The first part of this tale explained why I think sexual morality is “regulated” (not legislated – i.e. you can do this but you can’t do that, exhaustively numerated for everything) the way it is in the church. In summary sex is first to produce citizens of heaven along with all the training needed to bring them to that point and secondarily to bring the couple closer together, not to obsess over and make sex your idol, robbing you of time to do all the other important things you should to do in this life. This part 2 of the tale I think is a reasonable explanation as to why I think celibacy is both needed and is beneficial to the Church as well as the world.
Celibacy is often maligned by our civilization even by some Christians saying it is not something that anybody much less catholic priest should do. Other depravations are okay in our society and are lauded, take veganism for instance. To many people in America today no meat is supposedly a good thing but “to have no sex,” which has been the route of many beneficial things in our society because of, not only the priest who subscribe to this lifestyle, but also the catholic nuns and brothers who do. Did you know that one of the reasons they discovered one of the leading causes of cervical cancer and created a vaccine was because it hardly ever occurred in catholic nuns? (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060608225514.htm ) This of course led them to believe that cervical cancer was possibly a sexually transmitted disease which lead to the discovery of some strains of the HPV virus to be the cause. Recently, a vaccine for 4 strains of HPV, as I understand, 2 that cause cancer and 2 that cause venereal warts was developed and it is called Gardasil. It must of course be administered before you contract the virus to insure one is inoculated from the virus otherwise it is probably going to be ineffective. But be aware it is only effective against 4 of the most common of the over 100 strains of the HPV virus and the vaccine itself, like all vaccines, in rare cases has side effects. Do your research before allowing your children to take it. I personally took the 3 shot series and I think it caused a small rash, but I would not be against any of my progeny taking it when they are of age.
This amounts to what the purely secular people recognized as a “real” benefit. For Catholics who used to send their children to Catholic schools, when they used to teach true catholic dogma, nuns, brothers and clergy contributed to the salvation of millions of catholic children’s soul over a millennium and a half of catholic existence. This benefit, for all married Catholics, because of the purpose of the sacrament of matrimony, was one of the most important functions of our celibate religious men and women with regard to catholic culture as well as families. Now don’t get me wrong, there are still some Catholic schools which teach solid Catholic dogma and are in “traditional” catholic parishes where the canonized Latin version of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is still celebrated. One of the most important functions of our consecrated religious brothers, sisters and nuns being, of course, their prayers for the salvation of our souls and the conversion of the world.
As a side note some communities are once again banding together using lay teachers to create catholic schools true to Christs original dogmatic teachings, not just parroting the world, as in the United States, jumping on the, in my opinion, culturally toxic common core curriculum. This curriculum, as I understand, pushes many sexual and gender issues that are antithetical to Christian but moreover Catholic values on children. As mentioned above many of the most dogmatically and catechistically solid Catholic curriculums are in traditional Catholic parishes which still offer the Latin Rite of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
At odds with what the secular world likes to advertise about Catholics placing women on a much lower tier than men in that men can be priest and women cannot. Priest can perform all the sacraments and women can only confect 2 (baptism and marriage but with marriage you also need a man) and technically 3 (if you concede that if you baptize someone all their sins are in reality forgiven along with the communal original sin of Adam and Eve) of the 7. There is absolutely no reason why a woman cannot confect, technically, all sacraments assuming God personally chooses them to do so. I think almost all Catholics know where I am going with this. Secularist will come back with how do you know this? Because He has already chosen all the women who can and it consists of a set of 1, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
First let us start with the Eucharist, how do I know that the Virgin Mary can “perform” this sacrament? Well I base the sacraments on their effect. What is the effect of the priest saying the words of consecration given to them by Jesus Christ? To change some form of base matter into God – specifically the body blood soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. The only woman that can is Mary because the words of consecration for a woman are completely different from a man’s and just as a woman can by natural law and with the help of a husband produce a vessel for the soul of a human being for God, God in the case of the Virgin Mary asks personally, instead of through the instrument of natural law, for the Virgin Mary to produce the second person of the Blessed Trinity in time (the “part,” which is the mystery of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ – born completely true man in time at once being completely true eternal God at the same time) . Her words of consecration were: ”I am the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:36) therefore it could only be done once by her. Unlike with a priest, the effects of her consecration were visible and incontrovertible. But the catch of course was that she could only do it once but hers was the perfect one time. It was the one time that set in motion the redemption of the world from Adam and Eves sin.
