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Reflections: Priests & Vocations Section

St. John Vianney, the Curé D'Ars (patron saint of priests)

Priests & Voc. | Home | Daily Digest | Reflections: A-Z | Categorized

Reflections: 

 Priests & Vocations Section

Wisdom of the Popes, Saints, Theologians, Other...

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Against Clerics / Religious Carrying on a Trade or Business

Against Joking by Priests

Against Judging the Clergy

Against Transferring of Prelates

'Alter Christus' / 'In Persona Christi'

Association / Associations

At End of Life Even Kings Seek a Priest

Bad / Fallen Priests

Better a Few Good Priests Than Many That Are Not Good

Bishops / Episcopate

The Calling to Religious Life

Candidates

Cardinals (Vatican View)

Catechetical Instruction

Celibacy / Chastity

Chaplains

Church Hierarchy

Church Hierarchy / The Laity [Pg.]

Clerical Dress / Appearance / Comportment

Diocese / Parish

The Divine Office

Duties & Responsibilities of Priests

Duties & Responsibilities of the Faithful Towards Priests

Duties / Responsibilities [Pg.]

Example of Priests / Good Example

Exhortations

Fostering Vocations [Pg.]

Fostering Vocations

Fraternal Correction

Good / Bad Priests [Pg.]

Good Priests

The Hierarchical Priesthood Vs. the 'Common Priesthood of the Faithful'

Holiness / Good Example [Pg.]

Holiness / Virtue / Purity

Holy Orders - See Sacraments Section

Incardination / Excardination

Knowledge / Learning

The Laity & The Clergy

Laity's Right to Assistance

The Metropolitan

Military Service Ill Befits the Clerical State

Novelty & The Clergy

Obedience

Pastors Should Remain at Their Post

People Tend to Be of Same Quality as Their Priests

Personal Prelatures

Pope (See Vatican View)

Poverty

Praise / Rewards / Benefits

Preachers / Preaching

The Priesthood is Not Derived From the Community

Priests & Prayer / Meditation / Contemplation

Priests & The Blessed Virgin Mary

Priests & The Holy Eucharist / Mass

Priests & The Sacrament of Penance

Priests & The Sacraments

Priests / Priesthood [Pg.]

Priests / Priesthood

Proper Dress / Comportment [Pg.]

Proper Role & Behavior of Women

Religious / Religious Life / Religious Institutes

Seminaries / Seminarians / Training / Formation

Sins of Religious

Stability of Parish Priest

Those Too Indulgent Betray Their Ministry

Those Who Govern Souls Must Render an Account

Vicar Forane

Vicariate Apostolic / Prefecture Apostolic / Apostolic Administration

Virgins / Virginity

Vows

Misc. (Good / Bad Priests)

Misc. (Priests & Vocations Section)

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Category
Quotation

Against Clerics / Religious Carrying on a Trade or Business

"Can. 286 Clerics are forbidden to practice commerce or trade, either personally or through another, for their own or another's benefit, except with the permission of the lawful ecclesiastical authority." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"[T]hose who are engaged in trade must by no means be admitted into a monastery, when they seek admittance, unless first of all they withdraw from public business" (Pope St. Gregory the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"Can. 1392 Clerics or religious who exercise a trade or business contrary to the prescripts of the canons are to be punished according to the gravity of the offence." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 2380 Clerics or religious who carry on trade or business themselves or through others against the prescription of Canon 142 are to be coerced by the Ordinary with penalties appropriate to the gravity of the fault." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Not less than by his chastity, the Catholic priest ought to be distinguished by his detachment. Surrounded by the corruptions of a world in which everything can be bought and sold, he must pass through them utterly free of selfishness. He must holily spurn all vile greed of earthly gains, since he is in search of souls, not of money, of the glory of God, not his own. He is no mercenary working for a temporal recompense, nor yet an employee who, whilst attending conscientiously to duties of his office, at the same time is looking to his career and personal promotion; he is the 'good soldier of Christ' who 'entangleth not himself with secular business: that he may please Him to whom he hath engaged himself.'" (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Catholici Sacerdotii", 1935 A.D.)

"We must conclude therefore that it is unlawful for either monks or clerics to carry on secular business from motives of avarice; but from motives of charity, and with their superior's permission, they may occupy themselves with due moderation in the administration and direction of secular business. Wherefore it is said in the Decretal (Decretal XXXVIII, canon Decrevit): 'The holy synod decrees that henceforth no cleric shall buy property or occupy himself with secular business, save with a view to the care of the fatherless, orphans, or widows, or when the bishop of the city commands him to take charge of the business connected with the Church. And the same applies to religious as to clerics, because they are both debarred from secular business on the same grounds, as stated above." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

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Against Judging the Clergy

"Blessed is the servant who has faith in the clergy who live uprightly according to the norms of the Roman Church. And woe to those who look down upon them; for even though they may be sinners, nonetheless no one is to judge them since the Lord alone reserves judgment on them to Himself. For inasmuch as their ministry is greater in that it concerns the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which they receive and which they alone administer to others, so those who sin against them commit a greater sin than [should they sin] against all other people of this world." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"Among the prelates, indeed, one or other there may be affording scope to criticism either in regard to personal conduct or in reference to opinions by him entertained about points of doctrine; but no private person may arrogate to himself the office of judge which Christ our Lord has bestowed on that one alone whom He placed in charge of His lambs and of His sheep. Let every one bear in mind that most wise teaching of Gregory the Great: 'Subjects should be admonished not rashly to judge their prelates, even if they chance to see them acting in a blameworthy manner, lest, justly reproving what is wrong, they be led by pride into greater wrong. They are to be warned against the danger of setting themselves up in audacious opposition to the superiors whose shortcomings they may notice." (Pope Leo XIII, "Sapientiae Christianae", 1890 A.D.)

