen CLEARLY authorizing RAPE, MURDER, GENOCIDE, and SLAVERY. “Biblical marriage” includes multiple wives, concubines, and the occasional slave girl raped for the fun of it. Your lectures on what constitutes moral behavior fall apart completely when you try to back them up with bible quotes and claim that you know the mind of God, which is literally IMPOSSIBLE by your own definition of what God IS! You cannot name a single heinous crime which has not been justified with passages from your bible, so SHUT UP and stop waving the damn thing at anyone whose lifestyle you don’t like. Your control freak words and actions reveal the truth that the only “god” in your world is the abusive, overbearing, intrusive, arrogant “GOD” you have nominated YOURSELF to be!

    • dbarto667

      LET HE WHO IS WITHOUT SIN THROW THE FIRST STONE.

      • http://radarman1946.tumblr.com/ Melvin

        Thanks for proving my point, dbarto667. You may get back under your rock now.

        • dbarto667

          GOD BESS YOU MELVIN AND ALL OF GOD’S CREATION.

  • dbarto667

    IF MARRIAGE IS SO PERFECT AN INSTITUTION IN THE WESTERN WORLD -WHY IS THE DIVORCE RATE SO GREAT.? WHAT IS THE DIVORCE RATE IN THE MUSLIM RELIGION??

  • dbarto667

    MOST TRIBAL GROUPS SPEND RELATIVELY LITTLE OF THEIR TIME ON SEXUAL ACTIVITY.

  • dbarto667

    THE PRIORITY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS TO LIVE AS CHRIST HAS LIVED AND TO FOLLOW HIS TEACHINGS

    • http://radarman1946.tumblr.com/ Melvin

      Hey, Numbnuts, your CAPS LOCK key is stuck.

      • dbarto667

        THANKS,MELVIN-I LIKE IT THAT WAY.

  • dbarto667

    THE FUTURE OF CATHOLICISM IS LINKED TO THE HEALTH OF THE FAMILY

  • dbarto667

    WHY ARE CHILDREN DYING FROM DRUG OVERDOSES???

  • paul

    why not just let women become priests? Shutting out 50 % of the population does not help the shortage of priests!

    • James Peter Wright

      Women were deacons, priests and bishops in the early days of the church. There are various historical documents to prove that. There are even instructions from several popes directing bishops to stop ordaining women, which is another proof that it was happening in the early church.

  • Sim Jo

    very easy, if you want marriage, don’t enter seminaries. but if you the celibacy life up to you

  • DrTenochtitlan

    A really poor title for the article. What the Catholic Church used to allow (and this is the same policy that is *currently* used in the Orthodox Churches, I might add) was for married people to become priests, NOT for priests to marry. If a single person becomes a priest, they would not be allowed to get married after ordination, only prior to it. Further, if a married priest suffered the loss of his wife, he would then return to a state of permanent celibacy and would not be able to get married again.

    • James Peter Wright

      Isn’t that stupid. Celibacy is not a sacrament, marriage is. Where is the logic in not allowing a widowed priest the right to re-marry? Where in the Bible does it say they can’t. Get with it.

    • James Peter Wright

      I think the Roman Catholic Church needs to be a bit more Biblical. Nowhere in the Bible does it state that a priest cannot marry after he becomes a priest. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that if he loses his wife, he cannot remarry. Those are man made laws made by a hierarchy gone wild. Also, the church needs to allow those who left to get married to return to the priesthood if they so choose. That would almost immediately add about 125,000 priests to the dwindling ranks, most of whom have secular jobs and would be able to act as priests without remuneration.

  • tony

    it’s great..they should have the choice married or stay single..i hope it happens soon..it will help the church to see things in a new light..

  • pb

    I am Catholic. The way I learned this is that a priest is supposed to be celebate and is married to the church and can not have a regular married relationship. But my problem is did Jesus make this fact or did man? There must be something in the bible that specifies this….I’m sure the pope will do alot of research before anything changes in the church.

    • dbarto667

      THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS THAT BY BEING CELIBATE A PRIEST CAN BE FATHER TO ALL OF HIS PARISHIONERS AND ALL OF THEM BECOME HIS FAMILY

      • dbarto667

        THIS ALSO APPLIES TO NUNS IN A RELIGIOUS ORDER IN THAT THEY CAN BE A MOTHER TO THOSE THEY HELP AND IN TURN THEY BECOME A FAMILY.

      • James Peter Wright

        Human beings are not genetically designed to NOT be together with a member of the opposite sex, or the same sex for that matter if they posses the gay gene. Love of another individual is extremely important to the human psyche. The Catholic church has conducted an experiment about male celibacy since the 12th century. If you look at the fact that the priesthood will soon be dead because no one wants to live without love, and if you look at the nut cases that have drifted into the Roman Catholic priesthood, and the money the church has had to pay to settle the evil things they did to their victims, it is safe to say the experiment was a huge failure. You can say the priest is supposed to be a father to his parishioners, but he needs to be a complete human being in order to achieve that role of father. That is impossible to achieve without a human partner.

