Wednesday, February 12, 2003

THE CASE FOR CELIBACY
Via Mark Shea, Amy Welborn writes on the struggles of a laicized priest, and his family.

It's a moving piece, but I don't really agree with her conclusions.

First, she compares the treatment of laicized priests to those who were guilty of abuse, which, as I've written before, I think is a bit of a dirty trick.

Second, Welborn unwittingly makes a strong case for keeping celibaby.

She laments that a priest who chooses to laicize doesn't face a strong labor market for his skill set, especially since he is limited in what ministries he can peform in the Church. Then, she writes about how the current scandals were caused by clericalism -- priests and bishops who were desperate to hold on to their positions.

It seems to me that removing bad priests would be more difficult if that bad priest had a wife and children to support. The priest would be even more desperate to hang on to his position, and the chancery would be even more strongly tempted to look the other way to avoid punishing the wife and children with financial hardship.

It seems that if clericalism is the problem (and I agree that it is), it seems that adding family members who are financially dependent upon a priest would make the situation worse.
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