Why are priests not allowed to marry?

Full Question:

my question is why are priests not allowed to marry?


Simply broken down, the ministerial Priesthood as it is now shows forth the seriousness of the Call of Christ to repentance and salvation. If priests were allowed to marry, it would look ordinary and their families will definitely affect their ministry. Imagine how it would be when you are not sure why a priest is asking for financial aid, you wonder if its for family luxury or something. Imagine how it would have been with those heroic priests who answer sick calls in the middle of the night, how possible would it have been if they were wrapped by a woman’s embrace? Imagine how it would have been transferring a Priest from parish to parish with his whole family. A priest has NO LAND, NO PROPERTY. He is a wayfarer, an itinerant preacher, this would have been rendered impossible by Marriage and family. Besides, neither his ministry as priest or as husband/father would florish seeing that one requires readiness to move, the other requires being in one place for a long time. The kids cannot keep registering in new schools every time you know. Then, imagine that because of the marriage in priesthood, he gets to stay very long in a parish, imagine how this would affect his ministry. People without knowing it get tired of a priest (especially when he is viewed as being at the same level with them in terms of holiness and worries). Those transfers make an old priest new and appreciated in a new place.

They are called to “.. Abandon Father, Mother, Homeland, wife, children, for the sake of Christ/the Kingdom of God” Matthew 19:29.

Again ” For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others–and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.” Matthew 19:12.

Priests go to the priesthood knowing they won’t be allowed marriage, and this is not bad. It would have been evil, if someone were told he’ll marry and later forced not to.

Finally, they are called to be like Christ; Alter Christus, and to act “in persona Christi Capitis”, in the Person of Christ the Head. So common sense justice demands that they emulate the footsteps of their master, even as the Apostles and the early Christian clergymen emulated him.

From a more theological perspective:

Priests aren’t negative symbols, they’re not “prohibited” from something, they are rather geared or given to another. It is not that their celibacy is a privation, its actually a marriage to Christ. They make the future present before our eyes by symbolizing the world we hope to live in when the Lord’s Kingdom comes. We know that through them the Lord nourishes and governs his Church. It is not simply a calling to reject marriage but to actually embrace it. Priesthood is always a scandal; one of true love and heroic self-giving. Whenever people consider priesthood from a worldly standpoint, it seems to be a “running away” from the responsibility of marriage or a rejection of love. But how can a person possibly survive the priesthood if he isn’t a person of love and sacrifice? Who else makes the bond of marriage more “romantic” and more alive than the priest whose very life speaks volumes of the indissolubility of the sacraments of Order and matrimony. He is another Christ, from whom all the sacraments spring.

A priest is a symbol of Christ, of all the sacraments. It is a gift of love and a symbol of the future. The priesthood isn’t for the lazy or the selfish, it is for the courageous, for people of faith, of hope and of intense love.


  1. John P Moskal Reply

    1 Timothy 3:1 It is a faithful saying: if a man desires the episcopate, he desires a good work. 2 Therefore, it is necessary for a bishop to be beyond reproach, the husband of one wife, sober, prudent, gracious, chaste, hospitable, a teacher, 3 not a drunkard, not combative but restrained, not quarrelsome, not covetous; 4 but a man who leads his own house well, having children who are subordinate with all chastity. 5 For if a man does not know how to lead his own house, how will he take care of the Church of God? 6 He must not be a new convert, lest, being elated by pride, he may fall under the sentence of the devil. 7 And it is necessary for him also to have good testimony from those who are outside, so that he may not fall into disrepute and the snare of the devil.

    1. John P Moskal Reply

      Scripture was quoted and I replied with Scripture.

    2. Paul Gerard Antonio Saret Reply

      I believe Paul refers here to ‘bishops’ as leaders of the early Christian church…these are qualifications of men in order to become leaders of the church.

      1. Patrick Reply

        Listen friends, not the the so called priests don’t want to marry. No. They are NOT ALLOWED according to the false doctrine of catholic and not according to the BIBLE. Can you give me just one scripture that PREVENTS priests or people from marryin? If anyone can provide me a scripture, I will follow abandon my faith.

        1. Franklin P. Uroda Reply

          Hey, priests not marrying is not a “Doctrine” of the Roman Catholic Church. It’s a clerical policy (“discipline of celibacy”) that’s been in place for about 1000 years. It sets those men apart; they’re not to conduct their lives like the vast majority of men. They are not allowed to have certain good things, for instance: families (wives and children). It’s also a crass, economic ($$$) situation: family means attending to one’s wife and children-home, school, medical necessities, insurance, etc., although I’ve known many priests who’ve attended to the families of other people, taken care that their children were looked out for and that they received proper medical treatment. Our big, established Roman Catholic Church looks like it has a ton of money, but really, listening to bishops and priests, we’re poor. Yeah, tell that to the big $$ recipients in the suits that those miserable priests (God it hurts even to give them the name by which Jesus is known) brought down on all our shamed Roman Catholic heads.

          1. akaramis

            Actually, an ecumenical council banned ordained men from marrying again. Those men ordained whilst unmarried thus remained so. That puts 1700 years of celibacy in the orders of Deacon, Priest, and Bishop.
            Prior, the general rule was that only an already married man would be ordained, and that a deacon, priest, or bishop would not remarry if widowed. THis was the decree of the assembled bishops of the known world at the time, including several direct students of the Apostles. The not ordaining married men into the clergy was the novelty of the Roman Church; still, there were married deacons and priests for many years following. And there have been married men ordained deacons and priests within the Catholic Communion the whole time… in the Maronite church. As the Maronites moved away from that, other groups came back into union from the Byzantine Communion, and again, retained the ordination of already married men to the deaconate, and of married deacons to the presbyterate (priesthood).

