Virginity is Better Than Marriage

“That virginity is good I do agree. But that it is even better than marriage, this I do confess. And if you wish, I will add that it is as much better than marriage as Heaven is better than Earth, as much better as angels are better than men.” (The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 2: 1116) - St. John Chrysostom, A.D. 392 (The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 2: 1116)

Celibate Definition, Meaning – Celibacy, Celibacy Quotes 

1. One who abstains from sexual intercourse, especially by reason of religious vows. 

2. A person who is unmarried, esp one who has taken a religious vow of chastity. 

3. Any person who is unmarried. 

4. Chastity, sexual abstention, abstinence - act or practice of refraining from indulging an appetite. 

5. Abstaining from sexual intercourse; "celibate priests". 

6. Historically, celibate means only "unmarried"; its use to mean "abstaining from sexual intercourse" is a 20th- century development. But the new sense of the word seems to have displaced the old, and the use of celibate to mean "unmarried" is now almost sure to invite misinterpretation in other than narrowly ecclesiastical contexts. Let’s look at an example of how the older use of the word celibate would look like in a sentence: He remained celibate [unmarried], although he engaged in illicit sexual intercourse. 

The words abstinence and celibacy are often used interchangeably, but are different. Sexual abstinence or continence refers to abstaining from sexual intercourse. The term “celibacy” is used to refer to an unmarried state. According to Paul the Apostle, marriage is a social obligation that has the potential of distracting from Christ. So, celibacy is the single life, free from such distraction, it is a more saintly life of self denial.

The Apostle Paul endorsed celibate life in his letter to the Corinthian Church,

1 Corinthians 7:32-35: “But I would have you to be without solicitude. He that is without a wife, is solicitous for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please God. But he that is with a wife, is solicitous for the things of the world, how he may please his wife: and he is divided. And the unmarried woman and the virgin thinketh on the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she that is married thinketh on the things of the world, how she may please her husband. And this I speak for your profit: not to cast a snare upon you; but for that which is decent, and which may give you power to attend upon the Lord, without impediment.”

According to the St. Jerome, celibacy is a moral virtue, consisting by not living in the flesh but outside the flesh. Celibacy excludes not only lawful marital acts, but also sinful thoughts or desires of the flesh. The first Conciliar document on celibacy of the Western Christian Church (Canon 33 of the Spanish Council of Elvira, c. 305 AD) states that the discipline of celibacy is to refrain from the use of marriage, i.e. refrain from having carnal contact with your spouse.

Abstinence, in short, is a response on the outside to what’s going on; but celibacy is a response from the inside. — According to this definition, celibacy (even short-term celibacy that is pursued for non-religious reasons) is much more than not having sex. It is more intentional than abstinence, and its goal is personal growth and empowerment.

Celibacy as a vocation may be independent from religious vows (as is the case with consecrated virgins, ascetics and hermits). Traditionally though, most celibate persons have been religious and monastics (monks resp. brothers and nuns resp. sisters). In the Latin rite of the Catholic Church, priests are required to be celibate. In the Catholic Church, and the Eastern and Oriental schismatical “Orthodox” traditions, bishops are required to be celibate. In the Eastern Catholic rite and the schismatic Eastern “Orthodox” traditions, priests and deacons are allowed to be married, yet have to remain celibate if they are unmarried at the time of ordination.

Catholic perspective 

In the Roman Catholic Church the apostles were considered the first priests and bishops in the Church. The call to be eunuchs for the sake of heaven in Matthew 19 is considered a call to be sexually continent. This later developed into mandatory celibacy for priests who are the successors of the apostles. This is in spite of the fact that Peter was the first apostle called by Jesus (Matthew 4:18-20) and Peter was married (Matthew 8). We read in Matthew 8:14-15: “And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother lying, and sick of a fever: And he touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she arose and ministered to them.” The Catholic Church does not deny that Peter was married. However, note her general absence in the New Testament texts. We do not even know her name. We only encounter the mother-in-law, never his wife or any children, one might even suppose that Peter was a widower. Could he have been married more than once? We just do not know. Tradition suggests that his wife was martyred. It is peculiar that although the wife would ordinarily have cared for the needs of guests, Peter had to rely upon his wife’s mother. However, even if she was still alive, she evidently assumed a secondary role in his life behind his leadership of the infant Church. Indeed, her insignificance in the biblical witness would seem to provide weight to the supporters of priestly celibacy. Like Peter, bishops and priests might do better to serve God’s people without the distraction of wives and children. Jesus gives his sheep to Peter (John 21:15-17). Pastors similarly love Christ and care for their flocks. This is the emphasis of Catholic ministry, our family in faith.

