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Priests, Nuns, and Celibacy

  1. Libra Rajani profile image60
    Libra Rajaniposted 6 years ago

    Should priests and nuns have a choice about remaining celibate or does it go against everything the Catholic religion stands for? If you think they should, do you think it would have an impact on the molestations?

    1. profile image0
      just_curiousposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Hi Libra.   I'm not Catholic, but I'm curious. Is it simply tradition that holds them to the vows of celibacy; or does the Church feel that there is some scriptural imperative?  I would think that if they allowed all people that felt God's calling, married or otherwise, to become priests or nuns you would certainly see a decrease in deviant behaviour.  Just a thought from a non Catholic.

      1. Christy Goff profile image59
        Christy Goffposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I think a child molester is who they are, it doesn't matter if they are in a church or not.   The celibacy comes from being married to the church, thus being faithful, you are to be committed, if you can't do this, then it's not your calling.

      2. Libra Rajani profile image60
        Libra Rajaniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Hi just_curious. I am catholic, but not practicing because of personal feelings in regard to the Church. I have wondered about this for some time. I believe the Church indeed feels it is a scriptural imperative. It has always been that way and I don't feel it will ever change.
        I agree that maybe if this age-old ruling were not in existence, society would see a decrease in this behaviour.
        Thanks for commenting.

        1. Jerami profile image73
          Jeramiposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          I do not recall there being any call to celibacy for the Levite priest of the OT.

            If I am wrong please correct me.

            I think that celibacy is a catholic invention. 
            MAN  MADE  rules which are detrimental to the whole.


             When we start examining all the dark corners of discussion concerning excusses for why and why not., we are taking our eyes off of the issue in question.

            Man made rules ?   What are they good for ?

          1. DoubleScorpion profile image81
            DoubleScorpionposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Nothing that I have read requires the Levites to be sex free...S/Paul is the one who taught that a man or woman who wants/called to do gods work shouldn't be married (having sex) because one who is married is more concerned about pleasing the spouse than god...so one who is to do gods work should be "married" to god only.

            1. profile image0
              just_curiousposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              I think you're hemming Paul in a little. He said he was unmarried, other apostles were not. I believe he said if you could remain unmarried that would be best. It was not a mandate. More like a suggestion.

              1. DoubleScorpion profile image81
                DoubleScorpionposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Not hemming at all... just pointing out who taught that thought process is all.. Seems the Catholics take it to heart...

                1. profile image0
                  just_curiousposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Yes. They do push the envelope with that one.

        2. Flightkeeper profile image71
          Flightkeeperposted 6 years ago in reply to this



          This isn't true.  Clerical celibacy wasn't imposed until after the monks of Cluny started to gain power and reform the Catholic Church after it had been corrupted and somewhat dissipated after Charlemagne's passing. It's a very interesting part of Christian history.  There has always been a very strong monastic strain within the Christian church but it was understood at that time that celibacy was voluntarily practiced by the monks and nuns when they chose that life and not required of the clergy, although it was promoted as an ideal.

    2. getitrite profile image80
      getitriteposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      No.  Since God hates sex, celibacy is required in order for Him to allow priests and nuns to be close to him, because sex is bad. sad

      1. Christy Goff profile image59
        Christy Goffposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        No sex is good.  Between a committed relationship.  But I was referring to what the catholic church requires, not my beliefs.

      2. Libra Rajani profile image60
        Libra Rajaniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Hello,
        I agree that celibacy is required so nuns and priests can remain faithful to the church. However, I don't think God hates sex. He made man and woman to procreate.

      3. pennyofheaven profile image80
        pennyofheavenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Mans limited mind hates sex is more how it is.

        In saying that many eastern philosophies advocate less sex to retain the yang energy. It is believed that when we use all our yang energy our physical life ceases to exist.

        Perhaps Christianity refrained for the same reason way back in the day?

    3. schoolgirlforreal profile image72
      schoolgirlforrealposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      the molestations are a result of the crisis in the church caused by vatican II in 1969.

      As for your question, being w/ God is a beautiful thing so being celibate is fine, because you are devoting to God who we all -if saved-will spend eternity w/ anyway, why not start now?

    4. profile image0
      Motown2Chitownposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      To answer part of your question - priests and nuns DO choose to be celibate.  They are made very well aware of the requirements of their chosen vocation prior to making the lifetime commitment they eventually make.

      A priest studies for nine years (counting a regular college experience and their time in major seminary).  A religious (nun, sister, monk, brother) receives a minimum of three years of initial formation prior to making vows, which are then made and renewed for a period of one year at a time until the time they make their perpetual vows.  Depending on the religious community, this can be anywhere from three to six years after the three year period of initial formation.

      The misunderstanding about this stems from the confusion between the words celibacy and chastity.  Celibacy is to remain unmarried and to therefore choose not to engage in sexual intimacy - since unmarried Christian people are not meant to engage in sexual intimacy.  Chastity is fidelity to God in ANY chosen state of life.  So, a vow of chastity can actually be taken by a married or unmarried individual.  There are religious communities withing the Catholic Church that are made up of families.  Their vows of chastity do not mean that the married couples do not engage in sexual intimacy.  It means that they do so only with their spouse.

      These things are taught to priests and religious very clearly and very deliberately prior to vows.  So to answer the first part of your question, yes - a priest or nun SHOULD be able to CHOOSE celibacy.  And if they choose after years of formation to pursue their vows or their ordination, they HAVE freely CHOSEN celibacy.

