Gregory flip flops on celibacy discussion

Gregory flip flops on celibacy discussion

Just over a week ago, Bishop Wilton Gregory, head of the US bishops’ conference, said in response to the Milwaukee priests’ petition for optional celibacy that there should be an “honest conversation” about the topic.

Now a week and a half later, he says, “I don’t see this fostering another review of a topic that has been fairly well discussed.” So which is it? What happened in the intervening week? Possibly, it was the sight of numerous heterodox groups, like Call to Action, FutureChurch, and CORPUS, jumping onboard and supporting the petition. It’s one thing to entertain the idea from an admittedly liberal group of priests, but when lunatic fringe joins in,there’s no way he could justify that discussion to Rome.

By the way, Bishop Gregory also reports that the audit of diocesan abuse policieses would be complete and have a report ready by December. He says that it will be a “pretty positive review.” I’m not so sure. After all, in the past year and several months since the Dallas policy, we have continued to see new cases come out, including those concerning priests who should have been removed long ago.

He finishes by saying that the Scandal should not be used to discuss priestly celibacy. After all, if celibacy was the cause, or even one cause, of the Scandal, then how do you explain the fact that the majority of child sex abusers are married men?

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  • It’s one thing to become more educated on a position and modify your stance based on that education, but I get the sense that this is more a case of telling the people what they want to hear.

    Don’t forget that Gregory is the same bishop who said, way back in the first half of last year, that we had to be concerned with “boundary violations” by priests. That reeks of “how far can I go before I cross the line” when the question is more a matter of “what can I do to be holy.”

    In other words, if this were an isolated case on Gregory’s part I might cut him slack, but not now.

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