Monday, March 15, 2010

Vatican Denies Celibacy - Sex Scandal Connection

The Vatican insists that there is no link between celibacy and the various sex scandals (link to article). Their brilliant defense includes lines like "research has shown that priests guilty of abuse had long before stopped observing celibacy." You think? Those guilty of abuse are not observantly celibate? Stay tuned for arguments about how those who are intoxicated have long before stopped observing tea-totaling.

A second article is titled, "Finland's Catholic Priests to Remain Celibate" (link to article). This article points out the apparently spotless record of Finnish Roman Catholic priests. Assuming it is true, that's wonderful news. My point in identifying the article, however, was to provide an example of the quasi-doctrinal nature of celibacy.

We all know that Rome, and especially Rome's contemporary apologists in English-speaking countries, are quick to point out that priestly celibacy is a "discipline" rather than a "doctrine." However, notice that the arguments for priestly celibacy are often phrased in doctrinal or quasi-doctrinal ways. "A priest should give all his strength to the church. The congregation is the priest’s wife," is the argument that Roman Catholic bishop of Helsinki, Finland, Teemo Sippo used - and he is not alone in raising this kind of argument. However, that kind of argument does directly conflict with the guidelines for elders set forth in Scripture, in which it is taken for granted that the elders will be married men who have children. Scripture is also quite explicit that an elder must be the husband of one wife. Thus, if a congregation were also a wife, it would mean that elders who are married to a real flesh and blood woman could not serve.

That is not to say that being single may have prudential value in the ministry, particularly in missions. Nevertheless, clerical celibacy is not a Scriptural requirement but rather a tradition of men whereby the Roman Catholic church has made void Scripture.

- TurretinFan

3 comments:

David Kjos said...

If "the congregation is the priest’s wife," is it any wonder he might want to have sex with her?

Carrie said...

Rome's contemporary apologists in English-speaking countries, are quick to point out that priestly celibacy is a "discipline" rather than a "doctrine."

This got me wondering, does Rome enforce any other "disciplines"?

Turretinfan said...

Lucian,

Your denial is noted.

- TurretinFan