September 12th, 2013
03:38 PM ET

Key Catholic official sparks celibacy questions

(CNN)–CNN's Eric Marrapodi reports on what a key Catholic official said about changing church rules on celibacy.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Anglican • Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope Francis

soundoff (167 Responses)
  1. prophet

    so the catholics and other chritians prove here how they are deceivers. They invented the name to suit themselves because if they really told people How God really wants them to know Him then these chistians would lose their so called power over people.

    September 13, 2013 at 5:23 am |
  2. prophet

    many on here and other cnn comments talk about jsus but this was not His Name,

    does the letter J exist in greek and lain especially at the time of Our Saviour,

    No, a J doesn't exist in Greek, while iota was the closest but is pronounced i (like English ee). Z or delta plus zeta (DZ) could do too.

    so how was he renamed jsus, this is christian deception and many people are misled by this, millions, incredible isn't it.

    September 13, 2013 at 5:20 am |
  3. prophet

    they abuse children, people, the poor and the list goes on, but the worst is that they misrepresent God and mislead people.

    September 13, 2013 at 5:17 am |
  4. prophet

    but most of them go to become preists because they are abusers already and this where they can get away with it, this is how it is and doctors know this. This is what the catholics are a organisation of abusers.

    September 13, 2013 at 5:14 am |
  5. Lionly Lamb


    September 12, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
  6. Lionly Lamb


    September 12, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
    • Observer

      Did anybody see marijuana mentioned anywhere in this story about the Pope? Gee, only ONE PERSON totally missed the subject matter here. Ooops!

      September 12, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
    • Atheistic Antítheist

      That's our ol' buddy Lionly. He loves to irritate people win his off-topic bullshit. Nothing you can do about it. All he does is clog up the blog and piss everyone off. He doesn't take hints at all.

      September 13, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
  7. Jenna Jameson

    Douglas and other Catholics regularly do selfies to keep their desires in check. Even the pope was shown on CNN doing one. Me, I'd rather do it for real. More than twice the pleasure when two (or more) people participate.

    September 12, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
  8. Lionly Lamb

    Cancers forbidden cures…


    September 12, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • Observer

      Yep. Still not a clue in the world what the topic is here.

      Well done.

      September 12, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb

        Sired Obs...

        I believe in the freedoms of choices and not being guided with singularities ad hoc seminaries...

        September 12, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      LL – dedicated to bringing the far side of Youtube to the masses – en masse, whether we want it or not.

      September 12, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb

        Sired R.M.G....

        To each is given to receive the bounty yet in boundless sedations does the will of the forlorn make callous ridicule upon the harbingers salutations and good times to soon come... Those entrenched will soon be overcome provided free speech rings the bells of liberty always and those with real eyes realize real lies...

        September 12, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
        • R.M. Goodswell

          LL, you have literally covered these boards with your pro-weed/classic rock vids...and while I have to say im not opposed to weed legalization, I AM opposed to 10+ videos loading up at the same time on just about every page in every article in the last few months. It'd be one thing if they tied into the article, but few to none do.

          September 12, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Sired R. G....

          You forgot about the videos on Muslims....


          If the United States would begin the regulations for personalized uses of recreational cannabis sativa and allow all states to grow hemp with low grade THC levels but ever higher concentrates of CBD the flowering of such strains could be used for many non-THC connected disabilities such as seizures… The cannabis stalks of low grade THC grown variations could be used for many industrial usages from creating all forms of clothes to paper products and hemp cardboard boxes to even the walls of many forms of building structures… Even the seeds of low grade cannabis plants can be used as a highly nutritious food supplement. Medical hemp oils of high THC levels can cure many sicknesses from diabetes to all kinds of cancers and many other illnesses…

          September 12, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
        • Athy

          You just can't take a hint, can you, Lion?

          September 12, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
        • Observer


          "You just can't take a hint, can you, Lion?"

          Nope. If he did he would skip all the pomposity and videos that clutter the screens.

          September 12, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
  9. Lionly Lamb

    Pedophilia is OK in Islam…


    September 12, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
  10. Lionly Lamb

    The papacy "prohibition" or not allowing their clergy or even nuns to seek marriage is moronically stupid...

    September 12, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      Wow, kudos...that was comprehensible and yes. It might not stop the pedophilia though. Peds tend to seek out place where they have easy access to children...priesthood is one of those places. There's a decent article here: http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_molestation.html

      September 12, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb

        Muslims cause EU to legalize pedophilia and child rape…


        September 12, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
  11. Observer

    Allowing all priests to marry would be a good thing. It would get them closer to the real world and not give them as much incentive to find s3xual outlets involving children.

