Priestly Celibacy

With few exceptions, only unmarried, celibate men can become Roman Catholic priests.

Priestly celibacy is often misunderstood and criticized by those who mistake it to be too big of a burden or do not realize that it is supported by Sacred Scripture.

In accepting his calling, the priest voluntarily models himself after the example of Jesus who was celibate.

Practiced since the early days of the Church, celibacy is a firmly established disciplinary rule but not an unchangeable dogma.

A unique love expressed through celibacy:

The freedom to be available to great love:

A source of life and vitality:

All the ordained ministers of the Latin Church, with the exception of permanent deacons, are normally chosen from among men of faith who live a celibate life and who intend to remain celibate “for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven.” Called to consecrate themselves with undivided heart to the Lord and to “the affairs of the Lord,” they give themselves entirely to God and to men. Celibacy is a sign of this new life to the service of which the Church’s minister is consecrated; accepted with a joyous heart celibacy radiantly proclaims the Reign of God.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 1579

Celibacy is a gift, not a burden:

Christ, the only Son of the Father, by the power of the Incarnation itself was made Mediator between Heaven and Earth, between the Father and the human race. Wholly in accord with this mission, Christ remained throughout His whole life in the state of celibacy, which signified His total dedication to the service of God and men. This deep concern between celibacy and the priesthood of Christ is reflected in those whose fortune it is to share in the dignity and mission of the Mediator and eternal Priest; this sharing will be more perfect the freer the sacred minister is from the bonds of flesh and blood.

Pope Paul VI, Sacerdotalis Caelibatus, June 24, 1967

Hints of priestly celibacy in the Old Testament:

Following the example of Jesus and the Apostles:

Celibacy was practiced in the early Church:

Now in regard to the matters about which you wrote: “It is a good thing for a man not to touch a woman,” but because of cases of immorality every man should have his own wife, and every woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his duty toward his wife, and likewise the wife toward her husband. A wife does not have authority over her own body, but rather her husband, and similarly a husband does not have authority over his own body, but rather his wife. Do not deprive each other, except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, to be free for prayer, but then return to one another, so that Satan may not tempt you through your lack of self-control. This I say by way of concession, however, 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 Corinthians 7: 1-9

Finding fulfillment in the love of God:

The celibate fatherhood of the priest:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

Jimmy Swaggart made me Catholic: 

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