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Should Catholic Priests be allowed to marry ???

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Paula+ Report 23 Feb 2013 15:57

I am following Errol on this one..........


JustJohn Report 23 Feb 2013 16:02

lilybids and Errol

Sure there will be a lot of people better than me to answer those questions.

lilybids. Main place is in New Testament where apostles are called out from whatever they are doing. Leave wives, families, possessions and follow me. Catholic Church (which was what everyone attended more or less in UK a few centuries ago) decided that priests should be called out in same way and be celibate. Also they established monastic orders where they did not even need to meet anybody from the "horrid" world outside.

Errol. Sorry if challenge was too strong. How about prod or poke? Anyway, we don't know. But I tend to exclude anything that purports to be Christian but was thrown out by the Council of Nicene when they did a spring clean of Christian writings in 4th century.

I do believe a lot of Jewish history at the time, but take that with a pinch of salt because writers then would not have been that different to Express and Mail journos today. But no sign of wives in Jewish history for Jesus, John the Baptist or Paul.


lilybids Report 23 Feb 2013 16:05

Do you know john I think you should be in the running for the new pope :-D


JustJohn Report 23 Feb 2013 16:07

Jude wrote: Of course they should and agree with AnnC and Tigre....John your always the opposite to everyone, boring:))

My belief is that Roman Catholic priests and nuns should be allowed to get married. I think Mr O'Brien is right and quite brave to state that in the OP.

Where have AnnC and El Jimbob disgreed with me? Perhaps Jude and I both need to read the thread again :-S :-S


SheilaWestWilts Report 23 Feb 2013 16:08

Perhaps 'no sign' of wives because Roman and Jewish societies were run by men, women were wives, mothers, daughters but had no political or religious voice. Doesn't mean they didn't exist. From a purely social view of the time, I would think it was more usual for a man of Jesus' age to be married, rather than not :-D.


eRRolSheep Report 23 Feb 2013 16:11

I think you mean the Council of Nicaea


JustJohn Report 23 Feb 2013 16:18

Sorry, lilybids. They did ask me but I am married and a Protestant :-( :-( And, at only 66, not yet experienced enough.

Sheila. You are right. Marriages were largely arranged when they were children then. And the actual marriage took place in 3 stages that normally started when the girl was 12 (twelve) and the boy not much older. Betrothal (engagement) was normally a year. And marriage was culminated (naughty things happened) usually very soon after girl's 13th birthday.

It seems to me that boys were singled out at a very young age to train for the priesthood and not get married and have children (not dissimilar to some Irish families today).

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 23 Feb 2013 16:20

I think it's a bit unfair to imply that someone who embraces celibacy is running away from the world or has dubious motives or is 'odd' in some way. Not having sex , not eating to excess, not enjoying luxuries, all a way of seperating oneself from 'distractions' from prayer, contemplation and service to God. It's a far cry from paedophiles or frustrated spinsters ( though those exist in all walks of life ) locked up behind monastery/convent walls going slowly mad with unrequited lust;-)

no one suggests a person who is 'married to their job' and puts all their energy into it is out of touch or odd, it is a choice, it should remain a choice.

I am not against priests marrying...OR against them choosing celibacy ( the latter can be a lot less troublesome to the spirit lol ;-) )


LilyL Report 23 Feb 2013 16:55

I do think it is a pity that a discussion like this which is interesting can't be conducted in an atmosphere of friendly debate and not what is at times clearly personal antagonism. I appreciate that people feel strongly on this particular subject, but we are all entitled to our views on this and other subjects without being ridiculed or shouted down even if those ideas are diametrically different to other opinions. People like me are loath to join in because of this which is a pity. Just thought I'd mention it! For what it's worth I totally agree with you Rambling Rose, you can't tar everyone with the same brush.


JustJohn Report 23 Feb 2013 17:09

I see a lot of marriages falling apart in the ministry because both partners were not committed Christians when they got married.

And if either partner trains for the ministry, it must be very difficult for the non-Christian. I think often ladies in the past have acted their way through their married lives, listened to millions of sermons, organised thousands of fetes. They have lived a lie, in effect, out of loyalty to their husband.

Nowadays, they are free to leave husband when they want. But not easy for either partner. And how nice it is to see a couple growing closer together in love in church leadership.

And perhaps that might happen more often in the future in RC Church.


LilyL Report 23 Feb 2013 17:27

I agree John, as you say it must be very difficult for a non-christian partener, but even a committed christian couple can encounter pitfalls, as we all do!! We have a friend who although now retired, was a' man of the cloth' whose marriage foundered, and lets just say it made both lives very difficult. On balance, I think it would be a good idea for RC clergy to be ale to marry if they want to, as I think a lot of wouldbe clegy won't commit to the Priesthood because of this anomoly. I suppose it just depends what you believe and how strongly you believe it!


eRRolSheep Report 23 Feb 2013 17:32

LilyL I think it is being conducted amicably.
OK it is an emotive issue so some people are bound to get quite animated about it but that is the beauty of debate.

John, I think one of the main problems is that it is such an important part of the catholic church and is deeply seated in that denomination's whole being.


Cynthia Report 23 Feb 2013 17:48

You have a point there John. I too have known couples who have struggled when one is in ministry and the partner is simply not interested and yes, some have sadly parted.

There have also been couples who have both been ordained and those who are both ordained but into different churches. Bet they had interesting meal time discussions...... :)

Years ago, when Anglican clergy were considering marriage, they had to take their 'intended' to see the bishop and get his permission. It was really a formality but I guess it helped the couple to realise that this was a serious decision to take.

My parents were officers in the Salvation Army and they too, had to have permission to marry and they definitely had to marry a Salvationist because they do work officially as a couple - don't know whether that is still the case though.

Some of the stumbling blocks which any priests' wives will have to face is the fact that the husband's vocation will probably come first in his life - that he is likely to be 'on call' 24/7 - expected to have an ever open door - he will be at the beck and call of his parishioners - he will be out during the evenings at meetings - days off may be interrupted by parish business - etc.etc. If they can overcome all that together, then all will be well....... :-D


eRRolSheep Report 23 Feb 2013 17:57

People in the ministry do, though, get some time off together. It makes it sound like they never do anything else.
It calls for delegation of time but any minister of any denomination should be able to take time off.
Surely there are not evfening meetings every day of the week?


Kay???? Report 23 Feb 2013 18:03

Would this apply to Nuns aswell that they be allowed to marry.?


~`*`Jude`*`~ Report 23 Feb 2013 18:05

Sorry John, seems more agree with you......your still boring


ButtercupFields Report 23 Feb 2013 18:11

Jude, that is a matter of opinion!


LilyL Report 23 Feb 2013 18:13



Paula+ Report 23 Feb 2013 18:18

Cynthia I agree with you. However, I think that marriage break-ups can happen in any profession, where one partner does not have the same commitment as the other. Law, Medicine, Armed forces all have their casualties, and have disagreements, some will work together in the tough times and some will just choose to leave. Sadly that is the way of life.


JustJohn Report 23 Feb 2013 18:19

Precisely. Now I find mind myself agreeing with Jude.

And if I am boring, Jude, you must be.....

No!!! Perish the thought :-D ;-)