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Why Can't Priests And Nuns Get Married

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SOME GIRLS HERE AT SCHOOL WERE ASKING ME WHY PRIESTS AND NUNS CAN'T GET MARRIED. I WASN'T REALLY SURE HOW TO ANSWER THEIR QUESTION, SO I NEED YOUR HELP.

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Well, there are a few different reasons. Nuns (and monks) can't get married because their lifestyle prohibits it. Nuns live in communities of women, often in solitude or seclusion from the rest of the world. Could you imagine how difficult that would be if you had men living with them in the same community? It simply wouldn't work logistically. However, there is another, more important, reason: nuns save their sexuality for our Lord. In heaven, there will be no marriage, because we will be united to God and he will be the spouse of all humanity. Marriage is supposed to be a reflection of the love between God and man, so it wouldn't make much sense if marriage co-existed with the reality of the object it's reflecting. Nuns (and monks) strive to live out that heavenly love in this life, forsaking marriage and sexual relations for heavenly relations instead.

Priests do this as well, but they have another reason. In the Eastern Rites of the Church, priests can be married. They can also be married if they were married Anglican clergymen who converted and were ordained Catholic priests. In the West, however, the Church decided to place the gift of celibacy (and it is a gift, not a curse) on priests because the Church found that it helped them to perform their ministry better.

For more information, see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1618-1620.

God bless,

Raphael

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