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Morality and the Clergy....continued

MARRIAGE IS HONOURABLE

Holy Scripture clearly states that 'marriage is honourable in all'(9) and that must include ministers and those who are in Holy Orders; and it also adds that 'the bed is undefiled', indicating that a sexual relationship between a married couple is not sinful. The apostle Paul in his New Testament letter to Timothy, (a young minister) gave an Apostolic blessing to the marriage of a Bishop, with the proviso that he was the husband of one wife(10), which meant that the marriage was an exemplary Christian union.

It is obvious too, that a married minister with a family will more readily understand the problems of his flock, and in some missionary situations celibacy is viewed as rather odd by the nationals.

Some of the apostles of Jesus were married men, and we would remind our Catholic friends that St. Peter, who they regard as being the first Pope was a married man!(11) There is no biblical precedent for demanding a celibate priesthood, and as a matter of fact forbidding to marry comes under severe censure(12). The apostle Paul may or may not have been married at some time, but even if he was a celibate he strongly affirmed the right to 'lead about a sister (Christian) a wife as the other apostles(13).

Anyone however, whether a man, woman, minister or priest who believes they can better serve God by remaining celibate has every right to do so, but it must be a personal decision. Jesus actually commended such(14) - but a compulsory celibacy flies against Scripture and nature, with sometimes sad results.

Index to the topic
Morality and the Clergy
Some Safeguards
The Crux of the Matter
Celibacy
Marriage is honourable
Guidelines and Helps

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