Priestly celibacy (letter)

Priestly celibacy (letter)

Barbara Chigwidden

After listening to an interview on Radio National in which Fr Peter Fitzgerald and Paul Collins openly criticised the Catholic Church's stance on priestly celibacy, I thought it worthwhile to point out a few things they may not have considered.

It is very difficult today, with the high cost of living, to maintain our current priests. Yet with shrinking numbers of parishioners, it is proposed we support not only our priests, but their families as well!

Priesthood is a full-time and challenging vocation, just as marriage is also a demanding vocation, especially in the stress and strain of modern life. To think that large numbers of men can fulfil both vocations successfully in modern-day Australia is absurd. We would see not just married priests but divorced priests!

I realise there are exceptions for married convert ministers - but these are exceptions. And even for them, the Holy See has directed that married priests not be parish priests, but assistants or chaplains only - so that they do not neglect their families.

The Anglican Church has had married clergy for centuries, and is a living proof that married clergy is no solution to the priest shortage.

Don't Fr Fitzgerald and Mr Collins realise that the Apostolic See has spoken definitively on this issue, and that further discussion is futile?

BARBARA CHIGWIDDEN (MRS)
Ganmain, NSW

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