Catholics/celibacy

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QUESTION: The teaching is that God created Adam and Eve and that they should live together. He did not create a human in the beginning who should live in celibacy. In the beginning there we sexuality and no celibacy.
Adam needed Eve (He did not embrace celibacy). This is something that came after the fall.
What does Theology say about this?
And are we supposed to look at Adam and Eve as human persons like us or does the Bible mean something different with these names?

ANSWER: The Catholic Church teaches that the human race is descended from a single set of parents.  How they got there is another story.  Studies on human genomes show that this is not unreasonable -- that we all came from one set of parents.  As for the story in genesis, I see it as theology, not as history.  In general, God said that it was not good for man to be alone, and for this reason, created woman, and said that two would become one flesh, and commanded that we go forth and multiply.  However, Jesus himself did not marry, and Paul seems to have been celibate.  Jesus talked about those who are eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven.  And we know that there are men and women who for various reasons (physical, mental) do not marry because no one wants to marry them.  The Catholic Church teaches that while the married state is the normal state for most people, some Christians have the "charism" of celibacy, which demonstrates to the world at large that in heaven there will be no marrying or being given in marriage, but we will all be like angels -- as Jesus said.  In the Western Church celibacy is required of priests.  It is recognized by everyone that this is a church rule, and could be changed.  

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QUESTION: Thanks for the answer.
When Jesus was asked about divorce and marriage He talk about how it was in the beginning.
Now there was no celibacy in the beginning, if I'm right.
The beginning seems so important to Jesus. What to think about this?
Genesis speaks about Adam and Eve. Two persons. Thus, in the beginning there were no celibacy (but man and woman).
Can we Christians accept som sort of evolution (maybe even some sort of darwinism) or do we have to look at it from another perspective? All I know is that one pope in the 50's talked about monogenesis.

Answer
The Catholic Church teaches that all human beings descended from a single man and a single woman.  How that took place isn't clear.  There may have been populations of near-humans all interbreeding and eventually a few  real humans evolved.  Some of them may have continued to breed with the near-huamns, but maybe one human man and one human woman gave rise to the human race.  Obviously we can think of other scenarios, but the point is that if we are to accept the "brotherhood of man" we have to accept monogenesis, which can't be proven or disproven.  The Church has never condemned the idea of evolution, which was held by some of the fathers of the Church long before Darwin came along.  Pope Francis recently made some comments about this.  The problem with Darwinism is the idea that evolution is entirely random and not "guided" in some way.  Random chance evolution may in fact be the usual way it goes along, but Catholics believe that in some way God is involved in the evolution of the human race.  This is something we get from scripture, where we see God forming a family with Noah, then a tribe with Abraham, then a people with Moses, then a nation with David, and finally, out of this matrix Jesus comes.  You are right  that there was no celibacy in the beginning. Again, voluntary celibacy makes sense only to those who believe that there is more to life than this life.  Hope this helps.  

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Donald Higby

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Most any question about Catholic teachings, the structure of the Church, issues related to Catholic teachings on sexuality and marriage; I also know a lot about biblical foundations for Catholic teaching, and apologetics. As a scientist and a deacon, I am conversant with the dialogue between science and religion.

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Deacon, 13 years; Religion minor, Catholic University of America. Self study.

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Deacon Digest

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Diaconal Formation, four years (college level courses) Catholic University of America, religion minor, philosophy minor. (AB)

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