Ia adalah hampir lucu, tetapi wacana Yesus di atas perkahwinan menyebabkan beberapa pengikut-Nya untuk membuat kesimpulan ia adalah lebih baik untuk satu tidak berkahwin. Jesus bersetuju dengan mereka dalam bahagian, mengisytiharkan:
"Tidak semua orang dapat mengerti perkataan itu, hanya mereka yang dikaruniai saja. Untuk ada orang yang telah jadi dari kelahiran, dan ada orang yang dijadikan demikian oleh orang lain, dan ada orang yang telah menjadikan diri mereka orang pegawai istana demi Kerajaan Sorga. Orang yang boleh menerima ini, hendaklah ia mengerti. " (Matthew 19:11-12)
Bahawa kehidupan membujang "diberikan,"TUHAN yang meletakkan ia, kepada individu tertentu membayangkan ia tergolong dalam panggilan kepada kementerian.
Rasul Paulus disyorkan pembujangan dan juga kepada sesiapa yang dapat menerimanya.
“I wish that all were as I myself am, … To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do” (1 Warna. 7:7, 8). He went on to say, “I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided.” (7:32-34)
Not only did Paul approve of celibacy, he actually considered it to be preferable to marriage for certain individuals. “He who marries his betrothed does well,” he noted; “and he who refrains from marriage will do better” (7:38; cf. 7:7, cited above).
Also in the Apostle’s letters we find reference to the Order of Widows.
Listing some of the guidelines for admission to the order, for instance, Paul telah menulis di dalam bukunya Surat pertama kepada Timotius:
“Honor widows who are real widows… She who is a real widow, and is left all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day; whereas she who is self-indulgent is even while she lives. Command this, so that they may be without reproach" (5:3, 5-7; penekanan ditambah)
It was the duty of consecrated widows, kemudian, to pray continuously as well as to live ascetic lives with set regulations. Paul went on to say:
"Let a widow be enrolled, if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband; 10 and she must be well attested for her good deeds, as one who has brought up children, shown hospitality, washed the feet of the saints, relieved the afflicted, dan devoted herself to doing good in every way." (5:9-10; penekanan ditambah)
Admittance to the order was formalized by a roll (v. 9) dan, in addition to prayer, the widows were expected to perform acts of piety (v. 10). akhirnya, Paul confirmed they did indeed take vows of chastity, bertulis, “But refuse to enroll younger widows; for when they grow wanton against Christ they desire to marry, and so they incur condemnation for having violated their first pledge” (5:11-12; penekanan ditambah).
These celibate women, dedicated to lives of prayer and charity, formed the first consecrated female religious order; these were the first nuns.
The Church’s critics on this issue often point out that married men were allowed to become bishops and presbyters in the Apostolic Church, and that even Saint Peter had a wife (melihat Paul Surat pertama kepada Timotius 3:2; beliau Surat kepada Titus 1:6; dan Matthew 8:14).1
The Church readily acknowledges that mandatory celibacy was not always the rule. Celibacy, sebenarnya, is not a doctrine of the Church, but merely a discipline; and as such it remains open to change—to be imposed or withdrawn—in order to accommodate the needs of the time.
Walau bagaimanapun, though not yet mandatory, the Apostolic Church clearly preferred celibacy for the clergy (melihat Matthew 19:12 dan Surat Pertama kepada Corinthians 7:32, 38).
That Paul preferred bishops to be unmarried may be deduced from his advice to Timothy that “no soldier [of Christ] on service gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to satisfy the one who enlisted him” (Paul Surat Kedua kepada Timotius 2:4 dan beliau Surat Pertama kepada Corinthians 7:32-34).
Despite the fact that married men were admitted to the clergy in the first centuries, lebih-lebih lagi, unmarried men were prohibited from marrying once they had been ordained and widowed priests were to remarry.2 The Church’s constant reverence for religious celibacy is well-documented from her earliest days forward. Sekitar tahun 177, misalnya, the Christian writer Athenagoras stated, “You would, sesungguhnya, find many among us, both men and women, who have grown to old age unmarried, in the hope of being closer to God” (A Plea for Christians 33).
Anti-Catholics have misused Paul’s reproach of those “who forbid marriage” (Surat pertama kepada Timotius 4:3) to attack the Church’s stance on celibacy.
In actuality, walaupun, Paul was referring here to the gnostics, who saw the physical world, including marital love and pregnancy, as inherently evil because they believed it had been created by an evil god. To the contrary, the Catholic Church, far from being opposed to marriage, esteems Holy Matrimony sebagai Sacrament and a sanctified state. Priests do not forsake marriage, Oleh itu,, kerana mereka fikir ia adalah “buruk,” tetapi kerana mereka tahu ia adalah baik dan keinginan untuk melepaskan perkara yang baik ini dengan semangat cinta korban untuk Tuhan.
Pembujangan "demi Kerajaan surga" (Matthew 19:12) memihak kepada Tuhan kerana ia menjurus kepada cara bagaimana Saints di Syurga tinggal (melihat Matthew 22:30).
Di dalam Kitab Wahyu kita lihat bahawa imam Allah yang setia akan diberi status mulia di Paradise. "Ia adalah ini,"Tulis Saint John, "Yang tidak mencemarkan diri dengan kaum wanita, untuk mereka yang murni; merekalah orang-orang yang mengikuti Anak Domba ke mana sahaja dia pergi; ini telah ditebus dari manusia buah-buahan pertama bagi Tuhan dan Anak Domba, dan di dalam mulut mereka tidak terdapat dusta, sebab mereka itu bersih " (14:4-5).
- We know Peter was married because of the Gospel story of the healing of his mother-in-law (melihat Mark 1:29-31, et al.). It is interesting to note, Walau bagaimanapun, that his wife is not mentioned in the story, leading some scholars to conclude she had perished before Peter entered the ministry. ↩
- It remains the practice in the Eastern Rites for those who enter into the priesthood in the unmarried state to remain unmarried. Tambahan pula, while ordination is open to married men in the East, they are ineligible for the episcopacy. Eastern bishops are chosen exclusively from the ranks of celibate monks. kebetulan, it is not altogether unheard of for a priest in the Latin Rite to be married. A small number of former Lutheran and Anglican ministers, who were married prior to reconciliation with the Catholic Faith, have been granted a special dispensation to serve as priests. ↩