        2. ZOS Reply

          1Cor7:9 – But if they do not have self-control, let them marry, for it is better to marry than to be inflamed with passion.
          1Tim4:1-3 – however, the inspired word clearly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to misleading inspired statements and teachings of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of men who speak lies, whose conscience is seared as with a branding iron. They FORBID MARRIAGE and command people to abstain from foods that God created to be partaken of with thanksgiving by those who have faith and accurately know the truth

          1. kingsmatter

            Well said. The bible is God’s word. Listen to it rather than to those who don’t encourage you to do so. Forbidding to marry is indeed a teaching of demons.
            I can remember not being allowed to eat meat as a child or I would go to purgatory. Where is that mentioned in the bible? Another demon teaching. I know the church has relaxed their view on this, but what pain and suffering families went through thinking their loved ones were in purgatory.
            Don’t follow the doctrine of men! Don’t repeat the same prayers over and over. Don’t agree with making saints. Only God and Jesus know who are chosen for heavenly life to rule as kings and priests. Man is imperfect.

        3. kim Reply

          Concerning Married Life

          7 Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman." 2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 I say this as a concession, not as a command. 7 I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.

          8 Now to the unmarried[a] and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

          10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.

          12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

          15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?
          Concerning Change of Status

          17 Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. 18 Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts. 20 Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.

          21 Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so. 22 For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings. 24 Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.
          Concerning the Unmarried

          25 Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26 Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for a man to remain as he is. 27 Are you pledged to a woman? Do not seek to be released. Are you free from such a commitment? Do not look for a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.

          29 What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they do not; 30 those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; 31 those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.

          32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.

          36 If anyone is worried that he might not be acting honorably toward the virgin he is engaged to, and if his passions are too strong[b] and he feels he ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. They should get married. 37 But the man who has settled the matter in his own mind, who is under no compulsion but has control over his own will, and who has made up his mind not to marry the virgin—this man also does the right thing. 38 So then, he who marries the virgin does right, but he who does not marry her does better.[c]

          39 A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord. 40 In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is—and I think that I too have the Spirit of God.

        4. Maronita Reply

          In some rites of the Catholic Church priests are ALLOWED to marry! Maronite Catholic men can become ordained a priest in the Maronite Catholic Church (In Massachusetts in 2014 or 2015 a married man was ordained a Maronite CATHOLIC priest). Maronite men in the USA generally do marry as the USA is primarily a Latin Rite Catholic Church and therefore generally forego marriage like the Latin Rite Catholics, however in all other countries Maronite men are permitted to marry before ordination. I personally agree with the stance of a celibate priesthood as you can not give yourself totally to God and totally to family one must give at times. I think there would be to many divorces if priests were permitted to marry. The wife might become jealous that her husband spends so much time with others (counseling them) and the majority of those counseled I’m sure are women.

        5. Peter Reply

          Matthew CH 19:12. Some did not marry for kingdom of God sake.read your Bible careful without sentiment.

        6. Tessy Reply

          Patrick the Bible says if a man wishes to Mary let him Mary and if a man wishes not to Mary let him remain single. Check your Bible cor 18vs 10

        7. Joe U. Reply

          Catholic priests do not marry because, while Christ does indeed approve of marriage for the Christian clergy, He much prefers that they do not marry. He made this quite clear when He praised the Apostles for giving up “all" to follow Him, saying, “And every one that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting." (Matt. 19:27-29). The Apostle Paul explained why the unmarried state is preferable to the married state for the Christian clergy: “He that is without a wife, is solicitous for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please God. But he that is with a wife, is solicitous for the things of the world, how he may please his wife: and he is divided." (1 Cor. 7:32-33). In other words, matrimony is good – Christ made it one of the holy sacraments of His Church – but it is not conducive to that complete dedication which is incumbent upon those who submit themselves to another of Christ’s holy sacraments – that of Holy Orders. Even so, the unmarried state of the Catholic priesthood is not an inflexible law – under certain conditions a priest may be dispensed from this law.

    3. Donwong Reply

      Paul was unmarried & single also

      1. Michael Dye Reply

        peter was married,and its a historical fact that clergy were married,the orthodox have a married clergy and so do eastern rite catholic(under popes authority).so abandont celibacy,thats one way too heal the break between two vary catholic and orthdox churches

        1. Fr. Joseph Reply

          St. Peter was a widower at the time he was chosen as a disciple. As a result St. Peter’s marital status does not support your argument in favor of married clergy.

          1. noone@aol

            Really, Fr. Joseph? Where did you find such information?

          2. Clive Munday

            St. Paul refers to St. Peter’s practice of taking his wife along with him. 1 Corinthians 9:5 (where “Cephas” is Peter – see John 1:42).

          3. Marie Nazarene

            I pray the Holy Spirit guides Pope Francis.Our clergy is aging;the new priestly vocations are few.My pariss ot 2000 members has only one aging priest

          4. ken

            Peter was a widower at the time he was chosen as a disciple?? where scripture in the bible can we find that?

          5. Joseph Esquivel (@JosephEsquivel7)

            Well how can you prove that his wife was alive at the time of his discipleship, she’s not mentioned anywhere and only his mother-in-law is mentioned but not his wife. By the same manner we know Joseph died because he was never mentioned after Jesus’ childhood and the custom at the time would still have had Peter caring for his mother, especially if he was widower and she was then childless.

