AN UNMARRIED PRIESTHOOD
"THE SPIRIT SPEAKETH expressly, that in the latter times,
some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits,
and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their
conscience seared with a hot iron; FORBIDDING TO
MARRY..." (1 Tim.4:1-3).
passage, Paul warned that a departure from the true faith would
occur in later or latter times. "This does not necessarily
imply the last ages of the world", writes Adam Clarke in his noted
commentary, "but any times consequent to those in which the Church
then lived." Actually, this departure from the faith, as
those who know history understand, took place back in the early
Christians recognized the worship of sun worship gods as the worship of devils (1
Cor.10:19, 21). It follows, then, that Paul's warning about
"doctrines of devils" could certainly refer to the teachings of
the sun worship
mysteries(Mystery Babylon). He made special mention of the
doctrine of "forbidding to marry." In the mystery religion, this
doctrine did not apply to all people. It was, instead, a
doctrine of priestly celibacy. Such unmarried priests, Hislop
points out, were members of the higher orders of the priesthood of
the queen Semiramis. "Strange as it may seem, yet the voice of
antiquity assigns to the abandoned queen the invention of clerical
celibacy, and that in its most stringent form."
nations to which the mystery religion spread required priestly
celibacy, as in Egypt where priests were allowed to marry.
But, "every scholar knows that when the worship of Cybele, the
Babylonian Goddess, was introduced into sun worshiping Rome, it was introduced in its
primitive form, with its celibate clergy." Instead of the
doctrine of "forbidding to marry" promoting purity, however, the
excesses committed by the celibate priests of sun worshiping Rome were so
bad that the Senate felt they should be expelled from the Roman
republic. Later, after priestly celibacy became established
in papal Rome, similar problemsdeveloped. "When Pope Paul V
sought the suppression of the licensed brothels in the 'Holy
City', the Roman Senate petitioned against his carrying his design
into effect, on the ground that the existence of such places was
the only means of hindering the priests from seducing their wives
those days, was a "holy city" in name only. Reports estimate that
there were about 6,000 prostitutes in this city with a population
not exceeding 100,000. Historians tell us that "all the
ecclesiastics had mistresses, and all the convents of the Capitol
were houses of bad fame." A fish pond at Rome which was situated near a
convent was drained by order of Pope Gregory. At the
bottom were found over 6,000 infant skulls. If in
doubt do a google search on the last two sentences!!
Peter D'Ailly said he dared not describe the immorality of the
nunneries, and that "taking the veil" was simply another mode of
becoming a public prostitute. Violations were so bad in the
ninth century that St.Theodore Studita forbade even female animals
on monastery property! In the year 1477, night dances and orgies
were held in the Catholic cloister at Kercheim that are described
in history as being worse than those to be seen in the public
houses of prostitution.
Priests came to
be known as "the husbands of all the women." Albert the
Magnificent, Archbishop of Hamburg, exhorted his priests: "Si non
caste, tamen caste" (If you can't be chaste, at least be careful).
Another German bishop began to charge the priests in his district
a tax for each female they kept and each child that was
born. He discovered there were eleven thousand women kept by
the clergymen of his diocese.
Catholic Encyclopedia says the tendency of some to rake these
scandals together and exaggerate details "is at least as marked as
the tendency on the part of the Church's apologists to ignore
these uncomfortable pages of history altogether"! As with so
many things, we "do not doubt that extremes have existed on both
sides. We realize also that with reports of immoral conduct
there is the possibility of exaggeration." But even allowing for
this, the problems that have accompanied the doctrine of
"forbidding to marry" are too obvious to be ignored. The
Encyclopedia, though seeking to explain and justify celibacy, admits
there have been many abuses.
"We have no
wish to deny or to palliate the very low level of morality to
which at different periods of the world's history, and in
different countries calling themselves Christian, the Catholic
priesthood has occasionally sunk ... corruption was widespread ...
