As pope meets Curia, new secretary of state makes waves

As pope meets Curia, new secretary of state makes waves

As Pope Francis presided over a meeting of Roman Curia department heads today, his new pick for Secretary of State was making news on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

Archbishop Pietro Parolin, in an interview with the Venezuelan newspaper El Universal, said among other things that the church’s tradition of priestly celibacy was not dogma and was therefore open to discussion. And he said that while the church was not a democracy, it needs to reflect the democratic spirit of the times and adopt a collegial way of governing.

Neither statement is exactly groundbreaking, but the fact that the new secretary of state feels free to make them says a lot about the current atmosphere in the Vatican.

Parolin said that priestly celibacy, which remains the norm in the Western church, is a tradition that goes back to early Christian times and that has been strengthened through the centuries.

“The effort made by the church to institute ecclesial celibacy must be taken into consideration. One cannot simply say that it belongs to the past,” he said.

The question, he said, represents “a great challenge for the pope,” because the pope’s ministry is one of unity, and any decision on celibacy would have to be made without damaging the communion of the church.

He added that “it is possible to discuss and reflect on these topics that are not defined faith, and consider some modifications, but always in the service of unity and according to God’s will.” One also needs to be attentive to the signs of the times, he said.

The question of priestly celibacy has long been a lightning rod at the Vatican. In 2006, Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes made a similar statement, saying that although celibacy was “part of Catholic history and culture, the church could review this question, because celibacy is not a dogma but a disciplinary question.”

Cardinal Hummes made the comment in an interview in Brazil shortly before assuming his post as head of the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy. Within a few hours of his arrival in Rome, he was pressed to issue a statement declaring that priestly celibacy was an ancient value in the church and was not up for discussion.

Archbishop Parolin, who is ending his term as papal nuncio in Venezuela before assuming his new post in mid-October, said it is a good thing for the church to implement a “more democratic spirit, in the sense of listening carefully, and I think the pope has indicated this as an aim of his pontificate, a collegial leadership of the church in which all requests can be expressed.”

In Rome, meanwhile, the Vatican had little to say about this morning’s three-hour-long meeting between Pope Francis and about 30 heads of Vatican departments. The pope opened the encounter with words of welcome but then sat back and did more listening than talking, sources said.

It was the first time Francis has presided over a Vatican department head meeting, but a statement issued by Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi took pains to underline that the pope has, over recent months, met personally with each of the top Roman Curia officials.

Father Lombardi also emphasized that suggestions or reflections from today’s meeting will naturally be part of discussions when the papally-appointed group of eight cardinals meets in early October to consider Curia reform and issues of church governance. The point seemed to be that the Roman Curia will be heard in this process of reform, and that the “Group of 8” will not be working on a completely separate track.

35 comments (Add your own)

1. Dr Rosemary Eileen McHugh wrote:
Mandatory celibacy is a major cause of the clergy sexual abuse crisis around the world, in my view, as a family physician. Mandatory celibacy has created an immature clergy by hindering normal psychosocial development. The addition of making 'obedience to authority' a god has increased the immaturity of seminarians and priests. These men do not think for themselves. They are under the power and control of those in authority, which is very unhealthy, and the church is suffering the effects of its mistakes in formation.

Wed, September 11, 2013 @ 12:10 AM

2. Rev. Mark wrote:
Speaking as a priest, I don't think immaturity is a cause of this. How would one explain all the married cops, counselors, Protestant ministers, and teachers who have been convicted of this crime? Also, no one forced me to promise celibacy. I made the promise freely and joyfully, and have kept it. Among my close friends and acquaintances, when the issue of celibacy comes up, no one voices a desire to marry. No one I know has the time or inclination for it.

Wed, September 11, 2013 @ 4:38 AM

3. Mike Andrews wrote:
Dr. McHugh,

Where to start? First, celibacy within the Catholic clergy is not mandatory; men and women who become priests and religious voluntarily submit to it. Second, I don't know about you, but the young men who become priests today I see are highly mature, good-natured, self-aware and, above all, faithful to their vows and promises, to the Church and to our Lord. Third, the vast majority of sex abuse within the Church has been committed by homosexual men and women, thus, the Church's current wariness on admitting people of such inclinations to the clerical and religious state. Fourth, there is quite a bit of evidence that supports the conclusion that sexual abuse committed by people who are not priests or religious is much higher. Figures as high as four percent of American public school teachers have committed sexually abusive acts against children. Last, you speak of authority as some sort of evil. Yet you are a physician who I presume has submitted to your medical school and your state licensing board. If you are anti-authoritarian in this regard, then I am suspicious of your commitment to accepted medical practices and ethical standards.

