Why are priests not allowed to marry?
Simply broken down, the ministerial Priesthood as it is now shows forth the seriousness of the Call of Christ to repentance and salvation. If priests were allowed to marry, it would look ordinary and their families will definitely affect their ministry. Imagine how it would be when you are not sure why a priest is asking for financial aid, you wonder if its for family luxury or something. Imagine how it would have been with those heroic priests who answer sick calls in the middle of the night, how possible would it have been if they were wrapped by a woman’s embrace? Imagine how it would have been transferring a Priest from parish to parish with his whole family. A priest has NO LAND, NO PROPERTY.
He is a wayfarer, an itinerant preacher, this would have been rendered impossible by Marriage and family. Besides, neither his ministry as priest or as husband/father would flourish seeing that one requires readiness to move, the other requires being in one place for a long time. The kids cannot keep registering in new schools every time you know. Then, imagine that because of the marriage in priesthood, he gets to stay very long in a parish, imagine how this would affect his ministry. People without knowing it get tired of a priest (especially when he is viewed as being at the same level with them in terms of holiness and worries). Those transfers make an old priest new and appreciated in a new place.
They are called to “.. Abandon Father, Mother, Homeland, wife, children, for the sake of Christ/the Kingdom of God” Matthew 19:29.
” For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others–and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.” Matthew 19:12.
They Choose it
Priests go to the priesthood knowing they won’t be allowed marriage, and this is not bad. It would have been evil, if someone were told he’ll marry and later forced not to.
Finally, they are called to be like Christ; Alter Christus, and to act “in persona Christi Capitis”, in the Person of Christ the Head. So common sense justice demands that they emulate the footsteps of their master, even as the Apostles and the early Christian clergymen emulated him.
From a more theological perspective:
Priests aren’t negative symbols, they’re not “prohibited” from something, they are rather geared or given to another. It is not that their celibacy is a privation, its actually a marriage to Christ. They make the future present before our eyes by symbolizing the world we hope to live in when the Lord’s Kingdom comes. We know that through them the Lord nourishes and governs his Church. It is not simply a calling to reject marriage but to actually embrace it. Priesthood is always a scandal; one of true love and heroic self-giving. Whenever people consider priesthood from a worldly standpoint, it seems to be a “running away” from the responsibility of marriage or a rejection of love. But how can a person possibly survive the priesthood if he isn’t a person of love and sacrifice? Who else makes the bond of marriage more “romantic” and more alive than the priest whose very life speaks volumes of the indissolubility of the sacraments of Order and matrimony. He is another Christ, from whom all the sacraments spring.
A priest is a symbol of Christ, of all the sacraments. It is a gift of love and a symbol of the future. The priesthood isn’t for the lazy or the selfish, it is for the courageous, for people of faith, of hope and of intense love.