Catechism Series on the Basics of the Catholic Faith

Priestly Celibacy — An Indispensable Tradition

Although a certain tolerance has long existed in the Eastern rites of the Church for ordaining married men to the priesthood, the Apostolic Tradition and universal law of the Church has established priestly celibacy as the indispensable norm of Catholic life. Our Lord has allowed the Church to make exceptions to this norm which He Himself set, that priests should not exercise the privileges of marriage, but it would be absolutely unfitting and thus morally impossible for the Church to entirely set aside this tradition.

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