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final vows & clerical celibacy

29. 6. 2014

In the English Wikipedia I have looked for: Final vows:

Vows of celibacy = Clerical celibacy

Clerical celibacy is the requirement in certain religions that some or all members of the clergy be unmarried. These religions consider that, outside of marriage, deliberate sexual thoughts, feelings, and behavior are sinful; clerical celibacy also requires abstention from these.[1]

Within the Roman Catholic Church, clerical celibacy is mandated for all clergy in the Latin Church except deacons who do not intend to become priests. Exceptions are sometimes admitted for ordination to transitional diaconate and priesthood on a case-by-case basis for married clergymen of other churches or communities who become Catholics, but ordination of married men to the episcopacy is excluded (see Personal ordinariate). Clerical marriage is not allowed and therefore, if those for whom in some particular Church celibacy is optional (such as permanent deacons in the Latin Church) wish to marry, they must do so before ordination. Eastern Catholic Churches either follow the same rules as the Latin Church or require celibacy for bishops while allowing priestly ordination of married men.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodoxy, celibacy is the norm for bishops; married men may be ordained to the priesthood, but even married priests whose wives pre-decease them are not allowed to enter marriage after ordination, although today some exceptions are made.[citation needed] The vast majority (more than 90%[citation needed]) of Orthodox priests are married men—having married before they were ordained. Similarly, celibacy is not a requirement for ordination as a deacon and in some Oriental Orthodox churches deacons may marry after ordination. The Church of the East has not applied the rule of celibacy even for ordination to the episcopate. Anglicanism and Protestantism in general do not require celibacy of its clergy and allow clerical marriage.

Meanings of "celibacy"

The word "celibacy" can mean either the state of being unmarried or abstinence, especially because of religious vows, from sexual intercourse.[2][3] In the canon law of the Latin Church, the word "celibacy" is used specifically in the sense of being unmarried. However, for its clergy this state of being unmarried is considered to be a consequence of the obligation to be completely and perpetually continent:

Clerics are obliged to observe perfect and perpetual continence for the sake of the kingdom of heaven and therefore are bound to celibacy which is a special gift of God by which sacred ministers can adhere more easily to Christ with an undivided heart and are able to dedicate themselves more freely to the service of God and humanity.[4]

Permanent deacons, namely those deacons who are not intended to become priests, are, in general, exempted from this rule.[5] But married permanent deacons are not allowed to remarry after the death of their spouse.[6]

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

All the ordained ministers of the Latin Church, with the exception of permanent deacons, are normally chosen from among men of faith who live a celibate life and who intend to remain celibate "for the sake of the kingdom of heaven." Called to consecrate themselves with undivided heart to the Lord and to "the affairs of the Lord", they give themselves entirely to God and to men. Celibacy is a sign of this new life to the service of which the Church's minister is consecrated; accepted with a joyous heart celibacy radiantly proclaims the Reign of God.

In the Eastern Churches a different discipline has been in force for many centuries: while bishops are chosen solely from among celibates, married men can be ordained as deacons and priests. This practice has long been considered legitimate; these priests exercise a fruitful ministry within their communities. Moreover, priestly celibacy is held in great honor in the Eastern Churches and many priests have freely chosen it for the sake of the Kingdom of God. In the East as in the West a man who has already received the sacrament of Holy Orders can no longer marry.[7]

On the granting of permission, by exception, for the priestly ordination of married men in the Latin Church, see Rules, below.


