Bishop Wilton Gregory has responded to the Milwaukee priests who called for consideration of optional celibacy. I think his letter, which you can read in full here does an adequate job of upholding the Church’s teachings and makes several key points, including the obvious one that married clergy hasn’t done Protestant denominations much good.
I liked Archbishop Timothy Dolan’s response better. In it, he says that people often tell him that he has to support the Church’s teachings on celibacy for priests because he’s a bishop and Rome makes him. He replied:
“I enthusiastically and confidently embrace my own celibate commitment, and believe it a providential blessing for priests and for the Church.” He added, “It is not some stodgy Vatican ‘policy’ that has been ‘imposed,’ but a gift savored for millennia.”
Good for you, Archbishop Dolan. We need more plain-talking bishops who speak from the heart without couching their words in sweet words designed not to offend.