      Thanks for the question! smile

  2. Mighty Mom profile image91
    Mighty Momposted 6 years ago

    I am a Catholic but there are some aspects that truly confound me. Celibacy in and of itself is a tall order, as humans are by nature sexual beings. But priests and nuns are asked to give up many things to pursue God's calling.
    I can't picture the Church changing such a basic tenet.
    On the other hand, the massive cover-up of the molestation -- from the Vatican on down -- is beyond comprehension.
    It certainly weakens the credibility of the Church as a pinnacle of morality!

    1. Libra Rajani profile image60
      Libra Rajaniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I agree 100%!

  3. Cagsil profile image60
    Cagsilposted 6 years ago

    Oppression of desires, either sexual or otherwise, is a direct violation of human nature. In the end, it drives one insane or worse yet, to act out on others in a harmful way.

    A prime example of religious doctrine being false.

    1. pennyofheaven profile image80
      pennyofheavenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Not if it is redirected as in Tai Chi or Ki chung. It has many benefits apparently.

      1. profile image0
        just_curiousposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I agree with you Penny.  If it is redirected by your choice, it can probably have many benefits.  I think though when a religion or any outside force tells you 'no, you can't do that' it is a recipe for trouble because you have to want to refrain.

      2. Cagsil profile image60
        Cagsilposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Mysticism is a joke, not any better than religious dogma. wink

        1. pennyofheaven profile image80
          pennyofheavenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Depends if there are health benefits and longevity as a result. To some it may not be a joke.

          1. Cagsil profile image60
            Cagsilposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            But there isn't. People only think there is. hmm

            1. pennyofheaven profile image80
              pennyofheavenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              I don't know you could be right?

              1. Cagsil profile image60
                Cagsilposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Mysticism is defined- 1) any attempt to use the mind as a "reality" creating device rather than a reality integrating organism. 2) any attempt to recreate or alter reality through dishonesty, feelings, non sequiturs, or rationalizations. 3) any attempt to ignore, evade, contradict or fake reality. 4) any creation of problems where none exist. wink

                1. pennyofheaven profile image80
                  pennyofheavenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  What has that got to do with redirecting energy?

                  1. Cagsil profile image60
                    Cagsilposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    Creating false reality? hmm

                    Supposed redirection of energy. hmm

  4. Mighty Mom profile image91
    Mighty Momposted 6 years ago

    I think getitrite was being facetious about God hating sex.

    1. getitrite profile image80
      getitriteposted 6 years ago in reply to this



      Thank you,

      I was trying to point out the absurdity in the crazy things that religions can dream up, and attempt to enforce.

    2. Christy Goff profile image59
      Christy Goffposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Sorry about that, I was actually just joking about the sex thing.  My off base sense of humor, people don't always get.  But the thing I still believe is that a pedifile is a pedifile, no matter his job.  If not, they would have consentual sex, with an adult.

      1. Christy Goff profile image59
        Christy Goffposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Again, sorry, his or her job.

  5. Mighty Mom profile image91
    Mighty Momposted 6 years ago

    True, but being a Catholic schoolgirl and being told "NO!" by the priests and nuns at St. Mary's (which definitely invites rebellion), being told "NO" as a condition of doing your job, or following your calling to God's service is a reasonable request.

  6. getitrite profile image80
    getitriteposted 6 years ago

    I don't think God is being reasonable at all when He commands nuns and priests not to have sex.  Of course, anyone can see that this is the psychotic hang-up of some ancient humans--thinking that there is something special about being a virgin.

    1. Christy Goff profile image59
      Christy Goffposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Actually, a lot of priests and nuns aren't virgins, when they commit themselves to the church is when sex is suppose to stop.  I don't agree with this, but that's their belief.

      1. Libra Rajani profile image60
        Libra Rajaniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        This is true, the nonvirgins have already tasted the forbidden fruit. That's where the problem begins. I think many are biting off more than they can chew.

        1. pennyofheaven profile image80
          pennyofheavenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Do you interpret the forbidden fruit as sex?

          1. Christy Goff profile image59
            Christy Goffposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            If it is, my husband is the best forbidden fruit I can think of. LOL

            1. pennyofheaven profile image80
              pennyofheavenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Haha!

          2. Libra Rajani profile image60
            Libra Rajaniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            When referring to priests and nuns, yes. In my opinion is goes back to Adam and Eve and the apple. I just think it's more difficult for individuals who want to be a priest or a nun later on in life.

            1. pennyofheaven profile image80
              pennyofheavenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              ok.

  7. profile image53
    lookingaheadposted 6 years ago

    No, There are no commands telling a Person to be celibate. This came about due to many priests in past having divorce-wife usually got a portion from the divorce. The vatican if they will tell you the truth will have to verify that the lost too much money from divorces. So they implimented a guideline to be celebate. This again they misstated what Paul ment by being celibate like him.He treated women if you will read very much like muslim do-be quiet in church, if have question go ask your husband,etc-woman be servants to your husband, etc. Women you were made from his side to walk beside him not 3 steps behind, etc. Genesis-God commanded man and woman to marry and be FRUITFUL.Guess what this would alleviate much problems in the church. How can a priest in sin confess and pardon your sin? He can not only one on one relationship with Jesus(reason veil in temple torn from top to bottom when HE died(veil was approx. 18 plus inches thick so could not be man). He opened the Holies to us thru HIM not a priest. Try praying directly to HIM and see if you feel an intimacy that you never will with a confessional priest!

  8. profile image0
    BIKTMIAposted 6 years ago

    Being old is what I look forward too, with this aspect in mind. etc... For today what you reflect will be your tommorrow or tommorrows.

 
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