Wed, September 11, 2013 @ 5:51 AM

4. Hegesippus wrote:
Rosemary, your claim only stands up if you can show evidence of this abuse throughout the history that celibacy was the norm. You also need to show that such abuse is more prevalent in priests than in other "professions"/areas of life, which, of course, you cannot. Finally, you need to consider other theories, such as liberal attitudes pervading selection and formation of priests over the modern period.
There is plenty of data and literature available to suggest that your view on priestly celibacy is more dependent on the personal opinion you present in the latter half of your comment than vice versa.
The tail is definitely wagging the dog.

Wed, September 11, 2013 @ 7:10 AM

5. fr. jim wrote:
Dr. McHugh, Your comments are rather prejudiced as they don't take into consideration the fact that the vast majority of sexual abusers are not celibate, but married people. One would never think to equate marriage with sexual abuse. You are taking a rather overly simplistic view. Would you say that Jesus himself was "immature" and that his normal psychosocial development was "hindered" due to his status as a celibate male? When children are taught to obey their parents, does that nurture immaturity, or perhaps encourage openness to guidance and accountability throughout life. I would hardly see "obedience to authority" as a god, but rather a component of a disciplined life. Without some degree of obedience in life, would not the world fall into utter chaos? Of course, it all depends on how it's applied, I suppose, but I've never felt it to be an overpowering sledgehammer that you imply that it is.

Wed, September 11, 2013 @ 7:14 AM

6. Allen Bourque wrote:
Thank you Rosemary for your simple and straight comment.

Wed, September 11, 2013 @ 7:27 AM

7. Hal wrote:
Opening the door wider to married clergy in the western church would be helpful. It would encourage more heterosexual men to enter the priesthood. I think you'd see married clergy quickly become the norm for parish work.

The logistical and financial side of this would be new, so the western church would need to look at how the Eastern Catholics and Orthodox, and whichever Protestant churches have a true episcopal model, handle things.

Wed, September 11, 2013 @ 7:30 AM

8. Padre wrote:
Dr. McHugh,
I am amazed at the lack of reason and the demonstration of outright bigotry in your comment. You make one misinformed statement after another without trying to give any evidence, and then cite your credentials as a family physician as if that somehow turns your nonsensical statements into facts.

Mandatory celibacy has never been even correlated to sexual abuse of minors, much less shown to have any causal link.
Mandatory celibacy has never been shown to create immaturity or hinder psychological development.
"These men do not think for themselves"?
Really? Have you ever met or spoken with a celibate priest?
Your comments demonstrate an incredible intellectual immaturity and lack of psychological development. Perhaps the result of attending medical school?

Your blatant, irrational prejudice and bigotry are an insult to your profession.

Wed, September 11, 2013 @ 8:02 AM

9. Fr. John Morris wrote:
There are already married Roman Catholic Priests. They will accept a former Protestant minister, train him and ordain him even if he is married. Rome has recently created a special provision to receive married Anglican Priests, ordain them and allow them to continue to use some of their Anglican traditions. In the East, the Eastern Catholics have had married priests for centuries. I am a married Eastern Orthodox Priest. Rome recognizes me as a fully validly ordained Priest and the Sacraments that I administer as completely valid. For Rome celibacy is not a dogma, but rather a matter of discipline.

Wed, September 11, 2013 @ 8:34 AM

10. rita wrote:
If celebacy is a major cause ofclergy sexual abuse why are the number one abusers family members? The clergy sexual abuse--at least in the US--was homosexual in nature. You know MEN abusing pre pubescent BOYS.

Wed, September 11, 2013 @ 8:39 AM

11. Young Priest wrote:
No, Doctor. Celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom of God does not make a priest immature. Sin makes the priest immature. Having no interior prayer life makes the priest immature. Not celebrating daily Mass and not making a daily Holy Hour makes the priest immature. Not praying the Rosary makes the priest immature. Not making a good and frequent confession makes the priest immature.

