Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

Can we talk?

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Oct 12, 2003

LA Cardinal Roger Mahony wins praise for openness and vision.

Some Los Angeles-area Roman Catholic priests are urging an open discussion on whether to allow married clergy as one solution to the growing priest shortage, and say they hope Cardinal Roger Mahony will raise the issue to church authorities nationally and in Rome. Calls to discuss the option of a married clergy came earlier this week at an annual assembly which drew about half of the archdiocese's 1,200 priests. Many priests lauded Mahony for allowing the debate on a topic considered taboo a decade or two ago. ..."We have made an extraordinary shift in the last 10 years," said Msgr. Clement J. Connolly of Holy Family Church in South Pasadena. "It's a new day when we can even talk about this now with respectability and a certain reverence and understanding."

Many single women lament what they perceive as a shortage of men willing to commit to marriage. Following the lead given above, why don't we talk about dropping the monogamy and fidelity requirement for husbands? That would make matrimony a more attractive option for contemporary young men, who feel hesitant about binding themselves to what many see as an outmoded, late-medieval legal requirement. The institution of marriage itself would benefit from the change: think of the gifted and generous men who are scratched off the list of potential husbands simply because they're already married or reject the proposal to remain faithful. As teenage children begin to think about the prospect of marriage themselves, wouldn't it be wonderful for them to hear their parents debate, with reverence and understanding, the constraint of obligatory monogamy?

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