While the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy continues to claim that the requirement of of celibacy for priests has played no role in the Church's worldwide sex abuse problem, an Australian experts says otherwise. Moreover, he gets directly to why celibacy has been a requirement: money, The Church doesn't want to have to support the wives and families of priests. It is the bottom line reason why celibacy first came into vogue in the 12th century. Money, the Vatican's one true god. He also notes that the caliber of men becoming priests continues to drop as fewer normal men are willing to accept the celibacy requirement. The Herald Sun looks at this expert's testimony. Here are excerpts:
Former clinical director of the Victorian Institute of Forensic Health, Professor Paul Mullen, says celibacy has no basis in theology and is just a form of discipline in the priesthood.
Prof Mullen added the issue is a financial one for the church. "I've have heard a Catholic bishop say that the reason celibacy is maintained is that they could not afford to pay priests, they couldn't afford to pay them pensions, they couldn't afford to pay them enough if they had a wife and children," he told the Victorian parliamentary inquiry today.
"This is entirely discipline and its main motivation is money." Prof Mullen said he was not sure what would spark the church to change.
But he said the problem of clergy preying on children would remain for as long as they are required to remain celibate. He said for this reason, fewer people were joining the priesthood, leading some to be selected who were not cut out for it.
"As long as there are increasing numbers of priests who are not intellectually, culturally, socially of the highest calibre, let alone spiritually, you've just got to prevent them any access to children. Simple as that," he said.
"There will come a point where financially, it is cheaper to have married priests than to keep on being sued." Prof Mullen called for a public education campaign on child sex abuse, just like there was for bullying and smoking. Sex education should also include sexual abuse of children, he told the inquiry, which is looking into how religious and other organisations handle child sex abuse allegations.
From my experience before leaving Catholicism, I have to agree with Mullen. In addition, I have always maintained that had priests and bishops and cardinals had children of their own, we would never have seen this callous - and criminal - effort to merely seep sexual abuse of children under the rug. No one with children of their own could have countenanced the crimes that were done and have protected the predators.