February 27th, 2013
11:44 AM ET

Should celibacy end for priests?

(CNN)–Starting Point panel discusses a NY Times editorial suggesting the celibacy vow for Catholic priests is a bad idea.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI

soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. Flappy Bob

    Sexual repression has worked just so amazingly well for the Catholic church that I cannot imagine any reason for them to stop.

    Look at the Mormons – they have tight limits on sex, and aside from Utah having the highest rates of rape and porn consumption, it's worked out really well for them.

    February 27, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • lol??

      The dogooders stopped polygamy and put the Beast in charge of marriage. Now ya see what ya got.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:14 am |
  2. Hike Muckabee

    Seriously, there must be something else going on aside from the pope news.

    February 27, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
  3. HotAirAce

    Would be better to fix the root problem – end religion and priests.

    February 27, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
  4. William Demuth

    How can something end that NEVER started in the first place

    Priests have been buggering boys since Christ himself.

    Christinity is designed around it.

    February 27, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • sam stone

      Well, they have always claimed that it was blessed to come in the name of the lord

      February 27, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      They also believe it is better to give than to receive.

      February 27, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
  5. Alias

    Keep in mind why the rule was put in place:
    When a man died, his land/wealth went to his wife & family. This was a problem for the church 1,000 years ago, because not all preists' had children who followed in their profession. So when priests stopped getting married, all the lands stayed with the church.

    February 27, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
  6. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    February 27, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!:

      February 27, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • If you pray for rain long enough...

      If you pray for rain long enough, it eventually does fall. If you pray for floodwaters to
      abate, they eventually do. The same happens in the absence of prayers.
      –Steve Allen

      When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me.
      –Emo Philips

      February 27, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
  7. Richard Cranium

    When did celebacy start? There was even a pope who died of a heart attack while having $ex with a prost!tute.

    February 27, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      Celibacy can't be good for you. It can't. That is my unprofessional opinion based on nothing but a hunch.

      February 27, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
  8. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Should there be compulsory sex for priests? Maybe so. Sex with fertile virgins in newly-planted fields may please God so that the fields quicken with grain and give a bountiful harvest.

    February 27, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      I don't want to come across as too cheeky here Tom....

      But this sounds like a common male fantasy. No judgement. lol

      February 27, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • ....

      'comming across two cheecks'

      hey, this is a family blog...

      February 27, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked [one];

      Matthew 13:38


      February 27, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
  9. ME II

    Should the priesthood end for everyone else?

    February 27, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
  10. Over 40,000 denominations of insanity

    Some believe that celibacy is appropriate for certain people, or for certain positions. It's ridiculous. Celibacy is unnatural and will continue to cause problems for the religious institutions that employ it.

    Many of the people from these same institutions advocate against abortion, but don't understand the realistic benefit of the morning after pill or even basic contraception; their unrealistic wishful thinking is causing the death of many at the hands of disease. Realistically, many abortions could be avoided if a morning-after pill would not is not viewed as such an evil option. Many of these same people bring children into the world at a high pace, and then would prefer that the rest of society take over and educate their children in their particular brand of religion when they don't plan well and don't want to violate their beliefs.

    Recently we learned of the head of LCMS chastising a minister of that church for participating in a joint service for the victims of the Newtown school shooting.

    One sect calls homosexuality an abomination while the next one in the same denomination is already performing gay marriage.

    One sect, the Westboro Baptist Church believes Americans are being killed at war because America is too kind to "fags".

    One sect believes that Jesus and Satan were brothers and that Christ will return to Jerusalem AND Jackson County, Missouri.

    On sect believes women to be subservient, while another sect in the same denomination promotes equality between the sexes.

    Conflicted right from the very beginning, Christianity continues to splinter and create divisions and more extremism as it goes.

    Has anything improved with Christianity since 200+ years ago?

    Thomas Jefferson, POTUS #3 (from Notes on the State of Virginia):

    Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

    James Madison, POTUS #4, chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & the Bill of Rights (from A Memorial and Remonstrance delivered to the Virginia General Assembly in 1785):

    During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

    John Adams, POTUS #2 (in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 09/03/1816):

    I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved – the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! With the rational respect that is due to it, knavish priests have added prostitutions of it, that fill or might fill the blackest and bloodiest pages of human history.

    Ben Franklin (from a letter to The London Packet, 3 June 1772):

    If we look back into history for the character of present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practised it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England, blamed persecution in the Roman church, but practised it against the Puritans: these found it wrong in the Bishops, but fell into the same practice themselves both here and in New England.

    Thomas Paine (from The Age of Reason):

    All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

    February 27, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Jesus says, "Woe" to them. What is the woe? Here is the woe.

      But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes! (Matthew 18:6-7)

      Christ is talking about believers (Matthew 18:3) who are caused to stumble. That's exactly what false teachers do; they cause the little ones to stumble (2 Peter 2:18). That woe is still effective today as Jesus' words are still true.

      February 27, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • Bob

      Too bad there was no Jesus.

      February 27, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

      Hebrews 3:19


      February 27, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
  11. Honey Badger Dont Care

    Since when have priests been celebate? Oh, you mean hetrose xually.

    February 27, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • CrossCountry


      February 27, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
  12. Correctlycenter

    " Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people's faith by teaching things that are contrary to what you have been taught, stay away from them. Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people." Romans 16:17b-18...

    February 27, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Really?

      That's right and why you belong to a cult.

      February 27, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      I can quote nonsensical bible quotes too.

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      February 27, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      “If a man’s testicIes are crushed or his pe nis is cut off, he may not be admitted to the assembly of the Lord.”
      –Deuteronomy 23

      February 27, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      “All right,” the Lord said. “You may bake your bread with cow dung instead of human dung.”
      –Ezekiel 4:12-15

      February 27, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • OTOH


      What makes you think that Paul of Tarsus knew anything special?

