The universal law of clerical celibacy confirmed by the Council of Nicaea applied, and still applies, to the Eastern Church as well as the Western. It is noteworthy that at that Council, the Easterners (Greeks) made up the overwhelming majority. Previously, the Council of Neo-Caesarea (c. 314) had reminded all Eastern clerics in major orders of the inviolability of this law under pain of deposition: “If a presbyter marry, let him be removed from his order.” (Canon 1) And of course, we must nor forget to cite earliest canon law on the subject: “None of the clergy, except readers and singers may marry after ordination.” (The Apostolic Canons, Canon 26)
We may then take it for a general principle that in no part of the ancient Church was a priest allowed to contract holy matrimony; and in no place was he allowed to exercise his priesthood afterwards, if he should dare to enter into such a relation with a woman.
The Eastern Church began at a late date to violate its own law of celibacy. The Quinisext Council of 692, also called Council in Trullo, which St. Bede the Venerable (673-735) called “a reprobate synod,” breached the Apostolic Tradition concerning the celibacy of clerics by declaring that “all clerics except bishops may continue in wedlock” (The Catholic Encyclopedia, Council in Trullo, vol. 4, 1908). This reprobate synod taught: “Nor shall it be demanded of him at the time of his ordination that he promise to abstain from lawful intercourse with his wife...” (Canon 13) The popes refused to endorse the conclusions of the Council in the matter of celibacy, and the Eastern Church planted the seeds of its schism.
It is abundantly clear that the fathers in The Quinisext Council thought the discipline they were setting forth to be the original discipline of the Church in the matter, and the discipline of the West an innovation, but that such was really the case is an innovation itself. Thomassinus (1619-1695), French theologian and Oratorian, treats this point with much learning, and I shall cite some of the authorities he brings forward. Of these the most important is St. Epiphanius (c. 310-403), bishop of Salamis in Cyprus, of whom we have already cited some verses before, who as a Greek would be certain to give the tradition of the East, had there been any such tradition known in his time. I give the three great passages:
“It is evident that those from the priesthood are chiefly taken from the order of virgins, or if not from virgins, at least from monks; or if not from the order of monks, then they are wont to be made priests who keep themselves from their wives, or who are widows after a single marriage. But he that has been entangled by a second marriage is not admitted to priesthood in the Church, even if he be continent from his wife, or be a widower. Anyone of this sort is rejected from the grade of bishop, presbyter, deacon, or subdeacon. The order of reader, however, can be chosen from all the orders these grades can be chosen from, that is to say from virgins, monks, the continent, widowers, and they who are bound by honest marriage. Moreover, if necessity so compel, even digamists may be lectors, for such is not a priest, etc., etc.” (Epiph. Exposit. Fid. Cath., c. xxi)
“Christ taught us by an example that the priestly work and ornaments should be communicated to those who shall have preserved their continency after a single marriage, or shall have persevered in virginity. And this the Apostles thereafter honestly and piously decreed, through the ecclesiastical canon of the priesthood.” (Epiph. Hæresi. 48, n. 7)
“Nay, moreover, he that still uses marriage, and begets children, even though the husband of but one wife, is by no means admitted by the Church to the order of deacon, presbyter, bishop, or subdeacon. But for all this, he who shall have kept himself from the commerce of his one wife, or has been deprived of her, may be ordained, and this is most usually the case in those places where the ecclesiastical canons are most accurately observed.” (Epiph. Hæresi, 59, n. 4)
Nor is the weight of this evidence lessened, but much increased, by the acknowledgment of the same father that in some places in his days the celibate life was not observed by such priests as had wives, for he explains that such a state of things had come about “not from following the authority of the canons, but through the neglect of men, which is wont at certain periods to be the case.” (Ibid. ut supra.)
The witness of the Western Fathers, although so absolutely and indisputably clear on this subject already, yet one more passage from St. Jerome should be quoted: “The Virgin Christ and the Virgin Mary dedicated the virginity of both sexes. The Apostles were chosen when either virgins or continent after marriage, and bishops, presbyters, and deacons are chosen either when virgins, or widowers, or at least continent forever after the priesthood.” (Hieron. Apolog. pro. lib. adv. Jovin.)
It cannot be more clearly stated. And there is a reason for the tradition. The main reason why clerical celibacy is doctrinal and not disciplinary, is because the cleric in major orders, by virtue of his ordination, contracts a marriage with the Church, and he cannot be a bigamist (the crime of marrying a person while one is still legally married to someone else). As our fathers in the Faith still explain it, these clerics are virgins in order to be true disciples and ministers of Christ, a virgin consecrated to His Spouse. St. Jerome, in his treatise, Adversus Jovinianum, bases clerical celibacy on the virginity of Christ. Thus as early as 306 the Council of Elvira in Spain imposed sanctions on virgins who had been unfaithful to their consecration to God and their vow of virginity. At the same time the Council of Ancyra (314) declared that consecrated virgins who marry were guilty of bigamy, since they were espoused to Christ. In 364 the civil law, under Valens, declared that anyone who married a consecrated virgin was subject to the death penalty. Canon 16 of the Fourth Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon (451) states that: “It is not lawful for a virgin who has dedicated herself to the Lord God, nor for monks, to marry; and if they are found to have done this, let them be excommunicated.” St. Peter Damian adds: “No one can be ignorant of the fact that all the Fathers of the Catholic Church unanimously imposed the inviolable rule of continence on clerics in major orders. The Body of the Lord in the sacrament of the altar is the same as the one carried by the immaculate hands of the Virgin at Bethlehem. To be able to touch It, it is necessary to have pure hands, sanctified by perfect continence.”
