Friday, January 28, 2005

Bishop backs push for overhaul of celibacy laws

The Catholic Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn, Pat Power, is supporting calls for celibacy laws to be relaxed to encourage people to become priests.The National Council of Priests has asked the Vatican to consider allowing Catholic priests to marry.Bishop Power believes action must be taken to attract more people to the Church."Generally among priests and certainly among the lay faithful I think there is a recognition of the real need that we have for more people to be available to serve as priests," he said."If it is limited to a celibate clergy that is going to exclude quite a number of otherwise good candidates."Bishop Power acknowledges there has been strong resistance from the Vatican in the past but says it is time for change."To what degree are we prepared to read the signs of the times, to what degree are we prepared to listen to the pleas of our people and if we're going to continue to be blind and deaf in those areas well I think we're heading down the wrong path."

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