(Ireland) Martin's previous
did Jesus not marry?
is a church discipline, yet arguments are put forward attempting to make
celibacy more than a discipline. One such argument for celibacy in the
priesthood is that Jesus did not get married. The logic is that if Jesus did not
get married, then his priests should not get married. However, we must remember
that this argument for celibacy, based on the imitation of Jesus Christ as a
model for priests, ignores the fact that Jesus Christ is the Second Person of
the Trinity, God and man. How could he marry? If He and his wife had children
what would they be? The reason for Jesus being celibate was because He was God;
not to suggest that priests should be celibate, otherwise he would not have
called eleven Apostles, most of whom were married.
when priests emulate Jesus they should concentrate on everything else he taught
and did; there is no reason to waste time and energy trying not to do something
which was never a viable option for Jesus.
would argue that because of the two natures of Jesus Christ, human and divine,
he could have chosen, as a true human being, to get married. The argument
asserts that Jesus did not marry because he was concentrating on his mission
from his Father and that this mission and love of his Father consumed him and,
therefore, he did not get married.
is reasonable, as far as it goes. Of course, Jesus could, physically, produce
human kids. However, the point this argument misses is that these children would
also be the children of God. The problem with Jesus marrying is that while He
had two natures, God and man, He was only one person, the Second Person of the
could have physically married and while His human nature would effect this, it
would still be the Second Person of the Trinity who got married and fathered,
through His human nature, any children.
the dilemma; what would the children of the Second Person of the Trinity,
effected through His human nature, and His wife be? Clearly, like both their
parents, they would have a human nature, but the Second Person of the Trinity is
had a human mother and a Divine father; and He had a human nature and a Divine
nature. What would the children be like of one human parent, say Mary Magdalene,
and a parent who has a Divine nature as well as a human nature, say Jesus?
would be foolish to speculate here as to the exact outcome, but the children
would be the children of the Second Person of the Trinity and, therefore, the
children of God; not the adopted children of God as we are but the actual
offspring of the human nature of the Second Person of the Trinity.
this analysis is correct we can understand why Jesus “had” to be celibate.
It also explains why he picked mostly married men to be the Apostles; if He
valued celibacy highly for those of only one, human, nature He could have picked
single men. He did not.
as a requirement of the priesthood, is a church discipline and no more. The
Second Vatican Council made this plain when it stated that "Celibacy is not
required by the priesthood itself, as is evident in the practices of the early
Church, and in the tradition of the Eastern Churches" (No. 16 of the Decree
Concerning the Ministry and Life of the Priest).
vocations are a means to an end, a path to holiness, but they are not the end in
themselves. For example, priests may leave the priesthood, people divorce and
remarry, and this does not mean that they are not called to holiness. Celibacy,
within the priesthood, is not the key issue. The call to holiness is the key
issue, so whether we abandon or change our vocations, God never abandons His
children and constantly calls us back to Him, to this holiness.