The Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) is supporting recent calls to suspend compulsory celibacy for priests. Are they taking this position because celibacy may contribute to pedophilia problems in the priesthood? Heck no. They’re taking this position because they’re running out of priests. ACP founder member Brendan Hoban claims that Ireland will be without Catholic priests in about 20 to 30 years if nothing is done.
This is a good example of how religious dogma is readily put on the table for reconsideration as soon as it appears to pose an existential threat. You’d think that long held (i.e. 1600 years) fundamental practices like celibacy would be maintained no matter what the repercussions: if they’re God’s will, then who are we to change them, right? Apparently not. When it comes to saving your own skin, pragmatism is suddenly the name of the game.