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Catholic priests urge Church to reconsider celibacy rules
Australian Broadcasting Co. ^ | January 26, 2005 | Nick Grimm

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.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: catholicchurch; priests; vatican
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1 posted on 01/26/2005 8:45:28 AM PST by tvn
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To: sinkspur

C'mere.


2 posted on 01/26/2005 8:47:56 AM PST by johniegrad
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To: tvn

BTTT


3 posted on 01/26/2005 8:48:15 AM PST by kellynla (U.S.M.C. 1st Battalion,5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Div. Viet Nam 69&70 Semper Fi)
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To: tvn
Not a Catholic but this does not help The Church.
4 posted on 01/26/2005 8:50:24 AM PST by Damifino (The true measure of a man is found in what he would do if he knew no one would ever find out.)
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To: tvn
Sacrilege.

The Apostle Peter was not married...

...wait a minute.

5 posted on 01/26/2005 8:52:21 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Drug prohibition laws help fund terrorism.)
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To: tvn

They should be allowed to marry. It will never happen though.


6 posted on 01/26/2005 8:54:54 AM PST by Lovebloggers
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To: tvn
When I was in Catholic high school we had a couple of priests that were real skirt chasers. The problem was that they were chasing the senior girls. A couple eventually left the priesthood and were later married.

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.

7 posted on 01/26/2005 8:55:43 AM PST by isthisnickcool (Denny Crane: "I look to two things: First to God and then to Fox News.")
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To: tvn

Rome,

And while you're at it, let's revisit the whole monogamy thing...and maybe meat on Fridays...and...

Love, the "dwindling ranks"


8 posted on 01/26/2005 8:57:20 AM PST by Lekker 1 (A government policy to rob Peter to pay Paul can be assured of the support of Paul [G.B. Shaw])
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To: isthisnickcool

may I ask how you knew that all these priests were not celibate?
were you in the room?


9 posted on 01/26/2005 8:58:25 AM PST by kellynla (U.S.M.C. 1st Battalion,5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Div. Viet Nam 69&70 Semper Fi)
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To: tvn

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.


10 posted on 01/26/2005 9:00:07 AM PST by RexBeach
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To: kellynla
...may I ask how you knew that all these priests were not celibate? were you in the room?

...first "hand" experience?

11 posted on 01/26/2005 9:01:24 AM PST by Lekker 1 (A government policy to rob Peter to pay Paul can be assured of the support of Paul [G.B. Shaw])
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To: Lekker 1

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.


12 posted on 01/26/2005 9:01:26 AM PST by superiorslots
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To: tvn
Yeah, we gotta get rid of that celibacy thing. The mainstream media needs new headlines:

"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.

TS

13 posted on 01/26/2005 9:02:47 AM PST by Tanniker Smith (I didn't know she was a liberal when I married her.)
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To: tvn
May, it's tough, but a priest's job is supposed to be. It's showing an utter detachment to your own wishes so you can minister to your flock better. As to whether it should be overturned, I'm really undecided, there will be more priests then, but it is also opening the door more more leftism a la Vatican II.

Personally, if priests could marry, I would be strongly tempted to join the priesthood. As it is as a twenty three year old male, women unfortunately clutter up way too much of my mind, and I don't know if I could let them go to be effective. We'll see what tomorrow brings I guess.
14 posted on 01/26/2005 9:03:38 AM PST by DarkSavant ("To live is to love and to love is to suffer" -Virgil)
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To: tvn
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.

There's two sides to this coin: half the history of the Church has been celibate clergy as St. Paul proclaimed the beauty of it.

There are several hurdles that these priests cannot jump:
1. The defining vow of a priest is obedience to the Magesterium, not celibacy.

2. Priests are in persona Christi. Thus, as Christ was celibate, and preached that it is better to sacrifice this desire for the sake of the Kingdom, it is logical then that if a priest truly desires to fulfill his role as much as possible, being in persona Christi, and sacrifice the whole of his life for the sake of the kingdom it is necessary for him to be celibate.

There are no theological or spiritual "pro's" that these priests can offer for being married. The best they can offer is "well, its been done in the past" and this leads me to seriously question their intent and their commitment to both Christ and His Church.
15 posted on 01/26/2005 9:03:58 AM PST by mike182d
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To: superiorslots
So he could just renounce his membership for a day, get married, then convert back. Problem solved. Seems that God would want people to comply with His law rather than vice versa. I mean, if we are gonna tailor a religion to what is convenient, let's just start from scratch.
16 posted on 01/26/2005 9:04:36 AM PST by Lekker 1 (A government policy to rob Peter to pay Paul can be assured of the support of Paul [G.B. Shaw])
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To: RexBeach

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.


17 posted on 01/26/2005 9:06:35 AM PST by mike182d
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To: Lekker 1

*shudder*


18 posted on 01/26/2005 9:07:54 AM PST by DarkSavant ("To live is to love and to love is to suffer" -Virgil)
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To: Tanniker Smith
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

Ya. They should just stick to molesting little boys and covering it up at all levels.

19 posted on 01/26/2005 9:07:58 AM PST by Phantom Lord (Advantages are taken, not handed out)
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To: Tanniker Smith

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.


20 posted on 01/26/2005 9:08:01 AM PST by Giliad (I've got a fevah, and the only prescription is more cowbell)
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To: Lekker 1

Once a priest is defrocked, he cannot be made a priest again.


21 posted on 01/26/2005 9:08:13 AM PST by mike182d
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To: mike182d
...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.

