American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Abstinence from sexual intercourse, especially by reason of religious vows.
- n. The condition of being unmarried.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The state of being celibate or unmarried; a single life; voluntary abstention from marriage: as, the celibacy of the clergy.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The state of being unmarried; single life, esp. that of a bachelor, or of one bound by vows not to marry.
- n. an unmarried status
- n. abstaining from sexual relations (as because of religious vows)
- From Latin caelibatus ("celibacy, a single life"), perfect passive participle of caelibare, from caelebs ("unmarried"). (Wiktionary)
“Pope Benedict XVI said that the Vatican's recent sex-abuse crisis might prompt aspiring priests to question the Catholic Church's requirement that clergy be celibate, wading for the first time into a debate over whether priestly celibacy is partly to blame for the abuse.”
“But a look at the behavior of politicians and Protestant ministers -- even just those iceberg tips that actually emerge into daylight -- should tell us that celibacy is a small part of the story.”
“The problem with the church's insistence on clerical celibacy is not sexual but social.”
“For now, at least, celibacy is not open for discussion.”
“Moreover, priestly celibacy is held in great honor in the Eastern Churches and many priests have freely chosen it for the sake of the Kingdom of God.”
“Forcing a doctrine of sin and damnation, combined with mandatory celibacy, is bound to create psychological anguish in the population pre-disposed to these tendencies.”
“Therefore celibacy is also an imperfect question for a man or a woman.”
“Rome does not teach that celibacy is a sacrament; actually, it's marriage that Rome teaches is a sacrament.”
“But he called celibacy a great sign of faith, and said it represents an act of transcendence that brings the priest closer to God.”
“Forcing my husband to convert so that we may enjoy holy celibacy is sexier.”
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