The Catholic Church has a long-standing tradition that priests and nuns be celibate. There are many assumptions about what nuns may or may not be allowed to do in the Catholic Church. From a literal standpoint, it appears that nuns cannot marry.
Once a nun has taken the chastity and obedience vows, they cannot marry nor touch the opposite sex. Before taking these vows, some nuns may have been married or widowed. Still, when they started the life of “religion” or became nuns, they gave up their right to marry. In order to serve the Lord with all their hearts and not let carried away.
Table of Contents
A Brief History of the Catholic Church
Nuns have never been allowed to get married by the Catholic Church. From the early church, we can see that there were women who chose to serve the Lord. Moreover, The Catholic Church wanted to preserve the nun’s status as a virgin, which appears to be an important symbol of religious purity.
Nuns can marry in the Catholic Church if they renounce their vows as nuns. One famous example is Mother Teresa, Who was once a nun before she became one of the most well-known Catholics in history.
The Four Reasons Why Nuns Are Not Allowed To Marry
You can call it vows or the reasons that prevent Catholic Church nuns from marrying. Indeed, the tradition is so ancient that it is unclear why the church made this decision. Here are four possible explanations. These are poverty, chastity, obedience, and stability.
Vow of Patience
Patience is one of the four vows a nun makes when she devotes her life to God and serves in his name. Nuns have to be patient when it comes to their wishes, desires, and expectation regarding world life.
Vow of Obedience
The second vow is called obedience. The nun has to obey all the commands from their superiors and heads of monasteries without argument or hesitation.
Vow of Chastity:
The third vow is called virtue, where they promise unmarried life, poverty, and obedience in their lives as nuns. Monks or nuns who take this vow cannot marry or contact members from the opposite sex in any way, shape, or form, including holding hands with them or shaking hands with them.
Vow of Poverty
A nun who takes the solemn promise of poverty swears she will not own any valuables and will not receive any financial advantage from them. She also vows to live communally and with others. She leads a modest and hardworking life, just like Jesus, who was rich and became poor for our sake.
How Important Is The Vow Of Celibacy To A Nun’s Life?
The vow of celibacy prevents nuns from marrying or having sex with anyone, even if they are not in a relationship or married yet. Before taking these vows, some nuns may have been married or widowed. Still, when they started the life of “religion” or became nuns, they gave up their right to marry. In order to serve the Lord with all their hearts and not let carried away.
Philosophy of Nun Life
The philosophy of nun life is “God should be their only love and mate for eternity.” They also believe that by not being married, they can focus on being more devoted followers of Christ.
To Remain Holy in Body and Spirit
It is traditionally believed that Nuns can only do activities for the sake of the Lord which helps them to be holy in body and spirit. Since Marriage or any intimate relationship can distract them.
Nun’s Biological Urges
Nuns’ biological urges, make them different from typical people. Who may feel they cannot dedicate themselves fully to the church because they need to have children.
What If A Nun Breaks One Of Her Vows?
A nun has the choice to leave the vow at any time and violate her oath. It’s similar to taking a course for school and realizing after a while that it’s not something you can do. Likewise, girls who aspire to become nuns but “drop out of becoming nuns, while breaking your vows is complex, suppose you do not follow them. The outcome will ultimately label you as having committed a sin or betrayed your faith. Also, If nuns violate their community’s three primary vows (chastity, obedience, and poverty). In that case, they are at risk of being expelled from their community.
Nuns are also humans. They get attracted to and have romantic feelings and sexual urges. Just by taking vows of celibacy, they can’t suppress their biological needs. Catholic nuns must be Catholic, but staying a virgin doesn’t make sense. So, becoming a nun comes with a life of personal sacrifice.