The problem nowadays is that the Hippie Generation of Priests follows the discipline of celibacy simply as an exterior imposition. They don't live it for the sake of the Kingdom of God because, since they don't accept the Catholic Faith, they have no personal relationship to the LORD.

Don't let the Hippie Generation set the benchmark for the rest of us. I'm all for collegiality, but now is not the time. The Recycled Hippies are the ones in positions of power now (in parishes and chanceries), and their voices should be silenced. They operate not with the spirit of Vatican II, but with the spirit of Woodstock (that's why they hate celibacy so much)...

Wed, September 11, 2013 @ 8:41 AM

12. Mark Duch wrote:
Saying that celibacy is the cause of sexual abuse is like saying that marriage is the cause of divorce. The Church has many married priests, besides. Perhaps you should turn your armchair analysis, doctor, to the problem of sexual abuse in public schools. Why won't they let teachers marry? Won't someone please think of the children? Please....

Wed, September 11, 2013 @ 9:13 AM

13. Kieran wrote:
The claim that there is a link between priestly celibacy and child abuse has been discredited long ago, Dr Rosemary! I remember attending a conference in Trinity College in the mid-nineties where a social worker from Dublin pointed out that married men were far more likely to be involved in child abuse. The same social worker (who admitted that she had no love for the church) said that the media in Ireland give the impression that child abuse is a priestly thing, but that this is not the case at all. Statistics from various countries since 1996 have continued to show that there is no association between celibacy and child abuse. Your claim that celibacy hinders normal psychological development has no basis in evidence and it is upsetting to hear such a statement being made by a medical professional. Immaturity in our society is certainly not confined to seminarians and priests! Look at the state of our society, the broken relationships, the immature attitudes of husbands and wives who fail abysmally to show maturity and responsibility in everyday family situations. Some of the wisest and most mature people I have met happen to be priests and nuns, including a 90 year old sister who works in our parish with courage, joy and integrity. Try telling her that celibacy hinders maturity!

Wed, September 11, 2013 @ 9:25 AM

14. Cathy wrote:
Celibacy is also biblical!

celibacy was praised by Jesus, who was celibate....Jer 16:1-4

Saint Paul was celibate.....1 Cor 7:8

and let's not forget:
Celibacy was recommended for full -time ministers 1 Cor 7:32-35

32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.

Wed, September 11, 2013 @ 9:56 AM

15. Bro Guadalupe wrote:
Wow.... Thank you Dr McHugh for your politely worded comments from a professional perspective, born of of work experience. Many of the clergy responses are judgemental and defensive, and.... well, draw your own conclusions.

Wed, September 11, 2013 @ 10:05 AM

16. Jon Woods wrote:
I must confess that this new pope and his administration are making me a uneasy.

Wed, September 11, 2013 @ 10:08 AM

17. John McGrath wrote:
The purpose of a priest being allowed to marry would not be to prevent sexual abuse of children. The offending priest were largely inducted into the priesthood when the intake process was naive or careless, and bishops were lax or morally impaired in their sense of responsibility. In the US these weaknesses have largely been addressed. And no matter what anyone does there will be sexual predators and they will find a way to get close to children. The ongoing solution is swift action at any signs of abuse, and treating abuse as a crime that must immediately be reported to the police.

Opening the priesthood to married people would have to have a theological as well as a pragmatic purpose. The pragmatic purpose is obvious, to make sure parishes have priests.

Theological reasons for ordaining married people as well as having celibate priests would be many. One would be to recognize and exemplify the possibility for holiness through the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. It would be nice to have the rants against gay marriage replaced with thoughtful sermons on the blessings and challenges of marriage and its sacramental nature within the Catholic tradition.

Another theological reason would be spiritual growth through community. Priests are far too isolated. They need to be able to again live together in community. A community of married and celibate clergy would be a blessing for parishioners, and for the married as well as celibate clergy. There are many intentional communities thriving today. An intentional community of married and celibate clergy could work for the benefit of all. Everyone needs mutual support in both a pragmatic and spiritual way.

Another theological reason would be spiritual direction. The shortage of clergy has cut back on the Catholic practice of Spiritual Directors. This practice needs to be revised.

