A Laymen’s Commentary on the Smalcald Articles: The Marriage of Priests

Part III, Article XI. Of the Marriage of Priests.

1] To prohibit marriage, and to burden the divine order of priests with perpetual celibacy, they have had neither authority nor right [they have done out of malice, without any honest reason], but have acted like antichristian, tyrannical, desperate scoundrels [have performed the work of antichrist, of tyrants and the worst knaves], and have thereby caused all kinds of horrible, abominable, innumerable sins of unchastity [depraved lusts], in which they still wallow. 2] Now, as little as we or they have been given the power to make a woman out of a man or a man out of a woman, or to nullify either sex, so little have they had the power to [sunder and] separate such creatures of God, or to forbid them from living [and cohabiting] honestly in marriage with one another. 3] Therefore we are unwilling to assent to their abominable celibacy, nor will we [even] tolerate it, but we wish to have marriage free as God has instituted [and ordained] it, and we wish neither to rescind nor hinder His work; for Paul says, 1 Tim. 4:1ff , that this [prohibition of marriage] is a doctrine of devils.

Celibacy was and is the norm for Roman Catholic priests.  This practice was originally instituted in order to give credibility to the Christian clergy as celibate philosophers were thought to be more wise and pure.  However, this practice was not heard of at the time of the apostles; many of whom were married, as were many pastors in the Early Church.

From the beginning and to this day the practice of forced celibacy is abominable. The horrendous abominations found in the Roman Catholic church of homosexual priests, pederasty, pedophilia, and any number of sexual sins are a direct result of this forced celibacy.  Everyone should be allowed to marry who desires it, as God intended. Truly those who hinder marriage are preaching the doctrine of demons and doing their work (1 Timothy 4).

1 “Wake, awake, for night is flying,”
The watchmen on the heights are crying;
“Awake, Jerusalem, arise!”
Midnight hears the welcome voices
And at the thrilling cry rejoices;
“Oh, where are ye, ye virgins wise?
The Bridegroom comes, awake!
Your lamps with gladness take!
Allelujah!
With bridal care
Yourselves prepare
To meet the Bridegroom, who is near.”

2 Zion hears the watchmen singing,
And all her heart with joy is springing;
She wakes, she rises from her gloom.
For her Lord comes down all-glorious,
The strong in grace, in truth victorious;
Her star is ris’n, her light is come.
Now come, Thou Blessed One,
Lord Jesus, God’s own Son,
Hail! Hosanna!
We enter all
The wedding hall
To eat the Supper at Thy call.

3 Now let all the heav’ns adore Thee,
Let saints and angels sing before Thee
With harp and cymbals’ clearest tone.
Of one pearl each shining portal,
Where, joining with the choir immortal,
We gather round Thy radiant throne.
No eye has seen the light,
No ear has heard the might
Of Thy glory;
Therefore will we
Eternally
Sing hymns of praise and joy to Thee!

(LSB 516)

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