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.

22 posted on 01/26/2005 9:09:37 AM PST by Lekker 1 (A government policy to rob Peter to pay Paul can be assured of the support of Paul [G.B. Shaw])
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To: Phantom Lord
Ya. They should just stick to molesting little boys and covering it up at all levels.

Divorce is an equally horrible perversion of human sexuality, and with many more children scarred by it, and thus married people don't provide much better of an alternative.
23 posted on 01/26/2005 9:09:40 AM PST by mike182d
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To: mike182d
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.

You, sir, are spot-on with that comment.

24 posted on 01/26/2005 9:10:16 AM PST by el_chupacabra (I'm glad you were born.)
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To: Lekker 1

Have you read theology of the body?


25 posted on 01/26/2005 9:10:19 AM PST by mike182d
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To: mike182d

Getting a divorce is a worse sexual perversion than molesting children?!?!?!?


26 posted on 01/26/2005 9:10:31 AM PST by Phantom Lord (Advantages are taken, not handed out)
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To: mike182d

Slight correction. Not worse, but on par with. Sorry bout that.


27 posted on 01/26/2005 9:11:09 AM PST by Phantom Lord (Advantages are taken, not handed out)
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To: mike182d

I agree.

What concerns me is that NO ONE wants to be a Catholic priest in America.


28 posted on 01/26/2005 9:11:29 AM PST by RexBeach
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To: Phantom Lord

Theologically, they are equally terrible. Just because one is more widely accpeted doesn't make it less horrendous and devestating.


29 posted on 01/26/2005 9:11:44 AM PST by mike182d
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To: RexBeach

Five of my roommates did, and let me tell you, they were hardcore, on fire, conservative Catholics. None of this "liberal theology" crap :-)


30 posted on 01/26/2005 9:13:11 AM PST by mike182d
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To: mike182d

1 Corinthians 7:9
But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.


31 posted on 01/26/2005 9:13:17 AM PST by Giliad (I've got a fevah, and the only prescription is more cowbell)
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To: mike182d

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.


32 posted on 01/26/2005 9:14:50 AM PST by RexBeach
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To: Giliad

You're point being? There's a difference between being weak and not being able to control yourself.


33 posted on 01/26/2005 9:15:16 AM PST by mike182d
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To: NYer; Salvation; Land of the Irish; narses

ping


34 posted on 01/26/2005 9:16:20 AM PST by kstewskis ( you have to have a mind before you lose it....)
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To: mike182d

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.


35 posted on 01/26/2005 9:16:26 AM PST by bobjam
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To: RexBeach

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...).


36 posted on 01/26/2005 9:17:34 AM PST by mike182d
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To: bobjam
No. This would violate the Lord's command to "Be fruitful and multiply".

Doesn't Jesus suggestion to be celibate violate the command? Seems we have a contradiction in the Bible...
37 posted on 01/26/2005 9:18:31 AM PST by mike182d
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To: isthisnickcool

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).


38 posted on 01/26/2005 9:18:39 AM PST by jcb8199
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To: mike182d

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.


39 posted on 01/26/2005 9:18:42 AM PST by Giliad (I've got a fevah, and the only prescription is more cowbell)
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Comment #40 Removed by Moderator

To: Giliad

"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.


41 posted on 01/26/2005 9:21:04 AM PST by tbird5
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To: Giliad

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.


42 posted on 01/26/2005 9:21:31 AM PST by mike182d
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To: mike182d

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.


43 posted on 01/26/2005 9:21:48 AM PST by Giliad (I've got a fevah, and the only prescription is more cowbell)
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To: mike182d
Divorce is an equally horrible perversion of human sexuality, and with many more children scarred by it, and thus married people don't provide much better of an alternative.

A grown man sodomizing an underage boy is morally equivalent to two adults divorcing?

Bumpkin.

44 posted on 01/26/2005 9:22:58 AM PST by Modernman (What is moral is what you feel good after. - Ernest Hemingway)
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To: mike182d

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.


45 posted on 01/26/2005 9:23:52 AM PST by Giliad (I've got a fevah, and the only prescription is more cowbell)
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To: mike182d

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.


46 posted on 01/26/2005 9:24:09 AM PST by bicyclerepair (Help I'm surrounded by RATS (S. FL))
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To: bullseye876
A priest married to both the Church and a women would be a bigamist.

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?

47 posted on 01/26/2005 9:25:17 AM PST by Modernman (What is moral is what you feel good after. - Ernest Hemingway)
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To: kellynla
may I ask how you knew that all these priests were not celibate? were you in the room?

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.

48 posted on 01/26/2005 9:26:06 AM PST by isthisnickcool (Denny Crane: "I look to two things: First to God and then to Fox News.")
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To: Giliad

"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.


49 posted on 01/26/2005 9:26:28 AM PST by tbird5
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To: Giliad
Not a single Christian believes only what was taught by Jesus and the first Apostles. It is the nature of the Church and its theology to grow and become more perfect. If it wasn't for this growth, and maturing understanding of Christ, we would not even have the faintest idea of what the Trinity was (or a name for it) as this became more fully realized later in the Church's tradition.

With that in mind, what arguments can you provide that show that allowing marriage in the priesthood further perfects it or produce a greater good? The only good produce is the satisfaction of sexual desires and to submit to this entirely undermines the vow of celibacy as a whole, for the very point is to fight these urges for the glory of God.
50 posted on 01/26/2005 9:27:06 AM PST by mike182d
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