Every profession has its ethics. These ethics are the stipulated moral standards expected to be observed and kept by members of such a profession. The ethics of a prefession guides the activities, behaviorals, and characters exhibited by members on matters related to the profession.
Priesthood is a vocation in the Catholic Church. Catholic Preists are believed to be called by God into the this devine vocation. As members of the preistly vocation, Catholic Reverend Fathers are bound by certain laws, rules and regulations. These laws and rules comprise the ethical tenets which they vow to keep during their ordination.
Although there are many things which are not expected of the priests to do, there are some vital ones they can never do nor think of doing as long as they remain in the priesthood. Three of such things that Catholics priests would never do no matter the circumstance they find themselves are the following.
1. Revealing the sins or contrites of a confessor: The Catholic church believe that man can reconcile with his creator, God, by him (man) confessing his sins or wrong doings to the priest, and the priest pray for forgiveness for him while giving him some penance. Of course, this very doctrine referred to as Sacrament of reconciliation, is rooted from the Bible in the great Commission, when Jesus charged his disciples that any sins they will forgive on earth shall be forgiven in heaven and any sin they shall withhold, shall be withheld in heaven. Consequently, it is one of the solemn vows taken by Preists to keep as Secret, any sin confessed to him by a confessor. Of course, this tends to be one of the fears harboured by some Catholics. Some Catholics, especially the new age Catholics who are of the argument that they can’t tell their sins to a fellow man, perhaps with the fear that the priest will reveal whatever sin confessed to him. However, no Catholic priest has done or would ever do that no matter the circumstance he may find himself. Any confession made to God before him ends between him, the confessor and God.
2. Demanding Share in Family Inheritance: Another thing a Catholic priest can never do, as long as he remains a priest in the church, is to demand his share or portion in his family inheritance. Catholic priesthood is roots in the Leviticus tradition. Out of the 12 tribes of Israel, the house of Levites was singled out by God to serve as priests in his temple. Consequently, they were not allowed, by religious law, to have share in their father’s inheritance. They ate from the temple. In the Catholic Faith, once an individual willingly accepts to become a priest, once he is ordained, he does not have any share in his father’s inheritance. He lives in the church, eats from the church and live for the church. Their inheritance is in heaven. Even when they are dead, they are buried in the church. They emulate the lifestyle of the disciples of Christ. So on no circumstance will you see a Catholic priest going to his village or family to demand or argue for any portion of inheritance.
3. Marrying a Wife : Have you ever seen a Catholic priest moving about with a wife or with a child while in the office as a priest? If course no. Celibacy is another solemn vow the binds the priests in the Catholic Church. As long as he remains a priest, he has willingly accepted leave his family, wife, children, and everything for sake of the kingdom of God. This very aspect of the priesthood life makes the priestly vocation to be a voluntary one. However, if one resigns from being a priest and permission granted to him from the authorities of the church, he is free to marry a wife and then raise his family while living as a lay faithful in the church.