In all the discussions about sexual abuse of children by priests, no one seems to be talking about one of the chief reasons that pedophiles and homosexuals seem to be attracted to the Roman Catholic priesthood. It is the “elephant in the room” that everyone seems to pretend is not really there.
The “room” is the Roman Catholic Church and the “elephant” is the requirement that priests be celibate. Celibacy is a great choice for those who wish to give their lives to ministry. It enables one to concentrate one’s undivided attention to prayer and the proclamation of the Word. The word “choice,” however, is operative. Nowhere is Scripture is celibacy required of anyone who wishes to serve God. While the apostle, Paul, thought it better to remain unmarried (read 1 Corinthians 7), he also maintained the right “…to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas…” (1 Corinthians 9:5).
Every man has the right to marry, especially if remaining single might compromise his moral purity (that certainly would apply to yours truly). And, allowing marriage is no sure cure for sexual abuse of children. Nevertheless, to require celibacy of all men who seek to serve God is unnatural and anti-scriptural. That’s right, a law made by a council in the fourth century is in opposition to Holy Spirit inspired Scripture. If that doesn’t make this requirement unnatural and ungodly, I don’t know what does.
Some are able to live celibate lives and remain pure (Matthew 19:10-12). Only God knows for sure, but I’m confident that most priests in the Roman Catholic Church fit this description. This does not change the fact that this requirement cannot be justified in light of divine revelation. The elephant in the room needs to be recognized, acknowledged and driven out.