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Priestly celibacy: pt3: modern times.

Part I (Jan-Feb) presented a study of the "interventions" of Canadian episcopal delegations to the Synods in Rome. Part II showed that celibacy has been a constant feature of Christianity tracing its origins to the days of the Apostles and the circle of disciples--men and women--around the Lord Jesus. This was not written down for two and a half centuries because of persecutions which ended at the beginning of the fourth century. Celibacy had become general policy by the end of that century. (The Eastern tradition of married priests does not find formal approval until the controversial Council of Trullo in 691 and that only by modifying the rulings of an earlier council).

Part III discusses some modern arguments against maintaining mandatory celibacy and the response of the Church.

Priestly celibacy did not arise again as a serious public controversy until the 1960's when the affluent nations of North America and Western Europe began to abandon traditional moral standards, especially in sexual matters. Within a decade following the Vatican Council (1962-65) tens of thousands of nuns, priests and religious brothers abandoned their chosen state of life, with many blaming celibacy though the evidence is against this. (1)

The old arguments reappeared, especially those from the days of Luther. Once more celibacy was said to be contrary to the call for holiness extended to everyone. Once more it was accused of belittling the married state as inferior. Once again, it was said that only its abolition could resolve the shortage of priests.

The chief protagonist this time was the theologian Edward Schillebeeckx, O.P., who wrote in 1970 that "the celibacy issue arises again today owing to a new idea greatly nourished by Vatican II, (namely) the vocation of all men to holiness." (2)

In the Netherlands a kind of lay priesthood was to arise during the two decades of the 1960's and 1970's. This new class of over 400 workers--grown to 600 by 1994--consists of two groups: ordained but laicized priests (i.e., priests returned to the lay state--most of whom got married); and unordained men and women with theology degrees. Contrary to the intentions of Rome both groups sought and found full-time employment in parishes as assistant "pastors."

Together, these individuals of both backgrounds actively sought "equality" with the ordained regular parish priests. In civic life they formed a trade union for reasons of personal job security, and in the ecclesiastical order they pursued a theology justifying their existence, principally by contesting the sacrament of ordination and questioning celibacy. Father Schillebeeckx, born in Belgium in 1914 and later professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at the Catholic University of Nijmegen in Holland, became their chief theologian and champion. This development of contesting non-ordained pastoral workers was one of the reasons which led Pope John Paul II to call a national Synod of Dutch bishops and Vatican cardinals in Rome in 1980, a Synod which, as far as I know, has remained fruitless.

At about the same time as the Synod, Fr. Schillebeeckx (hereafter S), gathered his various articles on the priesthood written mostly in Dutch during the previous 15 years in one volume, and had them translated. The English translation is entitled Ministry.

Ministry reveals a radical rejection of the Church's traditional character. According to S., in the real Christian Church, ministry comes from `below,' not from on high by the laying on of hands upon the candidates by bishops who also choose the candidates. Baptism, he declared, is the only real sacrament. All baptized people are priests. This priesthood of the faithful bestowed by baptism, including that of women of course, fulfils the requirements for ordained ministry. Furthermore, the local community has a right to the Eucharist. Therefore, if there is a shortage of priests it has a right to choose and appoint ministers who may celebrate Holy Mass. If necessary, they can forego the ordination by a bishop.


Celibacy, according to S., goes back no further than the twelfth century, with a rather obscure `pre-history' of abstinence for married clergy started in the fourth century (85). The sole or `dominant' motive for clerical celibacy, S. contends, is that of cultic (periodic) continence before sacred worship copied from other religions. In short, celibacy is a mistaken development, impertinently imposed from above, for unworthy or inferior motives, and contrary to the good of the community. At best, celibacy should be disengaged from the priesthood immediately; for the remainder it should be allowed to exist, but will probably wither away as soon as "marriage is given its full value" (93).

Schillebeeckx claimed his views were based on facts, not theories, but scholars did not agree. Biblical exegetes as well as church historians have rejected his "facts" as inaccurate and contrary to the evidence: "The thesis [takes] control of the exposition of the facts of history," notes one; and "history is being arranged to suit the thesis," says another, (3)

The massive criticism and the Vatican's rejection of his theological theses during the years 1981-1986, has curbed S's influence, though today (1997) one can still find his line of thinking about the "right to the Eucharist" and the "right of the community to ordain priests without the presence of the bishop" 21 here and there, including in Canada. (4) His idea about baptism conferring a right to priesthood provided the logical underpinnings for the women's ordination movement. His notion that celibacy would soon be gone had been preceded, and was reaffirmed, by others. (5)

Since 1990 popular opposition to celibacy has found new fertile ground in the homosexual scandals among the clergy and the sexual wrongdoings of half a dozen bishops in the US, Canada, Ireland, Great Britain and Switzerland. Each event is interpreted as proof that celibacy is wrong and that the Church's teaching on sexuality leaves much to be desired. (6)

Teaching celibacy

If in the past even students for the priesthood in the seminary were not taught much if anything at all, about the origins, history and purpose of celibacy this vacuum has now been filled. Where is one to find these explanations?

