Should Catholic priests be allowed to marry?

TOPICS: Inner wholeness requires resolution of psychological conditions – forcing yourself to abstain from sex does not help your spiritual growth – the church lost the inner teachings, thus had to force people to conform to outer doctrines – unmarried priests cannot minister to married couples – monasteries for people ready to give up bodily desires – the sexual abuse by priests proves the fallacy of seeking to force people to conform to outer doctrines – celibacy fosters elitism and spiritual pride –

Question: Jesus, I understand the need for a true reform of the Catholic church, and I hope many Catholics heed your words about the need for reform. However, I would like to ask whether you think Catholic priests should be allowed to marry?

Answer from ascended master Jesus through Kim Michaels:

I am a spiritual teacher, and my concern is always for the spiritual growth of the individual lifestream. Spiritual growth means the resolution of false beliefs and emotional scars that prevent the lifestream from attaining wholeness, also called holiness. This is an inner, psychological resolution that cannot be attained as an automatic or mechanical effect of performing certain outer actions. Therefore, forced celibacy has little value and will be a burden to the lifestreams who are not ready to abstain from sex. Instead of leading to the resolution of psychological problems, it is likely to reinforce such problems. This is precisely why the Church has such a massive problem with sexual abuse.

What I am saying here is that the true purpose of life is to walk a gradual path which leads to a higher state of consciousness. This path can be compared to a staircase with many steps. As a lifestream ascends this staircase, it will naturally begin to lose its attachment to, its desire for and its interest in the things of this world, especially the sensory pleasures produced by the physical body. In other words, it is natural for a lifestream to gradually lose its desire for sex and place more attention on the spiritual side of life.

If you survey humankind, you will see that some people have attained this state of spirituality and have put the bodily desires behind them. You will see that some people gradually overcome their attachment to sex during one lifetime. Yet you will also see that there are many people on this earth who are not yet to ready to give up sex. And if a person is not ready to do so, forcing oneself to abstain from sex is not likely to help the spiritual growth of the lifestream. The abstinence from sex must be based on a true inner resolution of the desire for sex rather than a decision made with the outer mind and will.

It was my original intent and hope that the Christian movement would offer people a gradual path leading to a higher state of consciousness, namely the Christ consciousness. This growth should ideally be based on an understanding, a true inner understanding, of the spiritual mysteries of life.

When the lifestream receives a true understanding, it will find valid answers to its questions about life. Those answers will bring true resolution to the lifestream. The lifestream will gradually begin to align its beliefs with the reality of life, and the lifestream will gradually resolve its emotional wounds and hang-ups. Therefore, the lifestream will not need to force itself to take certain outer actions. The lifestream will voluntarily choose those outer actions because the lifestream realizes that they represent enlightened self-interest.

What happened to the Catholic Church was that it deviated from my original intent. The church became caught up in power plays, and as a result some of my original teachings were removed. Therefore, the church could not give people the true understanding that could lead them to a true resolution. As a result, the church has fallen into a pattern of forcing people to conform to outer doctrines and rigid rules for behavior.

Ideally, a church organization should provide a hierarchical structure and allow people to gradually climb to higher levels of that structure as they are able and willing. Such a structure would have different levels based on different levels of spiritual attainment. For example, the majority of the human population is not at a level where it would be natural or even beneficial for them to abstain from sex. These people should live in a normal family situation, as many of them already do.

A church needs a class of priests who minister to these people. This would be the ordinary Catholic priests. If you are to effectively minister to people, you must know the problems faced by those people. How can you know such problems unless you have experienced them yourself? In other words, if you are to effectively minister to families and married couples with children, it will be extremely helpful if you are married and have your own children to deal with on a daily basis.

It is a simple fact that many Catholic priests are ineffective when it comes to ministering to married couples, families and children. This is due to the fact that these priests do not have personal experience as the basis for their ministry. So to answer your question, it was never my intent to create an organization that required celibacy of ordinary priests. This was a later addition that was not in accordance with my will and my intent. It came about as a result of the need for power and control.

Let me now return to the idea of a hierarchical structure based on different levels of spiritual attainment. As a lifestream climbs the spiritual path, it will naturally lose, through an inner resolution, is attachment to the things of this world. Therefore, a church organization must provide a way whereby people with this level of attainment can live in an environment that allows them to focus on spiritual activities. This can be done through monasteries or other settings that are designed specifically for people who do not wish to live in a family situation. It can also be done through organizations that minister to people, and a magnificent example is the organization created by Mother Teresa.

Celibacy should be the natural lifestyle for such organizations, but not as a forced outer rule. Instead, it must be a voluntary thing that is based on true inner resolution and spiritual growth. People who are not at this level, simply would not choose to live in that kind of environment. One might say that a church organization should have an outer aspect that is geared towards ministering to people who live in normal family relations. The church should also have an inner aspect that is geared towards providing the maximum opportunity for leading a life focused on spiritual activities.

Let me issue a word of caution. It is true that as a lifestream matures on the spiritual path, it will gradually and naturally lose its attachment to worldly desires. Yet this does not necessarily mean that all spiritually advanced lifestreams should be unmarried or even live in celibacy. Being unmarried and living in forced celibacy will not automatically produce spiritual growth, and this is the erroneous belief promoted by the Catholic Church. The fallacy of this belief has been clearly proven by the exposure of sexual abuse by priests. This abuse also proves the dangers of willfully forcing a person to conform to rigid outer rules when that lifestream is not ready for such a lifestyle.

My point is that the leaders of a church should not necessarily be celibate. Once again, you can only minister effectively to people if you know their problems. Therefore, a church can have leaders, even high-ranking leaders, that are married. In fact, I am not saying that as the lifestream matures spiritually, it should get divorced and live in celibacy. You can very well remain married and either practice celibacy or have a more balanced level of sexual activity than most couples.

So I do not want to see an organizational culture which states that those who practice celibacy are somehow above or more spiritually advanced than those who do not. I do not encourage elitism in any form because it fosters pride and pride is in opposition to spiritual growth. Remember the statement, “He who would be greatest amongst you, let him be the servant of all.”



Copyright © 2003 by Kim Michaels