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A Time for Change in the Catholic Church

Updated on January 14, 2015
St. Peter's Cathedral
St. Peter's Cathedral | Source

For centuries the Catholic Church, was regarded as an undivided and authoritarian symbol, a symbol of supremacy. During its history, the church’s failure to admit many of its wrongdoings and its Christian actions in the infamous Crusades, the Inquisition, and World War II has only served to condemn her even more.

Today, once again, the church faces damaging issues that shatter the very foundation of her existence. In light of all the recent publicity, issues that have either been ignored or kept hidden have resurfaced, and can no longer be denied. However, as in the past, the church’s obstinacy to admit failures and take proper action has created another major problem, a shortage of priests. In their continual refusal to allow priests to marry and the ordination of women, the situation has worsened their present situation. By permitting priests to marry and allowing the ordination of women, the Catholic Church can alleviate the shortage of priests.

The main issue for not allowing priests to marry is due to the Catholic Church’s long tradition of the chastity vow. They uphold their celibacy policy by adhering to specific biblical texts, but overlook many of the writings of the scriptures pointing to the acceptance of marriage, specifically that Jesus explicitly chose married men to be his apostles, including the well-known apostle Peter. The church also neglects to look at the epistles containing many references to married bishops and priests. For the first 12 centuries of church practice, many priests and bishops were married, among them 39 popes. Anastasius I, Saint Hormidas, and Sergius III, all popes, had sons of their own, and two of whom went on to be declared saints, Saint Innocent I and Saint Silverius (Horan, par. 3-4).

Anastasius I
Anastasius I | Source

So how did celibacy become a prerequisite for priesthood? In the 11th century, Pope Gregory VII mandated that a pledge of celibacy must be made to anyone seeking ordination and stated that “the church cannot escape from the clutches of the laity unless priests first escape the clutches of their wives.” And in 1139, the Second Lateran Council and Pope Innocent II effectively put a halt to the married priesthood (Horan, par. 3-4).

But the celibate life deters many potential ministers, and those that are ordained are compelled to resign. A celibate life is what many refer to as an “unhealthy” way of life. Celibacy has become the main reason for an already dwindling Catholic priesthood. It is a growing concern among many because of the growing number of Catholics and a declining number of priests could affect the services provided to the laity.

Opponents claim that celibacy is not the cause of a shortage of priests. To distract and weaken the argument of celibacy and the shortage of priests, studies were made claiming that demands by the laity for the services of the church has not increased, but declined since the 1960’s. They do agree that the number of priests has declined dramatically, but argue that the impact of this decline has been greatly ameliorated by the influx of deacons and lay ministers. Furthermore, they claim that deacons and lay staff provide more services today than in the 1960’s and show a compelling number of active deacons in the church performing a significant and increasing amount of pastoral work of the church (Sullins, par. 3-6).

Saint Hormidas
Saint Hormidas | Source

In addition, opposition argues that celibacy is the better choice because it frees the person from concerns of marriage and children, enabling a person to be more devoted to God and to have a more mature spiritual life (Swenson, par. 1).

Research strongly disproves this by showing that a decline in the ordination of priests is due to the celibacy rule. According to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, the number of priests in the US has dropped 15% in the last thirty years (Jabusch, par 10). And a major study, led by Dean Hoge of Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. estimated that during the 1990’s, 10-15% of new priests resigned within five years, up from an estimated 8-12% in the1980’s. In a survey of 72 priests who left, nearly half said the loneliness of priestly life and celibacy were “great problems.” Ninety-four percent said the church should make celibacy an optional (Christian Century, par. 3).

With U.S. membership growing to more than 60 million, while ordinations have declined from 771 in 1975 to 442 in 2000, Hodge said the number of priests ordained in recent years represents only 35% of the number needed to replace priests who die, retire or resign (Christian Century, par. 5).

