By A.W. Richard Sipe
In the middle of the worst quandary the Catholic Church has visible in virtually 500 years, this booklet demanding situations Catholic specialists to resume, reconsider, or reform the long-standing establishment of celibacy.
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Extra resources for Celibacy in Crisis: A Secret World Revisited
Another young priest was a member of the John Birch Society; currently he remains active in the priesthood as a chaplain for conservative Catholics in his diocese. One of his classmates was an assistant pastor, and became a monsignor and rector of his diocesan 16 CELIBACY IN CRISIS seminary. The other three resigned from the active priesthood 10 years later and married. I retain contact with some of this group. In 19601 had my initial contact with a second group of priests who influenced me profoundly.
Celibacy is a highly specialized gift that presumes an awareness of existence and reality beyond the ordinary as well as a charism—that is, a special gift of grace and of spiritual witness. The priest will want to know, eventually, if his sexual struggle is with the development of his genuine charism, or if it is a conflict arising from a discipline he accepted as part of his ministerial role without the benefit of the special gift. Priests believe in grace. ” Surprisingly, there is not a great deal of direct literary witness to the experience.
But it is true that they do not have full semester courses (or six semesters as I had recommended) on the subject. ” The majority of priests in our study felt that their education for celibacy and about sexuality was inadequate. ” The focus is not on a “course” for the training of celibacy but rather on the need for an open and adequate arena wherein the full and honest discovery of the structure and practice of celibacy can be debated and considered. The ideal and the law of celibacy need critical and practical examination before mastery can be expected.