          6. Albert Chai

            Jesus chose Peter as disciple in His first year of ministry in John 1. Peter was a married man and not a widower. In Matthew 8 verse 14, it was in the 2nd year of His ministry, Jesus along with His disciples including Peter went to Peter’s house and found that his mother in law was sick. And Jesus healed Peter’s mother in law.

          7. Suren M

            St. Peter was a widower ??? you got that from a catholic book? probably title of that would have been “Catholicism for dummies”..

            Because the bible does not agree with you…

            Matthew 8:14(KJV)

            14 And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever.

            1 Corinthians 9:5(KJV)

            5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?

          8. kingsmatter

            No but in the Catholic Edition RSV, the writings of the apostle Paul to Timothy state in chapter 3 of 1Timothy state the requirements for bishops and in chapter 4 say that in later times some will depart from the faith because of the teaching of demons, listing forbidding to marry as one of these things along with forbidding to eat of certain foods. Can you explain where the church got the idea we weren’t to eat meat on a Friday or we would go to purgatory? I know the church has relaxed that thought but what about the fear and suffering that teaching caused. Many thought they had to have prayers said (for money of course) to have these ones released from this state. What a horrible, horrible teaching!

        2. emily ward Reply

          That is vey interesting , Michiael because was it Peter who was the first pope? Or have I got it wrong.

          1. Fr. Joseph

            Abandoning celibacy would be abandoning the teaching of Jesus and St. Paul who both recommended celibacy for priests. 22 of the 23 Rites of the Catholic Church allow married priests and the other Rite the Latin Rite allows married priests under particular circumstances. It seems entirely proper to me according to Scripture and the tradition of the Church. God bless!

            In Christ
            Fr. Joseph

          2. Fr. Joseph

            St. Peter was a widower when he was chosen as a disciple and never subsequently married. God bless!

            In Christ
            Fr. Joseph

          3. Truth Hurts

            Oh how the blind try to justify what is not. Read on sheeple. Priesthood / Mandatory Celibacy – The two are usually equated, but they are not the same. Good physicians are still good physicians – whether they are single or married. For the first fourteen centuries of our Church’s history, priests, bishops, and 39 popes were married. Married priests and celibate priests worked side by side in service to the people of God. The majority of the celibate priests were monks. A string of worldly medieval popes worked to impose mandatory celibacy on the priesthood in order to centralize political power in Rome and seize the land of the married priest families throughout Europe. They succeeded at the Second Lateran Council in 1139. Married priests were forced to choose between their families and the priesthood they so loved. It has almost been forgotten that the married priesthood is the original and traditional priesthood of our Roman Catholic Church.

            Also, for those with their heads in their rears, here is this! There are about 80 such Catholic priests in America, says the Rev. D. Paul Sullins, a sociologist at Catholic University in Washington.


            I would rather get marriage advice and counseling from a Married Priest than a celibate one. Much like I would go to a butcher for a cut of meat, and not the rancher.

          4. James

            Well Said… right now there is resistance to change as they who are in charge feel like it is their club and their rules.. and they don’t want to change while they are alive…. they want everyone to be miserable

        3. Jolly Robert Reply

          stop commenting , the one who follows Jesus should deny everything like a Priest…

        4. DKBM Reply

          During the time of St. Peter, there were no pronouncements whether or not a man must be celibate or not in order for him to be ordained. Nowadays, we have this requirement but those who want to become Latin rite Catholic priests know beforehand that if they choose priesthood then marriage will be impossible. Latin rite Catholic priests chose to be ordained than to be married. They are not forced to do it. It is their CHOICE. Can’t we just see this as a sacrifice for the glory of God? They remained celibate so that they can be transfered from parish to parish, can conduct missions and charitable acts to places which are almost unreachable. They remained celibate so that they can live for God and for the Church. They remained celibate so that they can focus their attention in pleasing God in contrast to the married men who are always concerned in pleasing their wives. Do you think a priest can celebrate Mass hour after hour during Sundays and days of obligation and stay inside the confessional for long hours if he has a wife who wants his attention and a child who cries at night? Do you think he cannot think of money if he has a son who is taking up medicine for example? Do not compare Latin rite priests to Eastern rite priests because they have different cultures and situations, though they are both in full communion with Rome (the Church is a hotpot of cultures and sacred traditions). Moreover, do not compare the Catholic priests with the Orthodox priests. Those are two different Churches.

        5. madhuri maria thota Reply

          I think before talking about st. Peter , are we worth talking. If he was nt there, n other priests, priesthood were nt there then Wt would be our position now. Peter was great, left all for Jesus, his family, relatives, lived strong for Jesus, nt for his family r for relatives. Went gave baptism, holy communion, built church , n lead many others. His faith is that strong that only he darely spoke that Jesus is son of living God. Why peter was chosen to be rock. Why u r nt me… Because u r me won’t leave job , treasures , family for Jesus… Think well.. Its common sense nt to talk wrong about church n peter n mary

        6. Ann Reply

          Not all eastern rite Catholic marry.

        7. thebaronessvonkorf Reply

          I have another example in the Roman Rite: With special dispensation from the pope, at this time, men who are married and are seeking ordination to priesthood can either go through the Pastoral Permission ( Propagated by St. JP II in 1983) , or through one of the 3 ordinariates (Propagated by Benedict XVI ithrough Anglicanorum coetibus in 2009 )

    4. messenger of god Reply

      1 timothy 4:3

      1. Fr. Joseph Reply

        The Church has never and never will forbid anyone to marry. Celibacy is a self imposed discipline recommended by Jesus and St. Paul that many are called to endure.

