Thursday, March 29, 2007

Priests in Spain support optional celibacy

The Spanish Catholic magazine 21rs has just published a study of 751 Spanish priests conducted by university professor Luis Fernando Vílchez Martín. This is a very detailed study which is worth a look if you speak Spanish. When asked what their major problem was, few priests complained about poverty. However, 37.2% identified solitude as a major problem and a further 19.8% identified affection as an issue. 7.2% were troubled by not being allowed to have children. Sexuality was considered a problem by 6.5% of respondents.

When asked about celibacy, 52.7% said it should be optional. Also -- and surprisingly because these priests mainly described themselves as center-right politically -- 41.3% favored admitting women to the priesthood. This is obviously not a majority but more than one might have expected from a traditional Latin country with a conservative priesthood.

This survey contains a wealth of information about the state of the Spanish priesthood, most of which is irrelevant to this blog, but those who are interested in Church human resource issues and read Spanish should go here:

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