This article is in reaction to my colleague, Frank Kagabo’s, whoin The Sunday Times was wondering what has happened to the shepherds of God; he was referring to priests who have been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. I believe that it isn’t the priests fault but rather the churches.
The Catholic clergy has been implicated for sodomy, breaking the rule of celibacy, and rape charges. All because of enforced celibacy.
If there were no rules in the beginning, there would be no sin.
If a Catholic priest breaks the rule of celibacy then he is termed to have sinned but it is seen to be a noble thing for a protestant to acquire a wife and is also said to have obtained favour from God.
According to the BBC website, it was reported sometime mid last month that in some parts of the world, especially the West, the Roman Catholic Church was facing a shortage of priests. Celibacy was thought to be the root cause. Should the Vatican act to resolve this crisis by relaxing the rule that clergy must be celibate and single?
The view of the Roman Catholic Church is that celibacy is a reflection of life in heaven, and a source of detachment from the material world, which aids in one’s relationship with God. Catholic priests are called to be espoused to the Church itself, and espoused to God, without overwhelming, exclusive commitments interfering with the relationship. Catholics understand celibacy as the calling of some, but not of all.
The idea of celibacy was conceived about 1,000 years ago by Pope Gregory VII and the church has maintained that it works out for them. A world renowned writer John Farell Alloysius once wrote that “celibacy policy was implemented so that land owned by priests would remain property of the church, and not be inherited by the descendents of married priests.”
There have been reports on the Roman Catholic Church priests being accused of either being involved in child molestation while others admit of having secret families. The Catholic Church has been involved with all sorts of scandals whereby most of them revolve around celibate priest being caught in the natural act. Has the time not come to break the link between celibacy and the priesthood?
Can one not serve God whole heartedly and at the same time maintain a family?
Yes Jesus and Saint Paul were not married but this was their take; in his letter to the Corinthians St. Paul wished all men could stay like him but also quickly adds that not everyone can manage to be celibate “Only those to whom God has given this gift may truly possess it, and only such a one should Endeavour to embrace it personally.”
Both he and Jesus expressed their opinion but left it as a free personal choice. If they would have made it a rule, then they would have contradicted the very same one that states “Be fruitful and multiply.”
I therefore feel that married Catholic priests should not be shunned but rather be embraced for realizing that they do not fall in the category that St. Paul mentioned. However, I do not see why they should be relieved off their duties since according to me they haven’t sinned.
Why did the mass stop being conducted in Latin if it was among the rules, why insist on the celibacy rule yet it is the main cause of the Church’s scandals? To be loved by another human being is good for the soul. It comforts us, makes us feel safe, nourishes us, and keeps us sane and happy. It makes us strong. Literally, it empowers us.
Father Geoff Farrow, in his blog wrote that once an elderly Catholic priest said this to him, “Every day I eat alone with my cat and I ask myself, does this please God?”
Between an old regretting miserably lifeless priest and a happy thankful parent, who would really please God? Its time these rules got revisited.