Friday, July 12, 2013

Let's talk about celibacy in the Roman Catholic Church. Those guys professing to be some of the most religious men on earth have been breaking their own rules a lot except some rules they stand firm. Pedophilia runs ramped from priests to cardinals , they say the Vatican has gone all gay and now we have two Popes running around still sometimes even running into each other at the same time. If the Pope can do something that hasn’t been done in 600 years like resigning then why can’t they let priests marry? They are in the business of love and forgiveness just like marriages are supposed to be.

The new Pope seems to be very conservative and will probably not change celibacy rules. He seems to be more concerned with issues facing poor people since he won’t even live in the Papal Palace. Yes, Popes live in palaces. Jesus did not. Father John Fitzgibbons the President of Denver’s Regis Jesuit University says the church teaches celibacy which means that a priest or nun doesn’t have family worries and can instead focus solely on their religious work. Time out! I thought their religious work was to help families deal with their worries? How do these people even identify with family life? And where can you even find a convent or a nun these days? Pop culture and the movies are only teaching our children about vampires and werewolves not angels or saints.

Should we take that weird logic to other professions as well? Maybe our doctor or teachers or police shouldn’t be married either. Does their family life distract them from doing their professions well too? Nonsense. Pulitzer Prize winning author Garry Wills is one of the most respected writers on religion today. He is the author of Saint Augustine's Childhood, Saint Augustine's Memory, and Saint Augustine's Sin, the first three volumes in this series, as well as the Penguin Lives biography Saint Augustine. He also studied to be a Catholic priest but left over the demand for celibacy.

He believes that celibacy in the church is unhealthy and divides priests from communities. For Christianity’s first thousand years priests could marry and have families in fact Saint Peter the first Pope, had a wife. Celibacy became widespread in the 11th Century not so much for scripture but because of simple economics. Yes, money. Widows of married priests were claiming inheritance rights to church lands. Celibacy ended having to give wives anything because there wasn’t any wives anymore.

Some parish priests are members of the churches Eastern Rite Branch and is the Russian Byzantine Catholic Church which still reports to the Pope. They celebrate Mass but unlike Roman Catholic Priests, they can marry and have children. The Priests there feel that shared experiences is a very useful thing in terms of pastor counseling. The Roman Catholic Church is already allowing married men to become Catholic Priests but only those converting from Protestant clergy.

Attitudes among Americans about celibacy are shifting. When asked if priest should be allowed to marry, 66% per cent were in favor of the idea while 26% oppose marriage.

We should be opening ordination rather than closing churches. Ironically, the number of Catholics are increasing from about 48 Million in 1965 to about 78 Million now. Meanwhile the number of Catholic priests are decreasing from 53 thousand to 39 thousand. They are all having to deal with pedophilia scandals that new priests have to go through a series of psychological tests to assess their attitudes on sex and celibacy.




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