In some Christian churches, such as the western and some eastern sections of the Catholic Church, priests and bishops must as a rule be unmarried men. In others, such as the Eastern Orthodox Church, the churches of Oriental Orthodoxy and some of the Eastern Catholic Churches, married men may be ordained as deacons or priests, but may not remarry if their wife dies, and celibacy is required only of bishops. Since celibacy is seen as a consequence of the obligation of continence, it implies abstinence from sexual relationships. The Code of Canon Law prescribes:

Clerics are to behave with due prudence towards persons whose company can endanger their obligation to observe continence or give rise to scandal among the faithful.[8]

In some Christian churches, a vow of chastity is made by members of religious orders or monastic communities, along with vows of poverty and obedience, in order to imitate the life of Jesus of Nazareth (see also Evangelical counsels). This vow of chastity, made by people not all of whom are clergy, is different from what is the obligation, not a vow, of clerical continence and celibacy

Celibacy for religious and monastics (monks and sisters/nuns) and for bishops is upheld by the Catholic Church and the traditions of both Eastern Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy. Bishops must be unmarried men or widowers; a married man cannot become a bishop. In Latin Church Catholicism and in some Eastern Catholic Churches, most priests are celibate men. Exceptions are admitted and there are over 200 married Catholic priests who converted from the Anglican Communion and Protestant faiths.[citation needed] In most Orthodox traditions and in some Eastern Catholic Churches men who are already married may be ordained priests, but priests may not marry after ordination.

Neither the Catholic nor the Orthodox tradition considers the rule of clerical celibacy to be an unchangeable dogma, but instead as a rule that could be adjusted if the Church thought it appropriate and to which exceptions are admitted.

From the time of the first ecumenical council the Christian church forbids voluntary physical castration,[9] and the alleged self-castration of the theologian Origen was used to discredit him.

see to the article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vows_of_celibacy


vow, n.


Forms: 3–4 vou (uuou, wou, wov), 5 woue (6 pl. woues), 6 voue; 4– vow (4, 5–6 Sc., wow), 4–7 vowe (4 wowe, 5 vowhe); 4 pl. vouwes, -is, fouwes; 4 voo, 5 voye, Sc. woe.

[a. AF. vu(u, vou, vo, OF. vo, vou, vowe, veu (F. vœu):—L. vōt-um vote n., neut. of vōtus, pa. pple. of vōvēre to promise solemnly, to pledge, dedicate, etc. Cf. avow n.1]

1. A solemn promise made to God, or to any deity or saint, to perform some act, or make some gift or sacrifice, in return for some special favour; more generally, a solemn engagement, undertaking, or resolve, to achieve something or to act in a certain way.

   1297 R. Glouc. (Rolls) 9823 Vor þoru a vowe of him þe sone bigan þat strif.    1303 R. Brunne Handl. Synne 2888 He hys owne doghtyr slowe For a foly and a wykked vowe.    13‥ E.E. Allit. P. C. 239 Þer was louyng on lofte‥on Moyses wyse, With sacrafyse vp-set, & solempne vowes.    c 1380 Wyclif Wks. (1880) 66 To paie þe pope þe first froytys,‥for assoilyngis of wowes, & many feyned iapis.    c 1430 Lydg. Min. Poems (Percy Soc.) 136 This was his vowhe, with gret humylite, Lik his entent in ful pleyn language.    1502 Ord. Crysten Men (W. de W. 1506) iv. vii. 187 To haue knowledge of woues, of testamentes, of cases of symony, useryes and other dyffyculties.    1550 Bale Apol. Pref. 12 Such are the rashe vowes of the ydolatrouse and mockynge papystes.    1563 tr. Musculus' Common-pl. 508 In a foule vow, alter thy purpose. Do not that which thou haste vnaduisedly vowed.    1617 Moryson Itin. i. 151 The wals are round about hung with Images of men,‥which were offered to our Lady upon vow.    1645 Quarles Sol. Recant. v. 66 Make hast to pay what thy vow'd Promise owes; Destruction dwels in unperformed Vowes.    1697 Dryden Virg. Georg. iv. 775 With Vows and suppliant Pray'rs their Pow'rs appease.    1756–7 tr. Keysler's Trav. (1760) IV. 174 It was designed for St. Joseph, in consequence of a vow made by that emperor in the year 1702, on the happy return of his son Joseph‥from Landau.    1822 Wordsw. Eccl. Sonn. iii. xxi. 13 Shame if the consecrated Vow be found An idle form, the Word an empty sound.    1866 R. W. Dale Disc. Spec. Occas. 342 Those vows cannot now be cancelled or recalled.    1869 Lecky Europ. Mor. I. 144 The earliest form in which the duty of veracity is enforced is probably the observance of vows.

b.1.b In phrases, as to make, to hold, keep, pay (or †yield), or to break, a vow.