Also See: Fraternal Correction | Duties & Responsibilities of the Faithful Towards Priests | Good / Bad Priests [Pg.]

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Against Transferring of Prelates

"When prelates are translated, there is commonly both spiritual and temporal loss and damage of a grave nature for the churches from which they are transferred. The prelates, moreover, sometimes do not maintain the rights and liberties of their churches as carefully as they otherwise might, out of fear of being translated. The importunity of certain people who seek their own good, not that of Jesus Christ, may mean that the Roman Pontiff is deceived in such a matter, as one ignorant of the facts, and so is easily led astray. We therefore determine and ordain, by this present decree, that henceforth bishops and superiors ought not to be translated unwillingly without a grave and reasonable cause which, after the person in question has been summoned, is to be inquired into and decided upon with the advice of the cardinals of the holy Roman Church, or the greater part of them, and with their written endorsement. Lesser prelates, such as abbots and others with perpetual benefices, ought not to be changed, moved or deposed without a just and reasonable cause that has been inquired into." (Council of Constance)

Also See: Stability of Parish Priest

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'Alter Christus' / 'In Persona Christi'

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Association / Associations

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At End of Life Even Kings Seek a Priest

Also See: Priests (Topic Page)

"Every Christian king when he approaches his end asks the aid of a priest as a miserable suppliant that he may escape the prison of hell, may pass from darkness into light and may appear at the judgement seat of God freed from the bonds of sin. But who, layman or priest, in his last moments has ever asked the help of any earthly king for the safety of his soul?" (Pope St. Gregory VII, 1081 A.D.)

Also See: Priests / Priesthood [Pg.] | Sacraments Section | Sacraments Section (Reflections) | Praise / Rewards / Benefits

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Bishops / Episcopate

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The Calling to Religious Life

Also See: Vocations (Topic Page)

"Sometimes he calls [men] in a surprising way, even though his call is never completely unexpected. Christ's call to follow him usually comes after a long preparation. Already present in the mind of the young person, even if later overshadowed by indecision or by the attraction of other possible paths, when the call makes itself felt once more it does not come as a surprise. No wonder then that this calling prevails over all others, and the young person is able to set out on the path shown him by Christ: he takes leave of his family and begins his specific preparation for the priesthood." (Pope John Paul II)

Also See: Religious / Religious Life / Religious Institutes | Seminaries / Seminarians / Training / Formation | Candidates | Fostering Vocations [Pg.] | Priests / Priesthood [Pg.] | Why Priestly Celibacy? | Are You Called to Religious Life? | Religious Institutes For Men | Misc. Priests / Vocations Facts | Prayers for Priests / Vocations | Top Reasons Why Women Can't Be Priests | The Religious Life For Women

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Candidates

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Catechetical Instruction

"Can. 1329 A proper and most grave office, especially for pastors of souls, is to take care of the catechetical instruction of the Christian people." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"There is nothing more effective than catechetical instruction to spread the glory of God and to secure the salvation of souls." (Pope Benedict XIV)

"In the critical difficulties that beset your episcopal office in these worst of times, trust in the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, keeping ever before you that those who teach many unto justice will shine as the stars for all eternity." (Pope Pius IX, "Amantissimus", 1862 A.D.)

"It is impossible to overstate the tremendous threat to the Christian community which arises when those who have care of men's souls neglect the training of the young, especially their catechetical instruction." (Pope Benedict XIV, "Ubi Primum", 1710 A.D.)

"You, above all, know that many evils generally arise from ignorance of divine matters essential for salvation. Hence, you will understand that it behooves you to use every care and diligence that so detrimental a condition be prevented." (Pope Pius IX, "Quanto Conficiamur Moerore", 1863 A.D.)

"Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that you choose for the office of communicating Christian teaching to the faithful not only men endowed with theological knowledge, but more importantly, men who manifest humility, enthusiasm for sanctifying souls, and charity. The totality of Christian practice does not consist in abundance of words nor in skill of debating nor in the search for praise and glory but in true and voluntary humility." (Pope Clement XIII, "In Dominico Agro", 1761 A.D.)

"We do not, however, wish to give the impression that this studied simplicity in imparting instruction does not require labor and meditation - on the contrary, it demands both more than any other kind of preaching. It is much easier to find a preacher capable of delivering an eloquent and elaborate discourse than a catechist who can impart a catechetical instruction which is praiseworthy in every detail. No matter what natural facility a person may have in ideas and language, let him always remember that he will never be able to teach Christian doctrine to children or to adults without first giving himself to very careful study and preparation. They are mistaken who think that because of inexperience and lack of training of the people the work of catechizing can be performed in a slipshod fashion. On the contrary, the less educated the hearers, the more zeal and diligence must be used to adapt the sublime truths to their untrained minds; these truths, indeed, far surpass the natural understanding of the people, yet must be known by all - the uneducated and the cultured - in order that they may arrive at eternal happiness." (Pope St. Pius X, "Acerbo Nimis", 1905 A.D.)