Sergius III
Sergius III | Source

Interviews with clergy and laity show that an increase of ordained priests will raise if marriage is allowed. The solitary celibate life became a man-made law, a prerequisite for those who chose to be ordained. It is a great sacrifice to be made by those who have a call to serve God, and a way of life many will not chose because of the celibacy vow. One argument for celibacy is that it is a “sign value,” a sign of the heavenly kingdom and the priest is witness to spiritual values that contradict the materialism of the world (Jabusch, par. 5), but at what cost? Will the church survive with the dwindling number of priests being ordained or resigning?

The ordination of women will also alleviate the shortage of priests. But the refusal of Rome to allow women into priesthood has shed serious doubts regarding the nature of the authority of Pope John Paul II’s teaching in an apostolic letter declaring flatly that “the Catholic Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women, and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faith.” The case was declared closed, sparking disagreement among theologians and within the larger community of the church (Woodward, par. 1).

These theologians conceded that various passages in the New Testament specifically proscribe the ordination of women, but it was followed not out of obedience to “the will of Jesus” but because of a common cultural conviction that “women are inferior to men and more easily led astray.” Boiling down to a twisted perception of power, of superiority and inferiority, domination and subordination, rather than equality, and neither side acknowledging that a priest serves the church and humbly serve God (Woodward, par 1-8). Then again, in the New Testament, women are mentioned time and time again, serving as witnesses to the many teachings of Jesus, just as the apostles. One prominent witness to His teachings was Mary Magdalene who was also considered to be an apostle in the Western church. Another witness to Jesus’ teaching was the Samaritan woman at the well. She became a testimony to her people in Samaria that the Messiah was amongst them and because of her testimony, they believed in Him.

St. Innocent I
St. Innocent I | Source

To say that celibacy is the better choice because it frees the person is an argument that has never been tested empirically. A data base consisting of 1294, mostly married evangelical ministers, and 80 Roman Catholic priests in Canada was utilized to test this argument, and it was theorized and verified that being celibate did not make a significant difference to one’s spiritual life (Swenson, par 1). The conclusion of this study was substantially consistent with the hypothesis that there are no significant differences in dimensions of religiosity and parochial commitments between celibate priests and married priests (Swenson, par 34).

It has been found that clergy are unable to relate to parishioners because of the lack of experience in marriage and family life. Many parishioners find it impossible to confess to a priest who was not married, who had never had teenage children and ask themselves, how could they relate to their spiritual condition? (Garvey, par. 7).

Many in the profession zealously refute the celibacy policy, and with due cause. The Vatican sees celibacy and Catholic priests as this— being a Catholic means that priesthood and marriage can never be simultaneously practiced vocations. Becoming a Catholic priest requires forever forsaking marriage commitment and the original promises to be celibate while being a Catholic priest cannot be negotiated without ending their active Catholic status (Horan, par 10).

Saint Silverius
Saint Silverius | Source

However, the rules are bent when they deem it necessary. In June 1980, Pope John Paul II made special pastoral provisions for married Protestant ministers who converted to Catholicism to be ordained to the Catholic priesthood, bringing along their wives and children. Since then 70 married Episcopalians, Lutheran, Methodist and Presbyterian clerics have converted and were ordained Catholic priests, with the practice still continuing worldwide. The way the Vatican sees it is as this; the former ordained ministry of married Catholic priests allows for both marriage and ministry to be simultaneously practiced vocations (Horan, par. 5-6).

Nevertheless, shouldn’t the same vows of celibacy be applied equally? Furthermore, the church claims that becoming a Catholic priest should not require these clergy to forsake their marriage commitment prior to becoming a Catholic. Meanwhile 23,000 had left active ministry totaling 100,000 worldwide (Horan, par. 7-9). Again, the rules change for those priests who left their active status to be married, they are not welcomed back. The church simply says it is not fair claiming that they had a prior celibacy vow and that it wouldn’t be fair to others who have forsaken all for the promise of celibacy (Horan, par. 13-14). Simply put, the problem here is not marriage, but being catholic to begin with (Horan, par 11).

Furthermore, petitions, meetings and letters to the pope written by ex-clergy requesting a change in the church’s celibacy policy have been to no avail. Not long ago, more than 160 Milwaukee, Wisconsin- area Catholic priests have signed a letter calling for married men to be allowed to enter the priesthood. Copies of the letter were mailed to 442 active and retired priests. The returned signed copies hoped to spark dialogue on the issue of optional celibacy (Christian Century, par 1-3).

Many bishops, ministers, and theologians claim that celibacy should be an option, and feel that marriage “would not be a twenty-first-century innovation but the restoration of an apostolic practice” and revert to its “ancient heritage of married and celibate clergy and bishops” (Van Allen, par. 4 and 9).

Pope Gregory VI
Pope Gregory VI | Source

Other factors may also play a part in the Vatican’s decision to maintain the celibacy vow. To allow priests to marry could bring an increase in costs to the church. The priests’ salaries would have to be doubled or tripled. Often wives and children are not happy with what is expected of the pastor’s family, as shown in the Protestant past experiences. Furthermore, congregations may have problems with the ministers’ wives, such as the experience of a Methodist minister who was removed from the church not because of his performance, but because the congregation detested his wife (Jabusch, par. 4).

In the New Testament, Jesus teaches us that celibacy is an option and does not condemn marriage (Matthew, 19:11-12); to the contrary, the scripture makes reference to marriage throughout its writings. In the Old Testament, the book of Genesis 2:18 says, “The Lord God said, -- It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him…Then the Lord God made woman…” (Genesis, 2:18).

Another claim for celibacy is that by renouncing all earthly ties and pleasures, including sexual inclinations, allows one a new life. This coincides with the primary motive for celibacy, which seems to be “singleness of heart,” meaning if one is to be devoted completely to God, one needs to renounce all worldly pleasure including the joy of sex. Affirming that celibate priests have an “undivided heart,” able to give themselves more and do all to a “greater extent” (Swenson, par. 10-13). That’s were many are under the misconception that not having sex turns someone into a pedophile.

Studies show that celibacy does not make normal men lust after children. Pedophiles in general are sociopaths with histories of crime and violence. Pedophiliac clergy are not. They tend instead to be sexually conflicted. According to Ronald Langevin, a psychologist at the University of Toronto, there’s no evidence that sexual abstinence leads to sexual perversion, but instead the celibate life might appeal to those who are already uncomfortable with their own sexuality. Imagining that the priesthood will help them cope with their disorder and repress their sexual yearnings “But they end up acting out” (Szegedy-Maszak, par. 5).

Pope Innocent II
Pope Innocent II | Source

An extensive study of Catholic clergy and sexual abuse was conducted in the early 1990’s. Of 2200 priests, 40 priests were guilty of some sexual misconduct with minors, but only one of those was actually a pedophile. Most of the priest abusers are technically ephebophiles, that is, they abuse adolescents rather than children. Men who are ephebohiles are more likely to become more fully functional, since their attraction is often predicated on an adult, heterosexual maladjustment, rather than a deep attraction to children (Szegedy-Maszak, par. 7).

Why does this happen with Catholics and not other religions? This happens because with Catholics there is more militaristic hierarchy. In other religions, you have boards of directors and problems get caught in time mainly because they have 30 pairs of eyes watching and evaluating (McCourt, par. 10)

Much of the problems the church faces today is due to their perception and applied solutions to the problems they are facing. What is essential, according to psychologists, is that aberrant behavior be seen and treated as mental illness, instead of viewing it as sins to be confessed as it was initially viewed (Szegedy-Maszak, par. 9).

John Paul II
John Paul II | Source

Another example of the church’s adherence to the celibacy policy may be due to the alternate sexual preferences among its priests. They are seeing a growing number of homosexual clergy in the past decades. To say that such people cannot be validly ordained is wrong. Many are faithful to their vows of celibacy and abstain from their previous ways of life, but others are not. It “presents a pastoral problem” in the church because “it discourages heterosexuals from choosing to enter the priesthood, it is wrong to say that the problem here is homosexuality. The problem is the violation of vows.” (Garvey, par. 8). Here again, it is proven that the celibacy vow has failed.

According to psychiatrist Volney Gay of Vanderbilt University, the church “is a “total institution” and some who enter it seek to be relieved of the burden of individual choice; you own nothing, you are given a new name, you renounce sexuality. It is a complete supplanting of the self, and as such it will always attract the truly holy—and the truly troubled’ (Szegedy-Maszak, par. 10).

Pope John XXIII
Pope John XXIII | Source


With all of the problems the church has faced throughout history, one would think that this small but significant medieval vow of chastity, which is a man made policy, would bring the Vatican, the church, and its entire clergy to a meeting of the minds and bring about much needed reform. But the powers that be do not concern themselves with these issues. It’s no wonder that “many feel that there will be no change and that the present pope has no interest in this subject. And the curial officials seem to see the priest and seminarian shortage as a passing problem caused by Western decadence and selfishness. But Constitution 50 of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215), an appropriate emendation spoken by Pope John XXIII on October 11, 1962, states that a change in discipline (statute humana) may be called for by a change in “the times.” Such an adjustment is indicated when there is urgent necessity or obvious usefulness.” (Jabusch, par 13-14).

Change is inevitable. Numbers speak for themselves, and the clergy are unhappy with the vow of chastity, for the solitude of such a demanding and stressing vocation requires more than policies and rules, it requires basic human consideration and understanding. Therefore, “allowing priests to marry, and ordaining women, would do an important thing: begin to change the culture of the priesthood— a culture that needs very considerable changing. It would help cleanse the sometimes fetid atmosphere of the rectory” (Morrow, par. 2).

Works Cited

“Allow Married Priests, Say Milwaukee Clerics.” Christian Century 6 Sept 2003: 14. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Edison Community College Library, Ft Myers, FL 31 October, 2003

Garvey, John. “Married Priests?” Commonweal 3 May 2002: 7-8. First Search. Wilson Select Plus. OCLC. Edison Community College Library, Ft. Myers, FL 31 October, 2003

Horan, John. “Lets’ Welcome Back Married Priests.” U.S. Catholic February 1999: 25-30. First Search. Wilson Select Plus. OCLC. Edison Community College Library, Ft. Myers, FL 31 October, 2003

Isolated Life Takes Toll On New Priests Christian Century 14 Nov 2001: 12. EBSCO. Edison Community College Library, Ft Myers, FL 4 November, 2003

Jabusch, Willard F. “Celibacy At All Costs?” Commonweal 22 May 22 1998: 11-12. First Search. Wilson Select Plus. OCLC. Edison Community College Library, Ft. Myers, FL 31 October, 2003

McCourt, Frank. “How To Fix It.” Time 1 April 2002: 36. First Search. Wilson Select Plus. OCLC. Edison Community College Library, Ft. Myers, FL 31 October, 2003

Morrow, Lance. “Let Priests Marry.” Time 25 March 2002: 54. First Search. Wilson Select Plus. OCLC. Edison Community College Library, Ft. Myers, FL 31 October, 2003

“Optional Celibacy Is No Option, Bishop Says.” Christian Century 20 Sept 2003: 14. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Edison Community College Library, Ft Myers, FL 31 October, 2003

Sullins, D. Paul. “Empty Pews And Empty Altars.” America 13 May 2002: 12. EBSCO. Edison Community College Library, Ft Myers, FL 4 November, 2003

Swenson, Don. “Religious Differences Between Married And Celibate Clergy: Does Celibacy Make A Difference?” Sociology of Religion 1998: 37-43. First Search. Wilson Select Plus. OCLC. Edison Community College Library, Ft. Myers, FL 31 October, 2003

