Celibacy is the choice to remain unmarried for the sake of the kingdom of God.
While required for priests in the Latin rite as a discipline, celibacy is a
vocation, a gift from God freely accepted and a sacrifice freely undertaken by
those responding to His call to the consecrated life. Accordingly, this truth is
expressed both in the Code of Canon Law, which pertains to the Latin rite, and
in the universal Catechism of the Catholic Church. The Code of Canon Law says in
canon 277: Clerics are obliged to observe perfect and perpetual continence for
the sake of the Kingdom of heaven, and are therefore bound to celibacy. Celibacy
is a special gift of God by which sacred ministers can more easily remain close
to Christ with an undivided heart, and can dedicate themselves more freely to
the service of God and their neighbor.