Sunday, May 24, 2009


Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

I hadn't known that celibacy for priests wasn't always a part of Catholic doctrine. Revoking the celibacy rule will likely make lives better for priests... but if it causes people to flock to priesthood (perhaps even for guaranteed food and shelter) instead of more societally-progressive and productive tasks, will that be a big problem for poor, religious areas of South America, Africa and Asia?

The individual human right (as opposed to religious right) of priests to be in love and be with one they love should not, in a humanist perspective, be abrogated. However, if the church revokes the celibacy rule, governments should respond in ways to ensure that priesthood doesn't become a refuge away from other important jobs.

In the words of Philip Arthur Fisher, "Consider what might have been accomplished if half as much thought had been given to fighting hunger, disease and greed as was devoted to debating such points as the number of angels that could balance on the head of a pin."

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