10/21/2013 2:45:00 PM Celibacy is about commitment to higher power
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.