Mandatory celibacy hurting Catholicism

My heart goes out to those who have suffered under the clergy abuse scandal, and for those dealing with the spiritual upheaval it has caused.

I felt this personally when I saw one of the disgraced priests had served in a church during the time I attended as a child. The open letter to Catholics by the Lay Stewardship Foundation brought up one issue that needs to be looked into further.

The letter mentions the root of the problem is “priests (who) don’t want to live the life (of chastity)” and won’t leave, and bishops who won’t remove them.

This is indeed a problem, but it is not the root of the problem.

The root of the problem is the whole system of mandatory celibacy. Though celibacy is an option for those who are gifted for it, no Christian religious organization has the right to enforce an outright ban of marriage.

We should not be surprised when natural sexuality is systematically denied and suppressed, that unnatural sexual scandal is the result.

All men are sinful and have the potential for evil, but systems which believe they can override scriptural principles by church edicts are setting themselves up for moral travesty and eternal ruin.

Jeffrey Dollar