Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela | ARCHIVES
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Wednesday, August 16, 2017

CYO Champions of Faith 2017

Home : Faith/Spirituality : The Question Box
11/18/2015 9:43:00 AM
Celibacy just as relational as marriage

Deacon Owen Cummings

Q: The reading on Oct. 4 from Genesis says “The Lord  says, it is not good for the man to be alone.” So why does the Catholic Church feel priests should not marry?  Is that not going against God’s word? The Greek Orthodox say their religious leaders have to marry to be ordained. An explanation please.

A: One might approach an answer to this question in a variety of ways. First, a Catholic approach to Holy Scripture does not isolate the meaning of the sacred text from the tradition of the church’s reflection and understanding.

One cannot be had without the other. As Vatican II tells us in the “Constitution on Divine Revelation” (par. 9), both Scripture and tradition flow from the same “divine wellspring,” that is to say both “bubble forth” from God. So, while without a doubt, the Genesis text tells us that the creation of humankind, man-woman, provides us with a relational view of the person, the church’s tradition provides us with an expansive view of how this relationality may be lived out. Second, a priest committed to celibacy is every bit as relational as those who are married, but that relationality is lived out in a spousal-like fashion with the community he serves.

Third, celibacy has not always been required of the priesthood. To take one example from many, one of the great fathers of the church, St. Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) was married and had a daughter named Apra. And St. Hilary was named a doctor of the church by Pope Pius IX in 1851. As a church discipline celibacy came into force in the Latin West in the reforming movements of the Middle Ages. Fourth, in today’s situation there are churches in full communion with Rome (Ukrainian, Melkite and others) who permit married priests. There are also men who have ministered in other Christian traditions, who have become Catholic, and who have been ordained priests in the Catholic Church.

Article Comment Submissions
Submit your comments, please. 
Comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language and address the story. Comments are not posted immediately to the site. The site editor may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours. Comments may also be considered to appear as letters in our print edition, unless the writer specifices no.
Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2017 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2017 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved