Friday, February 04, 2011

Catholic theologians call for an end to compulsory celibacy


Over one hundred Catholic theologians have called for radical reform of the Catholic Church, like the end to compulsory celibacy, in a bid to mend the damage caused by recent sex scandals.

Around a third of all Catholic theology professors at universities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, on Friday called for reforms to the Catholic Church, according to a report in the German daily "Süddeutsche Zeitung".

"It looks like we struck a nerve," said Judith Könemann a professor from Münster and one of 144 signatories of the declaration.

The professors said that they no longer wanted to stay quiet in the face of child sex abuse scandals that came to light last year and plunged the Catholic Church into an unprecedented crisis.

The theologians want to start an open dialogue about the future of the Catholic Church.

"We have the responsibility, to contribute to a new start," the undersigned text said

They called for an end to compulsory celibacy, and for women to be allowed into the priesthood. The theologians also called for the Catholic laity to have more say in the selection of bishops.

There hasn't been a comparable revolt by theologians since 1989 when more than 220 academics signed the "Cologne Declaration", which protested against the authoritarian leadership style of the late Pope, John Paul II.

Author: Natalia Dannenberg (AFP, dpa, Reuters)
Editor: Rob Turner

The full text of the memorandum and signatories is available online.

1 comment:

Philomena Carolan said...

This sounds like really good news and about time too, this Pope has done nothing with this crisis, it a bit like the govenment.

I don't know how much more the poor victims and innocent clergy cna suffer, when I say innocent clergy I mean clergy who are suffering in silence about the situation as many want to get into a relationship but, this celibacy buisiness is a huge problem, I am far from talking about the abusive priests, they are no where near innocent, no where near.

My heart goes out to aall the victims involved, the Pope is a disgrace to the Catholic church, I think he should be forced to resign and he should be forced to resign NOW.

Thank you