Described as a “precious jewel” by Pope Paul VI, a vow of celibacy, abstaining from marriage and all sexual activity is required for those choosing a life of service in the Roman Catholic Church (Frazee 108). Perhaps one of the most long standing debates within the Roman Catholic Church is the issue of clerical celibacy, in particular for priests. Many ask, does compulsory celibacy for priest have any place in today’s modern world? Some will argue that compulsory celibacy for priest is essential for priest to adequately serve their parishioners as well as to faithfully serve God. While others suggest that this is an antiquated unnatural practice that is harmful for not only the priest but for the Roman Catholic Church. However, in order to adequately answer this question, it is imperative to understand the history of compulsory clerical celibacy in the Roman Catholic faith, as well as the reasoning for the implementation of this practice among clerics.
The church’s official stance on clerical celibacy dates back to the fourth century. In the year 306 CE, a small gathering of bishops met in the town of Elvira, near Granada. This council asserted that all bishops, priests, deacons and active clergy members were to abstain from sexual relations with their wives, as well as refrain from having children (Stephey 14). Interestingly enough, there was no ban issued against clerics entering into marriage. The ban was exclusively against sexual activity. This decree of the council of Elvira only applied to the local members of the Iberian church; nevertheless, this decision did propagate the consideration of implementing clerical celibacy throughout the church. The issue was discussed and proposed for church wide implementation of the firs...
... middle of paper ...
...over Story)." U.S. News & World Report 121.26 (1996): 76. Academic Search Premier. Web. 1 May 2014.
Klein, Franz. "John Paul II Priests." Commonweal 132.14 (2005): 23-25. Academic Search Premier. Web. 3 May 2014.
Schoenherr, Richard A. and, Young, Lawrence. "Quitting the Clergy: Resignations in the Roman Catholic Priesthood." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 29.4 (1990): 463-481. JStor. Web. 1 May 2014
Stephey, M. J. "A Brief History Of: Celibacy." Time 173.20 (2009): 14. Academic Search Premier. Web. 28 April 2014.
Sullivan, James E. "Don't Give The Priest Shortage The Silent Treatment." U.S. Catholic 66.12 (2001): 26. Academic Search Premier. Web. 2 May 2014.
Wengert, Timothy J. "The Book of Concord and Human Sexuality, Seen Through the Institution Of Marriage." Dialog: A Journal of Theology 48.1 (2009): 9-18. Academic Search Premier. Web. 5 May 2014.
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
Rausch, Thomas P. "Chapter 9: A Truly Catholic Church." Towards a Truly Catholic Church: an
Advocates of celibacy worry that if priests marry, the congregation will be majorly neglected. However, that point is easily refuted because of the available examples of the leaders of uncelibate churches.
During the Great Jubilee year, John Paul II gave a relevant speech of apology on behalf of the entire Catholic Church for the serious sins committed by its members for over 2,000 years. Since John Paul II did that, he wished the Church to enter the new millennium with a clean slate, allowing it to speak to and discuss freely with the other religions of the world, including the cultures and nations from a place not only of permanency but also of moral and religious power, having acknowledged in specific ways the crimes, from time to time unbearable, committed by its human origins throughout history. These apologies were hardly accepted, and common apologies for sins committed against the Church and its members have not been imminent. “Catholics distinguish between the holiness of the inevitable sinful nature of men, including the men who serve the Church stated by Thomas E. Woods Jr.”
The Middle Ages were a time of expanding and experimenting sexually for the people. Religious figures who had taken vows of celibacy had children, sometimes with more than one woman. Even some popes of the time had illicit affairs. However, adultery was often condoned, especially in knights, because the Chivalry Code expected of them certain “actions”:
The famous bishop of Hippo, St. Augustine, is claimed as a cornerstone of Christian theology by both Catholics and Protestants. Many of his views are regarded by Christians as authoritative interpretations of the Bible because they have withstood heated debate throughout the centuries. Christians ought to ask, however, whether such allegiance is justifiable in all cases. Augustine's idea of sex after matrimony, for example, is very narrow, restricting actions and emotions married Christians today consider part of the beauty of intercourse. A logical assertion then, is that Augustine's view of sexuality, as delineated in many writings, is a response to his life of sensuality prior to salvation; therefore, his idea about the intent for sex within marriage stems more from his former sin than from Biblical perspective.
In the Catholic Church, priests are the moral authority. When one has questions with his faith he is taught that he can go to his priest for informed answers. In this paper I also hope to deal with how these priests failed their flock. They took advantage of men who came to them for help when in trouble and preyed on the little boys who came to the church for guidance. In addition to the tacit feeling that as a priest they will only do what is right, these men told their victims that they would deal with the moral implications.
Many bishops and abbots (especially in countries where they were also territorial princes) bore themselves as secular rulers rather than as servants of the Church. Many members of cathedral chapters and other beneficed ecclesiastics were chiefly concerned with their income and how to increase it, especially by uniting several prebends (even episcopal sees) in the hands of one person, who thus enjoyed a larger income and greater power. Luxury prevailed widely among the higher clergy, while the lower clergy were often oppressed. The scientific and ascetic training of the clergy left much to be desired, the moral standard of many being very low, and the practice of celibacy not everywhere observed. Not less serious was the condition of many monasteries of men, and even of women (which were often homes for the unmarried daughte...
Celibacy is an age-old, multi-religious practice to which both men and women, abstain from sexual relations as because of religious vows . But most monastic celibacy implies a devaluing, and hostile attitude towards the world, life, the body, sex, and the opposite gender. Which directly conflicts with both monastic and buddhist life. Monasticism as a whole often carries a reputation of being ...
These questions arise from our own desires as Christians to reflect a biblically sound attitude towards sexuality and relationships. That same desire to act according to biblical scriptures is subject to opposition from today’s culture and views about sexual relationships, gender, and roles. A new definition of marriage, sexual orientation, and sexual practices is challenging our relationship with God and our view of human sexuality. Bishop John Spong defines sex and its impact on relationships: “Sex can be called at once the greatest gift to humanity and the greatest enigma of our lives. It is a gift in that is a singular joy for all beings and enigma in its destructive potential for people and their relationships.” (Spong, 1988)
Priests from post to post in the hope that they would discontinue the activities they were involved in. The failure of bishops to act on unfavourable reports was inexplicable, and represented a wholly inappropriate and inadequate response.