Is Celibacy Biblical?

By Curtis Mitch

Curtis Mitch is a writer, editor, and research fellow at the St. Paul Center. He has been a contributor to the popular apologetics series Catholic for a Reason (Emmaus Road Publishing); he has co-authored a commentary on the Gospel of Matthew with Edward Sri in the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture series (Baker Academic); and he is the principal annotator and associate editor of the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible (Ignatius Press). He has also been a guest lecturer in theology at Franciscan University and an online instructor in theology for Catholic Distance University.

Curtis Mitch, St. Paul Center Fellow and co-author of the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, discusses the Old Testament origins of the practice of celibacy in the Catholic Church today.

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Priestly celibacy, some say, is an outdated relic from another age. Others see it as a lonely way of life.

But as Fr. Carter Griffin argues in Why Celibacy?: Reclaiming the Fatherhood of the Priest, the ancient practice of celibacy, when lived well, helps a priest exercise his spiritual fatherhood joyfully and fruitfully.