How could it be otherwise when there were intruded into bishoprics
on every side men of brutal nature and unbridled passions, who
gave the very worst example to the clergy over whom they
ruled?...A large nuber of the clergy, not only priests but
bishops, openly took wives, and begat children to whom they
transmitted the benefices."
would like to say the sexual abuse and immorality by Priests was
just made-up by those opposed to the Roman Catholic church. But
the scandal in 2010, about MANY sexual abuse cases in the Roman
Catholic church, in different countries, and the cover-ups done
over the previous decades, attests to the sexual sins among some,
but nevertheless, it has been there in the Roman Catholic church,
and in previous ages, much worse.
no rule in the Bible that requires a minister to be
unmarried. The apostles were married (1 Cor.9:5) and a
bishop was to be "the husband of one wife" (1 Tim.3:2). Even
The Catholic Encyclopedia says, "We do not find in the New
Testament any indication of celibacy being made compulsory either
upon the apostles or those whom they ordained." The doctrine
of "forbidding to marry" developed only gradually within the
celibacy doctrine first began to be taught, many of the priests
were married men. There was some question, though, if a
priest whose wife died should marry again. A rule
established at the Council of Neo-Caesarea in 315 "absolutely
forbids a priest to contract a new marriage under the pain of
deposition." Later, "at a Roman council held by Pope
Siricius in 386 an edict was passed forbidding priests and deacons
to have conjugal intercourse with their wives and the Pope took
steps to have the decree enforced in Spain and other parts of
statements from The Catholic Encyclopedia the careful reader will
notice the words "forbid" and "forbidding." The word "forbidding"
is the same word the Bible uses when warning about "forbidding to
marry" - but in exactly the opposite sense! The Bible terms
forbidding to marry a "doctrine of devils."
all of these things into consideration, we can see how Paul's
prediction (1 Tim.4:1-3) was fulfilled. Did a departure from
the original faith come? Yes. Did people give heed to
sun worship doctrines, the
doctrines of devils? Yes. Were priests forbidden to
marry? Yes. And because of this forced celibacy, many
of these priests ended up having their "consciences seared with a
hot iron" and "spoke lies in hypocrisy" because of the immorality
into which they fell. History has shown the fulfillment of
each part of thisprophecy !
doctrine of forbidding priests to marry met with other
difficulties over the centuries because of the confessional.
It is plain to see that the practice of girls and women confessing
their moral weaknesses and desires to unmarried priests could
easily result in many abuses. A former priest, Charles
Chiniquy, who lived at the time of Abraham Lincoln and was
personally acquainted with him, gives a full account of such
corruption in connection with the confessional, along with actual
cases, in his book "The Priest, The Woman, and The
Confessional." We are not suggesting that all priests should
be judged by the mistakes or sins of some. We do not doubt
that many priests have been very dedicated to the vows they have
taken. Nevertheless, "the countless attacks" (to use the wording
of The Catholic Encyclopedia) that have been made against the
confessional were not, in many cases, without basis.
doctrine of confession has caused difficulties for the Romish
church, in one way or another, seems implied by the wording of The
Catholic Encyclopedia. After mentioning the "countless
attacks," it says, "If at the Reformation or since the Church
could have surrendered a doctrine or abandoned a practice for the
sake of peace and to soften a 'hard saying', confession would have
been the first to disappear"!
carefully worded article, The Catholic Encyclopedia explains that
the power to forgive sins belongs to God alone.
Nevertheless, he exercises this power through the priests. A
passage in John (20:22,23) is interpreted to mean a priest can
forgive or refuse to forgive sins. In order for him to make
this decision, sins "specifically and in detail" (according to the
Council of Trent) must be confessed to him. "How can a wise
and prudent: judgment be rendered if the priest be in ignorance of
the cause on which judgment is pronounced? And how can he obtain
the requisite knowledge unless it come from the spontaneous
acknowledgment of the sinner?" Having given priests the
authority to forgive sins, it is inconsistent to believe, says the
article, that Christ "had intended to provide some other means of
forgiveness such as confessing 'to God alone'." Confession to
a priest for those who after baptism commit sins, is "necessary unto
There is a type
of confession that the Bible teaches, but it is not confession to
an unmarried priest! The Bible says, "Confess your faults
one to another" (James 5:16). If this verse could be used to
support the Catholic idea of confession, then not only should
people confess to priests, but priests should confess to the
people! When Simon of Samaria sinned, after having been baptized,
Peter did not tell him to confess to him. He did not tell
him to say the "Hail Mary" for a given number of times a
day. Peter told him to "pray to God" for forgiveness (Acts
8:22)! When Peter sinned, he confessed to God and was forgiven;
when Judas sinned, he confessed
to a group of priests and committed suicide!
of confessing to a priest came not from the Bible, but from
Babylon! Secret confession was required before complete initiation
was granted into the Babylonian mysteries. Once such
confession was made, the victim was bound hand and foot to the
priesthood. There can be no doubt that confessions were made
in Babylon, for it is from such recorded confessions - and only
from these - that historians have been able to formulate
conclusions about the Babylonian concepts of right and wrong.
concept of confession was not limited to Babylon, however.
