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Pope: Priests Must Stay Celibate
AP via Yahoo via Drudge ^ | 4-20-2002 | NICOLE WINFIELD

Posted on 04/20/2002 4:14:07 PM PDT by Notwithstanding

In a strong message days before a summit of U.S. churchmen on a sex abuse scandal, Pope John Paul (news - web sites) II said Saturday that priests must live celibate lives and avoid scandalous behavior. Bishops, he said, must investigate such behavior and take action to end it.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: catholic; homosexual; pope; repeatcondemnation; scandal
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Pope: Priests Must Stay Celibate
Sat Apr 20, 3:14 PM ET

By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press Writer

VATICAN CITY (AP) - In a strong message days before a summit of U.S. churchmen on a sex abuse scandal, Pope John Paul (news - web sites) II said Saturday that priests must live celibate lives and avoid scandalous behavior. Bishops, he said, must investigate such behavior and take action to end it.

Photos

AP Photo
In comments to Nigerian bishops, the pope didn't directly refer to the scandal rocking the American Church. But the timing of his message appeared to be a clear signal of his position going into the summit and a firm policy statement that he doesn't tolerate the type of behavior shown by some American churchmen.

The scandals, in which several churchmen have been accused of abusing children and teen-agers, have shaken confidence in the American Church, cost it millions of dollars in settlements and raised questions about bishops' mishandling of the investigations.

The pope summoned American cardinals to a summit Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss the matter — an extraordinary measure that has underscored the urgency that the Vatican (news - web sites) now appears to feel is necessary to deal with the issue.

In his comments to the Nigerians, the pope didn't refer to sex offenders or pedophilia, focusing on the broader issue of the need for priests to live a life of poverty and celibacy.

The Vatican has spoken out about problems in the African Church of priests breaking their vow of celibacy and having relations with women.

"The value of celibacy as a complete gift of self to the Lord and his Church must be carefully safeguarded," John Paul told the Nigerians.

"Behavior which might give scandal must be carefully avoided, and you yourselves must diligently investigate accusations of any such behavior, taking firm steps to correct it where it is found to exist," he said.

John Paul's comments Saturday were his most extensive remarks about celibacy since the revelations of sex abuse began pouring out in the United States earlier this year. He broke his long silence in a pre-Easter letter to priests last month, decrying the scandal caused by some.

In the meetings this week, the cardinals will be looking to the Vatican for guidance and backing on a wide range of issues, foremost among them whether the church should ever consider reassigning sex offenders and creating a uniform American policy for reporting abuse claims to police.

In the United States, the Church is accused of covering up misconduct by priests, in some cases by moving known abusers from job to job.

Cardinal Bernard Law, head of the Boston archdiocese, has faced growing criticism since acknowledging he transferred a priest to another parish despite knowing of sexual misconduct allegations against the man. That defrocked priest later was sentenced to prison.

More from > World - AP Europe
Next Story: Russia Bars Bishop From Diocese
Sat Apr 20, 5:38 PM ET - (AP)

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1 posted on 04/20/2002 4:14:07 PM PDT by Notwithstanding
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To: Notwithstanding
What Silence?
2 posted on 04/20/2002 4:17:03 PM PDT by Notwithstanding
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To: Notwithstanding
Priests Must Stay Celibate

The only way that I could do that is if somebody had me quick-frozen. I gotta hand it to anybody who does this and really sticks to the rules. There's no way I could.

3 posted on 04/20/2002 4:19:35 PM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity
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To: Notwithstanding
This "journalist" writes: "He broke his long silence in a pre-Easter letter to priests last month..." without doing any research at all. Her research amounted to repeating whatever the NY Times or the wires fabricated the last time any one wrote on this topic.
4 posted on 04/20/2002 4:21:10 PM PDT by Notwithstanding
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To: Notwithstanding
I don't see the need for celibacy (I'm not Catholic), but even so, the current problem has more to do with inappropriate behavior (criminal also) than celibacy.
5 posted on 04/20/2002 4:26:13 PM PDT by umgud
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To: Notwithstanding
Getting rid of known homosexual priests would be first priority.
6 posted on 04/20/2002 4:26:40 PM PDT by Paul Atreides
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To: Notwithstanding
Must?
7 posted on 04/20/2002 4:27:47 PM PDT by breakem
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To: Notwithstanding
This article assumes that the Pope is speaking to Americans.