"In order to enkindle the zeal of the ministers of God, We again insist on the need to reach the ever-increasing numbers of those who know nothing at all of religion, or who possess at most only such knowledge of God and Christian truths as befits idolaters. How many there are, alas, not only among the young, but among adults and those advanced in years, who know nothing of the chief mysteries of faith; who on hearing the name of Christ can only ask? 'Who is he...that I may believe in him?' In consequence of this ignorance, they do not consider it a crime to excite and nourish hatred against their neighbor, to enter into most unjust contracts, to do business in dishonest fashion, to hold the funds of others at an exorbitant interest rate, and to commit other iniquities no less reprehensible. They are, moreover, ignorant of the law of Christ which not only condemns immoral actions but also forbids deliberate immoral thoughts and desires. Even when for some reason or other they avoid sensual pleasures, they nevertheless entertain evil thoughts without the least scruple, thereby multiplying their sins above the number of the hairs of the head. These persons are found, we deem it necessary to repeat, not merely among the poorer classes of the people or in sparsely settled districts, but also among those in the higher walks of life, even, indeed, among those puffed up with learning, who, relying upon a vain erudition, feel free to ridicule religion and to 'deride whatever they do not know.'" (Pope St. Pius X, "Acerbo Nimis", 1905 A.D.)

"Recently what is called 'lay theology' has sprung up and spread to various places, and a new class of 'lay theologian' has emerged, which claims to be sui juris; there are professors of this theology occupying established chairs, courses are given, notes published, seminars held. These professors distinguish their teaching authority from, and in a certain way set it up against, the public Teaching Authority of the Church; at times, in order to justify their position, they appeal to the charismatic gifts of teaching and of interpreting prophecy, which are mentioned more than once in the New Testament, especially in the Pauline Epistles (e.g. Rom. 12:6 f.; I Cor. 12:28-30); they appeal to history, which from the beginning of the Christian religion down to today presents so many names of laymen who for the good of souls have taught the truth of Christ orally and in writing, though not called to this by the Bishops and without having asked or received the sacred teaching authority, led on by their own inward impulse and apostolic zeal. Nevertheless it is necessary to maintain to the contrary that there never has been, there is not now, and there never will be in the Church a legitimate teaching authority of the laity withdrawn by God from the authority, guidance, and watchfulness of the sacred Teaching Authority; in fact, the very denial of submission offers a convincing proof and criterion that laymen who thus speak and act are not guided by the Spirit of God and of Christ. Furthermore, everyone can see how great a danger of confusion and error there is in this 'lay theology'; a danger also lest others begin to be taught by men clearly unfitted for the task, or even by deceitful and fraudulent men, whom St. Paul described: 'The time will come when men ..., always itching to hear something fresh, will provide themselves with a continuous succession of new teachers, as the whim takes them, turning a deaf ear to the truth bestowing their attention on fables instead' (cf. 11 Tim. 4:3 f.)." (Pope Pius XII, "Si Diligis", 1954 A.D.)

Also See: Catholic Basics | Knowledge / Learning | Education (Catholic Life Reflections)

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Celibacy / Chastity

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Chaplains

"Can. 564 A chaplain is a priest to whom is entrusted in a stable manner the pastoral care, at least in part, of some community or particular group of the Christian faithful, which is to be exercised according to the norm of universal and particular law." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 565 Unless the law provides otherwise or someone legitimately has special rights, a chaplain is appointed by the local ordinary to whom it also belongs to install the one presented or to confirm the one elected." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 566 §1 A chaplain must be provided with all the faculties which proper pastoral care requires. In addition to those which are granted by particular law or special delegation, a chaplain possesses by virtue of office the faculty of hearing the confessions of the faithful entrusted to his care, of preaching the word of God to them, of administering Viaticum and the anointing of the sick, and of conferring the sacrament of confirmation on those who are in danger of death. §2 In hospitals, prisons, and on sea voyages, a chaplain, moreover, has the faculty, to be exercised only in those places, of absolving from latae sententiae censures which are neither reserved nor declared, without prejudice to can. 976." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 567 §1. The local ordinary is not to proceed to the appointment of a chaplain to a house of a lay religious institute without consulting the superior, who has the right to propose a specific priest after the superior has heard the community. §2. It is for the chaplain to celebrate or direct liturgical functions; nevertheless, he is not permitted to involve himself in the internal governance of the institute." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 568 As far as possible, chaplains are to be appointed for those who, because of their condition of life, are not able to avail themselves of the ordinary care of parish priests, as for example, migrants, exiles, fugitives, nomads and sea-farers." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 569 Military chaplains are governed by special laws." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 570 If a non-parochial church is attached to a centre of a community or group, the rector of the church is to be the chaplain, unless the care of the community or of the church requires otherwise." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 571 In the exercise of his pastoral office a chaplain is to maintain the due relationship with the parish priest." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

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Church Hierarchy / The Laity

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Church Hierarchy

The Laity & The Clergy

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Diocese / Parish

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The Divine Office

"Moreover, the Divine Office is a most efficacious means of sanctification. Certainly it is not a mere recitation of formularies or of artistically executed chants; it is not just a question of respect for certain norms, called rubrics, or for external ceremonies of worship; it is above all a matter of elevating the mind and heart to God, in unison with the blessed spirits, who eternally sing praises to God. Therefore, the canonical hours should be recited 'worthily, attentively, and with devotion', as we are reminded at the beginning of the Office." (Pope Pius XII, "Menti Nostrae", 1950 A.D.)

