Skip to comments.Catholic priests urge Church to reconsider celibacy rules
Posted on 01/26/2005 8:45:26 AM PST by tvn
TONY EASTLEY: With their numbers in radical decline, Australia's Catholic Priests are urging the Vatican to overturn its ban on married clergy. The National Council of Priests has written to Rome urging it to re-consider the rules on celibacy. There's concern that sex and marriage have become an obstacle to recruitment.
Priests argue that their dwindling ranks could be boosted if they were allowed to marry and have families. Presently, only Priests who convert to Catholicism from other churches are allowed to be married.
The parish priest of Melbourne St Simon's Church, Father Martin Dixon, sits on the executive committee of the National Council of Priests.
AM's Nick Grimm spoke to Father Dixon.
MARTIN DIXON: Well, I think the issue of married Priests can be an issue that should be looked at and can be looked at. Marriage is not a bar to Priesthood, there are a large number of married men who are Priests in Australia already.
Melbourne has two of them here already, so it is happening, and I suppose we're saying, why just restrict it to particularly men who are Anglican Priests who have now become Catholics? It should be open to all men.
NICK GRIMM: The vow of celibacy has long been one of the defining features of the Catholic Priesthood though, hasn't it?
MARTIN DIXON: It has been, but it hasn't been for the whole history of the church. Half the history of the church has been married clergy, and the clergy in the beginning were married. Peter had his wife the first Apostle. So, it's never been a restrictor for a long time within the church.
NICK GRIMM: So you would argue that this is a tradition which shouldn't be considered a sacred tradition?
MARTIN DIXON: No, I think it's one of the traditions we have to look at in the light of the present situation of the world we live in. It's not an unchangeable thing. The practice has been shown now that we can ordain married men. It therefore is not unchangeable.
NICK GRIMM: It is argued at times, isn't it, that there's a view that Priests can't really minister effectively if they live a life which is still quite remote from the everyday experience of many people?
MARTIN DIXON: If you live in the Parish and you're working among the people, you're not remote. You know the feelings, you know the pains, and you know the joys of it. You don't have to be married to know what it's like.
TONY EASTLEY: The parish priest of Melbourne St Simon's Church, Father Martin Dixon, speaking with AM's Nick Grimm.
The Apostle Peter was not married...
...wait a minute.
They should be allowed to marry. It will never happen though.
We also had some priests in the ol' rectory that were celibate when it came to women but not with each other. Some referred to them as being "celibutt in the rectumry".
Personally? I think they should be allowed to be married. It would bring females into the picture to keep and eye on things and also make it easier to tell which priests were, let's say, out of the norm.
And while you're at it, let's revisit the whole monogamy thing...and maybe meat on Fridays...and...
Love, the "dwindling ranks"
may I ask how you knew that all these priests were not celibate?
were you in the room?
Look, just because is guy is married doesn't mean that he will be able to do a better job counseling a wife and husband having difficulty in their marriage.
But the ability for Catholic priests to marry couldn't hurt recruitment in America. My God, I think they are something like 29-thousand parish priests in all of the US, and only 300 or 400 of them are UNDER the age of 30.
Some day, I am certain, Catholic priests will be allowed to marry. But not soon.
...first "hand" experience?
As a catholic I don't have a problem with allowing priest to marry. I hung around a guy in hs who really wanted(and still does want to become a priest) However he met a girl in hs and they have been married for 24 years now. He said he would quit his job tomorrow to become a priest if allowed.
"Catholic Priest Caught in Adultery Scandal"
"Father Is An Dead-Beat Dad"
"Ex-wife Wants Half of Diocese"
"Padre Pounds Pretty Little Princess"
You get the idea: they'll be looking for that first extra-marital affair, divorce, spousal abuse, etc. to give new fresh black eyes to the Catholic Church.
This has nothing to do with recruitment and nothing to do with "understanding married couples" in your parish...
Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body demonstrates that it is possible for a celibate man to understand human sexuality more than married people themselves as all truths of the human condition are based upon objective Truths, not subjective experience.
Ya. They should just stick to molesting little boys and covering it up at all levels.
It wasn't ALL the medias fault for the church's black eye. They didn't make it up. The "scandal" was there without the media's help, they just exposed it (not saying they didn't enjoy it). Maybe allowing marriage would eliminate some of that. Let's not be like the Demonrats and blame our problems on everyone else.
Once a priest is defrocked, he cannot be made a priest again.
This is akin to saying that someone who has studied ad nauseum from the greatest books about how to ride a bicycle somehow understands better than those who actually ride.
You, sir, are spot-on with that comment.
