Australia Married priests


Australia’s Catholic priests have responded to the “cathartic experience” of the child abuse royal commission with a push for optional celibacy, married priests and a plan to take the issues to the Vatican.

The National Council of Priests believes Pope Francis would approve a request from Australia’s bishops to allow married priests in remote parts of the country where the lack of priests is a critical and long-standing issue, council chairman Father James Clarke said after a conference last week that considered the royal commission findings.


I think the push for married priests is more because they want to get some priests to minister to the remote area, hopefully not because they think it will stop pedophilia. As is being discussed on at least one other thread, there are plenty of married male pedophiles.

I believe Pope Francis asked the Brazilian bishops to consider a similar proposal to allow married priests in remote parts of the Amazon where they were having trouble getting priests.


I honestly don’t really think it’s all too prudent to think that having a married priesthood would solve the vocational crisis even in remote areas.

All things considered I’d even say that there’s a vocational crisis with marriage as well so I really believe the problem runs a lot deeper and don’t think this would be an adequate “bandage” so to speak


I would think it would be enough of a challenge to be married to a priest in a normal parish setting, without having the additional challenge of being married to a priest in a remote jungle somewhere. In that situation, you are not just signing on for a normal marriage, you are signing on to be a missionary couple. It’s a normal situation for Protestants who send couples on missions, but not so much for Catholics.


Bradski Have you attended any of the plenary council sit downs. There are some interesting suggestions coming out of them.

You should see some of these suggestions people want to submit, because we can all submit suggestions. Bradski I know you are atheist, but rock up to one of your Diocese plenary council meetings. They are basically workshops of what we think is the best direction the church should head in. Quite a butting of progressive and conservative heads at times, and agreement at other times.
You can even get up and talk and make your own suggestions.

Now this does not mean any of these will get to the council in their present form , including the one reported in the Sydney morning herald you linked.

I might start reporting on these meetings if I get permission.

And yes the topic of female priests is a hot one, as are all the other contemporary topics.

We pray for the impending council daily for the intervention of the Holy Spirit. And if any Catholic feels guided by the Holy Spirit on the Council topics, we speak up. So basically for the next 18 mths or so, the entire Catholic community of this country is praying for guidance of the Holy Spirit and direction that the council will take in leading Australian Catholics into the 3rd Millennium, in the proceedings of the Plenary Council, called by Holy Father Pope Francis.


While I so see a need for married priests it is not because of the sex-abuse problem in the clergy. The vast majority of pedophiles in secular society are married. It is a disorder. By itself I think it could be overcome, but when combined with even a mild case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder it can become an almost irresistible urge. I don’t know if there is any medication for OCD, but I have the feeling that if and when that does become available then the cases of pedophilia will dramatically shrink is all societies around the globe.

One of the benefits of having married priests (and having female priests… I am going to duck and hide on that one) is that it may go a long way to solve the priest shortage problem. A good number of the present deacons I am certain would be first in line. For slightly more than half of Church history priests had been allowed to marry. Bishops however were only selected from those who maintained celibacy. Like deacons, (but if I am not mistaken unlike the married Catholic clergy of the past), they would live in homes of their own and support their families with jobs of their own.

I do see the need for a celibate clergy. Celibacy is a noble calling. Whereas a married person’s concern would be rightfully the needs of his family, a celibate person can devote most of his/her time to the love of God and the love and service of others. As one Brother I knew put it “They become the professional lovers of the world.” There will always be a need for that kind of devotion.


Flagged as off-topic. Looks also like spam


I won’t be back in Oz for quite some time, but if they’re still on next year then I might just do that.


If it is remote parts of the country, then priests will not probably hurry to go there, unless missionarry vocations. More if they have family.
And wife will probably are the first to not want to go there. What about their confort, their access to culture, good medical care, the education of children?

We have already a crisis of vocations of doctors wishing to established in the countryside in some world’s areas. more if they are married.


The push is to allow men who were priests, left the priesthood to marry, and now they want to return these men to the clerical state. Not a very good idea, IMO. Seems like a backdoor way to have your cake and eat it too if one is questioning his vocation.
Now allowing men into the priesthood who are married and wish to serve as a second vocation, I have no problem with that. Like the deaconate, ordain married men, and if the wife predeceases them, they are to remain celibate.
And it should be left up to the individual bishop. No interference from Rome unless something goes really hinky at the diocesan level.

Edited to say; don’t think it should be a church-wide policy, but done at the discretion of the local bishop. No one has a “right” to the priesthood.


The councils should still be running then.
Enjoy being overseas


Most of Aus is remote.

We have flying Priests who travel between stations :slight_smile:


Married priests won’t solve this problem. What is needed is a greater respect for the virtue of chastity.


That would be convenient.

In this hemisphere, they have to take a plane . . . .

(nuns, however . . . :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::crazy_face::rofl:)




Where do you live? I hear Canadian and Alaskan Priests also do a bit of flying around their Parish.


I’m in Las Vegas–they drive. :slight_smile:

I’ve seen a couple flying over the years, but we cut them off or watered their drinks :slight_smile:


yes; that will solve the “problem”\ :frowning:

“as if” certain pre-dispostioned married men are immune from paedophilia



To what extent does this organization actually speak on behalf of Australia’s priests?


There is a process at the moment, leading up to the Plenary Council in 2020. Anyone or any group or organisation can comment, make suggestions, recommend changes. This is part of that process. Every Diocese has meetings open to all. People get together, discuss issues and speak about what they want, be it anything, from changes to clergy, changes to education, music, Sacraments, Liturgy, church design, you name it.

My Diocese is having lively discussion about female ordination, married clergy, to name a few issues.

This does NOT create in the Plenary Council, an obligation to take on board and accept anything.
But the Plenary Council is obligated to listen.

But it’s all about listening to what the Holy Spirit is doing in guiding the Church in Australia

You also have to remember this is a media report, media that won’t understand the process, rather then a statement from one of the Diocese.


And the website of the Plenary Council.

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