ABC Online is reporting Priests’ ‘wives’ speak out against celibacy (HT to Matthias):
About a dozen women have written an open letter to the pope challenging the Church’s position that priestly celibacy is a sacred commitment.
“As far as I’m concerned, celibacy is completely useless,” said one of the signatories, Stefania Salomone. Ms Salomone, 42, had a five-year relationship with a priest. She argues celibacy was introduced for financial reasons, alluding to the fact that clergy without family were less expensive to house.
She also points to the Church’s earlier history for evidence of marriage. “People forget that there were 39 married popes,” she said. [Quick quiz: name them!]
The letter was partly a reaction to recent comments by the pope upholding the nearly 900-year-old requirement of celibacy for priests, calling it “the sign of full devotion” and of an “entire commitment to the Lord”.
Written in March, the letter was initially kept confidential, but late last month it was leaked to news website GlobalPost, and the women decided to tell their stories. “We told ourselves it was time to react,” Ms Salomone said. “Only three women agreed to sign the letter by name, because of the fear that if a woman goes public with her story, her companion priest would break up with her.”
Well, I am sure that that will make the Pope sit up and take notice. It is probably even now in the “for further attention” pile along with Hans Küng’s recent open letter…