This is also why there is a connection between monogamous marriage (the state or practice of having only one husband or wife over a period of time) on the one hand and continence on the other. Tertullian speaking clearly about this invokes the example set by Christ who, according to the flesh, was not married and lived in celibacy (he was not, therefore, “a husband of one wife”); yet, in the spirit, “he had one bride the Church” (De monog., 5,7 (CCL 2, 1235)). This doctrine of Christ’s spiritual marriage to the Church, here inspired by the Pauline text of Ephesians 5:25-32, was common in early Christianity; Tertullian saw this spiritual marriage as one of the main theological bases for the law of monogamous marriage: “because Christ is one and his Church is one” (De exhort, cast., 5, 3 (CCL 2, 1023); hence, Tertullian goes on, the law of single marriage is also founded on ‘Christi sacramentum’). But it does not follow from this that Tertullian had already made the connection between this doctrine and the formulae unius uxoris vir or unius yin uxor of the Pastoral Letters (1 Timothy; 2 Timothy; Epistle to Titus), where monogamous marriage is explicitly referred to.
Besides, Ephesians 5:25-32 dealt not precisely with monogamous marriage but, in principle, the relationship of every Christian marriage with the covenant. Here Paul is speaking of all married members of the Church. When, referring to Genesis 2:24, the Apostle says that husband and wife “will be one flesh” (v. 31), he is justifying the use of marriage for them.The formula unius uxoris vir of the Pastoral Letters, however, is not used for all married men but only for ministers of the Church (this fact has been too little noted); yet subsequently it came to be regarded as the biblical basis of the law of continence for clerics. This is the point that still needs to be cleared up.
With St. Augustine we take a step forward. He, having taken part in the deliberations of the African synods, was certainly aware of the ecclesiastic law (based on divine law) governing the ‘continence of clerics’ (St. Augustine speaks of this in the De coniugiis adulterinis, II, 20, 22: «solemnus eis proponere continentiam clenicorum» (PL 40, 486)).But how does Augustine then explain the stipulation unius uxoris vir which is used by Paul for married clerics? In De bono conjugali (written in about A.D. 420), he advances a theological explanation for it, and asks himself why polygamy was accepted in the Old Testament, whereas “in our own age, the sacrament has been restricted to the union between one man and one woman; and consequently it is only lawful to ordain as a minister of the Church (ecclesiae dispensatorem) a man who has had one wife (unius uxoris virum).” And here is Augustine’s answer: “As the many wives (plures uxores) of the ancient Fathers symbolized our future churches of all nations, subject to the one man, Christ (uni viro subditas Christo), so the guide of the faithful (noster antistes, our bishop), who is the husband of one wife (unius uxoris vir) signifies the union of all nations, subject to the one man, Christ (uni viro subditam Christo).” (De bono coniugali, 18, 21 (PL 40, 3 87-388))
In this text, where we find the formula unius uxoris vir being applied to the bishop, the whole accent falls on the fact that he, ‘the man’, in his relations with his ‘wife’, symbolizes the relationship between Christ and the Church. An analogous use of the phrase ‘man and wife’ occurs in a passage of De continentia (c. 418-420): “The Apostle invites us to observe so to speak three pairs (copulas): Christ and the Church, husband and wife, the spirit and the flesh” (De continentia, 9, 23 (PL 40, 364)).The suggestion these texts offer us for interpreting the stipulation unius uxoris vir applied to the (married) minister of the sacrament is that he, as minister, not only represents the second pair (husband and wife) but also the first: henceforth he personifies Christ in his married relationship with the Church. Here we have the basis for the doctrine which was later to become a classic one: Sacerdos alter Christus. Like Christ, the priest is the Church’s bridegroom. From this, it has become abundantly clear that, for married ministers, their ordination implied an invitation to live in continence thereafter.
At the Council of Trent, the discussions of the theological commission led to the approval of the following canon by the Fathers of Trent on November 11, 1563. The Council of Trent (1545-1563) considered the matter and at its twenty-fourth session decreed that marriage after ordination was invalid: “If any one saith, that clerics constituted in sacred orders, or Regulars, who have solemnly professed chastity, are able to contract marriage, and that being contracted it is valid, notwithstanding the ecclesiastical law, or vow; and that the contrary is no thing else than to condemn marriage; and, that all who do not feel that they have the gift of chastity, even though they have made a vow thereof, may contract marriage; let him be anathema: seeing that God refuses not that gift to those who ask for it rightly, neither does He suffer us to be tempted above that which we are able.” (Session 24, Canon 9, A.D. 1563)
It also decreed, concerning the relative dignity of marriage and celibacy: “If any one saith, that the marriage state is to be placed above the state of virginity, or of celibacy, and that it is not better and more blessed to remain in virginity, or in celibacy, than to be united in matrimony; let him be anathema.” (Canon 10)
In relation to the Apostles who were married before being called by Christ, all the theologians affirmed unhesitatingly that afterwards they gave up conjugal life with their wives in line with their own declaration: “We have left everything and followed you...” (Matthew 19:27).
So not only would it be a violation of Sacred Tradition to blot out a constant teaching decreed for 2,000 years to be absolutely obligatory, but also one must recognize that clerical celibacy is to be seen not merely as of ecclesiastical institution, but part of what is more broadly known in Catholic moral theology as “divine positive law,” initiated by Christ and His Apostles. That is, it is not merely disciplinary in nature, as many assert.
Against the long-standing tradition of the Church in the East as well as in the West, which excluded marriage after ordination, the “reformer” Zwingli married in 1522, Luther in 1525, and Calvin in 1539. And against what had also become, though seemingly at a later date, a tradition in both East and West, the married Thomas Cranmer was made Archbishop of Canterbury in 1533 (Cranmer was not yet a priest when he entered into marriage; he was also a widower before his ordination). Once his appointment was approved by the pope, Cranmer declared Henry’s marriage to Catherine “void”, and four months later “married” him to Anne Boleyn; thus was the seeds of the Anglican schism sown.
Barely nine months after the king’s death Convocation voted in December 1547 to abolish the laws which made the marriages of clerks in Holy Orders null and void ab initio, and a Bill to this effect was passed in the House of Commons in the 1548-49 session. All such marriages hitherto contracted, involving as many as eight or nine thousand clerics, were rendered good and lawful by the same Bill. Three years later a second Act was passed which legitimated the children born of such unions. In 1553 the new code of Canon Law for the Church of England condemned as heresy the belief that Holy Orders were an invalidating impediment to marriage.
Following the elimination of celibacy in different countries, it is not surprising that many priests, diocesan as well as religious, abandoned their obligations. Sadly this was often the prelude to the abandonment of the faith as well.
As Stickler incisively comments in The Case for Clerical Celibacy, pp. 50-51: “This demanding commitment, which involves a life of constant sacrifice, can only be lived out if it is nourished by a living faith, since human weakness is a constant reminder of its practical implications. It is only through a faith that is constantly and consciously sustained that the supernatural reasons underlying the commitment can be truly understood. When this faith grows weak, the determination to persevere fades; when faith dies, so does continence.” He goes on to point out that “a constant proof of this truth is to be found in the various heretical and schismatic movements that have arisen in the Church. One of the first institutions to be attacked is clerical continence. Therefore we should not be surprised that one of the first things that was rejected by the heretical movements that broke away from the unity of the Catholic Church in the sixteenth century – Lutherans, Calvinists, Zwinglians, Anglicans – was in fact clerical celibacy.” (ibid., p. 51) It is also significant that the Old Catholics, when they seceded after Vatican I, abolished celibacy and reverted to a married clergy.
The revolutionary dimension of the opposition to celibacy at first evinced a political response from many civil authorities. The emperors Charles V (1519-56), Ferdinand I (1558-64) and Maximillian II (1564-76) all counselled a mitigation of the law at different stages during the Council of Trent. Humanists like Erasmus advised the same course. A change was admissible, even desirable they said, if it did not touch on the substance of the faith.
Some theologians and bishops rowed in with the humanists and were prepared for any accommodation which did not undermine their flawed and false understanding of what “the essentials of the faith” is. Still, the majority of bishops, convinced of the doctrinal and ascetical arguments for celibacy, refused to be railroaded into change. Since many of the priests who were living in compromised situations were already committed to heterodox theological positions, the bishops judged that a change in the law of celibacy would do little to win back these men to orthodoxy. They were also convinced that tolerating marriage for priests would completely undermine the radical reform of the clergy which was necessary if they were to become exemplary ministers of Christ.
Despite powerful political pressures Rome refused to legislate for a compromise solution. Priests who desired to be readmitted to the ministry could do so only on condition that they separated from their concubines and showed an authentic spirit of repentance. These were the dispositions which were offered to Germany. Through Cardinal Pole, Rome made a similar arrangement with England during the period of the Catholic restoration under Mary (1553-58) to facilitate those married priests who wanted to return to orthodoxy. From 1917, all cases of dispensation from the impediment of marriage were reserved to the Holy See. But those receiving dispensation were not authorized by that fact to continue with marital relations. (cf. B. Ojetti, Commentarium in Codicem luris Canonici, Rome/P.U.G., 1930), 11, pp. 103-109; M.C. a Coronata, Compendium luris Canonici (Turin/Rome, Marietti, 1949 III, pp. 327-8; F. Capello, Summa luris Canonici Rome/P.U.G. 1951,), II, pp. 277-8.)
The decrees and reforms of the Council of Trent were not immediately followed in all Catholic nations but with time they did bring about a general observance of the law of celibacy, thanks in no small measure to their provisions for the better training of the clergy. The “Enlightenment” brought fresh assaults against clerical celibacy and after the First Vatican Council, the Old Catholics, as already noted, separating themselves from Rome, abolished the rule. Despite the pressures on the Catholic Church to relax the law of celibacy, it has always resisted. Pope Benedict XV declared, in his Consistorial Allocution of 16 December 1920, that the Church considered celibacy to be of such importance that it could never abolish it: “We once more affirm, solemnly and formally, that this Apostolic See will never in any way lighten or mitigate the obligation of this holy and salutary law of clerical celibacy, not to speak of abolishing it.” (Acta Apostolicae Sedis 12 (1920), p. 585)
In the early nineteenth century an association was formed in Germany to advocate a change in the law, but Gregory XIV rejected this move in his encyclical Mirari Vos (1834). Fourteen years later Pius IX defended the discipline in his Qui Pluribus. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Modernism provoked a new attack on the law of celibacy, but its effects were limited, due largely to the decisive measures taken by St. Pius X. In his Apostolic Exhortation on the Priesthood, Haerent animo, published on August 4, 1908 to mark the Golden Jubilee of his ordination, the pope refers to celibacy as “the fairest jewel of our priesthood.” Pope Pius XI, in his detailed encyclical on the priesthood, Ad Catholici Sacerdotii, reaffirmed St. Pius X’s appropriateness of the Church’s teaching on clerical celibacy, where he refers to celibacy as “the most precious treasure of the Catholic priesthood.”
As always, since lustful men tried to deny and reject the biblical and apostolic teaching on clerical chastity, Pope Pius XI, in Ad Catholici Sacerdotii (#’s 40-43), of Dec. 20, 1935, had to reaffirm the Church’s position once again concerning this matter: “It is impossible to treat of the piety of a Catholic priest without being drawn on to speak, too, of another most precious treasure of the Catholic priesthood, that is, of chastity; for from piety springs the meaning and the beauty of chastity. Clerics of the Latin Church in higher Orders are bound by a grave obligation of chastity; so grave is the obligation in them of its perfect and total observance that a transgression involves the added guilt of sacrilege. … In the Old Law, Moses in the name of God commanded Aaron and his sons to remain within the Tabernacle, and so to keep continent, during the seven days in which they were exercising their sacred functions. But the Christian priesthood, being much superior to that of the Old Law, demanded a still greater purity. The law of ecclesiastical celibacy, whose first written traces pre-suppose a still earlier unwritten practice, dates back to a canon of the Council of Elvira, at the beginning of the fourth century, when persecution still raged. This law only makes obligatory what might in any case almost be termed a moral exigency that springs from the Gospel and the Apostolic preaching. For the Divine Master showed such high esteem for chastity, and exalted it as something beyond the common power; He Himself was the Son of a Virgin Mother, Florem Matris Virginis, and was brought up in the virgin family of Joseph and Mary; He showed special love for pure souls such as the two Johns – the Baptist and the Evangelist. The great Apostle Paul, faithful interpreter of the New Law and of the mind of Christ, preached the inestimable value of virginity, in view of a more fervent service of God, and gave the reason when he said: "He that is without a wife is solicitous for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please God." All this had almost inevitable consequences: the priests of the New Law felt the heavenly attraction of this chosen virtue; they sought to be of the number of those "to whom it is given to take this word," and they spontaneously bound themselves to its observance. Soon it came about that the practice, in the Latin Church, received the sanction of ecclesiastical law. The Second Council of Carthage at the end of the fourth century declared: "What the Apostles taught, and the early Church preserved, let us too, observe." [Council of Carthage, Canon 3 A.D. 390]”
Indeed, the Son of God Himself in The Revelations of Saint Bridget also reveals to us that the Apostles “had every intention of remaining chaste, and living continently in every way” at the time of Pentecost, which was in the very start of the Church, which shows us that the necessity of priestly chastity was well known to the Apostles at the very start of the Church at the time of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles and their few followers in the shape of tongues of fire.
Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke to Saint Bridget, saying: “I who am speaking with you am he who on a day like today sent my Holy Spirit to my apostles and disciples. He came to them in three ways: first, as a forceful wind; second, as fire; third, in the shape of tongues. He came to them through closed doors, for they were alone, and they had three good qualities. First, they had every intention of remaining chaste, and living continently in every way; second, they possessed outstanding humility; third, all their desire was for God, for they desired nothing but him. They were like three clean but empty vessels—therefore the Holy Spirit came and filled them. He came like a forceful wind, for he filled their every joint and limb with divine delight and solace. He came like fire, for he so set their hearts aflame with the fire of divine love that they loved none but God, feared none but God. Third, he came in the shape of tongues, for, just as a tongue is inside the mouth without harming it but, rather, helping it to speak, so too the Holy Spirit was inside their souls, making them desire nothing but me and making them eloquent with divine wisdom. By his power, as if it were functioning as a tongue, they spoke the whole truth.
“Thus, because these vessels were empty of desire, it was fitting that the Holy Spirit should come to them. Indeed, he cannot enter those people who are already filled and full. Who are ‘filled’ if not those who are full of all sin and filth? Such people are like three foul vessels. The first is full of stinking human excrement with a stench so foul that no one can bear to smell it. The second is full of the most disgusting semen with so bitter a taste that no one can bear to sip it. The third is full of diseased blood and pus so repulsive that no one can bear to see it. Likewise the wicked are full of worldly ambition and greed that stinks to me and my saints worse than human excrement. What are all temporal things if not excrement? The wretches find pleasure in this foul excrement that will soon disappear. The second vessel contains excessive lust and unchastity in every deed. This is as bitter to my taste as semen. I cannot endure such people; still less can I enter into them with my grace. How can I, true purity, enter into such impure beings? How can I, the fire of true love, inflame those whom the base fire of lust inflames? The third is their pride and arrogance. This is like diseased blood and pus. It corrupts people both within and without in their pursuit of the good, removes God’s given grace and renders them repulsive to God and neighbor. Someone filled with that cannot be filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit.” (The Revelations of Saint Bridget, Book 6, Chapter 36)
The conspiracy against the perpetual chastity of the Bishops, Priests and Clerics of the Church by the enemies of the Church and purity is revealed by the Popes of the Catholic Church
Since most people on this earth are impure, selfish and lustful, there currently exists a conspiracy against clerical chastity. Indeed, there have always been lustful men, and thus, there have always been heretics who have tried to pervert or reject this biblical teaching of clerical celibacy, but today this conspiracy is much more powerful and influential since almost all in the world are controlled by their sensuality. The Eastern “Orthodox” and the Protestants are prime examples of this, for both of these sects allow their believers to divorce and remarry even during the lifetime of their spouse, which is a mortal sin of adultery according to Our Lord in the Holy Scripture who says that “he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery” (Matthew 19:9). Both the Eastern “Orthodox” and the Protestants also allow their “ministers” to perform sexual relations, which is directly condemned by the Holy Bible and Apostolic Tradition, as we have seen. It is a fact of history that the impure and lustful protestants “carried away by the enticements of pleasure” are especially guilty of this conspiracy against clerical chastity since (as we have seen) they reject both the Holy Bible as well as the Church’s teaching on this matter in order to satisfy their abominable and unlawful sexual desires.
Pope Gregory XVI condemned this “conspiracy against clerical celibacy” that were made by the lustful through the direct inspiration of their father, the Devil, in his encyclical Mirari Vos, which also firmly condemned modernism and exposed the insidious plans of the heretics to pervert the Church and society: “Now, however, We want you to rally to combat the abominable conspiracy against clerical celibacy. This conspiracy spreads daily and is promoted by profligate philosophers, some even from the clerical order. They have forgotten their person and office, and have been carried away by the enticements of pleasure. They have even dared to make repeated public demands to the princes for the abolition of that most holy discipline. But it is disgusting to dwell on these evil attempts at length. Rather, We ask that you strive with all your might to justify and to defend the law of clerical celibacy as prescribed by the sacred canons, against which the arrows of the lascivious are directed from every side.” (Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos (#11), August 15, 1832)
Pope Pius IX carried on this papal tradition of confirming the reality of this conspiracy against clerical celibacy in his encyclical Qui Pluribus, where he showed very clearly that the evil people behind this conspiracy “make men fly in terror from all practice of religion, and they cut down and dismember the sheep of the Lord” (#17) and that as “a result of this filthy medley of errors which creeps in from every side, and as the result of the unbridled license to think, speak and write, We see the following: morals deteriorated,” (#18) and once morals is lost, faith is lost, and sin abounds and spirals out-of-control producing the resultant evil fruits. In truth, as “Augustine was wont to say ‘When all restraints are removed by which men are kept on the narrow path of truth, their nature, which is already inclined to evil, propels them to ruin.’” (Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos #14)
Pope Pius IX, Qui Pluribus (#’s 16-18), November 9, 1846: “The sacred celibacy of clerics has also been the victim of conspiracy. Indeed, some churchmen have wretchedly forgotten their own rank and let themselves be converted by the charms and snares of pleasure. This is the aim too of the prevalent but wrong method of teaching, especially in the philosophical disciplines, a method which deceives and corrupts incautious youth in a wretched manner and gives it as drink the poison of the serpent in the goblet of Babylon. To this goal also tends the unspeakable doctrine of Communism, as it is called, a doctrine most opposed to the very natural law. For if this doctrine were accepted, the complete destruction of everyone’s laws, government, property, and even of human society itself would follow.