The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) reiterated the celibate tradition in chapter three of the Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests (Presbyterorum ordinis), approved on December 7, 1965. Its opening line declares that "perfect and perpetual continence for the sake of the kingdom of heaven was recommended by Christ the Lord." It gives Matthew 19:12 as reference:

"For while some are incapable of marriage because they were born so, or were made so by men, there are others who have themselves renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of Heaven." (NEB translation)

Acknowledging that celibacy "is not demanded of the priesthood by its nature," as is clear from the practice of the primitive Church and the tradition of the Eastern Churches," the Council declares that by preserving virginity or celibacy for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, priests are consecrated in a new and excellent way to Christ." (7)

The Council did not debate celibacy as a separate item because Pope Paul VI reserved a fuller treatment of the issue to himself. He published his encyclical On Priestly Celibacy in 1967, the fullest summary of church teaching on the subject. Since then other responses have followed.

Celibacy's sign value.

As noted earlier, the third International Synod of Bishops held in Rome in 1971 also turned its attention to the priestly office. In response to the Canadian requests (see Part I) the Synod defended the retention of celibacy in the Latin rite, reiterating how it is in full harmony with the apostolic following of Christ. This time the bishops especially emphasized celibacy's sign value:

"If celibacy is lived in the spirit of the gospel," they said, "in prayer and vigilance, with poverty, joy, contempt of honours, and brotherly love, it is a sign which cannot long be hidden."

Such words are scarcely heeded today, they added, but

"the witness of a life which displays the radical character of the gospel has the power of exercising a strong attraction . . . In a society where the value of sexuality is so exaggerated that genuine love is forgotten, celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom of Christ . . . reveals the ultimate meaning of life." (8)

The need for fidelity

At the beginning of 1977 the bishops of France published a document on celibacy drawn up by their Episcopal Commission for the Clergy. This was preceded by a declaration from the full assembly of French bishops and followed by a lengthy "Note on the theology of fidelity." (9) Unlike other statements, theirs was not an exhortation on behalf of celibacy but an analysis exploring various aspects of living it in the modern world, its difficulties, problems and dangers. Written in a reflective response to the times, it emphasizes the need for fidelity.

With respect to priests dispensed of their obligations the bishops state, no doubt with an eye on the situation in Holland:

"despite the ardent desire of some of these married priests, we cannot entrust them with a properly priestly ministry in any form whatsoever (Eucharist, reconciliation, pastoral charge). The Church's tradition demands that the link between priestly ministry and the state of life chosen or accepted at the moment of ordination be respected."

The "Note" considers how fidelity to a life-long commitment can be undermined and how lost fidelity, in turn, may undermine other values in society. The Church is called to fidelity to the Father, it points out, and though lived out amid human weakness, fidelity must remain an essential feature. The priest's fidelity represents the fidelity of God to his promise; the fidelity of Christ to the mission he received from the Father; and the many-sided fidelity of the Church which continues the mission of the Son. The case of dispensed priests, therefore, is not parallel to (ordaining) laymen, who may have led sinful lives. These men become servants of the Gospel "only after they have been forgiven and strengthened in love."

This situation is different from that of a man who has put himself in a new situation which runs contrary to his original commitment:

". . . (he) loses his claim upon his brothers and sisters to credibility as an ordained minister. "Otherwise it amounts to saying that fidelity . . . is optional for all" (166). (10)

Among the many wise observations of the Commission is the admonition that the personal needs of the priest for encouragement, solidarity, affective friendship, etc., cannot be met without first fulfilling one basic condition: "[It] is truly liberating only when a concern for the pastoral mission is predominant." Without zeal for Christ, a priest cannot fulfil his task.

Renouncing marriage for the sake of God

With agitation continuing to surround the priesthood in Europe and America, Pope John Paul II has not hesitated to speak out. In what was to become a tradition, he has used the Thursday of Holy Week when the Church celebrates the institution of the Eucharist and Priesthood to teach and reflect on the subject. Every year these discourses are printed in the Vatican paper Osservatore Romano, including its English edition.

