Catholic priests consider optional celibacy

Several US Diocese are writing petitions to Church leaders to make celibacy optional among priests.

Not being Catholic, my opinion is irrelevant. However, since the above story was published a few days ago, Bishop Wilton Gregory, of the Belleville IL diocese, and President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, has made a statement I can comment upon:

The current sexual-abuse crisis “is not a moment when the church needs to, or in fact intends to, review every one of our constitutive qualities and identities and beliefs and practices,” Gregory said. “It’s a moment of very intense feelings, raw feelings, but the whole store is not up for sale.î

“I don’t believe that there is any linkage between the abuse of children and celibacy,” he added, because if that were so, sexual abuse within families would not be so widespread.

To argue abuse of children happens without celibacy, so therefore celibacy doesn’t cause abuse of children falls for a very simple logical fallacy. It assumes there is only one cause of abuse in the entire universe.

I’m not saying I believe in the logic one way or another, but to discount the connection merely because there are obviously other causes of the societal problem is I believe a mistake.