Forbidding marriage is the doctrine of demons (1 Timothy 4:1-3)
One issue closely related to ministerial priesthood is the celibacy imposed by the Catholic Church to those who want to become priests and bishops. Does the Bible say that bishop is a husband of one wife (1 Timothy 3:2) and that forbidding marriage is the doctrine of the demons (1 Timothy 4:1-3)? First celibacy of the priests and bishops is neither doctrine nor dogma but a discipline imposed by the Western (or Latin) Catholic Church. In the Eastern Catholic Church married men can be ordained as priests (Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1580). The Church also welcomes as married priests, former (married) clergies of Anglican or Episcopal or Lutheran church who converted to Catholicism. The Church does not and never forbids marriage – married Catholics far outnumber non-married ones, be they bishops, priests, monks, nuns or laity. The candidates for priesthood are fully aware of celibacy discipline before and during their seminary times – they have ample time to consider whether this vocation is for them or not. Thus it is celibacy based on voluntary, not a forced one, as stated in1 Timothy 4:3. Mandatory Celibacy for all members is practised by sects like Cathar in Europe (12th – 13th century) and Shaker in USA. What happens if a priest decided to get married after being ordained? The Catholic Church would not stop him either for doing so – he can undergo laicization process to leave priesthood. http://www.totustuus.com/index.htm is the web site of such priest, now happily married and father of nine children and is still in good standing with the Church.
1 Timothy 3:2 say bishop is to be a husband of one wife – it excludes men who are polygamists, but it does not impose marriage as a necessary condition for a bishop. If this verse is to be interpreted to mean a bishop must marry, then how about 1 Timothy 3:4 that mentions his children (plural)? If being married is mandatory, then having children is also mandatory, i.e. those who are childless or have only one child cannot become bishop. Remember that the apostle Paul himself was celibate – it will make him hypocrite if he made marriage mandatory, something that he himself would not obey. Does celibacy have biblical support? In Matthew 19:12 Christ mentioned those who make themselves eunuchs (not married) for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, if they are able to receive it. While Paul is not against marriage – For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion (1 Corinthians 7:9), he wished all were as he was (i.e. unmarried, 1 Corinthians 7:7) and told the unmarried and widows to remain single, provided they can exercise self-control (1 Corinthians 7:8). The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about wordly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided (1 Corinthians 7:32-34) and he who marries his betrothed does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better (1 Corinthians 7:38). Being celibate and being married are both gift from God given to each person according to His plan, i.e. not all of us is called for celibacy. God is not against celibacy – He commanded prophet Jeremiah neither to take a wife nor to have children (Jeremiah 16:1-2).