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Celibacy, abuse are not linked: Cardinal Bertone

April 29, 2010

The discipline of priestly celibacy is a "positive and fruitful tradition," Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone told a Spanish television interviewer. The Vatican Secretary of State added: "There is no direct link between celibacy and the deviant behavior of certain priests."

Cardinal Bertone conceded that celibacy is not "untouchable," and exceptions to the general rule of priestly celibacy already exist in the Catholic Church. But the calls for an end to clerical celibacy, as a response to the sex-abuse crisis, are misguided, he said. The cardinal explained that "it is the failure to remain celibate that gradually degrades the life of a priest."


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