So, the Catholic Church simply teaches that the state of virginity or celibacy is a superior state to marriage. This dogmatic teaching of the Catholic Church also comes from the Bible, as we have seen.

Pope Pius IV, Council of Trent, Sess 14, Nov. 11, 1563, on Matrimony: “If anyone says that the married state is to be preferred to the state of virginity or celibacy, and that it is not better and happier to remain in virginity or celibacy than to be united in matrimony [ cf. Matt. 19:11; 1 Cor. 7:25 ]: let him be anathema.” (Denz. 980)

This is not to say, of course, that the married state is bad. Marriage is a good state when observed properly, but the celibate state is better. In 1 Cor. 7, St. Paul clearly teaches the superiority of the celibate state to the married state, thus providing a powerful refutation of the Protestant denial of this truth.

1 Corinthians, Chap. 7- “Now concerning the thing whereof you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. But for fear of fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband… But I speak this by indulgence, not by commandment. For I would that all men were even as myself [unmarried]: but every one hath his proper gift from God; one after this manner, and another after that. But I say to the unmarried, and to the widows: It is good for them if they so continue, even as I…

“But if any man think that he seemeth dishonoured, with regard to his virgin, for that she is above the age, and it must so be: let him do what he will; he sinneth not, if she marry. For he that hath determined being steadfast in his heart, having no necessity, but having power of his own will; and hath judged this in his heart, to keep his virgin, doth well. Therefore, both he that giveth his virgin in marriage, doth well; and he that giveth her not, doth better.”

We see that St. Paul clearly identifies the state of virginity or celibacy as a state that is better than the state of marriage. We also see this in the words of Jesus Himself:

In Matthew 19:11-12, Jesus Christ says: “All men take not this word, but they to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs, who were born so from their mother’s womb: and there are eunuchs, who were made so by men: and there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can take, let him take it.”

Jesus is clearly speaking here of those who live singly and chastely for the sake of the kingdom of God. As the Catholic commentary in the Douay Rehims Bible notes about this verse: “There are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs, for the kingdom of heaven... This text is not to be taken in the literal sense; but means, that there are such, who have taken a firm and commendable resolution of leading a single and chaste life, in order to serve God in a more perfect state than those who marry: as St. Paul clearly shows. 1 Cor. 7. 37, 38.”

Further, as the Catholic commentary in the Haydock Bible notes about this verse: All men take not this word. To translate all cannot take, or cannot receive this word, is neither conformable to the Latin nor Greek text. To be able to live singly, and chastely, is given to every one that asketh, and prayeth for the grace of God to enable him to live so. (Witham) --- That is, all receive not the gift of living singly and chastely, unless they pray for the grace of God to enable them to live so, and for some it may be necessary to that end to fast as well as pray: and to those it is given from above. (Challoner) --- Jesus Christ takes occasion from the remark of the Pharisees to praise holy virginity, which he represents as a great and good gift of heaven; and such it has ever been considered in the eye of true and genuine religion. Hence it appears that besides commandments, there are evangelical counsels, to the observance of which it is both lawful and meritorious for a Christian to devote himself, especially for the purpose of employing himself with greater liberty and less encumbrance in the service of his God. --- Our Lord does not approve of the conclusion his disciples drew from his doctrine on the indissolubility of marriage, lest he should seem to condemn matrimony both good and necessary; neither does he reprove them for it, lest he should seem to prefer it before the state of continency. His answer therefore prudently avoids both difficulties, by seeming to grant, on the one hand, that it was more expedient not to marry, because chastity is a great gift of God; (1 Corinthians vii.) and plainly shewing on the other, that only few can have this privilege, because all men take not this word, i.e. all are not called to this state. (Jansenius) --- All cannot receive it, because all do not wish it. The reward is held out to all. Let him who seeks for glory, not think of the labour. None would overcome, if all were afraid of engaging in the conflict. If some fail, are we to be less careful in our pursuit of virtue? Is the soldier terrified, because his comrade fights and falls by his side? (St. Chrysostom) --- He that can take it, let him take it. He that can fight, let him fight, overcome and triumph. It is the voice of the Lord animating his soldiers to victory. (St. Jerome) --- He that can take, let him take it. Some think that to take it, in this and the foregoing verse, is to understand; and so will have the sense to be, he that can understand what I have said of different eunuchs, let him understand it; as when Christ said elsewhere, he that hath ears to hear, let him hear. But others expound it as an admonition to men and women, not to engage themselves in a vow of living a single life, unless, after a serious deliberation, they have good grounds to think they can duly comply with this vow, otherwise let them not make it. Thus St. Jerome on this place, and St. Chrysostom where they both expressly take notice, that this grace is granted to every one that asketh and beggeth for it by prayer. (Witham) --- To the crown and glory of which state, let those aspire who feel themselves called by heaven.