On the first such date after his election in October 1978, the Pope recalled to his fellow bishops how "we are all joined in the one priesthood of Christ which found its fullest expression in the sacrifice of the cross . . ." (11) Any understanding of this priesthood in the light of the cross, he wrote in a letter to the priests of the world, cannot flow from the study of documents, even though these may prove useful. The words of Christ and his apostles in the Scriptures come to life and bear their true meaning only when approached as a living source with love for Christ and His Church. (12)

Pope John Paul, not wanting to add, he said, to the recent `full discussion of Vatican II, Paul VI in 1967, and the 1971 Synod,' reiterated that celibacy is a "treasure" which "was and is the will of the Latin Church," in accordance with the example of Jesus himself. He then added:

"The essential reason for celibacy is to be found in the truth which Christ revealed when speaking of the renunciation of marriage for the sake of God (Mt. 19:2ff.) and which St. Paul proclaimed when he wrote that each person has his or her own gift from God: "I should like every one to be like me, but everybody has his own particular gift (1 Cor 7:8).

Celibacy, said the Pope, "is precisely such a gift from the Spirit. The priest renounces the kind of fatherhood proper to married men and seeks another fatherhood and . . . motherhood, as described by St. Paul: My dearest children . . . I begot you in Christ Jesus (Cor 4:15-16), and again, "I must go through the pain of giving birth to you all over again. . . (Gal. 4:19)" (13)

Celibacy is absolutely not "imposed" on anyone, the Pope reiterates. Fidelity to the original promise, he repeats, is necessary. And temptations against celibacy are not any different from the temptations experienced by married people. They should be overcome through prayer. The Church should not resort to dispensations "thought of simply in terms of an `administrative intervention' as though there were not a question of an important issue of conscience and a test of one's humanity." The faithful have a right to expect fidelity, and in this area too "our priesthood should be subordinated to the priesthood of all the faithful. (14)

Pope John Paul II halted the flow of dispensations for laicization which Paul VI had permitted as an act of mercy to the many priests who abandoned their priestly calling during and after the Second Vatican Council. He also objected to "diluting our priestly charism" by wanting to "laicize our manner of life and action," eliminating "even the external signs of our priestly vocation" such as clerical garb. (15) He has repeated this last point of view a number of times; he formally addressed the issue in September 1982 "because of the pastoral consequences which flow from it."

Also in 1982, John Paul II returned to `celibacy as a gift' from the perspective of the theology of the body, reflecting on the words: "there are others who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven" (Mt. 19:12). There is an analogy between animal and man, he stated, but because man is a rational being the application of the terminology "sexual instinct" to human beings is inappropriate. Above all, human beings are free, they can act freely. They have the ability and freedom to give themselves in marriage to one another, and in religion to God. The same love (itself a gift of God) commits some human beings to marriage for the whole duration of their life (Mt. 19:3-10); others commit themselves to a life of continence (Mt. 19:11-12): (16)

"The surprised disciples said to him, `If that is how things are between husband and wife, it is not advisable to marry." But he replied, `It is not everyone who can accept what I have said, but only those to whom it is granted"' (Mt. 19:10-11).

In 1981, in a major letter on the role of the Christian family in the world, Pope John Paul II reiterated that celibacy neither contradicts nature, nor maligns marriage:

"Virginity or celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom of God not only does not contradict the dignity of marriage but presupposes it and confirms it. Marriage and virginity or celibacy are two ways of expressing and living the one mystery of the covenant of God with his people. When marriage is not esteemed, neither can consecrated virginity or celibacy exist; when human sexuality is not regarded as a great value given by the Creator, the renunciation of it for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven loses its meaning." (17)

Since 1981 the Pope has continued to issue his annual Holy Thursday letters but he has also defended the gift of celibacy on many other occasions, such as visits to other countries, especially where celibacy is little known. On his visit to Tanzania in September 1990, for example, he told the priests and bishops, of this mostly Muslim and pagan country: "Your commitment to celibacy and chastity for the sake of the kingdom offers a powerful witness of undivided love for Christ and a readiness to serve Him in others without distinction of persons. By your availability to all, you will `assure that no one will feel a stranger in the Christian community"' (Vat. II, Presbyterorum ordinis, 9).

