Should the Catholic Church allow married men to become priests?
via AP

Should the Catholic Church allow married men to become priests?

#LetPriestsMarry
#KeepPriesthoodCelibate
Join the conversation and vote below

Pope Francis shocked many Catholics when he suggested recently that married men could be ordained as priests. The celibate priesthood has been one of the defining characteristics of the Roman Catholic Church for nearly 1,000 years, and many Catholics strongly oppose allowing them to marry. But others argue celibacy is both cruel and theologically unnecessary. Many, including the Pope, note the severe shortage of priests, and say the church may need to evolve to survive. What do you think? 

THE VOTES ARE IN!
#LetPriestsMarry
77.3%
#KeepPriesthoodCelibate
22.7%

The shortage of priests is severe and growing, and celibacy is a major factor in why Catholic men are no longer joining the priesthood. Many argue that if the Catholic Church is to survive, it must evolve.

According to Vatican statistics, between 1975 and 2008 the world's Catholics increased by 64% from 709.6 million to 1.166 billion, but the number of priests increased by only 1% from 404,783 to 409,166. In 2008, nearly 49,631 of the world’s 218,865 parishes did not have a resident priest.

But for conservative Catholics, the idea of allowing priests to marry is literal heresy. They argue there are "rich and profound theological reasons for a celibate priesthood," and violating centuries of Church doctrine is a totally unacceptable solution to the problem.

Plenty of Catholics think requiring priests to remain celibate is cruel and unnatural, and argue there is no scriptural basis for it.

What makes this all extra silly, and extra sad, is that there is no Biblical imperative for priests to stay celibate....The Church’s policy is detrimental to all involved. It’s not just cruel to both persons involved in a budding romantic bond, and unnatural for the priest to abstain from physical intimacy; it also eliminates many candidates for the priesthood, young men who decide that they will not live their personal lives according to a bad idea from the Dark Ages.

Critics say the celibacy requirement was never about theology anyway—it was about consolidating the Church's wealth.

But defenders of the celibacy requirement say ending it would alter the church and the priesthood irrevocably.

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