I just had to post the following after reading the comments of one poster on a popular trad blog. This fellow actually advocated a married clergy as a remedy for the scandals of clerical perversion! What made it worse is that his comments were way off topic. Some people just don’t have their head screwed on right and the devil has bent their ear.
From the Manual of the Holy Catholic Church:
Catechism on the Church’s Prohibition of Married Clergy
Q. Does the Church oblige all those in sacred orders to live single and chaste?
A. This she requires of them in the strictest manner, so as to decree the severest penalties against those among them who violate this law; having sometimes ordered them to be deposed, sometimes to be excommunicated, sometimes to be confined in monasteries, to spend their whole life in penance. And the great Council of Trent pronounces excommunication upon any one that shall dare to affirm, that, notwithstanding this prohibition of the Church, it is lawful for any in Sacred Orders to marry, or that such marriage would be valid in the sight of God, Sess. xxiv. can 9.
Q. On what grounds does the Church proceed in so strictly prohibiting marriage to her clergy?
A. Upon these following grounds, laid down in the Holy Scripture: First, Because a life of purity and chastity is more excellent, more perfect, and more acceptable to God than the married state. [Do you understand? We are not all “created equal”.] This is asserted by St. Paul in the plainest terms: “Concerning virgins,” says he, “ I have no commandment of the Lord, but I give counsel, as having obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful – art thou loosed from a wife, seek not a wife,” I Cor. vii 25,27; and, after several arguments on the subject, he concludes in these words: “Wherefore, he that giveth his virgin in marriage doeth well, and he that giveth her not doeth better,” verse 38. This is also manifest from the special reward promised by our Savior, and bestowed in Heaven, upon those who lead a chaste life: Our Savior says, “Amen, I say to you, there is no man that hath left house or parents – or wife – for the kingdom of God’s sake, who shall not receive much more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting,” Luke xviii.29. And the singular privileges which shall be bestowed on them in Heaven, are described by St. John, where he tells us, that “they have the name of the Lamb, and the name of His Father, written on their foreheads,” to distinguish them in a special manner from all the other saints; that “they sing a new song before the throne of God, which no other can sing but themselves,” and that ”they follow the Lamb withersoever He goeth,” always attending His sacred person as His chaste and beloved spouses. And, describing those to whom such honor belongs, “these are they,” says he, “who are not defiled with women, for they are virgins,” Rev. xiv. 1, 3, 4. Seeing, then, the office of the priesthood requires the most angelic purity, and the most sublime sanctity in those who are admitted to it, therefore, the Church has judged proper to oblige all who enter into that office to embrace the more perfect state of chastity.
Second, …Now, as the very office of the priest is daily to attend unto the Lord, “to give themselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word,” Acts vi. 4; as they “are appointed for men in the things that appertain to God, to offer up gifts and sacrifices for sins,” Heb. v. 1; therefore, the Church wisely judging, that it is for their profit, and highly becoming, and a means to make them attend to the Lord, and to their holy functions without impediment, that they should always live continent, obliges them, by a strict and positive command, always to do so.
Third, St. Paul, explaining more minutely the advantages of a single life, especially in regard to the concerns of the soul, says, “I would have you to be without solicitude; 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 word, how he may please his wife, and he is divided. And the unmarried woman, and the virgin, thinketh on the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but she that is married thinketh on the things of the word, how she may please her husband.” 1 Cor. vii.32.
Here, again, the Church wisely considering, that it is the very essential duty of those who enter into the priesthood to be solicitous only for the things of the Lord, and not for the things of the world; that ”they are chosen by Jesus Christ out of the word,” John xv. 19; and “appointed for the things appertaining to God.” Heb. v. 1; that, therefore, they ought “not to be divided,” but to “be holy both in body and spirit;” on this account, she obliges all those of the priesthood to live a chaste and single life, as being declared by the Apostle to be more proper, and conducive to the end of their vocation.
