Priest Celibacy Up To Debate Says Top Vatican Official
It has always been a wonder to me how priests could come to think they know of so many issues about families and relationships when they are not allowed to marry, and therefore are strictly limited in the scope of the world that they have first-hand knowledge. Allowing priests to marry makes common sense, and since the economic reason that tradition started is no longer relevant makes even more cause to bring the church into modern times.
In the 11th century Pope Benedict VIII responded to the decline in priestly morality by issuing a rule prohibiting the children of priests from inheriting property. A few decades later Pope Gregory VII issued a decree against clerical marriages. This week news (of sorts) was made when a top Vatican official made a comment on the matter. Be mindful that the underlying reason the church likes to control a priest’s sexuality is that once it is achieved so many other aspects of life are far more easily controlled.
The Vatican’s new secretary of state said earlier this week that the issue of priest celibacy is an open discussion. Archbishop Pietro Parolin surprised many Catholics with his comments, reports NPR.
“It’s not a church dogma and it can be discussed because it is a church tradition,” Parolin told El Universal, a Venezuelan newspaper.
Celibacy has been a main tenet of the priesthood for centuries. The first written mandate for chastity dates back to 304 C.E.
“The work the church did to institute ecclesiastical celibacy must be considered,” said Parolin, who will officially assume the role of secretary of state in October. “We cannot simply say that it is part of the past. It is a great challenge for the pope, because he is the one with the ministry of unity and all of those decisions must be made thinking of the unity of the church and not to divide it.