My World of Religion, Politics, Entertainment and Social Issues

If you are visiting my blog, expecting to see 'Toward a Progressive Catholic Church,' I have changed my title to reflect my wide assortment of interests. Having retired from my secular job, I hope to devote the rest of my life to my hobbies, ministries and perhaps a part-time job that makes good use of my communications skills. This blog will be designed to address my multi-faceted interests.

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Location: Rochester, New York, United States

I have an M.A. in Theology and an M.Div (Master of Divinity) from St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry. I am currently a media consultant and promoter of classical music. I am also certified as an officiant by the Federation of Christian Ministries for baptisms, weddings and funerals and minister independently of the Rochester Diocese. My life has encompassed many interesting paths: broadcasting, free-lance writing, video-production, music, ministry and a secular job in government. In addition to this blog, I have a YouTube site at www.youtube.com/priestray and I have a Facebook page.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cardinal Egan Open to Celibacy Discussion



Dear Blog Visitors:

I am obviously delighted that during the course of a radio interview in Albany, Cardinal Edward M. Egan stated that an open discussion on the priestly celibacy issue would be a good idea. I wholeheartedly agree. I am, however, a little frustrated that Cardinal Egan did not make this announcement sooner.

It is indeed a shame that some members of the Roman Catholic hierarchy wait until their final days in office to state changes in policy that need to be considered. This is because they are afraid of being disciplined by the Vatican for having a difference of opinion from the pontiff. Once they near retirement, however, not much can happen to them of a disciplinary nature.

Cardinal Egan has been criticized in the past for not speaking out more forcefully on the sexual abuse crisis. He has also been criticized by many New York priests for not being accessible to them. However, I want to take this opportunity to at least thank him for being candid on the celibacy issue as he approaches retirement.

I continue to maintain that very few priests are called to a life of celibacy. They nevertheless pledge such a lifestyle, because they know it is the only way to gain entry to a clerical life. It is extremely important at this juncture to state that a mandatory celibacy policy in today's world makes little sense. Furthermore, I support a very credible argument that points to the fact that in many respects, the mandatory celibacy policy provides a convenient smokescreen for the sexual abuse crisis that is far from over. (Some convicted priests have later admitted to psychologists that they felt they could get away with their acts, due to the fact that there was a perception that no one would suspect a celibate priest of illegal/illicit sexual acts.)

The time for an honest and open discussion on the celibacy issue is at hand. My thanks to Cardinal Egan for his courageous statement on an Albany radio station.

What follows is a video I made in which I thank Cardinal Egan. You'll notice at the end of the video what can best be described as a newspaper headline of the future that announces the Vatican has abolished the policy of mandatory celibacy. (Let us hope this actually happens.)

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