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.”