This biblical truth, which is rejected by the Protestants, was taught repeatedly by the fathers of the Church – that is, those prominent Christian writers of the earliest centuries who repeated the truths learned from the apostles. Here are two of numerous examples that could be given.

St. John Chrysostom, A.D. 392: “That virginity is good I do agree. But that it is even better than marriage, this I do confess. And if you wish, I will add that it is as much better than marriage as Heaven is better than Earth, as much better as angels are better than men.” (The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 2: 1116)

St. Cyril of Jerusalem, A.D. 350: “While you maintain perfect chastity, do not be puffed up in vain conceit against those who walk a humbler path in matrimony…. Because you have a possession of gold, do not on that account hold the silver in contempt.” (The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 1: 818c)

So, the view of the Roman Catholic Church remains that celibacy is more a reflection of life in Heaven, a source of detachment from the material world which aids in one’s relationship with God. Celibacy is designed to consecrate themselves with undivided heart to the Lord and to the affairs of the Lord, they give themselves entirely to God and to men. It is a sign of this new life to the service of which the Church’s minister is consecrated; accepted with a joyous heart celibacy radiantly proclaims the Reign of God.

Catholic priests are called to be espoused (married) to the Church itself, and espoused to God, without overwhelming, exclusive commitments interfering with the relationship. Celibacy was not required of popes, bishops, or priests in the early church. The early church favored asceticism and celibacy as ideals for clergy and popes, bishops, and priests, but they where nonetheless allowed to be married and sired children for over a thousand years after Christ Celibacy became obligatory for all priests in the west in the 12th century at the First Lateran Council (1123), Second Lateran Council (1139), and the Council of Trent (1545–64).

Jesus’ characterization (in Matthew 22:30) of the future status of all persons in heaven is officially designated “universal celibacy” by the Roman Catholic Church: “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.” 


Only the chaste man and the chaste woman are capable of true love."
--Pope Saint John Paul II

"Holy Purity is granted by God when it is asked for with humility." 
--St. Josemaria Escriva

"Chastity is a difficult, long term matter; one must wait patiently for it to bear fruit, for the happiness of loving kindness which it must bring. But at the same time, chastity is the sure way to happiness."
--Pope Saint John Paul II 

"In the realm of evil thoughts none induces to sin as much as do thoughts that concern the pleasure of the flesh."
--St. Thomas Aquinas 

"In temptations against chastity, the spiritual masters advise us, not so much to contend with the bad thought, as to turn the mind to some spiritual, or, at least, indifferent object. It is useful to combat other bad thoughts face to face, but not thoughts of impurity."
--St. Alphonsus Liguori 

To be pure, to remain pure, can only come at a price, the price of knowing God and loving him enough to do his will. He will always give us the strength we need to keep purity as something as beautiful for him."
--Blessed Mother Teresa

"'Purity?' they ask. And they smile. They are the ones who go on to marriage with worn-out bodies and disillusioned souls." 
- St. Josemaria Escriva

'Blessed the one who loves holiness like the light and has not defiled his body with dark deeds of the Evil One in the sight of the Lord.'
--St. Ephrem of Syria