"Like Christ Himself, His minister is wholly and solely intent on the things of God and the Church, and he imitates the great High Priest who lives ever in the presence of God in order to intercede in our favor. So he receives joy and encouragement unceasingly from the attentive and devout recitation of the Divine Office, by which he dedicates his voice to the Church who prays together with her Spouse, and he recognizes the necessity of continuing his diligence at prayer, which is the profoundly priestly occupation." (Pope Paul VI, 1967)

Also See: Priests & Prayer / Meditation / Contemplation

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Duties / Responsibilities

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Duties & Responsibilities of Priests

Duties & Responsibilities of the Faithful Towards Priests

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Exhortations

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Fostering Vocations

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Fostering Vocations

Better a Few Good Priests Than Many That Are Not Good

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Fraternal Correction

"Augustine says in his Rule: 'Show mercy not only to yourselves, but also to him who, being in the higher position among you, is therefore in greater danger.' But fraternal correction is a work of mercy. Therefore even prelates ought to be corrected...A subject is not competent to administer to his prelate the correction which is an act of justice through the coercive nature of punishment: but the fraternal correction which is an act of charity is within the competency of everyone in respect of any person towards whom he is bound by charity, provided there be something in that person which requires correction. Now an act which proceeds from a habit or power extends to whatever is contained under the object of that power or habit: thus vision extends to all things comprised in the object of sight. Since, however, a virtuous act needs to be moderated by due circumstances, it follows that when a subject corrects his prelate, he ought to do so in a becoming manner, not with impudence and harshness, but with gentleness and respect. Hence the Apostle says (1 Timothy 5:1): 'An ancient man rebuke not, but entreat him as a father.' Wherefore Dionysius finds fault with the monk Demophilus (Ep. 8), for rebuking a priest with insolence, by striking and turning him out of the church... To withstand anyone in public exceeds the mode of fraternal correction, and so Paul would not have withstood Peter then, unless he were in some way his equal as regards the defense of the faith. But one who is not an equal can reprove privately and respectfully. Hence the Apostle in writing to the Colossians (Colossians 4:17) tells them to admonish their prelate: 'Say to Archippus: Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfill it'. It must be observed, however, that if the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly. Hence Paul, who was Peter's subject, rebuked him in public, on account of the imminent danger of scandal concerning faith, and, as the gloss of Augustine says on Galatians 2:11, 'Peter gave an example to superiors, that if at any time they should happen to stray from the straight path, they should not disdain to be reproved by their subjects.' ... To presume oneself to be simply better than one's prelate, would seem to savor of presumptuous pride; but there is no presumption in thinking oneself better in some respect, because, in this life, no man is without some fault. We must also remember that when a man reproves his prelate charitably, it does not follow that he thinks himself any better, but merely that he offers his help to one who, 'being in the higher position among you, is therefore in greater danger,' as Augustine observes in his Rule quoted above." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Also See: Against Judging the Clergy | Good / Bad Priests [Pg.]

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Good / Bad Priests

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Good Priests

Bad / Fallen Priests 

Sins of Religious

Misc.

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Holiness / Good Example

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Holiness / Virtue / Purity

Example of Priests / Good Example

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Incardination / Excardination

"Can. 265 Every cleric must be incardinated in a particular church, or in a personal prelature, or in an institute of consecrated life or a society which has this faculty: accordingly, acephalous or 'wandering' clergy are in no way to be allowed." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 266 §1. Through the reception of the diaconate, a person becomes a cleric and is incardinated in the particular church or personal prelature for whose service he has been advanced. §2. Through the reception of the diaconate, a perpetually professed religious or a definitively incorporated member of a clerical society of apostolic life is incardinated as a cleric in the same institute or society unless, in the case of societies, the constitutions establish otherwise. §3. Through the reception of the diaconate, a member of a secular institute is incardinated in the particular church for whose service he has been advanced unless he is incardinated in the institute itself by virtue of a grant of the Apostolic See." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 267 §1 For a cleric already incardinated to be incardinated validly in another particular church, he must obtain from the diocesan bishop a letter of excardination signed by the same bishop and a letter of incardination from the diocesan bishop of the particular church in which he desires to be incardinated signed by that bishop. §2 Excardination thus granted does not take effect unless incardination in another particular church has been obtained." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 268 §1 A cleric who has lawfully moved from his own particular church to another is, by virtue of the law itself, incardinated in that latter church after five years, if he has declared this intention in writing to both the diocesan bishop of the host diocese and his own diocesan bishop, and neither of the two bishops has indicated opposition in writing within four months of receiving the cleric's written request. §2 By perpetual or definitive admission into an institute of consecrated life or a society of apostolic life, a cleric who in accordance with can. 266 is incardinated in that institute or society, is excardinated from his own particular church." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 269 A diocesan bishop is not to incardinate a cleric unless: 1° the need or the advantage of his particular church requires it and the provisions of law concerning the worthy support of the cleric are observed; 2° he knows by a lawful document that excardination has been granted, and has also obtained from the excardinating bishop, under secrecy if need be, appropriate testimonials concerning the cleric's life, behavior and studies; 3° the cleric declares in writing to the same bishop that he wishes to enter the service of the new particular church in accordance with the norms of law." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 270 Excardination can be licitly granted only for just causes such as the advantage of the church or the good of the cleric himself. It cannot be denied, however, except for evident, grave causes. A cleric who thinks he has been wronged and has found an accepting bishop, however, is permitted to make recourse against the decision." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

