This issue (see title) came up during my break from work and when a person from work said that (well more like said, “I think priests and religious should marry.”), I instantly said, “Absolutely not.” I never like to be rude or mean to anyone and I refuse to give the name of the person who said this, but I know many might wonder why I would say that.
Well, I for one have watched the priests from my parish and all they do and I can just see how it would be so difficult to be a devoted husband and run a parish of over 300 families plus. Society now a days think because so many of them are working families that it would make sense, but remember that a priest have so many things to do for the Church that sometimes I can tell you that many of the priests I know have almost no time for just spending time doing what they would like to do (examples like reading, hiking, going out with friends, and etc.).
I think in a sensible way and common sense priests to not marry would be a good thing for the sake of a spouse and their feelings for many would feel left out and unloved because they are not even spending any time with their husbands.
Common sense out of the way, there is something that Jesus even said that is truly the focal point of my argument, correct me if I am wrong, but Jesus told his disciples if they truly wish to follow him they “must give up everything and take up the cross”. That I think was in the Gospel of Matthew. Think about it Priests and Religious Sisters give up everything to follow Jesus and His Church.
The Priests are representatives of Jesus and His Church, and am I not correct in saying that Jesus himself was not married and innocent (in a sexual sense), did He not give up His family, did He not give up everything for God’s Children. I think that would be a YES, so if the Priests are not just Disciples, but representatives of Christ, should they not try to imitate Christ in His way, by being a celibate and unmarried man. But as I said it is a Call, not all can do this and that is why Jesus tells Peter and the Apostles if they wish to TRULY follow they must give up everything.
Does that mean that I am not truly a disciple of Christ? No, it is a Call, God knows which are called for the priesthood and religious life, those who are not called should know that their vocation in life, if it is a single life or married find ways of devotion to God, through prayers, teaching their children the Truth of Christ’s Church.
The person who made this claim looked at this issue through a few priests, who probably made the mistakes, because priests are HUMAN, they are not Christ who was sinless. We strive to be like Christ, to be sinless in the eyes of God. But, also with the way society is now so sex-centered they cannot seem to see the natural love of devotion to God alone and His Church. Sex is not EVERYTHING, there is more to life than having an sexual relationship, Priests who make that mistake, are just human beings who have tempted and need prayers, not all follow their temptations, for I know I remember a homily by one of the priests I know that said, “There are days where I see a beautiful woman, and say, she is so beautiful, I wish I could date her, but I think about how much I love the Church and wish to follow Christ.”
They have those feelings, but they don’t have to act upon them, I am getting married, correct should I be tempted to stray from my relationship because I find someone attractive, wonderful, and everything I want (which mind you, my fiancé is all that and more!)? No, I am bound to him, and he is bound to me, and we are bound to God and His Church.
I think I went a little far on my rant, but in the end, I wanted to speak out about those who speak about this issue, for I truly believe they allow society to cloud their minds and never truly see beauty of what the priesthood and religious life brings and shows to us who live in sex-centered society.
I know there are going to be people who will go against me on this issue, but truly this is my honest opinion, from observations when I was coming into the Church and now, but also from my own experiences throughout my childhood and teenage years.
Please pray for them, and for the Holy Spirit to intercede for this prayer for TRUTH.