Thursday, July 28, 2011

Celibacy and the Church

A letter to the editor from Dr. Daniel Maguire, a former Jesuit priest now professor of theology at Marquette University, in the New York Times, 7/25/2011:

To the Editor:

Re “In Philadelphia, a Changing of the Guard in the Shadow of Scandal” (news article, July 20):

The problem of Roman Catholic sexual abuse by priests will not be solved by the appointment of a new archbishop, especially by an archbishop like Charles J. Chaput, with his blunt-instrument approach to discipline. The root of the problem is mandatory celibacy.

There is a reason religions with a married clergy have no comparable problem — not that they are problem-free. Celibacy is not a bona fide occupational qualification for ministry. To insist on it insults the institution of marriage, branding it as an impediment to religious service.

Also, as recently publicized priestly scandals and crimes around the world attest, this attempted suppression of human sexuality in priests does not work and is arguably an invitation to pathology.

Milwaukee, July 20, 2011

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