    September 12, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • niknak

      Not being married and child molestation have zero to do with each other.
      Jerry Sandusky was married.

      September 12, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
      • Observer


        "Not being married and child molestation have zero to do with each other."

        Not being able to date or have any other s3xual opportunites can lead to child molestation. See how that works out for many hetero prisoners.

        September 12, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
        • Akira

          Observer, pedophiles cannot be equated with prison rape, which is wholly about Control, as all rape is.
          Letting pedophilic priests marry wouldn't cut down the incidents of pedophilia; pedophiles are sexually attracted to children. Allowing them to marry an adult won't change that.

          September 12, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
        • Akira

          Not to mention that there aren't children in prisons, so a hetero prisoner is unlikely to pick up the predilection there.

          September 12, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
  12. Atheist Hunter

    Where is my friend Observer?

    September 12, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • Observer

      Atheist Hunter,

      You rang?

      September 12, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
  13. Sara

    I believe the church itself would not claim that "Roman Catholics" impose celibacy on priests. Both eastern and latein rite churches are considered part of the Roman church in communion with the pope. Eastern rite churches mostly already allow married priests, so this really isn't as big a deal as every makes it out to be.

    September 12, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
  14. Vic

    It's about time for the "celibate ordained ministry" to be allowed to get married!

    1 Timothy 4:1-5

    September 12, 2013 at 4:59 pm |

    Bill Deacon, we have come for YOU!

    September 12, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      When you feel froggish, jump!

      September 12, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
  16. Reality # 2

    What happened to the full report?

    But commenting using other sources of the story:

    Paul's influence on marriage:

    1 Cor 7: 32-34 as per JD Crossan in his book In Search of Paul, p.111: St. Paul was not interested in marriage because he assummed the second coming was imminent. Fortunately for us, he was wrong.

    Then there is Jesus' influence:

    Matt 19: 12 " For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven."

    Not the way to go in my opinion and not a good reference for promoting celibacy.

    Definition of a eunuch:

    1. A castrated man employed as a harem attendant or as a functionary in certain Asian courts.
    2. A man or boy whose testes are nonfunctioning or have been removed.
    3. Informal. An ineffectual, powerless, or unmasculine man.

    BTW, Matt 19: 12 after thorough a-nalyses by contemporary NT scholars has mixed conclusions as to authenticity. For example Professor JD Crossan concluded it is not historical ( http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?ti-tle=377_Able_to_Receive ). Professor Gerd Ludemann concluded that it is historical. (His book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 208-209)

    September 12, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      You're not taking JD Crossan's views seriously are you? Do you know who this guy is???

      September 12, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
      • Reality # 2

        Do you mean this JD Crossan?

        Professor John Dominic Crossan:

        His books/studies on the historical Jesus,

        – God and Empire: Jesus Against Rome, Then and Now_ (2007
        •Excavating Jesus: Beneath the Stones, Behind the Texts (Harper San Francisco 2001)
        •The Birth of Christianity (Harper San Francisco 1999)
        •The Jesus Controversy : Perspectives in Conflict (Trinity Pr Intl 1999)
        •Who Is Jesus? (Westminster John Knox 1999)
        •The Essential Jesus (Book Sales 1998)
        •Who Killed Jesus? (Harper San Francisco 1996)
        •Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography (Harper San Francisco 1995)
        •In Parables : The Challenge of the Historical Jesus (Polebridge Press 1994)
        •The Historical Jesus (Harper San Francisco 1993)
        •An Inventory of the Jesus Tradition by Chronological Stratification (online)
        •An Inventory of the Jesus Tradition by Independent Attestation (online)
        •Common Sayings Tradition in Gospel of Thomas and Q Gospel (online) Who Killed Jesus?: Buy at amazon.com!
        •Seminar: HJ Materials & Methodology (online)
        •A Closer Look at the Mustard Seed (online)
        •Was Jesus Buried? (online)
        •Alchemy and Accuracy (online)
        •A Review of John Dominic Crossan's The Birth of Christianity (Harvard Theological Review 2001, reproduced online)
        •Danny Yee's Book Reviews: The Historical Jesus (online)
        •Simple Choices? A Response to John Dominic Crossan

