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Honourable reasons why priests do not have sex

To some lay men and women, it might look,like a stressful and boring life.

But leaders of the catholic faith, do not see it like that.

A notable description is that of (Pius XI) who described it as “one of the purest glories of the Catholic priesthood.”

Here are some reasons as listed by STEPHEN BEALE:

1. Priests as Christ figures. Above all else, the Catholic priest is an alter Christus—“another Christ.” This is clearest in the sacrifice of the Mass, when the priest acts in the person of the Christ in offering the Eucharist. Celibacy configures priests more completely to Christ, who lived a perfectly chaste life. Thus they not only “participate in His priestly office” but also share “His very condition of living,” Pope Paul VI writes in the encyclical Sacerdotalis Caelibatus.

2. Marriage to the Church. In Scripture, the Church is often depicted as the Bridegroom of Christ. In celibacy, the priest, as an alter Christus, witnesses through his life to the marriage of Christ to His Church. “In virginity or celibacy, the human being is awaiting, also in a bodily way, the … marriage of Christ with the Church, giving himself or herself completely to the Church in the hope that Christ may give Himself to the Church in the full truth of eternal life. The celibate person thus anticipates in his or her flesh the new world of the future resurrection,” John Paul II writes in his apostolic constitution Familiaris Consortio.

3. Spiritual fatherhood. Through celibacy, priests give themselves over wholly to the service God and His Church. Just as a father is uniquely dedicated to his children, so also the priest should be dedicated to his parishioners. As one Jesuit priest at Georgetown University recently put it in the Washington Post: “I do not have my own biological children, but I have over 6,000 here on Georgetown’s main campus! I have many sons and daughters who call me ‘Father.’” John Paul II describes this as a “singular sharing in God’s fatherhood’”(Pastores Dabo Vobis).

4. Celibacy as sacrifice. In renouncing married life, the priest also links himself with Christ’s own sacrifice on the Cross. “In a similar way, by a daily dying to himself and by giving up the legitimate love of a family of his own for the love of Christ and of His kingdom, the priest will find the glory of an exceedingly rich and fruitful life in Christ, because like Him and in Him, he loves and dedicates himself to all the children of God,” Paul VI writes. This ultimately is the purpose of human sexuality—to be a “a genuine sign of and precious service to the love of communion and gift of self to others,” writes Blessed Pope John Paul II in Pastores Dabo Vobis.

5. Celibacy as angelic purity. Celibacy is not only a sacrificial act. It is also a mark of purity. Just as Christ offered Himself as a pure and spotless victim, so should the priest. Moreover “a purity of heart and a sanctity of life” befit the “solemnity and holiness” of the office, Pope Pius XI writes in the encyclical Ad Catholici Sacerdotii. Some have described this otherworldly purity as angelic: “The priest must be so pure that, if he were to be lifted up and placed in the heavens themselves, he might take a place in the midst of the Angels,” St. John Chrysostom said.

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