Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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Why is a priest allowed to marry?

The Holy Scripture and the Holy Tradition support the marriage of priests in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. Though some of the Lord's disciples and apostles were celibate, we believe that most of them were married. Priests live amongst the communities and congregations to which they are assigned to serve. They are members of the community and not obliged to live in seclusion but to share in the experience of a Christian marriage and the raising of a family. Marriage is a blessed Holy Mystery and does not diminish one's spiritual function and responsibilities. Rather, God created the institution of marriage and blessed it. The Orthodox Church generally has fewer celibate priests serving in communities or monastics serving outside of their monasteries. There are strict requirements for both the priest and his wife, as well as for the archdeacon and his wife, according to the Church canons based on the Holy Scripture, which forbids them to remarry even in the case of a spouse's departure (1 Timothy 3).
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