“To this end also tend the most dark designs of men in the clothing of sheep, while inwardly ravening wolves. They humbly recommend themselves by means of a feigned and deceitful appearance of a purer piety, a stricter virtue and discipline; after taking their captives gently, they mildly bind them, and then kill them in secret. They make men fly in terror from all practice of religion, and they cut down and dismember the sheep of the Lord. To this end, finally—to omit other dangers which are too well known to you—tends the widespread disgusting infection from books and pamphlets which teach the lessons of sinning. These works, well-written and filled with deceit and cunning, are scattered at immense cost through every region for the destruction of the Christian people. They spread pestilential doctrines everywhere and deprave the minds especially of the imprudent, occasioning great losses for religion.
“As a result of this filthy medley of errors which creeps in from every side, and as the result of the unbridled license to think, speak and write, We see the following: morals deteriorated, Christ’s most holy religion despised, the majesty of divine worship rejected, the power of this Apostolic See plundered, the authority of the Church attacked and reduced to base slavery, the rights of bishops trampled on, the sanctity of marriage infringed, the rule of every government violently shaken and many other losses for both the Christian and the civil commonwealth. Venerable brothers, We are compelled to weep and share in your lament that this is the case.”
Indeed, since the devil knows that all the chaste, pure and humble servants of the Lord are more spiritually wise as well as more effective and powerful in helping to save souls, (as we have seen from the Holy Bible and Tradition), the Devil also labors mightily to get them under his control in order to make them fall away from religion and purity since he knows that much more people will be damned if he can remove the holy and good examples of virtuous priests and churchmen. Pope Pius IX and Gregory XVI expressly warned about this in their encyclicals, and now, today, we have all sorrowfully seen this, in fact, become prophetically fulfilled to the letter, especially when one considers the great evils of the Vatican II hierarchy, its sexual perversions, pedophilia and innumerable other sexual abuse scandals. Indeed, when even those people who should represent holiness and stand as the highest moral example to the world refuse to adopt a good and virtuous lifestyle and are unimaginably impure, then one can know with a certainty that the whole world and its “morals” has fallen into the complete control of the Devil. Indeed, the Vatican II sect’s sex abuse scandals and their handling of it is just another proof that shows why they are not the Catholic Church but the end times “Whore of Babylon” prophesied in the Bible that would lead souls astray by her filth and impurities.
In an interview with Sr. Lucia of Fatima, (the visionary who foretold that the Miracle of the Sun would occur on the 13th of October in the year 1917 – and that was witnessed by approximately 70,000 people – is undoubtedly one of the greatest miracles ever given from Heaven in Catholic history outside of the Resurrection) Father Agustin Fuentes who, at the time, was the postulator of the Cause of Beatification of the two little Seers, Francisco and Jacinta, revealed Our Lady’s words that was given in a revelation to Sr. Lucia, which prophesied that the widespread apostasy and sensuality that now fills the world would soon occur in even more widespread terms (than what was already happening in their time), even among those people who dare to call themselves chaste servants of Our Lord or by the name of Catholic:
“I bring you a message of extreme urgency: the Holy Father has permitted me to visit Lucia. She received me sadly. She was very thin and quite afflicted. Upon seeing me she said: "Father, our Lady is very unhappy because they have not taken her message of 1917 seriously. Neither the good nor the bad have paid any attention to it. The good continue their way without preoccupying themselves with it, they do not heed Her celestial requests. The bad walk through life swollen with perdition, not taking into account the punishment that threatens them. Believe me, Father, God will chastise the world very soon. Think, Father, about all the souls who will fall into Hell. This will happen because no one prays, because they do not do penance.
“All this is the reason why the Blessed Virgin is sad. Father, tell everyone that our Lady has, frequently, announced to me that many nations will disappear off the face of the earth. Russia is the scourge chosen by God to punish mankind [with war and communism], if we, through prayer and the sacraments, do not obtain the grace of their conversion. Tell them, Father, tell them that the devil has begun a decisive battle against our Lady, because what most afflicts the Immaculate heart of Mary and the Sacred heart of Jesus is the fall of the souls of religious and priests. The devil knows that when religious and priests fail in their beautiful vocations they carry along with them many souls into hell.
“And now, precisely, is the moment to stop the chastisement of Heaven. We have at our disposition two very efficacious means of doing this: prayer and sacrifice. The devil does everything he can to distract us and take away our liking for prayer; we shall save ourselves or condemn ourselves together. Furthermore, Father, it is now necessary to tell the people that they should not wait for a call to penitence and to prayer from the Holy Father, nor from the Bishops, nor the pastors, nor the Superiors. It is the right moment for them to use their own initiative in fulfilling good and holy works and reform their lives as the Holy Virgin desires.