(a)    c 1290 St. Fides 51 in S. Eng. Leg. I. 84 For ich habbe to him mi vou i-maked.    a 1300 Cursor M. 28286 Ic ha made vous oft vn-right and halden þam efter my might.    1303 R. Brunne Handl. Synne 2795 Ȝyf þou madest awhere any vowe To wurschyp God for þy prowe.    c 1340 Hampole Pr. Consc. 2942 Þan has þat man grete drede in hert; He mas þan vowes, and cryes on Crist.    1387 Trevisa Higden (Rolls) VI. 81 Kyng Oswy made a vow þat ȝif he hadde þe victorie in þat bataille he wolde offre his douȝter Elfleda to God of hevene.    c 1430 Syr Gener. (Roxb.) 1925 To god and you a voye I make, I shal youre seruice neuer forsake.    1473 J. Warkworth Chron. (Camden) 8 He made a woue that the Lorde Willowby schuld lese his hede.    1530 Palsgr. 619/2, I make a vowe to God and to Our Ladye that I shall never slepe one night where I slepe an other, tyll I have sene hym.    1587 Mirr. Mag., Brennus ix, I made a vowe to kill the man that causde me flye.    1602 Shakes. Ham. ii. ii. 70 He‥Makes Vow before his Vnkle, neuer more To giue th' assay of Armes against your Maiestie.    1700 Dryden Iliad i. 27 So may the Gods‥accord the vows you make, And give you Troy's imperial town to take.    1718 [see (b)].    1829 Scott Anne of G. i, He proceeded to recount the vow which was made‥to our Lady of Einsiedlen.    1867 W. Fleming Moral Philos. ii. ii. ii. 296 We may make a Vow, however, to our fellow-creatures, or even to ourselves.

(b)    a 1300 Cursor M. 24907 (Edin.), Do vou, Elis, and hald þi vow It sal te turn til mikel pru.    a 1340 Hampole Psalter cxv. 8 My wowis i sall ȝelde till lord in sight of all his folke.    1382 Wyclif Job xxii. 27 Thou shalt preȝen hym‥and thi vouwis thou shalt ȝelde.    1526 [see 1 c].    1560 Bible (Genev.) Job xxii. 27 Thou shalt make thy prayer vnto him,‥and thou shalt rendre thy vowes.    c 1611 Chapman Iliad ii. 248 Nor would [these men] pay Their own vows to thee.    1651 Hobbes Leviath. i. xiv. 69 Being a thing unjust to pay such Vow.    1697 Dryden Æneid ii. 22 They feigned it made For their return, and this the vow they paid.    1718 Lady M. W. Montagu Let. to C'tess of Mar 10 Mar., She firmly intended to keep the vow she had made.    1819 Wordsw. Misc. Sonn. i. xi. 5 How Shall Fancy pay to thee a grateful vow?    1859 Tennyson Pelleas & Ettarre 549 Have any of our Round Table held their vows?    1876 ― Harold iii. i, He did not mean to keep his vow.

(c)    a 1300 Cursor M. 10674 Þe biscop‥Durst noght hir do hir vou to breke.    1362 Langl. P. Pl. A. Prol. 68 Himself mihte a-soylen hem alle Of Falsnesse and Fastinge and of vouwes I-broken.    c 1450 Mirk's Festial 9, I haue avowet chastite. And‥for I wold not breke my vow, pryuely yn a nyght, I stale forþe yn pore wede.    1483 Cath. Angl. 404/1 To breke Vowe, deuotare, deuouere.    1534 Elyot Gov. iii. viii. 179 Only I wyl shewe‥howe terrible a thynge it was amonge them, to breke theyr othes or vowes [ed. 1531 avowes].    1596 Edward III, ii. i. 335 To breake a lawfull and religious vowe.    a 1641 Spelman Tythes xxvii. Wks. 1727 I. 131 So doubtless have we just Cause to fear the Dint of this Curse in breaking this Vow.    1791 Cowper Iliad i. 78 That we may learn By what crime we have thus incensed Apollo, What broken vow‥He charges on us.    1889 Tennyson Ring 401 No pliable idiot I to break my vow.

