Virginity or celibacy for the sake of the kingdom signifies and anticipates heavenly communion. The Catholic Church teaches definitively that it is better and more blessed to remain in the state of Christian virginity or celibacy than it is to be joined in sacramental marriage.
Moreover, Pope John Paul II taught that: "Virginity or celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom of God not only does not contradict the dignity of marriage but presupposes it and confirms it. Marriage and virginity or celibacy are two ways of expressing and living the one mystery of the covenant of God with his people." (Familiaris consortio, 16, AAS 74, 1982, 98).
Vatican II, in its Decree on Priestly Training (Optatam Totius), No. 10 teaches that: "Students who follow the venerable tradition of celibacy according to the holy and fixed laws of their own rite are to be educated to this state with great care. For renouncing thereby the companionship of marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven (cf. Mt 19:12), they embrace the Lord with an undivided love altogether befitting the New Covenant, bear witness to the resurrection of the world to come (cf. Lk 20:36), and obtain a most suitable aid for the continual exercise of that perfect charity whereby they can become all things to all men in their priestly ministry."
While Christ does approve of marriage for the Christian clergy, He prefers that they do not marry. Christ made this abundantly clear when He praised His Apostles for giving up "all" to follow Him: "And every one that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold and shall possess life everlasting." (Mt 19: 27-29).
Furthermore, the Holy Spirit explains to us through St. Paul why the state of virginity or celibacy is preferable to the married state for the Christian clergy: "He that is without a wife, is solicitous for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please God. But he that is with a wife, is solicitous for the things of the world, how he may please his wife: and he is divided." (1 Cor 7: 32-33).
Francis the Divider, using the "priest shortage" as a pretense, has indicated that he is open to married priests.
In an interview published Thursday in the German newspaper Die Zeit, Francis suggested that married men could be ordained as priests in rural communities facing shortages of priests. But is there really a vocations crisis?
As Archbishop Elden Curtiss explained: "There is much media hype these days about the present and projected shortage of priests and its effect on the sacramental life of the Church. It is time to pay close attention to the dioceses and religious communities reporting increasing numbers of candidates. There have to be reasons for these increases that bear objective analysis from which some conclusions can be drawn.
I personally think the vocation 'crisis' in this country is more artificial and contrived than many people realize. When dioceses and religious communities are unambiguous about ordained priesthood and vowed religious life as the Church defines these calls; when there is strong support for vocations, and a minimum of dissent about the male celibate priesthood and religious life loyal to the magisterium; when bishop, priests, Religious and lay people are united in vocation ministry—then there are documented increases in the numbers of candidates who respond to the call.
It seems to me that the vocation 'crisis' is precipitated and continued by people who want to change the Church's agenda, by people who do not support orthodox candidates loyal to the magisterial teaching of the Pope and bishops, and by people who actually discourage viable candidates from seeking priesthood and vowed religious life as the Church defines the ministries.
I am personally aware of certain vocation directors, vocation teams and evaluation boards who turn away candidates who do not support the possibility of ordaining women or who defend the Church's teaching about artificial birth control, or who exhibit a strong piety toward certain devotions, such as the Rosary.
When there is a determined effort to discourage orthodox candidates from priesthood and religious life, then the vocation shortage which results is caused not by a lack of vocations but by deliberate attitudes and policies that deter certain viable candidates.
And the same people who precipitate a decline in vocations by their negative actions call for the ordination of married men and women to replace the vocations they have discouraged. They have a death wish for ordained priesthood and vowed religious life as the Church defines them. They undermine the vocation ministry they are supposed to champion."
Although I have had extensive psychological testing and screening for the United States military (as part of my security clearance for military intelligence) and have received glowing reports which indicate that I am free of any pathologies - including a homosexual inclination, when I contacted the Worcester Diocese (twice) to express my interest in discerning a priestly vocation, I received no response whatsoever.
Meanwhile, the Diocese of Worcester has ordained homosexual men to the priesthood. For example, a psychological evaluation in 1977 prior to the ordination of Fr. Jean Paul Gagnon indicated that the candidate had possible "sex role identification" problems. See here.
Married priests are not the solution Francis. The time has come for you to demonstrate some honesty and address the homosexual problem and the lack of emotional and spiritual maturity which afflicts so many clergy.