    • James Peter Wright

      I’m sure the pope already knows that 39 popes were married, including the first one, Peter. Secondly, celibacy was not mandatory in the church until the 11th century, and only so because priests were leaving church real estate to their children and not to the church. Scripture is very clear that “bishops are to be married only once.” There is no mention of the priesthood in the Bible, except in the Jewish sense. Only deacons and bishops are mentioned in the New Testament. The priesthood developed several hundred years after Jesus. An excellent history of the development of the priesthood is by Catholic theologian Fr. Carl Armbruster, SJ (a Jesuit) at http://ejournals.bc.edu/ojs/index.php/ctsa/article/viewFile/2659/2307.

  • zoom net

    they can not marry because a son came after his father(the popes) ring ..wanting his inheritance..so to keep all the riches in the church.. no popes were allowed to marry..look it up .it started with pope pelagius ,then pope gregory,who declared all sons of priest illegitimate, then finally pope innocent2 made all priest divorce their wives.. money/riches needed to stay in the church ..nothing to do with god..

    • James Peter Wright

      Your knowledge of history leaves a lot to be desired. Best that you leave this subject alone and let the experts comment.

      • zoom net

        lol…its called history..lets see..can you find out how many earlier stories of the parting of the red(reed)sea there was? ( hint more than two)report back…then find out how many so called gods were born around the winter equinox. and why…report back..then i will give you more research task..

        • James Peter Wright

          Oh…dear Brenda. You’re not making sense.

          • zoom net

            well..let me help you out..look up the egyptian stories first..(search for the lotus) then might want to research some sumerian tales.. try to educate yourself a little on history ..

        • zoom net

          ok ….ill help you a little more…look up lotus and zazamankh…..

  • dbarto667

    IN THE 1950s TV was full of family laughter .TV is no longer full of laughter? Laughter is good for the soul.The world certainly at this time needs more of the innocence that is found in the Catholic Church and certainly more laughter

  • Athanasius Opara

    I personally support the option for Catholic priests to marry or not depending on their wishes. But one big problem is marriage instability and gold digging through marriage these days. Perhaps the Church needs to learn from the Anglicans.

    • James Peter Wright

      You are terribly unclear about your assertion about “gold digging through marriage” that should be learned “from the Anglicans.” I was ordained in the Roman Catholic Church and I’m now a priest in the Anglican (Episcopal here in the US) Church. I know both sides extremely well. The priests and hierarchy of the Episcopal church are the most delightfully mature and stable bunch of church people I have ever known or worked with. That is largely because you can’t become a deacon, priest or bishop in the EC unless the laity in your parish and your diocese vote on you. And you don’t get into the voting process until you have been thoroughly examined for at least a year by your peers in the parish. Very few surprises some about with that kind of process.

      You cite “marriage instability” as a “problem” without any explanation as to what you mean by that statement. I’m happy to say that according to recent stats put together by the Georgetown Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, the divorce rate is lower among Catholics, but not significantly. It does happen, and it will happen to priests if they are allowed to marry. But I assume the same annulment rights will be available to them as to the laity. Even priests make mistakes. And by then, if the church is smart, they will have available a non-sacramental second marriage, as do the Eastern Orthodox.

  • James Peter Wright

    Interesting that NONE of the most successful preachers in my lifetime has been a Catholic priest. Look at Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, Billy Graham, Chuck Smith (founder of the Calvary Chapel movement with thousands of churches around the world), Peter Marshall, Oral Roberts, Greg Laurie. They have brought millions to Christ by their preaching. All are or were married and their wives played a significant role in their ministries. Don’t look to popes to be evangelists. They are limited by their language skills, and most don’t even have the charisms of the great evangelists. They speak little snippets about ending war, feeding the hungry. But none is a truly charismatic preacher of the Word of God. The Catholic Church has a wonderful venue that they don’t exploit because they have so drastically limited the number of their “evangelists” to only men who are willing to play the game of celibacy. Most don’t even do that very well, since the “celibate” priesthood has attracted its fair share of sexual deviates. Lets open the gates to married men AND lets restore the episcopacy, priesthood and diaconate to women, as they did in the early days of the church.

    • Eddy LeRoque

      joel osteen??????????????????????
      oral robertsm thats a laff

      Billy Graham is the only A lister on both catholic and protestant sude

      • James Peter Wright

        Joel Osteen packs in 40,000 people every Sunday at his church in Houston to hear about what Jesus expects of them. About the same with Rick Warren. Plus their vast TV coverage around the world. I don’t know of any Catholic priests or parishes who have that kind of attendance in this country. Even less in continental Europe, the UK and Ireland. If you are going to laugh off Osteen and Roberts, have some facts to support your position.