Jesus didn’t require celibacy


To the Editor:
In the May 23 issue of The Catholic Messenger, Father Ron Rolheiser wrote on the wages of celibacy. Excellent as usual.
However, one critical adjective did not appear: “mandatory.”  Jesus was a celibate, but he did not require this of the apostles nor of his disciples. Eastern Rite Catholic priests have a choice to marry if they wish. Protestant ministers becoming Catholic are not required to cease their marriage to continue ministry. Celibacy certainly plays a role in the dwindling number of Latin Rite ordinations to the priesthood. In the Diocese of Fresno, where I live, there is a parish with two priests for 40,000 Catholics, most of whom are Portuguese, Hispanic or Italian. Only one of the priests speaks Spanish. In the Davenport Diocese, you have one ordination to the priesthood this year. How will we keep up with meeting the needs of Catholics around the country?
Celibacy is not a sacrament. Marriage is. There is something wrong with this picture.
Barry Brunsman, O.F.M.
Los Banos, Calif.

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