Should Catholic Priests Be Allowed To Get Married?

In this episode of The Catholic Talk Show, the guys are joined by Fr. Justin Fletcher, a married Catholic priest, to discuss priestly celibacy and whether or not priests should be allowed to get married.

In this episode you will learn:
• The history of priestly celibacy in the Catholic Church
• Why some Catholic priests are allowed to get married
• Does celibacy contribute to sexual abuse?
• What are the challenged married priests face?
• What are the challenges celibate priests face?
• Will allowing married priests solve the priest shortage?
• Has there ever been a married pope?
• and much more!

12 comments on Should Catholic Priests Be Allowed To Get Married?

  1. Andrea says:

    Hi guys and Fr. Fletcher:
    ‘Two priests and two Ryans walk into a bar’ was a funny start to the show. I knew St. Paul and St. John were celibate. St. Peter was married and it is mentioned in the Bible, a letter from St. Peter I believe, that he had a son named Mark who might have been named after John Mark Zebedee, one of his closest friends. Interesting that Corinthians states that apostles can be married and that happened during the early days of the church until the 1100’s I believe Ryan S. said. Fr. Rich said that once ordained as celibate you are celibate due to the vow. If married then ordained you are married especially if you exercise the sacrament of marriage. I feel it should be a choice of service to God.

    Fr. Fletcher was converted as a married Episcopalian. He was given a dispensation and his wife had to say she would raise their children as Catholics and that she understands the duty of a priest. When kids reach adulthood, however, I think they should make that choice all over again to be Catholic. Priesthood duties take precedence over marital duties at times, but these decisions are ad hoc. It is workable. Tough going but workable.

    Fr. Rich, it is a matter of focus and even if you had a family you could zoom in and concentrate on the person or persons who need you in your role of priest. People compartmentalize. You are doing that now to get your duties done and also answer your own needs. I don’t doubt a clearer mind can focus when you are not worried about wife or kids but you could also be worried about more than one parishioner at one time. Conflicts happen in every situation.

    Learning that two popes who had children who became popes themselves is fascinating and most definitely proof that marriage and children can also work when you have a calling to the ministry of Jesus. Yes, married priests are producing more Catholics as far as their children which should be considered too as serving God as Fr. Fletcher points out.

    I think God knew that Ryan D. was meant to have children and to succeed with Fuzati as his own personal ministry rather than pursue what wasn’t a true vocation in the priesthood. I could be wrong but I believe he is where he needs to be to serve God and to have his own fulfillment in life. Kudos on what you have done with Fuzati that is very much a major accomplishment for Catholic marketing needs! I read info at your web site. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” St. Jeremiah

    Ryan S. I agree totally with you that celibacy does NOT lead to sexual crimes! That is a ridiculous belief and an excuse. Pedophilia has nothing to do with celibacy either and it happens within married domestic households all over the world and is called child abuse.

    Good inquisition question as to what challenges Mallory faces as a wife of a priest. Maybe she should be a guest on the show some day so that she can answer for herself. Another role of a woman in the church. There are some challenges different from protestant wives of ministers I am sure.

    Thank you for a well done podcast on an interesting subject, and God bless us all as life is a challenge everyone faces each day.

  2. Ben says:

    “Should Married Men be Ordained to the Priesthood?” you mean. We keep asking the wrong question, both members of the Church and mainstream media.
    Thanks guys, always enjoy the show.

  3. Amie says:

    I’ve heard a comment from other places in reference to a lack of Catholic Priests. I find it very accurate that our “shortage” seems to not be as much a shortage of people being called, but rather a shortage of men’s discernment. It seems that especially in the United States, the secular world is affecting people whether they are married or unmarried and we don’t consider that impact on vocations. It seems that there have been periods of time when men just weren’t asking if that was part of God’s plan for their life.
    Thanks all of you for what you do and for great discussions! And for both Fathers, Thanks for answering that call and offering so much of yourself for the rest of us. God Bless you!

  4. L Chang says:

    It is indeed an interesting episode. This has a long been debated item. Our team stated it very well that God has a plan for everyone. We bear fruits all in different way. I’m especially touched by Fr Richard when he raised the host and experienced the transsubstantiation and relates to his own offering of his life in Celibacy priesthood. Further, I’d like to hear about the dynamic of a married priest family economic.

  5. Liz Fontana says:

    Hi! Always enjoy this show. My cousin is a Catholic priest since 1978. We’re really close so talk all the time. In addition to celibacy which he also found difficult in his younger years, he also talks about times of profound loneliness and lack of human intimacy (non-physical) at times. Fr. Richard spoke of this as well. It is very sad, particularly when you’re not feeling well. I’m glad that Fr. Richard has parishioners who care for him when he’s sick. Serving the Lord and administering the Sacraments is a tremendous blessing and privilege but it does come with a price. Nothing compared to the price Jesus paid for our sins. Thanks for an informative show! I’ll keep watching here in Florida.

  6. René Lalloo says:

    Thanks for great show. As always educational. My cousin is a Priest here in South Africa. I should run this by him & see if he knows that there are married Priests. This is the first time I’ve heard of it & I’m 47.

  7. Marie.Veca says:

    I was recently browsing on my cell phone and upon this interesting article. About Priests should Marry or.not! This topic has been brought up many, many times.The question here is with a Family.Wife and Cildren,in addition to his priestly duties,also his being in charge of a.Parish. and his Parishoners.it would be very time consuming. and I would imagine very, very stressful.I.am a.practicing Catholic, and attend Sunday Mass faithfully.I am also a Eucharistic Minister as well for the last twenty one.yrs.I.am studying.and preparing to become a lay person,following in the Footsteps of St.Francis of.Assisi.Whether or.not this.should come about, in the near Future, which I doubt because the permission would have to come,from the.Pope.in.Rome
    Sincerely,Marie Veca

  8. Francis Okwudili Anyaeji says:

    For me, i do not think married men should be ordained priests. I think the culture has been that of celibacy and not the other way round. This is most probably the reason why the ordinance of marriage and that of priesthood has been separate from time immemorial.
    This dogma should be maintained.

  9. Henry Law says:

    It is a theological issue. Celibacy is a the vocation of a monk. Priesthood is a different and separate vocation. The two may coincide, which is recognised in the office of priest-monk.
    The Eastern Orthodox have got this one right. There are more priests and they tend to have work outside the church, which is no bad thing from many points of view. Our own PP worked for the local council as a cleaner before he retired.


    I had no idea that priests could be married. After listening to the show I understand. I was raised Baptist but fell in love with the Catholic Church in college when I would go to 6pm Sunday Mass with my boyfriend. He made sure I knew what the Catholic church teaches and all was well. I went through RCIA and was confirmed Catholic. Now the twist, he had been called to be a Priest. He has been ordained for 30 years and we are still the best of friends. I talk to him a couple of times a week.

  11. Christopher says:

    It is easy to forget here and now in America that becoming a Catholic Priest is agreeing to take on an extreme dangerous job that has ended in death for many. As a married man, I know that thoughts of my wife and child would create hesitations when confronting situations fought and won by Saints.

  12. Rose Fontes says:

    I got very excited hearing that Fr. Rich celebrated a mass at the Our Lady of Fatima in Monterrey, Mexico!
    Thank you for another wonderful episode, guys. God bless you all!

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