Which New Testament writer recommends celibacy for full-time clergy?
THE ANSWER IS .. A ..St. Paul, who was celibate himself (1 Cor 7:8), recommended celibacy for full-time clergy (1 Cor 7:32-35)
Celibacy was nothing new. Old Testament prophets such as Elijah and Jeremiah chose to live this way for God. So did John the Baptist.
For info on celibacy of the clergy, see:
http://www.catholicherald.com/saunders/04ws/ws040527.htm (Celibacy in the Priesthood)
http://www.catholic.com/library/Celibacy_and_the_Priesthood.asp (Celibacy & Priesthood Defended)
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03481a.htm (History of Clerical Celibacy)
The Spanish Council of Elvira, held between 295 A.D. and 302 A.D., dictates celibacy for the three higher orders of the clergy: bishops, priests, and deacons. (See Catholic Encyclopedia)
Because St. Paul does not say celibacy is an absolute necessity (although clearly he does not envision a Church without it), the Catholic Church has allowed some married men (specifically some Protestant ministers that converted to Catholicism) in special cases to be ordained priests. Of course, they must promise not to marry again, even if their wife dies.
Deacons in the Catholic Church may also be married. Deacons vows also involve a promise not to remarry.
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