Also See: Pastors Should Remain at Their Post | Stability of Parish Priest | Against Transferring of Prelates

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Knowledge / Learning

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Laity's Right to Assistance

"Can. 213 Christ's faithful have the right to be assisted by their Pastors from the spiritual riches of the Church, especially by the word of God and the Sacraments." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 682 Laity have the right of receiving from the clergy, according to the norm of ecclesiastical discipline, spiritual goods and especially that aid necessary for salvation." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"The layman is entitled to receive from the priest all those spiritual benefits which are necessary if he is to achieve the salvation of his soul and attain Christian perfection. In what concerns the Christian's fundamental rights, he may assert his demands." (Pope Pius XII, 1957 A.D.)

Also See: Duties & Responsibilities of Priests | Sacraments Section | Sacraments Section (Reflections) | Duties & Responsibilities of the Faithful Towards Priests

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The Metropolitan

"Can. 272 A Metropolitan, that is, an Archbishop, presides over an ecclesiastical province; that dignity is joined to an episcopal see [as] determined and approved by the Roman Pontiff." (1917 Code of Canon Law) 

"Can. 435 An ecclesiastical province is presided over by a Metropolitan, who is Archbishop in his own diocese. The office of Metropolitan is linked to an episcopal see, determined or approved by the Roman Pontiff." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 436 §1 Within the suffragan dioceses, the Metropolitan is competent: 1° to see that faith and ecclesiastical discipline are carefully observed and to notify the Roman Pontiff if there be any abuses; 2° for a reason approved beforehand by the Apostolic See, to conduct a canonical visitation if the suffragan Bishop has neglected it; 3° to appoint a diocesan Administrator in accordance with cann. 421 §2 and 425 §3. §2 Where circumstances require it, the Apostolic See can give the Metropolitan special functions and power, to be determined in particular law. §3 The Metropolitan has no other power of governance over suffragan dioceses. He can, however, celebrate sacred functions in all churches as if he were a Bishop in his own diocese, provided, if it is the cathedral church, the diocesan Bishop has been previously notified." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 437 §1 The Metropolitan is obliged to request the pallium from the Roman Pontiff, either personally or by proxy, within three months of his episcopal consecration or, if he has already been consecrated, of his canonical appointment. The pallium signifies the power which, in communion with the Roman Church, the Metropolitan possesses by law in his own province. §2 The Metropolitan can wear the pallium, in accordance with the liturgical laws, in any church of the ecclesiastical province over which he presides, but not outside the province, not even with the assent of the diocesan Bishop. §3 If the Metropolitan is transferred to another metropolitan see, he requires a new pallium." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

Also See: Bishops / Episcopate | Priests / Priesthood [Pg.] | Church Hierarchy

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Military Service Ill Befits the Clerical State

"Can. 289 §1 As military service ill befits the clerical state, clerics and candidates for sacred orders are not to volunteer for the armed services without the permission of their Ordinary. §2 Clerics are to take advantage of exemptions from exercising functions and public civil offices foreign to the clerical state, which are granted in their favor by law, agreements or customs, unless their proper Ordinary has in particular cases decreed otherwise." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

Also See: Priests / Priesthood [Pg.] | Religious / Religious Life / Religious Institutes | Duties & Responsibilities of Priests | Holiness / Virtue / Purity | Clerical Dress / Appearance / Comportment

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Novelty & The Clergy

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Obedience

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Pastors Should Remain at Their Post

"You know, brothers, that the divine precept commands all pastors to know their sheep and to nourish them by preaching, by the administration of the sacraments, and by the example of every good work. Those priests are by no means able to fulfill these or the other duties of the pastoral office who neither look after their flock nor assiduously guard the Lord's vineyard, over which they have been placed as watchmen. Therefore, you should remain at your post and maintain your personal residence in the church or diocese to which you have been bound by the duty of your office. The many decrees of the general councils and the constitutions of Our predecessors clearly commanded this." (Pope Benedict XIV, "Ubi Primum", 1710 A.D.)

Also See: Against Transferring of Prelates | Stability of Parish Priest | Incardination / Excardination

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People Tend to Be of Same Quality as Their Priests

Also See: Priests (Topic Page)

"[P]eople tend generally to be of the same quality as their priests." (Pope Pius IX, "Qui Pluribus", 1846 A.D.)

Also See: Holiness / Good Example [Pg.] | Good / Bad Priests [Pg.]

