A thread of quotes from saints on clerical celibacy (priests not getting married) and clerical continence (priests not having sex) from the book "The Case for Clerical Celibacy"
When I shared these on Twitter, they were retweeted by Bishop Seitz from Texas, so some of this social media work pays off!
1) “In his treatise Adversus Vigilantium (406), Saint Jerome reiterated the obligation that ministers of the altar had to live in permanent continence”
2) St Ambrose “Clearly stated that even ministers of the altar who had been married before ordination could not continue the use of marriage after ordination”
3) St Augustine “Participated at the Council of Carthage in which the obligation had been repeatedly affirmed and traced back to the Apostles”
4) Saint Gregory the Great (590-604) “Stated simply that even the ordination to the subdiaconate definitively carried with it the obligation to perfect continence”
5) St Leo the Great (456): “The law of continence is the same for the ministers of the altar, bishops and priests. When they were still laymen they could take a wife and have children, but once they have reached the ranks mentioned above, what has been permitted is no longer so.”
6) Pope Siricius In 385 “Priests and deacons who, even after ordination, have children act against an irrevocable law which has bound major clerics from the beginning of the Church. Their appeal to the Old Testament, in which the priests and Levites could use their marriage rights outside the time of their service in the Temple, have been refuted by the New Testament, in which the major clerics had to offer daily their sacred service. Thus from the day of their ordination they were obliged to live in perpetual continence.”
“In the various heretical and schismatic movements that have arisen in the Church, one of the first institutions to be attacked is clerical continence.” - from the book itself