Second, what is the effect of holy orders? To produce a new person who can pass on the mandate and power to confect all the sacraments to include create new bishops and priests for the apostolic succession was established by Jesus Christ. She gave birth to Jesus Christ, so in passing on life she, through God the Father’s natural law “gives” this power to Jesus Christ. And of course Jesus Christ is, by definition, a person who can pass on the mandate and power to confect all the sacraments to include create new bishops and priests for the apostolic succession established by Jesus Christ.
Sacramental baptism and marriage can be performed by any baptized Catholic either male or female, as I understand it. This as I said earlier can be stretched to technically include a one-time power to forgive sins, which is why baptism may only be performed completely efficaciously once.
The sixth sacrament that the Blessed Virgin Mary could technically perform is extreme unction. What is the purpose of extreme unction? To prepare one for death. If the one dying has never been baptized the Blessed Virgin Mary could baptize them thus making them citizens of heaven and accomplishing the ultimate objective of any of the sacraments, getting the baptized person to heaven.
Of course, the one left, which the Blessed Virgin would be unable to perform, consciously, by her will, is really only needed by an adult to fight the world and the devil which engages the Third Person of the Trinity – the Holy Ghost, for special help and it is confirmation. Now I said consciously because she cannot choose to do that specifically, but in that the Holy Ghost is the mechanism which enabled the birth of Jesus Christ which imbued him with all the power, eventually, of being God, in that one instance she did in essence confect the sacrament of confirmation by assenting to the birth of Jesus Christ. In sum, the Blessed Virgin Mary is the perfect human example for every human of any ecclesiastical rank or station in life, from queen to pauper.
This should debunk the notion that God feels or built women as inferior creatures and only as complementary ones. Thought both capable and worthy of doing everything important that a man can do as actually demonstrated in the Blessed Virgin Mary having those powers, it is the domain of male priests to care for, nourish and help the people of God in the spiritual/supernatural domain and the domain of women to produce the people of God in the natural or physical. This is why a priest or bishop (and any human, actually) can appeal to the Blessed Virgin to “pray,” that is to say talk to her Son, who is God, for help in their duties. Confirmation is really just the call to the Holy Ghost to provide special strength to be imparted to an individual male or female to support them in their station in life in their fight against evil and the forces of darkness. Confirmation is usually only confected by a bishop and the Blessed Virgin’s help is not really needed by the bishop/priests side but only on the recipients and no natural human on Earth ever has or ever will have more intimate knowledge of the Holy Ghost than the Blessed Virgin Mary making her the perfect person to ask for help from (that is to say “pray” to the Blessed Virgin Mary to pray for them to God) when about to be confirmed to make the best of the sacrament.
In a note to this complementarity, God does not say women need to be subject to men in general only subject to their husbands in the matters of family life (see 1 Corinthians 11). Being a queen like Isabella of Spain or the female CEO of a company is okay by God and only if a woman marries does she have to be subject to any man and then only to her husband in matters of family life. If you are a woman and your top priority is not to be subject to a man, and think that will make you happy and want to be happy, then don’t get married. The vocation of being nun or a celibate single young lady, who becomes the CEO of a company, is an acceptable alternative if you are not called to the vocation of marriage.
Finally with respect to the Blessed Virgin Mary, many denominations try to down play both her dignity and importance in the economy of salvation. In the kingdom of heaven, she is the queen mother of the King – almighty God in the person of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-20). There are protestant denominations that try to impugn her dignity as the Virgin mother of God because they call James “his brother.” With God restriction on only one marriage, with marital privilege, while either spouse is alive and God being ever living and all-knowing, would he have as the mother of his Son someone who is unfaithful?
