Q. 1. I heard that being a married priest does not solve the problems that are found in the unmarried priest. What is meant by that?
A. 1. There are some of believe that if a priest was allowed to marry, there would be more priests. They fail to realize that the priesthood is a calling from God. Being married does not mean that God will call more men to the priesthood.
There are those who believe that a married priest would be in a better position to understand the problems of married couples. That is like saying an unmarried Doctor does not understand the needs of a woman or an unmarried teacher is not qualified to teach sex education. We all know that such is incorrect.
A former Anglican minister who has now been ordained as a Catholic priest stated the following on the matter of married priests:
"Remember married men are not perfect. Married clergymen are often workaholics. Many married clergymen are immature. Some married clergymen have sexual problems just like celibate men do. Married clergymen have drink problems. Married clergymen struggle with porn and same sex attraction and abuse children. When a clergy marriage breaks down it is usually disastrous and scandalous and the hurt and pain ripple right through the whole church. I donít mean to paint a horrible picture of married clergy Ė just reminding people that itís not all quite as happy and wonderful as they seem to think."
He goes on to ask, if Catholics want a married clergy, are they willing to pay for them? A married priest could not support a family of 4 or 12 on the salary that most parishes presently provide. As such, their wives have to hold a second job or operate a business.
Indeed, there are problems with the unmarried priesthood. Those of the married priesthood are just as great if not greater. It is easy to determine how another person should live. But until such time as the person has lived that life, he/she is not qualified to determine what is the best way to live, being single or married.
The single priest gives his life to God, one hundred percent. The married priest has an obligation towards his family, God often comes second in his life. Which does God prefer?