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Refuting the Protestant rejection of the Catholic and the Bible’s teaching on celibacy
A Protestant recently wrote to us attacking the Catholic Church and its teaching on celibacy. He stated:
Since this is a somewhat common sentiment among Protestants, it is appropriate to make this unbiblical lie the Heresy of the Week. The Catholic Church teaches dogmatically that the state of virginity or celibacy is a superior state to marriage. This dogma of the Catholic Church comes from the Bible, as we will see.
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.
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:
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 Rheims 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.”
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.
The point of this Heresy of the Week is to show, once again, that no matter what issue you want to turn to – whether it’s the Papacy (Mt. 16:18-20; Jn. 21:15-17) or the Eucharist (Jn. 6:54) or Confession (Jn. 20:23) or the necessity of Baptism (Jn. 3:5) or the necessity of faith with works (James 2:24) or celibacy (Mt. 19:11; 1 Cor. 7) or something else – it’s the Catholic Church which has the true Biblical teaching and the Protestants who do not.
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