What theological reasons or spiritual blessings would people think could occur with a mixed clergy of celibates and marrieds?

Wed, September 11, 2013 @ 10:15 AM

18. Marc Dillon wrote:
Dr. McHugh,

In my view, your analysis is, at best, sophomoric and pedestrian.

Wed, September 11, 2013 @ 10:16 AM

19. Chito Palang wrote:
Time has changed. The Church ought to be open to these many changes in the world. The Good News of Christ must continue to be preached to everyone but it also must be adapted to the changing times without losing it's ESSENTIAL MESSAGE of Love, Mercy, Forgiveness, Justice, Salvation, Faith, Hope and Eternal Life. I am glad that this development is now available, i.e., that the Catholic Church is open to discuss, reflect, listen to various opposing points of view about Celibacy. I strongly believe that if these reflections are guided by the Holy Spirit the matter would benefit the Catholic Church in general all over the world. I love the Catholic Church and I am proud to be part of her mission. I desire and pray for many others to join her and be part of her spiritual mission.

Wed, September 11, 2013 @ 10:30 AM

20. shawnbm wrote:
I echo brother Kieran's comments above. I must admit it was not surprising, though, to see such a comment from Dr. Rosemary McHugh--this is really a knee-jerk response from medical/psychological professionals (mostly in the West) who have been trained in the post-Sixties "enlightenment", which is antithetical to almost any belief system which in any way is deemed to "restrict" what the individual wishes to do if it is perceived that it is grounded in that individual's rights. It is not celibacy that caused the rise of pedophilia and, in a significant percentage of cases, ephebophilia (sexual interest in mid-late adolescents), but the rise of so many things that gave license, in increasingly secularized Western culture, to sexual gratification with increasingly little long-term consequences (or so folks wrongly thought); i.e., no-fault divorce, the Pill, Roe v. Wade and abortion on demand, rise of the "gay lifestyle", "hooking up", pornography throughout society and increasingly via the internet, etc. All of these things contributed to priests getting so out of sync morally and sexually that the rise of these attacks went right along with this. Really, where are the kids raised before Vatican II and the Sixties lining up to talk about abuse by clergy (the ones raised before the late 1950s)? It largely was non-existent. Why?

Wed, September 11, 2013 @ 10:41 AM

21. Romulus wrote:
Human beings cannot live two parallel vocations. Since both Holy Orders and Holy Matrimony call upon a full gift of self, one or the other will suffer if married men are to be ordained. Doing so will reduce a vocation to a career. If we have married priests we will have divorced priests. We will have priests in a financial bind because they are trying to figure out how to get the best for their families. we will have priests unavailable to their flocks -- not because they are having some badly-needed down time to recharge, but because they are buying Christmas presents, taking trips to the vet, sitting in ERs, attending parent/teacher conferences, and all the rest. Or maybe we could just tell the children, "sorry; we know you have a father in a biological sense, but he will be unavailable to you for the next 30 years." Do we really want to place our priests in the middle of these moral hazards, forcing them to choose between burnout and crushing guilt?

Do you Eastern Christians really have it all under control? I know protestants certainly don't.

Wed, September 11, 2013 @ 11:33 AM

22. shawnbm wrote:
Mr. McGrath's post in insightful and instructive. I know married men who are looking into the permanent diaconate. One of the things mentioned about the holy orders of the permanent diaconate is precisely the concept of a married deacon being a shining example of upholding the sanctity and power of holy matrimony. It is something the Church seeks to cultivate in married deacons--to be a light for the faithful that reflects positively the graces and pluses of living out the sacrament of marriage. The same logic could apply to priests, if the Church were to opt to change the discipline (which I doubt is going to occur in the Roman Rite).

Wed, September 11, 2013 @ 12:13 PM

23. coldon wrote:
God bless everyopne ... wow !!! what Young Priest wrote is hitting the nail on the head ... without pointing the finger or blaming this or that, Young Priest wrote the very truth of ALL problems of the church : no daily praying, no daily sacrements, no daily Lord's Commandements is the result of this great apostasy: intolerence, perversity, cruelty, disgrace and unbelievers...