Synod of 1990

The 1990 International Synod in Rome was devoted to studying the "Formation of Priests." Although celibacy was not a formal subject of discussion at this gathering, it nevertheless did receive mention. Four or five bishops thought the time had come for ordaining married men, but by the end of the Synod it was clear that the bishops as a whole approved a strong re-affirmation of mandatory celibacy. (18) The Synod's closing message read:

"In our discussions, celibacy has shone out for us in a new light and with new clarity. This celibacy is a complete selfgiving to God for the good of souls; an intimate union with Christ the Bridegroom, who so loved his Bride, the Church, that he gave up his life for her. Observing the evangelical counsels remains a sure way of acquiring virtue and attaining a true and complete freedom of the spirit. In this way, in taking up our cross, we follow Christ more closely and carry out the Father's will." (19)

Living as brother and sister

The Synod was also the occasion for an unexpected affirmation of the age-old concept of priestly `continence' explained in Part II. In a 1990 interview with the Italian Catholic weekly Famiglia Cristiana, Cardinal Aloisio Lorschneider of Brazil revealed that two married men had been ordained in Brazil with the Pope's personal authorization, "on the condition that they would live with their spouses henceforth as brother and sister. "This condition, he noted, had "led to criticism."

In response to headlines in the Italian press and widespread comment elsewhere, a "clarification" on the celibacy of priests was issued by the Holy See. It noted that:

"In an extremely limited number of cases the Holy See has granted a dispensation from the impediment of the marriage bond in view of ordination to the priesthood under the following three conditions:

1) a free and conscious acceptance by the candidate for ordination of the celibate way of life;

2) the explicit consent of the wife and children, if any, in writing and legally valid, that permits the husband to be ordained;

3) total separation from the wife in the matter of cohabitation. (Vatican officials defined cohabitation as living in the same house and explained that the marriage bond had not been dissolved or annulled but rather suspended)."

The clarification went on to conclude that "these conditions reaffirm that the law of celibacy even in such cases is valid and to be observed."

However, in the case of some married clergy of other Christian churches who join the Catholic Church, the clarification noted, the Church has not imposed the condition of celibacy. This is the case with some Anglican (Episcopalian) clergy in North America. The Vatican statement asserted that "this exception to the rule of celibacy is granted in favor of these individual persons, and should not be understood as implying any change in the Church's conviction of the value of priestly celibacy, which will remain the rule for future candidates to the priesthood from this group." (20)


The modern world may find the concept of priestly celibacy hard to understand, yet a strong defence can be made of it, as we have seen. It finds its justification in Jesus' own words and life which, in turn, has led to a continuous tradition of it in the Church from the earliest times. It has been defended, explained, and praised by great popes. And it has been reconfirmed by the decrees of the Second Vatican Council.

To say that attacks on celibacy are not necessarily attacks on the priesthood may have some tiny theoretical justification, but it flies in the face of a 2000-year tradition wherein priesthood and celibacy are intimately connected as supplementary models for friendship with Jesus Christ.

The present Holy Father is completely in accord with his predecessors in describing it as something which joins members of the ministerial priesthood to the priesthood of their Divine Master. Celibacy, therefore, needs to be understood, instead of being ridiculed and rejected. Once it is examined, its full significance and importance for the priestly life impresses itself upon the mind and the heart of the believer." Let anyone accept this, who can" (Mt. 19-12).

(1) . The reality was different, according to an 1969 Italian study by sociologist Silvano Burgalassi of Pisa. 95 percent of the priests who had `returned' to the lay state affirmed, when questioned, that neglect of prayer, not celibacy, played the decisive role in their decision to leave. (J. Kosneter, "Reflections sur les discussions actuelles concernant le celibat," in Coppens, Priesthood and Celibacy, 1983, pp. 555-571).

(2) . Quoted by F. Sanchez-Arjona Halcon, op. cit, Jan. 20, 1972.

(3) . Henri Crouzel, SJ., "The Witness of the Ancient Church," Clergy Review, May 1983, pp. 1174ff. See also G. Meershoek, Theologie op bestelling (theology on request), 1982, and many other articles and reviews.

(4) . The Vatican reacted with the document "The Minister of the Eucharist," (Origins, Sept. 15, 1983), and afterwards with further affirmations of this document in correspondence with Schillebeeckx. Despite promises to do so, S. never retracted his erroneous facts and opinions.

