You are probably here because you are discerning for Religious Brotherhood or perhaps just curious about this vocation, whatever your reason, you are in the right place! In this blog post, we will discuss if Catholic Religious Brothers can marry.
What is a Religious Brother?
Before we deep dive into tackling about if a Catholic Religious Brother can marry, let’s start first by defining what is this vocation.
A Religious Brother is a member of a Catholic Christian Religious Institution committed to living the Consecrated Life, by the vows of obedience, poverty, and chastity, in response to a call from God.
Depending on the chosen spirituality, he becomes a member of a religious brotherhood with elected leadership (ex: Lasalle Brothers, Rogationist, Passionist, Redemptorist). Although not sacramental ministers, religious brothers serve their congregations and the Church in many ways. Community prayer life and opportunities to be in a huge number of ministries encourage acceptance of this call.
Religious Brother makes three vows as follows.
- Obedience– In this vow, a brother voluntarily obeys the superior in his religious order. He subjects himself in faith to those who hold God’s place which is the superior or confessor. He lets the will of God move Him through obedience to spiritual guidance.
- Poverty– In this vow, a brother chooses to renounce worldly possessions He will have a communal sharing of the resources of the congregation. He cannot own anything except what the congregation owns.
- Chastity– Lastly, in this vow, a brother gives up marriage and everything attached to it which are sexual intimacy and the chance of having children. He practices celibacy imitating Christ who Himself is celibate.
Now, let’s answer the topic.
Can Catholic Brothers Marry?
No. Catholic Religious Brothers cannot marry. They make a vow of chastity giving up marriage and abstaining from sex. Therefore, they are celibate. They follow and imitate Christ who Himself is celibate.
To understand more about celibacy among the consecrated, here is what the Catechism has to say.
CCC 915 Christ proposes the evangelical counsels, in their great variety, to every disciple. The perfection of charity, to which all the faithful are called, entails for those who freely follow the call to consecrated life the obligation of practicing chastity in celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom, poverty and obedience. It is the profession of these counsels, within a permanent state of life recognized by the Church, that characterizes the life consecrated to God.
CCC 916 The state of consecrated life is thus one way of experiencing a “more intimate” consecration, rooted in Baptism and dedicated totally to God. In the consecrated life, Christ’s faithful, moved by the Holy Spirit, propose to follow Christ more nearly, to give themselves to God who is loved above all and, pursuing the perfection of charity in the service of the Kingdom, to signify and proclaim in the Church the glory of the world to come.
Becoming a Religious Brother
The whole process of being a religious brother involves enough time and discernment. A discerner undergoes a series of stages to finally be a brother. It can be overwhelming. To help you with that, here is a complete guide on how to become a religious brother. It contains the steps in becoming a brother, the qualifications, and their role in the Catholic Church.
We Catholics have different vocations in life. Whether you are for the priesthood, religious life, single life, or married life, we must live the promise we made in baptism. One of them is to be chaste.
Chastity is not solely for priests or other religious. It is also for those who choose a married and single life. We must all live in purity. Following the Virgin Mary and her son Jesus Christ.