Okay now where is that verse in the Bible, or does it come from her man-made tradition? Of course the Church doesn’t mandate celibacy. Priests make the decision for celibacy when they become a ordained. If they wish to be married they don’t go that direction.
- As Jesus pointed out there are those who “have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of Heaven” (Mt. 19:12).
Never-the-less, Casey does not like celibacy; she associates it with the devil. But of course Jesus liked celibacy, and so did Paul. And so she is arguing against her own Bible which is at odds with her tradition. She and her Church have bought into the liberal lie. Remember, Paul says those who remain single will do better. What you really have here is an authority problem.
Casey brought up a couple of verses in 1Timothy, as a reason for the Church being wrong about celibacy. They forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God has created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth” (1Tm 4:1-3). She is correct in that Paul did speak against teachings that have an absolute prohibition against marriage and certain foods. The problem with her opposition to celibacy in the Catholic Church is this; the Church does not have an absolute prohibition against marriage.
There is no forced celibacy in the Catholic Church. When a person is ordained to the priesthood that person agrees to be celibate as part of his ordination. No one has a gun to his head. If someone decides that the priesthood is not for him after ordination, he can still go through the proper channels, become laicized and get married.
So your objection is really not about celibacy; it is about authority. Does the Church have the authority to enforce rules (including celibacy) and disciplines as well as doctrines? And is Church authority in the Bible?
Jesus said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me" (Mt 28:18). But, did Jesus give this authority to the Church? Yes, he said to Peter; "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven: WHATEVER you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; WHATEVER you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" (Mt 16:19). "If your brother sins [against you]. . . If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen to even to the church, then treat him as you would a gentile or tax collector. '(Mt 18:17).
Jesus gave real authority to the Church. He gave Peter authority to bind WHATEVER. If Jesus was a good Evangelical He would have given his authority to a paper text Bible, not to Peter. So much for Bible alone theology, Jesus gave authority to the Church so we have to listen to the Church. If all we do is follow a paper text Bible and not the Church, we are not following the whole Bible. We cannot just pick and choose what we want to believe in the Bible. This is why as Catholics we follow both the Bible and the teaching authority of the Church, because it is Biblical.
“[Jesus] said to them again, Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you. “And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained (Jn. 20:22-23).” Jesus gave the Church real authority. If someone has a problem with the Church having real authority, in the Bible, take it up with Jesus, He was the one who gave the Church authority.
Celibacy is not an issue of dogma; the Church could decide tomorrow to allow priests to marry and in some cases they do already. This of course begs the question; why doesn't the Church allow marriage for priests across the board, if it actually can? Is there any Biblical reason for celibacy?
Yes, there is; Paul speaks for celibacy to the Corinthians. "I should like you to be free of anxieties. An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord. But a married man is anxious about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and he is divided. An unmarried woman or a virgin is anxious about the things of the Lord, so that she may be holy in both body and spirit. A married woman, on the other hand, is anxious about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. “I am telling you this for your own benefit, not to impose a restraint upon you but for the sake of propriety and adherence to the Lord without distraction ... The one who marries his virgin will do well; the one who does not marry her will do better" (1 Cor 7:32-35, 38).
Jesus spoke for celibacy; “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or wife or brothers or parent or children for the sake of the Kingdom of God” (LK 18:29) And in Mathew, Jesus is even more pointed about the issue “because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of Heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it” (Mt. 19:12). Jesus understood that there were people like Casey who could not accept this. Would Casey say that Jesus was following the devil because He thought celibacy was okay?
Many times I have had discussions with people who speak against celibacy. Not once, in all those times, did one of these people cite a verse from the Bible recommending celibacy as a viable option. The reason for this is because, if they had, they would be refuting their own objection to celibacy.
This of course brings up another question. If the Bible is not against celibacy, and both Paul and Jesus are for celibacy, why do some speak against it? Why do they oppose the Biblical notion of celibacy in the Catholic Church? It is simple; they have been influenced by the liberalism of the world and the mass media, not by the Bible. If someone has a problem with celibacy, take it up with Paul and Jesus. They’re the ones who recommended it.
And so, marry if you wish or stay single if you wish. As the apostle Paul says; "The one who marries his virgin will do well; the one who does not marry her will do better" (1 Cor 7:38).