The "right to the Eucharist"--apparently seen in isolation from other rights and duties--and the right of the community to call forth candidates for the priesthood, has been supported by Fr. Andrew Britz, o.s.b., in various editorials of Saskatchewan's Catholic weekly, the Prairie Messenger (See for example, Sept. 21, 1992 and Feb. 28, 1994); see also, "the Eucharist is more important than an unmarried clergy," St. Anthony Messenger (U.S.), Nov. 1991; Glen Argan, editor of the Western Catholic Reporter, Edmonton, "Retaining the right to the Eucharist," May 20, 1991; and the article, "Lay-led liturgies," WCR, Nov. 2, 1992.

S's proposals are not the only ones which undermine the theology of priesthood and the Eucharist. For example, laicized priest Bernard Cooke, a theology professor in Boston, states that the whole community, "not the ordained minister" (his word for priest), is "celebrant of the Eucharistic action." Cooke rejects transubstantiation of the bread (and wine) and calls it "transformed bread," just as S in 1967 proposed to replace transubstantiation with transignification, a proposal denounced by Pope Paul VI. For Cooke "transformed bread" is a "symbol" which (only) "speaks of his gift of self to his friends." Quoted by M. Martin, "The Coming Crisis in the Priesthood," April 1990, reprinted in Christian Order, April 1992, p. 232. For Cooke's theology, see his Ministry to Word and Sacraments.

(5) . Gregory Baum announced the end of celibacy, again (Toronto Star, July 21, 1990). He had forgotten that in 1968, when still at the Faculty of Theology at St. Michael's College, Toronto, he had said that mandatory celibacy would be abolished within five years!

Fr. Dan Donovan, of the same faculty, stated in 1984 that "the ordination of married men is in continuity with the basic thrust of Vatican II." This council, he said, "marks the end of a narrowly Western and Counter-Reformation Catholicism." He proposed that preparations begin immediately for a division between a diocesan clergy who are married and monks who are celibate. (Catholic New TImes, Feb. 12, 1984). Others have forecast the end of celibacy. Said Fr. Richard McBrien of Notre Dame University, Grand Bend, IN: "The Pope's restorationist agenda is temporary and will die with him."

(6) . In 1990, following the revelations of the homosexual scandals at Mount Cashel, St. John's, Nfld., and among priests there and elsewhere in Canada and the United States, there was a chorus of daily press commentators denouncing celibacy. In Canada, it also led to the start-up of the Coalition of Concerned Canadian Catholics (CCCC) under Joanna Manning and other teachers, supported by the CNT.

The outcry against celibacy was further expressed in new books and films, some of them scurrilous such as The Priest. Another feature of this tempest were grossly inflated charges about the rate of priestly sexual relations with women or men. Richard Sipe, a former Benedictine priest and now lecturer in psychiatry published A secret world: sexuality and the search for celibacy in 1990, claiming that celibacy and the Church's teaching on sexuality are wrong. He presents it as a scientific "study" typical of the American priesthood, but it is as "scientific" as the discredited work of Kinsey who collected his data among homosexuals and then projected it as normative of the American population. Sipe collects his data from among priests under psycho-therapy, their "lovers" or partners, and other troubled individuals; he then projects his "data" as typical of the entire American priesthood of 40,000 men. (See Vernon Sattler, "An agenda to reject celibacy, Hom and Pastoral Rev., June 1991). For his history of celibacy Sipe relies on the erroneous views of Schillebeeckx.

Every year since 1989, headlines in daily papers have attacked the Church such as, for example, "Religion to blame for host of sexual problems," Toronto Star, Oct. 5, 1990.

Even Catholic bishops would stir up the press. In October 1991, U.S. Archbishop Rembert Weakland of Milwaukee declared himself willing to ordain married men if there were a shortage of priests. He was rebuked by the Vatican (PM, Nov. 19, 1991). Some Catholic theologians blamed the Catholic Church's "structure, clericalism and sexual teaching" (the late Fr. Andre Guindon, O. M. I., of Ottawa; see his address to the Catholic Theological Society, N. C. R., July 2, 1993. Yet, it was he whom the Canadian bishops appointed to head their 1986 Commission on Clerical abuse).

(7) . Austin Flannery, O. P., General Editor, Vatican Council II. The conciliar and post conciliar documents -- Study edition, 1975, 1986, pp. 892-4. For a beautiful exposition of the priesthood in general, see the decree Lumen gentium, Section 10.

(8) . The Synodal Document on the Ministerial Priesthood, November 1971, (Boston, St. Paul's edition), p. 32.

7. "Priestly Celibacy, an Evangelical testimony for the modern world," O. R., July 19, 1973.

