---The Pope Lays Down the Law on Celibacy
Pope Benedict XVI believes Catholicism is growing sick
in its historic birthplace of Western Europe, where a shortage of priests is both a symptom and an aggravating condition. But the 79-year-old pope made clear Thursday that he does not think opening up the Church to a married priesthood is the cure. After a roundtable with top Roman Curia cardinals to discuss the case of renegade Zambian archbishop Emanuel Milingo, who was excommunicated in September for having ordained four married men, the Vatican publicly reaffirmed "the value of the choice of priestly celibacy."
My own personal history with The Catholic Church
I was baptized into the Catholic faith at birth, at the age of 2 1/2 months I was christened a second time by my newly adopted parents. My (adopted) mother had been deeply religious previous to her marriage, and during the 7 years she was married to my father. When they divorced (I was 3) my mother was approached by her priest who informed her that it was her "duty" to seek an annulment. My mother, having little funds at the time was also informed that a substantial "donation" was expected for this "service". I do not recall the exact amount, but it was somewhere around $1000. (unbelievable right?) and as a result my mother stopped attending Mass regularly (for the first time in her life). Her faith was still strong however.
I was forced
to attend Catechism and make my First Communion. Later, I was enrolled (once again by my willful mother) in CCD and successfully made made Confirmation. It is strange that during the process she never pressured me to attend Mass with any sort of regularity (and I didn't), it was almost as if going through these "motions" gave her some sort of satisfaction which I cannot to this day appreciate.
My father and I Mount Carmel Church
My First communion
My Aunt Linda & I
Our Lady of The Lake Church
I am not sure what my mother expected to accomplish, apart from believing that since my natural mother was catholic, and had given me up to Catholic Charities it was her obligation to see me through those two sacraments. Imagine her chagrin when I married my Episcopalian ex-wife in her own church (by a woman minister no less) ne'er a Catholic Priest in sight. I had never fully embraced The Church, although on the instigation of my mother (yet again) both of my sons were baptized in a Catholic Church (which I "joined" for that sole purpose). My ex-wife wasn't so pleased, and needless to say never "converted" but went along in any case, even after a priest pulled ME aside DURING the baptism of my elder son and notified me that my son was illegitimate in the eyes of The Church since we were not married by a Catholic Priest. I mean can you imagine? AT the Christening, in front of my entire family? It was expected of course (here comes another donation "suggestion") that we have the union blessed. As with my ex-wife's conversion, this was not to happen. We were going through these motions strictly for my mother, who explained the parent with the stronger faith (which I suppose technically was me, albeit indicating little) should bring the child into their own church. She would sleep well knowing my sons would not enter purgatory and could now pass on to behold the light of St. Peter should something happen. (This is what mom explained to me, and you would think, after all those years of Catechism and CCD I should have known this, go figure!)
misunderstand, while I may not particularly care for the Catholic Church (it's overly materialistic and rigid immovable adherence to archaic "rules" and "ceremony" not to mention of course its repeated "turning of the other cheek" to what has become a stain on it's priesthood which it shall (in my opinion) never recover from, have served to alienate me from it) I am certainly not an atheist, and have a very strong Christian faith, however I will be damned to hell before I let them dictate with exact conditions and consequences just how that faith is defined and the ways in which I must "prove" this along archaic and outdated uncompromising dogma.
but I digress..
Back to Pope Benedict's statement
I found this site
It is a list of 40 Priests in The Springfield, Massachusetts Diocese (4 of which I have served under in the capacity of parishioner (thank god Mom didn't try to push me into becoming an Alter boy, because two of these Priests would have been "supervising" me directly).
I address this suggestion to His Holiness...
Perhaps you should consider the possibility that your rigid refusal to allow Priests to wed might actually be the "cause" of the "sickness" about which you speak as opposed to the "cure", while some of you may say "but isn't that the same thing?" and in that case I would ask you to consider my statement a bit longer, and perhaps let your eyes drift up two lines.
There is of course a single question to consider...
Does the Catholic Church's rigid stance against the marriage of it's Priests create an atmosphere condusive to the sort of sexual abuse which has been exposed at an alarming rate in recent decades? I am not convinced, and a part of me (as a Gay male) feels uneasy even considering the idea, what are your thoughts??