“The devil desires to strengthen himself through consecrated souls; he tries to corrupt them so he can deceive others into a final impenitence. He uses many tricks even the ruse of suggesting tardiness in entering a religious life. The results are a sterility of interior life and a coldness among the laity keeping them from renouncing pleasures and from offering a total immolation of themselves to God.
“Tell them, Father, that two things are the basis of the sanctification of Jacinta and Francisco, the sorrow of our Lady and the vision of Hell. It is as if our Lady were between two swords: On one side She sees humanity obstinate and indifferent facing the announced chastisements and on the other side She sees how we profane the Sacraments and ignore the punishment which is coming ever nearer and nearer, remaining incredulous, sensuous and materialistic. Our Lady has said: "We are on the border of the last times."
“Our Lady has told me three times: First: She has affirmed that the devil has begun a decisive battle, that is to say, from which one or the other will win or lose. We are with God or we are with the devil. Second: She repeated to me that the last remedies given to the world are the Holy Rosary and the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Third: She told me that other means of salvation have been despised by men many times. In Her anguish She offers us the last anchor of salvation which is Herself (perhaps the other means were Her numerous apparitions, signs of tears, messages of various seers scattered throughout the world).
“Our Lady has also said that if we will not listen and continue to offend God, we will not be pardoned. Father, it is urgent to understand this terrible reality, we do not wish to frighten souls, but it is an urgent call to humanity.
“Since the Blessed Virgin has given such a great remedy as the Rosary, there does not exist a single material, spiritual, national or international problem that cannot be solved through the Holy Rosary and our sacrifices. To pray the Rosary with love and piety will console Mary and erase the numerous tears of Her Immaculate Heart." (Taken from the "Messagero del Cuore di Maria" No. 8-9 August–September, 1961, Rome, Italy)
The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus, by Teresa of Avila herself confirms the fact that the chaste servants of God will not only strengthen their own chances of reaching heaven but that they will help “many others also” into heaven, which says a lot about why the devil concentrates so much to bring down consecrated and chaste souls from the height of purity and blessedness that they inhabit: “He [God] showeth great mercy unto him to whom He gives the grace and resolution to strive for this blessing [the religious life] with all his might; for God withholds Himself from no one who perseveres. He will by little and little strengthen that soul, so that it may come forth victorious. I say resolution, because of the multitude of those things which Satan puts before it at first, to keep it back from beginning to travel on this road; for he knoweth what harm will befall him thereby—he will lose not only that soul, but many others also. If he who enters on this road does violence to himself, with the help of God, so as to reach the summit of perfection, such a one, I believe, will never go alone to Heaven; he will always take many with him: God gives to him, as to a good captain, those who shall be of his company.”
Galatians 5:16-25 “I say then, walk in the spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the spirit: and the spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary one to another: so that you do not the things that you would. But if you are led by the spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication, uncleanness, immodesty, luxury [lust], idolatry, witchcrafts, enmities, contentions, emulations, wraths, quarrels, dissensions, sects, envies, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like. Of the which I foretell you, as I have foretold to you, that they who do such things shall not obtain the Kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is, charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity. Against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s, have crucified their flesh, with the vices and concupiscences. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
The presence of the Kingdom of Christ on the earth and in the heart of men can in no more drastic way be proved to the world than by observing the establishment of perpetual virginity and monastic life. St. John Chrysostom describes this redemptive-historical movement, and its expression in human sexuality, with the beautiful illustration of a mother bird and her nestlings (Hom. XIII in Jn.; PG 59.88; Hom. XXI in Jn.; PG 59.128). Initially, the mother rears her young. Then, she nudges them into the air, escorting them from the nest. If they are too weak, they are permitted to remain in the nest until they are able to gather sufficient strength to fly off with security. Christ, the mother bird, has come to escort us all from the nest of the world. Those who remain in the nest do so because of their “plodding nature,” and “deep sleep,” and because they are “attached to worldly things” (Virg., XVII. 2.18-20; SC 125, p. 150). Those who are truly noble “quit the nest with great ease and fly high in the air and skim the heavens” (Virg., XVII. 2.20-22; SC 125, p. 150).
Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary revealed in The Revelations of St. Bridget the truth that clerical celibacy has always been the will of God since the beginning of the New Law
Contrary to the many lustful heretics of today’s world, Our Lord and Our Lady revealed to St. Bridget in her Revelations that it “seemed very abominable and hateful to all the heavenly court and to me [the Blessed Virgin Mary]” that the priests of the New Law who touched the Holy Eucharist should have wives or be contaminated by the sexual act, adding that the Popes are banned from allowing priests to marry, and that if any Pope at any time would dare to change this eternal law, “God will condemn him to a sentence as great” that literally defies human understanding.
Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke, saying: “I honored the priests [in the New Law] with a sevenfold honor, as it were, on seven steps. On the first step, they should be my standard-bearers and special friends by reason of the purity of their mind and body, for purity is the first position near to God, whom nothing foul can touch nor adorn. It was not strange that marital relation was permitted to the priests of the [old] law during the time in which they were not offering sacrifice, for they were carrying the shell, not the nut itself. Now, however, with the coming of the truth and the disappearance of the figure, one must strive all the more fully for purity by as much as the nut is sweeter than the shell. As a sign of this kind of continence, first the hair is tonsured, so that desire for pleasure does not rule over spirit or flesh.” (The Revelations of St. Bridget, Book 4, Chapter 58)
Comparing the priests of the Old and New Law, Our Lady also revealed that although many of the priests in the New Law for a long time observed matrimony according to the Old Law through their misunderstanding of God’s will in the New Law, this practice of theirs was in fact hated and abominable before all the heavenly court and to God: namely, that Christian priests with their defiled hands touched and handled the New and Immaculate Sacrament of the Most Holy Body of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.
The Revelations of St. Bridget, Book 7, Chapter 10: “It happened that a person who was absorbed in prayer heard then a voice saying to her: “O you to whom it has been given to hear and see spiritually, hear now the things that I [the Mother of God] want to reveal to you: namely, concerning that archbishop who said that if he were pope, he would give leave for all clerics and priests to contract marriages in the flesh. He thought and believed that this would be more acceptable to God than that clerics should live dissolutely, as they now do. For he believed that through such marriage the greater carnal sins might be avoided; and even though he did not rightly understand God’s will in this matter, nonetheless that same archbishop was still a friend of God.
“But now I shall tell you God’s will in this matter; for I gave birth to God himself. You will make these things known to my bishop and say to him that circumcision was given to Abraham long before the law was given to Moses and that, in that time of Abraham, all human beings whatsoever were guided according to their own intellect [according to natural reason] and according to the choice of their own will and that, nevertheless, many of them were then friends of God. But after the law was given to Moses, it then pleased God more that human beings should live under the law and according to the law rather than follow their own human understanding and choice. It was the same with my Son’s blessed Body.
“For after he instituted in the world this new sacrament of the Eucharist and ascended into Heaven, the ancient law [the Old Law that had just been abrogated] was then still kept [and observed by them]: namely, that Christian priests lived in carnal matrimony [according to the Old Law]. And, nonetheless, many of them were still friends of God because they believed with simple purity that this was pleasing to God [in the New Law]: namely, that Christian priests should have wives and live in wedlock just as, in the ancient times of the Jews, this had pleased him in the case of Jewish priests. And so, this was the observance of Christian priests for many years.
“But that observance and ancient custom seemed very abominable and hateful to all the heavenly court and to me, who gave birth to his body: namely, because it was being thus observed by Christian priests who, with their hands, touch and handle this new and immaculate Sacrament of the most holy Body of my Son. For the Jews had, in the ancient law of the Old Testament, a shadow, i.e., a figure, of this Sacrament; but Christians now have the truth itself – namely, him who is true God and man – in that blessed and consecrated bread.
“After those earlier Christian priests had observed these practices for a time, God himself, through the infusion of his Holy Spirit, put into the heart of the pope then guiding the Church another law more acceptable and pleasing to him in this matter: namely, by pouring this infusion into the heart of the pope so that he established a statute in the universal Church that Christian priests, who have so holy and so worthy an office, namely, of consecrating this precious Sacrament, should by no means live in the easily contaminated, carnal delight of marriage.
“And therefore, through God’s preordinance and his judgment, it has been justly ordained that priests who do not live in chastity and continence of the flesh are cursed and excommunicated before God and deserve to be deprived of their priestly office. But still, if they truthfully amend their lives with the true purpose of not sinning further, they will obtain mercy from God.
“Know this too: that if some pope concedes to priests a license to contract carnal marriage, God will condemn him to a sentence as great, in a spiritual way, as that which the law justly inflicts in a corporeal way on a man who has transgressed so gravely that he must have his eyes gouged out, his tongue and lips, nose and ears cut off, his hands and feet amputated, all his body’s blood spilled out to grow completely cold, and finally, his whole bloodless corpse cast out to be devoured by dogs and other wild beasts. Similar things would truly happen in a spiritual way to that pope who were to go against the aforementioned preordinance and will of God and concede to priests such a license to contract marriage.
“For that same pope would be totally deprived by God of his spiritual sight and hearing, and of his spiritual words and deeds. All his spiritual wisdom would grow completely cold; and finally, after his death, his soul would be cast out to be tortured eternally in hell so that there it might become the food of demons everlastingly and without end. Yes, even if Saint Gregory the Pope had made this statute, in the aforesaid sentence he would never have obtained mercy from God if he had not humbly revoked his statute before his death.”
Objection: The Church does not teach that a priest or a deacon must remain chaste after their ordination since the Quinisext Council in A.D. 692 declared that they were allowed to continue in the normal marital state.