"Lust indulged became habit, and habit unresisted became necessity." 
- St. Augustine

"There is need for a crusade of manliness and purity to counteract and nullify the savage work of those who think man is a beast. And that crusade is your work." 
--St. Josemaria Escriva

"Many live like angels in the middle of the world. You, … why not you?" 
--St. Josemaria Escriva

"When you decide firmly to lead a clean life, chastity will not be a burden on you: it will be a crown of triumph." 
--St. Josemaria Escriva 

”Chastity is the lily of virtues, and makes men almost equal to Angels. Everything is beautiful in accordance with its purity. Now the purity of man is chastity, which is called honesty, and the observance of it, honor and also integrity; and its contrary is called corruption; in short, it has this peculiar excellence above the other virtues, that it preserves both soul and body fair and unspotted.”
--Saint Francis of Sales, Doctor of the Church

”What is more comely than chastity, which makes one generated from impure seed pure; an enemy, a friend; and a man, an Angel? There is a difference, indeed, between a chaste man and an Angel, but in happiness, not in virtue; the Angel's chastity is more happy; but man's is more proved.”
--Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Father and Doctor of the Church

”Chastity, or cleanness of heart, holds a glorious and distinguished place among the virtues, because she, alone, enables man to see God; hence Truth itself said, ‘Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.’”
--Saint Augustine, Father and Doctor of the Church 

Sacra Virginitas - On Consecrated Virginity
By Pope Pius XII




1. Holy virginity and that perfect chastity which is consecrated to the service of God is without doubt among the most precious treasures which the Founder of the Church has left in heritage to the society which He established.

2. This assuredly was the reason why the Fathers of the Church confidently asserted that perpetual virginity is a very noble gift which the Christian religion has bestowed on the world. They rightly noted that the pagans of antiquity imposed this way of life on the Vestals only for a certain time;[1] and that, although in the Old Testament virginity is ordered to be kept and preserved, it is only a previous requisite for marriage;[2] and furthermore, as Ambrose writes,[3] "We read that also in the temple of Jerusalem there were virgins. But what does the Apostle say? 'Now all these things happened to them in figure',[4] that this might be a foreshadowing of what was to come "

3. Indeed, right from Apostolic times this virtue has been thriving and flourishing in the garden of the Church. When the Acts of the Apostles[5] say that Philip the deacon was the father of four virgins, the word certainly refers to their state of life rather than to their age. And not much later Ignatius of Antioch salutes the virgins,[6] who together with the widows, formed a not insignificant part of the Christian community of Smyrna. In the second century, as St. Justin testifies, "many men and women, sixty and seventy years old, imbued from childhood with the teachings of Christ, keep their integrity."[7] Gradually the number of men and women who had vowed their chastity to God grew; likewise the importance of the office they fulfilled in the Church increased notably, as We have shown more at length in Our apostolic constitution, "Sponsa Christi."[8]

4. Further, the Fathers of the Church, such as Cyprian, Athanasius, Ambrose, John Chrysostom, Jerome, Augustine, and many others, have sung the praises of virginity. And this doctrine of the Fathers, augmented through the course of centuries by the Doctors of the Church and the masters of asceticism, helps greatly either to inspire in the faithful of both sexes the firm resolution of dedicating themselves to God by the practice of perfect chastity and of persevering thus till death, or to strengthen them in the resolution already taken..


Forgive the lengthy quotes. It may be tempting to dismiss the beauty of virginity because of this quote and how the philosopher depicts Mary — in a very Catholic way. Yet, what I understood from him was that there was a sacredness to virginity, and the early Christianity believed so too. 

It [prohibition] underlies the deep respect for virginity that we encounter, not only in classical and Biblical texts, but in the literature of almost all the articulate regions. There are no greater tributes to human beauty than the medieval and Renaissance images of the Holy Virgin [Mary]: a woman whose sexual maturity is expressed in motherhood and who yet remains untouchable, barely distinguishable, as an object of veneration, from the child in her arms. Mary has never been subdued by her body as others are, and stands as a symbol of an idealized love between embodied people, a love which is both human and divine. The Virgin’s beauty is a symbol of purity, and for this very reason is held apart from the realm of the sexual appetite, in a world of its own. 

