Priestly celibacy should be voluntary, not necessary.

Celibacy is a “gift” from God. Whoever receives it must accept it for they are those who are truly entitled to serve for God alone, and not for anybody else. But this doesn’t mean that a married priest doesn’t have the ability to serve the Church and to serve for God. It only means that being a priest and being celibate are not interrelated but rather they are distinct from each other. There is a difference between a priest who really wanted to be a priest and live a celibate life because of God’s “gift” to him from a priest who really wanted to be a priest but doesn’t want to live a celibate life because God gave him the “gift” of marriage. The only difference is their dedication of living a celibate life but this should not automatically bring the idea that a celibate priest is better than a married priest in terms of serving for God. One cannot say that the unmarried priest loves God more than the married priest loves God. In fact, it could be the other way around. One cannot say that the unmarried priest performs his job more righteous than the married priest does.  They are both priests and as long as both of them continue to love what they are doing, continue to share the words and wisdom of God to the people, both of them have the right of being a priest. During the early times, celibacy of priests was not really required. It is only in the 12th century that priestly celibacy started to have a place in a priest’s life. Furthermore, it is not written in the Bible that priests should not be married. What is written in the Bible was men who aspire of becoming priests are encouraged to have a celibate life but it is not the case that the Bible demands for it. Unfortunately, the Roman Catholic requires their priests to become celibate. As a consequence, priests who are not given the “gift” of celibacy are being required to do so, thus allowing them to commit adultery and sexual abuse of children. This is even more shameful than priests who are married and who have children. In addition, there are other religions who allow their priests to be married and one example of those are the Protestants. According to them, married priests who already know how to look or manage a family are the ones who are really suitable to care for God and the Church. This argument is possible and the Protestants really make sense about it. So if other priests can be married why others should not be married? If other priests have the freedom to have a wife and children, why can’t others have? Others might say that it is part of the tradition that priests are required to live a celibate life, especially those who are priests of the Roman Catholic. But then again, being a priest should not be based on tradition. It should be based on how faithful and dedicated you are to serve for the Church and God. And having that faithfulness cannot be affected by any form or kind of tradition. Faith in God is something innate in ourselves, something natural in each and every one of us. It is not something artificial or it is not something that can be changed because of certain rules or standards. Let us not forget that traditions are only traditions, they can be changed. Some traditions lasts but others do not. Married or unmarried, they are still priests. Both of them still serve for God. Both of them still represent the image and character of God. Both of them still have an eternal faith for God. And both of them have the right to share their knowledge about the words and wisdom of God to the world. So therefore, no priest should be required to take a vow of celibacy. Doing so are only for those who take it voluntarily because again of God’s given “gift” to them.

 

–2011-36849

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