He may be speaking to Nigerians. Violating celibacy with women is a systemic problem in Africa (with nuns) and in Latin America (priests live in open concubinage).

Celibacy will never be optional with John Paul II.

8 posted on 04/20/2002 4:29:40 PM PDT by sinkspur
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To: Notwithstanding
"The value of celibacy as a complete gift of self to the Lord and his Church must be carefully safeguarded,"

Well what about all those helping make babies for the Lord and Church
9 posted on 04/20/2002 4:34:34 PM PDT by uncbob
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To: sinkspur
Celibacy will never be optional in a culture that treats the libido as a god - such as the current one.

The sex drive has always been strong, but promiscuity used to be considered morally reprehensible by most people - today promiscuity is largely accepted as part of life. And as such the Church requires its priests to be witnesses to selfless sacrifice - which is one great benefit of celibacy. No one is forced to be a priest. No one is forced to marry. But those two commitments require one to make a lifelong promise about one's sexual behavior: chastity. Priests know when they make their lifelong promise that chastity means they promise to remain celibate for life. It is a wholly voluntary promise and they are not forced to be ordained.

10 posted on 04/20/2002 4:36:56 PM PDT by Notwithstanding
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
Nothing wrong with not being celibate your whole life. The only thing wrong would be to join the priesthood and then campaign against it or break the vow, as if you were unaware that being a priest is voluntary.
11 posted on 04/20/2002 4:39:35 PM PDT by Conservative til I die
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To: uncbob
Making babies? Well, I think the other 99.89% of the world (oh, roughly 6.5 billion people) have that covered quite nicely.

You people can complain about anything.
12 posted on 04/20/2002 4:40:53 PM PDT by Conservative til I die
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To: uncbob
What about it? It has its own place - within marriage.

God calls people to ministerial priesthood but the Church determines who is to be ordained. There is no right to ordination - otherwise anyone who claimed they were "called" would be entitled to ordination and the Church would not be able to set any prerequisites whatsoever.

13 posted on 04/20/2002 4:43:14 PM PDT by Notwithstanding
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To: Conservative til I die
Understood, I'm not making fun of the priests. I'm admitting that I couldn't do it. If anything, I'm making fun of me. They're doing something I couldn't.
14 posted on 04/20/2002 4:43:15 PM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
Me too - the commitment to celibacy is heroic. And a sign of contradiction in this worldly world. Eunuchs for Christ. Amen.
15 posted on 04/20/2002 4:45:26 PM PDT by Notwithstanding
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To: Notwithstanding
Don't know why, celibacy is a man made law.
16 posted on 04/20/2002 4:45:26 PM PDT by Great Dane
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
Priests Must Stay Celibate

The only way that I could do that is if somebody had me quick-frozen. I gotta hand it to anybody who does this and really sticks to the rules. There's no way I could.

God gives to the men whom He calls to the priesthood a special charism, or grace, to take up the spiritual weapon of chaste celibacy. Like all graces, it can be sinfully refused at any given moment; hence, the importance of the virtue of chastity, also God's gift.

Everyone else -- everyone else -- is called to chastity according to their state in life [i.e., conjugal relations for conjuges only], and receives the grace not to sin against purity, if they will accept and cooperate with it.

17 posted on 04/20/2002 4:46:00 PM PDT by De Fide
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To: Great Dane
As are the requirements that a priest be able to read and write, speak the language of his diocese, and that he have arms. He must also wear clothes and bathe occasionally. None of those requirements are in the bible, but none of them contradict what is in the bible.

What is your real point?