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Personal Prelatures

"Can. 294 Personal prelatures may be established by the Apostolic See after consultation with the Episcopal Conferences concerned. They are composed of deacons and priests of the secular clergy. Their purpose is to promote an appropriate distribution of priests, or to carry out special pastoral or missionary enterprises in different regions or for different social groups." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 295 §1 A personal prelature is governed by statutes laid down by the Apostolic See. It is presided over by a Prelate as its proper Ordinary. He has the right to establish a national or an international seminary, and to incardinate students and promote them to orders with the title of service of the prelature. §2 The Prelate must provide both for the spiritual formation of those who are ordained with this title, and for their becoming support." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

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Poverty

"Jesus said to him, 'If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to (the) poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.'" (Mt. 19:21)

"Then Peter said to him in reply, 'We have given up everything and followed you. What will there be for us?' Jesus said to them, 'Amen, I say to you that you who have followed me, in the new age, when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory, will yourselves sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life." (Mt. 19:27-29)

"Canon. 594 § 3 The furniture of religious must be consistent with the poverty they have professed." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Cardinals and all prelates of the churches shall be content with modest furniture and a frugal table: they shall not enrich their relatives or domestics out of the property of the Church." (Council of Trent)

"For priests who have the Lord as their 'portion and heritage', (Num. 18 :20) temporal goods should be used only towards ends which are licit according to the doctrine of Christ and the direction of the Church." (Second Vatican Council)

"Poverty alone ensures that the priest remains available to be sent wherever his work will be most useful and needed even at the cost of personal sacrifice. It is a condition and essential premise of the apostle's docility to the Spirit, making him ready to 'go forth,' without traveling bag or personalities, following only the will of the Master (cf. Lk. 9:57-62; Mk. 10:17-22)." (Pope John Paul II)

"Can. 600 The evangelical counsel of poverty in imitation of Christ who for our sake was made poor when he was rich, entails a life which is poor in reality and in spirit, sober and industrious, and a stranger to earthly riches. It also involves dependence and limitation in the use and the disposition of goods, in accordance with each institute's own law." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Led by the Spirit of the Lord, who anointed the Savior and sent Him to evangelize the poor, priests, therefore, and also bishops, should avoid everything which in any way could turn the poor away. Before the other followers of Christ, let priests set aside every appearance of vanity in their possessions. Let them arrange their homes so that they might not appear unapproachable to anyone, lest anyone, even the most humble, fear to visit them." (Second Vatican Council)

"The object of your zeal must not be earthly and transient things but things eternal. The resolution of priests aspiring to holiness must be this: to labor solely for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. How many priests, even in the straitened circumstances of our time, have taken the example and the warnings of the Apostle of the Gentiles as a rule of conduct! The Apostle of the Gentiles, content with the indispensable minimum, declared: '...but having food and sufficient clothing, with these let us be content'." (Pope Pius XII, "Menti Nostrae", 1950 A.D.)

"All indulgence and adornment bestowed on the body is alien to the priestly order. Therefore all those bishops and clerics who deck themselves out in brilliant and showy clothes should be called to order, and if they persist let them be punished. The same holds for those who use perfumes. However, since the root of bitterness has sprouted, there has appeared in the Catholic Church the plague of a heresy which delights in the defamation of Christians. Those who adopt this heresy not only heap insults on representational art, but also reject all forms of reverence and make a mockery of those who live pious and holy lives, thus fulfilling in their own regard that saying of scripture, For the sinner piety is an abomination. So if persons are found who make fun of those who wear simple and respectful clothing, they should be corrected with punishment. Indeed, from the earliest times all those ordained to the priesthood have been accustomed to present themselves in public dressed in modest and respectful clothing, and anyone who adds to his apparel for the sake of decoration and not out of necessity deserves, as the great Basil remarked, to be accused of 'vainglory'. Neither did anyone dress in variegated clothes made of silk, nor did they add various colored ornaments to the fringes of their garments. They had heard the tongue that spoke God's words declare, Those who dress in soft clothes are in the houses of kings." (Second Council of Nicaea)

Also See: Vows | The Poor / Poverty (Catholic Life Reflections) | Poor (Topical Scripture)

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Praise / Rewards / Benefits

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Preachers / Preaching

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Priests & Prayer / Meditation / Contemplation

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Priests & The Blessed Virgin Mary

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Priests & The Holy Eucharist / Mass

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Priests & The Sacrament of Penance

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Priests & The Sacraments

Also See: Priests (Topic Page) | Sacraments (Topic Page)

"[A] priest dispenses sacraments whereby grace is given." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"It should never be forgotten that the Sacraments, although they cannot lose the divine efficacy inherent in them, bring eternal death and perdition to him who dares administer them unworthily." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"There is nothing which belongs more to the Church and there is nothing Jesus Christ wanted more closely reserved for its shepherds than the dispensation of the sacraments He instituted. The power to judge concerning their dispensation belongs only to those whom He established as ministers of His work on earth." (Pope Gregory XVI, "Commissum Divinitus", 1835 A.D.)

"Should anyone say that Christ is the one head and the one shepherd, the one spouse of the one Church, he does not give an adequate reply. It is clear, indeed, that Christ is the author of grace in the Sacraments of the Church; it is Christ Himself who baptizes; it is He who forgives sins; it is He who is the true priest who hath offered Himself upon the altar of the cross, and it is by His power that His Body is daily consecrated upon the altar; and still, because He was not to be visibly present to all the faithful, He made choice of ministers through whom the aforesaid Sacraments should be dispensed to the faithful" (Pope Leo XIII, "Satis Cognitum", 1896 A.D.)

