Sunday, May 25, 2008

Why can't priests marry?

I have been asked this question several times by people who are honestly asking a question they do not understand. Non-Christians, Christians of another denomination, and even some catholics ask this question. To answer the question, I think the question needs to first be rephrased because the question is phrased in a negative way. Why do priests chose a life of celibacy? The most important thing to understand is that those men who decide to enter the seminary to become priest make a conscious decision to live out their life in chastity and forgo married life. Don't look at it as priests can't marry, but rather these men chose to live a life of celibacy and live a life completely devoted to serving God and the Church. A majority of us are called to the married life. I myself will be married in less than two weeks! I'm really excited! This is the life calling for me and most of you all, but not all are called to married life. I know that Shelly and I are meant to be together and I am so blessed to have her in my life. I know that this marriage will make us very happy. I also believe that a man who choses to enter the priesthood and in so doing live out a life of celibacy can also live out a very happy life. Just because we don't always understand the decisions of others does not mean that our perception of what makes people happy is always what makes others happy. I'm happy to prepare for married life, but others may only find true happiness by living a life of celibacy. Do we ask the question: Why can't priests marry? because we are curious or because we oppose this lifestyle? Are those who ask these questions really trying to be helpful or are they trying to stir up controversy? Some are just curious and want to understand. There is nothing wrong with asking questions in the hope of understanding. Most of you know by now that my brother Steve has decided to become a priest. I have always stood beside him 100% in his decision because I know him and I know that this is what he wants. This is what he has been called to do. This is who he is called to be. All of us search for our calling and Steve has found his calling. So when I'm asked what I think about him becoming a priest I say without hesitation that I'm happy for him. I'm proud of him for listening to God's calling and responding to that call. I know that he has had a lot of time to think about this decision and he made this decision himself. I'm sure he's spent many hours in prayer and thought over this huge decision. This is what will make him happy. What do I think? I think this is a wonderful thing for Steve and for our family. I can't describe how happy I am for him. God bless you Steve. I love you. God bless you all! Priestly Celibacy

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