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Debate: Should Catholic priests be allowed to marry?

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Background and context

Catholic Priests are not allowed to marry. The general premise put forward by the Catholic Church to Justify this policy is that it forces priests to fully commit to God and their priesthood, without the distraction of a wife, kids, and family. Yet, many have begun to question this practice. Many simply argue that it is unnatural and harmful to suppress one's sexual urges and desire to find a life partner. The effect of such suppression can be unfortunate, with many arguing that it creates the nefarious impulse to sexually molest young boys in the church. And, it is the controversy surrounding the fairly widespread molestation of young boys by priests that has brought special attention to whether it is a good idea to prevent priests from marrying.

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Con



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Con

  • Allowing priests to marry would require Church pay them more. Kathryn Nicole Stockhausen. "Should Roman Catholic Priests Be Allowed to Marry?". Washington Post. November 7, 2004: "And as for financial considerations, most Roman Catholic priests, especially diocesan ones, receive a substantial portion of their pay in the form of in-kind contributions. This would be difficult to maintain if a priest took on a wife and children, and their pay would have to be increased as well. The church, especially in America, is having enough financial problems right now without adding to it by allowing priests to marry."



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Pro

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Con

  • Allowing priests to marry would not increase vocations. Kathryn Nicole Stockhausen. "Should Roman Catholic Priests Be Allowed to Marry?". Washington Post. November 7, 2004: "I have heard some who state that it would lead to an increase in vocations, but there is not a single piece of statistical data to prove that. Of those who have contemplated a vocation to the priesthood, very few have stated that a vow of celibacy was a stumbling block that they could not overcome. In fact, I have known of many ordained individuals who see celibacy as a blessing, and as a way to allow them to focus more on their vocation of service to others and to the church."


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