Szegedy-Maszak, Marianne. “Chastity And Lust.” U.S. News & World Report 1 April 2002: 54-55. First Search. Wilson Select Plus. OCLC. Edison Community College Library, Ft. Myers, FL 31 October, 2003

Van Allen, Rodger. “Bishops Should Marry.” Commonweal 12 July 2002: 31. First Search. Wilson Select Plus. OCLC. Edison Community College Library, Ft. Myers, FL 31 October, 2003

Woodward, Kenneth. “Was The Pope Wrong?” Newsweek 16 June, 1997: 48. EBSCO. Edison Community College Library, Ft Myers, FL 4 November, 2003

© Faithful Daughter

All rights reserved. Any redistribution, reproduction, republishing, rebroadcasting or rewriting of part or all of the contents in any form or manner is prohibited without the express written consent of the author and owner, Faithful Daughter.
All rights reserved. Any redistribution, reproduction, republishing, rebroadcasting or rewriting of part or all of the contents in any form or manner is prohibited without the express written consent of the author and owner, Faithful Daughter.


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    • Faithful Daughter profile imageAUTHOR

      Evie Lopez 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida


      I never said that “celibacy is completely mandated for priesthood in the Catholic Church,” please re-read this paper as I do point out it is a “tradition” that has been and still is a practiced tradition.

      You say, “Celibacy is not technically a requirement of the priesthood” and that is what opponents claim; however, this is where I will disagree with you. The Catholic Church will select for priesthood only those who do take the celibacy vow; therefore, it is a prerequisite of the (Western Rite) Catholic Church for those wishing to be ordained as priests. Someone wishing to become a candidate for ordination in the Western Rite Catholic Church will have to take the chastity vow if they desire to be ordained.

      I am aware that there are distinct disciplines in the Western and Eastern Rite Catholic traditions, as you mention and I do present the exceptions in this hub. This hub is directed at the discipline that requires the chastity vow and marriage traditions that place restrictions on the clergy in both the Western and Eastern Rite Catholic Church, including the Eastern Orthodox priests.

      Regardless of the differences in the Eastern and Western Rite Catholic Church, the point is, these are all man-made traditions and not Biblical requirements.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      You're correct in commenting Faithful Daughter that celibacy is not God-mandated. You are wrong however in saying that celibacy is completely mandated for priesthood in the Catholic Church. Celibacy is not technically a requirement of the priesthood (though of course a man who takes a vow of celibacy is bound to that vow), but it is the ordinary and preferred practice for western (Roman Rite) Catholics. In the eastern rite Catholic churches, priests are frequently married and Anglican priests who convert to Catholicism are also allowed to remain/become Catholic priests.

    • Faithful Daughter profile imageAUTHOR

      Evie Lopez 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I pray the best for you as well bell du jour.

    • bell du jour profile image

      bell du jour 

      9 years ago from Ireland

      Hi Faithful Daughter, of course I respect your beliefs and everyone else’s. I have a very strong faith in God also; however I feel his word and messages to us have been tampered with throughout the centuries. I also have a strong belief in angels who I believe are here to help us to connect with God, and to guide us on our journey through life. I wish you all the very best.


    • Faithful Daughter profile imageAUTHOR

      Evie Lopez 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      bell du jour,

      I am sure the Vatican has many, many secrets. However, that does not affect my faith in Christ at all, Whom is the only one I follow.

      Again, I respect your beliefs, and will ask that you will also respect my beliefs in me sticking to the Bible. I have been studying the Bible for years, not in its many modern translations, which have been known to contain translational errors, but in its Hebrew and Greek form.

    • bell du jour profile image

      bell du jour 

      9 years ago from Ireland

      Hi Faithfull Daughter, you haven't heard of any gospels written by Mary Magdalene because they have been hidden, that is my point! I agree women would never get the respect they deserve in the Catholic Church and to be honest as an ex Catholic I think they are better off out of it.

      By the way you shouldn't believe everything written in the bible, a lot of it was written by those who hid Mary Magdalene’s gospels.


