Catholic News Service
Priests attend a theological conference on priestly celibacy at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome
 Catholic News Service
Priests attend a theological conference on priestly celibacy at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome

To the Catholic Sentinel:

There have been increasing  challenges to mandatory celibacy for priests. This is understandable in a society that has become sexually permissive almost beyond belief. Nonetheless, celibacy lies at  the heart of a priest’s identity and commitment.

In celibacy the priest is pulled forward toward the new and true life of the future.
This, of course,  creates a problem with the contemporary mind-set, which seeks to close off God.

The world’s problem with celibacy is not really about sexuality, but about the priest’s commitment to the call of a higher power.

Today, the church needs martyrs for the faith.

Celibacy enables a priest to engage more intensely in spiritual direction. Contrary to some critics it is not true that spiritual guidance for couples would be better if it were given by lay spouses. Such a guide always runs the risk of unconsciously reliving the experiences of his or her own marriage.

Some argue  that the celibate life is too difficult.

Some critics claim that allowing Roman Catholic priests to marry will resolve the present  priest shortage. There is no evidence for this.

Paul Kokoski
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada