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AstroChuck's avatar

Are married Catholic priests expected to be chaste by the church?

Asked by AstroChuck (36742 points ) July 2nd, 2011 from iPhone

I read that here in Sacramento a married Lutheran minister converted to Catholicism and was allowed to enter the priesthood. It had me wondering if he is still allowed to fulfill his marital obligations or if the Roman Catholic church forbids him to make the beast priest with two backs. Anyone have the skinny on this?

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9 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

@AstroChuck Nice to hear from you again

Better than to be chased by the neighborhood dogs…

bkcunningham's avatar

The Vatican granted a special Pastoral Provision in 1980 that allows certain married former Protestants to be ordained as priests in the Catholic Church. There are currently about 100 married Catholic priests in the US and approximately 100,000 worldwide.

It is my understanding that ALL priests must make a vow of celibacy in the Western churches. This group has asked for “optional celibacy” to no avail at the current time. Eastern rite churches don’t follow the celibacy practice.

Originally, married Catholic priests weren’t allowed to serve in the parochial setting and were allowed to serve as hospital chaplains or campus ministers. I really don’t know if that has changed in recent years. I doubt it has changed though.

AstroChuck's avatar

@bkcunningham- I’m not talking about celibacy. Obviously he didn’t have to take that vow as he is married. I’m talking about chastity.

zenvelo's avatar

No, there is no vow of chastity. Celibacy also has an alternate meaning of abstinence from sex.

Married priests that have converted from other denominations do not take a vow of celibacy.

I am surprised a Ltheran minister was able to convert to a priest; I thought it had been restricted to Anglican/Episcopal priests.

AstroChuck's avatar

@zenvelo- Celibacy and chastity are not the exact same. You can be married and be chaste but you can’t be married and be celibate as celibacy is a state of not being married. Religion assumes chastity to be a part of that.

Here is the story about the married Lutheran minister becoming a priest. According to the story most of the Protestant converts are former Episcopalians but there are a few Lutherans and at least one Baptist.

Uberwench's avatar

@AstroChuck Technically, celibacy is not just being unmarried. It is abstaining from both marriage and sexual activity. Chastity can also be defined two ways. It can be abstaining from sexual activity, or just abstaining from extramarital sexual activity. So when a religious order asks for a vow of celibacy, they are demanding that you neither marry nor have sex. When they ask for a vow of chastity, they usually mean no sex at all (since no extramarital sex is usually assumed).

AstroChuck's avatar

Isn’t that pretty much what I said?

SpatzieLover's avatar

Yes, he marriage vows have not been altered. He is a married Priest. Meaning there is no celibacy required.

However, he may not remarry should his wife pass before him.

Uberwench's avatar

@AstroChuck It’s not what you said. You said celibacy = being unmarried and that religion assumes chastity will follow. But in fact, celibacy = being unmarried + being chaste. No need for the assumption.

Small point, I know.

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