Have you read theology of the body?
Getting a divorce is a worse sexual perversion than molesting children?!?!?!?
Slight correction. Not worse, but on par with. Sorry bout that.
What concerns me is that NO ONE wants to be a Catholic priest in America.
Theologically, they are equally terrible. Just because one is more widely accpeted doesn't make it less horrendous and devestating.
Five of my roommates did, and let me tell you, they were hardcore, on fire, conservative Catholics. None of this "liberal theology" crap :-)
1 Corinthians 7:9
But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
May their tribe prosper.
That does not alter the fact that it's mighty slim pickins out there. That's not an opinion. That's a fact.
You're point being? There's a difference between being weak and not being able to control yourself.
All believers are called to be Christlike, not just clergy. Does this mean that all believers should try for celibacy? No. This would violate the Lord's command to "Be fruitful and multiply". Furthermore, the qualifications for ministry as deacon, priest or bishop include being married to one woman and having a good family (1st Timothy 3).
If priests must be single because Jesus was single, then it logically follows that priests must also be Jewish, in their 30's and without higher education.
Rome should seriously look at bringing back (not introducing) the policy still followed in Orthodox churches- that is that married men may become deacons and priests, but deacons and priests may not get married. In another words, the marriage must occur before ordination to the deaconate.
There is a severe shortage, I'll agree with you there, but there is much hope to be had. There are many places where admittance to seminaries have increased exponentially. This also happens to be in Dioceses where the theology preached by the Bishop is conservative, in-line with Rome and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is lauded (i.e. Archdiocese of Atlanta, Archdiocese of Denver...).
Celibacy simply means to not be or get married. Since one should not have sex outside of marriage, as the Church teaches, they are also abstinent (or should be).
Control was the problem, was it not? The priests that have caused the scandal obviously burned with passion and didn't control it. Would have been better for them to marry. I doubt there is a priest out there that doesn't suffer destraction because of the desire to have a mate. They'd probably be better priests with a wife there supporting them.
"It wasn't ALL the medias fault for the church's black eye. They didn't make it up. The "scandal" was there without the media's help, they just exposed it"
I have read the big cover up is in the Jewish community. No one can or will expose that. And other churchs have problems with their married ministers. Yet this is no big deal to the media. Yes, it happened in the church, yet it is happening everywhere. The media hates the Catholic Church on the same level it hates Bush and Republicans. And no one hates the Catholic Church more than ex-Catholics.
Really? Show me a study that links pedophelia to a lack of sex and I'll refute its legitimacy. I was a virgin for 22 years until I met my wife and not once did I ever have such an urge. These men had different issues than celibacy. Should we let them go and molest boys as laity instead of letting them "burn with passion?" I think not.
The Apostles taught that if a person wanted to devote their whole live to service then it was good for them not to marry, but not a requirement. Be fruitful and multiply was also directed at those who populated this earth in the beginning. It was probably a pretty good suggestion don't ya thing? Doesn't mean that was a direct order to every person on the planet for all time.
A grown man sodomizing an underage boy is morally equivalent to two adults divorcing?
That was just dumb. You really think I'm saying they should go ahead and molest boys? I'm saying the option to get married may have helped. How many of those 22 years were as a child and teenager. We're talking about men in their 40's 50's and up.
I thought the catholic church banned marriage in the 1200s (approx.) to keep the assets of the church from being diluted by offspring of priests. It's all about money folks. Personally I'm not a Catholic anymore since they wouldn't annul my marriage unless I gave them $500.
Strange that the Church allowed priests to marry for most of its history, then. I guess all priests in the Church before the vocation became celibate are burning in hell?
The skirt chasers were seen by several people having "dates". The one seen by parents with the senior girl was "replaced" in the high school by another priest. Then he was shipped off to somewhere "new". Which was a typical handling tactic for disfunctional priests. Send them somewhere else. The problem at times was that our high school was the "somewhere else".
Several of us learned not to go into the rectory when just certain priests were there. But there was one guy that liked meeting with them. And I did once open the wrong door one time in the rectory. I never went back into that building again. Creepy.
I doubt many of the vast majority of "regular" priests had a clue about any of these kinds of things going on. Some of them were saints as far as I was concerned and some of these things would have been foreign to them. I don't think they had the "radar" needed to see some of the goings on.
"Control was the problem, was it not? The priests that have caused the scandal obviously burned with passion and didn't control it".
These priest were homosexuals. Marriage would not have helped. If we are going to expose sexual scandals then I suggest he start with the public schools. The Catholic Church scandal pales in comparison to the sexuals scandals that happen between teacher and student in public scholl.
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