        1. emily ward Reply

          Did not Jesus say, he would rather his followers not be burdened by such ties, unless they are burning with desire, then they should marry? And if it is not forbidden and celibacy in self willed, why, as it says in one of the comments in another part of this discussion, are the priest then punished and no longer able to be in the service of God, when other clergy are allowed to have been married or widowed prior to becoming a priest? Sure, I know that the R C Priest vow from before becoming priest, however, It is certain that at that time they would have had every intention of keeping those vows, yet are we not all aware that love can approach even a priest, and , is love not a gift from God? Surely , it might be a good thing to have another dimension to this part of the priesthood, so that good priest are not lost, through the desire of wanting to have a help mate(wife) There should always be high priests who are willing to stay celibate and free, yet when I hear that the list of those wanting to become priest is getting shorter, it makes me really sad. It is truly an honour to be a priest of that level, and not an easy decision. I would hate to see this gone, yet I have to wonder , what can be done to encourage young men into this with out making them feel that they have no free will or choices about their future, once committed. Of course there will always be some that will take that opportunity, though the genuine would stay of their own choice, anyway. Does this make any sense?
          to bee afraid of no longer being a servant to God in any way, is a bit too emotionally challenged.

          1. Migs

            Because it is their vow not marry that is why they are removed from there position. Vows in Catholic Church is a covenant. So if you break your vow, you break the covenant. It is just like marriage vow. Celibacy is a discipline for the priest. Roman Catholic priest are always on the move. So it will be difficult for their family’s to be in those situation. It will just possibly result to a broken family. Roman Catholic Priest are married to the community. And so is Jesus married to the Church. Anyhow, It was recommended by Christ and Paul to be celibate in service to God. So who are you to counter it.

          2. Patrick

            With yur doctrine yu force a priest not to marry. That is the difference, where you make a doctrine and enforced on the poor innocent guys. It’s Catholic church false doctrin, not in the Bible to impose on anyone who want to serve.

            They also call these priests fathers while the says call no man Father except God. And the pope and his false annointed ones called themselves fathers. They even add holy to thier names. They are filthy fathers and popes, says the Bible. Only God is holy. If only God is holy then who are we the rest of the world? filthy in the sight of God. The rest of world are filthy, only God is holy. Whoever you are, the says the Bible, you are filthy. So popes, fathers, mothers, sisters, uncles, pastors, preachers, whoever you, the Bible says you are filthy. Christ came for filthy and poor people and not so called holy people.

        2. John Hallman Reply

          But FR. Joseph, if someone marries, then they aren’t a priest, correct? Doesn’t the Roman Catholic Church require its priests to be unmarried?

          There is nothing Biblical about priests not marrying (or about priests for that matter) but it is a personal decision.

          1. Luis Villena

            Aaron and his sons were priests of God, the Most High.

          2. Fr. Joseph

            Both Jesus and St. Paul recommended celibacy for priests. If a priest breaks his vow to God of celibacy he can no longer continue as a priest. The Church takes such vows seriously and breaking them results in lacitizing the priest who offended. Men that become priests that are already married have made no such vow and have not violated Canon law. Thee are many married priests in the Catholic Church that come from the ministries of the Anglican-Episcopal Church, Lutheran and other Protestant disciplines. God bless!

            In Christ
            Fr. Joseph

          3. James

            So what is the hang up with Ordaining married Catholic men?

        3. Ron Reply

          Sorry…thats incorrect. The first written mandate requiring priests to be chaste came in AD 304. Canon 33 of the Council of Elvira stated that all”bishops, presbyters, and deacons and all other clerics” were to”abstain completely from their wives and not to have children.” A short time later, in 325, the Council of Nicea, convened by Constantine, rejected a ban on priests marrying requested by Spanish clerics. The reason for this MAN made decision was to keep priests from having children and thus unable to inheret possessions of the church. Purgatory similarly was created by MEN to create more wealth for the church…simple as that

        4. wamala william Reply

          Woooooooooh thanks fr Joseph everything you have written is true i also wanted to become a priest but unfortunately i was told to wait but thanks.

    5. Isabel Flores Reply

      Sometimes, I wonder, why God asked Moses, a married man with children, to go to Egypt. Isn’t that true that, for thousands of years priests were married. Jesus never said that the problem with the priests was their marriages. In fact, after Jesus Christ, Christian bishops and priests were supposed to be married. Some of the apostles were married. Nevertheless, they were called by Jesus himself. Saint Paul said that it was optional to be a single or a married person. I am a concerned Catholic. I wonder why humans have changed what God and Jesus found appropriate.

    6. Louis Joy Reply

      some comments to this link that are included within it show a great deal of ignorance on the part of some concerning the Catholic discipline.
      It is simply a discipline and not a doctrine. Many Catholic Priest are in fact married in both the East and West.

      What does it mean to forbid marriage? It means that a person is not allowed to marry, even if they feel it is their vocation to marry. Does the Catholic Church do this? No. In the rites of the Church that require celibacy among the clergy, these individuals are not forbidden to marry, but must make the discussion whether their vocation is to be a celibate cleric, or a married laymen. If this person makes a mistake, and later determines that their vocation is not as a celibate cleric, but as a married laymen, the Church will grant a dispensation, and this individual is allowed to leave the clergy and become married. This does not work the other way around; the Church does not forbid marriage, but it does forbid divorce.