      February 27, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      My thoughts on that:

      -Upsetting your faith is good for your faith...because then you know what your 'faith' is made of.

      -the religious world is made up almost entirely of people that are 'serving their own interests'

      -just quoting a scripture doesn't make you wise. Get off it.

      February 27, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      "teaching things that are contrary to what you have been taught" aka "were right and anyone who say's different is an agent of Satan!!"

      Religion has had it pretty rough over the last century as we learn more and more about our universe which forces it to keep updating and changing to stay current, but at the same time they claim absolute truth which proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the bible is not divinely inspired and neither are their ever changing doctrines.

      February 27, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • Saraswati

      That corresponds to the measurably lower analytic skills of religious folk:


      February 27, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • sam stone

      "once we lie to you, don't let anyone bring reason to your head"

      February 27, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
  13. clarity


    February 27, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
  14. CrossCountry

    Celibacy is nuts. end of story.

    February 27, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • OTOH

      Shhhhhh! Do you want them all out there procreatin', each with 8-10 kids!

      February 27, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • CrossCountry


      haha no kidding. You're right....lets keep the wonders of s*x on the down low....then they can keep their hands out of the cookie jar.

      February 27, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • Aydin

      @OTOH, I suspect if we end celibacy and let them have kids, the ban on birth control will disappear fairly quickly.

      February 27, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • Arbogast

      CrossCountry, they already know about the "down-low." That's where they're getting their action.

      February 28, 2013 at 10:04 am |
  15. Aydin

    It should, but that will require a bunch of old men who lived lives of celibacy to admit they did it for nothing. That's not going to happen.

    February 27, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      I guess the old adage 'cleanliness is next to Godliness' is what they adhere to. ....cause we all know s*x is dirty dirty business.

      February 27, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • cleanliness

      CrossCountry – " cause we all know s*x is dirty dirty business"
      Only if you do it right

      February 27, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
    • ronvan

      Excellent point! Also wouldn't it mean that they were only "preaching-teaching" PERSONAL feelings instead of religious facts?

      February 28, 2013 at 8:10 am |
  16. In Santa we trust

    Jesus is a dead mortal if in fact he ever existed.

    February 27, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
  17. Doc Vestibule

    Jesus didn't demand celibacy, only Paul.

    February 27, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • CrossCountry

      I don't think Paul even demanded it.....I think in one of his speeches he said it would be profitable for a man not to have a wife (as a distraction). But I don't think he made a rule about it. (I could be wrong)

      Anyways...you're right...Jesus never demanded it so why are these religious freaks doing it?

      February 27, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • legalblond

      Celibacy is a practical matter. One cannot serve two masters. If the family has something special on Sunday, yet the priest has to provide church services on the same day, then who takes priority ? If someone's dying and needs last rites, then who has priority ? If the wife is non-Catholic or even atheist, then the contradiction will lead to lack of credibility. Priests are supposed to be humble in terms of property. Guess what happens with a family: you need a house, cars, gadgets, etc. When the priest dies, who inherits which ?

      It's almost similar to a man having five wives. Which one of the five is most important ? Who gets priority when things are tight ? Even atheists in the US are not allowed to have five wives all at once.

      February 27, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ blond

      Priests are supposed to be humble in terms of property.

      Hahahaha! Have you looked at any of the pictures accompanying these articles? I don't see a lot of humility in custom made red shoes, gold jewelry up the ass, servants and a steady parade of altar boys.

      Everyone else in the world seems to be able to juggle job responsibilities and family, why do you assume that a married priest couldn't?

      February 27, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      I'm with Doobs on this one.

      @blonde These men are not humble in possessions. Christ....look at how they dress! I would suspect their homes are very well appointed and they probably eat very well. Not being able to juggle their job plus family commitments points towards incompetence.

      February 27, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • senador

      Is this concept similar to the public servants of the USA who work in Washington DC ? Public Servants ? With all that money and corruption ? Symbols of wealth ? Scandals. This is what Americans believe in ? This is what you voted for ???

      February 27, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • scooby


      We can smell your red herring. Try to address the practical matters stated by blondie. State the legal ramifications. You can always admit that it's beyond your expertise.

      February 27, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
  18. Hahahahahahahah

    I think from all the suits, it already HAS!! Except it's with men and boys!! Hahahahahahaha

    February 27, 2013 at 11:50 am |
  19. John

    Although, it is not required Biblically, I can see why priests that have no wife/children can be more committed to the work. No worldly distractions.

    February 27, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • Doobs

      How's that working out for the RCC so far? Seems like they've been plenty distracted by the altar boys.

      February 27, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • craniumthedumb


      Go look it up, there is no higher incidence of pedophilia in priest than in the general public.

      I don't see why to have them be celebate. From everything I know there is no requirement of that.

      February 27, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • craniumthedumb's 2nd Grade Teacher

      The plural of 'priest' is 'priests'.
      (the same goes for 'atheists', 'scientists', and all of the other -ist words)

      February 27, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • Doobs


      In the general public, a pedophile is arrested and stands trial. In the RCC, they get a new parish and fresh victims. See the difference?

      February 27, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      I like the distraction....weekly.

      February 27, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      They should all be committed...

      February 27, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
  20. Doobs

    That image is great. He'll spend his last days drunk and fondling children.

    February 27, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • CrossCountry

      Sad but true.

      February 27, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • scooby

      We don't have data that Doobs is not a pedo himself. That's the beauty of the internet. People criticize the Church but they can't prove their own goodness.

      February 27, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
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