    • Faithful Daughter profile imageAUTHOR

      Evie Lopez 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      bell du jour,

      Thank you for stopping by to read. I appreciate the comment and respect your opinion and beliefs.

      I agree that the Catholic church throughout history has built a negative reputation around itself, and although I am no longer Catholic, I have worked with many priests and can say that not all priests are made out to be how the public portraits them. I have met a few that are God-fearing men wanting only to serve our Lord. I also believe that women should be allowed to serve in the Catholic Church as leaders as the Bible does mention women who have served our Lord back in the Bible days. However, in a man-made world I do not think they will get the respect and following they would deserve.

      As to the Mary Magdalene story, I haven't heard of any gospels she wrote. The Bible does not say anything about this nor does it say Mary Magdalene was a prostitute. Neither does it say anything about her being married to Jesus either. I do not believe in the rumors, writings, and movies going around about this. I stay away from it and stick to what the Bible says.

    • bell du jour profile image

      bell du jour 

      9 years ago from Ireland

      Hi Faithful Daughter, I enjoyed reading your very well written article. I agree change is necessary in order for the Catholic Church to continue, however the Catholic Church is built on lies and deceit and the whole foundation of the Church would crumble if they allowed women priests or even if they allowed priests to marry. It has been known for years that the Catholic Church harbours a secret; I believe it has something to do with Mary Magdalene and Jesus. Some believe they were married and that Jesus wanted her to start a new church. Mary Magdalene wrote gospels which were hidden away, and she was basically written out of history (and called a prostitute) in order to discredit her. I believe the Catholic Church are determined to keep this hidden, and determined to keep women out of the Church at all costs.

    • Faithful Daughter profile imageAUTHOR

      Evie Lopez 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida


      Thanks for your comment. I agree that the vow of celibacy does not work... for everyone that is. I used to work for a Catholic church and witnessed myself how one of the priest's would meet every evening with a woman who was rumored to be his long time girl friend. He was a good Godly man, but his vow of celibacy, he did not keep. Changes are long overdue.

    • slywas007 profile image

      Idalberto Torres 

      9 years ago from Miami Florida

      Wow this hub was well written, and I enjoyed reading it. I am a Catholic, and I do believe that Catholic Priests should be allow to marry if they so desire. Celibacy in my opinion does not work, and we all have seen why with all the sex scandals involving some priests. It is definitely time to change some practices in the Catholic Church, and I am all for them. Thanks again for the Hub!

    • Faithful Daughter profile imageAUTHOR

      Evie Lopez 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Thanks for stopping by Vapid!

    • Vapid Maven profile image

      Vapid Maven 

      9 years ago from California

      Wow! Very interesting post..

    • Faithful Daughter profile imageAUTHOR

      Evie Lopez 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida


      Thank you for your comment. God bless!

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Your article is terrific! I enjoyed reading it very much. I understand the celibacy argument, that a priest without a wife and children can devote all his energies to his flock. But I agree with you that priests should be allowed to marry if they want to. As far as women priests go, I applaud the Church for not caving into that one. From what I gather in the Bible, the priesthood is for men. Even in the Old Testament, the priests of the temple were all men. There is surely an important role for women in the life of the Church, but contrary to postmodern feminist influences it does not always have to be the man's role.

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Yes we do Faithful, we most certainly do. Thank you.

    • Faithful Daughter profile imageAUTHOR

      Evie Lopez 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida


      Corruption exists even in the Vatican. Think about this for a moment... the Catholic Church has survived for centuries, and it is notorious for their supremacy and authority. The Catholic Church knows how to play the game of power.

      In answer to your question... yes, I think that there was foul play involving the death of John Paul I. I do not believe he died of a heart attack. There was a lot of rivalry among the cardinals during his election and he became a controversial figure by going against the church's norms. He represented the opposition, and we know how opponents of the Catholic Church have been dealt with in the past, don’t' we?

