Archive for the ‘Clerical Celibacy’ Category

Roman Catholic Spin Machine

April 12, 2010

Here’s the latest attempt to try to spin the clerical celibacy/sexal abuse scandal issue: (link). One of the particularly odd attempts at spin was this:

The Times continues to editorialize about the “pedophilia crisis,” when all along it’s been a homosexual crisis. Eighty percent of the victims of priestly sexual abuse are male and most of them are post-pubescent. While homosexuality does not cause predatory behavior, and most gay priests are not molesters, most of the molesters have been gay.

Just how many sodomite priests does the “Catholic League” think that Roman Catholicism has? And why, given the secrecy that the article acknowledges, does the “Catholic League” think they have an accurate count on the molestation rate among priests? In other words, what is the claim that “most gay priests are not molesters” based on?

-TurretinFan

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Vatican Denies Celibacy – Sex Scandal Connection

March 15, 2010

The Vatican insists that there is no link between celibacy and the various sex scandals (link to article). Their brilliant defense includes lines like “research has shown that priests guilty of abuse had long before stopped observing celibacy.” You think? Those guilty of abuse are not observantly celibate? Stay tuned for arguments about how those who are intoxicated have long before stopped observing tea-totaling.

A second article is titled, “Finland’s Catholic Priests to Remain Celibate” (link to article). This article points out the apparently spotless record of Finnish Roman Catholic priests. Assuming it is true, that’s wonderful news. My point in identifying the article, however, was to provide an example of the quasi-doctrinal nature of celibacy.

We all know that Rome, and especially Rome’s contemporary apologists in English-speaking countries, are quick to point out that priestly celibacy is a “discipline” rather than a “doctrine.” However, notice that the arguments for priestly celibacy are often phrased in doctrinal or quasi-doctrinal ways. “A priest should give all his strength to the church. The congregation is the priest’s wife,” is the argument that Roman Catholic bishop of Helsinki, Finland, Teemo Sippo used – and he is not alone in raising this kind of argument. However, that kind of argument does directly conflict with the guidelines for elders set forth in Scripture, in which it is taken for granted that the elders will be married men who have children. Scripture is also quite explicit that an elder must be the husband of one wife. Thus, if a congregation were also a wife, it would mean that elders who are married to a real flesh and blood woman could not serve.

That is not to say that being single may have prudential value in the ministry, particularly in missions. Nevertheless, clerical celibacy is not a Scriptural requirement but rather a tradition of men whereby the Roman Catholic church has made void Scripture.

– TurretinFan

If we dare suggest …

March 5, 2010

… that this news article (link) is in any way, shape, or form connected with clerical celibacy, we will be promptly attacked. However, rationally speaking, one should not be surprised to find a higher than average number of homosexuals among the population of men who are willing to promise never to engage in sexual relations with a woman.

Clerical Celibacy Rebuttal – Extremely Short Version – Option 2

December 7, 2009

Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Genesis 9:7 And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.

Psalm 127:3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

Titus 1:6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

1 Timothy 3:4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

1 Timothy 3:12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

1 Timothy 5:10 Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.

1 Timothy 5:14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

Clerical Celibacy Rebuttal – Extremely Short Form

November 10, 2009

Proverbs 18:22 Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.

Forbidding to Marry

October 2, 2009

There is a very old error that derogates marriage and attempts to forbid marriage. In its extreme form, it forbids marriage of all Christians. In a less extreme form, it forbids marriage of office holders. It is that form that we see in the Roman Catholic church today.

Introduction

1 Timothy 4:1-3

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

Nuns, Monks, Priests, and Bishops are forbidden in Roman Catholicism (for the most part, though there are a few married priests in some of the other rites besides the Latin rite) from being married. This is an error and a point at which, while it has a lengthy tradition, the Roman Catholic Church stands against Scripture.

I know the usual objections, and they each have been answered.

Objection: No one is forced to be a priest.

Answer: Agreed. And yet, if one wants to be a priest, one is forced to sacrifice marriage. Furthermore, if God is calling a person to the ministry, one is not free to disregard that call.

Objection: It’s not a requirement.

Answer: Yes, it is a requirement. It’s a condition precedent to obtaining office.

Objection: No one has a right to be a priest.

Answer: If God has called a man to the ministry, then the man does not simply have a right but the duty to answer God’s call.

Objection: It’s not against Scripture for the church to ordain only those men who are celibate.

