In this talk, delivered to around two hundred Catholic priests at the St. Paul Center’s Living Sacrifice conference, Dr. Brant Pitre examines the biblical evidence for the Church’s claim that Jesus instituted a celibate ministerial priesthood. At the time of the Reformation, the founders of Protestantism rejected the idea that Jesus founded a ministerial priesthood along with the royal priesthood of all believers. Even those who retained some idea of priesthood rejected the Catholic discipline of a celibate priesthood. Today, most people believe that the idea of priestly celibacy was a later medieval invention. In this talk Dr. Pitre shows that it actually has deep roots in both the Old Testament and the Gospels.
Readings: Isaiah 45:1,4-6 Psalm 96:1,3-5, 7-10 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5 Matthew 22:15-21 The Lord is king over all the earth, as we sing in today's Psalm. Governments rise and fall by His permission, with no authority but that given from above (see John 19:11; Romans 13:1). In effect, God says to every ruler what he tells King Cyrus in today's First Reading: "I have called you . . . though you knew me not." The Lord ...