The latest evidence: Imposed Celibacy does not work

Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Gabino Zavala has resigned after disclosing to superiors that he was the father of two children. The Vatican announced the bishop’s resignation Jan. 4 in a one-line statement that cited church law on resignation for illness or other serious reasons.

So writes the NCR on the latest proof that enforced celibacy does not work.

Nor has it ever worked.

Anyone familiar with the literature ( Here I recommenend Elizabeth Abbot’s book and that all time classic of Henry Lea on Sacerdotal Celibacy.) has come to this conclusion.

The denial in the Vatican is both hypocritical and deeply injurious to the right of the People of God both to marry and have effective ledesrship regardless of gender.One look at Latin America and Africa’s celibacy problems would disabuse any thoughtful person about the efficvacy of this respected discipline.Optional celibacy fully embraced is a great yet rare charism.

Mike Crosby ofm has a great metaphor here.

WE are fishing in the water for new priests.One side of the boat is overfished; no one is biting.On the other side they are leaping out of the water but they happen to be married, female or both. DO NOT FISH HERE!

What does the Church do?

It lowers its standards to keep the civil service stocked.

But the People of God are onto this and are walking with their feet.Parishes are overtocked with inadequate leaders for the 21st century and the talent in the Body goes ignored and unused.

The Vatican remains a peerage of tin ears refusing the call of the Spirit.


1 Comment »

  1. “The Holy Father speaks about our commitment to celibacy. Before discussing the pro’s and the con’s of priestly celibacy and marriage, the Pope invites us to see celibacy as a charism that the individual has accepted after testing himself to see if he had been granted this gift. The Church, having placed celibacy as a condition for ordination, accepts and affirms the free decision of those who present themselves for ordination. Besides the canonical or any other consideration, we are dealing with honoring our word that was given to Jesus Christ. The Pope says: It is a matter here of keeping one’s word to Christ and the Church (11). When there is love, one does not look for reasons; where there is love, there is self-sacrifice — self-sacrifice and joy that results from serving and following Christ. When there is love, this charism, that carries with it the heavy burden of renouncing a home and the possibility of passing on the family name, enables us to participate in the Fatherhood of God and to give witness to the world that one has opted with maturity and liberty and one knows how to honor the option that was made. Celibacy is an expression of one’s personal dignity.” Archbishop Oscar Romero, Holy Thursday, Chrism Mass, April 12, 1979

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