US Catholic Faith in Real Life

The solution to fake celibacy

By Bryan Cones | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

OMG as the young folks text nowadays. The new president of Paraguay, a former bishop, has admitted to fathering one woman's child, and today it comes out he admits that "it's possible" he could have fathered the child of at least one other. Both women, incidentally, seem to have been members of his parish, which leads one to wonder how consensual the relationships really could have been, given the imbalance in social power.

Lugo is a liberal, but there is, of course, the recent case of Legion of Christ founder Marcial Maciel both molested the men of his order and fathered a child of his own, provoking a Vatican investigation.

I don't think those who favor mandatory celibacy realize how seriously these sorts of cases damage the charism of celibacy. When those not called to celibacy take it on anyway, with bad consequences, the whole idea gets undermined. Fewer people believe priests and religious are actually celibate (in the sense that they abstain from sexual activity) as a result. Far better to restore the ancient discipline of ordaining already-married men and allow those who wish to make vows of celibate chastity do so. I think we're kidding ourselves if we think Maciel and Lugo are unusual cases here.