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Some New Catholic Priests Allowed To Have Sex—Here's Why

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Will there be uproar as ex-Episcopalian priests are allowed to forgo Catholicism's celibacy code?

There are no Biblical laws about celibacy, it is simply Catholic tradition for their priests to practice abstinence. The apostle Paul does say it is better for men to remain unmarried, and thus celibate, to serve the Lord: "Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am… I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife…" (1 Corinthians 7:8, 32-33 NIV). So, Paul is certainly an advocate of lifelong chastity, but he also goes on to say that marriage is an acceptable alternative, to avoid sin: "But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion" (7:9. NIV).

Lust is a sin. Marriage can help us practice self-control. God created marriage, and it is a gift. It's healthy for us to enter into lifelong, committed relationships. Marriage is also a practicality. God gave us sex for within the confines of marriage. It is a part of His plan. Couples need to bring up children in the faith, and we must continue to populate the Earth. (Obviously!)  What A Year In Marriage Taught Us About Love

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My guess is that the apostle Paul knows most people will happily accept God's gift and marry one day. Romantic love is, after all, one of the most magical parts of life for most people. I think Paul's hope and intention in the above passages is to convince some men (and also women, this would include nuns—ladies are mentioned if you read more of 1 Corinthians Chapter 7), who may feel the call upon their hearts, to remain unmarried and devote their lives fully to God's work.

With the help of the Lord, celibacy is possible. Paul even thinks it's best. But it is not a requirement for the Christian faith, or even for a leader in the church. In fact, putting pressure on celibacy may be detrimental if a person feels the call to serve as a leader in the faith, but knows he cannot marry. If he chooses to pursue priesthood, he might be put in a position where sexual sin is more likely.

So, allowing non-celibate priests into the denomination? Biblically, I don't see why not. But of course, there's still the question of fairness. Is it fair to allow married priests into Catholicism if they won't be following the same rules as celibate priests? In a word: Yes. A Lasting Promise: A Christian Guide to Fighting for Your Marriage

The addition of ex-Episcopalian priests changes nothing for already-practicing Catholic priests. They are still practicing a life of chastity, as they would have if this diocese never came into existence. But in this move, they have the opportunity to welcome others who wish to believe as they do. And that's a gift.

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Christians should be happy to invite other believers to join in worshipping and serving the Lord. I think, and hope, Catholic priests will want to welcome the additions to their church. These ex-Episcopalians are pursuing the Christian belief system they believe is right; one that follows the Bible and rejects liberal changes, like gay marriage, abortion and so forth. My Faith Is Keeping Me Single

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