Two Reflections on Bishop Daly and Celibacy

Dear Friends,
(Re.Bishop Eddie Daly’s recent statement about compulsory celibacy)
There is an argument that “Catholic Church authorities should allow priests to marry”.
Another and better argument is that everyone has a human right to marry and no human right can be over-ridden by a humanly made law.
Therefore the question church authorities have to answer is not whether they will allow priests to marry, since it is a human right to do so , but whether it is prudent to say, if you do get married you cannot work as a priest. Just now it seems more imprudent than ever.
Different premise, different question, different answer.
Yours faithfully,
Desmond Wilson, 6 Springhill Close, Belfast BT12 7SE ph 9032 6722.
Brothers: I am writing from New York.
Thanks for providing a forum to discuss the mandatory celibacy thing. It is unnatural and when it suited the Vatican to allow marriage, they did. When money and property became issues, they then concocted a theology to defend mandatory celibacy. You can’t mandate celibacy or marriage.
The argument has to shift away from the urgent numbers issue (lack of candidates) and onto the merits and demerits of celibacy, temporary or lifelong, as one chooses.
We need some courage among the clergy and there is none here in the States (they all keep their heads down out of fear of Rome), so fair play to Ireland that it is going public with the issues.
Seamus Deegan
Dunlavin, Co.Wicklow and Long Island.

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  1. Soline Humbert says:

    If tomorrow all the priests/bishops/cardinals who are not celibate (ie in long term sexual relationships with male or female partners) came out of the closet the mandatory celibacy rule would collapse instantly. It has remained in existence for so long only because of so many secret clerical double lives. Another case of “the truth will set you free” being ignored….

  2. Joe O'Leary says:

    “Forbidding to marry” is the oldest heresy (I Tim 4:3).

  3. Men who become priests voluntarily give up the option to marry. It is not so much forbidden as voluntarily renounced.

  4. An Italian priest wrote a thesis applying the Church’s rules on annulment of marriages to priestly ordination (of course they could apply also to the promise of celibacy, where such factors as lack of due discretion play a huge role). I understand that his bishop bought up all copies of the book to prevent the dangerous idea from spreading!

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