Salverte wrote of this practice among the Greeks. "All the
Greeks from Delphi to Thermopylae, were initiated in the mysteries
of the temple of Delphi. Their silence in regard to
everything they were commanded to keep secret was secured by the
general confession exacted of the aspirants after initiation."
Certain types of confession were also known in the religions of
Medo-Persia, Egypt, and Rome - before the dawn of Christianity.
the distinctive color of the clergy garments worn by the priests
of the Roman Catholic Church and some Protestant denominations
also follow this custom. But why black? Can any of us
picture Jesus and his apostles wearing black garments? Black
has for centuries been linked with death. Hearses, traditionally,
have been black, black is worn by mourners at funerals, etc.
If any suggest that black should be worn in honor of the death of
Christ, we would only point out
that Christ is no longer dead!
On the other
hand, the Bible mentions certain priests of Baal that dressed in
black! God's message through Zephaniah was this: "I will cut
off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the
chemarims with the priests"(Zeph.1:4). The "chemarims" were
priests who wore black garments. This same title is
translated "idolatrous priests" in another passage about Baal
worship (2 Kings 23:5). Adam Clarke says, "Probably they were an
order made by the idolatrous kings of Judah, and called kemarim,
from camar, which signifies to be ... made dark, or black, because
their business was constantly to attend sacrificial fires, and
probably they wore black garments; hence the Jews in derision call
Christian ministers kemarim, because of their black clothes and
garments. Why we should imitate, in our sacerdotal dress,
those priests of Baal, is strange to think and hard to tell."
practice of the Catholic church which was also known in ancient
times and among non-Christian people is the tonsure. The
Catholic Encyclopedia says the tonsure is "a sacred rite
instituted by the Church by which ... a Christian is received into
the clerical order by shearing of his hair ... Historically, the tonsure
was not in use in the
primitive Church ... Even later St.Jerome (340-420) disapproved of
clerics shaving their
heads." But by the sixth century the tonsure
was quite common. The Council of Toledo made it a strict
clerics must receive the tonsure, but today the custom is no
longer practiced in many countries.
known and acknowledged that this custom was "not in use in the
primitive Church." But it was known among sun worshiping nations! Buddha
shaved his head in obedience to a supposed divine command.
The priests of Osiris in Egypt were distinguished by the shaving
of their heads. The priests of Bacchus received the tonsure.
In the Catholic church, the form of tonsure used in Britain was
called the Celtic, with only a portion of hair being shaved from
the front of the head. In Eastern form, the whole was
shaved. But in the Roman form, called the tonsure of St.Peter, the round
tonsure was used, leaving only hair around the edges with the
upper portion of the head bald. The Celtic tonsure of priests in Britain
was ridiculed as being the tonsure of Simon Magus.
But why did
Rome insist on the round tonsure?
We may not have the full answer, but we do know that such was "an old practice of the
priests of Mithra, who in their tonsures imitated the solar disk. As the sun-god was the great lamented
god, and had his hair cut in a circular form, and the priests who
lamented him had their hair cut in a similar manner, so in
different countries those who lamented the dead and cut off their
hair in honor of them, cut it in a circular form"!
That such was a
very ancient custom - known even at the time of Moses may be seen
right within the Bible. Such was forbidden for priests:
"They shall not make baldness upon their head" (Lev.21:5).
And that such "baldness"
was the rounded tonsure seems
implied from Leviticus 19:27: "Ye shall not round the corners of your head."
, it is admitted on all
sides, was not a practice of Christ, the apostles, or the early
church. It was, on the other hand, a rite among
non--christian religions from ancient times. The reader may
judge for himself the source of this custom within the Roman
“Signs and symbols rule the Sun Worship world, not
words nor laws.”