c.1.c Const. of (something).

   c 1380 Wyclif Wks. (1880) 170 Many prestis vnwisly taken a wow of chastite.    c 1400 Apol. Loll. 38 Bi þe vertu of his degre, he made þe vow of chastite.    1526 Pilgr. Perf. (W. de W. 1531) 65 To‥kepe theyr foure essencial vowes the better, that is, the vowe of chastite, the vowe of obedience, the vowe of wylfull pouerte and the vowe of perpetuall inclusyon.    1590 Shakes. Mids. N. i. i. 121 The Law of Athens yeelds you vp‥To death, or to a vow of single life.    1638 Baker tr. Balzac's Lett. (vol. II) 21 Sir, if I had made a vow of humility, you give me here a fair occasion to be proud for not breaking it.    1671 Milton Samson 319 Against his vow of strictest purity.    1776 Dalrymple Ann. Scotl. I. 109 Having made a vow of perpetual virginity.    1859 Tennyson Vivien 545 They bound to holy vows of chastity! Were I not woman, I could tell a tale.    1874 Green Short Hist. iii. §6. (1882) 144 The vow of Poverty was turned into a stern reality.

†d.1.d to take in vow, to make a vow. Obs.—1

   1526 Pilgr. Perf. (W. de W. 1531) 57 Ye & take it in vowe that thy delectacyon sholde be onely in the passyon & paynes of Jesu Chryst.

2. Eccl. A solemn engagement to devote oneself to a religious life of a definite nature, such as that of a monastic or conventual order. Freq. in pl.; to take the vows, to enter a religious order.

   c 1400 Apol. Loll. 101 Þerfor iuge religiouse men in þer consciens, if þei ground hem þus in her vowis.    1560 J. Daus tr. Sleidane's Comm. 59 Men must be warned that they suffre not them selves to be bounden to Monkish vowes.    a 1578 Lindesay (Pitscottie) Chron. Scot. (S.T.S.) II. 71 Thow fals heretick hast taught plainlie aganes the wowis of monkes freiris nunes and preistis.    1603 Shakes. Meas. for M. iv. ii. 180 By the vow of mine Order, I warrant you, If my instructions may be your guide.    1651 Hobbes Leviath. iv. xlvi. 376 Monks, and Friers, that are bound by Vow to that simple obedience to their Superiour, to which every Subject ought to think himself bound.    1721 Strype Eccl. Mem. I. xliv. 339 A late proclamation of the king that disallowed of the marriage of priests, and concerning the vows of religious persons, gave them disgust.    1753 Challoner Cath. Chr. Instr. 171 Those who have chosen the better Part, and consecrated themselves by Vow to God.    1814 Scott Ld. of Isles vi. iii, There Bruce's slow assent allows Fair Isabel the veil and vows.    1845 S. Austin Ranke's Hist. Ref. I. 463 On his friends earnestly pressing him to take the vows, he ran away.    1849 James Woodman v, [One] who is very dangerous to all ladies not under vows.

3. A solemn promise of fidelity or faithful attachment. Also const. of (faith, love, etc.).

   1590 Shakes. Mids. N. i. i. 175 By all the vowes that euer men haue broke, (In number more then euer women spoke).    1596 ― Merch. V. v. i. 18 In such a night Did young Lorenzo sweare he lou'd her well, Stealing her soule with many vowes of faith.    1601 ― Jul. C. ii. i. 73 By all your vowes of Loue, and that great Vow Which did incorporate and make vs one.    a 1762 Lady M. W. Montagu Poems, Epil. to Mary Q. of Scots 18 Men mock the idol of their former vow.    1797 Mrs. Radcliffe Italian xii, Let me lead you to the first Altar that will confirm our vows.    1813 Shelley Q. Mab vi. 210 The fair oak, whose leafy dome affords A temple where the vows of happy love Are registered.    1829 Lytton Disowned xxvii, They stood beside the altar, and their vows were exchanged.    1833 Tennyson Miller's Dau. 119 O would she give me vow for vow, Sweet Alice, if I told her all?

