What are the main rules of people who live the life of celibacy? Does it bring any harm to the health of the person? Read the article to learn more life stories and examples on this topic.
Celibacy definition on Latin is “unmarried”. But it isn't identical to continence. In an exact sense of the word, it is a state when the person lives all life without sex consciously. It can be temporary, though. Besides, it is possible to abstain from sex, being in the relations. But the true celibacy is a lack of both sex life and the partner and even preserving pure thoughts. But many people use this word in the softer sense. Most of the priests have to abstain from sex and completely devote themselves to God. By the way, Buddhist monks have to do the same. In both religions, the ban extends also to masturbation. It is difficult for not religious people to understand this demand. All priests, both men, and women mainly nuns give a vow of chastity, but the main subject of discussions is male celibacy. Whether celibacy is possible in general in the strict sense?
‘Testosterone forces men to want sex’ – professor-endocrinologist from the Oxford University says. – ‘At women, this requirement is expressed to a lesser extent because testosterone is balanced by estrogen at them.’ Therefore, according to a scientist, celibacy is an absolutely abnormal state. About 80-90% of men masturbate, and the priests, most likely, not an exception, despite what they tell and how they act. ‘Data of researchers prove that men who ejaculate more often have fewer chances to be a subject of disease of a prostate cancer. Therefore, celibacy means not really healthy practice’ – professor concludes. And that is why many can't imagine how it is possible to live the whole life without sex. One of the men, who refused a celibacy to marry, remembers how it was difficult for young priests: ‘It was necessary to fight against the inclinations. For many people, it was the daily fight, though abstention was easier to others.’ However, physical desires can be overcome by force, for example, by means of meditation – ‘Some people quite successfully practice it. Sometimes it requires efforts. But I don't believe that the person is biologically not capable of abstaining.’
The dean of the seminary of Allen Hall says that most of the priests maintain celibacy. – ‘It is possible if the person has the internal force, belief, and also support from the outside. He compares it to respect for conjugal fidelity. Masturbation is not an exit for those who vowed. For each Christian masturbation or sex before or after marriage is a sin. Catholics are forbidden to masturbate because it makes the person selfish, shipped in itself and prevents him or her from letting other people in his heart.’
Celibacy vs. abstinence
Of course, millions of Christians wouldn't agree with this opinion. It is difficult to observe celibacy not only because of biology. The priest remembers that when was at his position, women sometimes perceived him as ‘forbidden fruit’ or ‘challenge.’ But the heaviest for him was not to have a beloved. ‘We are only people, – he says, – and sometimes we feel lonely. The majority wants to divide life with someone. The western society gives to a search of the romantic partner a huge importance. And to offer it is meant to refuse something very important. You lose an opportunity to live with the person to whom you trust on the main things.’ – He is also married because he wanted to have such person in his life. – ‘Modern life is too sexualized and individualistic’ – he says.
Lots of people of the last centuries were married or had no sex life – just two options. Much more options are available to us. In traditional society, the lonely person sometimes can’t be sexually active. Therefore people took roles, which require abstention, such as a role of the priest. And now the number of people in the West, ready to give a vow of chastity, considerably decreased.
A life of celibacy
Many Catholics urged to rethink need of celibacy. But a problem is the requirement to observe it the whole life. Problems arise when the person can't abstain anymore, but at the same time has no moral opportunity to satisfy the sexuality. Besides, it is necessary to consider also, why some people choose celibacy. In not tolerant societies, gays can become priests as this profession allows hiding from sex. Some claim that problems with celibacy begin when it becomes institutionally hidden.
It isn't necessary to force priests to suppress the inclinations or to hide their intimate life. ‘Already one thousand years we see that it doesn't work. The celibacy leads to awful things’. – According to priests, the new father should address a celibacy question surely. The former priest is married 23 years and doesn't doubt that he made a right choice. – ‘Having satisfied the need for a family, I can give more things to Church now, than I could before.’ But the father claims that people misunderstand celibacy. According to him, such vow allows the priest to establish the special relations with God and parishioners. – ‘It is not oppression. The celibacy teaches special love.’
According to him, not only priests but also everyone who isn't married should abstain. Besides, the priest completely denies communication between celibacy and scandals, which media often report. – ‘It is a lie that the celibacy leads to sexual dysfunction or harassments. Unfortunately, sexual scandals happen in the different organizations, and married men are involved in them, not only those who adhere to celibacy’ – he says. The celibacy isn't a question of belief. For the Catholic Church, it is simply one of the laws. – ‘If the Anglican wants to pass into Catholicism, he shouldn't leave the wife, and it proves that the celibacy doesn't belong to the area of belief, it is not a religious belief.’
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