Priestly celibacy in the Roman Catholic Church has broken down and may have to be abandoned, an Oxford monk, and former Master General of the Dominican Order, has said.Father Timothy Radcliffe told Radio Four programme ‘Analysis’ that the Church could not ignore the fact that celibacy was being bypassed in many parts of the world. Speaking to Cherwell he called for a “real discussion” of the issue. Despite describing celibacy as “a thing of great beauty”, he believes the Church must take account of modern realities.The Pope has rejected calls to alter the 1,200 year-old rule outlawing marriage, but there are fears that celibacy is discouraging many from priesthood and that a high proportion of those in training are gay.A 1961 Vatican document bars homosexuals from religious vows, but studies have estimated that up to half of seminary students are so orientated. Radcliffe said that loneliness was difficult for some priests and claimed that there would be a problem if many more in the church became predominantly homosexual. The Pope has blamed the decline in new priests on the moral decadence and indiscipline of the western world. The church in England has already relaxed its celibacy rules by allowing married Anglican priests to convert and remain in holy orders.
Archive: 0th week  HT 2004