Answer: Yes, it is against Scripture. It’s clear from the Scriptural requirements given for the offices of deacon and elder/presbyter/bishop that such men are anticipated ordinarily to be married men who have children (1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; | Tit 1:6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. ). To eliminate all married men from consideration is to render Scripture void through one’s tradition.

Objection: So, you’re saying that celibacy is evil.

Answer: No. Not at all. In fact, celibacy (if a gift given by God) can be a great help to ministers and especially to missionaries.

Objection: So, you’re saying that renouncing marriage is wrong.

Answer: Not exactly. It is, of course, wrong to make an unconditional oath of celibacy, because God does not promise the gift of celibacy to every man who asks it. Furthermore, Scripture plainly teaches that it is better to marry than to burn. (1 Corinthians 7:9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.) Therefore, an unconditional renunciation of marriage is a sinful oath, and one that ought to be violated (through marriage, not fornication) to honor God, if one later discerns the absence of the gift of celibacy.

Objection: Celibacy of bishops/priests/monks/nuns is just a discipline, not a dogma.

Answer: There is errant doctrine that informs the errant discipline of celibacy. If the Roman Catholic Church followed the doctrine of Scripture, especially as taught in 1 Timothy 4:1-3, then it would not have this particular discipline.

Objection: The Early Church Fathers did it!

Answer: Agreed. The practice seems to have crept in rather early. It was wrong of them to do it, and it is wrong for folks now to follow them in doing it. Our moral authority is not ancient practice but Holy Scripture. Yet, if it were ancient practice, we’d be guided not by the Early Church Fathers, but by the Apostles who (for the most part) married:

1 Corinthians 9:5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?

That was the apostolic practice and Paul affirms that it is an elder’s right to marry. It is his “power.”

Conclusion

The practice of requiring those who wish to have office in the church to be celibate is wrong. It is contrary 1 Timothy 4:1-3, it is contrary 1 Timothy 3:2, it is contrary to Titus 1:6, it is contrary to 1 Corinthians 7:9, and it is contrary to 1 Corinthians 9:5. It was wrong when Rome used to require deacons to be celibate (an error that has been corrected, without – of course – admission that is was an error) and it will be good when Rome ceases to make that same requirement of priests (though we cannot say how soon that will happen, there are significant pressures pushing Rome in that direction). Rome is wrong to require such celibacy, Rome is wrong to forbid men and women from marrying, and Rome is wrong to teach that unconditional vows of celibacy are good. On this matter, Rome stands against Scripture. Perhaps this area is an area where Rome can heed the correction of Scripture without admitting its mistake (as it has with respect to deacons). Nevertheless, it should serve to demonstrate to the reader that Rome is not an infallible interpreter of Scripture.

-TurretinFan

Bellisario Providing Example of Mistakes to Avoid

May 8, 2009

How not to argue for Roman Catholicism – an example from Mr. Matthew Bellisario (link). Here are a few tips to avoid Mr. Bellisario’s mistakes (with a video presentation of the 10 points below):

10) If you’re going to cite statistics, don’t cite statistics that actually show Roman Catholic sexual abuse at about twice the rate once one adjusts for the size of the population generating the abuse cases.

9) If you’re going to argue that celibacy is not imposed on the priesthood, don’t make your leading argument that no one is forced to be a priest.

8) Don’t reveal your ignorance of Reformed churches by suggesting that their “clergy” are self-appointed.

7) Don’t ignore common sense, which tells you that people who are forbidden the option of marriage are more likely to have their sexual desire burst forth in some inappropriate way.

6) If you’re going to quote Paul’s writings about celibacy, remember that he actually confirms what we already know from common sense, namely that not everyone has the gift of celibacy, and that the result of not marrying for such people is that they burn with lust.

5) If you are going to pick a fight with someone on the issue of clerical celibacy and sexual abuse, find one of the many folks who assert that there is a connection, rather than one who asserts that there may be.

4) If someone points out that one cause of sexual abuse is clerical celibacy, don’t assume that this means that the critic thinks that marriage fixes all sexual deviancy.

3) If someone points out that one cause of sexual abuse is clerical celibacy, don’t assume that this means that the critic thinks that it is celibacy itself (rather than an absence of the gift of celibacy) that causes this problem.

2) If you are going to bring up the issue of sexual deviance, don’t forget that prohibiting marriage for priests is intuitively a way to statistically increase your chances of attracting closeted homosexuals.

1) Recognize that sexual abuse is a scandal, not something to be treated frivolously with cartoon clowns and empty-headed rhetoric. Take the matter seriously, it’s a serious matter.

-TurretinFan


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