Celibacy and Abstinence

Dear Father,

I am interested in practicing celibacy and would appreciate any information you could provide. In addition, I would also appreciate it if you would explain the diffence between celibacy and abstinence.

I thank you for your time and attention to my questions.




Dear Marie,

Celibacy is renunciation of marriage for the sake of a higher good (the Kingdom of God - Mt 19:12). It involves a personal call from God. Abstinence is refraining from sexual activity, which can take place within marriage, for example by a couple practicing natural family planning to postpone the birth of child. All Christians are called to practice chastity. The Catechism expresses it this way:

"Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being. Sexuality, in which man's belonging to the bodily and biological world is expressed, becomes personal and truly human when it is integrated into the relationship of one person to another, in the complete and lifelong mutual gift of a man and a woman. The virtue of chastity therefore involves the integrity of the person and the integrality of the gift. The chaste person maintains the integrity of the powers of life and love placed in him. This integrity ensures the unity of the person; it is opposed to any behavior that would impair it. It tolerates neither a double life nor duplicity in speech." (See Catechism #2337 )

I hope this is some help. If you have a more specific question, please feel free to write.

God bless,

Fr. Phil Bloom

Homily on Celibacy

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