In the Bible, virginity was sacred as well as prized. If a man slept with a virgin not betrothed to him, he was to pay the bride price for her and was to make her his wife (Exod. 22:16; cf. Deut. 22:19ff). The Levites were to take virgin’s as wives (Lev. 21:13–14). Two particular scenes in the Old Testament actually depict virginity’s virtue. Tamar, the daughter of David, wore the garments of the virgin daughters of David (2 Sam. 13:18). When her brother raped her, she tore her clothes and put ashes on her head in shame (2 Sam. 13:19). This gesture was interpreted by Absalom as her having been breached, and that by one of her other brothers.

In another story, Jephthah made a rash vow. The result was, according to the text, his sacrificing his daughter. Whether you believe he literally did this or not is another matter, but I can’t help but touch on it here. I find it irreconcilable to think that God would have accepted the sacrifice of a human — his asking Abraham to slaughter Isaac notwithstanding — when he sternly warned Israel not to do so on many occasions. Regardless, Jephthah’s daughter went with companions to bewail her virginity (Judg. 11:37–38).

In the New Testament, 1 Corinthians 7 gives us a glance at the unwed. Paul urged that to remain unmarried was preferred, but not required. Some even withheld their virgin daughters from marrying, believing it to have been a greater devotion to Christ. In later church history, an order of virgins arose and were noted as distinguished from pagan virgins. Origen noted the differences of his Christian sisters from the pagan in that the pagan virgins were drug users, bribe takers and lacked other forms of decorum (Cel. 7.48). Athanasius viewed Christian virgins as a proof of the power of Christ and the truthfulness of Christianity (Inc. 48.2; 51.1). Many early church fathers wrote treatises on the subject of virginity. These women denied themselves marriage and the blessing of bearing and birthing children because they were devoted and wed to Christ.

This view seems one-sided. Some might ask, “What about the male virgins?” The term “virgin” in its etymology was exclusively feminine. I know, some think I’m one-sided on this topic. However, I believe this one-sidedness is a compliment to the fairer sex. The beauty of the virtue of women who has protected herself from sensuousness and fleshly women is admirable. I’m a bit old-fashioned. It bugs me when men use curse-words, but it really sets me off when women use them. My own views notwithstanding, the beauty and sacredness of virginity belong to the woman. This one thing historically that man doesn’t share with her.

The epitome of virgin holiness is and has been depicted by the one woman whom God chose to bear His Son. Virginity is beautiful because of its ties to the sacred. The purity of a virgin — while often made fun of today — reminds us of the purity and holiness of God. A pure woman captures this. She, like the church, is a “splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, [and is] holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:27). 


What is celibacy?

Celibacy is the state of not being married.

People associate it with the priesthood because, in the Latin rite of the Church, the norm is for priests to be unmarried—to be celibate.

However, properly speaking, anyone who is unmarried can also be said to be celibate.

It comes from the Latin word caelibatus, which simply means “the state of being unmarried.”

What is chastity?

Chastity is the virtue of being sexually pure.

It comes from the Latin word castitas, which originally meant “purity,” and which came to refer specifically to sexual purity.

Chastity will take different forms depending on whether one is celibate or married, we are about to see.

How do these concepts relate to consecrated life?

People who live the consecrated life take vows regarding the evangelical councils of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

They are called “evangelical” counsels because they are recommended by Christ in the Gospels as ways of approaching Christian perfection. (Chastity and poverty, explicitly so, cf. Matt. 19:10-11, 21; obedience to a religious superior by way of inference.)

For that reason, they are also called “counsels of perfection.”

They are called “counsels” because they are recommendations rather than mandates that apply to everyone. They are voluntarily assumed by some individuals to grow in perfection.

For example, not everyone has to be poor, but if you voluntarily assume poverty, it can be a religious act that unites one more closely with Christ, as in Jesus’ counsel to the rich young man in the Gospels.


In 1075 Pope Gregory VII issued a decree effectively barring married priests from ministry, a discipline formalized by the First Lateran Council in 1123. Since then celibacy has been required of Roman Catholic priests, though the Catholic churches of the East have continued to allow priests to marry before their ordination.

