Revelations of US cardinal sex abuse will force pope’s hand

By Nicole Winfield — July 20, 2018

(RNS) — “We can’t effectively prevent the sexual abuse of minors or vulnerable adults by clergy while habitual and widespread failures in celibacy are quietly tolerated,” said a Catholic seminary official.

Priests, celibacy and sex

By Thomas Reese — July 16, 2018

(RNS) — Sex between a Catholic priest and adult can be more than simply a violation of celibacy. It can also be a violation of professional ethics. The church needs to learn from the “#MeToo” movement about the danger of sex between adults who are not equal in power.

The Rev. Tom Reese: Catholics will loosen up on clerical celibacy

By Thomas Reese — December 19, 2017

(RNS) We asked senior analyst Father Tom Reese to consider what 2018 will mean for religion.

Abandoning celibacy won’t stop sexual abuse by priests

By Thomas Reese — December 19, 2017

(RNS) — We know for a fact that noncelibate men, including married men, also abuse children.

Pope Francis meets ex-priests in gesture of mercy

By Josephine McKenna — November 11, 2016

ROME (RNS) The surprise visit to meet several men who left the priesthood and started a family could send a powerful message to church leaders.

Some African Catholics call on pope to let priests marry

By Tonny Onyulo — November 23, 2015

KAMPALA, Uganda (RNS) In a society that places a high value on marriage and childbearing, some in Africa hope to present Pope Francis with a petition this week asking that priests be allowed to wed.

Pope Francis and the double-edged sword of religious tradition

By David P. Gushee — September 28, 2015

Pope Francis exudes a fresh take on a very old Catholic tradition. But here’s why tradition is a double-edged sword.

Celibate gay Christian leader urges faithful to ‘normalize’ committed friendships

By Jonathan Merritt — April 7, 2015

In 2010, Wesley Hill helped fan the flames of a growing movement of celibate gay Christians. Now he’s taking his arguments a step further.

Australians suggest celibacy played a role in clergy abuse scandal

By Josephine McKenna — December 12, 2014

VATICAN CITY (RNS) “Obedience and closed environments also seem to have had a role in the prevalence of abuse within some religious orders and dioceses,” the report said. “Obligatory celibacy may also have contributed to abuse.”

Brazilian bishop urges ordination of married community elders as priest shortage grows

By Benjamin Soloway — November 24, 2014

BELEM, Brazil (RNS) Brazil’s National Conference of Bishops is considering a proposal to ordain married community elders as a way to ease the shortage of Catholic priests in rural areas.

5 reasons why we want to believe Jesus was married

By David Gibson — November 19, 2014

(RNS) A new claim that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married (and had kids!) has been widely dismissed by experts. But that won’t be the last we’ll hear of this theory. Here’s why.

Priests’ mistresses and wives remind the Vatican: Don’t forget about us

By Josephine McKenna — September 25, 2014

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis has made a habit of personally answering letters sent to him from around the world — but not from a group of two dozen Italian women who say they are married to or involved with Catholic priests.

Gay, Christian and … celibate: The changing face of the homosexuality debate

By Sarah Pulliam Bailey — August 4, 2014

(RNS) With “ex-gay” ministries falling out of favor — even by their biggest proponents — many Christians are encouraging gays and lesbians to adopt a life of celibacy instead, without ever trying to change their sexual orientation.

Pope Francis raises eyebrows by saying pedophile priests include ‘bishops and cardinals’

By Josephine McKenna — July 14, 2014

VATICAN CITY (RNS) “Many of my advisers who are fighting it with me are giving me reliable data that estimates pedophilia inside the church at a level of 2 percent,” Pope Francis was quoted as saying.

Italian women seek freedom to marry the priests they love

By Josephine McKenna — June 18, 2014

ROME (RNS) Even when their love is reciprocated by a man of the cloth, the women known as “God’s rivals” are frequently rejected by family and friends. They’re sidelined in their careers and forced to hide emotional and sexual expression.

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