Sunday, August 23, 2009

Catholics in Saltillo, Mexico divided on celibacy

By Jesús Castro
Vanguardia (Mexico)
August 23, 2009

The old debate on priestly celibacy continues and now in the Saltillo community, public opinion is divided. According to a poll by Vanguardia, 55 percent of Catholics surveyed agreed that priests should be allowed to choose between getting married or being single.

Over half of those surveyed think that the number of priests is insufficient to tend to the Catholic community.

Sixty-seven percent of those who were polled think that if the Church allowed clerics to marry, it would be a motivating factor for young men deciding to enter seminary.

The survey also showed that priests continue to have the esteem and trust of the faithful, since 52 percent would allow their children to live in the house of a priest, concluding that it would be good for their spiritual formation.

Nonetheless, 84 percent believe that many of the pedophilia scandals and priests with secret families are due to the celibacy requirement for clergy.

On the other hand, among those who are not in favor of allowing priests to marry, there are many answers such as "because it's a rule of the Church", "people would view it as wrong", "that's how Christ ordered it", without offering any weighty reasons, like those raised in the report last Monday in Semanario.

"Nowhere in the Bible does it say that Jesus asked his disciples to be bachelors," said Mario Mullo, president of the Latin American Federation of Married Priests, and even Bishop Raúl Vera himself agreed that celibacy "is nothing essential to priestly ministry, and that is precisely the reason why there are arguments about celibacy, because celibacy is not essential to the sacrament, but it is a discipline," that the Pope can change if he wants to, but the subject is "not up for discussion", the prelate stated.

No comments: