St. Paul notes that “…The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:32). The practice of celibacy allows for a priest to give his full attention to the work of building the Kingdom of God. St. Paul indicates numerous times that virginity is to be considered a “higher call.” Priests thus respond to that call, so they may number themselves among those who are set apart for this specific ministry. Furthermore, remaining celibate allows the priest to more perfectly live out the virtue of chastity, modeled in its entirety by Christ Himself.
The Church does not force anyone not to marry. Those who decide to remain celibate in their vocation do so voluntarily. Priests are among those who have freely chosen to take this vow of celibacy for the sake of their earthly ministry and vocation.
It makes sense that the Church—considered the Bride of Christ—is served by virgin priests, who fully devote themselves to Christ’s Bride. Priestly celibacy should be looked at as a beautiful offering to Christ, a wonderful testimony of a priest’s devotion to our Lord and to the Church.