More woes for Ratzinger as women who loved priests challenge celibacy rule

POPE Ratzinger, still struggling to repair the damage wrought by a wave of paedophile scandals, now faces a fresh challenge, from women loved – and often abandoned – by Catholic priests.

According to this report, about a dozen women have written an open letter to the Pope challenging the Church’s position that priestly celibacy is a sacred commitment.

Said one of the signatories, Stefania Salomone, 42, who had a five-year relationship with a priest:

As far as I’m concerned, celibacy is completely useless. It was introduced for financial reasons.

She argued that it was introduced for financial reasons, alluding to the fact that clergy without family were less expensive to house.

Pointing to the Church’s earlier history, she added:

People forget that there were 39 married popes.

The letter was partly a reaction to recent comments by the Pope upholding the nearly 900-year-old requirement of celibacy for priests, calling it “the sign of full devotion” and of an “entire commitment to the Lord”.

Salomone said:

We told ourselves it was time to react.

Written in March, the letter was initially kept confidential, but late last month it was leaked to news website GlobalPost, and the women decided to tell their stories.

One, Luisa, 38, said she had a relationship – and a child – with a priest who is now 35. They met six years ago when he was the priest in a nearby parish.

He left Luisa before the birth of the child, now aged 20 months. She said:

It was very hard. His family sent him to an exorcist and accused me of being a witch. As for the bishop, he told me to have my child adopted

Salomone has no patience for the Church’s doctrinal arguments for celibacy.

There is no reason in the world to justify anyone forbidding another person a fundamental right.

Even some members of the Catholic hierarchy appear to agree.  At a conference in Austria last month, Bishop Alois Schwarz of the Carinthia diocese urged new discussion of the issue of celibacy and the ordination of married men.

His comments echoed similar views expressed by his colleague, the bishop of Eisenstadt, Paul Iby.

And in March, Vienna Archbishop Christoph Schoenborn even said the Church should take a fresh look at celibacy when considering the possible causes behind the global sex abuse scandal.

6 responses to “More woes for Ratzinger as women who loved priests challenge celibacy rule”

  1. William Harwood says:

    “Luke’s Jesus: The Prototype Machiavelli”

    Persons with expertise in reading and evaluating second-century documents in the original language are free to offer dissenting interpretations. All others are reminded that it is better to remain silent . . . .

  2. Broadsword says:

    Priestly vows of celibacy have nothing to do with paedophilia. Kiddie fiddlers simply applied for a job that would put them in a position of trust with access to children.

    I always understood the RCC requiring priestly celibacy was financial. A single bloke can be put up cheaply in a bedsit after all. It goes against every creatures biological urge and must have, and is causing much suffering.

    I think some good may have arisen from this policy however. Any organisation must select its personnel from the best candidates who present themselves. The majority of men find celibacy unnatural so the RCC must engage priests drawn from just a tiny percentage of the population, those being mainly paedophiles and wierdos uninterested in chucking their muck. Not a lot of talent there, and it shows. Their policies on contraception, AIDS and science are just mad. Hopefully people will eventually reject these inbreds and live happier, healthier lives. Apparently Ratty is currently their best man. Would you employ such a “gifted” individual?

  3. Fedupwith says:

    How many more cats in the bag?

  4. Broga says:

    Amazing that so little of this ever gets discussed on dear old Auntie BBC. Lots of time to hear lots of assorted claptrap from lots of pontificating Roman Catholics priests but never anything like this. All we here are sepulchral and revential pronouncements from the propaganda merchants of the Vatican. And, of course Ratzinger, stinging the tax payer for around £30 million (my estimate but could be increased) whining away as if his comments had some merit.

    What a sodding shambles is Ratzinger’s “State Visit”.

  5. Stonyground says:

    The Daily Mash have had a go at this one:

    To me the most frustrating aspect of the RCC making people’s lives a misery is that a large proportion of the victims are willing volunteers. If only there was an easy way to get through to these people. There is no God, no Heaven and no Hell, stop being a Catholic, you only get one life, do not waste it, get a life and live it.

    Rid the world of the volunteers and the innocent victims would be freed as a consequence.

  6. NeoWolfe says:

    harwood said this:

    “Persons with expertise in reading and evaluating second-century documents in the original language are free to offer dissenting interpretations.”

    Laughable! The parable of the evil slave? Luke:19? The point was so clear, a turd could understand it. While the master was away to acquire his official crown, he entrusted his servants to grow his fortune (expand his ministry). The one who failed to do so lost the prize (eternal life). The idea of those who opposed his kingship being murdered is an even more laughable comedy compared to the prophecies of Armegeddon (but write this down harwood, that’s Har Megiddo, it’s an actual place in Palestine). I apologize for pointing out your pompous political spin which you mistake for education.