        And his studies on Paul (with Professor Reed, archeologist), In Search of Paul–

        The Historical Jesus In the work of John Dominic Crossan, there is a refreshing emphasis on methodology. To this end, Crossan has compiled a database of the attestation for the Jesus traditions by independent attestation and stratification, provided by Faith Futures Foundation in the links above. Crossan in The Historical Jesus explains that his methodology is to take what is known about the historical Jesus from the earliest, most widely attested data and set it in a socio-historical context. The bulk of the common sayings tradition shows itself to be specific to the situation that existed in the 20s of the first century in Galilee in which the agrarian peasantry were being exploited as the Romans were commercializing the area. The historical Jesus proves to be a displaced Galilean peasant artisan who had got fed up with the situation and went about preaching a radical message: an egalatarian vision of the Kingdom of God present on earth and available to all as manifested in the acts of Jesus in healing the sick and practicing an open commensality in which all were invited to share. The historical Jesus was an itinerant whose mode of teaching can be understood on analogy with the Cynic sage but who was nonetheless a Jew who believed that the kingdom was being made available by the God of Israel to his people. The revolutionary message of Jesus was seen to be subversive to the Roman vision of order and led to the fateful execution of Jesus by Pilate on a hill outside of Jerusalem. "

        September 12, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          This guy is one of the founders of the Jesus Seminar, a known heretical organization. For those who dont know who the Jesus Seminar are, they are a group of people who would replace scripture with their opinions. Kind of like the Jefferson Bible...

          September 12, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
        • Observer

          When the non-Christian Thomas Jefferson got done cutting all the "nonsense" out of the Bible, he only had about 50 pages left.

          September 12, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Lawrence. Opinion. Historical research vs ancient myths?

          September 12, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
        • Athy

          Maybe the Jesus Seminar can do even better.

          September 12, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          The Jesus Seminarians: Contemporary NT exegetes specializing in historic Jesus studies. Requirements to join, typically a PhD in Religious History or Religion with a proven record of scholarship through reviews of first to third century CE scripture and related doc-uments.

          Conservative Jews in the USA have rewritten the Torah to reflect the myths therein basically making it a doc-ument of peace.

          Thomas Jefferson did an a-nalogous rewrite of the NT. Ditto for the rewrite of the NT by the Jesus Seminarians, Professor JD Crossan in his over 20 books on the historical Jesus and related subjects and Professor Gerd Ludeman in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 694-695.

          Added details on the Jesus Seminar for the new members of this blog:

          The ground-breaking work of the Jesus Seminar appears in two texts: The Five
          Gospels (1993) and Acts of Jesus (1998), both published by Polebridge Press.
          The Jesus Seminar is a group of biblical scholars chaired originally by Robert Funk, PhD.(now deceased),
          who took the unprecedented step of voting as a group on the authenticity of the
          teachings and acts of Jesus. The following observations are taken from the
          introductory chapters of 5G and AOJ.

          Every individual saying and action was examined and rated by the Seminar as to
          whether Jesus actually said it or did it, or whether it was primarily the
          product of the author of the gospel. Building on the earlier work of individual
          scholars, the Seminar's research represents an unprecedented cooperative effort
          to separate what Jesus really said and did from what gets added on over time in
          the story telling and writing process.

          September 12, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
        • Joey

          Most of what the church used to consider heresy is now considered to be the truth by people with half a brain.

          September 13, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
  17. Doc Vestibule

    Jawohl herr Grammatik Polizist.

    September 12, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Misplaced reply.
      Please ignore.

      September 12, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
  18. Doc Vestibule

    There are all ready married priests.
    They're Anglican clergy who converted to Catholicism when all ready married.

    September 12, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Dippy

      Already, not all ready.

      September 12, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Jawohl herr Grammatik Polizist.

        September 12, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
        • Dippy

          It's not a grammar problem.

          September 12, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Me fail english? That's unpossible!
          What does pedantic mean?

          September 12, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      Indeed and such hypocrisy in the RCC adds another nail in the coffin lid of said religion !!! And celibate priests wanting to marry should simply join the Episcopal church then get married and then switch back to the RCC. What a joke this religion has become!!!

      September 12, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
  19. Lawrence of Arabia

    Forbidding to marry (even for the clergy) is what Paul calls a doctrine of demons – 1 Timothy 4:1-5. Although singleness is elevated for those in the ministry that they may dedicate more time to teaching, preaching, and study, it is by no means forbidden – 1 Corinthians 7:1-7, Hebrews 13:4, 1 Corinthians 9:4-5

    September 12, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      Also, marriage WAS God's idea after all... Genesis 2:18-25

      September 12, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
      • Harry

        What if you had to choose between your child's soccer practice and visiting an ailing elderly congregant in the hospital that needs to be prayed over? Which task would take your priority?

        September 12, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          That's why the church leadership is given over to a plurality of elders, so if the Pastor (who is AN elder, but not THE elder)must be away, another elder may step in and visit.

          September 12, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
        • Harry

          That would make it a convenient excuse to miss the heavenly call of duty to take care of the needs of your congregants. Delegation of work is a must and Acts 6 clearly talks about this delegation. But this was in no way meant that those church leaders can take off and enjoy romantic evenings with his wife.