Wed, September 11, 2013 @ 1:03 PM

24. Donna Ruth wrote:
More to the point, has anyone considered the actual ramifications of a widespread married priesthood in North America? I know people who strongly endorse the end of celibacy, and when I hear them, I always say the following: "Are you prepared to start tithing? Throwing $5 in the collection plate wouldn't cut it anymore if there were married priests. They have families; they need homes, cars, and all the things families need, and take for granted. The priests' kids cannot be running around bedraggled and barefoot. You'd better think about opening up that wallet - every week."

And, further: Gals, who would want to be married to a priest and live in a regular parish? Certainly not me. In the first place, I rather like my man to be around the house on a reasonably regular basis. I would like some sort of schedule, and would hope he could help take the kids to soccer practice, swimming lessons and meetings with teachers. I want him to be able to put his vocation of family man first, and not have to deal with the conflict of a vocation as priest v his vocation of husband/father. The stats on Preachers and PK's are compelling: there is a high degree of disappointment and dissatisfaction. Can we learn from our Protestant brethren?

And then there is the problem of living a fishbowl existence in parishes always filled with chatter and gossip. As the saying goes, "Keeping a secret in a Catholic parish means telling only one person at a time." As a priest's wife, could you deal with this goldfish existence: "Just look at her; she looks like something the cat dragged in;" "You think she would be ironing his shirts!" "Those children are wildcats; why can't they discipline them?": "Her house is a mess;" "She didn't bring any cookies to the parish bake sale;" "Fr. Dugood's wife over at St. Dunstan's is always available to talk to us; she is always busy with kids or other things;" "For a priest's wife, she sure doesn't look too prayerful at Mass;" "Howcum she's not at daily Mass?"; "You'd think she'd get a decent haircut;" "Hmmm, they have been married 15 years and only have two kids; some advertisement for fidelity to Church teaching on contraception!" And on - and on - and on ...

Who could stand such unrelenting scrutiny? What husband could bear watching this? And it is not like you could resign, or move to a different neighborhood. You are there through thick and through thin. Kyrie eleison. God bless all those who are stalwart in these situations.

Wed, September 11, 2013 @ 1:11 PM

25. shawnbm wrote:
Speaking of being pragmatic, Donna Ruth just hit a homerun. I could live with the discipline of celibacy being changed (and recognize it could), but, if I were asked, I think the rule of celibacy should be maintained at present. The reasons Donna mentioned are part of it. From what I have read some of the chatter she writes of is said of married permanent deacons--the same would apply to priests. The gift of celibacy allows the Catholic priest to minster to the flock with no distractions, and the equally valid sacrament of matrimony would necessarily (if he is a devoted father and husband) detract from his priestly duties from time to time.

Wed, September 11, 2013 @ 2:53 PM

26. Amos 2013 wrote:
I don't believe that either priestly celibacy or homosexuality were the root causes of the Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal. Rather, it was clericalism, incompetent bishops and an outdated church structure system that thrives on secrecy. I do believe, however, that the mandatory all male, celibacy rule in the Latin Rite church has made it hard for bishops to find good candidates to the priesthood so bishops just ordained anyone that came along who wished to be ordained. I believe that just like two people can enter into marriage for all the wrong reasons, I believe that a man can enter the priesthood for all the wrong reasons. I've read three books on the sex abuse scandal and it seems to me that some of the clerical abusers went into the priesthood strictly for the opportunity to abuse children and to hide whatever sexual demons they had inside them. When Pope Benedict came to the U.S. several years ago, the first thing he said about the sexual abuse scandal was that it was better to have good priests, not many priests. I believe that one day a pope will have to decide which is more important in the Latin Rite church - an all male celibate priesthood or making the Eucharist available to Catholics.

Thu, September 12, 2013 @ 6:08 AM

27. Chris wrote:
“Yes, hypothetically, western Catholicism could revise the theme of celibacy. … But for the moment, I am in favor of maintaining celibacy, with the pros and the cons it has, because we have ten centuries of more good experiences than bad ones.” --Francis

Thu, September 12, 2013 @ 9:10 AM

28. Chris wrote:
" And, with reference to the ordination of women, the Church has spoken and she said : “No.” John Paul II said it, but with a definitive formulation. That is closed, that door is closed, but I’d like to say something about this. I’ve said it, but I repeat it. Our Lady, Mary, was more important than the Apostles, than bishops, deacons and priests. In the Church, woman is more important than bishops and priests; how, it’s what we must seek to make more explicit, because theological explicitness about this is lacking. Thank you. " --Francis