      The following Biblical Texts will absolutely support the Catholic and Biblical position regarding celibacy in the Priesthood.
      In (1 Corinthians 7:32-33)- St. Paul exhorts– I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs – how can he please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world – how he can please his wife – and his interests are divided.
      In (Matthew 19:1-12)- there is the teaching of Jesus regarding divorce. Here the disciples ask Jesus,
      Is it better not to marry?

      Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of God. The one who could accept this should accept this.” ( Matthew 19:11 )

      In the book of (Revelation 14:1-5)- Scripture states
      The 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth, are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure.

      The King James Bible called them virgins who follow the Lamb. In the Early Church Fathers’ writings, they refer to these followers of Christ as those who had led a life of celibacy.

      See (Matthew 19:16-30)– the parable of the rich young man! Look at the words of St. Peter in regards to following Christ in verse twenty-seven! The King James Version states–
      Behold we have forsaken all and followed thee. Forsaken all means they left all earthly things.
      The NIV states, We have left everything to follow you!
      Read (Luke 18:29-30). Sacred Scripture gives reference that commitment must be to the Lord. Jesus exhorts
      That no one who has left home or wife or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and the age to come, eternal life.
      St. Peter’s interests were divided, he chose Christ first!
      In (Jeremiah 16:1-2)– Jeremiah is told by God,
      Do not marry any woman; you shall not have sons or daughters in this place… (Isaiah 56:4)– gives magnificent evidence in reference to the Lord’s words regarding the eunuchs who keep the Lord’s Sabbath, who chose things that please the Lord and keep his covenant.
      The following people led a life of celibacy: Jesus Christ, John the Baptist, St. Paul, and Jeremiah. Were they in violation of God’s law because they led a life of celibacy?

      1. Jolanta Reply

        Absolutely agree with you. The church would loose a lot if priests are allowed to marry. Our times are too sexualised. The deepest human dimension is forgotten of which priests are witnesses.

  2. james Reply

    This absolute reasoning does not apply to priests who were married prior to becoming one, which is allowed by the Catholic Church in certain instances like a priest from another Christian denomination or a widower. They possess the burdens that this article tried so hard to give as an excuse for priests not to marry. The truth may never be known, but Christ never said outright that his reps here on Earth should remain celibate. This is why the Church can make certain exceptions no matter what scriptures you quote.

    1. Fr. Joseph Reply

      Indeed James. The Church has been ordaining married clergy since John Paul II. These married men were ordained ministers in the Anglipan Epicopal Church , the Lutheran Church and the Moravian Church before becoming priests. The reason that priests cannot marry is because they have made a vow of celibacy which cannot be broken as recommended by Jesus and St. Paul.

      1. James Boik Reply

        So here is the problem. Of all the arguments put forth in the answer that priest can’t be married none of them are of any value since for the first 1000 years the church allowed for married priest. The church is ordaining men today who are married and their reasoning is that it wasn’t their fault since they were in another Christian faith. What a stupid argument. Either you can or can’t preform the duties and everyone knows that married life doesn’t limit ones ability to preform the duties necessary for the priesthood

      2. kingsmatter Reply

        Their vow of chastity involves being free from paedophilia too. Why have the priests not been sent packing from the church? Marriage may alleviate some of these horrendous crimes. Popes of the past have killed off family members, made alliances with Hitler, and have amassed untold wealth for the church. What good is this gold etc, when kept in the Vatican? How many people would this help? Jesus said, ” don’t go on storing up treasures here on earth.” Can you imagine him behaving as the popes do? He threw the money changers out of the temple. He didn’t want the church to make money out of the people.

    2. emily ward Reply

      Thank you James, very enlightening. I am learning a lot from this web site.

    3. madhuri maria thota Reply

      You could read Matthew 8:18-22, to follow r to become. His disciple they must leave everything and follow him.. Family .. N that’s what priest n nuns do. They love all equally co priest, nuns, parish members n others. .. I have seen protestants cursing priests but haven’t reverse.

  3. michaeltharhtoo Reply

    Yeah, I agree to the article; but there are some priests who don’t get married and have secret wives; I have seen many priests in my hometown. I don’t insult the priests. And I am thinking that why after one priest is ordained, his family gets rich. I don’t know why. And of course, they don’t bring or go with their families, they just support when they move to other dioceses, and so on and so forth. There are many priests I have seen and I don’t want to talk about them either because I am a Catholic laity.
    I want to talk about all these experiences.

    1. Paul Gerard Antonio Saret Reply

      We are all sinners. We have all fallen short of the mercy and love of God. The priests, not even the pope, are exempted from this basic truth. The church will never be perfect…but God (in His faithfulness) sustains us and continues to make his love available for us through the Church–in spite of the shortcomings of men. After all, this is not a church of men, this is the Church of God.

      1. Pearl Peter Reply

        well said Paul I totally agree to what and how u feel We as followers of Christ, be it from any denomination should only focus our attention on Him and his teachings and preaching we should see that his word is spread to the ends to the earth and that a day soon comes that every knee bows and every tongue confesses that Christ is Lord and Saviour

      2. estong bicol Reply

        If you concede that all men are sinners, then why is it that the Pope is hailed as infallible? or without fault?

