Father Edward Daly is in favour of relaxing the celibacy rules.
As an atheist I’m not too bothered what the rules of the club of Roman Catholic priests might be, but as a humanist I’d support their freedom of choice to be celibate or not as their personal religious conscience takes them.
But there’s something hypocritical about a bishop who thinks the rules should change for the expedient reason of encouraging more priests by the relaxation of the celibacy rule. This is another instance of what in secular terms is common sense, but in theistic terms is a denial of what the church considers essential church dogma. I wonder what the bishop thinks about contraception. Is he equally flexible on that score? My suggestions on that come shortly, if you’ll pardon the expression.
Well, according to the article the rule was brought in for both spiritual and pragmatic reasons, “Historians have contended that the move was partly for spiritual reasons, but was mainly to ensure estates held by clerics would pass back to the church upon their deaths rather than to offspring.” so no change in convenient policy making then, as long as you can attach some holy reasoning to it. So, what spiritual reason does Father Daly have for his proposed change that might excuse his earthly one? “..under the guidance of the holy spirit…” Well as a catholic it appears he still has access to the hot line to god and is waiting for a call that contains the answer.
I find it odd that the holy spirit works this way and gives such varied messages to so many different religious listeners. It’s as if the messages are encrypted and each theist has his own decryption key which coincidentally provides a specifically different but to them coherent message for each listener.
The move by the Vatican to make allowances to Anglican marrieds to join the RC church reminds me of the skulduggery that has sometimes plagued the football transfer market. Anglican priests are offered a bung of non-celibacy to make the transfer.
A say again, from a secular view all these pragmatic changes make perfect sense. But to push so many church rules as spiritual dogmatic requirements, as essentials to the faith, for years, centuries even, and then to change them for non-spiritual reasons of convenience, just highlights the bollocks that is the RC church anyway.
So, if you’re a relaxed Roman Catholic and you find some rule particularly inconvenient, write to your bishop and suggest that you would like it changed because it is a bit of an inconvenience to you; but promise you will wait for a call from the holy spirit in the expectation that a spiritual reason will be provided in due course. For example, a condom could be considered a symbolic representation of your celibacy: you’re not shagging a women but cloaking your penis in a holy shroud. With luck, in time, the Vatican will come around to the idea that this symbolic representation should become a literal one, just as a wafer actually becomes the body of Christ, and wine his blood. Then you’ll be able to add real spiritual ecstasy to your very mortal human experience.
And, a bunus: that’ll solve the problem of AIDS in Africa! And, the RC church gets all the credit! Result!
I tell you, this theological stuff is easy. I sometimes wish I were religious. Making up holy shit is great fun.