It is known that in ancient civilizations and even within present day Christian circles that a person not related to someone or related as only a cousin is sometimes called brother. Those trying to force this narrative on the mother of God, I think will not go well with them on judgement day. When there is a legitimate alternative explanation preserving the perpetual Virginity of Mary is possible why push one that aims to reduce her dignity as a pure child of God, the ultimate example of both virginity and motherhood, and indeed His mother unless they have the pure unbridled pride of Satan himself that their explanation be the correct one? At least err on the side of charity as God requires us to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:30-31) for the poor Jewish girl who at the age of 14 was asked to raise the Savior of the world, could have been stoned to death because of how she conceived, need to protect the new born savior from Herod by fleeing to Egypt immediately after giving birth and did such a good job that one sixth of the world is Catholic and one third is Christian. An alternate explanation can be that Saint Joseph had a son, James, from a previous marriage whose mother had died and was old enough to be on his own or lived with someone else at the time of Jesus’ birth. This would qualify as being the definition of a brother, though a half-brother, but in common parlance still referred to as a brother even in this day and age.
The above should show that the objections against the Blessed Virgin Mary being venerated as she is in Catholicism is neither worship nor unwarranted. But over and above that is should show that neither the church or God considers females as worth less than men or in any way shape or form unequal to men with the exception of the physical strength difference, which is why there should be men and women’s sports only and the transgender should have their own class if they wish to compete, for fairness sake. But some may say the bible does not support this assertion, at least in the Old Testament. This is not true, in the book of judge’s chapters 4 and 5 we see the female judge and prophetess Deborah. The only leader type not seen as a woman in the bible for either the chosen people the Jews or Christians is king or supreme representative to God Jesus Christ whose “chancellor” is St. Peter and his ecclesiastical descendants. Only Jesus Christ a male can be King ecclesiastically and in heaven making males “non-redundant” the reasoning mentioned elsewhere in its defense. In fact, if you believe as Catholics believe the Blessed Virgin Mary sits a Jesus Christ’s right hand as Queen mother of heaven, making her, a female, the most blessed creature in all of creation, above even the angels in closeness to God.
Another assertion is that Jesus Christ and Catholics and by shared philosophy Christians supported slavery, which is simply not the case. Christ had to address all the existing cultural constructs of the time and why it is even mentioned in the passage that says there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female etc., that people are equal in value in spite of social class, race or gender. In this we see that the church acknowledged and preached all were equal and were able to spread the kindness in its philosophy in spite of the anti-woman pro-slavery sentiment of the time. The reason, in my opinion, that so little was said against slavery and the oppression of women is so that the milieu of that time would be open to the message which transformed a barbarian world to a Catholic one with hospitals (which prior to Catholics only existed for soldiers and slaves – which were the laborsaving devices, like washing machines and vacuums of today), colleges, orphanages etc. and when the civilization was transformed enough to accept it, the eradication of prejudice against women and the abolition of slavery ( bible passage that was key to its eradication, when taken seriously as the result of a new milieu, was, as mentioned above, in Galatians 3:28).
Unfortunately, evil always tries to influence man to go too far, as it will be in hell, and in this case to create new gender-confusing options like transgender people to take away freedom and in essence rights of women, and in trapping some in surgically altered bodies they might later not want to be in – a new type of slavery. Evil is also involved in trying to bring back the old form of slavery with human traffking (human sex slavery) and commercialized pornography (economic enslavement for those raped and/or rejected by their society and those too poor to get the education needed to secure jobs elsewhere in their society. Catholic concepts putting forward the choice of more freedom (enabling more women’s sports) has often been warped to seem to take away freedom (I,e. saying there are only male and females somehow takes freedoms from transexuals), to be used by those attempting to warp it to take away even more freedoms.
But is there a practical reason for a particular individual for being celibate and unmarried? The answer is yes, if you become a nun/sister, a brother, or a priest. The Church is said to be the mystical body of Christ and in actuality His bride. Jesus, who is God, loves his church as much as a husband loves his wife, one of the strongest, if not the strongest, relationships in man’s experience. This is the same analogy used for the precursor of the church – the Jewish religion, as seen in the Bible’s Song of Songs. The Church is his mystical body because a man and woman when they marry become one body, one flesh in God’s perception of the relationship (Mark 10:6-9). The priest has the position of being another Christ in the church and is responsible for his bride and her children. A priest, as a celibate unattached man can concentrate his full energies and attentions on all the families in his parish as a father for his children. This obligation to take care of supernatural needs as a spiritual father of course also encompasses the adult parents and single people. If he is a holy priest, he helps insure they fully become good faithful children of God. He is both their spiritual leader and provider. When parishioners have problems of any type they come to him, especially in the sacrament of confession. I know of one priest who was a high school principal and basically raised of one child that he found living in a box in his parish. Specifically, he also helps with marital problems, psychological problems and moral problems of his parishioners. He is basically a father to his parishioners.
