Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Former Bishop of Derry calls for end to clerical celibacy

UPDATE 9/14/2011: The Association of Catholic Priests has supported calls by the former Bishop of Derry Edward Daly for a removal of the compulsory celibacy requirement where Catholic priests are concerned. (Irish Times, 9/14/2011)

The Journal (Ireland)

The former bishop of Derry Dr Edward Daly has called for an end to mandatory clerical celibacy for priests in the Catholic Church, saying that removing the requirement would “ease the church’s problems”.

Daly, one of the most well-known figures in the Church, describes the issue of celibacy as “the other conflict” in his memoir, A Troubled See: Memoirs of a Derry Bishop.

Daly said he believed that not allowing priests to marry was causing potential candidates to turn away from their vocations, writing: “I believe there… should be a place in the modern Catholic Church for a married priesthood and for men who do not wish to commit themselves to celibacy."...

Click here for the full article and also be sure to vote in the newspaper's poll: Should priests be allowed to renounce vow of celibacy?

More quotes from the book from the Irish Times:

“I ask myself, more and more, why celibacy should be the great sacred and unyielding arbiter, the paradigm of diocesan priesthood?...Why not prayerfulness, conviction in the faith, knowledge of the faith, ability to communicate in the modern age, honesty, integrity, humility, a commitment to social justice, a work ethic, respect for others, compassion and caring?...Surely many of these qualities are at least as important in a diocesan priest as celibacy – yet celibacy seems to be perceived as the predominant obligation, the sine qua non."

Celibacy is “an obligation that has caused many wonderful potential candidates to turn away from a vocation, and other fine men to resign their priesthood at great loss to the church.”


Joan of Hornchurch said...

Any comment from any bishop questioning the role of celibacy of our priests should be met with cynicism. Bishop Daley may have a skeleton or two in his closet that would be cleared up with the removal of mandatory celibacy.
As a celibate Catholic, it seems obvious to me that any bishop who seems to struggle with it is not even chaste!! Let the truth come out about bishops like this and see what it reveals!!!

Rebel Girl said...

I'm not cynical about the bishop's comments because there are many, many other bishops and priests who have said the same thing, though not always with such force and so publicly. Those who actually protest aloud are less likely to have skeletons in their closets than those who suffer in silence. It's the latter who are more likely to be leading double lives and they don't open their mouths because they don't want to draw attention to themselves. Think about it.

I do agree with the former seminarian who said that he wished the bishop had had the courage to speak out and try to change Church policy while he was in a position to actually influence it. This man, who left in order to get married, said that he would still be interested in becoming a priest if the Church were to reverse itself in this area.