          September 12, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
        • Harry

          Not that romantic evenings with your wife is wrong, it is just that married life is a big distraction to serving in the ministry.

          I applaud the Catholic church priests and nuns who served in truth and have sacrificed their entire lives selflessly in serving the Lord. I am very sure they have a special reward for the sacrifices they made.

          September 12, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
        • Harry

          To call that a "doctrine of demons " is wrong and I am not catholic. Take time to read about some of the charitable work of catholic priests and nuns, it will open your eyes.

          September 12, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          What if you had to choose between visiting an ailing elderly congregant in the hospital that needs to be prayed over and visiting a different ailing elderly congregant in another hospital that needs to be prayed over? Which task would take your priority?
          If the priest can balance that, (s)he could handle your hypothetical.

          September 12, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        Harry, no, I'm sorry but that's not correct. Paul says in 1 Timothy 3:1-9, 12 that the church overseer must "manage his own household well." That includes taking care of his own family matters with the utmost love and care. If he shuns his familial duties, then he is unqualified as an overseer.

        If you are going to make absolute statements like you did in your last sentence, then at least back them up with pertinent scripture to support your statement, otherwise it is just opinion.

        September 12, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
        • Harry

          I think you are wrong in calling celibacy of the priests as demonic doctrine. The Bible does not say you have to be celibate , neither does it say you have to be married. It is clearly a choice and Paul speaks about this. To call that choice demonic is WRONG! I would again ask you to spend some time to understand the sacrifices some of these priests and nuns have made for the betterment of humanity and in sharing of the Gospels.

          It is very unchristian of you to make that statement.

          September 12, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Paul's opinion was that it was far better to be single and abstinent, but marry if you can't control your loins.
      "To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion."
      (1 Corinthians 7:8-9)

      September 12, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        And what an Ezur Kenegdo he finds in a wife too...

        Marriage is a covenant relationship that is intended to be a representation of what a right relationship to God is to look like. In this relationship, the man plays the role of Jesus, while the woman plays the role of the church, so that the world will see their covenant relationship to one another and have an idea of what it is like to be in a right relationship with God.

        September 12, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
  20. Walt Henry

    An unmarried Church leader can dedicate 100% of his time and energy on things of the Lord and not be distracted.

    September 12, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • doobzz

      Thousands of non Catholic church leaders prove you wrong on that point.

      September 12, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Trouble is many of them get distracted anyway.

      Because the normal outlets availble to everyone else are denied them, after years of self torment many turn to secretive abnormal behaviors instead.

      Priestly celibacy is an academic notion. In practice, it set up to fail.

      September 12, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        The only problem with your scenario GOPer is the presumption that celibacy is abnormal when the converse is probably true. There are no doubt many times more people who are not engaged in seexualized relationships than those who are. People are not tormented because they don't have seex. That's a lie you've told yourself in order to rationalize your own behaviors.

        September 12, 2013 at 4:05 pm |

          Godless Vagabond
          Maybe sex is abnormal to you, Bill, but it's patently absurd for you to say it's abnormal for the majority of people. What source can you cite to support that claim?

          September 12, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          If celibacy were normal – you wouldn't be here, or me, or anyone. Most of the time you at least come off as being thoughtful, but you have to admit that this last statement was pure BS.

          September 12, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          BIll calls my decades old common law relationship a "lust filled arrangement" as if my lack of a religious ceremony somehow means that my partner and I are in a perpetual state of seaty rutting...

          September 12, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          There are no doubt many times more people who are not engaged in seexualized relationships than those who are. People are not tormented because they don't have seex.

          Your assertion might even be correct when all age groups are factored in (like minors and the elderly), but in younger healthy males (let's say under 50+ with the understanding that mileage may vary) there are physical repercussions to not exercising the libido.

          For people in this age group it is unnatural and I'm talking from a purely physiological standpoint here.

          September 12, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
        • Adam

          DB: "That’s a lie you’ve told yourself in order to rationalize your own behaviors."
          Do you typically call people's value judgments into question when you disagree with them? Seems a disingenuous way to debate.

          September 12, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        I still contend that the reason aberrant and wrongful behaviors exist in the priesthood is because priestly celibacy is set up to fail.

        Some will succeed and some will fail. It is the requirement for secrecy that drives those who fail into wrongful non-consensual acts where they have to exercise power to maintain secrecy.

        September 12, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
      • Commenter

        Shhhhhhh! Let 'em stay celibate. Do we really want 400,000 priests marrying and procreating to the tune of 8 – 10 kids each?!

        September 12, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Priests are human. They are not super human.

      September 12, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • Cristeros for Satan

      Young boys would disagree

      September 12, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.