        1. DKBM Reply

          Seems like you think that infallibility and sinlessness are the same. Popes are sinners, from St. Peter the Apostle to His Holliness Francis and even to the popes who will succeed our present pope. Remember that St. Peter denied Jesus thrice, Pope St. John XXIII and Pope Paul VI (St. John XXIII’s successor) confessed weekly. They even had the same confessor, a Jesuit priest if I am not mistaken. Pope St. John Paul II also confessed weekly. Pope Francis is the first pope known to confess in public. His Holliness did this before hearing confessions himself. Why would popes confess, even weekly, if infallibility is the same with sinlessness? Aren’t these sufficient to prove that popes are sinners like all of us here? The pope is also an ordained priest; he celebrates Mass. During Mass, the presider even leads the people in asking the Lord’s forgiveness. It happens before the Gloria is sung (as the priest says, “so that WE may rightfully participate in this sacrifice”). I’m sure the pope also does this every time he celebrates the Holy Mass. Papal infallibility only means that the pope cannot make mistakes when it comes to teaching the faithful on matters of faith (i.e. cathechisms, dogmas and doctrines) because as the Vicar of Christ, he is constantly guided by God the Holy Spirit and it is God Who preserves the pope from errors on matters of the Catholic Faith. In conclusion, the pope is INFALLIBLE but like all of us, His Holiness is a SINNER! He needs forgiveness like you, like me, like every human being.

        2. Jim Reply

          I think the infallibility part is in matters pertaining to matters of the Roman Catholic Church, which by the way is only one part of Christianity

    2. isaak Reply

      Yes the same in my home country the priest of Catholic have hidden wives but big don’t need to expose them I give them to God for judges

  4. hj Reply

    Elephant in the room, anyone?

  5. Ellen Jones Reply

    I have written a book recently on this topic…although a fiction story, I believe it can lead one to ponder this very personal issue. The book is called The Healing Tree; a journey to God’s Love. it is available on-line at Amazon or barnes and Noble

  6. Tina Reply

    I dont know where to start as this is a very sensetive topic,i would be happy if catholic priest were allowed to marry like COE priest. This might help stop all the abuse of boys and other church goers weman who date priest . God said he made a man and a woman to be together what does this tell us if priest are not allowed to marry, and suffer there are human there have feelings like us. The catholic policy has to change and we will all be happy as this poor priest suffer not forgetting nuns too

    1. Paul Gerard Antonio Saret Reply

      …there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. -Matthew 19:12

      Please read the 1st paragraph again. It says a lot about practical things concerning the possibility of having married priests. This is not a matter of right and wrong…think of it as matter of practicality. 🙂

      1. Elizabeth Reply

        God give everyone a free will.

        1. emily ward Reply

          God gives free will, Man does not

          1. Islandpride09

            No one is forced to become priests.. any one joining to become a priest they know before hand that celibacy is a REQUIREMENT so its useless trying to whine about it after their vows, the vow is binding as long as they remain priests, so while they are in the seminary they can always choose if they want to be ordained as priests or not. it’s their choice…. even the Buddhist clergy live celibate lives, still to hear any one of them wanting to marry after their vows.. I guess they take their vows more seriously than some of our priests do.. Matthew 19:10-12 -Still others have decided to be celibate because of the kingdom of heaven..

      2. Cy Buehler Reply

        The first paragraph also states the difficulty of frequent moves. Look at the military to see where this is a poor argument. I spent 30 years in the Navy, had 18 moves, 7 children and now have 11 grandkids and 2 great grandkids. Love everyone of them and you might say proud too.

        1. James Boik Reply

          Yes that is another argument that has no merit. I did 21 years in the Marine Corps and was gone all the time. Still married. Still did my job. It comes down to couples making sacrifices and doing ones duty!! Police, fire and military all do these things. State Police are moved every three years. Their families like the military are uprooted all the time.

          1. Joe Villena

            I was already married when ordained to the priesthood. My late wife who was a registered nurse accompanied me wherever my ministry required me to be. We got a prantic call from a close associate in the middle of the night as the husband was in the emergency room because of unfortunate accident. In matter of minutes my wife and I was on the Freeway doing 80 to 90 mph. I got pulled over, but the husband recovers. Thank God!

