Sunday, February 04, 2007

Theologian Hans Kung on Celibacy

I found this little excerpt from an article by theologian Hans Küng in the German news magazine Der Spiegel as a result of some Googling inspired by a review of one of Küng's books which has recently been translated into French. The entire article, "Crisis in the Catholic Church" (3/26/2005), is worth reading and can be found here.

... CELIBACY AMONG PRIESTS: By propagating the traditional image of the celibate male priest, Karol Wojtyla bears the principal responsibility for the catastrophic dearth of priests, the collapse of spiritual welfare in many countries, and the many pedophilia scandals the church is no longer able to cover up.

Marriage is still forbidden to men who have agreed to devote their lives to the priesthood. This is only one example of how this pope, like others before him, is ignoring the teachings of the bible and the great Catholic tradition of the first millennium, which did not require office bearers to take a vow of celibacy. If someone, by virtue of his office, is forced to spend his life without a wife and children, there is a great risk that healthy integration of sexuality will fail, which can lead to pedophilic acts, for example.

Consequences: The ranks have been thinned and there is a lack of new blood in the Catholic church. Soon almost two-thirds of parishes, both in German-speaking countries and elsewhere, will be without an ordained pastor and regular celebrations of the Eucharist. It's a deficiency that even the declining influx of priests from other countries (1,400 of Germany's priests are from Poland, India and Africa) and the combining of parishes into "spiritual welfare units," a highly unpopular trend among the faithful, can no longer hide. The number of newly ordained priests in Germany dropped from 366 in 1990 to 161 in 2003, and the average age of active priests today is now above 60. [emphasis added] ...

Yo, Your Holiness, we are talking about your home country here! And this is precisely why many theologians are urging the Vatican to slow down on the canonization of Pope John Paul II. Let's take time to look at the complete record here and the long-term impact of his policies on the Church.

Meanwhile, in Africa, Mgr. Tharcisse Tshibangu of the diocese of Mbuji-Mayi in the Congo has just suspended five of his priests and chastized an additional three for violating their celibacy vows. The suspended priests must leave their parishes and are forbidden from celebrating Mass or performing any sacraments for a year. Not a lot of detail but if you can read French, the story is available here.


Anonymous said...

The church is like any other philosophically based institution, to be a member you have to abide by the rules otherwise join a group that suits your beliefs. Too many are concerned with changing the RCC to suit them. Hopefully there are some brave enough to form societies of married couples who are willing to start a society specifically for married priests. As with Mother Teresa, you have to set up the experiment, prove it can be done and apply for charter.

Otherwise all I hear is criticism and no one willing to make the sacrifice.

The pursuit of hypersexuality and super matirialism is a purposeless life.

Anonymous said...

Hans is wrong. Most of the priests involved became priests long before JPII became pope. And the many non-RC ministers etc. who are also pedophiles and rapists proves that point. When it comes to celibacy "many are called, few are chosen". It is clear that men with sexual problems of many origins chose to hide in the Church because it gave them access to victims or a place to find escape from those problems.

We could get more priests by eliminating celibacy, that is true but there will always be people with sexual issues who feel a religious calling. For the RCC the issue is how to exclude them.

I think the answer is for the RCC to create specific orders through which married as well as single men and women can be ordained ministers if not priests. But the problem of excluding sexual deviants will always exist.

Anonymous said...

You know, all you sexually oriented distorted convuluted "theologians" need to learn once again what the Church teaches, who the Church is (you know... the Mystical Body of CHRIST???) and Why AND HOW the Church teaches.

The Church does not teach, dispite Kung's and others distored view, through descension against the magisterium and teachings of the Church. The Church does not teach by planting doubts in peoples mind. The Church does not teach by trying to tear down heirarchies and build up oneself. And yet, these are the tools that Kung and others use to try to "teach" us their religion?

Grow up Kung! At 75, I think its about time. Don't you?

Anonymous said...

The expression "forbidding to marry" (Latin Vulgate 'prohibentium nubere') was part of St. Paul's warning in his second letter to Timothy, chapter 4 verses 1-3, about a time when some Christians would fall away from the faith.