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. Ferdinand

    Aha, dissenting views. Translation: you're telling God how HE has to change, not how our opinion could possibly be wrong. Got it. I didn't know you could make the rules like God, Jane. You're powerful...in your own mind. Go to confession. There's only 1 God, and you're not Him, sweetie. When God says X is right/wrong, and person says X is wrong/right. Somebody's lying...

    February 28, 2013 at 1:52 am |
    • sam stone

      ferdinand: why do you feel that the catholic church speaks for god?

      February 28, 2013 at 6:08 am |
  2. Jane

    Catholics should have priests who can marry and ordination for woman.

    ~happy Catholic with dissenting views.

    February 28, 2013 at 1:48 am |
  3. Ferdinand

    Non-Catholics' opinions are as valid as their "Catholic-ocity". Blah Blah Blah. Feel relevant playing God? If the Catholic Church took votes on what is right or wrong, she'd end up like a protestant denomination. 10,000+ denominations. How's the votin' thing workin' out for ya? All this negativity attacking the Church(tm) just makes my faith in my Catholic Church that much stronger. Go attack a non-value target now. Thanks for confirming the Catholic Church's continuous relevance in the world. Go opine on something you'll feel powerful to change. God changes US, not the other way around. Duh.

    February 28, 2013 at 1:30 am |
    • sam stone

      good for you, ferdinand.....did the good father give you a lollipop for your "special" confession? did he at least give you the common courtesy of a reach around?

      February 28, 2013 at 6:10 am |

    Mohammad was celibate, all his life. Aisha was like his daughter.

    February 27, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
    • Celibate?

      And Ali was married to whom? Not Muhammad's daughter?

      February 27, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
    • Reality

      3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite global blood feud (e.g. Iraq, Syria , Pakistan) and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      February 27, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
  5. EX catholic

    Well yes because instead of having S E X with Handy they can marry Mandy.

    February 27, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
  6. omama


    It sounds like you just described the US government. Conspiracy, corruption, murder, scandals. Leaders who hide their per versions. This looks like the trinity of the Presidency, Congress, and the Justice system. Gee, I wonder why that place is called the most powerful country on earth.

    February 27, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
  7. Mohammad A. Dead

    keeping priests celibate are extremely difficult thing, because they are spending more and more time watching TVs, or surfing facebook, and spending less and less time studying Bible.

    February 27, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
  8. Douglas

    Ending celibacy is a bad idea.

    Celibacy is what prevents fornication and it is what separates the priest from the commoner.

    The path to celibacy for a fornicator involves four distinct steps

    1. Realization of the sin
    2. Rejection of the sin
    3. Restoration of the spirit
    4. Renewal of the person

    Celibate priests are challenged by a popoular culture that is saturated by hypers-e-x-uality.
    The upside is that the priest knows the difference between right and wrong.
    The down side is that satanic temptation to fornicate is a real risk.

    We have seen the degradation of priests fornicating with children or descending into gay coitus
    with other priests. This is the devil's workshop.

    Encourage celibacy standards for priests and young adults. Saving themselves for marriage
    makes the wedding night much more thrilling, as it should be.

    We are pleased that celibacy is now center stage in the forum.

    Evidence that celibacy is now trending validates our research into this topic.

    February 27, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • CS

      God blesses fornication and all the little children before he kills them. Bless the Lord.

      February 27, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
    • TheRationale

      You sound like a rambling maniac from the 15th century inquisition. Do you have any grasp on reality or do you just believe anything people in funny hats tell you?

      February 27, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
    • Mohammad A. Dead

      Ending celibacy is a good idea . Many s ex abuses in the churches are as a result of priests are not being able to enjoy good s ex, trust me Do glass.

      February 27, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
    • Ricochet Rabbit

      If Douglas was a superhero, he would be The Amazing Closet Case!

      February 27, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
    • jean

      You do understand that the whole Catholic priesthood celibacy thing began so that the Catholic church wouldn't have priests families inheriting after a priest died, right? It was all about their own greed.

      February 28, 2013 at 4:15 am |
  9. Jesus Freak

    The Catholic Church is built upon a foundation of traditions. Those traditions include homosexuality and Pedophilia. The entire "celibacy" ruse has always been in place as a distraction and draw for the priests.

    February 27, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • Jesus Freak

      The pope is knocking back that shot of Patron man, he will have booze googles soon.

      February 27, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
    • Peter

      Youre actually wrong. The Catholic Church practices celibacy so that no Pope can have a successor and thus establish and a right to the seat of saint Peter through blood.

