October 11, 2005

Pell fights Catholic anti-celibacy moves


By Jill Rowbotham
October 12, 2005

ABANDONING celibacy as a condition of priesthood would be a serious error, Cardinal George Pell told the Rome Bishops Synod overnight, weighing into the escalating debate on whether removing the celibacy rule would revive the interest of young men in becoming priests.

Addressing a gathering of more than 250 senior Catholic churchmen from around the world, presided over by Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Pell attacked moves in the church to relax the no-sex requirement.

Australia's leading Catholic referred to "the ancient tradition and life-giving discipline of mandatory celibacy for the diocesan clergy as well as the religious orders".

"To loosen this tradition now would provoke confusion in the mission areas and would not strengthen spiritual vitality in the First World," he said.

Posted by kshaw at October 11, 2005 07:58 PM