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May 28th, 2010
10:01 AM ET

Open letter to pope urges end to celibacy

Women have urged the pope to revisit what they describe as a man-made law.

About a dozen Italian women have posted an open letter to the pope on the internet in which they claim to have had intimate relationships with priests and urge the church to abolish celibacy for Catholic clergy.

The letter was posted on an Italian online forum in March but was not picked up in the media until Global Post, an international news website, reported on it this week.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church

soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Auth

    Posted on Hi girl,i will be in Manila for one day only 8 July . I am sad as I never knew the registrations are full for the Singapore as I wetnad to go so now I just have to train for the milo in Puerto Princesa to qualify for the Milo in Manila. All the best.

    March 4, 2012 at 1:03 am |
  2. Ellen

    Just as an FYI for other posters: The Catholic Church is comprised of 23 sui juris churches, of which the Latin/Roman rite is but one. Celibacy is disciplinary, not doctrinal, and there are many married priests within the Catholic Church.

    June 9, 2010 at 7:59 pm |
  3. Ellen

    "I would like to see celibacy be optional, that would solve our priest shortage!"

    It hasn't changed anything the the Eastern Catholic Church (where celibacy is optional) or for our separated brethren, so what makes you think it would solve anything in the Western Catholic Church?

    June 9, 2010 at 7:57 pm |
  4. mabel floyd

    what is the point of making a thoughtful cogent comment and have it ignored.
    where is my comment?

    June 6, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
  5. mabel floyd

    the church will have to feel threatened bit more severe losses of money--esteem–and power before the end of celibacy is even considered. celibacy gives the church more power and control over the priests.
    should they drop the mandate of celibacy? YES they should. by opening the priesthood to married priests and women they attract a normal population of people to the priesthood. there are many priests who lead a priestly life. they probably have a low sexual need. good for them-but many , both men and women , have a normal need to life as God intended and still serve God and the church community.
    the ban was only put in to give the pope more control over the priesthood . married priests were common before that. female priests were put in by the male hierarchy who felt that man should always be the leader in everything and the female should always be the submissive follower. time to end that misogynistic and power hungry system..

    June 6, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
  6. Hannah10

    Peter. supposedly the first pope, had a mother-in-law. 1 Timothy 4:1-3: The apostle Paul fortells a time after the death of the Apostles that some would "fall away from the faith, paying attention to misleading inspired utterances and teachings of demons, by the hypocrisy of men who speak lies, marked in their conscience as with a branding iron, FORBIDDING TO MARRY, commanding to abstain from foods which God created....etc.

    May 28, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
    • Reality

      1 Cor 7: 32-34 as per Professor JD Crossan in his book In Search of Paul, p.111: St. Paul was not interested in marriage because he assummed the second coming was imminent. Fortunately for us, he was wrong.

      Matt 19: 12 " For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven."

      Not the way to go in my opinion and not a good reference for promoting celibacy.

      May 29, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
    • JoeyAce13

      Jesus practiced celibacy. The Bible your quoting from was put together by the Catholic Church. The Church teaches interpretation if scripture, "knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." 2 PETER 1:20-21. Moreover, since you are not Catholic you should mind your own affairs. You would do well to devote your time, talents and treasures to unifying to 33,000+ Protestant scriptural doctrines and leave Catholic matters to Catholics. There are over a Billion of us and we will continue to do just fine without your redneck take on the Scripture.

      May 30, 2010 at 11:54 am |
    • JoeyAce13

      Peter not the first pope?? WRONG.

      Matt 16:18-19
      "...you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

      John 21:15-19
      When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs." A second time he said to him, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" And he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go." (This he said to show by what death he was to glorify God.) And after this he said to him, "Follow me."

      For the authority to pass the Apostolic commission down to successors:
      Acts 1:15-26
      In those days Peter stood up among the brethren (the company of persons was in all about a hundred and twenty), and said, "Brethren, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David, concerning Judas who was guide to those who arrested Jesus. . . . For it is written in the book of Psalms, `Let his habitation become desolate, and let there be no one to live in it'; and `His office let another take.' So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us - one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection." And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsab'bas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed and said, "Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show which one of these two thou hast chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside, to go to his own place." And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was enrolled with the eleven apostles.

      John 20:21 Power to Forgive SIns
      21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

      May 30, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
    • Reality

      What do most contemporary NT and historic Jesus experts conclude about the historic
      reliability of the RCC's claims to "rock" formations and infallibility.

      John 14: 26 not historic ( 62-. Spirit under Trial: (1) 1Q: Luke 12:11-12 = Matt
      10:19-20; (2) Mark 13:11 = Matt 10: 19-20 = Luke 21:14-15; (3) John 14:26.)

      Matt 16: 18-19 not historic (73- Who Is Jesus?: (1) Gos. Thom. 13; (2a) Mark
      8:27-30 = Matt 16:13-20 = Luke 9:18-21; (2b) Gos. Naz. 14; (2c) John 6:67-69.)

      1 Timothy- not written by Paul (See JD Crossan’s “In Search of Paul”, Harper, San
      Francisco, 2004, p.105)

      2 Peter 1:20
      Since the famous contemporary theologian Edward Schillebeeckx basically ruled out prophecies by concluding God does not know the future, one can rule out the infallible nature of this verse.

      Also from Raymond Brown’s, An Introduction to the New Testament, 2 Peter was
      the last canonical work written i.e. ~ 130 AD, author unknown. Tis a bit dated for use in claiming infallibility plus the verse is not from Jesus or Peter but some possible remembrance of a scribe.

      From another source:
      Also think about the logic (or lack thereof).
      “I believe the Bible is inspired.” “Why?” “Because it says so.” Would your
      anyone let that logic pass if it came from the followers of any other book
      or person? “I believe x is inspired because x says so.” Fill in the blanks:
      x=Pat Robertson
      x=the ayatolloah Sistani (sp?)
      x=David Koresh
      x=the Koran”

      more “logic”?

      “I believe there is One God Jehovah because He is revealed in the infallible
      Bible. I believe the Bible is infallible because it is the Word of the One God Jehovah.”

      May 30, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
    • CubanMom

      @ JoeyAce13: How do YOU know for sure, that Jesus was celibate? He began His ministry at 33, He was an observant, religious Jew. Chances are He may have married. YOU do not know. IF Jesus was celibate, He chose to be. As a cradle Catholic, I would like to see celibacy be optional, that would solve our priest shortage! There are plenty of men and women who feel called to the priesthood who are denied!

      June 7, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
  7. John Agnostic

    If the letter's signatories "have had intimate relationships with priests," the problem is not that priests ARE celibate, but that they are not.

    May 28, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  8. elidude

    Don't hold your breath.

    May 28, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
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