18 posted on 04/20/2002 4:48:42 PM PDT by Notwithstanding
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To: Notwithstanding
The Church is unlike other institutions in that they don't accord the media the same kind of subservience that say, politicians do. Diane Sawyer is unlikely to get get an exclusive interview with Cardinal Law. Seems to me that what the pope and clergy think is embodied in the catechism and the magesterium. I think it grand that the church does not play the spin control game, the news cycle game; oh how frustrating to the media that the Vatican is not in a state of panic at the American church's "crisis", when much larger problems exist that demand its attention.
19 posted on 04/20/2002 4:52:36 PM PDT by St.Chuck
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To: Notwithstanding
#18 "What is your real point?"

The spiritually discerned won't get it. Unfortunately you fall into that category. Pray about it.

20 posted on 04/20/2002 4:54:02 PM PDT by nmh
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To: St.Chuck
You, sir, have made an excellent point. And your analysis largely explains why the Church has been such a target for so long: she is not trendy.

The promise of a trendy Catholic Church that people saw with Vatican II never came to fruition, thanks to the God-sent reign of Pope John Paul II. That he stymied this hoped-for trendiness is something Diane Sawyer and Bryant Gumbel etc cannot digest and will never accept. Their permanent indigestion is widespread but worthless, as we all know the Church will never be trendy.

21 posted on 04/20/2002 5:00:10 PM PDT by Notwithstanding
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
Don't worry, I was just concurring with your post and using it to add something to the argument about celibacy.
22 posted on 04/20/2002 5:02:02 PM PDT by Conservative til I die
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To: Notwithstanding
Manhattan may diappear, the US may fade away, and we will all surely die, yet the Church will be here in the year 3000 teaching the same infallible doctrines she always has.
23 posted on 04/20/2002 5:02:37 PM PDT by Notwithstanding
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To: nmh
Here come the harpies! Their Father has sent them out to this thread.

Don't worry about celibacy; worry about the important things that Bible Christians should be worrying about: Marilyn Manson, Harry Potter, and the NWO.
24 posted on 04/20/2002 5:04:05 PM PDT by Conservative til I die
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To: nmh; Notwithstanding
The spiritually discerned won't get it. Unfortunately you fall into that category

LOL. Notwithstanding, I think the Holy Spirit inspired nmh's words here. Folks who are indeed spiritually discerned will not understand nmh's "logic."

25 posted on 04/20/2002 5:05:24 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
The only way that I could do that is if somebody had me quick-frozen. I gotta hand it to anybody who does this and really sticks to the rules. There's no way I could.

You mean that you feel it okay to cheat on your wife? Or force a man/lady/boy to have sex because you are lustful? Or do you buy it? Most married couples have times, sometimes months or even years, where sex is impossible (pregnancy, having to work away from home, illness, or the fact that you have to take turns with a sick kid and are too tired).

ADULTS know this: it is not being quick frozen, it is being grown up, where not everything you wish for is available, or because something is worth more than a quicky (one's marriage, one's relationship with the creator, one's self respect, for example)

I realize that the feminists and playboy types look down on adult responsibility as a burden to be shunned, and the lack of sex as something abnormal, but these same types talk about "living life to the fullest" and "do your own thing" and "he who dies with the most toys wins".

There is another way to look at things: That a child is a gift, not a burden. That sex is the human expression of our deepest feelings, not a quick fix for lust, that God's rules may be hard, but in the long run we are happier and better for following them, and that sacrifices for the sake of others is a good thing.

26 posted on 04/20/2002 5:09:27 PM PDT by LadyDoc
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp
I am still trying to figure out what that term means. (I did not come across it in the Bible.)
27 posted on 04/20/2002 5:10:23 PM PDT by Notwithstanding
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To: Conservative til I die
Right on.
28 posted on 04/20/2002 5:11:35 PM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity
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To: LadyDoc
What thoughtful words you have posted.
29 posted on 04/20/2002 5:11:41 PM PDT by Notwithstanding
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To: Conservative til I die
For some of our FRiends this sort of thread is like an orgy.
30 posted on 04/20/2002 5:13:15 PM PDT by Notwithstanding
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To: Notwithstanding
LOL
31 posted on 04/20/2002 5:15:01 PM PDT by De Fide
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To: Notwithstanding
The sex drive has always been strong, but promiscuity used to be considered morally reprehensible by most people - today promiscuity is largely accepted as part of life.

