Thursday, May 17, 2007

Married Priests

Today's BBC carries a report on celibacy and the the Catholic priesthood . A Catholic priest in south-west France has been forced out of the clergy after admitting to the Church authorities that he was having a sexual relationship with one of his parishioners. For the past 22 years, the couple have been in a sexual relationship, which is forbidden to a Catholic priest who has vowed to remain celibate. The villagers back their priest and his partner and have spent three weeks "on strike" -boycotting Mass and refusing to go to Church with the new priest. Huge protest banners hang from the belfry and roof, turning Asson's 13th Century place of worship into a giant billboard- a a backlash against hierarchical traditions they feel have long been outdated.

The political and economic reasons for celibacy in the priesthood i have posted on this blog previously .

"...The legislation that effectively ended optional celibacy for priests came from the Second Lateran Council under Pope Innocent II. The true motivation for these laws was the desire to acquire land throughout Europe and strengthen the papal power base. The laws demanding mandatory celibacy for priests used the language of purity and holiness, but their true intent was to solidify control over the lower clergy and eliminate any challenge to the political objectives of the medieval hierarchy."

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