2010-09-24

Belgian Priest: End mandatory celibacy

The Wall Street Journal is running a short piece and poll on whether the Roman Catholic Church should drop mandatory celibacy as a priestly requirement. They even have a couple of deserting Belgian priests to shill for their position (something about married men should be allowed to become priests).

The issue here isn't celibacy but spiritual contraception. For the better part of fifty years there has been an absence of solid doctrine and sound teaching coming from the bishops of the Church. And in this era of "anything goes" what has "gone" the most is vocations: a tiny fraction of what they were two generations ago.

A big reason for this is that the concept of sacrifice has been removed from the concept of what the priest does. By offering the Sacrifice of Calvary and conforming his life to Jesus crucified, the priest becomes little more than a social worker or community leader, searching for meaning in his life.

If the role and purpose of the priest were better understood by young Catholic men then more of them would enter seminary to become priests themselves. But because that message has not been delivered, much hand-wringing and calls to abandon clerical disciplines that date back to the time of the Apostles is what results.

Water down the concept of the priesthood and you get watered-down priests. Renew the concept of the manliness of the priestly function and more than a few good men will step forward to answer the call.
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