"Now the Church has received from her Divine Spouse the treasures of heavenly grace conveyed mainly through the channel of the Sacraments. Hence, every loyal son of that Church, like the good Samaritan, pours oil and wine into the wounds of the sons of Adam, to free the guilty from sin, to strengthen the weak and feeble, to mould the lives of the virtuous nearer to the ideal of holiness. Even granting that some minister of Christ may at times fail in his duty, does it therefore follow that the power was rendered helpless and void of efficacy? Let us listen to the words of the Bishop of Hippo: 'I assert [he writes] and we all assert, that the ministers of so great a Judge should be just men. Let the ministers be just, if they will. If, however, they who sit on the chair of Moses refuse to be just I find my warrant of security in my Master, of whom His Spirit said: 'He it is who baptizes.' Would that the words of Augustine had been accepted formerly and were accepted today by all those who, like the Donatists, allege the fall of a priest as a reason for rending the seamless garment of Christ and for unhappily abandoning the way of salvation!" (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Salutem", 1930 A.D.)

"In explaining [the Sacraments], pastors should keep in view principally two things, which they should zealously strive to accomplish. The first is that the faithful understand the high honor, respect and veneration due to these divine and celestial gifts. The second is that, since the Sacraments have been established by the God of infinite mercy for the common salvation of all, the people should make pious and religious use of them, and be so inflamed with the desire of Christian perfection as to deem it a very great loss to be for any time deprived of the salutary use, particularly of Penance and the Holy Eucharist. These objects pastors will find little difficulty in accomplishing, if they call frequently to the attention of the faithful what we have already said on the divine character and fruit of the Sacraments: first, that they were instituted by our Lord and Savior from whom can proceed nothing but what is most perfect; further that when administered, the most powerful influence of the Holy Ghost is present, pervading the inmost sanctuary of the soul; next that they possess an admirable and unfailing virtue to cure our spiritual maladies and communicate to us the inexhaustible riches of the Passion of our Lord." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

Also See: Priests & The Holy Eucharist / Mass | Priests & The Sacrament of Penance | Alter Christus / In Persona Christi | Duties & Responsibilities of Priests | Priests / Priesthood [Pg.] | Sacraments Section | Sacraments Section (Reflections) | Latin Mass & Catholic Tradition Section | Latin Mass & Catholic Tradition (Reflections) | Sacraments (Topical Scripture)

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Priests / Priesthood

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Priests / Priesthood

The Priesthood is Not Derived From the Community

The Hierarchical Priesthood Vs. the 'Common Priesthood of the Faithful'

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Proper Dress / Comportment

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Against Joking by Priests 

Clerical Dress / Appearance / Comportment

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Proper Role & Behavior of Women

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Religious / Religious Life / Religious Institutes

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Seminaries / Seminarians / Training / Formation

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Stability of Parish Priest

Also See: Priests (Topic Page)

"Can. 522 It is necessary that a parish priest have the benefit of stability, and therefore he is to be appointed for an indeterminate period of time. The diocesan Bishop may appoint him for a specified period of time only if the Episcopal Conference has by decree allowed this." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

Also See: Pastors Should Remain at Their Post | Incardination / Excardination | Against Transferring of Prelates

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Those Too Indulgent Betray Their Ministry

"Error must be fought with all our might, but the brother who errs must be loved intensely and brought to salvation. How much good have the saints not done, how many admirable deeds have they not performed by their kindness even in circumstances and in environments penetrated by lies and degraded by vice? Of a truth, he who to please men would gloss over their evil inclinations or be indulgent about their incorrect ways of thinking or acting, thereby prejudicing Christian teaching and integrity of morals, would be betraying his ministry." (Pope Pius XII, "Menti Nostrae", 1950 A.D.)

Also See: Duties & Responsibilities of Priests | Exhortations | Priests & The Sacrament of Penance | Preachers / Preaching | Knowledge / Learning | Good / Bad Priests [Pg.]

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Those Who Govern Souls Must Render an Account

"He who has undertaken the governing of souls must prepare himself to render to God an account of them." (St. Benedict of Nursia)

Also See: Duties & Responsibilities of Priests | Exhortations | Good / Bad Priests [Pg.]

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Vicar Forane

"Can. 553 §1 The Vicar forane, known also as the dean or the archpriest or by some other title, is the priest who is placed in charge of a vicariate forane. §2 Unless it is otherwise prescribed by particular law, the Vicar forane is appointed by the diocesan Bishop; if he has considered it prudent to do so, he will have consulted the priests who are exercising the ministry in the vicariate." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 554 §1 For the office of vicar forane, which is not tied to the office of pastor of a certain parish, the bishop is to select a priest whom he has judged suitable, after he has considered the circumstances of place and time. §2 A vicar forane is to be appointed for a certain period of time determined by particular law. §3 The diocesan bishop can freely remove a vicar forane from office for a just cause in accord with his own prudent judgment." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 555 §1 Apart from the faculties lawfully given to him by particular law, the Vicar forane has the duty and the right: 1° to promote and coordinate common pastoral action in the vicariate; 2° to see that the clerics of his district lead a life befitting their state, and discharge their obligations diligently; 3° to ensure that religious functions are celebrated according to the provisions of the sacred liturgy; that the beauty and elegance of the churches and sacred furnishings are properly maintained, particularly in regard to the celebration of the Eucharist and the custody of the Most Blessed Sacrament; that the parish registers are inscribed correctly and duly safeguarded; that ecclesiastical goods are carefully administered; finally, that the rectory is cared for with proper diligence. §2 In the vicariate entrusted to him, the Vicar forane: 1° is to encourage the clergy, in accordance with the provisions of particular law, to attend at the prescribed time lectures and theological meetings or conferences, in accordance with can. 272 §2. 2° is to see to it that spiritual assistance is available to the priests of his district, and he is to show a particular solicitude for those who are in difficult circumstances or are troubled by problems. §3 When he has come to know that parish priests of his district are seriously ill, the Vicar forane is to ensure that they do not lack spiritual and material help. When they die, he is to ensure that their funerals are worthily celebrated. Moreover, should any of them fall ill or die, he is to see to it that books, documents, sacred furnishings and other items belonging to the Church are not lost or removed. §4 The Vicar forane is obliged to visit the parishes of his district in accordance with the arrangement made by the diocesan Bishop." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

