Pope Francis: "No to married priests, no to female deacons"

Thank you. Blantant anti-Catholicism has no place here. This is not Wittenberg. Hopefully, no one is buying that trite tactic of making everything wrong with the Church about child abuse.


You said:

You held it as an evidence of celibacy as a failed practice, you said “able”, as in a matter of ability. Celibacy does not lead to rape. People do not rape someone out of mere sexual frustration.

There are Catholics who murder. There are Catholics who fail to go to Sunday Mass. There are married men and women who break their marriage vows and commit adultery and even rape. Pick any teaching you want and there are Catholics who have failed it. The fact that people do not want to follow the rules and will use their position to do horrible things does not mean the rules are bad. You point to thousands of seminarians who failed to be celibate and ignore those silent tens of thousands who didn’t. You point to one priest who says it should be gotten rid of and ignore the ones who say it shouldn’t.

We already have that. There are married Latin rite priests. Have you never heard of Fr. Longenecker? Or the Ordinariate of St. Peter? Either way, St. Paul holds up celibacy as the best option, not marriage. Celibacy is used by the Latin rite not because we falsely believe that men who become priests are asexual or because the Church is “selfish”, whatever that means.


The last person I would EVER want to hear from concerning any crisis in the Church is a former priest.


The late Richard Sipe conducted a 25 year ethnographic study of the priesthood. One of the reason he left the priesthood is because of the abuses he encountered shortly after being ordained and assigned to a Catholic girls school. Some of the students were being sexually abused. Richard Sipe came from a devout Catholic family and was so disturbed by the things he was seeing and hearing that he wrote a book. He tried to warn the hierarchy. He wasn’t alone. You should try studying his life and work, instead of denouncing him without cause.

1 Like

I recognize the Protestant part easy enough. Priests are Catholic though.

So, Scripture does not back you up, as anyone well read in both Paul and encounter at Caeserea Philippi could tell you. But you are getting the cart before the horse, trying to parse some theological point without even the basic first agreement on what authority is available to understand what God has said. I would recommend that if you want to challenge Church doctrine as a whole, it be done in apologetics.

FYI - I do not report posts without blatant violations, like political threads in spirituality, or cussing. On that point, I sympathize.

I also recommend you look at who actually does the most child abuse. Two-thirds are abused by family. The idea that a pedophile would be better off married with children is not supported by statistics. The fact that you brought pedophilia up is indicative of the type of emotional propaganda the Church has had to endure in payment for the sin of some priests.

I wonder if celibacy is what drives people to sexually assault children, why did I see a headline the other day about the Boy Scouts declaring bankruptcy?

1 Like

I agree, in that when we try to open a “function” (here sacerdoce) to more candidates, it would not solve the enderline problem of the loose of faith on the general population on long term. So, at the end, the numbers of vocations would be likely to continue to decrease quickly after maybe a little boom after the new opening…

But is that true that protestand Churches in Europe (Anglican exclude) are lacking vocation? I have read that in France, there is no vocation crisis at all in the Reformed Church…?


i think for a priest to be married would be more of a burden on them. the demands on them is huge and i couldn’t imagine carrying all that and a wife and kids.

Well, it depends by what you mean by “vocation crisis”.

In France, Reformed protestantism is a tiny minority. There are around 500 pastors for the whole country. Could they do with more ? Yes, certainly, judging by how tired and overworked most of my French pastor friends are. There are huge parochial territories that sometimes cover one or two départements, pastors spend their lives on the road. But they simply do not have the financial resources to pay for more ministers. There is even a policy of having at least one year’s vacancy (it’s often more, before we moved to Switzerland our last parish spent three years without a minister) when a pastor leaves for another parish, because the Eglise Protestante Unie de France can’t afford to have all parishes filled, if it wants to pay salaries. In that context, the few people who enter ministry are still enough – but probably not for very long.

Here in francophone Switzerland, things are looking bad. One pastor out of three is going to retire over the next few years, and it isn’t the 12 people or so who enter pastoral training every 18 months who will solve anything. The canton de Vaud alone has more pastors than the whole of France.

One of my most heartbreaking memories was a meeting the university chaplaincy had arranged for theology master students with retired Swiss ministers. One of them told us how, when he entered ministry, he had huge congregations, hundreds of catechumens, and chock-full churches every Sunday ; and how he was happy, by the time he retired, if 30 people came for Sunday service because it had become a “good” attendance.

And then he broke into tears and said, “O Lord, what have we done ?”


Sipe, A man who leaves the priesthood and gets married, then gathers research to justify the lack of need for celibacy in the priesthood, is not especially credible in terms of objectivity.

He also weakened his credibility by questioning or dissenting the Catholic Faith on contraception, gay marriage, and possibly abortion, as well as other people things. He publicly identified certain bishops he disagreed with as gay. Whether this was true or not, it was not charitable.

His writing neither supports nor rules out changing the celibacy rule. He muddied the waters.


Nor are they reversing dwindling membership and attendance.


Not an example of the introduction of anything which was inconsistent with what went before, however. There is a difference between saying “It’s Sunday; actually it’s Monday” and “It’s Sunday; actually it’s the 23rd February .“

1 Like

In France, demographically the Tradionalist priests will outnumber priests who say the NO Mass by the middle of this century, unless the bishops do something determindly to stamp out the TLM.

Neither would married priests be otherwise the Ordinariate would be in a world of trouble. The real change came with allowing convert clergy to remain married in the first place - previously that had been expected to separate from their wives who would in turn be required to assume a life of perpetual chastity.


This is the point that I always attempt to bring to bear in these discussions. The claim is one that comes from good intentions: “eliminating normative celibacy will solve our problems!” Yes, we wish to solve the problems that the Church is facing in the world. However, do we have any indication that this approach will solve our problems, or are we merely throwing an action at a problem and hoping that it sticks?

That’s the question that never receives an answer from proponents of a “married priesthood.” Rather, it’s merely the presumption that “well… of course it will work!”

But ordained female deacons would be unprecedented.

While I hear what you are saying about Richard Sipe, and I still believe it would be a positive thing if the Catholic Church had more opportunities for married men to be ordained as priests, I have significant concerns about what Richard Sipe is saying. This first issue is that (at least the article seems to suggest) that he is conflating priests breaking their vows to priests engaging in pedophilia. I don’t know how he can do that. Just because 30 - 40 years 50% of priests were breaking their vows, doesn’t mean that today celibate priests will turn a blind eye to pedophilia. Also there is nothing in the article to differentiate between pedophilia and having a relationship between somebody who is underage. These are different beasts (both terrible beasts but different). If there were a more detailed article about his research, that would help perhaps.

On some level I get it though…i.e. Richard Sipe’s anger. I totally believe men can have a calling to both marriage and priesthood…This teaching is in fact straight out of Vatican II. As I understand Richard Sipe was married upon leaving the priesthood, and at the same time he understood that many priests weren’t following their vows. I’m sure it was a bitter pill.

Objective research requires that you avoid letting your personal situation bias the investigation, how you gather data, or preliminary hypotheses. It means you avoid any conclusions until the data is in. You should be equally open to data that supports your personal preference, opposed it, or points in another direction. Research should not slanted towards what will likely be covered by the media.

Sipe was a monk who left to get married, opposed celibacy from the outset. He pulled in data from many sources to try and prove his desired thesis. We don’t know what data he excluded. He knew what the media was looking for, and he provided it. As a result he was readily published, called for quotes by friendly reporters, got speaking tours before big audiences.

His research proved nothing for or against clerical Celibacy.

1 Like
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.