The sex drive like many other appetites (with the exception of eating) loses its pull on a person when they don't engage in it for a long period of time. Most people require affection for sex to be satisfying; one night stands or casual sex do not provide much of this sought after component; especially in people over the age of 25 or 30. Having sex for the sake of the act itself is no different than eating when you're not really hungry. Too much of that and you become fat; too much sex without meaning and you become hollowed out. Celibacy is not that hard in my opinion; once the intital period of adjustment has passed.

32 posted on 04/20/2002 5:19:55 PM PDT by Aedammair
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To: Notwithstanding
"The value of celibacy as a complete gift of self to the Lord and his Church ..

What value is this policy proving to be? It seems to me the only thing it is really accomplishing is drawing homosexuals to the priesthood.

Maybe someone with broader knowledge can explain it. I certainly don't recall in the Bible it being mentioned as a requirement to properly serve the Lord.

33 posted on 04/20/2002 5:26:46 PM PDT by evad
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To: sinkspur
Ours is the catholic (universal) as well as Catholic Church and the rules ought to apply everywhere. In this case, the rule of celibacy is a rule of the Roman rite only, a mere discipline, not a dogma, but a discipline nonetheless in the rite where the rule exists. Unless JP II or a successor changes things, it is the rule in Texas and Illinois as well as in Italy and Africa.

It may well be that rules may be changed by the next pope but Cardinal Martini is now no longer viewed even in his own mind as papabile since his retirement from Milan. Walter Cardinal Kaspar's chances were probably non-existent before the compelled resignation of one of his colleagues for sexually abusing a woman during an EXORCISM!!!! No one takes any American candidacy seriously considering the state of AmChurch even before the sorry handling of recent scandals. Roger Cardinal Mahoney certainly need not apply. Godfrey Cardinal Daneels is not a hot candidate either. Whoever JP II's successor will be, he will be elected by a conclave attended by cardinals, all but about 5 of whom have been JP II's appointees. Good bets include Cardinal Re, Castrillon Cardinal de Hoyos, Francis Cardinal Arinze and the Vietnamese Cardinal. A policy has to be adopted first by 2/3 vote and must be accepted under oath before the Holy Eucharist as a pre-condition of accepting election as pope. I bet we all know what issues will top the list at this conclave and it won't be married priests or women's ordination. Perhaps purging the lavender Mafia while purging the churches wherever it has been tolerated. That would be a good start.

There may be one more consistory in this papacy. He should purge now and fill up the voting vacancies.

34 posted on 04/20/2002 5:32:32 PM PDT by BlackElk
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To: LadyDoc
Frigid female tirade acknowledged....
35 posted on 04/20/2002 5:34:11 PM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity
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To: evad
Don't criticize what you don't understand. See St. Paul on the question of dedicated virginity in Acts.
36 posted on 04/20/2002 5:38:35 PM PDT by BlackElk
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To: De Fide
God gives to the men whom He calls to the priesthood a special charism, or grace, to take up the spiritual weapon of chaste celibacy. Like all graces, it can be sinfully refused at any given moment; hence, the importance of the virtue of chastity, also God's gift.

This question is meant respectfully, not to trip you up, and I won't think bad of you if you don't know the answer.

I understand that priests may be married in the Eastern rite Catholic churches, but not in Latin rite Catholic churches. Except that the Vatican, according to news accounts, does not allow married Eastern rite priests in countries like the U.S. where the Latin rite predominates. What is the theological reason for this?

Of course, it could be that in a perfect world the Eastern rite would adopt the Latin rite practice. Also, I'm pretty sure that a married Eastern rite priest is not going to become a Cardinal, since I never heard of a married Cardinal, so, obviously, the Eastern rite also encourages celibacy.