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks for your fine response Faithful. I'd like your thoughts on the death of the pope before John Paul the 2nd. Do you believe he was poisoned by the corrupt Cardinals because the next day he was going to expose their financial shenanigans?

    • Faithful Daughter profile imageAUTHOR

      Evie Lopez 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Hi Alastar,

      Personally I believe that these celibacy vows are bad, however, hiding sexual crimes that have occurred in the church are even worse.

      I worked in the office of a Catholic church many years ago, and I came to know a few good Godly priests who took their vows and dedication to Christ very seriously, but I also saw a few things that made me wonder what was going on behind some closed doors of the rectory... starting with the head of the church. There is evil everywhere, even in the house of God.

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Well researched and presented Faithful. The celibacy issue is just one of many probs the Catholic church is facing. Really too many to go into here. But covering for pedophile priests certainly hasn't helped any. Nor does going against the natural laws of nature with the celibacy issue like you've written on so well here. For what its worth: knew someone who walked through St.Peter's square at night-time and they said the evil in the air was so thick you could cut it with a knife. Good article Faithful.

    • Faithful Daughter profile imageAUTHOR

      Evie Lopez 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Hi Magodis,

      Thank you for your visit and commenting.

    • Faithful Daughter profile imageAUTHOR

      Evie Lopez 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Hello Dexter,

      It would be a major change in the Catholic church if they allowed the clergy to marry, a very positive and healthy change. Allowing women in the clergy would also be a BIG change as well. However, I don't see that happening very soon.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • magodis profile image


      9 years ago from Colombo, Sri Lanka

      HI FD, This is a great research paper.

    • Faithful Daughter profile imageAUTHOR

      Evie Lopez 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Hi Alexander,

      A life of celibacy is not for everyone. I was a former Catholic and often wondered why these vows were in place, until much later when I read the Bible. I can understand the reasons behind it but it is not something that is God-mandated.

      Thanks for the visit and commenting.

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 

      9 years ago from United States

      Hi FD! You put a lot of work and thought into this. Congratulations. I would like to see members of the catholic clergy have the option to marry. I think many would live much fuller lives.

      I hope thousands of people read this exceptional hub! It is full of great information and wisdom.

    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 

      9 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Although Paul advised that we are better off single so that we can devote ourselves fully to the ministry, it certainly isn't a rule that must be followed by everyone. Just as many non-Catholic churches say that you MUST be married to be a pastor, is also wrong. It doesn't make sense that man must make more rules than the Bible itself and I think this is certainly one case.

      I used to be attracted to the priesthood, my grandmother took me to a Catholic church and I loved the holiness of it. For a long time I also admired the demands made of priests, including celibacy, but it's clear that man-made rules, even to control sin, lead to bigger problems. Just look at the Amish community - people are slowly leaving the Amish communities because their doctrines are not in line with the Bible. Unfortunately this leads them to a worldly life, not something we see in the examples cited above where former priests are still trying to serve in the Catholic church.

      This is a very thoughtful and well written piece, and although I have no desire to be Catholic, find that the lessons that can be learned from this issue are applicable to other Christian religions and even life in general. My mentor said, "all things in moderation, including moderation." Meaning that although we should control ourselves, we should also be careful not to stifle ourselves in the process.

      What I found most interesting was how the cases of pedophilia were divided and how you led that into why people become priests in the first place, some to escape sin, and others are attracted because of sin. And what also makes sense is that celibacy being made mandatory for a holy lifestyle can lead to sexual maladjustment.

      This is a needed report to explain why and how these cases of pedophilia exist. I always had a feeling that when suddenly a swarm of people started reporting sexual abuse, that it was not completely true that so many cases existed, rather it was people jumping on the bandwagon.

      Awesome article, deserves to be seen in print.

    • Faithful Daughter profile imageAUTHOR

      Evie Lopez 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Hi Lifegate,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I also like that verse in I Timothy. God bless!

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      9 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA


      Interesting stuff! I like the verse in I Timothy 3:1--"A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife...." Thanks for posting.


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