Thu, September 12, 2013 @ 9:23 AM

29. Emmett Leonard wrote:
Celibacy/Marriage/Vocation/Priesthood/Sisterhood/Divorce/Clericalism/Single Mothers/
Alcoholics/Single Fathers (etc) any condition or state in life, if it is open to an encounter with the Risen Lord can manifest the grace,forgiveness and love shown to us in the person of Jesus Christ. The problem is the loss of the experience of the man Jesus Christ who leads us to the Father; without the Father you cannot have Mother "Mary" Church. "He rose from death". What good news and the world needs to hear it!

Thu, September 12, 2013 @ 11:14 AM

30. Marie wrote:
It bears mentioning in this discussion that celibacy and continence are separate things. There is a strong case to be made that the modern Code of Canon Law, while it does not require celibacy of permanent deacons, _does_ require continence. See Dr. Edward Peters on the subject:

Thu, September 12, 2013 @ 11:28 AM

31. Marie wrote:
Chris, thank you, those are great quotes! Where are they from (which documents or speeches)?

Thu, September 12, 2013 @ 11:31 AM

32. I'm With HIM wrote:
Mr Thavis says:
'The question, he said, represents “a great challenge for the pope,” because the pope’s ministry is one of unity, and any decision on celibacy would have to be made without damaging the communion of the church.'

GOD must be first. We are HIS church. Marriage IS union/communion. Is not prohibiting marriage a division between man and woman? HE is building HIS church through us. It's HIS Law, not ours.

Celibacy is a gift from GOD and i find it interesting that this discussion has opened as much as it has with Pope Francis.

Thu, September 12, 2013 @ 12:10 PM

33. Elizabeth wrote:
Dr McHugh just assumes the stir made by the media about abuse has any foundation in fact. A There have been many cases recently of abuse by young female teachers but it is still a tiny minority and suspicious fingers should not be pointed at female teaching staff. Most abuse has been carried out by married men and women. It is notoriously difficult to get boys to come clean about abuse by females. I have known cases where youths have seen the events as notches on their belts , but have refused to give evidence. The real hidden scandal in the UK is abuse by social workers in state run children's' homes. I have been told of this by many former residents. Celibacy is hardly a cause. As for the church covering up, the extreme and lunatic policies followed by some today are entirely to do with protecting the institution and appeasing the insurance companies. Britain has one of the worst child protection policies in Europe. Common sense and a note of proportion are needed.

Thu, September 12, 2013 @ 2:04 PM

34. Deacon David Skillen wrote:
Given the growing number of married priests in the Latin Church, and given that they have (usually) come in from other traditions later in life, and yet the continuing denial of God given priestly callings to married Catholics who have been so all their lives, it strikes me now that there is a real issue of justice that can not be denied, or go on. No one has the right to claim priesthood for himself, yet when one is utterly aware of their vocational calling, and when the Church and its Faith he loves with a passion, favours others over him, this is wounding and painful: If there is no confusion in God and if all are equal before Him, it strikes me that the Church (who, though entrusted with the 'Keys' under Peter's leadership) is servant of Christ, not Lord over Him, and must respond openly and joyfully to his very obvious call to married men as well as celibate men as priests. If it is his divine will, it ought to be his Church's human will too - for all its members not just some; there can be no confusion nor injustice, surly! Regardless of this issue, Pope Francis is a great gift to our Church and I'm sure many envy our current position!

Thu, September 12, 2013 @ 6:21 PM

35. Catherine Thiel wrote:
I haven't seen any comments addressing the probability that married priests could very well be more helpful to lay married Catholics who have issues in their marriages. This would be immensely helpful, in my opinion, because married priests would have personal experience, and many parishioners would be more confident in the advice of such a priest on those issues. That is not to say that celibate priests could not give good advice, but that on the basis of experience, they would be more qualified and less likely to give platitudinous answers.

Allowing married priests does not mean all priests would be married; celilbacy should remain a choice. A mixture of the two would make for a much healthier church, in my opinion. Plus it would go a long way toward addressing the priest shortage.

Fri, September 20, 2013 @ 8:12 PM

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