Fourth, …they are chosen by Jesus Christ, and separated from the rest of mankind for the service “of the gospel of God,” Rom. i.1; that they “may go and bring forth fruit, “…they are obliged to give their whole attention to the good of their people’s souls; to instruct them, to administer the Sacraments to them, to comfort them in their distress, to assist them in their sickness, and especially when death approaches; and, for this purpose, to answer their calls at all times, by night or by day, even though at the risk of their own life, when the good of their people’s souls requires it.
Now, it is evidently incompatible with the cares of a wife and family to discharge all these duties properly; and therefore, St. Paul says, “No man being a soldier of God, entangleth himself with worldly business, that he may please Him to whom he hath engaged himself,” 2 Tim. ii. 4. Now, the Church, well knowing that no kind of worldly business so much entangleth a man and withdraweth him from the duties of the pastoral charge as the cares of a wife and family, therefore, she expressly requires her Pastors to abstain from a state so inconsistent with that charge.
Fifth, In the Apostles’ time, when the Church began, there was a necessity for taking married people into the Priesthood, because, for want of laborers in the vineyard, there was no room for choice; and therefore, the Apostles did not make any express law against doing so; yet we find the strongest injunctions in their sacred writings, that all who were admitted into that holy state, should live chaste and continent lives. Thus St. Paul affirms, that “ a bishop must be – sober, just, holy, continent,” Tit. 1.8; and writing to Timothy on the virtues proper for his state as a Pastor, he says, “be thou an example of the faithful in word, in conversation, in charity, in faith, in chastity, 1Tim. iv. 12; and again, “I charge thee before God, and Christ Jesus, and the elect angels – keep thyself chaste,” 1 Tim. v. 21, 23; and giving a full list of the virtues belonging to the ministers of Christ, he says, “In all things let us exhibit ourselves as the ministers of God in much patience – in chastity,” 2 Cor. vi.4.
Sixth, In consequence of this, we find, from the earliest [documents] of antiquity, that, even when married people were admitted into the sacred ministry, they generally abstained from all cohabitation with their wives ever after; till in the process of time, when the number of the faithful increased, so that there was no difficulty in getting plenty of young people trained up to the service of the Church, the law was made, for all the above reasons, obliging all who entered into Sacred Orders to observe a perpetual chastity.
A. …none ought to enter into it but such as “are called by God, as Aaron was.”…and, as the law is founded, as we have seen, on the clearest and most evident principle of holy Scripture, when God Almighty calls one to that state, he never refuses the necessary helps of his grace to enable him to accomplish all the obligations annexed to it. Continency is, without doubt, a gift of God; for his Holy Word assures us, that “a man cannot otherwise be continent, except God give it,” Wis. viii. 21; and our Savior after enlarging a good deal on this subject, adds, “all men receive not this word, but they to whom it is given,” Matth. xix. 11; and St. Paul, after saying, “I would that all men were even with myself,” with regard to their leading a single life; he immediately adds, “but every one hath his proper gift from God,” 1 Cor.vii. 7.
This grace, then, is given to some; and to whom will God be more ready to give it, than to those whom He calls to that state, to which His Holy Church, from the principles He himself has laid down in the Sacred writings, He so solemnly annexed this obligation? And, indeed, nothing more admirably shows the finger of God, than to see such vast numbers as embrace the ecclesiastical state, living in the strictest purity, [One could arrive at the conclusion that the scandals in the Church by pervert and non-celibate clergy have arisen due to infiltratration by robbers of souls whom God never called into His ministerial service. It is these pathetic souls whom the commentator I mentioned at the beginning, wishes to accomodate by giving them…. a woman!] even amidst the many dangerous occasions to which their necessary communication with the world, in their charge of souls, so frequently exposes them. It is not by the strength of nature or constitution that they live a virtue which is so opposite to all the most violent inclinations of flesh and blood. It is the grace of Jesus Christ alone which bestows this gift upon them; and the chaste and continent lives they lead is a manifest proof of the interposition of God, and of His divine approbation of the conduct of the Church, in requiring the faithful observance of this virtue from her ministers.