The childless by choice are aiming to maximize some of this world's goods -- education, professional advancement, travel, wealth and, to be blunt, consequence-free sex. Canonically, priests cannot marry for a number of reasons. The apostolic tradition has roots even farther back, in the priests of the Jewish covenant, who refrained from conjugal life when engaged in their sacred duties. And they used as an excuse the fact that in the Old Testament—as we can read—priests and ministers were permitted to beget children." News German nuns accused of enabling child sex abuse by priests. That is understood, incidentally, even by those who are not Catholic, which is why priestly wickedness occasions so much attention and legitimate opprobrium. According to Vincent Doyle, the son of a priest and the founder of Coping International, the issue of clerical offspring is “the next scandal” to confront the church. For this they are willing to sacrifice their most enduring stake in this world: The only enduring thing we leave in this world is our children. I, as you would correctly intuit, have no children. Though the apostles were certainly drawn from married men, the biblical witness indicates that they left married life behind, or never married, in response to their vocation. 10 years ago. Within the lands of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the largest Eastern Catholic Church, priests' children often became priests and married within … In all, the investigation into Pennsylvania’s churches revealed 301 priests who abused more than 1,000 children since the 1940s. “There are kids everywhere,” he told the New York Times. They say it may be a factor in sexual abuse, and that it deters people from signing up for the priesthood, with many countries now having an acute shortage of priests. I say "may be" new because while the technology has changed over the millennia, the human heart has not. No doubt in every age there were a few who thought children not worth the bother. In a culture where opening the door for a woman can be seen as an act of misogyny, it’s no surprise that male-only ordination strikes some as sexist on the Church’s behalf. Ordained married men weren’t problematic but were forced to wave goodbye to their wives beforehand to uphold continence above … Thus, a current Catholic priest who wants to get married must choose between marriage and the priesthood (even though celibacy isn't an essential feature of being a priest), while a married Lutheran priest can apply to become a Catholic priest and keep his wife—he doesn't have to choose. I do not mean while they are priests. As Christ himself makes clear, none of us will be married in heaven (Mt 22:23–30). In fact, the first written mandate requiring priests to be chaste did not arrive, it appears, until the early 4 th century, when the Council of Elvira insisted that “bishops, presbyters… deacons and all other clerics” should “abstain completely from their wives and not… have children”. The celibate priest points to the future beyond the future even children promise-- eternity. Only if they are good things, very good things, does it make sense to sacrifice them for something greater. The childless advocates reject the future in favour of the present. George Clements, of Holy Angels Catholic Church in Chicago the permission to adopt a child, and he later adopted three more. The priest's motivation could hardly be more different. The number of children born to priests is unknown although one support group, Coping International, has 50,000 users in 175 countries. de Souza. The book excerpted in these pages this week makes the argument that life would be more convenient, and therefore happier, without children. Some people have argued the Roman Catholic church should drop its requirement for priests to take a lifelong vow of celibacy. At least eight priests accused of sexually abusing children live within walking distance of elementary and middle schools. The priest then is meant to be an icon of Christ. Priests can’t absolve their own sins. Father Raymond J. de Souza is chaplain to Newman House, the Roman Catholic mission at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario. But there are exceptions to the rule of celibacy. The eastern Catholic churches have a long tradition of married priests, and exceptions to the celibacy rule have been made on a case-by-case basis for former Anglican priests who convert to Catholicism. A Cardus senior fellow, in addition to writing for the National Post, ( Canada August! 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