On letting priests marry as a "cure" for the abuse problem


This was a train of thought that went through my mind and I am just going to put it out here for contemplation:

There are people who think that men with “issues” (i.e., conflicted emotions, sexual identity questions, or even perversions) enter the seminary to escape having to deal with their problems and then end up abusing minors or having affairs or whatever. And there may be some truth to this.:shrug:

But then some go further to suggest that if priestly celibacy was no longer obligatory, this problem would not happen, or would be less likely to happen.

I say, if the fellow has issues, he will likely take them out on his own or neighbor children, or cheat on his wife, regardless.

Finally, the train of thought led to this question: **What sane woman would be willing to marry a guy with such issues? **I mean, to do so knowingly, I wouldn’t think there’d be any. A woman with her own issues, say, codependency, might unwittingly do so.

Therefore, I am mainly curious about women who think priests should be allowed to marry if their reasoning is based on the arguments laid out above. If they themselves wouldn’t want such a man for a husband, don’t they prove the fallacy of that line of reasoning?


There seems to be evidence that considerable abuse is committed by married men. Protestant denominations have experienced instances of abuse, perpetrated by married ministers. It's equally true these cases have not always generated the wide spread media frenzy that has typified their approach to the Catholic problems.

Dropping the Celibacy requirement as a means of addressing the abuse potential has been suggested, but even if it where implemented, it would do little to address the problems of potential abuse down the road.

There is a myriad of issues involved here, and I'm certainly not an expert in any of them.That said, the bottom line seems to be that often times, married clergy can be as prone to abuse as their celibate counterparts. That would suggest that the problem(s) is not one which will be solved by allowing Priests to marry. (Which in some instances they are).


Holy Order is an impediment to the Sacrament of Marriage. Once ordined a man may never enter into a valid marriage, that is unless he is released from the clerical state by the Vatican but then he may no longer function as a priest.

Married men may be ordained to the priesthood but that is not a fix for anything.


I would sincerely wish that people would stop using the word 'contemplation' so lightly and certainly out of context from exactly what contemplation should mean.

Our poor priests--celibacy has nothing to do with pedastry or whatever. There are so many more cases of married men who abuse their children, male or female, on a regular basis than any amount of priests do. And married men have sex with their wives! Child abuse is a sickness that needs much therapy. Fr Groeschel himself does not think it is curable...just contained.

My heart does go out to the victims....and the victims get victimized twice. Their lives will never be the same...ever! And most men who abuse sexually may have been sexually abused themselves. And so the vicious cycle continues....


I think you just nailed it. Great reply.


The problem certainly isn't celibacy as shoshana eloquently outlined. What the problem has been however is some in a leadership capacity who allow unsuitable men who are under Holy Orders to continue functioning unpunished after displaying a well documented desire to victimize the unwilling and underage. This has been and hopefully will cease to be the problem. It must cease to be a problem. I love my Church and my heart bleeds to see Her damaged and the reputation of the overwhelming numbers of priests who do God's work faithfully.


Study the John Jay Report. Most of the abuse was by adult males on post pubescent males. (homosexual) The solution is obvious.


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