        2. Deborah M. Lancaster Reply

          This is my first time on “Catholic Say” chat board. This is very enlightening to read these discussions! I have been a “Cradle Roman Catholic” most of my life. When I was in my mid fifties I had a religious crisis which shooked my faith greatly. In my city (St. Louis) many long standing Roman Catholic Churches were closed due to dwindling members (due to moving out to west and south St. Louis counties, deaths, and non-active members) My church was a very viable church and very active in the community. It was built in the early 1900s and had a capacity of more than 2000 seats and an additional 200 standing room only. Every Sunday all seats were filled and more besides. A very healthy parish! My parents, siblings, and myself moved to this parish (St. Rose of Lima) in1950s when I entered into the 3rd. Grade from another Roman Catholic parish(Holy Ghost Parish), because we moved from out of my paternal grandparents two family flat from the De Ville area of the city to a wonderful 6BRs plus living room, dining room, big kitchen, 2bathrooms, and a large basement home in the area of the city known as the West End. I was one of eventually 10 children and two parents. Anyway, we attended St. Rose of Lima Parish Church and elementary school thru the 8th grade and on to other Roman Catholic secondary schools to completion and to continue going to the parish church up until mid 1990s when we were informed that the St Louis Archdioceses was closing it due to, as we were told at the time, low members. Though we were not always completely filled to capacity by the 90’s, we still had more than 900 active wonderful members! In the inner urban city we went from 128 Parishes down to less than 50. It is one thing to move from one parish to another because of change of residences, but it is another to have the parish close down on you and you had no say in it. Many of the parishes went from predominantly white to predominantly black Roman Catholic parishes over the years. But we loved our parish church and we had our services and all our members were good tithes and were active in our church ministries. The school was closed first and then the church. We found out later that we were closed not because of low numbers but because the Archdiocese was in a 6 million dollars debt hole and could not maintain most of the parishes in the city and some in the metropolitan St. Louis county area. The debt was caused by the misuse of diocese funds which was secretly used to pay off families whose children and grown adults were abused by abominable sexual behaviors by certain dicesan priests. One of the priests happen to be one, who was defrocked and prosecuted and jailed that was a former elementary school classmate of mine. Because of this shocking scandal within the Archdiocese, many of us were very upset to lose our parish church.this way. It ruin my going to Mass for quite a while. Every time I went to Mass, I be wondering if the priest doing the service was an abusive priest. Could not focus on the Sacred Mass for a long time.Some of us tried to go to other parishes that were still open; but no sooner than we get to one , it eventually was closed. By the time the 9th. Parish was closed around me I stopped going to church for a couple of year for I was devastated. I even moved out to the county hoping that I would be able to find a home parish but two churches closed down on me. I thought I was a jinxing the catholic parish. Many of my friends felt As I did and left the Catholic Church and went to other denominations. I went to Baptiist churches, seventh day Adventist churches,and Latter day of Saints churches. It took me several years to get over the shocked and depression of losing so may parishes that were close to me to go to because I became disable and could not drive to the basilic parish for I did not live close to it. It was the Mormon Church that brought me back to my CHRISTIAN Faith. I was almost an agnostic for I had stopped altogether going to church. The Latter Day Saints missionaries had stopped at my home one day and knocked on my door of my house in Univ. City, St. Louis County. There were 4 of them in black suits and white shirts and colorful ties! They asked if I went to church and I said NO!!! And I wasn’t about to!!! So, they asked if I want to know about Jesus?? I almost laughed in their faces! I said I already knew everything about CHRIST and I just didn’t want to go to church, EVER!!! Thank them very much, told them I used to be an active Roman Catholic but no more and slammed the door in their faces!! I was SO bitter back then in the late 90’s. I thought they would be mad and discouraged and never return since I closed the door on them.!! BUT, instead they kept coming back, once a week saying they had notice that I had an elderly person in my home and if I needed any help. It was my Mother they met and on one of their visits they saw I was struggling in trying to help my mother down the steps because she was disabled from a stroke. I was trying to get her in a cab to take her her radiation treatments for her brain tumor.I thought it was a kind gesture but I could manage and did not need any help! I thought they were being nosy. Anyway, they kept coming back and saying hello and offering to do kind acts for me and my mother. Each time they came back they kept telling short JESUS stories in conversations to me among other topics of discussion. Finally, I asked them what type of Christian Church did they go to. They told me they went to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Dsy Saints. I had never heard of that church before and then they said I may know them by their nickname; The Mormon Church. They explained that the name was the title of the extra holy scriptures they believe in along with the King James Version Holy Bible. I said that name was familiar because for years I used to religiously listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir every Sunday on T.V. Before they stopped showing the program. I loved that choir!! They asked me if I like to know how the Mormon Church became established? I was piqued and my curiosity got the best of me and I said yes, The 4 missionaries then began to tell me the history on how the Mormon Church began. The more they told me, the more questions I asked. Then, they asked if I wanted to come as a guest to one of their churches? I was Leary at first because I was so disappointed with the Catholic Church and Archdiocese of St. Louis and how they soured me on going to Mass. So, they said they would loved to have come as their guest if I change my mind. They gave me their missionary welcome cards pleasantly said goodbye and hoped to hear from me.Several weeks later they came back for a visit and by this time I was used to them coming by. I was getting home from the grocery store and they helped me carry in my groceries and put them away for me while I fix some lunch for my mother and for them also. Each time they came to visit I asked them more questions about their church. Finally, they asked me again about visiting their church, and this time I said yes because I wanted to see how they said Mass. Their church call it sacrament services. I was surprised that their. Hur h was far from my home. Just four blocks away and easy walking distance. The next Sunday they came in a car and I arranged for a nurse to stay with my mother and I left with them. The service was like other Protestant services I had experienced in the Baptist Church and Seventh Day Adventist Church.I was introduced to other Mormon members before service started and was warmly welcome. Since I had not been in several years To Mass I liked how I was accepted with sincere warmth without any stiffness and standoffishness. Their Priest was called the President or Bishop and their two deacon like helpers were called counsellors. The congregation was welcomed and there was an opening prayer to the service and an opening hymn. Then church business was told, like who were going to be baptized and confirmed, who were being called to church ministries within the church itself and who were being released from church ministries and upcoming church events.Then, there was a sacrament service, like Communion service at Mass; except their sacrament was blessed white or wheat sliced bread pieces instead of a sacramental host and individually small dram cups of water for the wine. Mormons do not believe in imbibing in alcohol or tea or coffee; no stimulant – like drink nor illicit drug taking.Their altar boys are called Aaronic Priesthood Brothers and Melchisedek Priesthood Elders and they pass out the sacramental bread pieces that are blessed and the blessed little water dram cups. Then, there are speakers who have inspired topics to be spoken to the members by specially picked men or women by the President or Bishop for that Sunday service,then a congregational hymn between each speaker; usually there are two speakers is sung by all. Then the people who were picked to speak are thanked by the Bishop and the musician, missionaries, and Priesthood are thanked for reverently giving out the sacramental bread and water. The closing hymn is sung and the Bishop picks someone to give the closing prayer and service is over. now, there are some big differences in the Mormons worship service; all their clergy are hand blessed clergy , but not paid and specially ordained clergy. Everyone in the blessed clergy are volunteers in their services and ministries. Mormons believe everyone should be self sufficient and independent as best as they are able. For those who are unable to work outside church and hold a job or occupational profession, they are assisted through church food welfare and social ministries within the church or thru the public community social services. Mormons believe in following and truly living the TEN COMMANDMENTS, and following and truly living the THIRTEEN ARTICLES OF FAITH, living THE WORD OF WISDOM(healthy foods and drinks, taking only prescribed medications, no smoking or illicit drug taking or stimulants, modest and appropriately clean clothes , shoes , jewelry , length and cut of hair, etc.), Reading daily HOLY SCRIPTURES(THE BOOK OF MORMON, DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS, PEARL OF GREAT PRICE AND THE HOLY BIBLE), going to Mormon Church Services and attending the Holy MormonTemples as often as possible, attending Stake Conferences, Women Conferences, and General Conferences twice a year and carrying out your callings or ministries whenever possible. I liked visiting their neighborhood church so much because of there sincere and warm welcome that I eventually returned to my CHRISTIAN Faith and repented of my apathy and apostasy and sins and rebaptized I realized that I was blaming God for what happen within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese and it was not
          His fault. It was the Fault of sinful clergy and I had to forgive them. If it was not for the Mormon Missionaries coming to my home, I would have totally lost my faith. I am going not to worship the priests that were doing the church services, but going to worship God, my Heavenly Father, JESUS CHRIST, MY LORD AND SAVIOR, SON OF GOD, AND THE COMFORTER, THE HOLY SPIRIT. Once I got that straight I was able to go back to church and no matter what happens, I will never stopped going to church ever again. I can always go to God for anything and everything that happens in my life. I have become born again Christian and have given my life back again to JESUS for He is The Truth, The Light, and The Way! Halleluia and Amen!!! Thank you Jesus!!!

