Should the Catholic priesthood be restricted to single, celibate men? Do clergy restrictions based on gender, marital status or sexual orientation make sense these days?
1…..The Rev. Alberto Cutie has had a concubine for the past several years, his church (the Roman Catholic) having forbidden him to have a wife. The first Lateran Council (1123) forbad all clergy to have a concubine, and the second Lateran Council (1139) tightened down even harder against clergy sex: no married man can be ordained, according to “the law of continence and purity,” and marriage is to be avoided because of its “impurities.” (This in spite of the New Testament’s instruction that “Marriage is to be honored by all” – Hebrews 13:4.)
2…..Jesus’ Apostle Peter, whom the Roman Catholic Church considers to have been the first pope, was married. But gradually, partly in competition with priesthood in some others religions (not Judaism), sex was squeezed out of the ideals and rules of Christian ordination to the various levels of clergy, especially in the Roman Church. The resulting widespread sexual corruption among the clergy was a factor leading to the 16th century Protestant Reformation, all of whose prominent leaders married. Yet as late as 1533, a married man (Thomas Cranmer) was elevated as (the Roman Catholic) Archbishop of Canterbury. A mixed picture, indeed.