Thursday, December 07, 2006

Belgian priests back end to celibacy rule

Another example of how the Magisterium is out of touch with the Sensus Fidelium on the celibacy issue:

Brussels, Dec. 6, 2006 ( — Nearly 80% of the priests in Belgium's Flemish region support the admission of married men to the Catholic clergy, according to poll results appearing in the newspapers Gazet van Antwerpen and Het Belang van Limburg.

The survey of 234 priests found that a clear majority -- 57% -- believe that their work load is now too heavy. Questioned about the findings by Gazet van Antwerpen, Cardinal Godfried Danneels of Brussels said that he was not surprised by that result, observing that priests are aging (the average age of the survey respondents was 67) while their responsibilities are unchanged.

Cardinal Danneels added that he was not surprised by the priests' support for an end to the requirement of clerical celibacy. "Celibacy is not easy to live," he observed, and "everyone knows that celibacy is an ecclesiastical rule that could change."

However, the cardinal voiced his doubts that the shortage of priests could be eased by admitting married men to the Catholic clergy. "I don't think there are many married men prepared to become priests," he said -- noting that Protestant churches, despite their tradition of allowing married ministers, are experiencing a similar drop in the number of clergy.

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