(9) . Italian text in O. R., Jan. 26, 1977. English text in TPS (The Pope Speaks), Vol. 22, No. 22, 1977, pp. 141-166.

(10) . Both in Europe and in North America small groups of priests dispensed from their state of life and now married, lobby for reinstatement, claiming that celibacy is only a recent innovation and that the shortage of priests should bring about their reinstatement. They are organized under the title Corpus: Corps of Reserve Priests United for Service.

(11) . "An Exhortation to Unity," Letter to all the bishops of the Church for Holy Thursday, 1979, p. 231, in TPS, Vol. 224, No. 3, pp. 229-232

(12) . "Celibacy and priestly life," Letter to all the priests of the Church for Holy Thursday, 1979, p. 236, TPS, Vol. 23, No. 3, pp. 234-250. The Holy Father recommended rereading Section 10 of the Vatican II decree Lumen gentium (Dogmatic constitution of the Church), as an example of contemplative, spiritual reflection born of the love of Christ. Love of the priesthood was also the theme of his address to the clergy of Rome on taking possession of the See of Rome as bishop on November 9, 1978 (TPS, Vol 224, 1979, p. 47).

(13) . See also (Cardinal) Henri de Lubac, S.J., The Motherhood of the Church (original French 1971, English 1982), San Francisco, Ignatius Press, especially Part One, Chap. IV, "Motherhood of the entire Church;" and Chapter V, "Fatherhood of the Clergy." On celibacy in the early Church, he states: "But what is more, this consecration through celibacy is understood and justified only if the very idea of Christian ministry is received in faith and retained in its proper originality instead of being equated with profane pagan or Jewish models..." (132)

De Lubac dismisses the kind of criticism which "only wants to consider abuses" and which "in a fever of secularism" denounces celibacy "as the sacerdotalisation of the ministry." This is the kind of theology popular since Vatican II, he states; it is not prepared "to open the soul to the full mystery of the Church" and consequently has "no understanding of the fatherhood of our pastors" or "the motherhood of the church." Continues de Lubac: "This theology would like to define itself solely as the critical function of the Church--while claiming at times to exercise a kind of doctrinal dictatorship in her. But in the light of faith, such a theology condemns itself. It may not be useless but in creating a rupture, it has renounced its better part, which is the exploration of the mystery...

(14) . Section 9. See also de Lubac, op cit, Chapter Five. (priests are not mediators in the sense of separating people from God. Similarly, neither priest nor hierarchy dominates the community. They serve. They are instruments only, instruments through which Christ acts, p. 85 ff.).

(15) . November, 1979, TSP, 1979, p. 49. See "Religious dress--sign and witness." Repeated a number of times since then as, for example, in the Directory on the Ministry and Life of priests," 1994. Laicization was halted in 1979. During the years 1914-1963 there were some 800 requests for laicization, of which just over 300 were granted. During the 15 years of Pope Paul VI, an estimated 2000 laicizations were granted per year (Catholic Register, April 28, 1979).

15. TPS, Vol. 28, No. 22, 1983, pp. 124-125. In North America some priests, especially on academic campuses, have adopted civilian dress as a deliberate policy to express the belief that the ministerial priesthood is not really different from the priesthood of the faithful. Others do it out of a (mistaken) desire not to be different from lay faculty.

(16) . "Celibacy, a Particular Response." Two general audiences, April 28, May 5, 1982. TPS, Vol 27, No. 3, 1982, pp. 268-275.

(17) . Apostolic exhortation, "The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World" (Familiaris Consortio), November 1981, Section 16, entitled "Marriage and Virginity or Celibacy."

(18) . Bishops from the United States defended celibacy in their "interventions" as well as in a press conference. Archbishop Aloysius Ambrozic of Toronto declared that celibacy must be reaffirmed. Bishop Henri Goudreault of Labrador City-Schefferville, Nfld., who favoured the ordination of married men, said he was disappointed with the outcome but recognized that "what has come out of the synod discussion is a very strong and firm position not to open this door" (to married priests). News reports in Western Catholic Reporter, Edmonton, October 15; The Wanderer, St. Paul, Minn., October 18, Toronto Star, October 24, and 25, 1990.

(19) . Final message of Synod, October 30, 1990.

(20) . The clarification was issued on October 18, 1990. Reported in Catholic Register, Toronto, November 3, Terrence Prendergast, S. J., "Brazilian married priest bound by celibacy;" and in Origins, Washington, November 1, 1990,p.334.
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Author:De Valk, Alphonse
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Date:May 1, 1997
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