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Vicariate Apostolic / Prefecture Apostolic / Apostolic Administration

"Can. 371 §1 A vicariate apostolic or a prefecture apostolic is a certain portion of the [Church], which for special reasons is not yet constituted a diocese, and which is entrusted to the pastoral care of a Vicar apostolic or a Prefect apostolic, who governs it in the name of the Supreme Pontiff. §2 An apostolic administration is a certain portion of the [Church] which, for special and particularly serious reasons, is not yet established by the Supreme Pontiff as a diocese, and whose pastoral care is entrusted to an apostolic Administrator, who governs it in the name of the Supreme Pontiff." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

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Virgins / Virginity

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Vows

"As Gregory says (Moralium ii) religious perfection requires that a man give 'his whole life' to God. But a man cannot actually give God his whole life, because that life taken as a whole is not simultaneous but successive. Hence a man cannot give his whole life to God otherwise than by the obligation of a vow." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Our Lord declared that it belongs to the perfection of life that a man follow Him, not anyhow, but in such a way as not to turn back. Wherefore He says again (Luke 9:62): 'No man putting his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.' ... Now this unwavering following of Christ is made fast by a vow: wherefore a vow is requisite for religious perfection." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Among other services that we can lawfully give, is our liberty, which is dearer to man than aught else. Consequently when a man of his own accord deprives himself by vow of the liberty of abstaining from things pertaining to God's service, this is most acceptable to God. Hence Augustine says (Ep. 127 ad Arment. et Paulinam): 'Repent not of thy vow; rejoice rather that thou canst no longer do lawfully, what thou mightest have done lawfully but to thy own cost. Happy the obligation that compels to better things.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"The vow of obedience is the chief of the three religious vows, and this for three reasons. First, because by the vow of obedience man offers God something greater, namely his own will; for this is of more account than his own body, which he offers God by continence, and than external things, which he offers God by the vow of poverty. Wherefore that which is done out of obedience is more acceptable to God than that which is done of one's own will, according to the saying of Jerome (Ep. 125 ad Rust. Monach.): 'My words are intended to teach you not to rely on your own judgment': and a little further on he says: 'You may not do what you will; you must eat what you are bidden to eat, you may possess as much as you receive, clothe yourself with what is given to you.' Hence fasting is not acceptable to God if it is done of one's own will, according to Isaiah 58:3, 'Behold in the day of your fast your own will is found.' Secondly, because the vow of obedience includes the other vows, but not vice versa: for a religious, though bound by vow to observe continence and poverty, yet these also come under obedience, as well as many other things besides the keeping of continence and poverty. Thirdly, because the vow of obedience extends properly to those acts that are closely connected with the end of religion; and the more closely a thing is connected with the end, the better it is. It follows from this that the vow of obedience is more essential to the religious life." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church") 

"The religious state may be considered in three ways. First, as being a practice of tending to the perfection of charity: secondly, as quieting the human mind from outward solicitude, according to 1 Corinthians 7:32: 'I would have you to be without solicitude': thirdly, as a holocaust whereby a man offers himself and his possessions wholly to God; and in corresponding manner the religious state is constituted by these three vows. First, as regards the practice of perfection a man is required to remove from himself whatever may hinder his affections from tending wholly to God, for it is in this that the perfection of charity consists. Such hindrances are of three kinds. First, the attachment to external goods, which is removed by the vow of poverty; secondly, the concupiscence of sensible pleasures, chief among which are venereal pleasures, and these are removed by the vow of continence; thirdly, the inordinateness of the human will, and this is removed by the vow of obedience. In like manner the disquiet of worldly solicitude is aroused in man in reference especially to three things. First, as regards the dispensing of external things, and this solicitude is removed from man by the vow of poverty; secondly, as regards the control of wife and children, which is cut away by the vow of continence; thirdly, as regards the disposal of one's own actions, which is eliminated by the vow of obedience, whereby a man commits himself to the disposal of another. Again, 'a holocaust is the offering to God of all that one has,' according to Gregory (Hom. 20 in Ezech.). Now man has a threefold good, according to the Philosopher (Ethica Nicomachea i,8). First, the good of external things, which he wholly offers to God by the vow of voluntary poverty: secondly, the good of his own body, and this good he offers to God especially by the vow of continence, whereby he renounces the greatest bodily pleasures. The third is the good of the soul, which man wholly offers to God by the vow of obedience, whereby he offers God his own will by which he makes use of all the powers and habits of the soul. Therefore the religious state is fittingly constituted by the three vows." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Also See: Poverty | Celibacy / Chastity | Virgins / Virginity | Obedience | Religious / Religious Life / Religious Institutes | Why Priestly Celibacy?

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