          1. Madhuri

            Thank u for sharing a false story. Hoew old are you. U might be a moromo church person. To be famous posting all ur cock n bull story. Sorry to say but i speak truth. Reading it , it clearly says its u made a story. NAme the priest who sxeually harrased, and why he was thrown out of priesthood. One did n pointed all Priests. And then u left n liked this blahh blaahh church. HAve some sense while sharing a story. I see pastors how they shout, n hipnotise people for money. pastor is born from no where with no money but i cnt understand when n how he n his family become rich. All a sudden. Stop pointing out sir. Have some shame u people.

    2. Pammy Reply

      The Catholic Church was the original Church founded by Jesus’ disciples…. The dogma & rules are the oldest around…Church of England however was founded on a spoilt King’s desire to divorce & remarry on a whim… Only to go on & kill his wives & repeat the cycle. His subjects were forced to convert to Anglicans or be executed for treason …this is where the great Catholic saint Thomas more was martyred for his Catholic faith. There us no comparison. Some things should be traditional.

      1. Elizabeth Reply

        Pemmy. I think you should read the Bible. In the bible clearly states, Jesus started Christian religion… Not per say Catholic religion.

        1. Shaji Oommen Reply

          I just want to clarify certain points , only the catholic priests are not allowed to marry, the Anglicans , the salvation army, the seventh day adventists , marthomites, the pentecosts are all given permission to marry and most of them do , with the exemption of few orthodox. With due respect to all faithful followers, you should not take for granted that only the Catholic church is the supreme head of all churches. Jesus Christ started christian faith

        2. Edward A. Hara Reply

          I think YOU should read some Church history. Jesus came to the congregation of God’s people, also known as “the Church.” (Edah in Hebrew, Eklesia in Greek). The congregation of God’s people was in existence before our Lord’s Incarnation.

          When the Jews rejected Him, He fulfilled the Scriptures, introduced the New Covenant, and became the eternal high priest (Hebrews 7-10). The congregation, which before then had been distinctly Jewish, now became “katholicos” (Catholic). Do you know what that word means? It means universal, and it speaks to the all inclusive nature of the faith given to the Apostles, and also to the fact that unlike the chaos in Protestantism, wherever you go in the Catholic world, you will find the same teaching and doctrines.

        3. Louise Reply

          Jesus founded the Catholic religion. “Catholic” means universal, encompassing all, and Christ founded but one church, the One, Holy, catholic (universal) and Apostolic Church. There is no other. All the others protested and broke off from the one, true Faith. Jesus did not say to Peter, “On this rock I will build my church(es)”, but that “I will build my Church.” Christians are believers in, and followers of, Jesus Christ.

          1. Ron

            Catholic was not the “first church”. The “first church" is the church that is recorded in the New Testament, especially in the Book of Acts and the Epistles of Paul. The New Testament church is the “original church" and the “one true church." We can know this because it is described, in great detail, in Scripture. The church, as recorded in the New Testament, is God’s pattern and foundation for His church. On this basis, let’s examine the Roman Catholic claim that it is the “first church." Nowhere in the New Testament will you find the “one true church" doing any of the following: praying to Mary, praying to the saints, venerating Mary, purgarory, submitting to a pope, having a select priesthood, baptizing an infant, observing the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper as sacraments, or passing on apostolic authority to successors of the apostles. All of these are core elements of the Roman Catholic faith. If most of the core elements of the Roman Catholic Church were not practiced by the New Testament Church (the first church and one true church), how then can the Roman Catholic Church be the first church? A study of the New Testament will clearly reveal that the Roman Catholic Church is not the same church as the church that is described in the New Testament.

            Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/original-church.html#ixzz3f7SJNq6L