One of the common arguments against clerical celibacy is that St. Peter, the leader of the Apostles and the first pope, was married. After all, Scripture refers to his having a mother-in-law (Matthew 8:14-15), and St. Paul (referring to Peter by his original Aramaic name, Cephas) defends his Apostolic authority in a verse usually translated "Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a wife, as the other apostles and the brethren of the Lord and Cephas?" (1 Corinthians 9:5). But let's take a closer look at those passages, and find out what the New Testament REALLY has to say.
Just as the Bible presents Abraham as our father in faith for his radical willingness to trust God, we're also given a mother in faith: the Virgin Mary. Listen to what Scripture says about her role in following God from the Annunciation to Calvary and into glory.
Is mandatory celibacy extrabiblical? Who cares?
We all know that priests, monks, and nuns are celibate, but why? Is it just an arbitrary Church rule? Is it just for pragmatic reasons, like ensuring that the priest has enough time to minister to the People of God? Or is there a deeper, prophetic meaning to celibacy?
Celibacy: it's not just for priests and nuns, and it's not just for life. Scripture also teaches that temporary celibacy is a way for laypeople to specially consecrate themselves to God.
Valentine’s Day card from 1909 Happy St. Valentine’s Day, the one day a year in which all Americans, regardless of religion, build their lives around the Traditional Latin Mass calendar. For those of us using the Ordinary Form calendar, today is the Memorial of Saints Cyril and Methodius, not St. Valentine, a little something I like […]
An LDS couple I’m friends with asked me recently about the so-called Gospel of Philip, and specifically, about its claim that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene. Let’s address the reliability of the “Gospel of Philip” first, and then the broader question: how do we know that Jesus wasn’t married? The So-Called Gospel of Philip […]
Louis Martin, Thérèse’s father I’ve finally gotten around to reading St. Thérèse of Lisieux’s autobiography, The Story of a Soul. It’s a great read, but one of the things that fascinated me was actually from the introduction, which gave some background on Thérèse’s family. Thérèse’s parents were holy, and wanted to give their entire lives to […]
Like Joe, I grew up the the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. The diocese is currently undergoing a painful time. Prayers for the people, clergy, and bishop are most necessary. As we celebrate the tremendous Feast of Pentecost, Christians of good will should ask for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Church in […]
When faced with the clerical sexual abuse scandal, a common red herring that is brought up is to call into question the practice of clerical celibacy. I’m still amazed that people who try to capitalize on the tragedy of sexual abuse for their own theological agenda are not derided more. I think such actions are […]