Date: March 12, 2023 04:44PM
In a recent interview with Argentine media Pope Francis stated that he is open to reviewing the practice of celibacy.
Francis said "There is no contradiction for a priest to marry. Celibacy in the Western Church is a temporary prescription. It is not eternal like priestly ordination, which is forever."
This is the first I've ever heard of this. How could a teaching that is so definitive of the Catholic Church emerge as being temporary, reducing its importance after all? Wouldn't you be some ticked off if you spent a lifetime adhering to a life-changing vow that ends up being more take-it-or-leave-it than divinely required?
As recently as 2019 Francis affirmed the celibacy requirement.
You'd think a good few priests may be asking why now and why did I choose celibacy, etc. In short, what the hell.
The only decent article I could find on this interview (excerpts below) with Francis is subscriber only, annoyingly yet understandably, so I am not providing the link. The other write-ups I've seen about this papal statement need a bit of polish on their English so I'm not posting those either.
The article (The Telegraph, March 12, 2023) states: "Celibacy was only made a requirement by the Roman Catholic Church in the 11th century. The move was introduced partly for financial reasons: clergy without spouses were more likely to leave their wealth to the church."
So it's not divine inspiration? :O
From the article: "The Vatican currently enforces celibacy among priests, citing the example set by Jesus. But there are growing calls to drop the rule as the Catholic Church deals with the fall-out from child abuse scandals around the world."
"The German Synod has just voted on a resolution requesting the Pope to end the obligation for priests to be celibate."
"When asked if he would be open to reviewing the requirement, Francis said: "Yes, yes. In fact, everyone in the Eastern Church is married. Or those who want to. ... Before ordination there is the choice to marry or to be celibate."
As an aside, from the same article:
"Germany's Catholic Church this weekend agreed to a slew of liberalising reforms, including blessing same-sex marriages and allowing women to become deacons ... The review was launched in 2019 in response to the clerical abuse scandal."
So, some at least are attributing the widespread clerical abuse to the celibacy requirement for priests. Many sources indicate this idea to be mistaken.
Here's what 'Psychology Today' states in an article about safeguarding children in the church:https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/do-the-right-thing/202004/keeping-children-safe-in-the-catholic-church
"Many argue that celibacy places Catholic clerics at risk of sexually abusing children. This isn’t true. Celibacy for any reason—such as religious vows, not having a suitable sexual partner, conflictual partnered relationships, medical or psychiatric disabilities, or personal choice—does not turn someone into a pedophile where children become the object of sexual desire. Celibacy may cause challenges with adult sexual expression that might result in a priest violating their religious vows with other adults but it doesn’t increase the risk of child sexual abuse (Manuel, 2012)."
If it's true that the incredibly restrictive celibacy teaching was more about the almighty dollar (back in the day) than about divine inspiration and/or all-encompassing devotion to one's calling that is astounding, from a church that has already astounded, and not in a good way.
Why am I so surprised. It's so often all about the dosh. Disappointing though when actual principles come last, or not at all.
I know it is a person's own choice about becoming a priest (most often I'd think). But is it a case of just another scam to own and control the peons under the authority of overlords?
Meanwhile, think of all those little Catholic babies never born. Even the prospect of filling up the world with Catholics didn't stop the originators of the celibacy vow from proceeding with it and subsequent leaders from carrying on the tradition.
You'd think a good few of the priests may be asking or at least thinking what on earth is it all about.
Imagine adhering to a vow of celibacy all your adult life and then the Pope comes along and says it ain't doctrine and maybe I'll repeal it. Some day. When I get around to it. Maybe.
It's. Not. Doctrine. Not. Eternal. Just a temporary prescription.
Like an antibiotic you'd pick up from the pharmacy to address a mild temporary infection.
Not a bane lasting 1000+ years.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/2023 04:48PM by Nightingale.