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Push for Clerical Marriage in Catholic Church

Push for Clerical Marriage in Catholic Church

Along with the recent child-molesting Catholic priest scandals comes another less disturbing revelation of priests breaking their celibacy vows– in the context of heterosexual, monogamous relationships, many of which result in the birth of children. But this normal social situation is, of course, seen as a betrayal of God and parishoners as the Catholic church struggles to uphold the archaic celibacy laws imposed on its thousands of priests.

Albert Cutiť is a former Roman Catholic priest who engaged in a hidden relationship with a woman (who is now his wife). He was forced to leave the church because of the scandal, but is now part of a growing movement to abolish the requirement of celibacy for Catholic priests.

In a post on the CNN Belief Blog, Cutiť writes: “Are we not all sexual beings with the same capacity to love and be loved? Why can’t a man of God, be also a family man?”

Why not, indeed?

A loophole appeared in the church’s demand for celibacy when, at the beginning of this year, the Catholic church invited American Anglican (Episcopal) priests to convert and become Catholic priests in an effort to reunite Catholics and Protestants. Many Episcopal priests are married and have children but they were also welcomed to join the movement, which could “provide fodder for Catholics who want the Vatican to open up on the issue of priestly celibacy.”

Because the Episcopalian movement in America is quite small compared to Catholicism and Protestantism, it is unclear how many congregations will convert to Catholicism and what effects that will have on Catholic/Protestant relationships. But allowing married Episcopal priests into the Catholic church is sure to spark discussion on both sides of the issue.

Cutiť sums up his position on clerical celibacy with an elegant sentiment, urging all to “reconsider whether the imposition of celibacy for all priests and bishops called to serve God is necessary. Maybe having married clergy will help us all move on from a culture of sexual taboos and help us all deal with sexual issues with greater openness and transparency.”

Related Stories:

Celibate Gay Men Could Be Church of England Bishops

Maryland Episcopal Church is the First to Convert to Roman Catholicism

“Act of God” Interrupts Pope Benedict’s Anti-Gay Speech

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Photo credit: thetalesend

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60 comments

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6:40AM PST on Feb 9, 2012

They should definately be allowed to marry, it must be a very lonely life for them and at least it would reduce scandals like the Bishop Eamonn Casey bombshell. I don't think it would change things with the child abuse issues within the church though because like I said before, a child molester is a different type of person and they will do whatever they can to get near children. I'm only saying this because I heard it said before that if Catholic priests were allowed to marry there would not be a child abuse problem within the church. I think people should do their homework before they make statements like this because they always come across to me as if they know nothing at all. But yes, I think the priests should be allowed marry and there should be lady priests as well :-)

1:35AM PST on Jan 20, 2012

Sorry. Can't see it changing yet.

8:34PM PST on Jan 17, 2012

Let them marry

5:59PM PST on Jan 16, 2012

Priests were once allowed to marry - approximately 1000 years ago. The reason for the change: money and/or real estate. Yes, even 1000 years ago, the Catholic church's priority was money. Sad but true. Allowing priests to marry will only enhance their ability to serve. God wouldn't mind! We are all here to love and be loved.

1:54PM PST on Jan 15, 2012

There is no reason at all why priest or the nuns for that matter should have to obey celibacy rules. It's not natural to the human condition. .

11:19AM PST on Jan 15, 2012

You know, the Easter rite Catholic Church does allow marriage so I don't know what the Vatican's heel-dragging's all about. And when a non-Catholic married man converts to Catholicism, he can become a priest, as far as I know, so again, what's the big deal? Thank Heavens God is patient, He's probably up there going, "Come oooooon, pick up the phone so I can tell you myself. But no, these kids thin they have all the answers."

8:21AM PST on Jan 15, 2012

Let them marry already!

5:28AM PST on Jan 15, 2012

Who cares! Boycott the catholic church of satan!

2:38AM PST on Jan 15, 2012

"No Comment"...

11:37PM PST on Jan 14, 2012

While I still consider myself catholic, even though i've drifted far through the years, I still take offence at those that know not of what they speak, and then do anyway.
I think it is only right priest be allowed to marry.
But because they are human, not for the reasons many others have given.

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