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British peer sees celibacy as 'torture'

Catholic World News - March 05, 2013

A British peer has compared clerical celibacy with torture, in a public defense of the disgraced Cardinal Keith O’Brien.

Explaining her sympathy for the Scottish cardinal, Baroness Helena Kennedy said: "I feel very sad for Cardinal O'Brien because here was a man who quite clearly had wanted to have a sexual life and felt that it was a failing for him to want to have a sexual life and that he was going against his commitment to celibacy.”

“It is terrible to torture people by expecting that of them,” Baroness Kennedy continued.

Cardinal O’Brien resigned last week after the public release of accusations that he had made homosexual advances on young priests.

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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: cobol39218881 - Mar. 06, 2013 9:57 AM ET USA

    This kind of story is sad. I know from experience that Gods grace can give the most sensual of men the ability to be Chaste. Dwelling on our society emphasis on sex as some kind of recreation or release, along with our nature do not make it easy but with Gods grace anything is possible. As Jesus says, our thoughts are the key to sin. If we use Gods grace to help us control our thoughts, we can conquer our sinful nature.

  • Posted by: scotty - Mar. 05, 2013 8:30 PM ET USA

    A world of whiners! No one is forced to live celibate; no one. Everyone that does chooses to do so. When a priest and/or religious takes a vow to remain celibate, they do so out of their own free will. If they no longer wish to remain celibate, or find they are unable to uphold any of their vows, then they are free to leave their service. Sadly, some would prefer to remain; violating their vows to God. Is it lack of humility, fear they won't be able to make it outside of the Church?

  • Posted by: geoffreysmith1 - Mar. 05, 2013 6:42 PM ET USA

    Baroness Helena Kennedy? You mean, the lady who co-habited with a boyfriend for 6 years and had a child by him? The so-called 'Catholic' who eschews all the traditional moral teaching of the Church? Oh yes, she's just the right sort of person to support O'Brien and his sexual antics. Birds of a feather, don't you know!

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