What should the Church do now with Padre Alberto, dubbed “Pastor Oprah,” in his role as a TV priest. He was “caught” by photographers with a woman on a beach, and says he should — and all priests should — be allowed to marry.
“There are plenty of good, practical and faithful reasons why the Church asks its priests to remain celibate: the priest is married to the church; priests have lifestyles that are incompatible with family life; priests (who also take poverty vows) don’t make enough money to allow them to support families; celibacy frees them to focus on their priestly duties,” writes the Washington Post’s On Faith blog, while pointing out that Protestant pastors who are married and convert to Catholicism are allowed to stay married. So if some priests can be married and married to the church, why can’t others?
In 2004, a Minnesota Franciscan sister surveyed seminaries about celibacy and found “that some seminary faculty members lack confidence to make appropriate interventions and recommendations, and some are uncertain how to deal with ‘cross-cultural dynamics relative to sexuality’ — especially when dealing with formation of the foreign-born seminarians who now make up about one-fourth of the theology-level students in U.S. seminaries.”
One presumes it’s coming up in discussions today.