New Belgian bishop questions mandatory celibacy

This video says about itself:

24 June 2013

Even though the Roman Catholic Church has a new pope, there’s no sign of a change in letting women be priests. But over the weekend, a group of five women openly defied the church.

Translated from Dutch news agency ANP:

Bishop of Bruges questions celibacy

Published: September 18, 2010 10:54

BRUSSELS – The Bruges bishop Jozef De Kesel on Saturday has questioned celibacy and the status of women in the church.

Those for whom celibacy is ”humanly impossible” should be afforded the opportunity to become priests as well, the bishop said on Flemish radio.

”I think the church should ask itself whether the obligation to remain celibatary should continue” said De Kesel. He also called it ”negotiable” that women can be priests, though he said that issue is more sensitive than celibacy.

De Kesel is the successor of Bishop Roger Vangheluwe, who stepped down in April after having admitted he had sexually abused his little nephew for years.

Update: the bishop of Hasselt, Patrick Hoogmartens, is critical about mandatory celibacy as well.

Belgian Catholics Remain Anguished by Sexual Abuse: here.

Protest the Pope rally sees 10,000 march through London’s streets: here.

Vangheluwe congratulates convicted paedophile: here.

As the debate over women bishops rages on, Bettany Hughes, author and historian, adds fuel to the fire and the oily issue of the rightful place of women in the church: here.

20 thoughts on “New Belgian bishop questions mandatory celibacy

  1. Hi sabra, in reform Judaism there are indeed women rabbis. See, eg, here. I would not call Bishop De Kesel “a sick person”, as his views on ordination of women, though cautious, are certainly more progressive than those of the Vatican. Probably, the label “a sick person” is more appropiate to De Kesel’s predecessor as bishop, Vangheluwe, who confessed child abuse.


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