No official Church position on the celibacy of Christ

No official Church position on the celibacy of Christ

ABC News did it’s laughable “expose” on Monday night, highlighting the “DaVinci Code” novel as if it were the truth. The book purports to be based on fact and claims that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had several kids and that she was in fact the most important person in the Church, not Peter.

Anyway, to provide “balance”, ABC asked the US bishops’ conference, USCCB, to comment. The host, Elizabeth Vargas, said the following:

We asked the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for the Catholic Church’s position on Jesus being married. It said that there was no official doctrine on the subject but that it is the Church’s opinion that he was not married because it is not in the Gospels.

No position? No official doctrine? The evangelical counsel of consecrated celibacy being based on the celibacy of Christ is not an official position of the Church?

How about Vatican II’s Prebyterorum ordinis, no. 16, which says priests who are celibate follow the example of the Lord? How about Paul VI’s encyclical on celibacy that claims of course that Christ was celibate his entire life? Never mind all the other teachings of the Church over 2,000 years.

Are the bureaucrats at the bishops’ conference so used to waffling on everything that they can’t even make a simple declarative statement on something so fundamental as this?

I’d hate to see them order breakfast: “While we don’t deny the tastiness and suitability of pancakes as a breakfast food, we take no official position on whether pancakes are inherently better than fried eggs or cereal.” Now we know where Clinton’s PR flacks ended up after his term ended.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
4 comments
  • Actually Gene, celibacy is abstinence from sexual relations, while chastity is living your state in life morally. Even married people are called to be chaste in the sense that they are to use their sexuality appropriately.

    And a celibate marriage would not be a violation of the Church’s teachings. What would that say about Joseph and Mary’s marriage?

    Phil,
    Yes, one could be celibate and married. For obvious reasons, it is called a Josephite marriage, but it is a very serious obligation that the Church encourages couples to scrutinize carefully. It’s too complicated to discuss fully here, but there’s lots to be read on the topic.

    That said, I have another point to offer: If Jesus was married, why wouldn’t any of the apostles, evangelists, or early Church fathers mention it? After all, many of the apostles were married, including Peter, so it would not have been any kind of scandal.

  • The problem, GOR, is that the novel itself begins with a disclaimer that it is based on fact, when it is clearly not. And so many people, including well-meaning Catholics, read it and think that the lies and heresies portrayed within are true, despite it being part of a novel.

  • Did I read somewhere that Carl Olson wrote a book rebutttal to the DaVinci Code. Any body know?

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