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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Catholic crackup continues apace.

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What's the matter, Father? Has that Roman collar gotten too tight for you?

Lexington Herald-Leader: Catholic priest urges end to mandatory celibacy
ADVOCATES IT AS AN OPTION AS NUMBER ENTERING PRIESTHOOD CONTINUES TO FALL

University Heights, Ohio - The former seminary president who sparked a national debate on the effect of gays entering the Roman Catholic priesthood is now tackling another sensitive issue, adding his voice to those advocating an end to mandatory celibacy.

"Celibacy used to go with priesthood as fish went with Fridays," said the Rev. Donald Cozzens. "Over the past 40 to 50 years, I would argue that more and more Catholics are questioning the need to link celibacy with priesthood."

In Freeing Celibacy, Cozzens suggests there might be a way through the problem by allowing celibacy as an option but dropping it as a requirement.

Although he is taking on an institution that measures change over centuries, Cozzens -- a celibate priest himself -- thinks the time is right for a rethinking of celibacy.

He points to the brief stir Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes created last year by saying the Vatican should reconsider its ban on allowing priests to marry, and the crusade to change the policy by excommunicated -- and married -- former Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo of Zambia.

Hey, Hummes, Cozzens, and Milingo! Go start your own church and stop vexing the Faithful!

"There are a number of factors that are coming together that really beg for this question to be discussed or urge us to review mandatory celibacy," said Cozzens, interviewed in his office at John Carroll University in this Cleveland suburb.

There were 42,000 active priests nationwide in 2005, a 29 percent decline from 1965, according to Georgetown University's Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate.

The church discounts celibacy's responsibility for the shortage, saying the increasingly materialistic culture plays a far bigger role.

Pope John Paul II was adamant that the church would not change its celibacy requirement. As recently as November, a Vatican summit led by Pope Benedict XVI reaffirmed mandatory celibacy for priests as a non-negotiable job requirement for showing devotion to God and the people they serve.

Cozzens has been down this road before, having written four other books on issues and problems of the priesthood. In his 2000 book, The Changing Face of the Priesthood, later translated into six languages, he used interviews and studies to contend that the Roman Catholic Church had a disproportionately high percentage of gay priests, nearly half of all seminarians and priests.

His previous writings made a valuable contribution to the debate over homosexuality by raising the issue at a time when many priests and bishops were pretending it didn't exist, said the Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, editor of the conservative journal First Things, who upholds the Catholic teaching that same-sex attraction is disordered.

"It was that climate of, 'Let's pretend that we don't know about it,' that Cozzens blew the whistle on in a constructive way," Neuhaus said.

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First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.

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