As a side note to many protestants who take literally the verse in the bible that says “call none your father upon the earth” to not call a priest or the Pope holy father. If that is so what do you call your biological father? All of Matthew 22:9 reads: “And call none your father upon earth; for one is your father, who is in heaven.” What this means is a man or woman may have no final authority in moral judgements on earth except God the Father, from whom the Son, Jesus Christ, is sent. (Luke 10:16 he who hears me hears the father). This of course includes your father. What moral or eternal consequence does using one name or another to refer to a person have? Using God’s name in vain, of course, but a restriction on calling the person who you are the biological offspring of something other than father I hope you can see, at least in my opinion is ridiculous. We can see the obligations which our father in heaven requires in the scriptures and other holy tradition seen through our parents and holy clergy (2 Thessalonians 2:15).
Now like current very high-ranking Vatican officials imply in literature produced by the teaching authority of the church that divorce and remarriage while indulging in the marital privilege of sex with the remarried spouse, without the benefit of a legitimate valid annulment is not a sin, but on the contrary in Mark 10:11-12 Jesus says this is the sin of adultery and not even the pope can change what God has said is a sin (Galatians 1:7-9). The pope’s job is God’s postal inspector for Earth to insure no tampering of the mails and that the mail is delivered from God the father, through Jesus Christ to us, he is not allowed to “edit” the letters or more to the point he is not to let the letters be “edited” by anyone, and those people can guiltlessly receive communion i.e. not be guilty of the body an of the blood of the Lord (1 Corinthians11:27). This has been the subject of a dubia (i.e. a fraternal correction) from the cardinals Brandmuller, Burke, Caffarra and Meisner. Pope Francis has not yet answered this dubia. In the case that he does not answer appropriately i.e. in support of God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost as they have taught in tradition supported by Holy Scripture (i.e. the Bible) then he would be an actual heretic or more technically a formal heretic as opposed to what he is conditionally, which is a material heretic. Specifically, In Catholic theology, the term material heresy refers to an opinion objectively contradictory to the teachings of the Church, which as such is heretical but which is uttered by a person without the subjective knowledge of its being so. (for more in-depth information see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Material_heresy ) Being a formal heretic he would be outside the church and all his pronouncements would thereby be called into questions (this in accordance with Jesus’ own words not excluding the pope in Matthew 18: 15-20). These cardinals did not “call the pope father” and assume his position was right just because he was pope but issued basically a fraternal correction in the dubia, referencing what our true Father – our Father in heaven wants through His Word in Jesus Christ.
A catholic sister or a nun is a female that has, like a priest, pledged perpetual virginity in concert with the example of the Blessed Virgin for the service to God. Like the church is seen as the bride of Christ so also are nuns in a more personal way but still as a part of the church pledging their life and their fidelity to Jesus Christ. As nuns they can go mostly in one of two directions: 1) to meditate and pray for the people of God in the church – which in this day and age we are in great need of, while sometimes also writing literary pieces with give spiritual guidance as in the case of Saint Theresa of Avila, Saint Theresa of Lisieux, and Saint Benedicta of the cross (AKA Edith Stein); or 2) to assist in the administration of the church as things such as secretaries to the pope, teachers of children, hospital nurses, nurses for invalids or retirement facilities nurses. Their most notable service to the church has been, in my experience, being grade school teachers to raise and teach good moral Catholic children. This coincides with a woman’s charism of maternal instinct transmitted through the natural law. This fact helps teaching nuns find happiness in the execution of their duty to their young charges.
With all the evil in the world it is lucky that what we see are not the only things which God has created. Along with the Blessed Virgin Mary we have other supernatural help. By this I mean being able to ask the human saints we know of as well as the angels to pray for us just as we can ask our neighbors, nuns, priests and bishops to pray for us. This is all made possible by the communion of saints mentioned in the Nicene/apostles’ creed. In addition, we can help those who are dead, who reside in the purifying existence we call purgatory, the church suffering, get to heaven faster, by praying for them, and they in turn can pray for us when they reach heaven.