Current church teaching sees celibacy as a gift that God bestows on those who are called to the priesthood. Among the church's arguments in defense of celibacy is the example of Jesus, which must be reflected in the life of a priest. Through celibacy the priest mirrors the love that Christ has for all, a love that the priest, unattached to spouse and children, can also extend.

At the same time, celibacy is not a revealed truth but a church discipline. 

A Brief History of Celibacy in the 
Catholic Church 

First Century
Peter, the first pope, and the apostles that Jesus chose were, for the most part, married men. The New Testament implies that women presided at eucharistic meals in the early church.

Second and Third Century
Age of Gnosticism: light and spirit are good, darkness and material things are evil. A person cannot be married and be perfect. However, most priests were married.

Fourth Century
306-Council of Elvira, Spain, decree #43: a priest who sleeps with his wife the night before Mass will lose his job.
325-Council of Nicea: decreed that after ordination a priest could not marry. Proclaimed the Nicene Creed.
352-Council of Laodicea: women are not to be ordained. This suggests that before this time there was ordination of women.
385-Pope Siricius left his wife in order to become pope. Decreed that priests may no longer sleep with their wives.

Fifth Century
401-St. Augustine wrote, Nothing is so powerful in drawing the spirit of a man downwards as the caresses of a woman.

Sixth Century
567-2nd Council of Tours: any cleric found in bed with his wife would be excommunicated for a year and reduced to the lay state.
580-Pope Pelagius II: his policy was not to bother married priests as long as they did not hand over church property to wives or children.
590-604-Pope Gregory the Great said that all sexual desire is sinful in itself (meaning that sexual desire is intrinsically evil?).

Seventh Century
France: documents show that the majority of priest were married.

Eighth Century
St. Boniface reported to the pope that in Germany almost no bishop or priest was celibate.

Ninth Century
836-Council of Aix-la-Chapelle openly admitted that abortions and infanticide took place in convents and monasteries to cover up activities of uncelibate clerics.
St. Ulrich, a holy bishop, argued from scripture and common sense that the only way to purify the church from the worst excesses of celibacy was to permit priests to marry.

Eleventh Century

Benedict IX dispensed himself from celibacy and resigned in order to marry.
1074-Pope Gregory VII said anyone to be ordained must first pledge celibacy: priests [must] first escape from the clutches of their wives.
1095-Pope Urban II had priests wives sold into slavery, children were abandoned.

Twelfth Century
1123-Pope Calistus II: First Lateran Council decreed that clerical marriages were invalid.
1139-Pope Innocent II: Second Lateran Council confirmed the previous councils decree.

Fourteenth Century
Bishop Pelagio complains that women are still ordained and hearing confessions.

Fifteenth Century
Transition; 50% of priests are married and accepted by the people.

Sixteenth Century
1545-63-Council of Trent states that celibacy and virginity are superior to marriage. 
1517-Martin Luther.
1530-Henry VIII.

Seventeenth Century
Inquisition. Galileo. Newton.

Eighteenth Century
1776-American Declaration of Independence.
1789-French Revolution.

Nineteenth Century
1847-Marx, Communist Manifesto.
1869-First Vatican Council; infallibility of pope.

Twentieth Century
1930-Pope Pius XI: sex can be good and holy.
1951-Pope Pius XII: married Lutheran pastor ordained catholic priest in Germany.
1962-Pope John XXIII: Vatican Council II; vernacular; marriage is equal to virginity.
1966-Pope Paul VI: celibacy dispensations.
1970s-Ludmilla Javorova and several other Czech women ordained to serve needs of women imprisoned by Communists.
1978-Pope John Paul II: puts a freeze on dispensations. 
1983-New Canon Law.
1980-Married Anglican/Episcopal pastors are ordained as catholic priests in the U.S.; also in Canada and England in 1994.

Popes who were married
St. Peter, Apostle
St. Felix III 483-492 (2 children)
St. Hormidas 514-523 (1 son)
St. Silverus (Antonia) 536-537
Hadrian II 867-872 (1 daughter)
Clement IV 1265-1268 (2 daughters)
Felix V 1439-1449 (1 son) 


"Celibacy is not a matter of compulsion. Someone is accepted as a priest only when he does it of his own accord." - Pope Benedict XVI 


Despite reports, Pope Francis isn’t opening the door to all married priests 

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