The limits of dogmatism

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.


2 Responses to The limits of dogmatism

  1. RuediG says:

    The American Nobel-prize winning economist Herbert Stein said, “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.” We can get ourselves so caught up in our pet theories (for up to 1600 years, apparently!) that we forget to check what basis they actually have. From a biblical perspective, the mandatory celibacy of priests has zero basis. None. Especially catholics should have remembered this long ago: the Bible explicitly mentions that pope nr. 1 (St Peter) was married. Existential threat? pragmatic response? Either way, we can thank them for forcing some of us to get rid of a policy that never should have been instituted in the first place.

  2. Keith says:

    Good point – thanks, Ruedi.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: