Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Wednesday 29 November |
Saint of the Day: Our Lady of Beauraing
Aleteia logo
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Consecrated women reveal to priests the true face of celibacy, nun says at Vatican symposium

This article is reserved for Aleteia Premium members
Sister Alexandra Diriart speaks at the Vatican

Vatican News via Youtube

I.Media - published on 02/19/22

Sister Alexandra Diriart argues that in their poverty, consecrated women reveal to priests the true face of priestly celibacy.

Consecrated women can reveal to priests the true face of their priestly celibacy, according to a French nun, Sister Alexandra Diriart. She spoke February 18, 2022, at a three-day symposium at the Vatican on the priesthood.

A professor at the Pontifical John Paul II Theological Institute for the Sciences of Marriage and Family, the apostolic sister of the community of St. John gave a conference on the theme of “states of life” in the Church.

The sister, clad in her gray and white habit, focused on “the specific contribution of the consecrated woman” who is “an important sign for the priest because of the apparent uselessness or poverty of her life.”

The consecrated woman “renounces conjugality, but also that which makes the beauty of a woman, motherhood,” she stressed. And this “at the risk of being despised, mocked, even discredited in her dignity as a woman.” Furthermore, she “receives nothing in exchange, at least apparently,” unlike the priest who “receives in exchange the immense gift of the priesthood.”

The risk will always exist for the priest to conceive of his priesthood as a function, a power, or a ministry that he possesses.

“The risk will always exist for the priest to conceive of his priesthood as a function, a power, or a ministry that he possesses,” Sister Alexandra Diriart stressed. It is the consecrated woman who reveals to him “the true face of his fruitfulness” and of his priestly celibacy. She reminds him that “divine fruitfulness is held in this apparent chaste emptiness which is in fact receptivity to the love of Christ, availability and acceptance of the gift of God.”

The religious sister also warned against “a dissociation of the spiritual and the corporeal,” which can lead to a “dehumanization of the priest living celibacy” even to a “perversion.”

She concluded by quoting St. Francis de Sales: “Do not desire not to be what you are not, but desire to be very well what you are.”

The following is reserved for Aleteia Premium members

Already a member?

Free! - Without any commitment
You can cancel anytime

Discover all of these benefits:

Aucun engagement : vous pouvez résilier à tout moment


Unlimited access to all new Premium content from Aleteia


Unlimited access to new Premium content from our partners: Our Sunday Visitor and the Dominican friars.


Exclusive access to our prestigious international press review


Limited advertising


Exclusive access to publish comments


Access to our network of hundreds of monasteries that will pray for your intentions

Support media that promotes Christian values
Support media that promotes Christian values
Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Entrust your prayer intentions to our network of monasteries

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.