United States: Priests want discussion on the celibacy obligation

Source: FSSPX News


37 priests of the diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota, have sent letters to the president of the Conference of the American Catholic Bishops, Mgr. Wilton D. Gregory, Bishop of Belleville, asking him for a dialogue on the question of compulsory priestly celibacy.

“We unite our voices with those of other dioceses, in order to urgently request the bishops of the United States to discuss with the priests the problem of optional celibacy for diocesan priests of the Roman rite”, they wrote. “We are asking the bishops to draft a framework of discussion, in which each priest who so desires may be heard on this question. Our concern for our clergy is genuine, as is our anxiety for the sacramental life of our Church”.

“The celebration of the sacraments becomes more problematic, as the number of priests available to serve in our parishes declines,” they insist. A quarter of the members of the clergy of the archdiocese of Saint Paul, Minneapolis, had already questioned the American bishops in December on the subject of priestly celibacy, worried about the shortage of priests, “a serious threat for the American Church, given that the faithful find themselves being refused their baptismal right to the fullness of the sacramental life, in particular the Sunday Eucharist”. Other petitions in the archdiocese of Milwaukee, in the diocese of New Ulm have already been circulated on the same subject.