4. An earnest wish or desire; a prayer, a supplication. (So F. vœu, L. vōtum.)
   Not always clearly distinct from sense 1.

   1563 tr. Musculus' Common-pl. 499 A vowe is oftentymes taken for a desyre, and prayer. So whan those thynges whyche we haue desyred, do fall oute accordinge vnto oure mynde, wee saye we haue oure wishe or vowe.    a 1599 Spenser F.Q. vii. vi. 22 His brow (His black eye-brow, whose doomefull dreaded beck Is wont to wield the world vnto his vow).    1600 O. E. (M. Sutcliffe) Repl. Libel i. v. 125 They haue nothing more in their vowes, then her Maiesties ruine.    1697 Dryden Æneid iii. 518 When‥priests with holy vows the gods adore.    1742 Hume Ess., Stoic i. xvi. (1777) I. 159 Even their own vows, though granted, cannot give them happiness.    1747 Hoadly Suspicious Husband Ded., To send up my warmest Vows‥that your Majesty may long enjoy the fruits of [etc.].    1794 Burke Corr. (1844) IV. 252 You have my most ardent vows for an auspicious beginning.    1820 Shelley Œd. Tyr. i. 16 Thou to whom Kings and laurelled Emperors‥Offer their secret vows!    1850 Tennyson In Mem. lxxix, At one dear knee we proffer'd vows, One lesson from one book we learn'd.

5. A solemn affirmation or asseveration.

   1593 Shakes. 2 Hen. VI, iii. ii. 159 A dreadfull Oath, sworne with a solemn tongue: What instance giues Lord Warwicke for his vow.    1611 ― Wint. T. i. ii. 47 Her. Nay, but you will? Pol. I may not verely. Her. Verely? You put me off with limber Vowes.    1862 R. S. Hawker in C. E. Byles Life & Lett. xvii. (1905) 386 Every Methodist Preacher or Hearer must attest by Vow and Signature his assent to a Paragraph in Wesley's xith Sermon on the Witness of the Spirit.

†6. A votive offering. Obs. rare.

   1382 Wyclif Deut. xii. 6 (early MSS.), Ȝee shul come & offre in þat place brent sacrifises,‥& vouwis & ȝiftes.    1535 Coverdale Ibid.    1611 Bible 1 Esdras viii. 58 The vessels are holy, and the golde, and the siluer is a vowe vnto the Lord.    1686 Burnet Lett. (1708) 126 The little Vows, that hang without the holy Chapel.    a 1700 Evelyn Diary 21 May 1645, There is belonging to this Church a world of plate,‥and lamps innumerable, besides the costly vowes hung up, some of gold.

7. Comb., as vow-maker, vow-making, vow-pledged, vow-sanctifier, vow-sighing; †vow-fellow, one who is bound by the same vow. Also vow-breaker, etc.

   1588 Shakes. L.L.L. ii. i. 38 Who are the Votaries, my louing Lords, that are vow-fellowes with this vertuous Duke?    1598 Florio, Votario, a votarie, a vower, a promiser, a vow-maker.    1668 Clarendon Ess. Tracts (1727) 177 That these vow-makers should be thought so necessary, when every one of their three vows is directly against the health‥of the kingdom.    1681 Dryden Span. Friar ii. iii, Love you know, father, is a great vow-maker, but he's a greater vow-breaker.    1743 Francis tr. Hor., Odes iii. x. 14 Neither presents, nor vow-sighing strain.    1805 Wordsw. Waggoner iii. 44 What tears of rapture, what vow-making!    1817 Lady Morgan France i. (1818) I. 97 The days of the vow-making Louis XIII.    1832 Motherwell Poet. Wks. (1847) 48 So the Vow-pledged One loved another.



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