General Question

willbrawn's avatar

Does the Pope need to be a virgin to be the "Pope"?

Asked by willbrawn (6588 points ) April 12th, 2009 from iPhone
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

26 Answers

asmonet's avatar

I doubt it, there are priests who are no longer virgins.
I’m sure if you’re on the road to Popeness the chances are low you ever got any.

AstroChuck's avatar

I doubt it. There are people who have become catholic priests after their spouse died. I remember reading recently about a priest who was celebrating his son’s ordination.
One thing that I do know. The pope has to be Roman Catholic.

theluckiest's avatar

Only requirements for being pope are Catholic + male. You technically don’t have to be ordained to be elected, though you would be ordained before you became pope.

Mr_M's avatar

The answer is NO. You just need to be a virgin while you are the Pope. The same goes for priests. A priest need not be a virgin. He just has to be a virgin while he is a priest.

I believe there are priests that have fathered children prior to becoming a priest.

skfinkel's avatar

There are men who have been married and then become priests. So, if any priest can become pope, the answer would be no.

willbrawn's avatar

Was there female pooe? Or was that a rumor?

gailcalled's avatar

@Mr. M; Once a non-virgin, always a non-virgin. Catholic priests, cardinals, bishops and the Pope have to be celibate.

bea2345's avatar

@Mr_M there is something wrong with your terminology: a virgin is a person who has never had sexual intercourse. A better word would be “celibate”. A priest need not be a virgin, but he must be celibate.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Celibate and abstinent are the rules.

asmonet's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence: After you become a priest.

asmonet's avatar

@willbrawn: Unresolved. :)

Pope John! ...Joan?

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

@asmonet: Oh yeah, huh- that part is important.

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sexually_active_popes
(I can’t resist cracking a smile at that page title.)

filmfann's avatar

Pope Leo VII died in the saddle, as it were.
Yes, Pope Joan was female.
If you believe Nostrodamas, the next pope is the last.

AstroChuck's avatar

@filmfann- Pope Joan is just an urban legend from medieval days.

AstroChuck's avatar

Also, the catholic church didn’t official adopt mandatory celebacy for those in the priesthood until the twelfth century. Eight popes have been known to have wives, however, unmarried popes were forbidden to marry after achieving “popedom.”

gailcalled's avatar

Pope Joan legend

AC is right; After 1565 or such, all popes behaved themselves (or no one found out what they had been up to, if anything.) (from hiphop’s ^^ link.)

Mr_M's avatar

@bea2345, you’re absolutely right. Celibate is the word I should have used.

ratboy's avatar

How far into the molestation of boys does one have to go before he ceases to be a virgin?

filmfann's avatar

Thats a mouthful.

westy81585's avatar

It’s a moot point entirely because you don’t have to have be a virgin to decide to become a priest. I’m not a virgin now, but I could go out and become a priest (if I had the will/motivation too). It’s only AFTER you become a priest that you can’t have sex. So yes the current pope, in his many years of youth PRIOR to becoming a priest could very easily have had sex.

oratio's avatar

Never understood the celibacy part. But I guess catholics always had a problem with sex, in one way or another.

mattbrowne's avatar

@oratio – My explanation is: fear of smart and powerful women. Ordinary catholics don’t have a problem with sex, though. They also don’t have a problem with condoms or other forms of contraception. The recent remark made by Herr Ratzinger (to me a total disappointment as pope) was highly irresponsible. He will have to be held accountable for the additional HIV infections and the death of AIDS patients.

oratio's avatar

I guess this question is answered to the fullest, so i’ll go ahead and reply. Diverting from the question in comments is not so good, and I have done it too often.

True. The most effective to control women is to control their sexuality. It works like a charm. Still, it doesn’t explain male celibacy. I’ve heard the theological explanations, and if it makes sense to them, i’m happy for them.

Yes, this pope is not my favourite. The last pope John Paul II was intelligent, skilled and a quite funny guy. Once he was asked by a reporter, how many people worked in the vatican. The pope thought a little, wiggled his hand and said “mm, about half of them”.

mattbrowne's avatar

@oratio – Here’s another explanation: both a proof to have a strong will and a proof that the rational mind is capable of controlling the lower brain functions. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. So, the priests try to show to the entire community, that their flesh isn’t weak, because they are “closer” to God. At least they pretend to. The flesh of some of them is very weak.

John Paul II might have been intelligent and funny, but he also sabotaged all ecumenical efforts and endorsed dubious organizations like Opus Dei. The overall problem is a lack of democratic elements in the Vatican. Pope appoints cardinals. Cardinals appoint now pope. So what do ordinary catholics do? They wave at him like a pop star, listen politely, but ignore most of the nonsense parts he was raving about. I see a somewhat more positive role of the pope when it comes to interfaith dialog like with Islam and Judaism.

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