On the Catholic Priesthood
Thanks to the Holy Spirit for Celibacy
The Holy Spirit decreed that this obligation should be specially imposed on Priests, in order that
they might not be hindered from prayer, and from the daily celebration of the holy mysteries ;
as St. Jerome and St. Peter Damian declare. In this state, also (as St. Ambrose says), Priests have
a better title to speak in praise of chastity, and to urge the practice of it, since they give
example of it in their own person. It enables them also to gain greater respect from the laity
(as St. Augustin explains). Moreover, in a state of chastity, Priests can consecrate themselves
wholly to the service of the Church and the sanctification of souls, and are able to bestow
their ecclesiastical revenues on the poor.
Let us, then, give thanks to the Holy Spirit for having made us Priests of the Latin Church,
and for having given us so many brilliant examples of chastity among her clergy.