Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

"I have seen the future and know that it works."

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jul 28, 2003

A couple weeks ago I relayed NCR reviewer and ex-priest William Cleary's enthusiastic endorsement of McBrien's prediction that obligatory priestly celibacy would soon be tossed onto the ash-heap of history:

Fr. Richard McBrien was asked on a network television special recently: "Will mandatory celibacy survive another church council?" He replied without hesitation: "No." Then smiled: "It's toast."

Moe recently, playing around in the Richard McBrien archives at the National Catholic Reporter site, I came across this gem from December 30, 1996.

Yamil Lara, a Catholic attorney in New Haven, Connecticut, proposes that "celibacy for Catholic clergy is fundamentally incorrect from a genetic perspective. Catholic clergy are and have been, on average, above-average individuals." Therefore, "their failure to have children has lowered and continues to lower the quality of the Catholic gene pool across the centuries and around the world.

In 1900, he writes, if each of about 40,000 Roman Catholic priests had fathered three children, their descendants, with each generation having just three children, would have numbered more than one million by the year 2000. The damage is geometric as grandchildren and great-children and their progeny are not born. The DNA of Catholic clergy becomes extinct, never to be seen again." ...

"This is a tragic loss because these men have spiritual qualities, intellectual powers and talents that enable them to be Catholic clergy. ...

"Genetically," Lara argues, "Catholics cannot afford to continue to practice institutionally mandated celibacy. It is the extinction of our finest and the opposite of what our knowledge of genetics dictates."

I suspect the majority of women in the greater South Bend-Mishawaka area, even without formal instruction in population genetics, can spot the flaw in the argument.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our July expenses ($18,826 to go):
$35,000.00 $16,174.29
54% 46%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: I am Canadian! - Jul. 28, 2003 3:48 PM ET USA

    Not to mention that most priests have brothers and sisters who can then continue the same genes into further generations. Also, for many in the UN, 1 million less people would be a good thing. Why they don't praise the Church for this is a little hypocritical.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Government Crackdowns on God and Nature 5 hours ago
A legislative mockery: Massachusetts lawmakers rush to replace unconstitutional 'buffer zone' bill 6 hours ago
Gay and Transgendered: What Comes Next? 7 hours ago
Obama's executive order and the danger of reliance on federal contracts 7 hours ago
May God Bless our Readers! July 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Vatican issues working document for Synod of Bishops on the family CWN - June 26
New management, new changes coming for reformed Vatican bank CWN - July 8
Sweeping reforms to Vatican's media, financial operations CWN - July 9
‘Even Genghis Khan didn’t do this’: Mosul emptied of Christians CWN - July 21