The Pope has surprised everybody by announcing new measures to combat sexual child abuse. We are very happy because finally the church has started to project itself differently. The pope has proved that he does listen to his critics. He did something tangible to create a new image of the church which is fundamental after the tragedy of sexual child abuse. The effects will surely put the church in a good light in the long run.

Is it enough? Well, some people are still not 100% happy because any law which does not state what kind of punishment could be given, is still not a good law. We don’t know who is going to supervise all the dioceses of the church to see if it’s being put into practice or not. It is quite demanding to have an eagle eye on such a gigantic organisation!

Our point is still: why force celibacy unto priests? It is not enough to cure people after an accident. How about avoiding it in the first place? We are not against celibacy. We are only stating the obvious: make it optional. The enormous number of priests would immediately suggest that not all of them will observe celibacy whether it’s with a young child, woman, man or whatever!

The priests are practically NOT trained to live a celibate life. They are not trained how to accept and direct their emotions. They live with other boys or men especially in the initial years. They don’t have a family to take care of; they don’t have to face violent, critical or drugged teens in their house. They just go out and preach! All this will have an effect on their work in a parish.

In many seminaries (training grounds for priests), priests are simply used to the liturgy and how to observe in a meticulous manner, the laws which command public worship. Yet outside the mass hours, are they trained to do a truly pastoral work? Do they know how to plan work in a parish? Do they know how to deal with adults? Are they trained for Adults’ Catechesis? Are they ready to leave the ‘home’ advantage of working in the temple/church and visit people in other environments? What about working alongside the so called ‘laity’?

Although there are many answers to the questions we have just raised, yet the married priesthood could be another asset for the church today. Although there are many baptised people who a see a value [rightly so] in celibacy, there is a large number of people who are actually put away with this undemocratic enforcement of celibacy. Are we going to send the latter away? Are we going to insist that we are right and they are wrong? Where is the spirit of the Church in the modern world where it listens and looks for the hidden writing of the Holy Spirit?

We firmly believe that if we want our priests to be involved in our daily lives, then a married priest would already be with both feet ‘in’. It could be a catapult to help him work better and offer a better service to the parish!