I am not Catholic but sometimes I do find these subject matters interesting. In the wake of this latest controversy with Rev. Alberto Cutie I listened to a program on the radio and they had a discussion with a religion reporter, a religion professor, and the editor of the Catholic World Report.
One of the topics they discussed was whether the argument for priest to marry or not is more of a political one than a religious one. What do you think?
Should some priest be allowed to marry? I say some because the program noted that it’s not uncommon for a minister who was married before converting to Catholicism and became Catholic priest. They get to keep their wives and families as well as serve in their flock. Is this hypocritical?
Some believe that celibacy is a gift that is particular to a person. So if he/she has that desire and gift it should be a choice but not a mandate.
I have also spoken to some Catholics who take the hard line that if one wants to be a priest, celibacy is what the proper order is and if you can’t hang then don’t be a priest.
Anyone who wants to give an intelligent take is welcome to comment. I would love to hear especially from practicing Catholics on both sides of the issue.
The man who spoke up for celibacy only for priest basically said that this was God’s way and the Pope as well as the Apostle Paul agrees. He feels that while marriage is good for family etc., a priest cannot serve god at his best while having divided interest.
When a priest who favors choice for other Priest talked about Aaron (in the bible) being a priest who was married, and his level of effectiveness, he never touched that particular portion of the arguement. Instead he was silent and kept to the same line that I just mentioned.
To speak to your accusation about greed being the motive, there was a point mentioned about the extra cost to the church in terms of pay being made to priest who have wives and children. The point being that on one hand they don’t want to even think about paying for that wife and kid, let alone for how ever many kids the wife may put out considering they don’t believe in birth control. And we know what the best form of birth control is…. though Mary may debate you on that point. 🙂
“When a priest who favors choice for other Priest talked about Aaron (in the bible) being a priest who was married, and his level of effectiveness, he never touched that particular portion of the arguement. Instead he was silent and kept to the same line that I just mentioned.”
******When I made this note I meant to say that the guy (not a priest) who favors celibacy only would not touch the points made by the priest who talked about Aaron being a married priest, nor about the priest they were allowing into the fold who were married to begin with. It as as if they never made the comments at all he ignored them so much.
To your point about business decisions vs. God factors, I don’t know of many religious organizations that would separate the two like that. I mean if they were to say it’s merely a business decision then they couldn’t gain the backing they need because it becomes subjective.
One thing I would challenge my church on all the time was that if it’s subjective that’s fine, but that means i can have my own opinion about it. But the bigger question is as a church, why are we making stands and practicing things that we don’t believe God cares about. (in his name no doubt)
I could be wrong and I hope I am explaining myself right. But in religion – there cannot be a real difference in what you practice vs. what you believe your god approves of or disapproves of.
I don’t think this is a question of what what God does or does not approve of.
Obviously a church isn’t going to pass rules and regulations- church law, for that matter- that it believes God would disapprove of.
That, however, does not in any way change the initial motivation behind the decision to keep priests from marrying.
Personally, I don’t think God cares whether a man of the cloth has a spouse or not. My own father is a man of the cloth- and has been happily married to my mother for over 40 years. He’s the most Godly man I have ever known. God isn’t going to look negatively on my father for making a happy home and raising a family, all while serving Him.
That being said, even if God has a preference, married vs. unmarried, that was not the driving factor behind the requirement that Priests remain celibate and unmarried.