Celibacy of the Priesthood

Many people who know me think that I am perpetually moments away from packing my bags getting a Cardinal Newman tatoo on my arm and heading to Rome. This is of course not true, though I do confess a certain predilection for Romish authors (Chesterton, Peter Kreeft, et. al.) and I admit to being slightly less Romophobic than the average Reformed guy. But God most obviously blessed the Reformers and their successors with clear-sightedness regarding Scripture and theology, and, let's face it, Rome has more theological problems than a shaggy dog at a flea circus.

Case in point: the celibacy of the priesthood. Now this may not be the first thing that comes to most people's mind when they think of the errors of Rome. But it is important because it is a fundamental denial of the creation mandate to be fruitful and multiply, and it effectively prevents the clergy from being an example to the laity with regard to raising families. Which is why I think it's interesting that Eusebius in his Church History written circa A.D. 324 addresses the issue of several heretical groups denying marriage.

Clement goes on to list those apostles who married:

"Or will they reject even the apostles? For Peter and Philip had children, and Philip gave his daughters in marriage, while Paul himself does not hesitate in one of his letters to address his wife, whome he did not take around with him in order to facilitate his ministry."

To quote another interesting narrative from Clement on this theme, from Book 7 of his Miscellanies:

"They say that when the blessed Peter saw his wife led away to death, he rejoiced that her call had come and that she was returning home. He called out to her by name in encouragement and comfort, 'Remember the Lord!' Such was the marriage of the blessed and their perfect affection."


And certainly if the first Bishop of Rome was married...

Perhaps I'll post again soon and discuss the ever controversial subject of the apostle Paul's wife.

Comments

Xindaeltal said…
I'm going to be quick to point out that celibacy isn't the the problem. Its that the wrong people are being forced to be celibate. Obsoive!

12"For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother's womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it."

Matthew 19:12

Not everyone is called to be celibate, but if one is called to be he should be. Therefore it stands to reason that Protestantism should reopen the "Office of Monasticism" but not force everyone into it who is not called by God into it.

I agree with you whole heartedly that celibacy should not be forced upon the clergy. It should be an option. Otherwise, let the clergy marry.
Xindaeltal said…
Aren't you going to leave some smart remarks on my blogs. I've been blogging!
Rick said…
I've been so busy this week, I haven't had the chance to do much of anything online. This blog post was the first time I've had the chance to sit down and write all week. But rest assured I'll get around to it.

As for celibacy, I agree with you insofar as celibacy isn't seen as a "better way" as one Greek Orthodox friend of mine calls it. Marriage is the norm and celibacy is an unusual and, I would say, fairly rare occurrence.
Xindaeltal said…
Rick, go read my stuff you and all your "Pro-Potter Friends"
Erica said…
I hadn't heard anything about Paul having a wife; this is interesting.