      February 27, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
  10. Age of Reason

    . " I don't think that this Jesus Christ was a real nor historical person, but if the French people wish to believe in him, I won't be against them!" Napolean Bonaparte... as quoted by General Charles Dupuis upon the discovery of the Rosetta Stone and his expedition to Egypt

    February 27, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
  11. thecollegeadmissionsguru

    Did they ever begin celibacy?

    February 27, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
  12. Jesus Freak

    I do no not understand this. It is a well-know fact that most Catholic priests are queer, so how can they end celibacy? They seem to be doing fine as it is right now anyway. I don't see any gay or straight priests or sick-o pedo's doing without tail.

    February 27, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
  13. End Religion

    If they want to survive longer they will need to end celibacy. As it all comes tumbling down rules go out the window one after another.

    February 27, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
  14. Evolve already!

    The real solution is for the human race to just grow up and deal with the real world. It's time to put away your childish fantasies, put on your big boy undies, and face the reality.

    It's not celibarcy that should end but religion.

    February 27, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • Speaking of evidence...

      Leading Catholic Blogger Sees More Evidence That The Pope Is Gay

      February 27, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
  15. Reality

    It won't help at all since 50% of those convicted of pedophilia are married. But it goes beyond the celibacy issue since in the 21st century there is no need to have priests at all. Ditto for other clerics.

    February 27, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • Cuthbert the Dwarven Cleric

      Fine no more healing for you then.

      February 27, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    February 27, 2013 at 5:42 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 5:57 pm |
    • HeaveSense

      Hi Prayerbot.

      February 27, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • According to the bible prayer cannot change things

      If god's supreme plan rules in the heavens then prayer is useless. If you pray for something that's not in the plan it won't happen, no matter how hard you pray. And if you pray for something in the plan, it would have happened anyway even without your prayer.
      If god gives us free will, then no matter how hard you pray god refuses to do anything, like not doing anything for the 6m Jews because that would interfere with Hitler's free will.

      February 27, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
  17. Fuster

    I bet the Mr. Ratzinger himself molested boys.

    February 27, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
  18. Doobs

    Apparently the poop is going to live out his remaining days doing shots from Waterford crystal glasses when the belly buttons of altar boys are unavailable.

    February 27, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
  19. Celibacy the Killer of Roman Catholic Churches

    celibacy for Catholic priests is pointless, it is giving raises to gay practicing priests.

    February 27, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
  20. neverland

    Speaking of kids . . .

    American society is full of pedophiles. Recent news include Football coaches, swim team coaches, ministers of all sorts, boy scout leaders, female middle school teachers, female high school teachers, counselors, police chiefs, etc. Blaming the church seems awfully one sided. There’s something inherently wrong with Americans.

    February 27, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • emjay

      And Americans WORSHIP the sequin-gloved one. He's the King of Pop.
      I'm sure he's a model of morality for Americans

      February 27, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Correction....HUMAN society....to think this is just an American issue is exceptionally naive.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ neverland

      Ever been to Thailand?

      February 27, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • The Real World

      Of course, the thing the Catholic church is in trouble for is not the pedophilia, but that when they found out, they hide the priests and put them in places where they could continue, they never ever turned any over to the law as they were required to but instead obstructed justice on a massive scale, they blamed andberated the victims, and they have never taken responsibility for their outrageous acts.

      It's the criminal conspiracy, buddy. Any organization can have a perpetrator in their midst. The organization becomes guilty when they act incorrectly to the menace, as the Catholic church did to a disgusting degree, everywhere in the world.

      And that's part of it too – the resopnse was exactly the same on South America, Ireland, Africa, wherever. That's not a parish bieng misanaged; that's an intentional policy, and in Catholicism, that kind of control can only come from the Vatican.

      But nice try with your bogus claim.

      February 27, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • amanda

      It’s easy for people to forget that folks who go into the seminary to become priests are already in their 20’s. For American men, this means they’ve been educated in the American public school system, exposed to the obs cene printed material in newsstands, exposed to the loose morality of Hollywood, exposed to the obs cene TV shows & movies, and brought up by their immoral society. By the time these men get into the seminary, they’re already been raised by American society to have whacked out morals. Then the same society acts surprised that it doesn’t boomerang back to hurt their society.

      February 27, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
    • EX catholic

      There is something Inherently wrong with IDOLATRY.

      February 27, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
    • Ricochet Rabbit

      Well Amanda,that might actually be a point if the rates of peodphilia differeed in the many many manycoutries it occurred in, but as it turns out, it was about the same in every country with Catholic priests. So culture had nothing to do with it.

      It was a really nice attempt to blame the world for Catholicism's failures, though.

      February 27, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.