• Germany's news in English

Church member leader urges end to celibacy for Catholic priests

DDP/The Local · 12 May 2010, 09:00

Published: 12 May 2010 09:00 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

“We must openly grapple with, for example, the question that some 90 percent of Catholics deal with birth control other than the Church instructs,” Alois Glück, president of the Central Committee of German Catholics, told daily Frankfurter Rundschau.

A “renewal” is necessary following the sex abuse scandal that has rocked almost every diocese in Germany since the first claims surfaced in January, he said, adding that the Church must “openly discuss what it means to deal with sexuality and partnership today.”

The Church must also end mandatory celibacy for priests, the country’s highest representative for lay Catholics said.

“We must open the way for a priesthood without celibacy,” he told the paper. “The discussion is in full swing.”

Glück’s comments come as nearly of quarter of Germany’s 25 million Catholics are considering turning their backs on their Church because of the way it has handled the child abuse scandal.

An April poll of more than 1,000 Catholics by the Forsa Institute published by daily Bild found 23 percent of Church members said they were thinking of leaving.

Even among those who described themselves as devout, 19 percent were considering walking away, the poll found.

At the heart of the anger is the belief that the Church is not handling the child abuse affair openly.

Story continues below…

Exactly half said they believed there was a link between celibacy and child abuse, while 44 percent said there was no link.

Yet a massive 81 percent said they believed celibacy for priests should be abolished, compared with just 12 percent who believed it should be maintained.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

10:12 May 12, 2010 by auniquecorn
And this will stop the child abuse?
11:21 May 12, 2010 by michael4096
Child abuse isn't about sex but power trips. There are a number of cases of de-frocked priests marrying and yet continuing to abuse children.
15:23 May 12, 2010 by Thames
In schools, prisons and in Protestant Churchs and in Jewish religious institutions and most notably in family situations, sexual abuse exists and according to some studies in higher proportions than in Catholic Instittuions so it is unlikely that allowing married Priests will do any good in stopping these horrible abuses. Marriage for Priests a seperate issue. I am also not sure how having 90% of Catholics in Germany dealing with birth control other tahn how the Church teaches has anything to do with child sexual abuse, except that maybe he thinks the answer to curbing child abuse is to have less children.

The Church has done a terrible job in handling the situation and needs renwel and perhaps the Church should adopt the Eastern Church's model and allow Priests at the Parish level to marry but these issues have little to do with sex abuse. It seems that the abuse scandal is being used to try to force the Church to ordain women Priests and eventually allow same sex marriages.

Child abuse is a terrible thing and it is also terrible that those with certain agendas seem to care little about the victims and only about using the situation to advance their agenda against tradtional and biblical Church teaching.
17:19 May 12, 2010 by CitizenWhy
Getting rid of mandatory celibacy will greatly reduce the child abuse problem for one simple reason: more priests, leading to a greater disposition in church authorities for getting rid of bad priests. If the number of clergy had been no problem the abusing priests would have been dumped in far greater numbers rather than being protected as valuable resources.

There will always be some celibate clergy in the Catholic tradition, for spiritual purposes. But there is no need to mandate that all clergy be celibate. Celibacy for spiritual rather than administrative purposes will make the church holier and more effective. Congregations would also have to find ways o pay decent salaries, as Jewish and Protestant congregations do.

P.S. It is very disturbing to see an all male procession of priests. It looks weird, and somewhat frightening.
11:42 May 13, 2010 by cobalisk
Of course this will curtail abuse. Sexual function is necessary and invariably will find and outlet. Trying to purge sexuality through dogmatic doctrine does not work because you are not addressing the hormonal fluctuations of the body. Only through some kind of chemical castration can the church hope to truly suppress the sex urge.

The arguments about power are simply expressions of the symptom. Sex is not about power, sex is about sex but the feelings of power experienced by some during the sex act height the arousal. Ergo, give priests a legitimate sexual outlet and you will see a) more priests b) more compassionate priests.

I realize this may not be the popular opinion and recognize that many if not most will disagree with me. No offense was intended.
01:08 May 14, 2010 by wetdawg~
Rather than that...why not have Priest's minister at Brothels? One hand washes the other, eh?
Today's headlines
Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA

A German court on Wednesday gave a woman a year's suspended jail sentence for posing as the cousin of a victim in last year's Germanwings plane crash and obtaining compensation offered by the airline.

Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

Pegida leader 'paid court costs with group's money'
Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann. Photo: DPA.

The leader of the anti-Islam movement reportedly used money from Pegida's coffers to pay for two personal court cases, German media reported this week.

Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

Obama to visit Berlin in last presidential trip to Germany
President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel during a Berlin trip in 2013. Photo: DPA.

The White House announced on Tuesday that US President Barack Obama will be paying one last unexpected visit to the German capital - his last before he leaves office.

10 ways German completely messes up your English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd