|Priest at Mass (PD)|
According to the Rev. Thomas Reese of The National Catholic Reporter, St. Peter and “all the apostles were married, so celibacy isn’t intrinsically connected to the priesthood.”
Elisabetta Povoledo of The New York Times reports that there are a “growing number of priest organizations in the United States, Austria, Ireland and elsewhere” that are lobbying for change regarding this issue.
Celibacy is not only an historical “add-on” to the priesthood, but it is also intensifying the growing shortage of priests. Povoledo writes that “in England and Wales alone,” approximately “10,000 men have left the priesthood to marry in the past 50 years.”
Leaving the priesthood under these circumstances is neither easy nor
pleasant. Former priests have told of the “demeaning procedures” that accompanied this process. Bishops have often used persuasive techniques that were far less than supportive. Priests were pressured to instead switch parishes and go back to the way things were.
Those who do leave find that they are not necessarily prepared for the rigors of the workaday world. Theology is not always valued within a depressed economy. To make matters worse, families often turn away from this situation.
Copyright November 21, 2014 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved