Was Saint Paul a Celibate Catholic Priest?

The Protestant Reformers claimed Saint Paul as their own. For Luther and Calvin, Paul was merely a preacher and minister with the title “Apostle.” The Protestants claimed that Paul taught salvation by faith alone, scripture alone, that the sacraments were not infallibly operable, that the Eucharist was not a propitiatory sacrifice, that celibacy was an abuse, and that the sacerdotal priesthood was a false invention of the Catholic Church.

And yet when we read the pages of Saint Paul’s epistles, we find a man who spoke of losing the grace salvation (“you have fallen from grace” Gal 5:4). We find a man who’s sacramental theology is as realist as it gets. His discussions of the Eucharist involve discerning the Lord’s body and he uses sacrificial language at least twice when discussing the Eucharist. Notably, the most obvious and powerful exhortation to celibacy is found in his 1 Corinthians. He even refers to himself as a priest (Rom 15:16 – see the Greek if you have a Protestant translation).

All this shows that Saint Paul was a celibate Catholic priest. He even called himself “Father” a number of times. For example:
“For if you have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet not many fathers. For in Christ Jesus, by the gospel, I have begotten you.” (1 Corinthians 4:15, D-R)
Saint Paul was a celibate Catholic padre and he knew it. Today as we remember and venerate Saint Paul and Saint Peter we should reflect on how the Catholic priesthood was lived by these two great Apostles. They spent themselves entirely for the sake of Christ and His Church.
If you click on the triangle below, there is a 27 minute talk I gave on “Saint Paul Was a Catholic Priest” in mp3 format.

Click on the triangular “play” button above. 27 minutes.

There are 9 other talks on Saint Paul available here: www.PaulisCatholic.com

podcast Episode #9 Was Paul a Catholic Priest?Subscribe to “PaulCast” via iTunes | Subscribe to RSS feed | Download the mp3 file directly by right clicking

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