37 posted on 04/20/2002 5:39:02 PM PDT by Steve Eisenberg
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
Don't criticize what you are apparently incapable of understanding. Arriving in the defense of Ladydoc:

BlackElk

38 posted on 04/20/2002 5:40:23 PM PDT by BlackElk
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To: Steve Eisenberg
The Eastern rites do not allow the married to be bishops either. There is no geographical prohibition on Eastern rite churches or their married priests and most, if not all of those rites may be found in the United States.
39 posted on 04/20/2002 5:42:39 PM PDT by BlackElk
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To: umgud
"I don't see the need for celibacy (I'm not Catholic), but even so, the current problem has more to do with inappropriate behavior (criminal also) than celibacy."

Neither, do I. No where in the Bible does it speak of celibacy. That is enough proof I need to say it isn't necessary.

40 posted on 04/20/2002 5:51:03 PM PDT by auggy
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To: Notwithstanding
(NIV) 1 Timothhy 4:1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

3. They forbid people to marry...

Either the Scripture is infallible or RC church doctrine is.
41 posted on 04/20/2002 5:53:15 PM PDT by jimmyray
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To: BlackElk;LadyDoc
I was praising the inner-strength of priests and admitting my weakness. Sometimes it better to leave well-enough alone. You better quit worrying about me and consider why 50% of marriages end in divorce. Here's a clue: I have a whole lot of married co-workers who talk about being sexually frustrated. LadyDoc take note.
42 posted on 04/20/2002 5:55:01 PM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity
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To: umgud
It is disgusting the way that the media is avoiding accusing any of these scumbags of being what they are, Homosexuals!

I am a Lutheran, not a Catholic, but I resent the way the media is tearing apart one of the principal parts of the Christian Church on Earth, while bending over backwards (no pun intended) to placate the friggin' Queer Lobby.

43 posted on 04/20/2002 6:01:28 PM PDT by Redleg Duke
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To: Notwithstanding
Praise God for our wonderful and holy father in Rome!
44 posted on 04/20/2002 6:02:14 PM PDT by Unam Sanctam
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To: Notwithstanding
Celibate priests is wrong, but changing the rule won't solve the problem. There has to be a change and a purge.

There have been occasional cases of sexual abuse by Jewish rabbis. The solution has been to fire them. Every synagogue is a law unto itself, as it might be a Baptist church.

The Roman Catholic church needs a similar solution.

45 posted on 04/20/2002 6:02:48 PM PDT by Salman
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To: BlackElk
Don't criticize what you are apparently incapable of understanding.

It's easier for those without a large amount of testosterone to get high and mighty about its considerable effects. I personally would prefer to avoid celibacy and consider it a negative in my life (even if I am sometimes forced into it by pregnancy/illness/etc). Its also pretty high and mighty to categorize people who prefer to avoid it and consider it a negative into the categories of cheater/prostitute hunter/or pedophile. If someone thinks celibacy is all mystical and a higher calling then they should take the vow and keep their opinions of us 'low life' who don't follow to themselves. Thus I am arriving in defense Excuse_My_Bellicosity.
46 posted on 04/20/2002 6:11:22 PM PDT by Arkinsaw
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To: Notwithstanding
Let the Pope work on just taking baby steps, say something along the lines that, "Bishops must take steps to stop criminal sexual behavior by priests." You can only consume a Big Mac one bite at a time.
47 posted on 04/20/2002 6:14:49 PM PDT by Torie
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
It reminds me of PETA Vegans that I have met who get all frowny when you purchase a hamburger and consider you as some sort of moral degenerate since you are "unable to contain your (natural) carnivorous urges" like they do.

Personally, I don't care what they do for themselves but would be more impressed with an ability to mind they own beeswax than an ability to not eat a hamburger.
48 posted on 04/20/2002 6:21:06 PM PDT by Arkinsaw
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To: Redleg Duke
Ditto.....
49 posted on 04/20/2002 6:25:14 PM PDT by umgud
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Comment #50 Removed by Moderator


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