CCC 922 From apostolic times Christian virgins1 and widows2, called by the Lord to cling only to him with greater freedom of heart, body, and spirit, have decided with the Church’s approval to live in the respective status of virginity or perpetual chastity “for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven.”3
CCC 1579 All the ordained ministers of the Latin Church, with the exception of permanent deacons, are normally chosen from among men of faith who live a celibate life and who intend to remain celibate “for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.”4 Called to consecrate themselves with undivided heart to the Lord and to “the affairs of the Lord,”5 they give themselves entirely to God and to men. Celibacy is a sign of this new life to the service of which the Church’s minister is consecrated; accepted with a joyous heart celibacy radiantly proclaims the Reign of God.6
CCC 1618 Christ is the center of all Christian life. The bond with him takes precedence over all other bonds, familial or social.7 From the very beginning of the Church there have been men and women who have renounced the great good of marriage to follow the Lamb wherever he goes, to be intent on the things of the Lord, to seek to please him, and to go out to meet the Bridegroom who is coming.8 Christ himself has invited certain persons to follow him in this way of life, of which he remains the model:
“For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it.”9
1 Cf. Cor 7:34-36.
2 Cf. John Paul II, Vita consecrata 7.
3 Mt 19:12
4 Mt 19:12.
5 1 Cor 7:32.
6 Cf. PO 16.
7 Cf. Lk 14:26; Mk 10:28-31.
8 Cf. Rev 14:4; 1 Cor 7:32; Mt 2:56.
9 Mt 19:12.