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Celibate priesthood (letter)
I find parts of Fr Fabian Duggan's article in your August edition inappropriate, if not disturbing. His statement that "allowing a married clergy would debase the whole concept of a celibate priesthood," in fact, for me, debases the importance of the married state.
What is he saying to other Christian denominations and the Eastern Traditions, which, in fact, allow for the choice of the married state or celibacy in their ordained priesthood? Are celibate men the only persons "who have their feet on the ground and their hearts in heaven"?
As you might suspect from the above comments, I am a married man (of some fifty years). We have been blessed with nine children and twenty-four grandchildren. It is interesting to note that most of the responsibilities of the priesthood are being accepted by pastoral carers and associates in our hospitals and parishes.
I was responsible in the early 1990s for lecturing to students taking BSS Family Studies and Pastoral Studies (the theological units) at Australian Catholic University (Christ Campus). It is gratifying to see so many of these students, along with others, relating in a pastoral way to parishioners and patients.
Is Fr Duggan suggesting that because these women and men are not celibate priests - because many are intimate with their husbands or wives - they cannot be also intimate with their God ("with their feet on the ground and their hearts in heaven"). Surely, since the Incarnation, all our activities have the possibilities of being sacred.
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 15 No 9 (October 2002), p. 15
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