Monday, 16 January 2012

Why Don't Catholic Priests Marry?

I know that the religious among you will instantly say because it is in the Bible; that is why priests don't get married. Some may even say that priests are married; but are married to the church. And some of the more cynical may say if they got married they would leave little boys alone.

But really what does the Bible say about priests marrying?

Not surprisingly there are conflicting passages which can pulled from the Bible to support either side. Lets start with one passage often used by the Catholic church to support priests not marrying:

"His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry." (KJV Matthew 19:10)

Most in support of priests not marrying never remember to quote Jesus' answer:

"But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given." (KJV Matthew 19:11)

But in reality neither passage supports, or opposes, priests marrying. The passage in question (KJV Matthew 19:1-12) is concerning divorce.

So are there any passages which either support or oppose priests marrying? Yes. Paul warned his young colleague Timothy:

"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:" (KJV 1Timothy 4:1-4)

Basically Paul tells Timothy that 'some shall depart from the faith' and then lists the things those that have departed from the faith will do. And, lo and behold, in that list is 'Forbidding to marry'.

So by the King James Bible, the main one still used by the Catholic church today by refusing to let priests marry they themselves are saying they 'have departed from the faith'. If only it was that easy. The Catholics, in support of priests not marrying, cite the passage:

"And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:" (KJV Luke 20:34-35)

So there you have it. Straight from Jesus' mouth - priests cannot marry. Case solved. But wait because Jesus was misquoted. Well, in actual fact rather than misquoted what he said is taken out of context to support an idea.

Read the whole thing, KJV Luke 20:27-38. Did you read it? See Jesus never mentioned priests once. He was talking about people who marry, re-marry, and die. And all he says is "Hey when they get to Heaven, or if, it doesn't matter because they are not married in Heaven."

Bollocks. That blows the quick, simple, easy, answer out of the water. But it must say it in the Bible somewhere. Surely the Catholic church wouldn't just make shit up. So without further ado I thought instead of looking this up on Google I would ask someone who should know - the local Catholic priest.

Important Note: Just so we are all on the same page I am in no way bashing the Catholics for this not marrying. I am just wondering where they got the idea from.

Anyway; back to the local Catholic priest. I asked him where in the Bible it said that priests couldn't marry. After his little chuckle he said "It wasn't in the Bible." So I asked him where the whole priests not marrying did come from then. He said "The Catholic church, and not all of it either, you see although there is the Catholic church it has some divisions. Priests being not allowed to marry only affects certain parts of the Catholic church. The 'Eastern Rites' section of the Catholic church have priests which can get married."

So the Catholic church did make that shit up. And not even all the Catholics follow the idea.

Well that bit isn't as easy either. Seems, according to my local Catholic priest the no marrying bit observed by the Catholic church "is in observance with the example set by Jesus and the Apostle Paul."

So scrambling through the Bible I pointed out:

"And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever." (KJV Matthew 8:14)

The priest looked at me and he said (his exact words) "That is the best you have?" I said well it proves even the Apostles were married and Jesus had no problem with it; and you Catholics claim Peter was the first Pope. So your first Pope was married so why not priests?

He said: "Peter found Jesus after being married. And even today a married man, usually converted from another faith, can become a priest. As for Peter, yes he was married, and yes he was the first Pope. But the practice of the Pope, specifically, being unmarried and celibate was added later due to some Popes wanting to make their sons Popes or give them land from the church. Without any children that concern is gone."

Important Note: Catholic priests are not all bad.

So it would appear that the whole not marrying is nothing to do with the Bible as a rule; but merely as an example set by Jesus and Paul. And, from my understanding anyway, some of the earlier Popes may have messed it up for everyone else by being greedy; which in my mind means they should not be Pope in the first place. But I'm sure deciding who should and should not be Pope is a whole different ball of thread to untangle.

So, my conclusion is that as the Bible doesn't say that you cannot marry and that the Catholic church only put this rule in by examples set rather than any type of word from God, or commandment, priests should be allowed to marry. And any Catholic priest that feels they want to marry can just switch from the Roman Catholics to the Eastern Rites Catholics and grab himself a wife on the way.


  1. Why don't Catholic priests marry ? I can see why they chose to live a life of celibacy. That way they escape all the hassle that comes with being married.
    Imagine, no arguments ever about half cooked potatoes, pee splatters on the toilet, annoying in-laws, TV programs, parenting, holiday destinations, home decoration and what not....
    Shaping your leisure time after your own fancy sounds like heaven on earth. Moreover, they'll never notice that they are in fact alone over Christmas/Easter, because it is their busiest time of the year. And that bit of sex, they miss out on is highly overrated anyway.
    So every single man, who became a cleric after the year 1022 made an active, conscious decision, because they knew what to expect.

    Just playing devil's advocate...

  2. I know it is their choice and all. And yes some of the 'single' life does sound ideal. But at the same time if it is not in the Bible as a strict rule why do it?

    I guess I just don't see how one part of the Catholic church can marry and another not. Seems a bit like the old phrase: "United we stand. Divided we fall." But that is just how I see it. As someone who has no religion I see things a little bit different; and the curiosity in me just forces me to question everything.

    And who knows maybe one day they may be able to get married. The Pope giving them that opportunity to serve God as a good Catholic and yet at the same time getting the free will to decide.

  3. Why should any Priest be permitted to counsel married couples when none of them have ever experienced or able to share what matrimony and all its ramifications entail. Would be preaching to the wrong choir.

  4. You make an unforgiveable error in your statement that the King James version of the Bible is the only one the Catholics believe in. King James rewrote the Douay Rheims version of the Bible to suit himself and there created the Episcopal religion. Your ignorance of this FACT, not allegation, strikes a definite question as to the accuracy of your other statements. Study the Church in 1022 and see that The Council of Trent ordered that priests could not be married. You do a disservice to your own thesis by falsing quoting an unnamed Catholic priest. Get your facts right Bozo!

    1. "So by the King James Bible, the main one still used by the Catholic church today" Main one not the only one. And for the record I was going by my own experiences with the Catholic church; and all the ones I have been in both in England, and the United States are using the King James Version. Do all Catholics use the KJV? How the hell would I know; I'm not Catholic.

      As for the 'disservice' of an unnamed priest. He gave his opinion. Right or wrong it was his own opinion. And he wasn't named because the Catholic Church loves to jump on priests, and bishops, that don't follow tow the line exactly as the Vatican would like.

      As for the accuracy. It is a blog called "Yet Another Opinion" so that is what it is. My opinion based. So before calling someone a bozo you may want to think before typing so that you don't make mistakes like confusing fact with opinion - especially when opinion is in the blog header.

  5. This is what I heard which led me to this Site because I decided to research it and that is, at one time they were allow to marry but when the preist dies the wife gets his estate. The church didnt lime that because they wanted it so they banned marriage. Makes sense to me because that would be typical of the catholic religion, they are really just an organized crime cartel.

    1. Makes sense that the Catholic church would want to keep the money themselves. I'm wondering how much they would have saved though if they didn't have to keep paying compensation to the victims of these priests, and just let them marry instead.

    2. Wow, good point admin ! I agree. I think Priests should be allowed to enjoy a homelife and still do the work of the Lord, it works for other religions...


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